Black People Don't Play Soccer? -- the book

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by Scotty, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    Has anyone heard of this? Looks like it was published in December:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Black-People-Dont-Play-Soccer/dp/0982058748/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234091337&sr=1-1"]Black People Don't Play Soccer? -- by Robert Woodard[/ame]

    And here is a review from the Sam's Army website:

    http://www.sams-army.com/index.php?Mlist=content_full&Article_id=321
     
  2. Master O

    Master O Member+

    Jul 7, 2006
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  3. OrlandoEngelaar

    Jul 19, 2008
    CA
    Altidore, Beasley, Adu, Wynne, Pope, Onyewu, Eddie Johnson, Sanneh.
     
  4. sostoked

    sostoked Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Denver
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    sounds like the point is that until pickup soccer is played by inner-city youths, we won't be a world power. I think that seems to be a general consensus
     
  5. broomtree

    broomtree New Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    Club:
    --other--
    athleticism isn't key to being a great soccer player.
     
  6. DCUdiplomat96

    DCUdiplomat96 Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i havent read the book im gonna order it....As for a Black american soccer Player there arent very many... I mean a Black american with no direct foreign ties. Adu, Cory Gibbs and Guch have foreign ties.... maybe a Black man from the Hood??/ maybe from the South... yeah you have Beasly, Pope, and EJ. But they are the few. Who is it out there now? There isnt alot of soccer being played in the 'Hood. Its not like we are playing in droves/
     
  7. DCUdiplomat96

    DCUdiplomat96 Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I think you have to have a deeper definition of athletism.... cause pretty much every other team plays that now days... heck the '02 US WC team was as atheletic as it gets. ask the Germanys lolollol Ill betcha they say Jesse Owens lolol
     
  8. OrlandoEngelaar

    Jul 19, 2008
    CA
    Theres a whole shitload playing in MLS, USL, and College. I only listed the ones that played for NT.
     
  9. DCUdiplomat96

    DCUdiplomat96 Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But still there really isnt a abundance of them to impact Black communities, Im from DC and grew up in Atlanta, believe Me Soccer is not the Number one priority in those areas.
     
  10. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
    The guy lost the plot for me, as soon as he said the "turn the Kobe Bryants into soccer" Not relizing that Kobe Bryant was a soccer player at first but wasent good enough for any pro level and switched to basketball at 14 because he dominated that.
     
  11. zrwoodard

    zrwoodard New Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Tampa
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A friend just called me up excited to see a Big Soccer discussion on the book. I just wanted to jump in and hopefully provide some clarity on what I wrote.

    I can't boil a 400 page book down to a single post but here are a couple of thoughts. Economically, soccer can use the infusion of African-American soccer fans that now only support football and basketball.

    I don't know how anyone could get the idea from the title that I am suggesting that the entire US National Team be black. What I think is that we could move closer to what EPL teams put on the field, an interesting blend of cultures.

    What do US Soccer fans always complain about? Lack of imagination, lack of skill, too predictable, too boring. So to get the right blend of players, we have to face a number of issues. The media, how soccer fans support the game, our player development system, and facing up to our racial issues from ALL perspectives. Its about taking advantage of all of the coutries natural talent. To ignore such a significant block of athletic talent is simply foolish. To continue throwing our hands up in the air and not sell the game to black America is self destructive. We have a decent national side. I no longer fear us going into the World Cup and being destroyed 4-0. We only need 3-4 impact players that I believe could develop if our talent pool included a few of the superathletes that now play exclusively in the NFL and NBA. More importantly, those players would be part of a soccer culture that had them playing in the streets like youngsters
    in other countries.

    As you read the book, you'll say I'm a genius and other places you might think - What an idiot. But whatever you do - get up off your you know what to support the beautiful game.
     
  12. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007
    But you still lose the plot, once you say this because some of the best "superathletes" in the NFL and NBA played soccer when they were younger but were not good enough to stand out/ or go pro so they switched sports and dominated those sports. Such players include, Chad Johnson,Leon Washington,Atari Bigby, TJ Houshmenzadah,Kobe Bryant,Baron Davis, and Kevin Garnett. So your point does get moot when you see soccer rejects dominating other sports. And also its a slap to face to soccer players, not saying they are the superathletes. I mean Jozy Altidore,Johann Smith,Marvell Wynne,etc are not African American "superathletes".
     
  13. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    ever wondered why other countries don't put their "superathletes" in their national teams either?
     
  14. zrwoodard

    zrwoodard New Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Tampa
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With all due respect, I spent two years of research on the book to correct misconceptions like that. Kobe grew up in Italy with his father who played professional basketball there. He was exposed to the game and developed a fondness of the game that very few African Americans are exposed to. He was raised in a soccer culture where basketball was secondary.Kobe stopped playing soccer when he moved back to Philadelphia with his father. He never tried to be a professional soccer player and in no way shape or form do I ever say that.

