World Cup struggles to find footing in Athens County< < Back to
Alexander High School boys’ soccer coach Kirk Crow said he recognizes the struggle present in the current state of soccer.
“I think it is important to build soccer up in this country,” he said. “Soccer isn’t one of the main three or four sports in the United States.”
It is in an intriguing dilemma when you consider the globalization of the sport. Soccer, or football, is a sport that only requires one thing: a ball. Because of this, it has a unique ability to unite.
Despite this fact, even members of Crow’s team don’t participate in the celebration.
“A lot of them don’t watch soccer a lot,” he said. “Even though they may play the game, they might have even played for 10 years and they don’t watch a lot of soccer on TV.”
Crow ascribes the general lack of support in Southeast Ohio to the struggles of the United States National Team. The United States finished eighth in 2002, but since then, the US has finished no higher than 12th in recent memory. Disappointment reached its peak in 2018 when the team failed to qualify for the tournament.
“The more success the USMNT can have, and hosting again in 2026, I’m really hoping can grow the sport throughout the United States and throughout our little area of Ohio as well,” Crow said.
The United States’ next chance to impress is Nov. 21 against Whales as they begin the group stage of the tournament.