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US Soccer: Where do we go from here?


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#1 Ahriman


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:02 PM

If you're a US supporter, I'd write a letter to your soccer federation and demand that they allow Klinsmann to take over the entire show. Give him total control.

The soccer mom mentality of Bradley is inexcusable at this level.

#2 ElUno20

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE (Ahriman @ Jun 26 2010, 05:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're a US supporter, I'd write a letter to your soccer federation and demand that they allow Klinsmann to take over the entire show. Give him total control.

The soccer mom mentality of Bradley is inexcusable at this level.


Had the same opportunity 4 years ago


#3 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE (Ahriman @ Jun 26 2010, 05:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're a US supporter, I'd write a letter to your soccer federation and demand that they allow Klinsmann to take over the entire show. Give him total control.

The soccer mom mentality of Bradley is inexcusable at this level.



Someone please get on that, and draft one. And have everyone here send it from their own address.

#4 Harry Hooper


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:04 PM

Not ready for prime time, from the coach on down.

#5 OilCanShotTupac


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

Fuck Harkes with the "head held high" stuff. Enough with the moral victories. Got to start beating somebody in this fucking tournament.

#6 mic99

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

QUOTE (Ahriman @ Jun 26 2010, 04:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're a US supporter, I'd write a letter to your soccer federation and demand that they allow Klinsmann to take over the entire show. Give him total control.

The soccer mom mentality of Bradley is inexcusable at this level.


nonsense

People really tend to overrate our players

#7 God's Cop


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

QUOTE (Harry Hooper @ Jun 26 2010, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not ready for prime time, from the coach on down.

Indeed.

#8 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

QUOTE (OilCanShotTupac @ Jun 26 2010, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fuck Harkes with the "head held high" stuff. Enough with the moral victories. Got to start beating somebody in this fucking tournament.


I guess.

These two teams looked about equal from what I could tell.

#9 Apisith

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:06 PM

You need a quick, pacy winger or two because your game's too narrow, and you need to get rid of shit like DeMerit and Bocanegra; they're not good enough for this level.

#10 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:06 PM

QUOTE (Ahriman @ Jun 26 2010, 05:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're a US supporter, I'd write a letter to your soccer federation and demand that they allow Klinsmann to take over the entire show. Give him total control.

The soccer mom mentality of Bradley is inexcusable at this level.


No creativity. Lineup is play to tie or sneak one in.

Fuck. Their best shot was after the goal. Bradley takes a dribble instead of a one timer and the US moves on. Altidore tries to score instead of trying to draw a call every time and the US moves on.

#11 Ahriman


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:06 PM

QUOTE (ElUno20 @ Jun 26 2010, 05:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Had the same opportunity 4 years ago

Right, but the federation wouldn't give Klinsmann enough control. He was willing to take the job if the USSF would be more flexible.

#12 ifmanis5


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:06 PM

QUOTE (Harry Hooper @ Jun 26 2010, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not ready for prime time, from the coach on down.

Agreed.

#13 Ahriman


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:08 PM

QUOTE (mic99 @ Jun 26 2010, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
nonsense

People really tend to overrate our players

I'm not one of them. Been talking down the US talent for years now. They're nothing special.

But at least give yourself every chance by having sound leadership. Bradley is a liability, and a correctable one. Talent is much harder to fix.

#14 CPT Neuron


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:10 PM

Bradley gets the credit and the blame......his tactical moves in game early in the points round were excellent, his starting team today - suboptimal. He gets credit for both - the good and the bad.

Zombie Coach!

#15 Maalox


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:10 PM

QUOTE (OilCanShotTupac @ Jun 26 2010, 05:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fuck Harkes with the "head held high" stuff. Enough with the moral victories. Got to start beating somebody in this fucking tournament.

They don't have the necessary depth of top-flight talent. I don't think people appreciate how much of the USA's World Cup status rests on the fortunate fact that Tim Howard is a goalie and not something else.

