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-   -   Talent Level In Professional Soccer? (http://www.cockytalk.com/showthread.php?t=207593)

ColaCock 06-26-2014 02:10 PM

Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Serious question here.

I know this is going to make me sound like a xenophobe, but I think we can pretty much agree that among the 3 sports that America widely loves and plays (basketball, football, baseball)...we are the best in the world at them. I know football is only really played in America, but argument still stands.

That means many or most of the fastest, tallest, strongest, smartest, agile, and talented athletes in the world are playing these 3 sports in America.

My question is- do the most talented athletes in the world, specifically in America, PLAY soccer? I'm not questioning if the players current on the USMNT are some of the *best* who currently play soccer. I hope you follow me.

One example, which is quite a microcosm of the situation I am trying to explain...is my sports childhood growing up. I played all sports and soccer was one of them. I was really good at it but at age 12 or 13 when the seasons interfered with baseball, I quit it and never looked back. The better and most athletic soccer players did the same along with me. The ones who stayed back and weren't cut out for football or baseball ended up playing throughout high school. These soccer players we left behind eventually were considered "good" at soccer years later in high school and even made it to the state championship one year. I knew my teammates and myself were 10x more talented than them, but we didn't care enough about soccer to tell them that and take away their fun.

But...what if that is the situation all over America in some sense?

If Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Yasel Puig, Calvin Johnson, LeSean McCoy, Richard Sherman, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Adrian Peterson, Mike Trout, etc etc etc went the route of soccer when I did...what would it spell for soccer? I believe they would dominate the sport. "Soccer is a different game they wouldn't succeed at" is certainly a laughable defense, since most of the best athletes in professional US sports were also great at numerous others.

So I am not trying to *diss* soccer here, but I really don't believe the players on the USMNT or on any professional US team are the best athletes our country has to offer. They are playing other sports.

B-G 06-26-2014 02:40 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Agreed

Biocockanics 06-26-2014 02:42 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
It's a simple answer...of course not...these are the best soccer players we have to offer.

Would Peyton Manning be a good soccer player? hell no, he's too slow.

Would Richard Sherman make a good GK? if he played most of his life, probably.


Hard to compare, I dont see a Lebron being able to handle Brazil for 90' + when he nearly died from cramps in San Antonio

Also, when we were growing up...there WAS no REAL successful Major League soccer association...MLS as we know it is only 19 years old...kids now seeing our successes and being exposed to top club play from across the water will know it and love it.

Thenardier 06-26-2014 02:42 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Basketball, no. Football, if the best NFL team played the bet Canadian team, the Canadian team would probably win, considering they play with 12 players, lol. Baseball, who cares.

COCKDIESEL 06-26-2014 02:44 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
I agree with you. Was actually talking with some co workers about this. I said basically the same thing.

B-G 06-26-2014 02:46 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thenardier (Post 4191253)
Basketball, no. Football, if the best NFL team played the bet Canadian team, the Canadian team would probably win, considering they play with 12 players, lol. Baseball, who cares.

I think what he's trying to say is the best leagues for all those sports are in the US.

Add hockey to that as well, we may not be the best but we are damn good and the nhl is the best league.

ccured 06-26-2014 02:49 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
I would agree with you. I think it was Dan Patrick was saying if the USA could just get 30 % of the best high school athletes to play soccer than that group would win the world cup before their retirement. So basically by 3 or 4 world cups.

We are the only major football country in the world and yes if half of those true athletes played soccer instead the USA talent pool would be exponentially higher than now.

ColaCock 06-26-2014 02:54 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Biocockanics (Post 4191251)
It's a simple answer...of course not...these are the best soccer players we have to offer.

Would Peyton Manning be a good soccer player? hell no, he's too slow.

Peyton Manning is an obvious exception though...the best offensive lineman would be exempt as well, even though they are certainly athletic specimen.

However, I also don't think most of these soccer players run exceptionally fast 40 times in comparison to players in the NFL...then combine their agility, ability to change directions, etc...and you have a disaster for what most defenders see in soccer.

ccured 06-26-2014 02:54 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Also baseball is prevalent here but are we the best? Never won the world baseball classic and baseball has been in the Olympics for 5 and we have 1 gold and no silver medals. Hell since 2000 the little league world series is 50/50 tie between world and usa

2000grad 06-26-2014 02:54 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
It's regional. I was talking to a football official from New York and he was saying how the south wad so much more serious about high school football than new York. Of course, they have better lacrosse teams up north, yes i know duke is great, bit overall, they do.

A couple of years ago, I attended a soccer match between DC United and Everton.the Everton players were much larger in stature then the MLS players. They looked to be better athletes, better condition, more muscular, etc.

Ahmad 06-26-2014 03:01 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Biocockanics (Post 4191251)
Hard to compare, I dont see a Lebron being able to handle Brazil for 90' + when he nearly died from cramps in San Antonio

But LeBron would be unstoppable when going for a header

ColaCock 06-26-2014 03:02 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Look at Kyle Beckerman...I read a funny quote that relates to this converstaion.

Quote:

Look, I like Kyle Beckerman. I think it’s chill that he’s going for it with his hair like that. But Kyle Beckerman should be the guy watching the World Cup at a bar in Nashville with his chill hair telling stories to his bros like “Yeah man, I played youth soccer with Kobe. He was unreal man, unreal. Even back then. Another level.”
LOL. It is the truth, though.

I don't want this to come across as a bash on the sport of soccer...I just want some input on this dialogue to see if I experience the same things growing up and if my speculations are shared.

