Once every four years soccer and hockey are thrust on to the international stage. Hockey’s ultimate global competition occurs at the Winter Olympics, while soccer has the FIFA World Cup. The United States hasn’t won either since the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980. That one has a special place in history that can never be taken away, but it was 34 years ago. So which competition would mean more to the United States now? Let’s find out.
Tale of the tape
Tale Of The Tape: World Cup vs. Hockey Olympic Gold
|The 14" tall, 13.6 pound, 18-carat gold statue of two human figures holding up the earth is an absolute gem.||Trophy||Gold medals have been the ultimate prize in athletics since ancient Greece. That's like 2 billion years. Isn't it?|
|32 teams qualify for each edition of the FIFA World Cup, yet only eight countries have ever hoisted the cup.||Degree of Difficulty||12 teams participate in each cycle at the Olympics. Six different nations have won Olympic Gold.|
|Soccer has been growing in the U.S. for a long time, but still remains far below any of the other major sports. A World Cup would certainly help, but it would take exponential growth to even come close.||Impact on Sport||There is no denying that hockey is on the rise. Despite multiple lockouts and a failed TV deal with the sports giant, the NHL still remains in the picture of the major sports in the country.|
|The U.S. have never even made a semi final. They've also been drawn into the proverbial "Group of Death." Winning the World Cup would make David vs. Goliath look puny.||Shock Value||In 1980, it came as a major surprise that the United States won. In 2014, there's almost an expectation of success. We still aren't the favorites, but it wouldn't come as a surprise to anyone if the U.S. pulled it off.|
The winner is
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