The Atlantic

How Can the U.S. Spend So Much on Men’s Soccer and Still Be So Bad?

On a day when fans are grasping for explanations, there’s a hunt for some economic ones.
Source: Rebecca Blackwell / AP

The U.S. men’s soccer team’s loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night—which knocked them out of contention for next year’s World Cup—was, to say the least, a disappointment. It was a disappointment to the players, who will be rehashing the game’s events for years. It was a disappointment to the coaching staff, who failed to deliver what should have been an easy victory. And it was a disappointment to fans, who were looking forward to their sport of choice getting the burst of national attention that has come reliably every four years.

It was also, in a way, a disappointment for capitalism. The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF),

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