“I believe. I believe that we will win.“
From the bars in the Pacific North West, to the bustling streets of Times Square in New York, soccer fans alike have heard this tune before.
Even though the chant is regarded for the US team competing in the World Cup, for fútbol fans, the mantra’s meaning is much deeper than just the team making it past the group stage in a National tournament.
It’s hope; that with every win, the sport will gain popularity amongst the youth and in turn, produce a bevy of talented stars that will grow up and compete with international powerhouse teams, i.e. Germany, England, Spain, Netherlands, Argentina and Brazil.
The United States does not come to mind when you think of the top International teams. The red, white and blue have emerged from the group stage of a world cup a mere five times since 1930.
Unlike the rest of the world, in America we praise and cherish another version of football. They are our gladiators, whom crash into each other and dazzle every Sunday for half a year. We also have basketball, hockey, and baseball which draw a lot of potential soccer players away from the sport.
Don’t get me wrong I love football, and all the other sports as well, but I also enjoy watching our U.S soccer team beat high-ranking teams in fútbol, a game where every country cherishes and praises their players as their gladiators.
Fútbol is celebrated worldwide, just not in the States, so more international players strive to become fútbol players than kids do here.
If we are going to compete, we will need our youth to have that same mentality. So we need to win. Over the past three weeks the U.S national team has been doing just that on American soil and has advanced to the semi final matchup in the Copa América. Marking the first time since 1995 they have made it that far in the tournament.
Believing that your team will win gives you hope, and if we want to actually start believing consistently, then we have to change the way soccer is viewed in America.
If the sport is revered, and watched more on a national scale, then the sport will flourish and give way for more athletes to join the sport. Only then will we contend consistently with top international teams.
The U.S national team will take on the winnner of the Argentina and Venezuela on Tuesday, June 21 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.