A Reality Check on American Soccer

Wednesday, August 04, 2010 | View Comments
Downtown Boston skyscrapers from below

I'm big on perspective. There are occasions where I write long posts in anguished attempts to provide a bit of it to not only you, the reader, but to myself. Writing is often an exercise in fleshing out my own feelings on a subject as I type, before I have any concrete notions in mind and as my brain considers a topic logically. Soccer fans tend to be a touch myopic, and I can be as guilty as anyone. The desire to present a reasoned blog post that makes a solid argument while acknowledging the potential counterpoints means I tend to be careful about making sweeping proclamations without considering practical concerns.

Criticism is easy. Insight is not.

Perspective too easily takes the tenor of excuse. We avoid mentioning little details like the short existence of MLS, the relative youth of the US program as a serious exercise, and the natural growing pains that should be expected as a result. Criticism is important as a spur to progress, but it's no less valid if it acknowledges mitigating factors. We all want MLS and American soccer to leap forward in Moon gravity-like bounds; that doesn't mean we have to throw perspective out of the window.

Miriti Murungi sums it all up so I don't have to. If you ever find yourself in need of a bit of perspective, I suggest reading and rereading his wonderfully unsubtle and appropriately framed post. We live in a country with a professional top-flight league that is not yet old enough to have a player in it who was born when the league existed. As time passes, Miriti's points will become less and less important. But for now, they carry significant weight.

It doesn't mean we should stop pushing, prodding, asking, and analyzing. It just means we should do all those things while remembering just how new all of this truly is.

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