Ruud Gullit's failure as the head coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer was another example of a foreign-based manager not taking the time to learn the system of MLS or to get a handle on being able to identify the American player.
In reading Andrea Canales' column on Goal.com, it appears that it was the fault of the US that Gullit didn't have a more successful stint in LA.
Yes, everyone in the USA ruined Gullit's chances to be successful as a coach because they didn't pay enough attention to him, apparently.
"In LA, nobody is talking about football. No television stations. You see it nowhere," Gullit said in a recent Associated Press interview. "It's difficult to swallow because you need that adrenaline to pump yourself up. If nobody talks about it, it's almost like an enigma."
Ah, yes, American soccer is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in mystery.
Actually, it's much simpler than that - Gullit wasn't a good coach because he didn't want to spend enough time understanding the system of Major
Ironically, Gullit was brought back to the US to be a commentator for ESPN during this summer's 2010 World Cup...and it sounds like he still hasn't figured our game or our country out yet...
Still, the American soccer fans are such easy targets - Gullit keeps swinging.
"When USA is playing at home, they don't play at home. It's unbelievable," Gullit said.
Ah, yes, many might have looked at the blue/white fans in the crowd at the recent Honduras versus USA game and decided that here Gullit has some merit. After all, the Honduran fans visibly outnumbered the USA ones.
However, that friendly wasn't a World Cup qualifying game, and the fan numbers for the Americans has definitely improved vastly of late.The USA players often made it a point to acknowledge to the media how the partisan crowd spurred them on to good home performances, where the USA was unbeaten in the hexagonal round.
Basically, what Gullit missed is that there is a groundswell of support for soccer in the USA, mostly because he never looked in the right places for it.
He didn't check the Internet, for example, where multitudes of websites like this one, soccer message boards, blogs and internet streams have fed the passion of fans all over the world. American fans are there, crashing feeds of
In some ways, these fans are more dedicated because they have to work harder at it - precisely because it's not spoon-fed to them via SportsCenter and 'booyah' moments and the front page of the sports section. It's rather like being a vegetarian in cattle country. There's a bit of a pioneer spirit to it - and what could possibly be more American than that?
It's a far cry from Gullit finding himself unmotivated because his picture wasn't in the tabloids every day.
Yet Gullit thinks the soccer revolution is being held back by American fear and insecurity.
"Certain people don't want to acknowledge [soccer] so much because everybody wants to protect the American sports, and I can understand that," he said.
Ah yes, everyone in the USA wants to protect all things American. That's why no one buys import cars in the United States, ever. Except - right, they do all the time. Homegrown soccer like MLS is just as much American as the Honda cars built in Ohio, if not more so.
After all, how can any sport have a nationality? Sporting entertainment is the most universal of pastimes - it belongs to whoever plays it and enjoys it. The sport of basketball was invented in the USA, but does Spain worry that Pau Gasol playing it somehow undermines the future of Fernando Torres? I highly doubt it.
Granted, there are many areas that USA supporters need to improve - they don't support their national team in any circumstance, for example, tending to focus on the games with the well-known American players, leading to a paltry representation at this summer's Gold
The bitter irony about Gullit's futile attempt at managing the LA Galaxy is that in a little more than one year's time, Bruce Arena was able to turn around MLS' flagship laughing stock, and get them into the 2009 MLS Cup.
Gullit was one of the brilliant players in Europe during his era, but clearly, this is a classic example of being a great player not translating into being a great coach.
As Arrigo Sacchi once said: "You don't have to have been a horse to be a successful jockey."