Why don't we produce young ballers that Europe wants?

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by NewDadaCoach, Dec 22, 2023.

  1. KCbus

    KCbus Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Nov 26, 2000
    Reynoldsburg, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right?

    My club just got $4M from a Chanpionship side for 22-year-old Aidan Freakin’ Morris.
     
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  2. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    That is pretty cool! I'm a Crew supporter too and I think Aiden's path is cool since he played some college.

    However, the point of the thread is not about this level, which don't get me wrong is a great level. Aiden Morris is a great story; they kid has a title at a young age.
    BUT... the post is about the Endricks of the world. Who in their teens command much more than $4million... and go straight to the biggest clubs like Real Madrid or Barcelona or Man City or Chelsea. It seems these players only come from Brazil or Argentina, and occasionally elsewhere.

    But I do agree that the US has improved alot in this area. We are a big country investing a lot into soccer so naturally some big talent will come through. Though frankly they won't be as good as those young Brazilian and Argentine studs. They are in another stratosphere. Not physically per se, but soccer IQ and technique, quite frankly because they have played many more minutes than our players in their youth, by orders of magnitude.

    But whatever, I guess its a "first world problem" as they say.
    The US doesn't create these types of players because we are a multi-sport nation. I need to accept it. I think I am. Our kids can still do well in soccer, they will just have to develop a bit slower and peak later than the top players from other soccer-centric nations.

    The USA creates great athletes, and we should be proud of that. Look at all the Olympic medals we win. Maybe its ok that we'll never be a top 3 fifa soccer nation. (though some disagree) @gogorath
     
  3. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    The point of this thread was for Adam Tash to complain. Let's get that straight. He's got a long and glorious track record of complaints peppered with a high percentage of factual inaccuracy.

    I don't why why people assume that those of us who don't freak out every two seconds or understand that change takes time get comments like "Maybe its ok that we'll never be a top 3 fifa soccer nation." I don't know if we will ever reach that point. We should certainly try. It is "okay" if we don't in that I'm an adult and it's like 75th on my personal priorities. It's also "okay" in the sense that it's not entirely within anyone's control.

    More relevantly, most of us just want to discuss soccer, not whine. Which is all this post was. There's no actual data there, or a real discussion of action steps. Just someone whining we aren't immediately better.

    Yes, we haven't developed an Endrick. Even Brazilians talk about him as a generational talent for a country obsessed with soccer and a population not too far off from ours, so why is that even a standard worth talking about right now? Brazil is producing an Endrick like once every 7 years at most, anyway.

    We've developed Pulisic and Reyna and a CB that Bayern Munich snatched up at 18 and a CM that Man City just bought at 14. So yes, we produce young ballers that Europe wants. Even top teams in Europe.

    But players like Endrick are outliers even in a global context. And even if we had an Endrick, he wouldn't get a transfer fee like a Brazilian Endrick because the market pays for the past Brazilian track record.
     
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  4. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    But why can't we produce outliers as you call it?

    The top players.

    Here's the best 10 past and present:

    Pele
    Maradona
    Messi
    Ronaldo Nazario
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Erling Haaland
    Neymar
    Johan Cruyff
    Zidane
    Mbappe

    Brazil, Argentina, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Norway, Brazil, Netherlands, France, France

    5 from Europe
    5 from South America

    0 from North America

    Why is this? Given our resources and population and our ability to create athletes this should have happened by now. I already shared my thoughts on why this is. But what are your reasons?
     
  5. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Similar reasons to why Brazil hasn't produced a world class NFL quarterback and the Netherlands hasn't produced a world-class NBA player.

    Why is Haaland on that list?
     
  6. superdave

    superdave BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We can produce outliers. But expecting outliers is a contradiction in terms. If we could expect them, they wouldn’t be outliers.
     
  7. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    The short and the long answer is culture.

    That's it. We're not a command economy; we can't force people to play one sport over another.

    You've listed 10 players from 120 years of soccer; for most of that time no one in America played soccer or gave a shit. Do you find it odd that there's five guys from Argentina and Brazil, where they are soccer mad? You've included no one from a lot of great soccer countries as well -- England, Italy, Spain, Germany (though surely Beckenbauer should have made your list).

    The US is absolutely a monster in sports. We have a general sports culture, a lot of people with diverse genetics, tons of money and a willingness to spend it.

