THE BEST OF INTENTIONS

Suppose for a moment, soccer was your business. You’re the one behind the controls of soccer in your New World country. Your vision and decisions would mould the beautiful game’s future within your nation’s borders. Given the current state of soccer in your country, domestically and internationally, would you echo the sentiments and prevalent trains of thought that have brought New World soccer to its current location? When your trusted counsel remained adamant that the adopted practices of Old World soccer’s superpowers was the most feasible way forward for your  New World nation’s efforts, would you accept their word on face value? In the educated and well-informed opinion of your brains trust, “New World soccer’s transformation into a dominant domestic and international force” was “strictly a matter of time.” Would you accept their prediction as conclusive or would you feel inclined to demand more than that?

“Exactly how much time are we talking here?”

Not all that unreasonable an inquiry to make for someone in your position. They’ve had over 30 years of soccer experience to accrue the data to make such predictions. All the Old World soccer mysteries of consequence have been solved. The Old World nations who establish the benchmarks of excellence to which the rest of the world aspire, and the relative location of New World soccer nations in comparison, is all laid out in black and white. Every single nation on the planet is fully aware of their position on the soccer hierarchy and equally conscious of the passage of time it has taken them to reach their current locale. Most New World nations are quick to point out the improvements they’ve made to the sport within their borders. The unfortunate fact they are somewhat more reluctant to air is the familiarity of their position on the soccer pecking order relative to those Old World nations they have spent over a generation trying to usurp.

When confronted with the impression New World soccer nations have made on the modern history of the beautiful game to date, would you be inclined to heed the counsel of those whose belief remains resolute in the omnipotence of the Old World’s ways? If we knew then, when we first embarked on this journey, what we know and where we’d be now, would the fruits of our labors be considered justifiable in the face of the effort of their production? Would you authorize the continuation of the same operational mandates as your predecessors? Or, would you insist on some alterations to improve the yield, strategies and tactics more appropriate to the conditions faced?

New World soccer’s trials and tribulations today remain essentially the same as they have always been. The struggle for recognition as a legitimate athletic entertainment form in the opinion of the majority of New World populations continues unabated. The Old World version of the game continues to swipe for itself the majority of the attention soccer receives in the New World. It does so not without merit. The Old World continues to deliver a superior product to market compared to anything the New World can muster together – in every respect. The Old World has soccer, and soccer fans, by the scruff of the neck. Theirs is a gargantuan enterprise and New World soccer’s insistence to look to overwhelm their well established and heavily fortified position head on remains the suicide mission it appears to have always been.

It begs the question, what if an oversight has been made? All evidence appears to suggest as much. Stifled by a history of the Old World’s ability to express their methods coupled with the New World’s capacity to comprehend them, New World soccer remains a fringe dweller as a consequence. What falls through the cracks represents the difference between the original and the re-creation. Forced to eke out an existence beneath the shadows cast by its more powerful adversaries, from its current vantage point the slightest glimpse of sunshine is regarded as a step in the right direction. It seems the time may be ripe for a rude awakening. Suppose the Old World soccer ways don’t work in the New World. What then?

New World  soccer can longer afford to continue to agree to the facade. It can no longer continue to expect a fresh outcome from the same well worn approach to the task at hand, no matter how well versed it becomes in its application. In order to appreciate a new perspective, New World soccer has to deviate from their current path. There’s no alternative. New World soccer has no other choice. The sport of soccer already has its fair share of Old World examples. Of what value or use would some New World soccer versions be to the overall good of the game?  The continued evolution of New World soccer has more to do with the maturation of these nations as soccer countries than it does to the improvement of their technical proficiencies.

Suppose for a moment, soccer was your business. Could you place your faith in your nation to craft a homegrown version of the world game? Demand a halt to the redundancy of Old World soccer emulation and signal a call to arms throughout the throngs of New World soccer faithful to rage against a soccer future consumed by mediocrity. Instead, encourage them to rally behind a concept of yet-to-be determined New World soccer possibility no longer with merely their hearts. The time has come for those born and raised within the frame work of New World soccer to gather our considerable accumulated intelligence, bring it to the discussion and design table, and put it to work. What would that even look like? How would that change the trajectory of New World soccer’s beautiful game?

If you are a New World soccer supporter, then soccer is your business.