News: America's Next Top Messi

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by raymondleone, Jan 29, 2013.

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Is U.S. soccer doing everything it can or will the best talent still end up in other sports?

Poll closed Aug 29, 2013.
  1. U.S. Soccer IS doing everything it can to develop the best players in the country.

    37.5%
  2. There is still a concern that the best players end up in different sports.

    62.5%
  1. raymondleone

    raymondleone Member

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    ESPN's Roger Bennett
    Is U.S. soccer doing everything it can to develop the best players in the country, or is there still a concern that the best players end up in different sports?
    [​IMG]


  2. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Another "if only our best athletes played soccer" article?
  3. sakibomb523

    sakibomb523 Member+

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    Another, our "youth development" is so much better now! we have all these new things like the wheel. But you have to give us time before we see progress.
  4. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    I might read it then, but the picture of Ray Lewis and Kobe Bryant in US soccer jerseys scared me that it was another lazy piece.


  5. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL RAY LEWIS.

    Fantastic.
  6. Fanatical Monk

    Fanatical Monk Member+

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    I love the people that think having 6' 7" players, or 6' 2" man mountains running all over a field for 90 mins is going to produce anything but a lot of losses.

    If Messi were American he wouldn't have been playing any of the big 3 sports either.
    Martin Fischer repped this.
  7. az2004

    az2004 Member

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    when kobe dad was playing in italy bball league. kobe the kid did play some soccer, but i dont know if it was organized, or kids playing in the street

    suspect the latter
  8. neems

    neems Member+

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    Geography really is a huge challenge for the sport in our country.

    It's a problem for player development, live exposure, MLS, and scheduling. I don't live within 7 or 8 hours of a MLS Club and that's not the worst distance. I have to watch soccer on television or the internet. Hell, I'm not sure Big Soccer would appeal to me if I could watch regular games live and I might support MLS a little more. If I'm choosing where to spend my money, it will be on a nice TV, fast internet, and a satellite package with the best leagues. That's taking my money away from American soccer development.I won't apologize for it, because it's my only choice. The major factor is I am one of, potentially, millions who is ignored by the narrow US club and league setup.

    The closest club to me is Chicago. I don't care for Chicago in any sport, not amazed by the city, and I'm not about to root for them in soccer. I will travel down there to see the National team play. The transition from the top clubs down to local areas is abysmal. There is a huge problem with the FRANCHISE mentality we carry around. Cosmos is a perfect examples of catering to a brand, then a location, and THEN soccer. Backwards as hell.

    You can generate HUBs all you want, but there are players with potential all over who aren't exposed to soccer yet or are ignored based on their locations. The system doesn't find them; they have to find the system. Nothing they mention in the article really addresses this (besides one paragraph) and I only found the training mentality as a real positive. I have been lucky enough to play soccer all my life in a traveling club, high school, and camps. Not all kids in smaller cities or rural areas are that lucky. A strong urban-rural dichotomy is plaguing the interest and development of our kids.
  9. FakeFlopper

    FakeFlopper Member

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    I like the article. Its a realistic assessment of why we're still where we are. Limited resources being the key factor here, then development culture. I no longer subscribe to the "our best athletes play other sports", as the main reason we're stuck here.
  10. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Depending on his hand eye coordination he could have played baseball. There's a handful of middle infielders that are pipsqueaks like him. A handful of talented tiny guys play hockey.


    Basketball and football would be a challenge.
  11. neems

    neems Member+

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    Hockey is big in my hometown and a lot of Hockey player would play soccer in off season. They were, generally, short, stout, and very good as well. Sports instincts do translate and could have a impact as long as you play them for a long time.
  12. Fanatical Monk

    Fanatical Monk Member+

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    Spud Webb is pissed at you right now.

    But the reality is, had he been here, he'd have likely been weeded out of the big 3, and probably not pursued soccer in the development system he would have been subjected to. He's the wrong example to use I think anyway. He's such an anomoly in every way. We're not the only country that wold have struggled to recognize him. He'd have struggled in the UK and probalby Germany too. France maybe.

    We're more likely to produce a Christiano...and he likely would have been a d back or reciever or something else entirely.
  13. Spursfan1

    Spursfan1 Member+

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    the best soccer players in the world are around 5 foot 8.
  14. gmonn

    gmonn Member+

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    The only thing that matters is what he plays as a kid and in high school. He could have played any sport at that level.