#16 mic99

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:11 PM

QUOTE (Ahriman @ Jun 26 2010, 04:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not one of them. Been talking down the US talent for years now. They're nothing special.

But at least give yourself every chance by having sound leadership. Bradley is a liability, and a correctable one. Talent is much harder to fix.



Team played their nuts off the entire tournament and never quit once. Clark is a disaster but Bradley felt our back 4 is so bad that he gives them the best cover...it didn't work.

We played a team with at least equal talent and had chance after chance in the 2nd half. We don't have any good forwards on the roster. What do you want him to do? If Davies doesn't get in an accident or Rossi plays for us, we are likely still playing in the next round.

#17 Infield Infidel


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:12 PM

QUOTE (Apisith @ Jun 26 2010, 05:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You need a quick, pacy winger or two because your game's too narrow, and you need to get rid of shit like DeMerit and Bocanegra; they're not good enough for this level.
If Edu started, they could have brought in Beasley, who's shown some life as a sub lately

No idea why clark was in there. None. It was inexcusable. I texted that to Zomp right as the game started. Edu does everything Clark does well but better, and also shifts places more instinctively with Bradley. Clark positions fairly well defensively, but if you don't know what to do, what good is positioning.

Maybe he wasn't as fit, but I'd rather Edu play hard early and he exits after we get a lead .


#18 DegenerateSoxFan

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:13 PM

QUOTE (Ahriman @ Jun 26 2010, 05:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not one of them. Been talking down the US talent for years now. They're nothing special.


And they're not going to be, with the guys in this country who would be world class playing cornerback, shortstop or point guard.

#19 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:15 PM

QUOTE (mic99 @ Jun 26 2010, 05:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If Davies doesn't get in an accident or Rossi plays for us, we are likely still playing in the next round.


I hate to say it, but this US team with Rossi and, especially, Subotic would have been a lot different. A second striker with some creativity and goal-scoring ability and a decent center back are exactly what we are lacking.

#20 Apisith

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:16 PM

If Rossi played for you guys, you'd have a great shot at making it through to the semis. He's such a quality little player.

#21 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:17 PM

QUOTE (DegenerateSoxFan @ Jun 26 2010, 05:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And they're not going to be, with the guys in this country who would be world class playing cornerback, shortstop or point guard.


We are a huge sports-obsessed country of 300 million people. There are plenty of athletes, and what makes a good soccer player isn't necessarily what makes a great player of other sports. I doubt Landon Donovan, or Leo Messi for that matter, could play cornerback, shortstop, or point guard for shit.

The problem isn't that we don't have the athletes to work with. The problem is that we don't develop them into great soccer players.

Edited by Morgan's Magic Snowplow, 26 June 2010 - 04:18 PM.


#22 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE (Morgan's Magic Snowplow @ Jun 26 2010, 05:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hate to say it, but this US team with Rossi and, especially, Subotic would have been a lot different. A second striker with some creativity and goal-scoring ability and a decent center back are exactly what we are lacking.


Jermaine Jones would have been nice too.

edit: Not that other teams aren't missing pieces. The US has no depth.

Edited by Jed Zeppelin, 26 June 2010 - 04:21 PM.


#23 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:20 PM

QUOTE (Morgan's Magic Snowplow @ Jun 26 2010, 05:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The problem is that we don't develop them into great soccer players.

Too much emphasis on orange slices and the 4-4-2, and not enough on creativity and skill formation.

#24 ifmanis5


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:27 PM

0 goals from out srikers this tournament.

#25 Jed Zeppelin


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE (ifmanis5 @ Jun 26 2010, 05:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
0 goals from out srikers this tournament.


Yep. Jozy still has a long way to go.

#26 ifmanis5


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:37 PM

Charlie Davies was missed. Sorely.

#27 ifmanis5


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:39 PM

Bradley asked about his job status, gave a 'no comment' answer. Also asked about our striker performance, and he said "I think Jozy played well this WC and will continue to be an important part of our team." Then admitted we need to get better in that area.

