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Ideas to Save Team USA (From a Guy Who Hasn't Played Soccer Since 1989)

06/21/2010 11:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Team USA is off to an underwhelming start in the World Cup. Perhaps I can help. Not to brag, but my Umbros and I played four years of youth soccer back in the 80's and I learned quite a few things on those public park fields:

1) Cones -- Orange cones are amazing pieces of equipment for any soccer player to use and it doesn't seem to me that the US players have been practicing with them. Don't they know all the great things you can do with them? You can dribble around cones. You can run around cones. You can even use cones as targets for passing. And when you put a soccer ball in the bottom of one, it looks like you're eating a huge ice cream cone!

2) Better Sponsors -- While it's great that so many large corporations are sponsoring Team USA, there's something faceless and generic about McDonald's, Nike and Visa. How about we let the little guy get involved with international soccer? Just think about how much harder our players would play if they had small businesses like Village Bagel from Plainview, NY or Dominick's Auto Body from Bakersfield, CA represented on the back of their jerseys!

3) Plastic Trophies -- A piece of marble with a fake gold soccer player attempting a flying scissor kick goes a long way in motivating a player to perform. I know a guy in Queens who can overnight a whole bunch of them to South Africa for a very competitive price.

4) Everyone Gets To Play! -- Look, everybody knows Tim Howard is a great goalie, but does he really have to be on the field for all ninety minutes of every game? How about we let the other goalkeepers, Brad Guzman and Markus Hahnermann, get between the posts for a little bit? They've got friends and family who would root really hard for them, as do all the other guys riding the bench. It would be fantastic for team and country morale if every guy who made the team got to play in a World Cup match. That'll show the world what democracy is all about!

5) Orange Slices -- Vitamin C is very important for soccer players and I don't understand why orange slices aren't on the sidelines of every World Cup game. If the team is unable to find a citrus company to sponsor them, then I have a plan for them -- just assign a different player's mother to bring orange slices to each game. We can start with Landon Donovan's mom and take it from there.