The State Of U.S. Men's Soccer Program

It seemed fantastic, almost like a dream when our boys beat Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Even after the lose to Brazil in the final it seemed as if the U.S. men's team have finally arrived and it was full speed ahead.

But since the end of the 2010 world cup, some thoughts have crept into the head of many fans including me. And those thoughts has even become more loud after the lose to Mexico in the Gold Cup final.

I believe there are up and down cycles in everything. Same goes for the men's national team. They had their strong runs, and now it seems like they are sliding a little bit and Mexico is starting that upward swing of dominance of North America. But I think there is something going on more than just a cycle.
So is it the coach? Is it the player pool? Is it the system? And the answer probably is, it's a little bit of all.

But overall I think there are two main problems.
The first problem I think is players choice. I will give you an example. Take Carlos Bocanegra, everyone know, moving forward with Carlos Bocanegra is not a good decision, by the time the next World Cup rolls around it is safe to say that Bocanegra won't be on the team. So why continue to bring him into camp and start him over other potentials?
And the second problem is, and the most important there is something missing from the American game. I'm not really sure what it is. You can call it instinct, you can call it what ever but that missing ingredient is what is keeping the national team from moving forward. And when the American players  find that ingredient, only then will we take the next step.

Let me close by saying this, I'm a realist. I know how far soccer has come in the U.S. And I know how far the National team has come in the past 20 years. And no one should expect us to win the World Cup anytime soon. But we should improve every decade.