I have a long-standing bet with an English friend of mine over which of our respective national teams will be the first to win a post-2000 World Cup. The stakes are a car of the loser's choosing. While it's mainly for fun and I'm certainly not getting proper odds for my risk, my high-level investment thesis on that bet is as follows: 1) Traditional quality soccer programs, like England, the Netherlands and Mexico, are mature soccer markets/cultures and thus are generally not going to improve significantly relative to their competition. They haven't gotten over the hump yet/recently and they are unlikely to in the short term. (I am certainly taking some near-term risk though as the USA's odds are even lower here.) 2) That the US is in a nascent stage in its soccer development, that resources have been starting to pour in at an ever-increasing rate, and that the US has the size, finances and track record of dominating markets that it takes even somewhat seriously. Demographic shifts domestically are helping in this respect as well. Let's just say that while I greatly respect the Dutch and their soccer success, I feel similarly about them as I do about England in the long-term. Among other things, we should be pitching Dest on our recent youth results, how they are consistent with what should be happening and that it bodes well for the team's prospects over his national team career. Put simply, we're a program on the rise (and one whose prospects are better than the prevailing perception) and there's plenty of evidence to back that up.