Another way to think about listing prospects/players

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by Dave Marino-Nachison, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    I thought about putting this in the new "Player Rankings" thread, then decided that conversation was fine the way it was. If you'd rather discuss lists of player ratings, you might be better served here:’s-2019-player-rankings.2108027/

    Anyway: I increasingly find myself wondering about players in terms of if/how they might help advance the MNT program, with the general notion being that a pool made up mainly of players at Level X probably needs to become a pool with more players at Level Y if the program is going to move from one level to another.

    It's not exactly rocket science, though it probably requires some shared definitions. For the sake of conversation, let's say useful definitions of MNT levels are something like:
    1. Can reasonably expect regular World Cup semifinals or better
    2. Can reasonably expect regular World Cup quarterfinals or better
    3. Can reasonably expect regular World Cup advancement or better
    4. Can reasonably expect World Cup qualification and frequent advancement
    5. Stuff we dare not discuss
    Most of you will probably agree that we are at 3 or 4, depending on your mood/eggnog consumption levels/time spent on Twitter. Then let's say useful definitions of player levels are something like:
    1. Among the world's elite (for this to be meaningful, this probably needs to be something like "top X00," whether generally or by position, but I don't really have a good idea about what that X should be)
    2. At the level of standout players on teams at or about the level of CL knockout stage
    3. At the level of standout players on teams in Big 5 leagues
    4. At the level of regular players/contributors on teams in Big 5 leagues
    5. At the level of standout players on teams just below the Big 5 league level
    6. Stuff we dare not discuss
    Most of you will probably agree that the bulk of the most meaningful part of our pool (let's say, roughly, the top 30) is at around 4 or 5, with some players at higher levels, and that it is reasonable to think that for the MNT to move up a level, we need more players at higher levels.

    How many and at what levels? I dunno. It might be discernible through study of other teams' pools, which of course I'm too lazy to do.

    Perhaps further complicating things is that there's a time element to this conversation. Just a few years ago, a savvy observer might reasonably have said, for example, that a 15-year-old Christian Pulisic had the potential to reach a certain level, but that he wasn't there at the time.

    Still, it seems reasonable when considering prospects to think about both what they might become eventually, and when. One example that seems useful: There's arguably a level of U.S. prospect, however rare, that might be expected to be part of the top 30 before the end of their U20 cycle, which seems like a reasonable shorthand for a player who could be expected to reach a high level over the course of his career.

    I think I'd better stop here -- and, I suppose, ask whether anybody thinks this is useful, or has applied thinking like this to how they think about our pool and prospects. List-type rankings accomplish one thing; this maybe does something else, and perhaps they complement each other.
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  2. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    I think you are a level too optimistic.
    Our MNT is at Levels 4-5 as you define the levels and the players on the team are at Levels 5-6. Your estimates are more related to pre 2015-2019 teams.
  3. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    I guess folks could debate that all day and night, and why not! But it still seems like either way, we have a pretty good sense of what's good enough to reach the level we've historically reached, given a reasonably healthy and motivated group that gets some breaks, and that it'll take something else to progress further.
    butters59 repped this.
  4. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    United States
    May 4, 2017
    I think those player levels should be what we are shooting for. But we, on this date and looking at the last two rosters, have:

    (2) players at Level 3 possibly
    (4) players at Level 4 possibly
    (0) players at Level 5
    A bunch of players below that, some possibly with room to grow but many not.

    Your rankings would be useful for England or Germany or this time, for the USMNT, I would broaden it:

    1. A regular starter on a perennial Champions League knock out team
    2. A regular starter on a mid-table Top 5 League team
    3. A stand out performer on a Top 10 league team or starter on a bottom table Top 5 team
    4. One of the best players in Liga MX or MLS or 2nd tier of Germany or England
    5. Don't dare discuss
    6. Lovitz

    On this list we have

    1 - 2 or 3
    2 - 3
    3 - 3
    4 - 6?
    5 - 10?
    6 - 1
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  5. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  6. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
  7. Winoman

    Winoman Drinkin' Wine Spo-De-O-De!

    Jul 26, 2000
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

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