Project 2010: Attainable?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Asprilla9, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Asprilla9

    Asprilla9 Member

    Dec 15, 2000
    Beaverton, OR
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have to admit I was a bit surprised by Wahl's skepticism vis-a-vis Project 2010. With our budding young talent, I had just assumed that the US would be a fairly serious contender by then. I thought it was a given, actually. I mean, we already have a Final 8 under our belts...and many say we were unlucky not to make the Final four. And that team had only one non-goalkeeper with a serious European pedigree. I don't think I need to mention to you how markedly that number will increase just by 2006...not to mention 2010.

    Listen, I'm not unrealistic....USA will not be Brazil or Germany (or England, or Netherlands) by 2010. USA may never be those world powers. But I definitely think the USA could be a darkhorse favorite in '06 much the way Colombia was a darkhorse favorite in '94. I don't think I'm going out on a limb in saying that at I too naive?
  2. Ronaldo's Idol

    Jun 13, 2004

    Well, first of all, do you not consider John O'Brien and Claudio Reyna to both have had serious European pedigree prior to and for the 2002 WC?

    Also, 2010 is not that far away anymore, and I think it is becoming apparent that the US is just plain not going to be favorite to win it. I agree with Grant Wahl's statement that we can only hope to be considered darkhorses with an outside chance, and even that is ONLY if our current crop of youth talent really really pans out to their full potential.

    Currently, we have a squad where the best players are just average in the top leagues like the EPL, and to challenge for a world cup you really need better players than that. You need to have multiple players, each of which are among the best in the top 4 (EPL, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga). We have none, at least no field players. It is possible we could have some by 2010, but that is realistically unlikely.

    Maybe project 2018 is more like it??
  3. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Besides luck and perhaps a star goalscorer "on song", teams that do well are athletic and work hard and have either speed or size on top. The US doesn't have much size yet but potentially speed isn't a problem.

    The other thing the US need is a dip in form from Brazil and/or Argentina. It'd also be nice if England, Portugal, France and Holland reverted to form and forgot to qualify out of Europe.

    With no particular favorite, the US may be as good as any.

    PS. It does need to have ~ 20 field players in either top leagues or with top clubs playing regularly.
  4. elephantstone

    elephantstone Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    To be clear here, the goal of Project 2010 is to be a serious contender by 2010, not the winner or the favorite.
  5. galperin

    galperin Member

    Feb 1, 2001
    Maineville, OH
    I thought the goal of Project 2010 was to win it all. I am almost positive.
  6. voros

    voros Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Parts Unknown
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It seems to me that the US chances in 2006 are non-zero. Maybe 1 in 100 optimistically.

    As we saw in Euro 2004, it isn;t impossible for a dark horse to win one of these tournaments if things break the right way for them.

    And just postponing Project 2010 eight years is exactly the kind of thinking that forced us to start Project 2010 in the first place.

    The whole "project" thinking is simply wrong. Every year US Soccer should identify multiple areas of necessary improvement and tackle at least one of them. It should be an ongoing process of improving our National Team structure to the point where we can exploit our numerical advantages over every other contending country in the world.

    I felt like after we implemented a bunch of good stuff in 1998, all of this work kind of stopped. Time to start it up again.
  7. Ronaldo's Idol

    Jun 13, 2004

    OK, that is my bad, I should've figured that much.

    But, well, if the goal is to be as serious contender by 2010, well, Mission Accomplished!!! You make the quarters of a WC, lose a very very tight game to the eventual finalist where there was a suspect hand ball that would've meant a tie, and I think you have to be considered a serious contender. We must be considered as much of a contender as Germany, because we either outplayed them, or more conservatively, we competitively played them in the quaterfinal.

    You could argue that Germany themselves weren't really a serious competitor, as they were not going to beat Brazil without a miracle, some might argue. But then, how many "serious competitors" are there? 2, 3?
  8. elephantstone

    elephantstone Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    "The Project 2010 committee will work to identify U.S. Soccer's needs for player, coaching, refereeing and organizational development to reach the Federation's stated goals of being a contender for the World Cup title by the year 2010."
  9. Red Card

    Red Card Member+

    Mar 3, 1999
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Chances are we will be in a group with 2 European teams. That has been the case the last 4 world cups. The US has trouble with European teams. Until we get over that hump, we cannot even be considered dark horse favorites. If Arena leaves after the 2006 cycle, my choice would be Nowak because of his European pedigree and knowledge of the US players.
  10. ugaaccountant

    ugaaccountant New Member

    Oct 26, 2003
    Wow, awesome research! This is impressive :) I say we're on a good track for this.
  11. K.P.

    K.P. Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Some more proof that the goal was to be a contender by 2010, not the winner or even the favorite:

    "Development of young talent is the keystone to the massive eight-figure Nike-led effort to make the United States a World Cup contender by 2010."

    2002 was a successful run, but my personal take on project 2010 is that the goal is to make us a contender every four years, in the way that a country like Spain or HOlland is (putting aside their occasional qualifying lapses, LOL). I look at 2002 as a run equivalent to what an unheralded country like Bulgaria did in 1994. It was great, but it doesn't make us world cup contenders by itself. Now if we make it to the quarters in 2006... :D
  12. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Of course it's attainable. We had a good team in 2002 and made it to the quarterfinals. Our 2002 team was better than our 1998 team, our 2006 team will be better than our 2002 team, and I'm sure our 2010 team will be better than that one. I'm not expecting us to win the World Cup in the next few tries, but it's not out of the question. For now, getting out of the group stage is a success in my book.

