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Why US soccer is not on par with the rest of the world


jbooma

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There are two main reasons why the US soccer is not even close to european soccer.

The first is passion, the other countries the passion is there, soccer is everything to them. I would add they are more passionate about soccer then we are about football. The live and breathe soccer, whenever there is a break from their day they get a ball and kick it around, no matter the place.

The other reason has to do with soccer education. In the US when we are little we play on teams that are usually coached by someones parent, and most likely someone who has not played on a high level. In countries around the world especially South America kids are being taught by people that have played at high levels, maybe not the euro leagues but people who understand everything about soccer.

My wife's family has a cousin who was like 13 and already being scouted to play, they do not play on little leagues where here we just want everyone to play they play on teams that you only make it if you are good. He has already been offered to study in Brazil if he wanted too.

These are some of the main reasons why the US can not hang with the other countries, and I do not know when anything will change if ever.

I will say the US is getting better at the pro level and college level, but we still have a long way to go.

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Imagine if this country's best athletes played soccer.

Imagine Michael Vick, Deion Sanders (in his prime of course :silly: ), Michael Jordan, and Jerry Rice in soccer uniforms.

What country would stand a chance?

The rest of the world who laughs at our soccer program should spend less time laughing and more time being thankful that we don't take it seriously. :laugh: B/C if this country ever did get serious about soccer, they would basically hand out a jar of vaseline to all of the other world cup teams every 4 years. Pray for lubrication... that would be about all other countries could do. :2cents:

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Imagine if this country's best athletes played soccer.

Imagine Michael Vick, Deion Sanders (in his prime of course :silly: ), Michael Jordan, and Jerry Rice in soccer uniforms.

What country would stand a chance?

The rest of the world who laughs at our soccer program should spend less time laughing and more time being thankful that we don't take it seriously. :laugh: B/C if this country ever did get serious about soccer, they would basically hand out a jar of vaseline to all of the other world cup teams every 4 years. Pray for lubrication... that would be about all other countries could do. :2cents:

It has nothing to do with athletic ability, it has everything to do with skill. Don't get me wrong speed kills, but not everyone needs to run a 4.0 :D

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don't we have 800 other soccer threads to talk about this in? at least i get one of the first replies in this one....:)

i think people don't like soccer b/c it requires too much patience to be a star. a guy can run all freaking day and still not be part of a play. its basically cross country running while kicking a ball. maybe soccer is too much of a team sport? :whoknows:

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don't we have 800 other soccer threads to talk about this in? at least i get one of the first replies in this one....:)

World Cup fever!!!!!!!!!!!!

At least it is better then all the right vs left threads :laugh:

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Imagine if this country's best athletes played soccer.

Imagine Michael Vick, Deion Sanders (in his prime of course :silly: ), Michael Jordan, and Jerry Rice in soccer uniforms.

What country would stand a chance?

The rest of the world who laughs at our soccer program should spend less time laughing and more time being thankful that we don't take it seriously. :laugh: B/C if this country ever did get serious about soccer, they would basically hand out a jar of vaseline to all of the other world cup teams every 4 years. Pray for lubrication... that would be about all other countries could do. :2cents:

I honestly think that isn't true. Ronaldinho would outplay Deion or Vick easily, even (and this is just my opinion) if the latter two had since-birth training in soccer. Different types of sports require different types of athlete. You can't just say "he's athletic; he'll do well in anything." It doesn't work that way.

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You can't just say "he's athletic; he'll do well in anything." It doesn't work that way.

I think it does. Maybe not these same specific athletes though... I'm speaking in generalities.

Right now, the United States' best athletes aren't playing soccer. Hell, it's not even on the radar. White upper-middle class suburbian kids who played as kids in little league and somehow manage to maintain interest in the sport thru high-school is the US model for churning out soccer athletes. ( :doh: )

Now imagine if soccer had the same attention as basketball in this country... and children across the country had the same access to the game and passion.

It is my very firm opinion that the world would not stand a chance. Honestly ATB, I think those who outwardly disagree with me inwardly know it is true. :2cents:

(but thank you for at least getting my argument unlike JB... where it sailed completely over his head :laugh: :laugh: )

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(but thank you for at least getting my argument unlike JB... where it sailed completely over his head :laugh: :laugh: )

Sorry Tonto you are way off there. The key to soccer is not just atheletic ability. Soccer is the ultimate team game, where skill is the most important factor.

Look at the US baseketball team we have the best players in the world but still have not won the gold in a while, why do you think?

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Sorry Tonto you are way off there. The key to soccer is not just atheletic ability. Soccer is the ultimate team game, where skill is the most important factor.

