Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by NewDadaCoach, Oct 1, 2022.
Page 6, and we still haven't developed a world-class player?
Tim Howard had an 18-24 month stretch where he was World Class. Hell, arguably from 2013 to into 2015. Club and National team play combined he was absolutely world class.
But see, the definition of "world class" is literally just: among the best in the world
And yeah Friedal/Keller/Howard have all hit that mark for a year+ stretch more than once in their careers (especially combining club/country play).
From Mid 2009-2012 Clint Dempsey was World Class.
If you're a top 5-10 player at your position as well as performing at both the club/country level, you're "world class" IMO.
What you and the other dude, IMO, are talking about are the elite level/1% players. And yeah, even at the best of arguments I would say we've not produced one of those, ever.
For me, world-class is someone who could start for most teams and country. Alphonso Davies and Hugo Sanchez are world-class because they would start for any club and country.
CP10, jonathan david, and giovani dos santos are elite players. Yes, they will start for many top-level clubs and countries but not FCB, Real Madrid, and England or France of the world.
Elite players could become World Class but the same thing can happen to the opposition side.
I’m fine if someone wants to include Friedel under their “world class” definition. He’s got the consecutive Premier League record and was making upward club movement at age 40, signing as the starter at Tottenham and helping them finish fourth.
display the conflation happening here. Again, "World Class" is literally just among the best in the world. "Elite" is literally the best of.
You can be World Class but not Elite.
You can also be World Class AND Elite ... but not play for certain clubs/countries (see Pele, Eusebio, Campos, De Bruyne, Falcao before his Prem move ... etc etc)
Thanks for getting back probably not going to shock you that we disagree but that's normal.
Like I said before I have a tighter definition and also don't put as much stock in International form. Not disregarding it completely but considering how many more matches there are at club level that's where I am looking first.
But to use your definition I still don't think the US has ever produced a World Class Player. Howard and Friedal were the closest and I think for periods were top 10 goal keepers but even then it was debatable and never for multiple seasons. I don't think there was ever a time that they were even the best keepers in their league. And yes both but in incredible performances for the US in important W.C. matches but we've all seen that before. How many times has Ochoa done that for Mexico? But I would never claim Ochoa is World Class.
In terms of Dempsey there was never a time that he was one of the ten best midfielders in the world. Even if you break it down by different types of midfielders I think it's a pretty big shout to say Dempsey was one of 10 best attacking mids in the world, at least for an extended time.
And this isn't meant to shit on the US it's just that there are a lot of players in the world. I mean for perspective I would say World Champs Argentina only have one World Class player (maybe 2-3 using your definition) and he's not currently world class.
Yeah I think World Class and Elite are synonyms.
Take this as an example. Since there's no true definition of World Class or Elite player in soccer.
Elite players for me are the army rangers, green berets, navy seals in the SO or SF. Elite are still very good and could be world-class one day
World Class are Devgru, Delta force, and SAS. World Class for me is the best of the best.
No, LOL ... but it's really down to this:
I don't. I believe they are two different things.
For instance .... Ronaldo and Messi are ELITE. Plenty of World Class folks that aren't them or their level. You don't have to be, IMO, at their level to be world class. Elite is exactly that for me.
Sure, but when you do things at the INT like Howard was doing (and Big Brad) it matters to the discussion. I mean there's an opposite Ochoa: Podolski was a World Class INT player but not club player, for instance. They both equal a player's totality.
Keylor Navas is a World Class GK IMO (and by your given def) ... and as he was breaking that World Class barrier with Levante to the point of being bought by REAL and pushing into their starting role, Howard was better at the club/international level. And Howard was winning the Concacaf GK of the year award over Navas while Navas was starting for REAL.
Brad won the PFA GK of the year in 02-03
Howard won it in 03-04 (and it wasn't even the best he'd been in the Prem or overall)
Dempsey was playing mostly out wide on the left/center forward for Fulham during the time I mentioned (and they had their Europa run). He was a utility FWD playing across the entire line (CF/LW/RW/withdrawn ST) and was torching the Prem and also was a top player in the Europa while also doing it for the National Team.
Exactly, there ARE a lot of players in the world.
I mean if you count how many say .... ST there are in the world, what do you think that number would be? There's over 60 just in the Prem btw.
So if you're a top 10, honestly you're Elite.
If you're hell, top 50 in the world you'd be world class just by % VS volume of players ... but if you were top 25 by most objective measures yeah, you'd be world class easily.
That's fine, but you've literally switched the definitions of the words/phrase themselves here.
Elite IS "the select group" superior to ... which is what Devgru/Delta/SAS are.
Davies relies a lot on his speed, so he prob won't have a long career. He's not like Jordi Alba who is more cunning. He's more like DeAndre Yedlin, but better.
The reason is that kids don't play enough. They only get 2 days a week, 1.5 hours each, at club at U8-U10. That is not enough. a 50 min game on the weekend, but with subs each kid is not playing 50 minutes.
Meanwhile Brazilian kids play 3 hours a day 7 days a week. Yes then the kids go to an academy. But they gain a lot of skills first through free play with other kids.
No wonder Brazil is the top nation for soccer prospects.
For me elite and World Class are Synonyms. You are basically talking about the best players in the world at a given time, who have proved it over time not just who is playing the best at that moment. So basically generational talents, that's world class again for me. Messi and Ronaldo are beyond that in they were multi-generational talents. Not just the best at their time but some of the best ever.
But I think this is one we'll have to agree to disagree on. I think the World Class term is used to broadly and put on players who really aren't remembered as being special after their time. But I think your definition is slowly becoming the more widely accepted one.
