The list of improvements that the United States men’s soccer team needs to make is considerable. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann would like to see a more consistent back line, better touch from his midfielders and plenty more production from the attackers.
Yet as Klinsmann and his players begin their World Cup here Monday against Ghana, trickier questions of soccer acumen have come into focus:
Are the Americans bad at playacting? And if so, should they try to get better?
The fact that the Americans, up to this point, have resisted acts of dishonesty on the field makes me proud. I am thoroughly dismayed when I consider what this says about humanity- that lying can make it this far, to become this deeply ingrained into the core of the world's most popular game.
Some of the quotes in this piece suggest that many of the American players- and it's comprehensively international coaching staff- are working to "improve" in this area. While it may be innately unnatural to Americans to dishonestly impact the outcome of a game, it sounds like our guys are dead set on changing.
Perhaps we should look back more fondly on those many decades during which the U.S. Team was totally irrelevant on the international stage? Frankly, I'd rather the American team fall short than to resort to a pattern of lying and deceit to get ahead. ◉