    Its hard to make a point when the very idea that a Kobe could arise from America and become a great player is so casually dismissed. Much of the bias is size based. Lots of soccer fans don't know that we are on the verge of an era where world class 6'5 players like Italy and Bayern Munich star Luca Toni become a common sight.

    I'm not shocked that people who haven't read the book can take potshots solely based on the title. But if you are a real US Soccer fan this is about far more than black and white. Its about finding solutions to becoming better.
     
  15. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007

    yea and those solutions are kids playing more streetball, practicing more at a younger age, and not rotting away in college ball for 4 years(which is not a professional environement). Their are a lot of places that have all-black soccer teams. For example in Rosedale,NY. The whole town is made up of African American kids playing soccer day and night. Any yet only one(Kadeem Dacress(?)) was good enough to be a pool player for the U-18 USNT. Same thing with Elmont,NY. etc. Their are alot of African Americans kid who play soccer, but eventually dont like it because they are not good enough and it takes trememdous practice hours to be good.
     
  16. zrwoodard

    zrwoodard New Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Tampa
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    All sports are based on what we refer to as a numbers game. If you take all the African American kids who play soccer year round, it wouldn't amount to much. How many NBA or NFL players has that community produced. I'm not qualified to comment on that specific area because I've never heard of it before. What level of coaching do they have? Most urban soccer programs are still very new and its still early to pass judgement. Second, they were not designed as competitive programs. See Soccer in the Streets and America Scores. Again, if you are really interested in understanding why this happens, its all in the book. I know from my own personal experiences and those of others like me that playing soccer frequently means going out on a limb in a social sense. I'm sorry but the tone of the response is why bother. If that is incorrect, you have my sincere aoplogy.
     
  17. AguiluchoMerengue

    Oct 4, 2008
    South Carolina
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    even though i will have to read the book to have a better answer for the debate.

    I will have to go with the author here.

    Competitive "black" america has not been introduced to competitive soccer just yet.

    Heck not even competitive hispanic america.

    Competitive soccer in the state is mostly rich clubs in the suburbs of an upper middle class college families.

    Other than LA, New York and Miami, very few people outside of this social class has the chance to play odps and expensive clubs.

    I agree that with more urban blacks and hispanics or mexicans involved with competitive soccer, the US will be more dominant.

    Think of Hugo Perez for example.

    Like I told you before, I dont think Kobe would be Pele, but competitive blacks like him would make the game much more exciting and much more competitive.

    Im not saying a 6 6" defender is automatically good, but is hard to pass him by simply bc they have the advantage of using their big bodie to push you around.

    As a 5 7" player, you have to be much more skilled to compete vrs a bigger and stronger player.
     
  18. zrwoodard

    zrwoodard New Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Tampa
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Aguilucho. I totally agree with you on the Latin players. I coached this past season at a school with mostly Mexican American players and none played for a club team. There are no organized teams in their area and they suffered greatly from the transition from playing street ball to being on a team. As for the size thing, have any of you ever stood side by side next to an NFL cornerback, running back or the smaller wide receivers? Don't believe the official stats. The 6'0" player is usually about 5'10". The weight is sport specific. There would be no need to train and add the upper body bulk needed for football. Like I said all sports are a numbers game. I just want the pond stocked with some better fish. Do me a favor just to prove a point. Google the roster of a US U17 or 20 National Team from 5 years ago or further. See how many made it at the pro level and how many the national team. The ratio is pretty slim.
     
  19. #1 Feilhaber and Adu

    Aug 1, 2007


    Its not "why bother" for me, which is why i want more and all African Americans to become soccer fans. its more of the feeling of "soccer players we have now arent as good as what we could have" when we take on the world. And to that extent i disagree because some the best African American athletes in America are playing soccer Jozy Altidore,Johann Smith,Marvell Wynne,etc. And while numbers would be in our favor, it would only increase depth not talent level in the sport of soccer. We should look at Hollland, we have alot(and i mean alot) more soccer players in the US than Holland but Holland has hundreds of players with the Amazing talent, because its the way they developed, not the number of people they had.
     
  20. Bolivianfuego

    Bolivianfuego Your favorite Bolivian

    Apr 12, 2004
    Fairfax, Va
    Club:
    Bolivar La Paz
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    This is an interesting title for this book, i always thought US soccer will never produce a ronaldinho or a world class player until soccer hits up the ghettos or hoods in the US. Thats how you get these good kids from countries like brasil and argentina, they are doing what kids here in the hood' are, trying to get out of poverty through their sport.