#28 Chemistry Schmemistry


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:27 PM

It's difficult to build a deep team when soccer is only popular for one month every four years. For some reason, this team only played well or with passion when it was behind. And it didn't play at all when it was ahead. Hard to believe the US only had a lead for about 1 minute of the entire tournament.

I think the above grades are a bit harsh. Poor finishing, true. Howard didn't do anything spectacular in goal, but it's not his fault and he was spectacular at times in round play. It just seems like the defense is always good for one big gaffe in the first 15 minutes. Until they figure that out, they aren't much of a threat to crack the top ranks of the sport. Not as easy as it sounds.

I enjoyed the US run. They played with heart, they didn't give up. I appreciate that they rarely dive like the Italians. Just a little short on talent.

#29 Quintanariffic

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:48 PM

Perhaps I missed it up thread, but where does US Soccer go now from a WC standpoint? Much of the core of this year's team will be either gone or past their prime by the time 2014 comes around (Donovan comes to mind). For the people who know here, is there reason to be optimistic going forward?

#30 sleepyjose03

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 06:44 PM

Why does everybody default to ball-washing Ghana? Yeah, they outplayed the US badly, but it was mostly hustle and determination. The US certainly looked capable of beating this team, they just didn't want it as badly, and IMO it showed. Ghana is a fine team, and whoever said that once you are past the top 10 or so it's all pretty much even. But to say that the US didnt have the talent to match them is short-selling them. They did have the talent, they just didnt show up to play (from the coach on down).

The second half proved that when the US chose two, they could easily dominate the flow and pace of the game. They came out firing and earned the equalizer (lots of credit to Feilhaber for providing a great spark off the bench; Bradley's decision to not start Edu and Feilhaber look monumentally stupid in hindsight).

But by the end of regulation it became too obvoious that both sides had settled down into bunker mode and were trying to not lose the game more than they were trying to win it. The US carried that attitude (and flat-footedness) into the Extra Time. Ghana did not. From there, the US tired too quickly and basically shit the bed. Too many long balls to nobody or possessions given up to quickly, and not enough pressure on Ghana who were looking more to burn clock than to put another one in the net. I thought the effort they showed in OT was deplorable. I wanted to slam John Harkes head into the desk for talking about all that "Head Held High" bullshit. Every other nation in the world is up for calling out their teams, and the effort of this team in OT did not deserve the ballwashing Harkes was handing out.



I think the future is looking brighter, if only because more and more US players are being selected by European clubs at earlier ages. I do agree that approaching Klinsmann again should be the first step. Someday the US will be able to develop players with the talent and skill to go toe to toe against the best players from around the world, and someday a US Coach will be just as capable of leading them as anyone. But not today, and not for a while. Getting a foreign coach in here to start changing the system now needs to be priority one. After that we need to pump more $$$ into the youth leagues and ODP programs as we can. We need to start identifying the stars young, and pulling them out of the Town Rec leagues where Mommy brings orange slices and everybody gets a chance to play. Do elite premier leagues still exist? We need AAU soccer teams, and foreign coaches to groom these kids (and American coaches) the proper way.

Above all I'm aggravated. This US team had the best chance in..forever..to show the country (and the rest of the world) that the US has the ability to hang with some of the best, and to increase exposure of the program as a whole (which we can agree is good for the development of the federation). And I don't think that they fell to better opposition, they just didn't play hard enough to win.


I mean. Fuck. Just Fuck.




#31 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE (Quintanariffic @ Jun 26 2010, 06:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps I missed it up thread, but where does US Soccer go now from a WC standpoint? Much of the core of this year's team will be either gone or past their prime by the time 2014 comes around (Donovan comes to mind). For the people who know here, is there reason to be optimistic going forward?


