MLS, Europe, etc. (pulled from Camp Cupcake 2016)

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by DHC1, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    And that's fine for MLS to not care but the USMNT absolutely should.

    If our best players are able to play at a higher level than MLS, the USMNT should push them to do so.

    If our talented youth will get better RIGHT NOW by training at the best academies in the world, the USMNT should push them to do so.

    If (hopefully when) MLS's level of play and/or developmental academies rival those of the world's best, then we can discuss whether it makes sense to push highly talented youth to stay. Until then, it doesn't make sense to me for the USMNT to do otherwise.
     
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  2. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    #52 tab5g, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
    Absolutely, I get what you are saying. But again, I think that approach and mindset perpetuates an unhelpful and stagnant cycle and relationship between MLS and US Soccer.

    But the counter to that evolving reality is that it does a disservice (to both the USMNT and MLS) when some of the best US players are already in MLS and some of those players have been ignored/bypassed/cut by the current USMNT for some reason(s) that looks to include "that player plays in MLS" and/or he isn't "really challenging/pushing himself."

    If MLS is never honestly presented as a reasonable/acceptable league, it will have more and more trouble ever growing into that.
     
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  3. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    Further, the past decade has rather disabused me of the notion that Europe is where all of our best talent is best allowed to flourish. In theory, one should think it so, but in practice, it rarely works out that way.
     
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  4. Footsatt

    Footsatt Member+

    Apr 8, 2008
    Michigan
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MBradley hasn't failed yet... it is still a work in progress for him. Bradley is 28 and has some years left to prove himself at TFC.

    Also... TFC has improved since MB has joined

    Before Bradley
    2013 - finished 17th out of 19 teams (29 pts)

    After Bradley
    2014 - finished 13th out of 19 teams (41 pts)
    2015 - finished 12th out of 20 teams (49 pts) made the playoffs for the first time ever.
     
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  5. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    And the basic reality is that players are going to follow the club money and glory, wherever that may be (in Europe or Mexico or elsewhere).

    The idea should be to help MLS get to the point (asap, because it is going to happen eventually anyway) where MLS is a successful enough business where they can match the offers that are arriving from clubs like Bremen and Pachuca for US players.
     
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  6. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Agreed. There's no reason to publicly bash MLS. We know that JK, like many coaches throughout sports, dissembles quite bit so this is the right thing to do here.

    As to MLS player selection, I think only Benny and perhaps Lletget have legitimate gripes and excluding a talented player for fear of his being a disruptive influence is legitimate (eg, Clint Mathis wristwatch in Germany)
     
  7. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Understood but IMO that's a function that we don't have talent that's really above MLS. If that's the case, they should stay domestic IMO.
     
  8. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    More MLS players, prior to 2015 and 2016, have legitimate cases within the JK era.
     
  9. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    If the "talent is above MLS" then why not guide them to MLS (anyway) and have the overall talent within MLS improve? Seems like a decent route to having (and creating more) "MLS talents" who are truly top-class and worthy of any manager and program.
     
  10. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    #60 Marko72, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
    I disagree with that very premise. Our national team has generally been built around a "spine" as Klinsmann puts it, from well before Klinsmann took charge, of players clearly above the level of MLS, supplemented by some MLSers. That said, only rarely, and very inconsistently has Europe truly benefited those players more than MLS has, particularly as time has gone on.

    EDIT: Even more convincingly, look at the group of players (American-raised, that is) over the years who went to Europe young to be trained. How many of them could one say have reached their potential? Or even become a particularly strong player for us? If it works out well for Pulisic--and I surely hope it does--he'll be in a class of one. Well, two, if one counts John O'Brien, and one would have to go back to John O'Brien.
     
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  11. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    Nov 4, 2011
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Just continuing on the idea of a 60 team domestic league, here is a list of top 100 media markets (radio, but close enough) from which 60/70 should be doable. These don't include Canada.

    http://www.newsgeneration.com/broadcast-resources/top-100-radio-markets/.
     
  12. kokoplus10

    kokoplus10 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He's still very good, but Bradley hasn't looked quite the same ever since that foot injury prior to the World Cup.

    I'm shocked that no one ever brings this up.
     