    When we love a sport, we do really well. When no one loves a sport, like most of the Olympic sports, the overflow of people, ability to choose, culture and money often makes us a juggernaut as well. We even creep into random sports that other countries dominate through culture.

    But when the rest of the world absolutely loves a sport and largely ignores most of the other sports we love and generally only concentrates on one or two Olympic sports .... yeah, there's a huge gap to make up.

    Our soccer culture is improving, but even when our top players right now were growing up -- the early 2000s, we didn't have a professional development system. And people who watched soccer were still often called gay or communist in many areas. Still, probably.

    Even what we've got now isn't the level of focus and insanity in Uruguay and Brazil. It may never get there. But right now you are comparing 100+ years of culture building where soccer is the dominant sport or might as well be the ONLY sport and asking why we're behind.

    There's tons of other things -- the South Americans clearly benefit from a style of play and free play away from structured instruction -- but in the big picture ... We're soccer babies, and we're also occupied with American Football, Baseball, Basketball and a billion other things.

    This isn't just "what if our best athletes played soccer?" It's "what if everyone played soccer all the time when they were young, and their idols were all soccer players, and it provided the #1 financial incentive and it was nearly everyone's first choice and they practiced all the time and because everyone played the competition was super high?"

    People always get annoyed at "What if LeBron James played soccer" but that's not the question.

    What if Deion Sanders started kicking a ball at four months, played soccer every day in the park, competed against a bunch of other elite athletes who did the same, and always wanted to be a soccer player?

    There's plenty of stuff people can do to improve all this, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to general culture. Which is why we almost certainly won't catch Brazil playing Brazil's way. We almost have to go the industry route of European countries.
     
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  8. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    If you look at the top 50 best players ever in the world, I don't think the USA has a player on the list. Why not?
     
  9. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    #1009 NewDadaCoach, Jun 25, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2024
    Good points. So how can we fix these things?

    "South Americans clearly benefit from a style of play and free play away from structured instruction"

    How can we do this?

    "occupied with American Football, Baseball, Basketball"

    I don't see this ever changing. I think that Americans like having different sports as they go through the seasons.

    I also think that the big 3 American sports - Football/Baseball/Basketball - work well together, in the sense that kids can play these just for a season each, each year, and they can still develop into top athletes by the time they are Jr/Sr in high school, then play in college, then pro. It's a more sustainable, fun, reasonable, affordable development pathway, compared to playing soccer year round for a private club and spending many thousands of dollars and not even getting to play in front of your high school friends.

    But from a pure development standpoint, each sport is basically training for the other sport. They all increase athleticism and skills that translate to the other, namely hand-eye coordination.
    Soccer is unique, because it is far less about hand-eye, it is about foot-eye.

    Soccer is great to develop athleticism for those other sports. And there are some things that can be taken from those and used in soccer.

    But those big 3 really work well together due to the hand-eye commonality.

    This is why, nearly all professional athletes in NFL/MLB/NBA played 2 or 3 of these sports in high school. Most of them were not playing their sport year round until college.
     
  10. superdave

    superdave BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you look at the top 50 best all time (and your list doesn’t include any player older than Pele and the third youngest is Maradona so it’s obviously a bad list. Nobody from the great Real teams of the 1950s for example. No Sir Stanley.) So right there, a real list of players would be lots and lots of players older than the guys we sent to Italy in 1990. And a list where half the guys or more are older than John Harkes and Cobi Jones would make it obvious why we don’t have anyone on that list.
     
  11. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    One one hand, I like some things about the American paradigm.
    Having a lot of different sports, easily accessible (through things like Little League, YMCA, and school sports) creates a lot of of different avenues for a wide variety of interests and talent profiles.

    On the other hand... soccer is very welcoming, as a sport, to a wide variety of body types. Almost anyone can start playing (sure not get to a pro level, but can get decent and have fun). Baseball also fits this - height and body shape are not nearly as big of factors as in basketball.
     
  12. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Ok but where would you rank our best ever player on the global all-time best list?
     
  13. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    You are going to have to straighten it out a bunch more of how NDC created a thread that has been engaged in for time, but that the point of thread was for Adam to complain.

    The factual inaccuracies are coming from you.
     
  14. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Nobody was talking about an average MLS player. You know he is talking about a completely different type of player. Someone claimed you franchise was doing a great time with player development, but these aren't the types of players USMNT fans should be discussing.
     
