Review: Why a fan protest & boycott would be for the good of the USMNT

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by appoo, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    Please bear with me, with this post. I do not take this lightly.

    First off, while many here are familiar with my history, I think it's important to start with this. I've been a fan os US Soccer since the 1994 World Cup, when I was going into 9th grade. I didn't really know the sport, but I still knew it well enough to know what losing felt like in 1998. But something else happened in that World Cup, and it was Michael Owen. His performance really caught my attention...and turned me towards watching soccer at both the national team and club level. Since that world cup, I've been a die hard soccer fan, and especially a die hard USMNT fan.

    During college, I watched every USA match I could, I followed all the players, I eventually joined Big Soccer to have a soccer community to celebrate & analyze the USMNT with. I started posting in 2001 during qualifying and haven't really stopped since. 2002 was probably one of the most magical sporting events in my life.

    And ever since then, I've always been someone who's preached patience, done my best to keep performances and results in line with expectations given our own talent and our opponents. Sometimes I've failed, sometimes I haven't.

    During that time, I've only ever called for the firing of two managers. Jurgen Klinsmann, and it took me until after the World Cup, when blamed the players for not attacking enough against Belgium, and now Gregg Berhalter who blamed his players after the debacle in Toronto. I have NEVER called for a protest/boycott.

    They broke a cardinal rule for any manager - never publicly blame your players and shift blame away from yourself, for poor performances. Beyond that, their different weaknesses weren't something I want in managers - with Klinsmann his lack of tactical awareness, and for Berhalter, his rigidity in system, and utter lack of ability to adjust.

    However, if Klinsmann hadn't gotten fired, I wouldn't have called for a boycott/protest. Why? Because our authority line didn't give him a free pass. There were always rumors of Sunil and company not being entirely happy with him, and if you listened enough, you heard rumblings about the safety of his job. I felt fine rooting for our side under him, knowing that if he didn't improve, we'd make a change.

    Today, I've lost that faith. USSF is now built with a lone voice of authority over the USMNT, and that is Earnie Stewart - and he just gave one of the most innaccurate, incredible, myopic judgements I've ever seen, in any sports realm, of my life. That is not hyperbole. He told the world that when he saw the progress under Berhalter, that he was a happy man, and then cited a single 25 minutes against Mexico as evidence. We used to play 90 minutes against Mexico, and win.

    So why the extreme approach of protest and boycott? Because how else do you reach the Lone Authorities' ears? So long as people are watching and going to matches to support his team, he'll think himself untouchable - and the reality is that so long as USSF is getting viewers and sales tickets, he IS untouchable.

    So yes, boycott, because USSF can not exist in such a manner, where one person's opinion is so powerful, as to threaten our entire program. - for I do not want to imagine the consequences of not participating in the next World Cup. From kids not watching the WC, and thus not caring about soccer, to losing sponsorships, to losing dual nationals, to losing MLS interest, to threatening MLS for being the source of our woes...the consequences are massive.

    Anyways, I hate that I'm doing this. But I see no real alternative. It's for the good our program, our players, our sport here.
     
  2. Cynical US fan

    Iceland
    Mar 30, 2017
    Boston
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Without Pulisic at these next two matches we'll certainly lose vs. Canada, and barely beat if not draw Cuba. This will, as stated by many others, have no bearing on whether Berhalter remains the coach. Like Appoo, I've followed the USMNT since 1994 and have never declared war against our coaches, except for JK and now, GB. I agree that the matches need to be boycotted, to hit the USSF where it hurts, in their wallets. It turns out that Earnie Stewart was also a very bad choice for us. Who knew?
     
  3. ebbro

    ebbro Member+

    Jun 10, 2005
    I wonder if Stewart actually believes what he said or he was asked to say it. Before the Berhalter hire a journalist (can't remember who) close to the situation basically said (on Sirius XM) that Stewart had no say in the hire other than proposing candidates.
     
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  4. ebbro

    ebbro Member+

    Jun 10, 2005
    User name checks out.
     
  5. pirozhok

    pirozhok Member+

    United States
    Jul 20, 2007
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My man :)
     
  6. metnostar

    metnostar Member

    Jun 28, 2001
    Stewart could not even recognize that we have a problem after being beaten by Canada, as well as bad losses to Jamaica, Venezuela and Mexico. This cozy little cabal that has sneakily seized control of the World's favorite sport in this country needs to be removed right away. I started following the USMNT at the 1990 World cup, and felt they always performed with full intensity and desire until this sorry gang took control. Sad to say, Earnie Stewart was one of my favorite players, able to steal a goal against much stronger opposition, but he is an incompetent manager in the most charitable interpretation. With a heavy heart, I fully endorse a fan rebellion and boycott.
     
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  7. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    On My Squatty Potty
    Club:
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #7 jond, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    You don't arrive at having a Jay, Earnie and Egg three headed donkey if Earnie is the lone voice of authority.

    There are others behind the scenes pulling the strings who necessitated this happening. SUM, Garber, Cordeiro, etc. The cartel who doesn't care much about the actual sport, just greasing the wheels for a few.

    The establishment is built on a rotten core. Surprising it's taken so long for some to see this.
     
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  8. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member+

    Jun 18, 2007
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I really appreciate this and can completely empathize. My patience broke completely after Couva, but up until then I like to think that I too was reasonable and patient as well. It’s hard to make these posts where you want to call yourself a raving lunatic.

    Also I think Stewart is a victim of circumstance. Jay Berhalter has got to go, The NY Times article about people hating their dream job is enough. Out, now!
     
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  9. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    USSF is really trying to push their fanbase away.
     
