2021 Breakout Youngster

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Patrick167, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    Of the group you mentioned, I think Dempsey was the most skilled, but I'm not sure where he fits in with the newer crowd. somewhere in the middle, upper half....better than McKennie and Adams but not Pulisic or Reyna? Dempsey was world class when it comes to mentality. Put that together with very good skill and decent athleticism and good size and you have....Dempsey.

    Pulisic (imo), is much like a Donovan with greater skill but possibly less vision. Donovan also was more durable than Pulisic has been so far and he had incredible endurance to go with his top level speed (pretty rare). Take the other three, Beasley, Gooch and even Donovan....elevate their skill levels a notch and what do you have? The overall skill level now is significantly higher than it was 10-20 yrs ago and THAT (imo) is the significant difference. The best prospects are still top/freak athletes (the only one that wasn't from your example was Dempsey and he was not slouch).The difference is that now those top athletes ALSO have higher skill levels. Churning out top level players may not be the new norm on a yearly basis but I can't believe we will revert to anything close to the previous 20 years.
     
  2. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

    Oct 14, 2010
    Southern California-USA
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree Dempsey was one of a kind. He had a knack for knowing where to be for the score.
    Did he help us get a result? YES
    Did he make the team better? NO. Having him on the field is like playing with 10. His defense was sub-par. He was not a 2-way midfielder. Instead of a quick outlet to the flank he would rather look for the contact and get a foul call killing any chance of a counter which was our main attack. When he played as a forward and we were pinned in our end he was marked by a single CB because he was not going to beat anyone in a foot race.

    Now, our young players are starting to become more rounder in their game. I think Wes is closer to Jones' play. Reyna is a bigger version of his father which is good. Pulisic is trickier than Donavan was but mentally seems to be below Donovan's. Adams is way better than Armas ever was. Brooks is way better than Gooch, even in its prime. Is Dest better than Dolo, Dolo's game was simpler, defended better but Dest is at another level in the attack.
    Is Sargent better than Altidore? hard to tell with such a small sample size from Sarge. He seems to have a better motor, have more tools in the attack, better aerial game. Josey was a better free-kick taker.
     
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  3. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Dempsey's a good example of someone who did very well without an element of elite level athleticism. He had great tactical understanding, strong but not flashy skills, and great mentality.

    Donovan's speed was an elite athletic skill. Pulisic has that and your comp is pretty appropriate. Adams and McKennie are top flight athletes across the board, though Tyler's a smaller guy. Reyna doesn't have one key athletic ability -- I think he's a step slower than the rest of those -- but he's an incredible all around athlete, and combined with his size, make him a pretty fantastic athlete.

    As we're looking for who might pop from the lower groups, I'd focus on those with some level of high level athleticism. It's not that highly skilled players can't make it, it's just that it's easier to learn things like tactical sense rather than become an elite athlete.

    It doesn't mean you toss out or ignore the players who aren't that athletic; there will always be some players who have the skills or tactical sense to contribute without elite level athleticism. But it's hard to be a star without skills, tactical sense and athleticism, and the latter is hard to add.
     
  4. NietzscheIsDead

    NietzscheIsDead Member+

    United States
    May 31, 2019
    It seems bunched because they’re coming of age somewhat simultaneously. That bodes well for potentially raising the standard of team performance over a longer period of time. There will be older guys and younger guys who come into supplement or become part of the core group.

    These guys will actually have some real expectations to deal with because the top professionals and coaches in the world are now paying closer attention. Pulisic changed perceptions already like McBride and Dempsey among others did before him. Weston McKennie is the guy who is going to change the expectations of whether or not the team can actually win a World Cup.

    Sorry Wes, but that’s the burden that the other guys have set on the table for you. The baton is yours for the home stretch of the relay and they have put you in a position to win...you just have to be the guy who finishes in front of the best sprinters in the race.

    Unite the team and the country around our common values...yes, that includes everyone. That’s what leadership is about. It’s about putting your own desires and projects aside to bring everyone together for a common goal, which you already know about. The job with the national team is much bigger because you’re now talking about representing everyone in the country, not just those a person might prefer.
     
