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


jbooma

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It never caught on in the US because we make up our own sports quite often:

Football

Baseball

Basketball

It diverts from those that just have soccer...

Careful now....plenty of nations that do well in soccer have strong teams in basketball (i.e. Croatia -- took Brazil down to the wire), baseball (South Korea made some noise in a previous WC), etc. To say the countries excel because they "just have soccer" is a pretty ignorant statement. :2cents:

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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.

QUOTE]

That's a spot-on assessment, JB. When I lived in Napoli, it's just like you see in those Nike commercials...a bunch of little kids, playing pick-up games, in dirt lots and alleys, and that was over 24 years ago. The skills that these kids had was just sick. They lived and breathed soccer with a passion for the sport that US kids will never have.

Not that that's a bad thing, that's just the way it is.....

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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 agree but some of our guys play in the MLS and need to be in Europe like Donovan, and soon Adu :)

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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.

We would be in the same place we are now. Just because people play sports does not mean they have the passion needed to be the best. What most of you do not get is what soccer means to other countries it is their lifeblood, here even the best athletes would be torn on what sport to play.

They other key is the education of the game, no one has even brought up my second point. In the US when it involves little kids everyone must play, even if they are not good. The parents think they are the coaches and get mad when their child doesn't play, this never happens in other countries, if you are good enough to play you do. When you are young and being trained by someone with a high level soccer experience it makes a big difference then being taught by mom and dad.

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I agree but some of our guys play in the MLS and need to be in Europe like Donovan, and soon Adu :)

Actually, I believe it's the other way around. We need to start importing some of the mid to upper level players from around the world into MLS. Obviously that is going to be exceptionally difficult considering the very different level of financial compensation that MLS players make compared to their European counterparts.

The reason I feel that we need to import the foreign players rather than the other way around is that American fans don't/won't watch foreign leagues. Even if there are Americans playing in them. We need to build the quality of talent in MLS so that American kids have a high level local product to watch and emulate.

If all we're looking for is to improve the quality of the National Team, we can send players to Europe. If we're looking to build the sport here in the United States we have to do it HERE.

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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

Just ask the Ivory Coast (who seemed a lot faster than Argentina, but didn't seem to be on the same page - talent wise)

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Actually, I believe it's the other way around. We need to start importing some of the mid to upper level players from around the world into MLS. Obviously that is going to be exceptionally difficult considering the very different level of financial compensation that MLS players make compared to their European counterparts.

The reason I feel that we need to import the foreign players rather than the other way around is that American fans don't/won't watch foreign leagues. Even if there are Americans playing in them. We need to build the quality of talent in MLS so that American kids have a high level local product to watch and emulate.

If all we're looking for is to improve the quality of the National Team, we can send players to Europe. If we're looking to build the sport here in the United States we have to do it HERE.

I do agree with that as well, the MLS is like a double edge sword, it is great if our best players in it for the success of the league and the interest in the states, but if we do not get the elite to play in it then how much better can our players get by playing weaker oppenents.

To me it is like having your best baseball players going up against AAA type talent, when they need to be playing against the elite.

What is the ultimate goal, to get soccer popular or be able to compete at the highest level?

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There is an old saying-

For every elite soccer player the US can produce, groom, coddle and develop; Brazil can go to a local beach and find 10 guys that are already better.

It's just different in the countries that are better than us. It's not that they teach the game earlier or that their best athletes play it. It's that EVERYONE plays it ALL THE TIME.

They play before work, school, church. They play on the beach, in the gyms, on the streets, in fields. They play at lunch, after school etc etc etc

That's it. That's what they all do. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts uncles grandparents etc. Their entire lives have soccer entertwined.

We just dont have that in the US.

The MLS is very close to a committment with a few European leagues to act as a feeder league. It will benefit both sides. But I agree, our best and brightest NEED to go to Europe with more frequency and much much earlier in their careers if we are ever going to match the skills of the top sides of the world.

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These arguments come up every four years.How about this maybe this is the one (of many) things that we are just plain not good at.

Until soccer moves from the tony suburbs to the ghetto,barrio and lower middle class areas( where most of this nations better athletes start) then it wil continue to be an afterthought on the American sports scene.

Anyone with a passing interest knows that Landon Donovan is a joke ,but as Team USA face of soccer he'son instead of Pope,Johnson and some others.

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There is an old saying-

For every elite soccer player the US can produce, groom, coddle and develop; Brazil can go to a local beach and find 10 guys that are already better.

It's just different in the countries that are better than us. It's not that they teach the game earlier or that their best athletes play it. It's that EVERYONE plays it ALL THE TIME.