Jesus JB sometimes I worry about you :laugh:

For the record, I'm not talking about Michael Vick dropping everything and picking up Soccer tomorrow :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh:

I'm talking about athletes such as Michael Vick choosing soccer at an early age to learn and become good in as opposed to football.

Look at the US baseketball team we have the best players in the world but still have not won the gold in a while, why do you think?

Not even sure why I'm answering this...

but the correct answer is because our good basketball players stay home to avoid injury, and the team is thrown together in 2 weeks to compete against teams who play together year round.

Now go on record JB... what international team could beat the Mavs? :munchout:

...

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Jesus JB sometimes I worry about you :laugh:

For the record, I'm not talking about Michael Vick dropping everything and picking up Soccer tomorrow :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh:

I'm talking about athletes such as Michael Vick choosing soccer at an early age to learn and become good in as opposed to soccer.

...

Zoony that is what I was talking about, skill is not something you learn overnight, it is something that takes time :)

Dallas vs the Gold Medal team with the international rules would be very interesting.

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Dallas vs the Gold Medal team with the international rules would be very interesting.

I agree, I would very much like to see it. Really... ANY NBA team against any international team.

Mostly to shut up the international community though. :) It would be a blowout.

(but I'm serious... the next international team the US assembles should just be an NBA squad. No all stars, etc.)

....

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It's simple really.

We're not as talented as the rest of the world because in America, guys with any real ability play sports that are far more interesting. In rugby, the world fears what we will become because we have the world's greatest talent. Guys not quite able to make it at the higher levels of football make tremendous rugby talents. We generally have better size, speed, athleticism and sheer talent. What we lack is the understanding of the sport as we generally don't get introduced until we're 18 or older where the rest of the world plays from a younger age.

In soccer we have the knowledge. We have the understanding. For those devoted to the sport, there's even the passion. The difference is anyone worth much as an athlete just doesn't stick with soccer. The rest of the world is filled with 5-8, 150-pound guys. A little guy making good in a big man's sporting world is interesting. You just can't build a sport around it ;).

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Because soccer has no commercial time. Thus it will never be shown often on American TV. When I first moved here I found football and basketball pretty boring because play stopped so often, but because both sports are both so popular and are always shown on TV, I began to watch little by little. Lots of little kids play soccer but who are they supposed to grow up watching, some MLS "star"?

Instead of poker or bowling start showing more soccer games. Start off by showing the games of big name clubs like Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and maybe more people will watch just to see how good Ronaldinho or Henry or Shevchenko is (o.k. maybe they won't know who Shevchenko is).

Maybe there'll be a group of kids in each school that start to follow soccer and hopefully these groups grow. Maybe these kids become good players and thus the U.S. forms a good soccer team that more people will want to follow. Maybe from these good US teams kids will idolize certain players. But that's a whole lot of maybe's. Alas I don't think soccer will ever become very popular here but hopefully I'm wrong.

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I am with Zoony here, we do not have our best athletes playing from an early age

If Micheal Vick, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Terrel Owens had been playing soccer since they were 4, we would absolutley wreck the world in soccer

But that is not the case

Soccer is an interesting game, however in high school football tryouts don't make you run for 30 minutes straight to see if you can make the team. It takes patience, it takes a willingness to pace yourself, and quite honestly, that is not the American athlete

We Americans excel in intense, quick hitting, fast paced sports. As much as I love soccer, it is not a fast paced, quick hitting sport. Now people will point to baseball, but baseball has a quick pace, and very quickly can generate excitement. While World Cup soccer can quickly generate excitement (see Austrailia vs Japan) it doesn't do it consistantly nor on many levels

The last thing is our best players will always leave to play in Europe. Man U vs Barcelona sold out in Philly. AC Milan vs Barcelona sold out RFK. Why? Because the skill level was so high and people knew the big time players on those teams

Our stars go to Europe to develop their skills further. You want to be amongst the worlds best in soccer? You go play in Europe. Therefore the American market never hears of our stars except every 4 years. And that doesn't help sell the sport state side

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I am with Zoony here, we do not have our best athletes playing from an early age

If Micheal Vick, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Terrel Owens had been playing soccer since they were 4, we would absolutley wreck the world in soccer

But that is not the case

This argument is spot on, but of course USA basketball and baseball are losing to other countries in international competition right now, so I don't think athletes are the be all and end all here.
Soccer is an interesting game, however in high school football tryouts don't make you run for 30 minutes straight to see if you can make the team. It takes patience, it takes a willingness to pace yourself, and quite honestly, that is not the American athlete