  5. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    What we're seeing right now is a hell of a lot more depth in each class. Look at the depth on the current U20 team (although their cycle was cancelled). Its incredible. Arguably our tenth best U20 central midfielder just started an MLS Cup final.

    Here's a sign of our development at the youth levels. Daryl Dike never represented a USYNT. Neither has Matthew Hoppe. That list goes on.

    So we're developing tons of depth at youth levels, and in each group a couple of kids are breaking thru into the "star" category.

    The fact is that we have a ton of depth at the U17 level. I hear gushing praise for some kids in MLS academies amongst the "youth watchers." Its just that with the cancellation of the U17 cycle, none of us are really getting to see them. The 2005 class at FC Dallas for instance is supposed to be ridiculous. Matthew Corcoran, for instance. A midfielder I had described to me as Xavi with a bulldog mentality. And youth experts say that the Philadelphia academy is even better than FCD right now. And FCD just had Justin Che go on loan to Bayern Munich.

    Oh, two words for this MLS season. Caden Clark.
    Keep your eyes on the prize and the prize is named Caden Clark of RBNY.
    He'll spend one season in MLS and then he'll be off to Leipzig.
    Caden Clark is 17. A ridiculous talent.

    Let's be honest. When you look at 98% of national teams on Earth, they don't have 10 "stars." They have a few. Sure, France is a different animal. It'll be a while before we get to that. Half of MLS is 10 years old or less.
     
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  6. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    I think your analysis and comparison of the players is very good and I agree. I would add that some of the qualities that the younger players are lacking may very well come with age. I would say that Claudio was unique in that I don't think we have ever had a player that was able to control the tempo as he was able to do. I really haven't seen Gio too much but I haven't seen that from him. He is bigger, faster and probably more aggressive than his father.

    The other thing is that, in terms of quality (not qualities), if we are to compare them across generations, I believe we should put the dual nats that were raised and developed abroad in a separate category because they only indirectly are an indicator of our progress. Guys like Brooks, should be compared with Dooley, for example. Stewart, Wegerle, Dest, et al should all be in the same group. We didn't develop any of them. Any improvement or decline in our dual nats would be due to 1. improved ability to recruit due to our improved quality as a national team and 2. luck.

    Beyond that I I think your analysis was excellent.
     
  7. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    I never realized so many of our young kids were playing so far up!
     
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  8. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

    Oct 14, 2010
    Southern California-USA
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It is getting harder to excel without Athleticism. Take Alex Mendez, he has the best shot in the U20 team, can make passes if given time and space. He was exposed once we were playing elite teams, he just couldn't keep up with the play. Another player that comes to mind is Keaton Parks, he probably has the best passing game I have seen in a long time but the kid was too soft when defending. His version of defense is just containing, never getting into the opponent's face.
     
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  9. rgli13

    rgli13 Member+

    Mar 23, 2005
    Memphis, Tn
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    dempsey would be completely written off now cause he didnt do anything til he was 25 or so.

    its like if roldan was sold this summer and became amazing.
     
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  10. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Although Dempsey was still in MLS, he was highly regarded, although his rap career was not quite so much.
     
  11. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It’s very critical that clubs like FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union become super clubs, even over my Atlanta United. We need teams to believe that youth development is the key to success.
     
  12. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    FCD always seems to do just enough to fall out of the top tier and compete for 3rd place. I have more hope for Philly but I think the key to becoming a super club (at least in the short term MLS version) is to combine a top academy with strategic and effective use of dp's. The ideal dp, in my mind would be a guy like Lodeiro or Keane. Ideally, they would also mentor the younger guys so I would lean more toward a slightly older (not over the hill) player that will provide leadership and continuity. (the top academy players won't provide continuity because they will likely be on their way to Europe after a few years.)
     
