Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says that he sees a bright future for the U.S. men’s national team.
- Vieira believes in USMNT’s future
- Ex-Arsenal boss previously managed NYCFC
- Impressed by growing soccer culture in US
WHAT HAPPENED? Vieira talked up his experience in the U.S., which saw him manage New York City FC in his first professional job. The former Arsenal star credited his two-and-a-half-year tenure in MLS with preparing him for life as a manager while talking up the future of soccer in America.
WHAT THEY SAID: “The British people or European people would be surprised by the passion of the game and of soccer in the United States,” Viera told reporters. “Even myself, I was really surprised because we played in different places and the stadiums, the atmosphere. People coming before or seeing fans after the game. There is a passion over there that is growing every year and I think the future looks really bright for U.S. soccer.
“There are a lot of Americans now coming at an early age in Europe and playing the game, trying to learn even more, trying to develop themselves and to challenge themselves. It’s such a big country that I believe they will be successful in the near future.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Vieira is one of several high-profile figures to predict a bright future for American soccer, with several U.S. men’s national team stars currently plying their trade at some of the biggest clubs in the world. They’ll get their first real test next month when the U.S. return to the World Cup after missing out in 2018.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR VIEIRA? The Palace manager will lead his side into a match against Leicester City this weekend, with Vieira and co. currently sitting 15th in the Premier League. His former club, NYCFC, will begin their playoff push, meanwhile, as they take on Inter Miami to start the postseason after winning MLS Cup last year.