We Americans excel in intense, quick hitting, fast paced sports. As much as I love soccer, it is not a fast paced, quick hitting sport. Now people will point to baseball, but baseball has a quick pace, and very quickly can generate excitement. While World Cup soccer can quickly generate excitement (see Austrailia vs Japan) it doesn't do it consistantly nor on many levels

I think you're making a lot of generalizations here that aren't necessarily true. The "American athlete" is everything from the very patient Ted Williams to the electric Michael Jordan ... from the methodical Pete Sampras to the overpowering Shaquille O'Neal - there isn't one kind of American athlete, and our strength as a country is our diversity ... we don't win the most gold medals in every Summer Olympics by putting out one kind of athlete; we have a lot of money and a lot of leisure time, and there are plenty of athletes to go around.
The last thing is our best players will always leave to play in Europe. Man U vs Barcelona sold out in Philly. AC Milan vs Barcelona sold out RFK. Why? Because the skill level was so high and people knew the big time players on those teams

Our stars go to Europe to develop their skills further. You want to be amongst the worlds best in soccer? You go play in Europe. Therefore the American market never hears of our stars except every 4 years. And that doesn't help sell the sport state side

I would see this as a positive step towards developing soccer in the United States. All of Brazil's best players go to Europe, and it doesn't stop them from winning the World Cup.

For that matter, Argentina's best basketball players and Japan's best baseball players come here, and that hasn't slowed their countries down. We don't need the MLS to become more popular than the NFL to become a World Cup contender ...

What we need is more of our players making it to Europe (which is already happenning) and we need more young people playing soccer (which is already happenning). In just the past decade, USA soccer has made the leap from struggling to qualify into perennial contender. The next jump to perennial second round team will be more difficult, but I have no doubt that we're going to get there. Despite all the stereotypes being thrown around in this thread, there are a lot of kids playing soccer and America has more than enough athletes to spare. We'll get there; it just takes a little bit of patience, even if patience isn't the "American" way.

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This argument is spot on, but of course USA basketball and baseball are losing to other countries in international competition right now, so I don't think athletes are the be all and end all here.

Agreed, way to many overrate athletic ability. We are athletic enough. The problem is with our skill level ( passing, touch, dribbling, vision)

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I'll be glad when these three weeks are over and we can go back to ignoring soccer. :)

I'll still add my two cents, from a never-played the game, general sports fan.

I've been trying to keep up with soccer, I really have. I can get into the strategy, the planning, etc. The US team, like lacrosse teams, are made up of these preppy guys from pansy universities. I don't want to root for them! You look at a guy like Sean Taylor and compare him to Landon Donovan? Who would want to see that little wimp play any sport, especially one where the guys flop around like they've been shot whenever they are touched. Before anyone says it, I don't like the NBA, either, because of the total randomness of the ref's calls. Acting should not be a part of a real sport. Go on Broadway, you pansy, and star in a play.

People talk about how you have to groom these players from birth, and that our kids lack patience. Isn't this the same things American soccer fans are doing to our national team, not showing patience, expecting a quick strike to the top, when in reality, the US national soccer team has only been serious about this thing since the World Cup we hosted?

I have no doubt that we will win the World Cup, but the other teams and countries are just too far ahead right now. Plus, we have other pro leagues that elicit passion for older fans. My Dad never played football, but is a huge fan. I don't know what soccer can do to draw these fans, when you already have guys who know how physical football (the US kind) is.

I also don't buy the thing about the whole world loving soccer. It's South America and Europe mostly. China doesn't really compete that well, and look at all the people they have. India's national sport is cricket for crying out loud. You keep hearing Africa is going to jump up one day, but we're still waiting.

The best soccer in the US can hope for is to be a distant 5th place, behind football, basketball, baseball and NASCAR. I'm still surprised hockey didn't take over nationwide. That's like soccer with sticks and knives on their feet!

In short, we will win the World Cup, just because of superior training methods and money we will pump into development, but we will never have the percentage of people who consider themselves rabid soccer fans. There is just too much else out there for fans to watch.

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I agree with zoony. Put Portis and Moss on a soccer field from age 5 or whatever until now? They'd be two of the best players in the world. Sean Taylor? Could have been the best goalie in the world (sorry, keeper for you soccer nerds).

THANK GOD they chose football (real football). :)

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Let me be clear--I absolutely agree that our best athletes aren't playing soccer. That our team does as well as it does is testament to commitment and money on the part of the US Soccer Federation (which has a budget pathetic by American standards but definitely world-class). We would definitely do lots better if our top-shelf athletes played, partly because we have a high population and partly because we have lots of money to pump into training programs and research and coaches and the like.

However, I do not think it's completely obvious that America would dominate soccer if it magically became the country's #1 sport. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I am saying that it's up for debate.

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