The worldwide celebration known as the World Cup is upon us once again. That means most countries will shut down while their national team is playing in Brazil.
America is not one of those countries. Soccer has never been a top sport in the United States, and the fact that Europeans love it so much seems to make some Americans even less inclined to watch it.
In the 1970s, there was a major push to make soccer as popular in the United States as it was in the rest of the known world. Instead, it was American football that rocketed ahead of the pack.
What if the push had succeeded and the U.S. joined the rest of the world in its soccer fanaticism? If American fame and fortune could be found by kicking a ball, you can bet our best athletes would gravitate toward soccer instead of football or basketball.
Just for kicks, here’s what a World Cup team roster would look like filled with Dallas sport stars. Disclaimer: Major players like Yu Darvish and Dirk Nowitzki aren’t from the U.S. and thus wouldn’t be playing for America even hypothetically. Plus, if Dirk didn’t take up soccer in futbol mad Germany, he wouldn’t do it here either.
Forwards: Dez Bryant and Monta Ellis
You’ve seen Dez work his magic on the football field. Now imagine his competing for head balls near the opponent’s goal. His size would allow him to screen off defenders with ease to get off his shot.
Monta Ellis looks like a midget on the basketball court, but he’s actually 6-foot-3. He would be another nightmare to cover near the goal, as he could sky over many defenders to put crossing passes in the back of the net. Plus, imagine, his quickness with a ball.
Midfielders: Tony Romo and Johnny Manziel
Romo is nearing the twilight years of his career, but there are very few quarterbacks who can make the escape from certain doom to deliver a perfect pass quite like Romo does. If you thought the criticism of Romo was bad now, wait until you see him on the world stage. Those British tabloids can be vicious.
Speaking of escapability, no one does it better than Johnny Futbol. (Yes, we know he’s technically not a Dallas sports star, but give us a little latitude.) Although he’s too undisciplined to start, he’d be a great kid to come off the bench for some instant offense.
Defenders: Leonys Martin and Sean Lee
Most Rangers are either from another country, or they aren’t built for soccer. Martin, however, could defect from Cuba and become a United States citizen. That makes him eligible for this story. And you can bet he’ll track down balls in the back end.
Sean Lee had the talent to start for the World Cup team. Unfortunately, he broke his back picking up his suitcase at the airport, so he’s watching the cup from the sidelines.
Coach: Jerry Jones
You knew that was coming, Cowboys fans. You can’t evade Jerry no matter how hard you try. If soccer were the nation’s premier sport, you can bet he would find a way to get in on the action. It’s fiction, but some truths will never be washed away, even in the craziest of fantasies.