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An ode to the USA World Cup Team

It has now been a week since the U.S. men's national team's departure from the World Cup, and while there continues to be some angst over the missed opportunity the team had to make a deeper run in the tournament, the fact remains that the run they did make touched quite a few people back home.

It may just be a commercial, but I think this new Nike commercial does a good job of capturing the feelings of many American soccer fans after this World Cup:

What do you think of the commercial? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Because while inspiring girls is great and all, they’re not going to be on the USMNT someday?

    Besides, have you ever seen any males in any USWNT ads?

  2. It’s a little disconcerting to see that Nike doesn’t seem to consider women as part of their audience. I’m not saying Nike is being blatantly sexist with a malicious intent, but unless there’s a pressing reason, why should you be excluding certain groups of people in the first place?

  3. I love this comercial.

    I’ve had the conversation a few times after we were sent home from the Ghana game that I feel more than ever before that we played this world cup with “American Style”. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like we had a national identity to our playing style. We may be seeing the start of one, or the maturity of one. It has been there in bits and pieces but it seems like this World Cup it is identify-able.

    USA– Our National Style
    Full effort for 90 minutes
    Gritty, determined play
    Strong, physical play without resorting to ugly fouling
    Dangerous set pieces
    The potential for wide open attacks
    Team defense
    Team spirit

    I’m sure more could be added here.

    They didn’t always have it, but the consistency is getting better, enough to see it regularly. I’m excited for the future and how this will continue to develop.

    “Thank you for playing like an American!”

  4. “What? Name the last commercial you saw, featuring a female player?”

    Sure: “Trick You Inner Marta Out,” a great Puma ad featuring the great Brazilian player, which I saw yesterday while watching I don’t know which soccer update.

    But none of those questions are relevant. Again, girls can’t be inspired by the USMNT, etc? The knee-jerk response that this is just knee-jerk political correctness is just (as I was saying below) silly. You don’t think Nike can make money off girls? You don’t think girls would reasonably be a part of a marketing campaign (which is what this is, after all)? Why not?

  5. But that’s sill, as the whole point (in the posts here, at least) is why Nike is so foolishly limiting their market for this commercial when people would reasonably expect both girls and boys who play soccer to have been inspired by the USMNT and want to say thank you to them in this way.

  6. I thought this was awesome, but I cringed at the whole “thanks for not diving” part of it. Because as good as he is and as much as I love him, Clint Dempsey’s a diver.

  7. I see from a left wing is on this site too. Just to let you know, she was on Match Fit the other day, with some girl Amanda, railing about the sexism and neglect of this commercial. Glad to see on this site no one gave her any play, except Mike, and they were shut down. Spare me the PC police. I get enough of that from the real world and politics. This is sports folks. It’s a commercial to celebrate the USMNT, get boys to become more involved in soccer, which we need, make money for their company, which, in turn, funds BOTH the men’s and women’s teams! Same as college sports. Football drives the bus! Get over it people!

  8. Awesome commercial, just one side note:

    As much as I wish it wasn’t so, we’re not far behind the world in the diving department. I don’t have a problem with drawing fouls a la drawing a charge in hoops (provided it does not include Robben-like theatrics and exaggeration) … however if Altidore doesn’t fake a foul 10 yards in front of goal, we may be one of the last Four standing.

  9. As a high school teacher I resent all of you playing with my grading scale. Its bad enough politicians want me to dumb down my curriculum but now YOU guys are at it???

    🙂 Smile, wink wink!

  10. I believe that female gonads disqualify you from being a future member of the Yanks. seems that these boys are representing future members of the USMNT.

    Your knee jerk political correctness is working fine, though.

  11. What? Name the last commercial you saw, featuring a female player? The last story you saw on the news giving you a run down of the WPS season? The amount of column inches given to NCAA women’s soccer, that doesn’t involve a ponytail!

  12. +1, I think the whole world was appreciative of the way our guys play the game. Played hard the full 90 and didn’t dive.

  13. “Thank you for playing like an American.”

    My favorite line, and my actual feelings after watching the group stages. This team established an American style. Heart, determination, and 120 minutes if necessary. Not to mention a lightning counter attack that rivaled the best in the competition.

    Boobirds go home.

  14. “Why is it that when we lose to a team, they have nothing to do with it?”


    “Apparently a lot of you think Ghana was some kind of high school team.”

    Right again.

    The irony is that despite viewing things that way, people will turn right around and criticize the US team for letting their guard down and not taking that other team seriously enough!

    In a game that was hard fought, all the way into extra time, and that was without any big controversy, both teams had their chances and had the upper hand at different points, but Ghana played better than the US, brilliantly finishing 2 chances, to win out in the end and advance.

    Welcome to sports.

  15. Mike,

    Then don’t support the USMNT because you will be getting that from them a long time, at least from your point of view.

    The USMNT gave you everything they had. If you care about character, effort, desire, team building ,good coaching and all that stuff, the US gets an “A”. Obviously this does not matter to you.

    From the results stand point the results were a mediocre “C”, though if you read SBI before the World Cup tons of posters were saying 3 and out.