I don't know enough about our youth teams to give an informed opinion about new players coming into the squad. But I think prospects for 2014 should be decent for a few reasons. Both Donovan (32) and Dempsey (31) may be slightly past their prime at that point, but not so much that, if they stay reasonably healthy, they shouldn't still be very good players. That's not old man territory yet, and they'll both assumedly have had the benefit of more experience playing in top club leagues. Both Bradley (26) and Altidore (24) should be in their primes, and seem likely to be our best two players by then. A bunch of other guys who have established themselves in the team to one degree or another (Spector, Bornstein, Edu, Feilhaber) will still be in the 28-29 range.

Most interesting is that we are oldest in the areas where we are weakest. Its hard to see Bocanegra (35) or DeMerit (34) playing in the next world cup, although Gooch (32) may still be around. So we will be looking for a minimum of one and quite possibly two center backs over the next few years. Similarly, we'll probably be looking for a strike partner for Jozy outside of the current group.

Basically, we should be able to keep the same core going forward and the positions we will have to replace due to age we want to replace due to suckiness anyway. Whether we can actually find better options is another question.

Edited by Morgan's Magic Snowplow, 26 June 2010 - 07:06 PM.


#32 BelgianSoxFan

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 08:25 PM

The team played hard, exciting football, won its group and created a lot of chances to win the game against an equally talented opponent. After 90 minutes they were tied, they had the chances a bit of luck and they are in the quarters. I think Bradley did a great job with what he had. This is like a 7 ranked team firing their coach because they lost in the sweet 16 to a 8 ranked team despite beating a 2 ranked team on the way.

Klinnsman has no track record coaching a team like the USA. Germany and Bayern Munchen are not comparable. I am not sure he would be a good choice. They should find the next Rehagel type coach if they can find one not a former superstar who sounds good on TV.

Edited by BelgianSoxFan, 26 June 2010 - 08:28 PM.


#33 Buckner's Boots

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 10:17 PM

To me, when a team breaks down once in the early going, you can make a case for it being the player's fault, and you bench the player until they get their shit together. When a team establishes a pattern of giving up early goals and not having their heads in the game for a full 90 minutes (or more), that is a coaching problem as well as a personnel problem. Bob has to go.

#34 Tony the Pony


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 11:31 PM

First of all, for the US to advance out of the group, I'd say they met expectations. They gave it their all in the second half against Slovenia, and overall the US, and their fans, should be content with the performance in the three group matches.

However, for the US to make the leap from a second tier football country to a first tier football country, a lot will have to change. It starts right at the USSF. The key to developing quality football in the US is not by bringing in the David Beckhams of this world into the domestic leagues; it's about cultivating talent that can play along at the highest levels of club football (Donovan is probably the most seasoned player, but failed to make an impact in Europe - Adu is on his way to a Greek beach - etc). Dempsey has seemed to make the step and Tim Howard is a good keeper, of course.

So start at the basics. And realise there is expertise available that has 10,000 times more knowledge that all the people at the USSF combined. A few have mentioned Klinsmann, I would go for the outragious; aapproach Johan Cruijff. Give him carte blanche to develop football talent in the US as executive director of all technical matters, have him appoint a coaching staff for the National Team and set up a youth football system. It would be a challenge of a lifetime and knowing some of the people that would likely involved (Wim Jansen, for one), they would jump at it if given the chance to do it their way.

Start with the basics, and be serious about it. There's no reason in the world why the US could not be a football powerhouse, and lot of reasons why they can and should be.

The current team is just not that talented, but they have a huge heart. You all should be proud of them. I am sure a lot of countries with more talented teams would love to have the resilliency that the US has shown time after time again. Mine country's national side included (they are a bunch of fuckin pussies).

Edited by Tony the Pony, 26 June 2010 - 11:35 PM.


#35 filthywater49

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:44 AM

QUOTE (Tony the Pony @ Jun 26 2010, 11:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So start at the basics. And realise there is expertise available that has 10,000 times more knowledge that all the people at the USSF combined. A few have mentioned Klinsmann, I would go for the outragious; aapproach Johan Cruijff. Give him carte blanche to develop football talent in the US as executive director of all technical matters, have him appoint a coaching staff for the National Team and set up a youth football system. It would be a challenge of a lifetime and knowing some of the people that would likely involved (Wim Jansen, for one), they would jump at it if given the chance to do it their way.