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  13. Calling BS

    Calling BS Member+

    Orlando City
    United States
    Jan 25, 2020
    I think the there’s still a place for a very skilled and very high soccer IQ player that may just meet the minimum athleticism to compete. I can’t think who that player is right now. Maybe Ledezma?
     
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  14. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Its a challenge. None of the clubs that have had a phase as the top team in terms of 1st team academy impact have won MLS Cup (RSL, NYRB, FCD, Philly, etc.) But three of the four have won Supporter's Shields, and a club like FCD made the semis of the CCL (winning the home 1st leg over Pachuca comfortably). They're having success, but its very difficult to maintain that momentum in a league with 27 teams. Philly just sold two of their best players in McKenzie/Aaronson. Will the next batch be as good in 2021? Personally, I expect Philly to take a step back. They have a lot of young players on that roster, but none that I see as ready to fill that gap (including Fontana, who I don't think is Aaronson).

    Philly and FCD have spent a ton of money on DPs in the recent past, and have gotten in wrong. Marco Fabian in Philly was terrible. We could go on a long rant about FCD's history with DPs. So these clubs do spend money on these types of players. They just haven't gotten it right.

    The truth is that MOST of MLS is making headway on their academy and young player development initiatives. Colorado is making a lot of headway right now. They seem to be "all in." They have the most players on the U23 team training down in Guadalajara right now (Vines, Bassett as homegrowns. Lewis, Trusty as young players they acquired). They just went on another young player signing spree. Quietly doing very well.

    I see progress being made at LAFC, and think THAT'S a club that might get the academy and DP mix right.
    Seattle is working hard behind the scenes, and are another club with the potential to get it right.
     
  15. Calling BS

    Calling BS Member+

    Orlando City
    United States
    Jan 25, 2020
    Here’s the difference. These kids you are talking about are playing in the USL. OC is horrendous, but Rivera still got a great experience playing in the USL with better players than if he had played U16s. Miami was fun to watch and they were stacked with young kids playing for their USL team. Then of course you have a kid like Clark playing in MLS. These opportunities were never here before and are building our depth you are referring to. This is the top of the development structure that is new, I could go on about the bottom of the structure that is new also.
     
  16. Calling BS

    Calling BS Member+

    Orlando City
    United States
    Jan 25, 2020
    I would think Inter Miami has to be one of the next up and comers. Their is just too much youth talent in S. FL. I worry about Kreis being involved (I’m not a fan of his). They are also a new team and some young inexpensive players to fill up roster spots would make them stronger so you would think there would be motivation there.
     
  17. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Agree. Just if I am placing bets on a star level player, I am looking for that.
     
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  18. KALM

    KALM Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Boston/Providence
    Dempsey might have actually won this informal award if this thread had existed back in 2005. He was 21 (and uncapped) at the start of the year and was named to the MLS Best XI by the end of it (after already winning Rookie of the Year the season prior).

    The main difference nowadays is that after a year or two like that, he would have already transferred to Europe long before his actual 2007 move.
     
  19. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Somerville, MA
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    We'll see. Inter Miami has a lot of potential, as does Austin.
    LAFC got off the ground very quickly, and played two U17 homegrown teenagers in the first team last year.
    They're in the best youth market in the country. Even while sharing it with LAG, they can consistently churn players out.
    By the way, all three of LAFCs homegrown teens are dual nationals. All three just accepted invitations to Mexico camp (Christian Torres, Eric Duenas, and Tony Leone). So there's that problem...............................

    It really does take 10 years to really get churning. I believe last season was Philly's 10th season in the league.
    They had signed a whole bunch of homegrowns previously (Zach Pfeffer and company).
    Last season it all fell into place in terms of having a roster of homegrown players that were good enough to WIN GAMES.

    So half of the teams in the league are 10 years old or less. We have to be pretty patient with them.
    Two of the big dissapointments in terms of big market older clubs in this space have been Houston and Chicago.
    Houston is quietly making gains behind the scenes. They're really talking the talk, and trying to catch up.
    They have two former USYNTs coaches in place right now with Tab Ramos in charge of Houston and Wilmer Cabrera in charge of their reserve team.
     