  15. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019


    There's no way to simply top down make it happen quickly. Period. Brazil isn't Brazil because of what the Brazilian federation does. It's the result of massive years of culture. Everyone wants a quick fix, but the only countries who suddenly "git gud" even in a single generation in a sport are command economies that literally force people into it ... and even then, it's not usually successful in truly competitive sports.

    Things that can help:
    • Support youth clubs and give guidance on training
    • Have a strong domestic league to provide a career path, free academies, and help influence US soccer culture
    • Lobby the government and other organizations for more investment in soccer infrastructure
    • Support coaching development and training -- one thing I'd love to see is to get UEFA to recognize some level of US Coaching Badge even if the translation isn't 1:1.
    • Have strong national teams and secure big events like World Cups and Copa Americas
    But none of that can create a culture like Argentina or Brazil. USSF can't simply make people like soccer more, and they can't make players play it. They can't make kids get off their xboxs and play in the streets, and they can't make mom and dad not hover over them and insist on winning.

    They can try and train coaches and gives guidelines to youth clubs, but they don't run them. They've done a lot in creating the DA, supporting MLS and pushing them to have academies, and they do issue training guidelines and rules.

    But they are a loose federation of largely underfunded entities with no real power trying to nudge along the giant ship of US Sports culture.
     
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  16. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Agree.

    Which is why we will never have a Brazil soccer culture. Good news is that if we can improve elements of our culture, and use our population and money, we can still compete.

    We're just not there yet. There are unique things to overcome -- distance and lack of concentration, for example.

    But somewhere there might be a future NFL CB who watches this World Cup and decides that he really likes Tyler Adams or Gio Reyna and wants to try that. And when he's coming up, maybe one of the hundreds of MLS players becomes his youth coach and helps him along. And so on.

    We'll never be Brazil but I think we have upside in the number of kids and the types of kids who choose the sport, and we have upside in our geographic coverage, and we have a lot of upside in our coaching depth, and we have upside in the popularity of the sport in general.
     
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  17. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First of all you have to convince the 95% of Americans that aren't soccer geeks that there's a problem.

    Otherwise you just chip away by improving accessibility. More coaches with better education, more pitches, a bigger scouting network and more free to play academies or scholarships.

    Then you need to persuade the parents to forget about a college scholarship in whatever sport their kids excel in and dedicate their kids to playing soccer, with the possibility of signing professional contracts at 15 or 16.

    Then at the other end of the gamut, if there is a 7 year-old Freddy Adu in Minot, North Dakota, you have to hope there's someone local who can recognize that talent and get them into a program. And that may mean persuading the entire family to relocate.
     
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  18. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We're still in our very first generation of academy-developed players, and already people are complaining that we haven't produced an all-time great yet.
     
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  19. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For the extreme outliers who are candidates to win the Ballon d'Or, the most important thing is probably just that they get recognized and have the chance to move to a more competitive environment. World-class players have come from countries that weren't producing anyone else remotely comparable: think George Weah, or Cha Bum-kun in the 1970s/80s.
     
  20. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    George Weah was playing for his local professional club at 15 and Cha Bum-kum was coached at middle school by a legendary Korean manager. Indeed Bobby Wood was spotted by Jurgen Klinsmann playing for Irvine Strikers, though he failed to go on to win The Balloon D'Or.

    So those players had opportunities that may not be available in Butt Fluff, South Dakota.

    I'm sure there are players in remote communities all over the world that never got the same opportunities.
     
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  21. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Yet, MLS fans keep talking about how great their development is and suggesting players are fine staying MLS until 21 yo. You guys have been both sides of this stuff since beginning if this league.
     
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  22. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member+

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    california
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Its not about complaining. Its about asking what do other countries do that we don't and what can we learn from them.

    We spend a lot more money per capita than a lot of these countries, and get a lot less output per capita. We should be looking hard in the mirror and seek more understanding
     
  23. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Where do you get the idea that there's any contradiction here? All-time greats are, by definition, players that no country expects to produce in any given generation.
     
  24. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    You guys are ridiculous. Constantly telling everybody how great MLS is and when rightfully criticized you claim it is unfair because they are relatively new at it.

    MLS development track record is pitiful. Anyone who thinks our top players shouldn't run from MLS as quick as possible aren't concerned about the players careers.

    Finally, if this league was actually serious, they would have been focused on player development since before the league started. The fact they are in the first generation of academy players, should tell you everything you need to know.
     
  25. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Could this be a more obvious straw man?
     
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