ESPN Deletes Tweet Implying US Men’s National Team Isn’t Good Enough

The official SportsCenter twitter account on Friday posted, then deleted a somewhat disparaging tweet about the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Anticipation for the 2022 World Cup continues to build, with the first matches just days away.

The U.S. team kicks off on Monday against Wales, with Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna expected to be key contributors.

Team leaders like Walker Zimmerman are also expected to help steady the defense.

ESPN apparently thought those players wouldn’t be good enough.

They posted an image of the USMNT, but with superstar athletes from other sports photoshopped in.

Fake USMNT team
ESPN’s now deleted image of the U.S. Men’s National Team with photoshopped athletes superimposed over the current roster. (Twitter)

The implication here is that if athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Mike Trout or Steph Curry had chosen soccer, the USMNT would have a better shot in Qatar.

Just a bit less encouraging to the team than Ted Lasso’s billboards of encouragement across the country.


U.S. Soccer Team Isn’t Good Enough?

Obviously this image wasn’t meant to be disparaging for the US team, but it’s the clear implication. It’s also a bit disingenuous.

Different sports require entirely different skill sets, and being talented in one athletic endeavor doesn’t mean you’d succeed in another.

Many of these athletes like LeBron and Trout are physically large people, built like linebackers. Most of the world’s best soccer players are small and thin.

Christian Pulisic, for example, is generously listed at 5’10, 161 pounds. James is 6’9, 250.

It’s a common belief that the US team would improve dramatically if the country’s best athletes switched sports. But it’s not necessarily true.

The current iteration of the USMNT definitely isn’t likely to win the World Cup in 2022. But it’s unquestionably one of the most talented groups the country’s ever put together.

Multiple team members play at the highest levels in Europe and play regularly for top teams.

It’s unrealistic to think that pays off this year, but with the U.S. sharing hosting duties in 2026, there’s reason for optimism.

Just apparently not according to ESPN.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, ice cream expert and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, eating as much pizza as humanly possible, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter.

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