Editorial (July 6, 2019) – Super Soccer Sunday is less than 24 hours away. At 9:00 AM EST, the United States Women’s National Team play in the Women’s World Cup Final against the Netherlands. Then the United States Men’s National Team take on bitter rival Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at 9:30 PM EST.
For those looking to fill the space in between, there’s the Copa America Final.
Super Soccer Sunday: The Biggest Day in a Generation for American Soccer
This Sunday, a Super Soccer Sunday, is arguably the biggest day for U.S. Soccer in years, possibly a generation. The USWNT have a chance to cement themselves as the Queens of Women’s Soccer with back-to-back World Cup trophies.
It would be their fourth and would cement this generation of players at and possibly above the 1999 team.
A victory could catapult the movement players have already made towards equitable gender pay with the USSF. It could give momentum the causes players have highlighted as well, including Megan Rapinoe’s outspokenness towards LGBTQ+ rights with her open feud with President Donald Trump.
On the other side, the USMNT still has some trust and belief issues with the fan base as new manager Gregg Berhalter continues to implement his system towards a successful run to the 2022 World Cup.
The USMNT has gotten some good performances in this tournament but largely has played lesser opposition. Several players are still getting comfortable with international play and Berhalter’s complex system.
A win against favorite Mexico would be a massive emotional boost for the players, coaches, and the fans. The progress made in this tournament could give the team momentum to qualify comfortably for the 2022 World Cup and set the foundation for the new generation to find success.
Who knows? They might even play well enough to make the argument they deserve equal financial opportunities as the women.
Super Soccer Sunday is the biggest day in U.S. Soccer history since probably the 1994 World Cup ended. For the USWNT, the only bigger days could be the final of the 1999 and 2015 World Cups, as they set a precedent for what has come since.
For the USMNT, the knockout round games of the 2014, 2010, and 2002 World Cups were bigger. So too was the 2015 CONCACAF Cup. The result itself doesn’t matter as much as whether a culmination of progress is shown.
The women have a chance to make history and to embed highlights in the minds of a generation of fans. The men have a chance to plant a flag indicating a new chapter has truly begun and that it will be different from 2016.