    Carlos tevez used to play in argentina as a child on the streets for money, look at him now.
     
  21. zrwoodard

    zrwoodard New Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Tampa
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The best athlete isn't the fastest, tallest, or strongest. He is a combination of physical ability and skill along with the mentality and capacity to perform best under pressure. That's my definition and I'm sticking to it. So when I say that we don't have our best athletes playing soccer its because there is no African-American player that you can rank with the likes of Kobe or Chad Johnson. Jozy and Freddy have tremendous upside but at this time both are loaned out bench players in Europe. Unfortunately, we can't market soccer to the black community to draw the best with bench players. Without a community to support the players, its hard to get the youngsters to stay in the sport.

    I still take a little exception to the suggestion that black athletes turn to basketball or football because they are substandard soccer players. The age when they leave the game is about 15. There is a study from US Soccer I have buried in piles of research which states the majority of US National Team players were late bloomers, not the cream of the crop at 15.

    I didn't write this solely to talk about Black Americans and soccer, I wrote it as a US fan who is proposing several solutions to growing the game which in turn will help the game in Black America.

    First, please don't sit at home Wed, night. Find someone to watch the game with. I f you don't know what I'm talking about shame on you. Go to a public place, wear something patriotic, And above all - have a good time. Be positive and passionate. Don't loudly tell the outsiders we suck. Save it for the soccer family. Hope its cold with freezing rain for our Mexican guests.
     
  22. Somas of Columbus

    Somas of Columbus New Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    Washington DC
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Why does everything have to be about race in this country? Don't you people know that race is a social construct developed by ruling powers to subdivide it's underpins...come on now!
     
  23. VAComet85

    VAComet85 Member

    Dec 23, 2007
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Many comments I hear about this topic in discussions with friends sound like the typical mass generalizations I've been hearing since I was a kid unfortunately.

    A) Inner-city minorities of non-hispanic backgrounds don't play soccer.
    B) Inner-city minorities of non-hispanic backgrounds are the best at/are the backbone of some of America's greatest sports. (BBall, Gridiron, Track and Field)
    C) If inner-city minorities of non-hispanic backgrounds play soccer we will dominate the world.

    Soccer is a great sport and providing for more inner-city kids to enjoy it would be awesome. However, I don't make the (il)logical leap from inner-city stereotypes of athleticism and desire to automatic soccer world domination. I believe getting kids started early and creating a true passion for the sport is the most important piece to the puzzle. But in the US, that's case everywhere.

    However, it would be interesting to see a real scientific, statistical look at the number of national team players in the USA from inner-city, mid- to low income backgrounds as compared to the great teams around the world like Brazil, Spain, Argentina, etc. If for no other reason but to hear the amazing stories some of those players must have.
     
  24. Homa

    Homa Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Aachen
    Club:
    FC Schalke 04
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I think that is the problem with all those Kobe comparisons. Every sports requires a unique set of talents and skills, latter are a result of training. So there is no telling if Kobe or Michael Jordan or whoever would become a world class soccer player if they only had opted for it.
    Of course developing world class athlete in any sport is to a certain degree a numbers game, so it is positive to have a player pool as big as possible. But it is not correct saying that any sport lost a future superstar just because he is wildly successfull at a different sport.

    What is missing in the US are role models of US soccer superstars and their public and financial success. They would inspire more youth to take soccer seriously and thus increasing the player pool and the potential to find a new superstar.

    But the real bottle necks are the training, the playing opportunities and the competition. If they are top notch, even a relativly small pool can generate a good amount of very good soccer players. If they are not, one has to wait for the once in a generation (or lifetime) player that can overcome those obstacles with talent, grit and luck alone.
     
  25. Dominican Lou

    Dominican Lou Member+

    Nov 27, 2004
    1936 Catalonia
    Two things need to be done:

    1) Make soccer more accessible, popular and desirable for ALL social classes aside from a few upper-middle class whites and some South American and Mexican Latinos.

    This includes black Americans from the large cities as well as the small towns in the South. This also includes the tens of millions of middle and working-class whites (yes, they exist, not all "poor people" are of color) who right now only follow football, baseball and basketball.

    2) Provide these new kids with coaches that know a thing or two about soccer. While soccer in the US is slowly getting more popular, it's doing so with kids and teenagers, not with middle-aged adults who are the ones that are doing the coaching.

    Unfortunately, #2 is more problematic. If you can achieve #1 you'll have thousands of kids that'll be coached by guys that have never played soccer in their lives. And even if they've played it, they're not really into it, don't know squat about strategy, formations, etc.
     

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