June 13, 2018

By Kab Hakim

USA will host the 2026 World Cup. If you are happy about this I warn you read no more. Just 8 years away from the biggest event in the World.

I have always said, this is why they kept the status quo in the leadership to get this bid, so they feel justified despite the scandalous mess they have made of youth soccer and the sport of soccer here in the US.

Neither the men’s or women’s national teams can put 5 passes together without losing the ball. But no worries, they got their World Cup so who cares how they play, right?

Youth players are screamed at to stop dribbling and don’t do this and don’t do that but it’s ok because they’ve got their World Cup. Who cares that clubs of hundreds and thousands of players produce so few skilled players, right?

The next US men’s national coach does not have to qualify for 2026. They are in and can continue with their rubbish soccer and rubbish coaching for another generation. No accountability necessary for any youth high school, college, pro coach, any DOC, any club, any league, any state association, any one at all. But they got their World Cup.

The women’s game which makes no money, has barely any TV coverage and we still see the same kick ball game back to front where it takes set pieces to score a goal for the national team at home. The pro game loses money, and loses franchises, but no worries they got the World Cup. But some cash must come back to support more women’s soccer, right?

The men’s game continues to grow with more pro franchises, but while a few young players begin to emerge domestically, Major League Soccer still spends $20 million on has been players who come here for vacation and an easy pay check before retiring. But they got their World Cup, so they get their money back, right?

10 cities will host 60 matches in the US with remaining games played in Canada and Mexico. But, for the first time in World Cup history, a nation’s capital, the city where I reside, the District of Columbia will not be hosting a match never mind the Final. The stadium considered in the DC region is FedEx field in Landover, MD, not in DC. Imagine that?

The great visionaries of DC United and MLS never thought let’s build a new stadium in our capital city to host not only pro games but major international matches, World Cup matches, and Olympic soccer matches again in our great city, the most powerful in the world except of course the soccer world.

Generations will never see such a match in DC again. Those of us with the privilege of working the 1994 World Cup, 1996 Olympics Soccer, and many big international matches in DC will never have that experience again now the RFK stadium is set to be demolished.

Inner city kids will never see such games in their neighborhood that could inspire a future world star.​

This city just celebrated the Washington Capitals hockey team winning the Stanley Cup and spent millions on a parade yesterday, while the ignorant media spewed their fake news informing their viewers that this was the city’s first national sports title since 1992. So five Major League Soccer titles by DC United from 1996 to 2004 are not worth a damn then, huh?

I have been saying for decades they don’t care about soccer in this city despite all we have given. But because of the inept leadership ownership youth development and continued apathy and splintering of the community, we are left to celebrate what for soccer in this country and for what in this city? The most underserved groups will continue to suffer most as the game continues to grow outside the city and what was once a fun sport loved by people of all ages and demographics becomes a scandalous business that only the wealthiest among us can afford to engage in. Talk about golf country clubs, nah this is soccer in America.​

I feel ashamed of this as the ignorance of a few hurt so many. They will never learn. They will never care.

But I care and will continue to care for the next generation in this city. For as long as I am alive I will continue to serve kids with the environment to enjoy the ball and the game in any form. Futsal beach soccer 3v3 4v4 6v6 7v7 9v9 11v11 20v20 soccer tennis, splash soccer, futevolley, all of it.

So on this Russia World Cup Eve, we will host soccer on The National Mall today and keep our sport, our fun, our skills, thriving in front of the eyes of the visiting world. We will show them that youth matters, our game matters, how we play matters, who plays matters, where we play matters, and it most certainly matters in DC the nation’s capital.

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