Wow do I love that idea. I would fucking pay for his airfare myself if he agreed to come.

#36 Titans Bastard


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 05:57 AM

QUOTE (Tony the Pony @ Jun 27 2010, 12:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First of all, for the US to advance out of the group, I'd say they met expectations. They gave it their all in the second half against Slovenia, and overall the US, and their fans, should be content with the performance in the three group matches.

The current team is just not that talented, but they have a huge heart. You all should be proud of them. I am sure a lot of countries with more talented teams would love to have the resilliency that the US has shown time after time again. Mine country's national side included (they are a bunch of fuckin pussies).


Amen. It's disappointing that we lost at this stage considering we had as favorable a quarter of the draw as could possibly be hoped. If we beat Ghana, we would have been clear underdogs against Uruguay but we would have had a puncher's chance.

QUOTE
However, for the US to make the leap from a second tier football country to a first tier football country, a lot will have to change. It starts right at the USSF. The key to developing quality football in the US is not by bringing in the David Beckhams of this world into the domestic leagues; it's about cultivating talent that can play along at the highest levels of club football (Donovan is probably the most seasoned player, but failed to make an impact in Europe - Adu is on his way to a Greek beach - etc). Dempsey has seemed to make the step and Tim Howard is a good keeper, of course.

So start at the basics. And realise there is expertise available that has 10,000 times more knowledge that all the people at the USSF combined. A few have mentioned Klinsmann, I would go for the outragious; aapproach Johan Cruijff. Give him carte blanche to develop football talent in the US as executive director of all technical matters, have him appoint a coaching staff for the National Team and set up a youth football system. It would be a challenge of a lifetime and knowing some of the people that would likely involved (Wim Jansen, for one), they would jump at it if given the chance to do it their way.

Start with the basics, and be serious about it. There's no reason in the world why the US could not be a football powerhouse, and lot of reasons why they can and should be.


If it were that easy, it would have been done already. We have a youth football system; it's not particularly good and it's not easily changed. It's very efficient at what it is designed to do: namely, make profits of off parents. The system is much more geared towards winning NCAA scholarships than it is about development. Youth clubs build their reputation by winning tournaments. They win tournaments by using big guys who hit puberty early and encouraging them to use their (temporary) speed and size advantage. When the smoke clears at age 20, we have guys who lack in technical and tactical abilities because they were just told to run fast. Eddie Johnson and Quavas Kirk are quintessential examples of this.


The problem is that the vast majority of youth development in this country is conducted by these pay-to-play youth clubs. They are lucrative and the people who run them have little incentive to simply do what the USSF or any technical director tells them to do. The formation of MLS youth academies is a step in the right direction because they'll serve as competition in the major markets and will hopefully emerge as "industry leaders". The USSF Development Academy is also new-ish and is designed to establish standards for development. Another thing that will help is the passage of time and increased financial opportunities for professional American players. At the moment, there's not enough money available in the game to truly prize professional development over an NCAA scholarship. It'll be a very slow process and it will take a while for the paradigm to change.


So that's what worries me about hiring a foreign technical director. We could really use some outside expertise, but the problem is that 99% of foreigners would have no clue about the ridiculous situation (turf wars, screwed up incentives, NCAA culture, etc) they'd be getting into. The infrastructure of soccer in the US is totally different from any European model. Jurgen Klinsmann is fairly familiar with the US so he could be an exception. But even if Klinsmann gets it, there's still very little he can do to strong-arm the elite soccer clubs into doing what he wants. Why should they listen? They are already making money and accomplishing their goals.

#37 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 06:18 AM

you could, conceivably, get the MLS clubs and USSF partnering their developmental framework under one boss. I don't know how much MLS and the USSF play ball.

