US Soccer & The Branding of America

“I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people's accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man's failures.” -Earl Warren

Landon Donavon’s goal does not solve America’s problem with the BP oil spill, two wars or the quotes of a diva general and his posse, but it does ring a bright note into American’s daily life.

The US is not the most talented soccer team and it was lucky with the goal against England, but clearly had some bad luck with ref calls too. In a span of four minutes, America goes from an afterthought in a sport in which it typically does not excel to becoming the most talked about team in the world. As an American living in Prague, Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Brits are all abuzz about the US football team more than any other. And it’s not so much that they’re successful but it’s in the way they’re playing since it represents the best aspects of the American brand: persistence, teamwork, never say die spirit, hope.

It's the part of America that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of world politics. It's the American brand that the world respects the most. And it's highlighted because of one goal in penalty time. So, sports does make a difference on the world stage. And it's a lot better than how the French portrayed their brand.

“We embody what America is all about. We believe." -Landon Donovan