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Old 06-26-2014, 04:03 PM   #41
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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Originally Posted by ccured View Post
Point guards and some shooting guards but how many attacking soccer players can you name that are 6'6"? That tall and you are going to be a defender and be used on set pieces.
There are a few. Peter Crouch is 6'8". Played for England in last world cup. Didn't make this year's team.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:05 PM   #42
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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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.
Hell Yeah now those are some things I would like to see I feel like we are the right path now and just think of how many more soccer balls will be getting passed around in the US if we keep this upward swing going.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:07 PM   #43
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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I am saying they would be too big to go against the other team not because of the rest of their team. The agility and athleticism of the 6'1 guy on the other end in a game with the actual contact rules of soccer.
I don't follow.

A team full of 5'10-6'1 guys is going to be superior to a team full of 6'6 guys? When those 6'6 guys are just as athletic and agile?
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:08 PM   #44
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

Their ability isn't in foot creativity or agility, its power and size...that wont change with Lebron or Noah.

I'll stand by that, smaller, faster more compact players are better suited for certain positions.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:14 PM   #45
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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I don't follow.

A team full of 5'10-6'1 guys is going to be superior to a team full of 6'6 guys? When those 6'6 guys are just as athletic and agile?
Possibly.

Spain was mostly made up of a bunch of dudes that were under 5"10" and beat Germany who is one of the tallest, fit, athlectic teams in the world in the Euro 08 final.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:14 PM   #46
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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Their ability isn't in foot creativity or agility, its power and size...that wont change with Lebron or Noah.

I'll stand by that, smaller, faster more compact players are better suited for certain positions.

QFT

Now if the US could get a bunch of 6' 0" point guard types to learn the game and get their foot work right, then we may have a better team than we currently do.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:15 PM   #47
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

I have always said that if we can get all of our 5' 6" running backs who are too small for college ball to start playing soccer from a young age instead, we will rule the world in soccer.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:26 PM   #48
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

This doesn't really relate to the OPs question as far as best athletes inthe US playing the sport but most of the African teams are bigger, faster, stronger than other teams yet only 2 are advancing to the knockout round. Of course thouse countries also need more development at the youth level (just like the US does). However the US has more $ to make the development happen.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:28 PM   #49
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

I 100% Agree with the OP here. I can say that the United States at least when I was growing up as a whole did not view soccer the same as the other major sports. There is pockets and areas where soccer is important but it's not been enough to outdo the fact that soccer players aren't respected as much or near as "cool" around the school halls as the basketball or Football guys. I think that we are seeing a huge culture change here that is much needed for our MNT to be more successful.

I played soccer in North and South Carolina as a child and until I moved to NC. I didn't know how much better the coastal SC region was at soccer I can't speak for the last 10 years or so. But I went from a consistent defender always starting to the guy who prefers playing defense but we want leading the team in all aspects over night. I was a defender at heart even though I saw the need to move forward and help where it was much needed I was to immature to see the bigger picture. I know we were in a lot more games than we would have been had I not backed up the keeper and piss poor mids.

Let's face it even with not our best athletes we are still a top 15 team in the world. Anyway you look at it with the amount of countries that have soccer teams and make a go at World Cup qualifications we are not that bad already. Just haven't been consistent with our successes. I hope that we can finally turn that corner and be consistent as we all know as gamecock fans it is very possible to go from average to above average. USA! USA! USA!
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:33 PM   #50
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

I think that the athleticism of the team will continue to increase with the "browning of america" and with baseball being on the decline with the youth in this country. Soccer has already surpassed baseball in viewship for the 10-17 yr demo.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:50 PM   #51
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

A fun topic to discuss.

Soccer careers must become more lucrative and sensationalized domestically, with colleges handing out full schollies the way they do for football. This may generate enough interest 10 years from now to get poor and middle class kids in America choosing to play soccer at a young age simply because they want to. That foundation is necessary before the following can happen:

I believe if you could then get high schools in an athlete rich region like southern Florida to invest more into their soccer programs, you'd see some speedy football players and point guards and centerfielders take up soccer instead of "hand sports" to become local big shots, and to earn college schollies and TV time. (College and Pro soccer would have to be televised, and people would have to give more than a passing shit every four years).

Forget Adrian Peterson and Chris Paul etc. Even if guys we consider mediocre at basketball and football (like all the college players that go undrafted, but contribute to major programs) would end up in the pool of talent for serious soccer players, we'd be among the top 5 national soccer teams every year.

Quick example: think about all the athletic football and basketball players we've had at USC just in the last 5 years that you'll never hear about again. Even a guy like Eric Smith on the basketball team, or Jimmy Legree, or Lakeem Jackson. Now imagine the thousands of such guys out there just in South Carolina, if you go back in time and have them running distance and training with a soccer ball every day from age 5. At least a few of them would've been amazing soccer stars.

