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Adam "Cheezi" Meltz Update

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by IMOX77, Dec 13, 2004.

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  1. IMOX77

    IMOX77 New Member

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    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    For some background for those who have not heard of him

    Adam "Cheezi" Meltz
    Born in South Africa and moved to San Diego at age 7
    Ht. 5'2
    Wt. 82 lbs :)
    DOB: Sept. 23 1990

    This article was the one that put Cheezi on the BS map

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/communitysports/20030917-9999_m1sc17soccer.html (from September 17, 2003 )
    http://www.socceramerica.com/article.ASP?Art_ID=562134314
    Cheezi's update - Grew 3 inches and gained 8 pounds in a year and has spent some time in Holland traing w/ FC Utrecht
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20041128-9999-m1sc27vibe.html (from November 28, 2004 )
    There is also a couple of threads on Big Soccer that he is brought up in, you can just do a search if you want.
     


  2. mtkstriker

    mtkstriker New Member

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    Awesome, I remember hearing about this kid some time ago, but then I didn't hear anything. Hopefully he can become our next Adu and we can follow his entire career.
     
  3. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Sounds like a fun player. At least he's not doing it through the standard formula of early puberty! Wonder how Utrecht found him ... or maybe he found Utrecht?

    On this stuff about playing up his whole life ... he's 2 months older than a July '90, who is in the next year's age bracket and who will not get any credit whatsoever for habitually playing against older kids. So, that part is overhyped.
     
  4. IMOX77

    IMOX77 New Member

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    I think they meant last year when he was playing on the Cal south ODP 89 region team.
     


  5. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    They meant both.

    But playing up on an '89 ODP team, as a tiny late '90, that's a real achievement. Especially in SoCal, where the competition is so tough.
     
  6. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    :mad:
     
  7. IMOX77

    IMOX77 New Member

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    http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/NationalTeams/1105911790/
     
  8. GersMan

    GersMan Member

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    The young man is going places. We'll have more from him soon in a story about young players training and/or playing overseas.
     
  9. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Chicago, IL
    "He’s a talented player. We’re looking for him to expand his range on the field. In a 10-yard square, in the training ground, he’s great. When you make that 110x68 yards, he’s not quite as effective."

    Ah yes, table top dancers.

    A very common species in youth soccer. I know several myself, already more technical at age 13 than most MLS guys, at least if we define "technical" as meaning being able to dance with a ball and accurately deliver a short pass.

    This kid is clearly best of breed. However, it's a difficult breed to belong to. Most of 'em fall by the wayside with age unless they're really, really fast, in which case they get moved out to the wing and become DaMarcus Beasley, Sean-Wright Phillips, or Arjen Robben.

    Deco being the exception. So maybe this kid is the next Deco. One can hope.
     
  10. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Deco's not a great exception, John. Felix Magath and Hansi Müller were much like that as well, a little like Maradona but without as much speed, which prevented them from taking on too many opponents off the dribble but it was next to imposible to take the ball away from them either. Both Magath and Müller were outstanding #10s.
     
  11. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    No, Deco is not the only one. Also, some table top dancers will have late growth spurts.

    Nonetheless, I will not concede the point that this breed is a youth specialty. My son went to a top summer camp this past July, stuffed with East Coast ODP players. He said, "What, you have to be a midget to attend?" He was 10 turning 11 and he was about the same height (5') as the typical 13 year old in attendance.

    He sees somewhat of the same pattern in his own state's ODP tryouts, if not so pronounced. Most of the technical players are distinctly small.
     
  12. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    The Region 1 pool proudly stresses technical abilities over the athletic "Region 4 types" (Region 1 staff stereotype). So yes there are midgets here. I hope "Cheesi" is fast as heck or he'll get crushed.
     
  13. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Or so they say ... the boys at my kid's camp didn't make the national camps for their age group. And the ones who did make it from Region 1 were pretty much all monsters, at least in the '91 pool, according to the kid I know who was there.

    Hard to know what to believe. This stuff probably changes year by year.
     
  14. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    SOunds like Kyle Martino. It took him some time, but he's found a niche.

    I hear what you're saying and appreciate your concerns, but I'm not gonna write the kid off as there are enough examples of this kind of player who have still made it.
     
  15. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Implying that I did write him off?

    I did not, and I will not. I merely add a cautionary note -- perhaps one that is due given that young Cheezi appears to have an active PR effort working on his behalf.
     