In an alternate universe, Kobe Bryant was destroying Clint Dempsey in youth soccer until Kobe decided to play basketball...a sport seen with value and a higher ceiling in America...then Clint Dempsey was able to finally start shining.

I hope soccer continues to climb in America. I don't hate it. Now, I don't prefer it over baseball/football/basketball and I can watch hockey much easier...but I am all for any competition that brings people together. The only thing I can really say that I don't like is how hardcore soccer fans try to shove the sport down American's throats. For the past 3 weeks, I have a couple guys on my Facebook who are deadset on making you understand that something is wrong with you for not liking soccer *like* the rest of planet Earth.

With the best athletes our country has to offer, we would destroy every country in soccer...and I firmly believe that. I don't know if it is genetics, mindset/confidence, variety, or what...but America has shown that if we try hard, we end up being the best at it...and by quite the margin. Like awesome fast food and obesity, for example; we own that shit and no one is stopping us.

B-G 06-26-2014 03:04 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2000grad (Post 4191266)
It's regional. I was talking to a football official from New York and he was saying how the south wad so much more serious about high school football than new York. Of course, they have better lacrosse teams up north, yes i know duke is great, bit overall, they do.

A couple of years ago, I attended a soccer match between DC United and Everton.the Everton players were much larger in stature then the MLS players. They looked to be better athletes, better condition, more muscular, etc.

Yea but Dukes lacrosse team is all guys from the North.

ColaCock 06-26-2014 03:08 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2000grad (Post 4191266)
It's regional. I was talking to a football official from New York and he was saying how the south wad so much more serious about high school football than new York. Of course, they have better lacrosse teams up north, yes i know duke is great, bit overall, they do.

A couple of years ago, I attended a soccer match between DC United and Everton.the Everton players were much larger in stature then the MLS players. They looked to be better athletes, better condition, more muscular, etc.

But that wouldn't mean it is regional...it would be, just like the scenario I have presented, based on participation. The northeast has been playing football for as long as the southeast has...football is popular and in your face everywhere you go. Lacrosse? Not so in the southeast.

Maybe if it was, the southeast would be more serious and produce more successful programs as well.

India currently has the best cricket players in the world, too. Sweden has amazing handball teams.

See where I am getting at?

ccured 06-26-2014 03:11 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
I think kobe and LeBron are horrible examples. I think soccer is competing for the same athletes as football and baseball not basketball.

Cock Kool-Aid 06-26-2014 03:12 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
I feel like soccer players have a different body type than a lot of the athletes in the US's big 3 sports. We're talking about a game that is all about endurance and dexterity IMO. A lot of these guys look more like marathon runners than football players. I guess WR's and DB's in football and then guards in basketball would be best suited. I agree to an extent with OP, but I also feel like it is a tired statement by Americans to excuse our shittiness in soccer.

ColaCock 06-26-2014 03:16 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ccured (Post 4191265)
Also baseball is prevalent here but are we the best? Never won the world baseball classic and baseball has been in the Olympics for 5 and we have 1 gold and no silver medals. Hell since 2000 the little league world series is 50/50 tie between world and usa

I knew this would come up and explanation is fairly simple.

We use amateur players for our Olympic team. They aren't a true sample of the top of competition against other nations. Not only that, but the elite players (especially pitchers) kind of shun away from playing in the WBC. It's extracurricular and for show...the World Cup is THE SHOW for soccer professionals.

Those Latin American teams load up with their All-Stars.

Transmaniacon 06-26-2014 03:16 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
I think you have to be a little careful with the concept of "athleticism" across different sports. There are some commonalities that translate in just about any sport, but a lot of the skills and attributes that really distinguish the greatest in one particular sport do not distinguish players in another. Guys like Messi, Suarez, RVP, Ronaldo, David Silva, or Neymar probably wouldn't be our best football players. In fact, I'm almost sure they wouldn't. Those guys have cultivated specific skill sets over a lifetime of dedicated practice. Natural aptitude plays a role, but I think the more important factor is cultural. Everyone in their countries play soccer, so you have a system that both develops those skills and, most importantly, is ultimately more discriminating. You find out early on who has that special something and you develop those guys a lot more.

You see the same thing over here with basketball or football. I remember an interview with Steve Nash talking about soccer being his favorite sport, but because he shines early in basketball up in Canada, he had more development of his basketball skills.

Along those lines, I would expect point guards an dual- threat QBs to translate best to soccer--at least, for attacking positions. They are similar games in many ways. Linebackers and DBs might be good defenders.

MWard 06-26-2014 03:18 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
If in some hypothetical world, baseketball, football and baseball didn't exist and Soccer was America's only and most favorite team sport...we would be the #1 team in the world every year. We have millions of athletes to choose a squad of 23 from.

There are some really fast soccer players out there, but none could touch Jeff Demps or Chris Johnson on a long ball to the corner. You think Tim Howard has a long wing span, what about LeBron James'. Does anyone think a guy from Portugal is going to out muscle Luke Kuechley in the box on a corner kick, not gonna happen.

ColaCock 06-26-2014 03:19 PM

Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ccured (Post 4191279)
I think kobe and LeBron are horrible examples. I think soccer is competing for the same athletes as football and baseball not basketball.

Yeah, the examples are for shits and giggles...you can substitute their names for any of the cream of the crop in MLB/NFL/NBA.

Still though...Kobe or Lebron running at full speed & stride and having 10" to almost a full foot over some soccer players- nightmare.

Tim Howard's wingspan is 194.88cm. Dwight Howard's is 225cm. That is a whole foot in extra reach.


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