Walt Chyzowych, the United States national soccer coach, will be a spectator for the Olympic competition in Moscow, and he is not at all happy about it.
"We should drop the sport in the Olympics if we are not going to build a world-class team," he fumed the other day.
Once again, the U.S. was eliminated from Olympic competition when it recently dropped both games of a home-and-home qualifying match series with Mexico.
Mexico blanked the U.S., 4-0, in Mexican and 2-0 at Giants Stadium to win the region and advance to the Olympics in Moscow in 1980.
"We've never beaten them. They replaced many of the amateurs on their team with first-divison pro players to make sure they would be strong for the second game," Chyzowych said. "Many of the U.S. players play for NASL (North American Soccer League) teams and I had no idea who would be available for the games."
As it turned out, several of America's brightest young stars, including Cosmo midfielder Rickey Davis, were not permitted by their club owners to play in the second game.
"We have a lot of young players coming up now. But because of the lack of playing time and technical training, we haven't improved as quickly as we'd hoped," said Chyzowych. "Now, we have to build another four years for 1984. But will it be any better? The players are getting better but the good ones go into the NASL and the same problem will arise agains.
"We'll probabnly be using high school seniors and college freshmen against world-class professionals," Chyzowych continued. "That's not fair. Our kids have to grow up soon."
The past seven Olympics have been totally dominated by Eastern European countries. East Germany won the gold in 1976, Poland in 1972 and Hungary captured the honor in 1968. Eight of the nine medal winners in those three Olympics were from Eastern European nations. Nothing is expected to change in Moscow.
FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, in an attempt to break up the Eastern European domination and introduce new soccer players and powers to the world, invoked a rule restricting World Cup players from participating in the upcoming Olympics.
Many teams will use the Olympics as a proving ground for their young players. The World Cup competition is much more important to some countries and it would not be surprising to see some nations hold out players or use inexperienced players to gain experience for the 1982 World Cup.
A country like Brazil, for instance, with its extensive professional system (although the Olympic players will be amateurs in the technical sense) will benefit from the new rule change. Brazil has enough stars in its pro league to send to the Olympics without touching the World Cup players.