Monty’s Murray on U.S. and the World Cup

NOTE: Following are first-year Montgomery High boys’ soccer coach Mike Murray’s thoughts on the selection of Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup and FIFA leaving the U.S. out of the mix this week:

“The 1994 world cup was a great experience and opportunity for the United States. We were able to show the rest of the world that we are not only a united nation but one that was working hard to catch up to other countries in talent on the field and the fans’ soccer experience. We see that throughout England, Spain, Italy and so on.

“We have not taken a step forward since 1994, with the exception that the U.S. was able to form Major League Soccer.

“Today (Thursday) when I heard we did not get the bid for 2018 or 2022, I was not completely surprised. I am extremely dissapointed, because I would love my children and friends to be able to experience what I had experienced during the ’94 World Cup.

“Attending a Brazil practice with the likes of Bebeto, Romario and a young Ronaldo and watching Cameroon play at Stanford … all were amazing experiences. It wasn’t just the soccer, it was the people and the culture that made the whole experience. The World Cup is like going to the Super Bowl everyday.

“It is time a change is made within U.S. Soccer. A new personality, a new idea.

With all the respect to Sunil Gulati and the hard work he has put it, things just are not working. We are stuck as a country. The U.S. national team has no offensive or defensive style. Nor are we developing enough talented players to compete with the top countries in the world.

“Especially with the amount of great athletes our country has. Imagination is very important in playing the game of soccer and quite frankly, our national team plays with little to none.

 “U.S. Soccer needs to reach out of the box and find a leader who has experience either playing at the highest levels or someone from Spain or Germany who knows how to develop, as well as influence.

“”The FIFA committee sees the United States as a power, but just not in the game of soccer.

“Our stadiums are boring and unimaginative, but are getting better. If you see the stadiums Qatar plans to build, they are flatout amazing. I do not blame them for choosing them. This should be a wakeup call for the United States. And hopefully this wakeup call will bring us some new blood and new life to U.S. Soccer.”

– Mike Murray
– Montgomery boys coach