The Legacy of Project 2010 - US Soccer in the World Cup
Saturday, June 12, 2010
These are very exciting times for USA Soccer. Not just men's soccer, but USA women as well. The success of our national team has a ripple effect on all American soccer regardless of gender of play. Today, we are building a strong program for Women's Soccer at Rhode Island College in Providence and we take great pride from the success of our men’s and women’s national teams.
The World Cup takes place every four years much like the Olympics. It is a barometer of sort as to how all the various nations of the world are progressing with their styles and efficiency. Soccer is the world’s common sports experience.
I believe that 2010 is a tipping point year for American Soccer — as the 2010 World Cup has been targeted for more then a decade by US Soccer. The genesis of the effort goes back to 1998 when a grand plan called "Project 2010" was begun.
Back in 1998 after a disappointing showing in the World Cup, a national commitment was made by US Soccer to be prepared and focused on competing with the top soccer powers by 2010. Many of the current team’s members were identified as prospects back then when they were as young as 10, 11, & 12 years old.
The IMG Soccer Academy was formed in Bradenton, Florida to house the best youth players in the country. The TOP 40 youth players in America left their communities and relocated to attend this academy and train full-time.
Their sights were set on World Cup 2010 and making the National team. Each of the players attending the Academy were so talented that each was offered full college scholarships. But, this national soccer program strongly encouraged them not to accept the college route and to go straight into professional soccer playing for the Project 2010 professional team sponsored by US Soccer.
Look closely at the background of the current national team roster and you will see that common thread – the link to Project 2010.
I see USA arriving in South Africa and taking their earned spot on the international stage this tournament. My predication is US Soccer will upset England. A feat that has only been accomplished once back in 1950. But this win will go down as the most significant win of all-time in US Soccer history. It will set the stage for the USA's Cinderella run in this 2010 World Cup!
Score: US 2-1 over England
Landon Donovan will be player of the match.
Rhode Island College, Head Women's Soccer Coach
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