The idea for a “World Cup of US States,” aka a States Cup, has been floating around for years. It’s not really a serious idea but is, rather, a fun idea to kick around. I first did so on 3rd Degree back in 1999 and I’m sure I was nowhere near the first to come up with this idea.
But the States Cup idea has been floated a couple of times of late on social media and it came up in our discord today (to join in support us on Patreon at the “Tree Amigos” level or higher) so I figured why not share my thoughts on this fun – but totally unrealistic – idea.
Here are the rules I use for this hypothetical scenario.
- The player should be a “citizen” of the state. That means being born here or living here for long enough to perhaps claim they are “from Texas.”
- Players need to be actively playing as pros or high-level amateurs like college. Perhaps even Academy if you dare.
- 23-man squad with coaches.
- Pick a formation.
My 23-man Squad is coached by Eric Quill and assisted by Marco Ferruzzi.
|Pos||Name||Current Team||Texas Connection|
|F||Ricardo Pepi||FC Augsburg||El Paso, TX.|
|F||Jesus Ferreira||FC Dallas||Born in Colombia but is a US Citizen and moved to Dallas at the age of 10.|
|F||Alex Zendejas||Club América||Was born in El Paso until FCD sold him to Chivas then *poof* he was born in Juarez. Played for US Youth teams. So I’m claiming him for Texas.|
|F||Charlie Kelman||Queen’s Park Rangers on loan to Gillingham||Born in England but spent most of his youth in Texas and played for FC Dallas Youth.|
|F||Khiry Shelton||Sporting KC||Born in Colorado but grew up in Leander, Texas.|
|F||Memo Rodriguez||Houston Dynamo||Wharton, TX.|
|M||Weston McKennie||Juventus||Little Elm, TX.|
|M||Kellyn Acosta||LAFC||Plano, TX.|
|M||Chris Cappis||Brøndby IF||Katy, TX|
|M||Keaton Parks||NYCFC||Plano, TX|
|M||Paxton Pomykal||FC Dallas||Lewisville, TX.|
|M||Edwin Cerrillo||FC Dallas||Waco, TX.|
|M||Emerson Hyndman||Atlanta United||Dallas, TX.|
|D||Jonathan Gomez||Real Sociedad||North Richland Hills, TX|
|D||Nico Carrera||Holstein Kiel||Born Pachuca came to US in 2008 played for FCDY U12 to U14 and FCD Acad U15 to U19. He Lists Frisco, Texas as his hometown on his US National Team bio.|
|D||Justin Che||FC Dallas on loan to Hoffenheim||Richardson, TX.|
|D||Bryan Reynolds||Roma on loan to K.V. Kortrijk||Fort Worth, TX.|
|D||Reggie Cannon||Boavista||Born in Chicago but was in Texas long enough to play four years of high school soccer for Grapevine High School.|
|D||Jonathan Tomkinson||Norwich City||Plano, TX.|
|D||Omar Gonzalez||New England Revolution||Dallas, TX|
|G||Jesse Gonzalez||—||Born in North Carolina but grew up in Texas.|
|G||Richard Sanchez||LA Galaxy||Born in CA but mostly grew up in Texas. Attended Little Elm High School.|
|G||Michael Nelson||Houston Dynamo||Katy, TX.|
Don’t bother commenting or @’ing me on Jesse Gonzalez and his off-field situation. This is a fictional exercise.
Missed the Cut
Santiago Muñoz (El Paso)
Antonio Carrera (Born Pachuca move to Dallas even younger than Nico)
Dante Sealy (Born in Brooklyn but has been in Dallas since his dad played for FCD in 2021).
Those players would factor quite a bit over the next few years… if this was real.
I offer two options that I can use depending on the opponent and style. A 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3.
The 4-3-3 let’s me get an extra linking mid – Chris Cappis is my choice – on but at the expense of either Jesus Ferreira or Ricardo Pepi.
Here is a shortlist of players I discarded as not being Texan enough for this exercise.
|F||Rogelio Funes Mori||Monterrey||Born in Argentina. Both brothers had residency issues while at Arlington High School and were not here that long. Both played for FCD for about 6 months. I can’t claim them for Texas.|
|D||Ramiro Funes Mori||Al-Nassr||See line above.|
|M||Brandon Servania||FC Dallas||Birmingham, AL|
|M||Tanner Tessmann||Valencia||Birmingham, AL|
|D||Chris Richards||Bayern Munich on loan to Hoffenheim||Birmingham, AL|
|M||Thomas Roberts||FC Dallas||Little Rock, Arkansas|
Who You Got?
Did I miss anyone? And what does your team look like? Let me know.
1999 Texas Team
I mentioned I did this exercise multiple times, the first time in 1999. For a little more fun, here’s the 1999 team.
Looking back know I would disqualify Tom Soehn who is from Chicago. He was drafted by the Burn in 1996 and was still listing Frisco, Texas as his home in 1999. He shouldn’t be in there.
On the bench at the time I had…
Gabe Jones – F – Georgetown, TX
Kirk Wilson – M – El Paso, TX
Eric Kvello – F – Houston
Eric Quill – F – Missouri City, TX
Emmanuel Ayim – M – College Station, TX
Wally Crittenden – GK – Seabrook, TX
Rusty Pierce – D – Woodlands, TX
Given more time watching all these players, I should have had Quill at LM with Broome LB and Agoos at CB with Soto on the bench. Rusty Pierce perhaps at RB for Soehn.