A Summer of Soccer

With a summer of soccer coming your way, look at a quick rundown of the best to watch
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In a little less than 20 days, the Women’s World Cup kicks off in Canada, while in about 50 or so days, the Gold Cup will start. This summer is looking to be one of the busiest – soccer-speaking – in years. Although last year’s 2014 World Cup in Brazil brought together an entire country to watch and cheer on the US, this summer looks to be when those who just watched, become soccer fans.

Additionally, the US U-20 team will be participating in the U-20 World Cup to be held in New Zealand, with the US team taking on the Ukraine, Myanmar, and the hosts New Zealand. With the US U-20 team there are a handful of MLS players joining the squad including Matt Miazga from the Red Bulls, Kellyn Acosta from FC Dallas, Erik Palmer-Brown out of Sporting Kansas City (and from the rumor mill being stirred up again, Juventus), Marco Delgado playing at Toronto FC, Jordan Allen out of the Real Salt Lake system, bleach-haired Bradford Jamieson IV from the LA Galaxy, and Tommy Thompson called up from the San Jose Earthquakes.

Although the US U-20 team hasn’t been given as much attention as the full men’s national team (which is understandable), the squad under Tab Ramos has a lot to look forward to, besides the call-up of the one youngster that everyone has been raving about, Arsenal product Gedion Zelalem. It must also be stated that from the US U-20 team, there are also some players outside of MLS and the shining light of Zelalem, that must be mentioned such as Rubio Rubin playing at Utrecht in the Netherlands and Paul Arriola – the captain of the U-20 team – playing at Club Tijuana in Liga MX.

What’s interesting regarding the U-20 team is that there are a quite a few names that were left off that raised eyebrows for those who follow the squad, including Sunderland U-21 player Lynden Gooch and Columbus Crew SC midfielder, Romain Gall. However much that is a letdown for Gooch, Gall, and others who were not called up for the tournament, it’s also a good sign that there’s enough competition coming up through the ranks in U.S. Soccer that the younger players should be watched sooner than you think. So although the U-20 team may not be favorites to win the U-20 World Cup, there seems to be something brewing in the player pool and that means good things are coming for upcoming World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

Although, as previously mentioned with the amount of players missing from MLS, there will be Major League Soccer happening throughout this summer while the U-20 World Cup is playing as well as the Gold Cup. However, that means the players who will play during the summer will have time to prove themselves, especially if they need to show what they can give to the greater good of the team. This will be a nice equalizer of sorts for those team players on MLS teams who aren’t superstars a la Jozy Altidore (who will most likely be out for a bit of the Gold Cup because of a recent hamstring injury) or Clint Dempsey, but still play a solid role on their club teams.

Although there will be a lot of soccer this summer, it’ll be important to pay attention to all – or at least keep track of most of it. With the Women’s World Cup being held mainly in June (and the US Women’s National Team striving for winning the tournament will also make it a bit more dramatic), the US U-20 World Cup with great younger players brought up in the U.S. and Europe is played in late May and June, along with the Gold Cup in July, and of course, MLS games ongoing throughout the summer, it’ll certainly be a summer to remember.

Take it all in stride and consume the soccer games and realize how lucky we are in the U.S. to have a lot of great football to watch year over year. From the huge Women’s World Cup in Canada to the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, and the Gold Cup to MLS games, make this the summer where you become, not just a watcher of the beautiful game but a connoisseur.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.
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