They play before work, school, church. They play on the beach, in the gyms, on the streets, in fields. They play at lunch, after school etc etc etc

That's it. That's what they all do. Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts uncles grandparents etc. Their entire lives have soccer entertwined.

We just dont have that in the US.

The MLS is very close to a committment with a few European leagues to act as a feeder league. It will benefit both sides. But I agree, our best and brightest NEED to go to Europe with more frequency and much much earlier in their careers if we are ever going to match the skills of the top sides of the world.

= Passion :)

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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.

Have to admit that made me :laugh: . It is pretty much true though...

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.

Good point.

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i think zoony is absolutely correct-

we dominate at the olympics, and not too bad in international basketball and baseball competitions.

if our best athletes started playing soccer instead of football they would be faster and just as talented as the rest of the world. you don't think Dwayne Wade could use those moves to dribble through the midfield?

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I do agree with that as well, the MLS is like a double edge sword, it is great if our best players in it for the success of the league and the interest in the states, but if we do not get the elite to play in it then how much better can our players get by playing weaker oppenents.

To me it is like having your best baseball players going up against AAA type talent, when they need to be playing against the elite.

Yes, MLS IS a double-edged sword. If soccer is going to become a serious sport here in the US, then MLS needs to really pick up the quality of play and become an international league, like the European leagues. The teams need to become associated with some of the European feeder programs (as Kilmer mentioned) like Ajax.

If all the soccer fans in the US want is a World Cup championship at some point, they need to disband MLS and do everything in their power to get American players into the European feeder programs as early as possible while holding an allegience to the USNT programs. Just realize that in this scenario, soccer continues to be a third-tier sport in the US for all of our lifetimes.

What is the ultimate goal, to get soccer popular or be able to compete at the highest level?

That's exactly what the USSF has to decide. Are they more interested in winning a World Cup that nobody watches or cares about or are they interested in promoting and growing the sport in the US?

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Zoony and Art are right, as much as the rest of the world wouldn't want to admit it. We quite simply have the best athletes in the world. And the best of our best DON'T play soccer, they just don't.

Guys like Eddie Johnson, Donovan, and Beasely would be standard American athletes in our "Big 3" sports, but in Soccer, they are physically superior. If we fielded a team of elite athletes who learned the sport from a young age, we would be unstoppable. Just look at Brazil- I think they're the only thing comparable.

And to the person who said elite athleticism doesn't translate to soccer skil... :doh:

An athlete is an athlete, in my very diverse athletic experience. My friends who are great athletes can pick up any sport and in time be very good at it. Now, I don't believe this holds true always- certain sports reward quickness over speed, or size, so not every athlete could translate. But you can't tell me Vick or Tomlinson couldn't make great soccer players. Of Doug Flutie for that matter. :laugh:

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An athlete is an athlete, in my very diverse athletic experience. My friends who are great athletes can pick up any sport and in time be very good at it. Now, I don't believe this holds true always- certain sports reward quickness over speed, or size, so not every athlete could translate. But you can't tell me Vick or Tomlinson couldn't make great soccer players. Of Doug Flutie for that matter. :laugh:

When you're talking about sports where pure athleticism is the key, you are correct. Soccer is not one of those sports. Soccer is as much about tactics and strategy as it is about pure athleticism. THAT'S a large part of the reason the countries where the kids learn the game as something more than a track meet with a ball in their early days have a huge advantage. We still teach our kids "gang soccer" (everyone chase the ball) here in the US. Until we stop that, we're never going to get anywhere in the sport.

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There is an old saying-

For every elite soccer player the US can produce, groom, coddle and develop; Brazil can go to a local beach and find 10 guys that are already better.

It's just different in the countries that are better than us. It's not that they teach the game earlier or that their best athletes play it. It's that EVERYONE plays it ALL THE TIME.

They play before work, school, church. They play on the beach, in the gyms, on the streets, in fields. They play at lunch, after school etc etc etc

That's a great point. When I lived in Portugal, people would be on the beach literally all day just kicking a soccer ball around. On the beach! They'd play close to the water where the sand was smoother, but they booted the ball around constantly, in groups of maybe 4 or 5. Like a big hacky sack circle. And they were pretty good too.

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I don't think America has the best athletes in the world across the board.Slowly but surely Austrialia is getting better at alot of Olmypic sports.The US women's soccer team is not #1.We did not win th Winter Games medal count.East African dominates middle to long distance runner.Outside of Jason Gatlin ,America does not have a owlrd record presence in most track and field record times this year.

We may have the best conditioned athletes in the world.Our problem we train the worlds athletes at our universites and many return to wipe us on the floor in international competitions.

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