"USWNT_70" (CC BY 2.0) by n11a11m
“USWNT_70” (CC BY 2.0) by n11a11m

USWNT’s Star Power Gives Huge Edge Over Bruce Arena’s Men

The United States women’s national team has known nothing but success on the international stage, since making their bow over 30 years ago. Team USA has won three World Cups along with four Olympic gold medals, making them the dominant force in the women’s game.

Although the men’s national team have had their moments, their impact on the sport has not had the same effect due to the intense competition found across the globe. The furthest the USMNT have progressed at their respective World Cup in the modern era is in quarter-final stage in the 2002 competition in Japan.

Their recent endeavors in the Copa America have shown promise, although two fourth-place finishes are the best performance they have mustered, which they equalled on home soil in the centenary of the tournament last summer. The Stars and Stripes have dominated the Gold Cup, winning the crown five times, including their last triumph in 2013.

Given the poor start to the final stage of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, Bruce Arena’s men will need to pull off something special to win the competition, being backed in the latest bet365 betting odds at 80/1 to triumph in the tournament next year in Russia.

One of the major problems that the men’s team has endured is the quality of the MLS compared to its rivals aboard. The majority of the States’ best players are forced to travel aboard to find a higher level of competition. This has brought mixed results, with Jozy Altidore failing to fire in the Premier League with Sunderland, but returning to star for Toronto FC in the MLS, although Clint Dempsey managed to find success in England’s top division.

On the other hand, the women’s game in the US boasts the strongest level of competition in the world and is the envy of every other competing nation. England have tried to match it with their Women’s Super League, but the depth of quality found in the National Women’s Soccer League has provided the USWNT with a production line of quality players to keep them on top of the world.

Unlike the men’s game, the sport in the US for women faces less competition for players. It has an extremely healthy intake of participants from the college game that go straight into the NWSL and then on to the international stage. Carli Lloyd had a successful three-year tenure with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during her college days before making the transition, while Becky Sauerbrunn, Amy Rodriguez and Alex Morgan have also enjoyed the same success.

"Carli Lloyd - Midfielder, Houston Dash" (CC BY 2.0) by araizavictor
“Carli Lloyd – Midfielder, Houston Dash” (CC BY 2.0) by araizavictor

The future looks extremely bright for the team with Mallory Pugh on the rise, with the 18-year-old poised to attend UCLA. The depth the Stars and Stripes have at their disposal is infuriating for their rivals.

However, baseball, football, basketball and hockey are favored sports in the men’s game rather than soccer, depleting the talent pool available to the USMNT. Due to the riches available in these sports compared to the MLS salary level it further drains the resources available. Unless changes are made the US are going to continue to struggle to make an impact at major competitions.

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