Something good will happen eventually. I think in due course parents of kids who are seriously good soccer players will figure out that going to college really isn't the best route for their kid. The financial opportunities missed out on by playing in the pros abroad will make college redundant (or at least provide enough money that if they do wash out, they can pay for college themselves). What is good is at least we have baseball showing American parents that if your kid is outrageously good he doesn't need to go to college to develop. It's not totally foreign.

#38 Titans Bastard


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 07:22 AM

QUOTE (Spacemans Bong @ Jun 27 2010, 07:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
you could, conceivably, get the MLS clubs and USSF partnering their developmental framework under one boss. I don't know how much MLS and the USSF play ball.


MLS and USSF aren't the problem, though. The USSF doesn't directly control all the independent youth clubs. They can't do much more than fiddle around with carrots and sticks.

The USSF Development Academy has a bunch of youth clubs: USSDA It's heavily scouted and in theory all participants are supposed to adhere to various developmental principles. It's new, so we'll see how it works in reality.

QUOTE
Something good will happen eventually. I think in due course parents of kids who are seriously good soccer players will figure out that going to college really isn't the best route for their kid. The financial opportunities missed out on by playing in the pros abroad will make college redundant (or at least provide enough money that if they do wash out, they can pay for college themselves). What is good is at least we have baseball showing American parents that if your kid is outrageously good he doesn't need to go to college to develop. It's not totally foreign.


The problem at the moment is that there's a huge gap in US soccer from age 18-22. Unless you are an elite youth player or you have a Euro passport, it's tough to do anything but the NCAA. The NCAA isn't great, but it's better than being rooted to the bench in MLS. Fortunately, the NCAA has changed a ruling so that now amateurs don't lose their amateur status if they play on the same team as pros. This opens the door to the return of the MLS Reserve League. It was a joke last time because teams couldn't field full reserve teams and had to throw 'guest players' on the field. But if U-18s can play, it means that the reserve league will be a valuable tool for development and for the evaluation of youth players. And it will mean that teams can sign more projects without ruining them.

But really, there are a bunch of factors that have to come together.

#39 Zomp


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:22 AM

TonyThePony's post is probably the most well reactioned in the thread (its amazing what he can post when he's not trolling about phantom calls, eh?).

They played well, guys. Ghana is a good team and there was no shame in losing to them.

Bradley may have got the team selection wrong, and yeah, Ideally we'd like to replace him. I don't think Klinsmann is the answer (though I did a few years ago). His Bayern team was stacked and they and his German team seriously underachieved. Cruiff is not walking through that door and, sadly, I'm not sure what great coach would want to take on such an overhaul of a project.

The future doesn't look as bad as people are making it out to be. Jozy is only 20 years old and a physical specimen. If he can develop a little more of a poacher's mentality in front of the net I think he will be a great striker. Torres is young enough to still develop and become a force in the national team, and Michael Bradley will be the captain of this team sooner rather than later.

Our biggest needs are a striker partner for Jozy that can make runs off of him and create space, a pacy winger would be nice, and some young defenders. I love Demerit, but if Gooch can ever return to 100% he needs a better partner. Someone who can win back possession and control it.



#40 CJChap

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:50 AM

The "overhaul" of futbol in America really can't be done as a complete overhaul, accomplished in four years. Its baby steps and I think we're getting there. It started years ago with creating a domestic league, which is expanding. That domestic league has allowed for the creation of more of a professional setup for youth player development, though I think the elimination of the reserve league in the MLS is an issue that should be addressed.

USSF is also investing a ton of money trying to find "untapped" American talent, whether its competing in Mexico and Argentina in their youth system or Mexican Americans that aren't playing organized soccer. That's a step in the right direction. Its cultivating what we have here and making sure that we identify all the talent available to us.

