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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Several years ago (2014), Neil Paine at FiveThirtyEight wrote an article breaking down some of the various schools of thought on the U.S. men's soccer futility. It's wonderfully sourced and if you're interested, would encourage following some of the links out. I found The Atlantic article referenced early that argues against high school sports to be engaging. It notes the U.S. spends more tax dollars per high school athlete than per high school math student.

    Anyway, the article has a lot of historical context and stats. The author basically concludes U.S. soccer is similar to, say, European basketball --- the sport developed in other parts of the world and that's where the best players continue to be cultivated and featured and U.S has only just begun to break into that competitive system (similar to Euro stars slowly infiltrating the NBA). The U.S. tried to short cut some of that history by hiring Klinsmann to bring a European approach but it's probably just going to continue to take time, investment, and exposure.

    Worth a revisit even though it's an old article.
    I look forward to reading those. It would seem though that we have one thing that many of those countries do not have: a long history of immigration. Folks from soccer-playing cultures (read: about everywhere but here) have emigrated to the States for generations. I learned soccer from a neighbor who was born and raised in England. We have these folks here.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    {sigh}
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    {sigh}
    Yeah.

    I think it is time to move on from Michael Bradley...he looks like he's moving in slow motion out there these days. Would really like to believe we can come up with something better in the starting lineup than Jordan Morris. Zardes is a decent player but it would be nice to have a stronger option there as well. Looking forward to Tyler Boyd getting back on the field.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    With respect (and nothing personal), this is a frustrating ongoing false narrative.

    In a country of 300 million plus people, there are enough elite calibre athletes for practically every sport.

    There have been some comments about cost related to development, and while it pales in comparison to travel hockey, the cost to play youth soccer at a competitive club level is not insignificant.

    I “get it”, and at the same time I don’t truly understand why the US can’t field a dominant men’s soccer team.
    Yeah, I’ve wondered about this a long time myself. I do think you’re underestimating the pervasive effect of the uber-exceptional athletes— the types of athletes who would excel in almost whatever they dedicated themselves to— being unerringly pushed to just about everything but soccer.

    These wouldn’t just be the best athletes... they’d be the most exciting.

    Furthermore, US men’s soccer culture seems to push a very team-oriented variant that’s just less exciting. It’s more about limiting mistakes than taking risks. We churn out world-class goalies, excellent defenders, solid midfielders, and whenever we produce a spectacular, world-class (male) striker, it will be the first time. Ever.

    Just my view from the soccer-as-occasional-obsession seats.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    Yeah, I’ve wondered about this a long time myself. I do think you’re underestimating the pervasive effect of the uber-exceptional athletes— the types of athletes who would excel in almost whatever they dedicated themselves to— being unerringly pushed to just about everything but soccer.

    These wouldn’t just be the best athletes... they’d be the most exciting.

    Furthermore, US men’s soccer culture seems to push a very team-oriented variant that’s just less exciting. It’s more about limiting mistakes than taking risks. We churn out world-class goalies, excellent defenders, solid midfielders, and whenever we produce a spectacular, world-class (male) striker, it will be the first time. Ever.

    Just my view from the soccer-as-occasional-obsession seats.
    Highlander had some similar thoughts about risk-taking in our development system. I think it's a great point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    I've heard several reasons anecdotally, so take them for what it's worth:
    • At the youth level, the best players are pushed toward the best teams/clubs and travel ball is expensive, which limits opportunities for those without those means. Competitive Soccer in the US is essentially an upper middle class sport.
    • In the US, the focus is on building a competitive team rather than on improving the player. Our normal model would keep that same player on an elite team at his/her age level with a gaudy record to keep the parents happy.
    • Last thing I have heard is that at the top levels of competition, it is cutthroat to keep your spot and players develop a cautious/deliberate mentality because they are petrified of making a mistake, getting pulled, and then losing their starting spot. As a result, risk taking is not rewarded.


    Overall I agree that despite those limitations, we should be able to find 24 guys who can play at a high level, and the fact that we trot out the same tired faces for lack of a better option is infuriating.
    It does seem to me that Pulisic is the most skilled US player on the ball I've ever seen. Landon had great vision and speed, but lacked the...trickiness. Dempsey is probably the closest comparison, I guess? Granted I've only been following US soccer for about a decade so I'm missing out on plenty of guys from before that.

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