Not saying it doesn't matter but they need to be at a World Class level(or at least very close) for their clubs first otherwise we risk mistaking form for class. And I would never define Podolski as World Class.
I think Navas is/was a better keeper than Howard. This isn't a knock on Howard I think Navas is one of the most underrated players of this generation, if he was European or South American he would get more credit. Now this is true of Howard to if he were English but I still think Navas is better. Also leads into another part of my criteria that to be world class you have to do it at the highest level. Howard did it at the world cup (although never beyond R16) but to do at the highest club level you need to be at the biggest clubs, and while Howard started there he didn't last.
I personally don't put a lot of stock in the awards although Brad's was pretty legit, I think the Chelsea keeper actually had a better season but it was a 1 and 1a situation. They were clearly the best two and who is better was more preference. Having said that one season doesn't make a person World Class and neither were the best in the world at the time, but I do I think Friedal is the best argument for a US World Class player.
Howard wasn't the best that season and if the award had been voted on a month later wouldn't have won it. Again not to shit on Timmy he had a great career was regularly in the top 5 keepers in the league and the best outside the big 4-5-6 for multiple seasons. He was really good but was not consistently in the top 10 of keepers in the world.
He played very well during Fulham's Europa league run but it was the Europa League again world class has to do it at the top level, that's not the Europa League. Now I was just looking back at his Wiki and remembering that 2011-12 season which was pretty good. Forgot he came fourth in the player of the year awards but still balk at saying he was a top 10 forward in World Football at the time. I mean just off memory we got Messi, Ronaldo, Ibra, Suarez, Rooney, Van Persie, Cavani, Droghba that's 9 right there. If you are being specific to outside forward sure but we're ending up with a pretty big broad definition of world class with 100 players +. So if your definition of world class is the top 100+ players at any given time than yes Dempsey could be on that list.
Now just some perspective, he was linked with Liverpool as part of a swap deal for Jordan Henderson. Liverpool supporters were broadly horrified by the prospect. Now some of this is football prejudice for sure. The same player with a Brazilian passport is looked at differently, but these are also supporters who watch a lot of football and have watched a lot of football in their lives. They know their stuff and Dempsey was not seen in anyway shape or form as a World Class player even at his peak.
But I agree that he is the closest the US has come to a World Class outfield player.
Could we try to produce like, a hundred Milners, Khediras, and Barzaglis before we get ahead of ourselves?
Canada skipped all of that and made a world-class player. Why can't we?
As a child in Edmonton, Davies first played organized soccer with Free Footie, an after-school soccer league for inner-city elementary school students who cannot afford registration fees and equipment, or who lack transportation to games.[
Can't make money off that, can you?
Given that we also have immigrants from soccer rich cultures, it's probably a mtter of time before we hit the lottery also. But I'd prefer we approach it more like a job, with a steady stream of consistent output rather than once in a lifetime returns.
In America it's not too expensive to play basketball/baseball/football. And most pros went the path of high school -> college -> pro.
But soccer is a completely different animal. You're not even allowed to play in HS if you play in MLS Next.
If you want more free play, having kids constantly play competitive games is the exact opposite of what you want.
BTW, these days the path to pro basketball goes through clubs just as much as soccer. Baseball has never really followed the high school -> college -> pro path.
Yeah I never said "constantly play competitive"
They should play, with whomever else is willing to play. A mix of ages and skills can be good. Usually that's how it is if you're playing with the neighborhood kids.
And yes, basketball/baseball/football have seen the money in soccer and area stealing the business model. But kids still go the high school -> college -> pro route. I don't see that stopping anytime soon. Esp with NIL deals. The top talent in those sports go play in college, usually. You get a few exceptions of kids who are the best in HS and go straight to pro.
But not so for soccer. No college will make it near impossible to get to the MLS, but USL is somewhat likely, but even then you'll have to have played at the highest level pre-college (so MLS Next today).
The draft system for baseball/basketball/football is too engrained in our society. And who doesn't like college sports. It's a big revenue generator for the big colleges. Ohio State averages over 100k fans per home game.
Isn't baseball a mix? They play club/travel ball in the summer and fall but play for their HS's in the spring. I thought basketball was similar or are guys just not even playing for their HS's now?
I'm not sure if players are bypassing HS basketball completely, but club seems to be increasingly viewed as more important than HS, and playing for elite clubs seems to be virtually a prerequisite for recruitment to strong college programs now whereas it wasn't 20-30 years ago.
In the case of baseball, haven't a significant percentage of players always gone directly from HS to the pros?
That's my understanding too, I was just curious if club ball was replacing HS ball like it was in soccer. My understanding from friends who have kids in baseball was that even the top players still played High School in the spring, which doesn't seem to be the case in soccer anymore where the top guys are going into academies.
If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gets his wish the NBA will move away from the collegiate draft system and into the European Football Academy model. He's spoken about it in interviews in the past. Here's an opinion piece on this direction and what it might look like:
It's easiest to go pro in baseball. They play 160+ games a season and need a lot of players. So they seem to come from everywhere, but college is still a good path. Or HS to minor leagues. A lot come from overseas.
From a numbers standpoint it's the easiest to go pro.
The other sports are near impossible, esp basketball.
What the US needs are sports clubs. Where kids can play a variety of sports at early ages. Now they have to compete for time; it's hard for parents to fit in various sports due to scheduling conflicts.
That's only for PRIMARY players (first 14) ... no such restriction on the up to 10 others on a club's roster.
pickup soccer is the only way a kid will get enough minutes. I don't see any other way.