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  10. TOAzer

    TOAzer Member+

    The Man With No Club
    May 29, 2016
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When Apoo gives up on the Feds, you know that the situation is truly Appoo'ling......
     
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  11. TOAzer

    TOAzer Member+

    The Man With No Club
    May 29, 2016
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And it is one of their rare efforts which is actually succeeding.
     
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  12. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I feel bad for the young fans.

    None of us knew what it was like to be necessarily one of the best nations in the world. But we could dream about making the World Cup quarter-finals, going head to head with the best in the world, and think what if... That was fun to be a part of.

    This, I hope we can beat Canada and Panama, but let’s not get our hopes up against Honduras, Costa Rica, and especially Mexico is depressing.
     
  13. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    I want to add some nuance as I think about this

    It’s about the entire organization, but just Berhalter. there’s always going to be good and bad coaches and always opinions about that as well.

    As I heard Stewart talk, it struck me that the future success of this sport in this nation, in a big chunk, was in the hands of a total of two people. Stewart and Berhalter. That’s a freakin terrifying thought. There are absolutely no checks and balances, no one else who can provide legit input. Berhalter sucks, and it’s Stewart’s and only Stewart’s decision whether or not his ego can handle firing him this quickly.

    This is untenable. Short term we are are at a huge risk of missing our 2nd straight WC, which is an absolute disaster that will have tangible and widespread consequences for the sport in this country.

    Long term, we could do generations of damage by having this much power with just 2 people.

    Just having a good national team makes up for a lot of that as success on the field will keep the pipeline of kids coming through, but not having that success truly magnifies the danger of one person in charge of hiring national team and youth coaches.

    Berhalter needs to go, because we can’t afford to miss the WC. This hierarchy of power has to go because this much power can’t be in the hands of one person
     
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  14. ebbro

    ebbro Member+

    Jun 10, 2005
    I don't think Berhalter (at least Greg, if that's who you mean) and Stewart are actually the ones in control.
     
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  15. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    USA
    I don’t even care what individual it is. The fact that it is 1-3 individuals is the problem. In every other major organization, there’s titular heads, but there are also boards, committees, and stakeholders with avenues to provide input and tangible power. None of that seems to exist here.
     
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  16. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

    Jul 26, 2007
    I think the fanbase has the most room to pressure the USSF, because it's difficult to demand public action from the players.

    Players can maneuver to dump a manager, and maybe stay away for months at a time, but it's difficult to demand them to throw away years of their national team careers. This can be seen in the fact that so many great players around the world have had to put up with some absolutely abysmal federation and national team leadership. So I only see players like Pulisic staying away semi-permanently if the U.S. completely falls off a cliff (sinks below the Hex tier).

    For me personally, this is a major reason why I'm cool with the US Women demanding a greater share of USSF funding. Whether the US Women earn 50% or greater of the funds that roll into US Soccer and SUM, or need to be subsidized to reach 50%, at least I know it's not going to waste the money won't be going to waste with the US Women, unlike with the men in so much of the 2010s.
     
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  17. Papin

    Papin BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 19, 1998
    le côté obscur
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Can the supporters create a massive "Fire Gregg" tifo to display at the next match? Then, once security inevitably confiscates it, they all stage a walk out?
     
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  18. dlokteff

    dlokteff Member+

    Jan 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    To be fair these do exist at least on paper. How much check they have on the triumvirate with respect to the performance of the USMNT I have no clue.

    This chart is a year old as Ernie was promoted to create another level there, but here is the chart:
    [​IMG]

    There is also a Board:
    https://www.ussoccer.com/governance/board-of-directors


    I will probably fall on the USMNT til I die side, but I will say, the comments from Stewart are pathetic, and honestly in some ways worse than the loss in Couva. If he's happy with what he sees he's either lying, a complete fool, or under some Berhalterian spell. And we thought Klinsman, Arena, Bradley treated the fanbase with disrespect at times. This is a new low.
     
  19. melatoninlol

    melatoninlol New Member

    Seattle Sounders
    United States
    Oct 27, 2019
    Near Boston
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How much for a plane flyover with BERHALTERS OUT? (or another message) for the canada game? That's not supporting USSF and would definitely be seen.
     
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  20. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    [​IMG]

    OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  21. GiallorossiYank

    GiallorossiYank Member+

    Jan 20, 2011
    NJ/Roma/Napoli
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Real talk - American Outlaws is the only organization who can do this.

    For real.
     
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  22. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Apparently there are quite a few who still dont get it. Anyone who was paying attention in 2016 could have predicted the direction the program would go if they got rid of Klinsmann. Maybe I was a bit naive, but I never imagined they would take it this far.
     
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  23. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    I don't play poker, but I used to watch it on TV occasionally just to see the reactions of the players when the final card was turned - joy and anguish, simultaneously. In poker there's a concept of being 'out of position,' and right now I feel USMNT fans are out of position on this hand at the moment.

    First, because we might beat Canada (and Cuba), advance, and (even though we know better), winning cures all ills. Earnie will then field questions with an 'I told you so' attitude, stalling momentum.

    Second, because for a push for change to be successful, it will need some element of planning and coordination. Not years, not even many months, perhaps, but some time if the goal is not just to make some noise but to be effective.
     
  24. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I'd be interested in @wixson7's take on this. Even if he doesn't want to comment because he's on some kind of advisory council, perhaps he can tell posters how they can get their voice heard by the USSF (if at all). I assume that's the purpose of the advisory council he's on.
     
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  25. wixson7

    wixson7 Member+

    May 12, 2009
    boulder
    this
     
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