PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Billions of people across the globe are caught up in 2018 FIFA World Cup fever, but in the United States, the national team was not fortunate enough to make the soccer tournament.
Back in October, the U.S. soccer team needed a win over the Caribbean team of Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but things didn't go their way. One local soccer coach, however, believes we can learn a lot from this absence.
"What we have to do is fix the problem," said Schellas Hyndman, Head Soccer Coach for Grand Canyon University. "The problem right now, I think we are making administration changes. We have a new president with U.S. Soccer. We also have to identify a good coach. A lot of people say maybe an American coach, maybe an international coach."
One of the biggest issues: the lak of a specific style of play.
"If you're in California or Florida, you're going to wear soft shoes and close to the ball," said Hyndman. "If you're playing on a field that has snow on it or a roughed up field, you might play more direct, which means you get the ball off your foot, and try to gain territory and try to score goals."
Hyndman believes American players must refine their game in the top leagues in Europe.
"The player we should look at to say, the model: Landon Donovan," said Hyndman. "Landon Donovan, as a 17-year-old, was as good as Freddie Adu, but wasn't as noticeable, but he is the player that went to Europe. Had contracts in Europe."
Hyndman also touched on what fans need to know about fixing the current state of soccer in the United States.
"A lot of it has to do with funding," said Hyndman. "Germany, in 200, did not do well, so they sat down and decided we need money to develop schools. Every professional team will have an academy, and look at them now. They are arguably the best in the world for the last two, three World Cups. So, we need money to invest into these academies. The players have to go there because they are good, not because they can afford it."