Players in the United States are also gaining respect abroad. European clubs are much more likely to purchase an American player now, which is the best place for most of our most talented to develop and play in big games, whether its big time EPL games, Champions League, or Europa League. The stakes are higher in Europe everyday, and thats the best place for our best players to learn and develop their experience in big games. There's a reason why it was a significant event when AC Milan signed Gooch last summer or Dempsey was making big plays in big Europa League games. It was great for our players as individuals, but it was a change in times, in a way.

I think the most important thing is changing the way we teach young players. That requires really training coaches, referees, and players alike. I loved playing youth soccer and other than basketball in the winter, its all I knew. My youth coaches were awesome awesome guys that taught me a lot about the game. That being said, I think I had the typical American soccer player upbringing. I focused on team play and success, rather than my individual skill on the ball. Nowhere else in the youth stages around the world do players concentrate so much on just the team aspect. The focus at the younger ages needs to be about skill on the ball, with less of a concern on winning and losing.

I was playing in my men's league this week and someone actually got called for an illegal goal kick that didn't go outside of the 18. I started talking about how I remember officiating youtn leagues and spending 25% of the games making sure kids could properly convert a goal kick. Really, who cares? Should kids that are 6 years old really be practicing goal kicks? How often do we spend teaching kids how to properly throw the ball in? By the time you're 18, unless you're throwing the ball into the box for a long through, its the least scrutanized aspect of the game.

I think that the infrastructure is building and we're getting there. We just need to realize that its not going to happen in four years. The time an money you invest today in the domestic league, youth setup, player identification, coach training, etc isn't going to be seen for years after.

Edited by CJChap, 27 June 2010 - 08:52 AM.


#41 dolomite133


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:31 AM

Jurgen Klinsmann just made a couple of interesting points. First, he said U.S. Soccer has to promote professional soccer as a goal (as opposed to high school and college soccer). Basically he said we need to raise the bar, and have younger players dream bigger. Second, he said we need to promote the sport more among our lower class citizens (making a direct comparison to basketball). He noted that worldwide soccer is a lower class sport. He said developing skilled players out of this population would be an important development.

#42 sleepyjose03

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (dolomite133 @ Jun 27 2010, 12:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jurgen Klinsmann just made a couple of interesting points. First, he said U.S. Soccer has to promote professional soccer as a goal (as opposed to high school and college soccer). Basically he said we need to raise the bar, and have younger players dream bigger. Second, he said we need to promote the sport more among our lower class citizens (making a direct comparison to basketball). He noted that worldwide soccer is a lower class sport. He said developing skilled players out of this population would be an important development.

This is why I think we need to get Klinsmann onboard. Sure, he may not be a perfect coach, but at least he would get the program moving in the right direction. At this point, any steps that direction are good ones. We can worry about getting a better coach down the road. Right now we need to focus on overhauling the whole damn system.

#43 ElUno20

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 11:48 AM

What an excellent point on the type of class playing the sport.

#44 dwightinright

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:48 PM

QUOTE (ZompFoShomp @ Jun 27 2010, 09:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cruiff is not walking through that door and, sadly, I'm not sure what great coach would want to take on such an overhaul of a project.


I don't know. You have to think there's someone out there that knows what the payoff could be if they get the job done. Who are the world class coaches that would even be available--Klinsmann, Cruyff, and who else? Heck, Capello might be looking for work.



Moral victories are for pussies, so having a better WC than France, Italy, and England should no longer mean anything if the US serious about taking the next step, but this could definitely be the stepping stone. I think that we should begin to jettison the guys that won't be here 4 years from now and start throwing the U20s to the wolves and see how they respond. We need to move from lots of heart and below average talent, to lots of heart and average talent.

Edited by dwightinright, 27 June 2010 - 12:49 PM.


#45 Nick Kaufman


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE (ElUno20 @ Jun 27 2010, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What an excellent point on the type of class playing the sport.


Actually, in Soccernomics, the authors make the opposite point. That in countries like England and Europe in general, it's the middle classes not playing the game, a fact which is hurting talent production.