    Also, if we have another quarterfinal run in 2006, we're looking at being a seeded team in 2010, which will help out a lot.
  13. XYZ1234

    XYZ1234 New Member

    Oct 26, 2002
    I'm not a cheerleader or homer type poster but I do think the US has a chance at being a "contender" in 2010. I would define a quarter final finish as a contender. It has nothing to do with winning the cup, being a favorite, or even playing in the final.

    If the US does well in 2006 they do have a shot at being a seed in 2010. I would call a seeded team a contender. That would far exceed any expectations I had for this nation when project 2010 was announced. If someone told me 6 years ago that US soccer would be where it is now I would have laughed at them.
  14. SgtSchultz

    SgtSchultz Member

    Jul 11, 2001
    Parts Unknown
    Project 2010 is a goal. Will it be reached? Probably not. However, the US will be in far better shape soccerwise than it has ever been in the past. Our talent level continues to grow. Who would have imagined the growth of our talent pool?

    I am no longer concerned if will get a replacement for Reyna or JOB. My biggest fear is losing a talented player to another country because he does not have a chance to make our squad.
  15. SgtSchultz

    SgtSchultz Member

    Jul 11, 2001
    Parts Unknown
    And another thing......for all those Eurosnobs and Latin Snobs who come on here repeatedly in the past claiming the US will never get good at soccer....Shut the hell up. The US is good and getting better. I used to read post after post from these snobs about how the US stinks. Where are you guys now?
  16. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 7, 1999
    Newton, MA USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Step 1 - go to World Rivalries

    Step 2 - Start a thread entitled "Donovan is World Class"

    Step 3 - Refresh screen often.

    Its like moths to a porch light in Summer.
  17. Winston Smith

    Winston Smith New Member

    Nov 17, 2003
    Well I have to say congratulations on sober, realistic opinions on this thread. If only it wasn't short term, before the retarded, ignorant, sams army clowns start hijacking it in a couple of hours 'like moths to a porch light in summer'.
  18. Joe Gannon

    Joe Gannon New Member

    Jan 27, 2004
    New Market, Md.
    My thoughts. There are a lot of things that go into being a serious contender. Talent is definitely important and deep talent is as well. However, I've noticed that a lot of the most "talented" teams don't really play as a "team". (Portugal, France 2002?) And Argentina, in my opinion, the best team in the world, when they don't work together well they tend to blow things. When a team comes together in any sport they're hard to beat - - I mean look at Korea 2002 - - or the U.S. for that matter.

    Next. The U.S. will definitely have a hard time in Germany. A European Team will most likely win this tournament. Each of them will have home filed advantage and most likely a little ref help. Nothing you can do about that.
    Yet we do pose problems for teams (our speed and superb goal play) and we are getting bigger. Are we "world class" yet? Well that depends on what you mean. Most of the Euro snobs won't even give our boys a decent look, and when you read their editorials about how Portugal lost to us it was all about Portugal's injuries, problems, etc. and U.S. luck. I did not read one editorial about how well the U.S. played. This is typical. Most Euros underestimate us. Fine. But I do think we are better than perceived and getting better yet.

    I think that 2002 was not a fluke. Sure we got a little lucky with the Korea-Portugal outcome but we also got a little unlucky as well. I think we are developing a lot of good players and even if we're short in the "premier" leages, we are getting a lot of guys with a lot of experience. These guys EARN playing time on the National team. I feel that most other countries' players believe it is their right to be on the team - - like a place is reserved for them. In the end it's good to underestimated and overlooked. It's kind of like US Basketball in reverse.

    Either way, don't sweat anything. Just get to Germany and support our boys. If the dream is reached ....well being there will be the best ever.

    Now, 2010. Our goal should be winning every tournament, every time out. However, a "neutral" venue (S. Africa) will help us and therefor should be looked at with high hopes. However, winning any tournament for any country would be a dream come true (except for Brazil - their dream seems to be a reality every other tournament or so.)
  19. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Greece is always mentioned as a proof anyone can win a major tournament, even if they don’t have talented players. Well they did have very good players, and have had them for a long time. What was missing was discipline and team spirit.

    Sure, they didn’t have the best players, but they were just as talented as say Denmark, Sweden or Portugal, teams that were seen as possible winners.
  20. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 19, 2003
    Island paradise east of the mainland
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    YEAH what he said, HA! And take your cupcakes and sit on them so the frosting sticks to your butt!! Err... never mind me...
  21. Winston Smith

    Winston Smith New Member

    Nov 17, 2003
  22. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just as important is the mentality on the team. We don't hang around, bunker, and hope for a goal anymore -- we're playing for the win.

    I saw this turnaround start with the friendly over in Italy -- we played even, if not a little better, than one of the most talented teams in the world away from home (you may remember, the Italians were booed off the field after the first half.)

    The biggest challenge we face -- and are still struggling with -- is playing as favorites. The underdog role has suited us well in the past. However, our quick, sometimes counter-attack style doesn't lend itself well to teams playing 9 men back. And let's face it: If we're entering the 2010 WC as even a darkhorse for the title, we're no longer the underdog.
  23. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Well I guess it depends on how you define "contender". The US isn't going to be able to surprise teams like Portugal in 2006 and that's going to make this and future WC's a lot more difficult. But it's probably fair to say that the size of the USMNT 2006 player pool is going to be double that of 2002. If MLS continues to develop talent at the current rate, it's not unrealistic to think that the 2010 USMNT is going to be a quality team. But "favorite"? The only time the US will be considered a "favorite" will be four years after the first time they win it. And most of the world will still be calling them a fluke.
  24. Roehl Sybing

    Roehl Sybing Guest

    Not to nitpick, but I can't reconcile these two remarks.
  25. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    That's because you took them out of context.

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