It's fine with me that we don't see this happening, because we remain dominant in football and basketball. I think some of these speedsters that are too small for football (the Sherminator) should realize early on, say in middle school, that if they could develop soccer skills, they could get a free ride to college and potentially a nice MLS contract. Right now at least, in areas where youth football and basketball is big, there are no outlets for these kids to start learning soccer for real. We just don't have programs set up except for the suburbs and country club areas.

edit - also, in response to the height debate above, height means very little in soccer. You can be effective at any size. Having one or two tall guys is nice, but if you have great timing and skill, and can jump, you need not be tall. Phillip Lam and Mertesacker are almost a foot different in height, and both are elite defenders for the Deutschers.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:59 PM   #52
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

^^^^^

While full schollies for soccer and a better domestic league will likley cause an up tick in talent level since more pople will be playing the sport - particualrly minorities; the best players will not even go to college. They will go straight to the pros. What we need is increased participation and young players who get picked up by pro academies in Europe. There are a few kids in the US right now playing in these academies - one US kid in playing for Barcalona's youth team, but we need more.

Incentives such as a scholarship may increase the parcipation and thus increase the number of youths playing in Euro youth programs.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:08 PM   #53
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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Originally Posted by Biocockanics View Post
Their ability isn't in foot creativity or agility, its power and size...that wont change with Lebron or Noah.

I'll stand by that, smaller, faster more compact players are better suited for certain positions.
I guess you are saying it better than I am. At a certain point size becomes a disadvantage to a specific position. It is the same in all sports. Its like why you don't have 6'8 WR, DB, or LBs in football. I know there have been a few and there will always be exceptions. Eventually they bulk up to fill the frame better and become TE. For a pure striker some one like Lebron or Kobe may work but not as a winger or a CF. They would have to rely on others to make the majority of opportunities for them.

also I see the 6'5 Korean is in
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:09 PM   #54
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

Schools do not give out full ride scholarships for soccer like they do for football.

Soccer is an equivalency sport, not a head count sport (like football and basketball)
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:13 PM   #55
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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^^^^^

While full schollies for soccer and a better domestic league will likley cause an up tick in talent level since more pople will be playing the sport - particualrly minorities; the best players will not even go to college. They will go straight to the pros. What we need is increased participation and young players who get picked up by pro academies in Europe. There are a few kids in the US right now playing in these academies - one US kid in playing for Barcalona's youth team, but we need more.

Incentives such as a scholarship may increase the parcipation and thus increase the number of youths playing in Euro youth programs.
The Euro youth programs are great, certainly the best way for young Americans to improve their games right now. Those youth clubs are elite because of the skill level of their youth and their facilities and coaches. But by investing in soccer programs at the college level here ($$$), we'd have our own version of this right here. The talent level won't match those of Europe overnight, but if a few big soccer youth programs could be built up here in say Florida, DC and California AND we had kids that were really considering soccer as a career, it may become competitive quickly. If we had some big name coaches running college soccer camps year round, it might get some traction too. Some programs are doing it. I know Duke has a small scale program like this now.

It's just hard to convince a crazy athletic 12 or 13 year old American kid to stay with soccer when everyone around him keeps pushing basketball and football. Soccer players don't get the glory that football and bball guys do.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:43 PM   #56
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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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.
If the best athletes in America were groomed to play soccer from a young age instead of their respective sport now there is no question America would be the best in the world at soccer.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #57
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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Originally Posted by MWard View Post
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.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:52 PM   #58
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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I have always said that if we can get all of our 5' 6" running backs who are too small for college ball to start playing soccer from a young age instead, we will rule the world in soccer.
Tough to know how tall you will be at a younger age.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:11 PM   #59
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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Tough to know how tall you will be at a younger age.
Yeah, I was a large baby and Dr said I'd be big....5'7 155lb later...
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:34 PM   #60
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Default Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?

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I am saying they would be too big to go against the other team not because of the rest of their team. The agility and athleticism of the 6'1 guy on the other end in a game with the actual contact rules of soccer.
This is the typical soccer can response and makes no sense. Only in soccer do they say having taller and better athletes wouldn't work. If your team averaged 6'6 and could run 4.4-4.8 40s than you'd win. If the US got their best athletes playing soccer like other countries, we'd dominate. Their bodies would naturally be less bulky due to training for soccer but their overall advantage in strength and athleticism would still be above the rest do the world. Basically look at Altidore and imagine a team all bigger and faster than him and that's what the USA team would look like.
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