  20. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Have we ever done retroactive awards? It might be a bit difficult to ignore the "future" but it might be interesting.
     
  21. KALM

    KALM Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Boston/Providence
    #221 KALM, Mar 9, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
    So, pre-2016? Not sure, but I'll give it a shot using the same criteria we're using now -- U-22 with fewer than 10 caps at the start of the calendar year.

    2000: Carlos Bocanegra
    2001: Landon Donovan (runner up: Tim Howard)
    2002: Damarcus Beasley (runner up: Cory Gibbs or Taylor Twellman)
    2003: Bobby Convey
    2004: Eddie Johnson (runner up: Oguchi Onyewu)
    2005: Clint Dempsey
    2006: Jonathan Spector (runner up: Justin Mapp or Kenny Cooper)
    2007: Michael Bradley (runner up: Benny Feilhaber)
    2008: Maurice Edu (runner up: Charlie Davies)
    2009: Jozy Altidore (runner up: Jose Torres)
    2010: Omar Gonzalez
    2011: Brek Shea (runner up: Juan Agudelo)?
    2012: Timothy Chandler?
    2013: John Brooks
    2014: Deandre Yedlin
    2015: Jordan Morris?

    I have a lot of question marks for the last 5 years on my list. I felt weird about giving 2012 to Chandler since that was around the time he was declining callups and only made 1 USMNT appearance that year, but I couldn't think of any other U-22 players in good form that year who played any more regularly for the USMNT. Morris wasn't even a professional yet in 2015. But again I couldn't come up with any other good option for that year.
     
  22. Eldinter

    Eldinter Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Club:
    FC Internazionale Milano
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bingo on Deuce's mentality. I used to say that if Donovan had Dempsey's mentality, he would have succeeded at Bayern, or heck, ended up at Real Madrid. And now we have starters at Barca, Juve, etc. Dempsey got a later start since he came through college system and old school MLS, played box to box mid a while. Nowadays A Dempsey level talent goes to Europe earlier and skips Fulham.
     
  23. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    I would say that is probably true for more players than just Donovan. If not Bayern/Real Madrid/Barca, than at least top teams in top leagues.
     
  24. cyberthoth

    cyberthoth Member

    Nashville SC
    Aug 7, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the key point you ignore with this though is that those "second tier" type players are additionally a lot better than comparable second tier players in the Donovan/Dempsey/Gooch era. Will Aaronson be better than Jose Torres or Benny Feilheiber? Will McKenzie better than DeMerit or Spector? Will Dike be better than Robbie Findley? I feel good that the answer is going to be a resounding yes and honestly you have to give even odds that some of these "second tier" players will end up being as good as the first tier players of the Donovan era. Would it really be surprising for Aaronson to be a decent starter on Everton like Donovan was on those loans. Maybe we can say Feilhaber is a good cautionary tale in that he was also well thought of at 20 years old and flamed out like some of these players today eventually will but even there did he ever establish a consistent starting role for a team as good as Aaronson is on?
     
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  25. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
    #225 #1 Feilhaber and Adu, Mar 13, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
    yea but the lyrics in Don't tread were fantastic. if you really listen to the rhymes and his mentality and life story from the bottom to the top. here are some of dempseys snips:

    "Game took hold like the roots of a tree
    Think soccer ain't a sport?
    Then why'd NIKE sign me?

    Cause I got on my job
    And made the game ferocious
    I was born with a drive
    I got that from no coaches
    Big Hawk and Deuce
    Spitting truth in the booth
    Stop drop and role
    I brings down the roof
    Got nothing to lose
    And everything to prove
    Don't change the mood
    Cause we done payed our dues"

    "Best to Give away
    For the USA" - great USA promotion part here.

    "Haters wanna hate
    But man I'm feeling great

    Thanks to soccer
    I'm around more ice
    Then a hockey skate

    More cash than's in a bank
    No need for ya'll to rate"



    DON'T TREAD - YouTube

    Clint Dempsey – Don't Tread Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
     
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