    [​IMG]


    The most interesting question to me is if he plays nothing but soccer from birth in the US, how does he turn out as a player?
  15. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

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    His problem (or real shortcoming that could/would have affected his development into the athlete that he is in fact today) would have been playing (anything) in high school in the US.
  16. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

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    Can we please get Messi out of the USA forum? What difference does it make if the best athlete in America goes out for soccer if the level of competition and training is deficient? I guess in Argentina they say "if only Messi had gone out for basketball, our nats would have a decent point guard."

    I dont want Messi. He gets on my nerves. I like our guys better.
    soccersubjectively repped this.
  17. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    Pipsqueaks like Freddy Adu, Chris Rolfe, and Lee Nguyen were recognized and brought through the system. No reason to believe Messi wouldn't have been likewise.

    The real problem is the arrested development offered to these types of players in the US.

    After Freddy Adu they're throwing all this hype on the Flores kid. Nothing learned.

    Brazil brings though superstars with the scouting despite the challenging geography. In a country like the US with the rate of cable tv uptake, of broadband uptake, of camera equipped smartphone ownership, and with youtube, getting some type of bird dog system place should be doable.

    A 5'7" is not too short to be utterly dominant in basketball or football or baseball at the high school level. So yeah there's still competition for talent from those dominant sports.
    Fanatical Monk repped this.
  18. nobody

    nobody Member+

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    the choices on that poll aren't at all mutually exclusive. US Soccer can be doing all it can AND there would still be a reasonable concern that many potentially good players end up in other sports. US soccer can't fight the giant cultural pull of other sports. The US is steadily growing a soccer culture and as that develops we will get more top athletes playing the game and sticking with it. But there is really little US Soccer can do about that particular problem. They are better off just focusing on developing the players they do get than obsessing over those they don't. Of course, if previously overlooked players who are interested in soccer and talented can be brought into the program through new avenues to expand the pool, great. But, worrying about the guys who drop the sport for something else gets us nowhere.
    Grumpy in LA and TomEaton repped this.
  19. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

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    The last paragraph of the article pretty much sums it up:

    "Not for the first time, Agoos leaned in to finish his partner's point. "The quality is getting better every year. Just look at the Under-17 Cup. That game used to be a demolition derby and now it is increasingly competitive, but you can't grow a redwood yesterday," he said with a smile before shaking his head. "Americans want everything yesterday."
  20. Fanatical Monk

    Fanatical Monk Member+

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    You make some really good points. The only thing I'd add from a networking standpoint for players is that we need to get clubs integrating vertically. For example, my son plays in our local PDL academy youth teams. They aren't tied upwards to anyone, but there are some players at the 14, 16 and 18 level that are good enough to play for a SKC youth team. We'll never have a pro/rel pyramid (probably). But I think we could really jump start our youth programs by having a club to club pyramid similar to baseball.
    Something like:

    ___________MLS Club
    _________USL Club____NASL Club
    ____PDL Club 1_____PDL 2______PDL3

    then under PDL1, 2 and 3, they'd each have somethign like this:
    Burb1-----Burb2-----Burb3------Burb4

    The best from the suburban clubs filter up to the local/regional PDL, then the best of the best to USL or MLS youth program. This is the only way I see we'll ever be able to cover our geography.

    The problem is you need the Burb clubs to look out for the kids best interests instead of the State assoc./ODP/Select cash cow that exists now. Very unlikely to happen in my experience. Too much money and too much power exists at the lower levels.
    neems and Cleats Up repped this.
  21. BimmerBenz95

    BimmerBenz95 Member+

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    How can Messi get on your nerves? :confused:
  22. comoesa

    comoesa Member+

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    A guy like Messi despite his stature is very athletic. If he was american he would be playing, baseball, basketball, heck even football at the highschool level maybe.

    I don't know if he would have been developed to play soccer in the states to any level.
  23. realUSpride

    realUSpride Member

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    The article does a really good job, for espn.
    Me too.
    [SIDENOTE]I'm always surprised why they always use Kobe or Lebron, why not Ladainian Tomlinson? Aaron Rodgers?[/SIDENOTE]

    I like the Twellman quote at the first section, good summary of everything that's been discussed with player development.
  24. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    Simply put, at his height and weight, 5'7" whatever, he'd have to be an elite skater, puck handler and have an intellectually elusiveness just to survive. Could he do it? Sure, but it'd be hard. Size is a big issue in all the North American team sports.
    neems repped this.
  25. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    It's possible to play professional basketball at 5'7", but to say it would be a challenge as I did, was probably an understatement.

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