  16. Squash

    Squash New Member

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    Trying to imply region IV players aren't technically sound? Some of the best players come out of this region year after year and it's not just being athletic, I'm sorry but technically they are just as sound as Region 1. I know you're probably joking, and I'm sure the staff coaches from Region 1 joke about it too. I'm all for smaller kids, if they can move.
     
  17. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    My source claimed that Region 2 was the only area that gave little kids a chance. Whereas in the past, I've heard that Region 2 loved classic Midwestern brutes.

    Probably all B.S. I imagine that a very good player will have no problem being identified from any region.
     
  18. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    Not me Squash. It's the Region 1 folks dissrepecting Region 4.

    Nothing like a little inter-regional rivalry, huh?

    :)
     
  19. Squash

    Squash New Member

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    I think region IV does okay at most inter-regionals :)
     
  20. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Fair point.
     
  21. mtr8967

    mtr8967 New Member

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    I think different approaches in the regions is a healthy thing, at least currently. The US is still searching for a soccer identity. Once we know it all we can force one style on everybody :)
     
  22. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    The different approaches are primarily personnel-related. In SoCal, lots of little Hispanic players so a short passing, possession game. On the East Coast, they have lots of big, fast black guys up top, send them a ball. In the Midwest, neither the little Hispanic kids nor so many of the black forwards, so the goal is to control the midfield with future Ohio State linebackers.

    When the personnel changes, so does the style. Our Midwest club's U11s and U13s are tiny (and Hispanic, by Midwest standards), so they play like a SoCal team. The next club over has a sprinter up top, so they have a bit of an East Coast feel. Meanwhile, the San Diego Surf U12s are a Midwest clone.
     
  23. scaryice

    scaryice Member

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    Never have I wanted someone to become a star more than "Cheezi" Meltz. Greatest name ever.
     
  24. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    I'm telling you, this kid's dad has his career mapped out. The name. The cleverly dropped tidbit about the European clubs being interested. The stories about Cheezi's childhood exploits. What a package; he's the Tiger Woods of U.S. soccer, and his papa is Earl.
     
  25. GersMan

    GersMan Member

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    Have you seen the player? I ask, not defensively, but because I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "table-top dancer. When you say "being able to dance with a ball and accurately deliver a short pass" - are you putting him in that category or just mentioning what it sounds like from the ODP coach?

    I see a lot of people in youth soccer who are described as having "skills" because of some moves they learn in footskills training. It amazes me how often a player will do some stepover, or spin or even nutmeg a guy, and it has no translation into improving his team's position on the field. At Disney I was next to a national staff, D1 and overseas youth coach when a kid nutmegged a player and a bunch of people in the stands were making a lot of noise about it - one coach muttered "morons" the other shook his head and the european coach asked a second later, as the ball was being cleared downfield "where are the cheers now?" So if that's what you mean by table top dancer, I'm with you -and it is a plague on our youth game.

    For what it's worth, I had heard of this kid before, I believe from Big Soccer. When I was watching the game I was primarily covering the Girls U17 team and so I didn't know any names of the Cal South kids. 2 boys on that team really made an impression on me and as it turned out, one of them was Adam.

    So as I am already working on a story about young players looking to train overseas as part of a series I'm doing on how we develop players, I wanted to talk with him and his dad about what the exact opportunity was for him to train overseas. I've been able to check it out since then and he certainly has been invited to go to Holland, so whatever PR effort he has going for him, that part of it is true (and believe me, there are hundreds of PR efforts going on out there in our competitive little subjective system).

    Now as to the pros and cons of smaller, skilled players in the developmental system, you touch on what seems to me to be a very important debate. I noticed the Cal-South team, when frustrated a bit by the Girls, resorting to some classic long-ball playing.

    I spoke to a European youth academy director recently for this story, and he has been over here quite a bit. He says the one thing about our developmental system that really hurts us, is continual emphasis on winning at the youth level, which translates to kick and rush tactics and favoring the bigger and more athletic players in team selection at young ages - even in ODP where winning is not supposed to matter (but stand near the coaches in ODP interregionals and Regional tournaments and such and trust me, it matters to them a lot).

    Any professional player clearly needs to keep up from a physical standpoint, but to take a very skilled player at age 13 or 14 and exclude them because they can't drive the ball 60 yards would be a real shame within the context of our development system. Nothing matters match result-wise until they are pros.

    Now the Cal-South coach isn't doing this. You left out the rest of his quote on Adam: "We’re challenging him. but over the next few years as he gets stronger and develops his body he’ll be able to do it. Technically he’s as good as anybody.”

    So cautionary notes due to PR efforts understood and respected, I think in this case there is some pretty impressive substance there (as there are with many others not on the BS radar screen).
     
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