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  13. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Because that doesn't make our best players better which IMO is what the USMNT needs rather than increasing the level of play in the 20th best league.
     
  14. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    True, but I blame that on the fact that Bradley is a polarizing figure.
     
  15. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    But it does make our (consistent and available) pool of players "better" (in the not so distant future) as MLS raises its rank among the top leagues in the world, yes?

    Is there evidence that sending (the top) players outside of MLS makes those players better, or aids the USMNT program?
     
  16. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I was, perhaps, unclear. I mean at the current time our best players are MLS level with one/two exceptions. We have depth that is all above the ralston line but not top-end talent.

    I disagree but YMMV.

    I think you're omitting the two Americans who are UCL players: subotic and Rossi.

    Conversely, who has MLS solely developed that is a world-class player?
     
  17. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I really admire MB and his father even more so (I'm over the beatings that his Princeton team's game us); I agree that he just hasn't been the same since returning to MLS. Not sure the reason but the decision to build our team around him hasn't panned out yet. Bummer.
     
  18. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    Eddie Pope?

    Or at the time in 2002, he and a handful of his USMNT teammates who were MLS products had a very productive WC.

    "Solely developed" is a tough guideline (and I don't think any league anywhere would try to hold itself to that specific standard, given how often players move among clubs), but MLS has "produced" impactful players like Dempsey, Bradley, Beasley and Donovan certainly.
     
  19. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    A shame then that those players didn't consider themselves "American" first and foremost. It happens. And the USMNT can and will benefit from other reverse examples.
     
  20. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    World-class player? You're stepping up the ante a whole lot there, since that's never been the norm even for our best players. However, if one wants to say that as the standard, and one is willing to be a little bit liberal, one could say that Landon Donovan came closer to the "world class standard"--one could even arguably say that he reached it--primarily being developed through MLS than any player who was primarily developed through Europe except for Subotic and Rossi, neither of which have felt their ties to the US meant a thing (and only one of which "grew up" in the US, mind you).

    Pretty much all of our great goalkeepers, even, apart from Keller were brought up through and largely developed by MLS.
     
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  21. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    LD and dmb were developed at Bradenton iirc.

    I feel that all of those players (ex LD) were made better by their time playing at levels higher than MLS. YMMV.
     
  22. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    Yes, and every star player everywhere is also "developed" by their youth national team set-ups, when they are involved in such.

    Yes, or maybe.

    And again, we have no evidence to support the hypothetical of how good the likes of Beasley or Dempsey or Bradley may have become (with the NT) had those guys never opted to sign with UEFA clubs but rather had stayed in MLS.

    Also, Kyle Beckerman is world class, it could be argued. ;)
     
  23. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    #73 DHC1, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
    Marko,

    My point is not to dissemble and apologies if it looks like I'm moving goal posts. We probably have diametric views on what's best for the USMNT and that's fine with me: I appreciate a good debate and certainly appreciate that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

    Your point re: LD is fair although i view him as both an outlier and really was developed at Bradenton.

    To simplify, I agreed with the path that McHead, Bradley, DMB, Mathis, Dempsey, Howard, Keller, boca, friedel et al took in that

    1) they recognized that there are levels of play above MLS at the time
    2) they believed that they could play at a higher level
    3) most returned to MLS later on to give back.

    I think that all of these players benefited from their time overseas but YMMV.

    I believe things are different today because

    1) MLS is far better than it was so there are less leagues that are a level of play above MLS. This is really important in my mind as it's unclear whether a move to BL2 is better or lateral and that's a big distinction.
    2) our top end players aren't as good as our historical top-end players. I don't see any Americans in MLS who could definitely start for a mid-tier Premiership team but again YMMV.
    3) I don't really know what to think about someone who can't crack the starting line at a leading team in a top 4 league and therefore plays in their reserves: they could be better than an everyday player in MLS but not good enough to play for teams that are clearly above MLS level.
     
  24. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I'd count Steve Cherundolo as well btw.

    I have high hopes that someone of the Pulisic, Zelalem, Hyndman, Rubio, CCV crowd will pave the way for future American players deep into the UCL and WC(!). I'm sure that most will wash out but it's a numbers game.
     
  25. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    Agreed that it's impossible to argue against a moot point.

    I personally believe that playing against better players makes one better.
     

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