#46 filthywater49

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 01:27 PM

QUOTE (Nick Kaufman @ Jun 27 2010, 12:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually, in Soccernomics, the authors make the opposite point. That in countries like England and Europe in general, it's the middle classes not playing the game, a fact which is hurting talent production.


I think the idea is just to get as large a segment of the population playing the sport, so it's kind of 2-sides of the same coin.

Anyway, you could argue that it's a bigger issue for Americans to get the lower class involved, since (anecdotally) it seems like this class produces athletes at a higher rate than the middle class.

Edited by filthywater49, 27 June 2010 - 01:28 PM.


#47 Nick Kaufman


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE
Anyway, you could argue that it's a bigger issue for Americans to get the lower class involved, since (anecdotally) it seems like this class produces athletes at a higher rate than the middle class.


The main reason the lower classes produce better places is that the cost-benefit analysis is adverse for the middle classes. While the benefits of becoming a top footballer are high, the likelihood is rather small. The opportunity costs are different however. A person who can become a lawyer or a doctor might shy away from investing in football.

However, the mentality and the worldview the middle classes bring are qualities that soccer misses.

I should try to brush off the book though, because I feel I don't do justice to the argument.

#48 Chemistry Schmemistry


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 03:39 PM

QUOTE (filthywater49 @ Jun 27 2010, 01:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the idea is just to get as large a segment of the population playing the sport, so it's kind of 2-sides of the same coin.

Anyway, you could argue that it's a bigger issue for Americans to get the lower class involved, since (anecdotally) it seems like this class produces athletes at a higher rate than the middle class.


In America, the money goes for basketball, football and baseball players. Only 204 Division I school even have varsity soccer programs. Of our two most lucrative conferences, the Big Ten has just seven varsity squads and the SEC has zero.

If you look at the NFL, a hugely disproportionate percentage of our elite athletes come from areas covered by the SEC, and they don't even have a college scholarship to aspire to. If you don't make the national squad, odds are good you can't make a decent living playing soccer in America.

Kids grow up exposed to soccer. Just set up a few cones and get a ball and you can play - there's almost no economic barrier. But by the time the kids reach junior high, they know if they're good at sports, they have chosen one of the big three, because that's how you get out and make a living.

Until we do more than build up a barely anything semi-professional league, this is what we're going to get. And I don't think there's anything wrong with it - I happen to like football a lot and I'd rather see our elite athletes playing.

#49 Infield Infidel


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 04:07 PM

QUOTE (Chemistry Schmemistry @ Jun 27 2010, 04:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In America, the money goes for basketball, football and baseball players. Only 204 Division I school even have varsity soccer programs. Of our two most lucrative conferences, the Big Ten has just seven varsity squads and the SEC has zero.

If you look at the NFL, a hugely disproportionate percentage of our elite athletes come from areas covered by the SEC, and they don't even have a college scholarship to aspire to. If you don't make the national squad, odds are good you can't make a decent living playing soccer in America.

Kids grow up exposed to soccer. Just set up a few cones and get a ball and you can play - there's almost no economic barrier. But by the time the kids reach junior high, they know if they're good at sports, they have chosen one of the big three, because that's how you get out and make a living.
I bolded those two words because, while there is limited opportunity to play in the US, there are tens of thousands of men playing soccer for a living around the world. Obviously teams overseas have a larger pool to work from, but it's not like the NBA or MLB are American-only.

Also, half the guys playing football (OL, DL, most LBs, QBs and TEs) are too big and slow to play soccer, and they would know it by age 10. The two sports require vastly different skills and conditioning.

Edit-anyway, US Soccer organization starts with the director of USSF, not with the coach. If there's going to be a comprehensive re-organization of US Soccer, we'd need someone to replace Sunil Gulati. There is some promise with the new amateur/pro status regulations by the NCAA, which may help U-18s get more and better experience

Edited by Infield Infidel, 27 June 2010 - 04:20 PM.


#50 DukeSox


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Posted 27 June 2010 - 04:14 PM

http://soccernet.esp...o...5901&ver=us

Outlines some player options for 2014