2024 will be a year when actions speak louder than words for both the men and women of the United States.
As the new year begins, the USMNT and USWNT find themselves with big ambitions and high expectations. For the men, 2024 will be an opportunity to show that they have what it takes to compete at a high level. For women, 2024 will be an opportunity to show that they can set the tone for what it means to be competitive for the rest of the world.
As 2024 approaches, the USMNT finds the player pool shaking as the winter transfer window progresses. A number of players made lateral moves or even arguably moved backwards, it seems. Miles Robinson moved from MLS to MLS by leaving Atlanta for Cincinnati while Brandon Vazquez and Cade Cowell moved from the National League to LigaMX. Meanwhile, Zack Steffen, Djordje Mihailovic and Sam Vines returned from Europe to play for the Colorado Rapids.
Elsewhere, some key players have settled into new teams, as Christian Pulisic was recently named Serie A Player of the Month and Sergino Dest is an established starter at PSV. However, Folarin Balogun is yet to settle in Monaco and it looks like Gio Reyna is set to leave Borussia Dortmund.
With that in mind, there’s a twist on a familiar refrain that resonates in the new year. In a recent article with the Athletic, Pulisic said: “I want to show the world what the United States can do. » This is a welcome change from what has been said about changing the way the world views American football, a topic on which Gregg Berhalter has given extensive Powerpoint presentations. This summer will be an opportunity for American men to do so with the Copa America and the Olympic Games.
This also appears to be a shift in mindset from focusing on perceptions to focusing on outcomes. The Berhalter-led team has lived up to expectations, but “showing the world what the United States can do” means going deep against the best teams in a competitive tournament.
It’s a mindset the Americans will also need to adopt as the 2024 Olympics approach. After a disappointing 2023 World Cup, the team finds itself in territory it may never have known. In terms of adversity, the USWNT bounced back from being runners-up in the 2011 World Cup by winning gold in London the following year. However, the team was expected to be favorites heading into the summer games.
This time things are different and the world has shown that it has caught up. In response, several players have turned abroad and are looking for new challenges. Kristi Mewis headed to West Ham before the New Year and Emily Fox joined Arsenal this week. In an interview with the Guardian, she noted that“When I think of Arsenal, I think of excellence, I think of a global organization, I think of family. I think of pushing the standards of football and especially women’s football.
While the challenge in Europe for American women is different because the domestic leagues are not as deep, international club competitions provide tough competition. In addition, going abroad is to some extent synonymous with discomfort. Adapting to a new environment, different fans and changing travel situations brings unexpected challenges that playing in the NWSL does not. The USWNT found itself in a comfortable position as repeat World Cup winners. Getting rid of this and finding new tests will be essential for women to show the world what they can do.
Ultimately, both teams must show that they belong in 2024. The USMNT must show that they can challenge the best teams in the world while the USWNT must show that they have not taken any delay and that it can be the best team in the world. dominant team, this has been the case for over a decade.