5 Reasons Why Americans' Favorite Team Is USWNT, Not USMNT
Over the past two years both the United States Men's and Women's National Teams have provided fans with thrilling soccer.
However, it is the USWNT that is America's favorite.
Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and company have been the ones to truly capture the nation's hearts. They are the ones who have gotten the nation to rally around U.S. Soccer as a whole.
Both sides have rabid fans, and America supports them both, but it is the women who would win a popularity contest.
Here are five reasons the USWNT is our favorite national team.
They Are a Cast of Characters
This group has personality and they aren't afraid to let it show, and that endears us to them.
It comes across on our television sets as they play a match, and definitely when they are interviewed. If you have never watched an episode of U.S. Soccer's Studio 90 then you are missing out on quality entertainment.
The U.S. men have several athletes on the team who either do not make an effort to show their personalities or do not get a chance to. That is not the case for the women of U.S. Soccer. They shine in the spotlight.
America loves characters. That is one reason we love this squad.
The excitement the USWNT has given fans over the past two years has been remarkable. Hearts around the nation have skipped multiple beats.
That is not to say the USMNT haven't given us some quality action and game-winning goals as well, but the USWNT have done it when the stakes are highest.
The 2011 World Cup quarterfinal against Brazil will go down in history as one of the most dramatic matches—if not the most dramatic match—in U.S. Soccer history. They followed that up with a World Cup final thriller against Japan, which they lost.
Enter 2012 and they still were not done supplying dramatic moments. The Olympic semifinal against Canada was just another in a long line of exciting matches. Fans eat that up. It makes it extremely fun to watch. It helps they are normally on the winning end, too.
It is a shame this has to be a slide, but we have to face facts that America is a vain country. It helps that the USWNT is a beautiful team.
It makes them marketable. We still are not at a place in this country where it is talent alone that puts one out in the forefront. There is a reason Nike has chosen the likes of Alex Morgan and Hope Solo to lead their campaigns.
The general public enjoys watching the good looking, talented team.
If you do not think looks play a role, you should take a look at social media the next time they hit the pitch. The tweets and posts are not merely about how excellent their play is.
Maybe one day we will get there.
However, we are still at a place where America is tickled pink that their women's team is beautiful as well as supremely gifted and hard working.
They Connect with the Fans
The USWNT connect with their fans more than most other professional athletes.
After matches, they get handed Sharpies and start signing virtually everything handed to them. How often do the men do this in professional athletics? Not often enough. The USWNT do it after virtually every open practice and match.
What's more, they are active on social media.
USMNT superstars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have not tweeted since May and October respectively. Many other players are not even on social media.
The women, on the other hand, are active and engaging. They retweet and respond to their fanbase. They make the effort to personally connect with their fans. They are building lasting relationships with their supporters.
They Are the World's Best
America loves winners. They rally around teams when they win championships and cast them aside when they are not championship level. We are a fair-weather nation.
The USWNT are the best in the world at what they do. They are the elite of the elite. When they play in big international competitions, the nation tunes in to be a part of their championship.
Americans want to be associated with champions, and the USMNT are not there yet.
Hearts broke when they dropped the 2011 World Cup to Japan, but were vindicated when the USWNT took the rematch to capture Olympic gold for the third consecutive time.
Winning is the biggest reason the USWNT are America's favorite. If the USMNT start moving up the FIFA rankings and make a run at the World Cup, that is likely to change. However, right now, the women run the show.