This Thanksgiving, American football fans have seven reasons to be thankful, including Emma Hayes and Lionel Messi

Seven reasons why American football fans should be grateful this Thanksgiving, including Lionel Messi and Emma Hayes

Seven reasons why American football fans should be grateful this Thanksgiving, including Lionel Messi and Emma Hayes

Fans of American football have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season because it’s an exciting time to be a fan.

Thanksgiving is approaching. It’s a time for family and food, and since many Americans celebrate the holiday, there will undoubtedly be an abundance of the latter. But the holiday is also about introspection and giving thanks. After all, it’s called Thanksgiving.

American football fans have a lot to be grateful for this holiday season. There is a lot for fans of both the men’s and women’s teams to look forward to, making it an exciting time to watch football worldwide.

Thus, GOAL has you covered in between turkey bites and family gatherings in front of the TV to watch the other football team.

US Serie AThe situation for the best players on the U.S. men’s national team in Europe was dire just about six months ago. Tim Weah wasn’t quite a regular at Lille; Christian Pulisic was stranded on Chelsea’s bench; and Weston McKennie was going through a nightmare at Leeds that was dragging him down with USMNT teammates Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson.

It appeared at the time that the main players on the USMNT would have to settle for less playing time. Rather, three of the team’s key players moved to mega-clubs in Italy, where they have flourished so far.

Yunus Musah, Weah, and Pulisic have all settled into Serie A and have all contributed significantly to the season’s opening. Weah has been somewhat limited by injuries, but he still starts every game for Juventus as a wing-back. McKennie, on the other hand, has played both centrally and out wide for the Old Lady since making a comeback to Turin. Pulisic has been one of AC Milan’s better players this year, and Musah has taken charge of the midfield after winning Stefano Pioli over.

Although Americans haven’t always looked to the Italian top division, that is quickly changing as Serie A has provided four important players with a much-needed place to call home.

On-field competitionsThe 2026 World Cup is the centre of attention, and for good reason. It is going to be a watershed moment in American soccer history, possibly surpassing even 1994. However, there’s sort of a dress rehearsal before that. In 2024, the top players from South America will travel to the north for a major competition known as the Copa America.

After somewhat casting aside their demons by defeating Trinidad & Tobago to secure their spot, the USMNT is already on the pitch. Mexico barely made it in, requiring every last second to defeat Honduras. Although Canada will have to win a play-off to get in, Jamaica and Panama have already secured their spots.

But with CONMEBOL’s giants undoubtedly the ones to watch, that seems like the underdog. Undoubtedly, Argentina, the reigning champions and World Cup winners, is still the favourite. Young players are driving the ascent of Uruguay and Colombia. Furthermore, can you really write off Brazil despite their recent difficulties?

Next summer, the United States will host some of the biggest games the world’s top players have ever played, including possibly the greatest this sport has ever seen. Considering him…

Messi Lionel Who would have thought? Somehow, the dream move materialised. While playing in the US is Lionel Messi.

Even after all these months, it’s still difficult for people who have followed MLS’s ascent to understand. After just a few months of play in the United States, one of the greatest players in history—if not the greatest—has already shown off quite a show.

His run in the Leagues Cup was historic, as Messi took over and led Inter Miami to their first-ever championship. Messi arrived too late to lead the team to the postseason, but he has already had a significant influence both on and off the pitch.

Who would have thought? Somehow, the dream move materialised. While playing in the US is Lionel Messi.

Even after all these months, it’s still difficult for people who have followed MLS’s ascent to understand. After just a few months of play in the United States, one of the greatest players in history—if not the greatest—has already shown off quite a show.

His run in the Leagues Cup was historic, as Messi took over and led Inter Miami to their first-ever championship. Messi arrived too late to lead the team to the postseason, but he has already had a significant influence both on and off the pitch.

Sales of that pink No. 10 shirt are booming, just like interest. The onus is now on the league to take advantage of the fact that MLS fans are watching it from all over the world. Messi’s involvement and the approaching World Cup suggest that MLS can only get better from here.

Messi will return in early 2024, and it’s exciting to think about what his first full season in Major League Soccer may entail following his midseason arrival. Messi is expected to be a dominant player in the upcoming season with a full preseason, some rest, and possibly some new superstar teammates.

Emma Hayes

The disastrous World Cup campaign for the American women’s national team cost Vlatko Andonovski his job. As they sought to usher in a new era with a significant coaching hire, that propelled the USWNT towards a turning point.

U.S. Soccer managed to score a major victory. The federation demonstrated its strength by luring one of the top players in the women’s division to the position, demonstrating the continued importance of the USWNT position.

Superstar coach Emma Hayes created the Chelsea programme from the ground up. She is a coach with experience creating winning cultures, and the USWNT needs to find that aspect of themselves again.

The young stars of the USWNT Even though the World Cup fell short of expectations, a new generation of USWNT stars will remember it as a life-changing event.

Julie Ertz and Megan Rapinoe have left, and Becky Sauerbrunn and Alex Morgan will follow shortly. However, it appears that the USWNT is in capable hands as a collection of young athletes appears more than prepared to face any challenge that lies ahead of them.

Alyssa Thompson, Sophia Smith, and Trinity Rodman have all competed in World Cups before. Jaedyn Shaw and Mia Fishel appear to be joining that forward mix soon as well. And then there’s Naomi Girma, who is already one of the top central defenders on the pitch at the age of just 23.

A return to the Olympics Although the USWNT will be the centre of attention during the Olympics, there will be other American football teams present as well. The men’s team is back and will compete alongside the women in Paris next summer, having missed the previous three Olympic competitions. The men’s competition will still be significant even though the two tournaments are completely different—the women’s is a senior competition and the men’s is an Under-23 competition.

Since many of the best young players in the game will be competing next summer, the Olympics serve as a great showcase for up-and-coming talent. As a result, it’s very important from a professional perspective and a competition that many players aspire to compete in. It’s the Olympics, after all.

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