    A few other things to consider:

    Why is it that when we lose to a team, they have nothing to do with it? It’s always Bradley blowing it? Apparently a lot of you think Ghana was some kind of high school team. They had arguably better talent ( go down their roster and see who they play for) than we did (they certainly gave the tournament darlings Germany all they could ask for).

    With a little luck it could have been us versus Uruguay. We created more goal scoring chances than they did. The US has been lauded for its attacking style in this tournament and I can’t remember that ever being the case.

    THE USMNT has two severe handicaps, both related to the ability to develop a competitive edge, that Ghana, for example does not have.:

    – It is on a 4 year cycle so Bradley had to build up the team over 4 years, a long time to try to get things together and peaking at the right time. Europeans and Africans are on a 2 year cycle in that they have the World Cup and the Euros and the African Cup of nations. Those teams then have about twice as many competitive games in which to test and blood their teams. And these competitions are really tough(more so than the Confed Cup) and really matter so their players and teams have twice as many chances to develop. In comparison the Gold Cup is a joke.

    – So what about the South Americans? Copa America, another biennial competition has been dominated by Brazil lately, and is not considered as competitive as the Euros and the African Cup. But, with the South Americans, the real issue is that their best players all mostly play in the top teams in the world and get their exposure to top flight completion there. Currently, there are no US outfield players playing regularly for any top flight teams ( Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Inter, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona give or take a club or two). Those teams are full of South Americans and Africans all of whom get to develop their hard edge at the highest level.

    While it can be argued that US players are approaching parity in terms of skills and talent with the rest of the world, few if any of the US players get anywhere near the kind of exposure to top level competition, either at the national team or at the club level, that our competitors in the World Cup do. And at the top flight, the difference is mostly in speed of reflexes and what everyone loves to call “mentality”.

    Hopefully that will change soon as it seems Milan is interested in Dempsey and others may follow.

    The World Cup has few, if any, “easy” games for anyone. Did you watch New Zealand, supposedly the weakest team in the competition games? They weren’t pretty but no one was going to have an “easy” game against them.

    Given all this I believe Bradley and the team have done a remarkable job getting as far as they did. But I would suggest someone with your values not watch the USMNT for some time. That talent gap isn’t going away anytime soon. And it won’t be pretty for a while.

  16. Judging by their clothing line for supporters, no, Nike isn’t aware that women support the MNT. Only men support the MNT, and only women support the WNT, didn’t you know? (Just try finding Don’t Tread gear for women; I had to make my own.)

  17. Exactly, and if that’s the case wouldn’t the teacher curve the grades so that the highest scorer gets 100? If there’s only 1/32 that get an A…which would put all of the C’s to C+’s or B-‘s.

  18. OK. So, girls can’t be inspired by the USMNT, or learn from them or see them as role models or benefit from their successes in the future, only boys can? Isn’t the question still valid?

    I’m not “really uptight” about it, I’m just agreeing with Mike. Doesn’t sound like Mike is “really uptight” about it, either, he’s just asking a valid question, one that many people who see the ad are likely to ask, as well.

  19. As I put it to other people who have gotten really uptight about this:
    The WNT’s path has already been paved with gold since 1999. They are the best team in the world and need no commercials thanking the women, who are long retired, for paving the way.

  20. Like it. Would love to see a campaign that involves NBA players who love soccer (Kobe, Nash, Tony Parker) to promote soccer and make it cool to play particularly for African American kids

  21. Good commercial. US team fought to the end. One or two breaks here and there and we are still playing. We need those kids to get all other kids going on this sport to make us great.

  22. What grade do you give the tournament winner? I mean if you give at least half the WC Finals 2010 class a D or an F (since they all bowed out in group stages), and a C to a team that wins its group in an upset and goes to extra time before being eliminated from the other 16, by a side who ends up being eliminated from the final 8 by an even narrower margin, well, just curious how high your grading scale goes. Sounds like maybe a B+ reserved for the single best student in the class, or certainly no more than 1 out of 32 cracking the A range…

  23. That just underscores the point: girls can’t be inspired by the USMNT, or learn from them or see them as role models or benefit from their successes in the future, only boys can?

  24. i kind of agree with this and it’s a little embarrassing, to be honest.
    nike’s gotta cash in on whatever residual good feelings are still associated with soccer in this country.

  25. I think the commercial is basically a celebration of a mediocre performance.

    It’s like giving your kid a reward for getting a C on his report card. Basically you’re just happy he didn’t fail.

    I don’t think that’s anything to celebrate or necessarily worth making an ode to.

  26. Didn’t LD get carded for diving against the Spanish in LAST year’s Confederation Cup? It was a pretty funny moment in which the Spanish players picked up gave him a pat on the jaw as if to say save it for next year and we’ll show you how its really done.

  27. I love him, but I don’t think that Jozy got the no diving message. Oh well, at least don’t get caught!

  28. these are all male soccer players. It’s called Paving the Way so you can look at the depictions of young men who respect the USMNT’s performance.


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