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World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer

Posted: 06/24/2014 12:18 AM

World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


1) So USA came into World Cup with a FIFA ranking of 13 in the world (suspect rating system I will admit).

Team looked clearly better than Portugal (FIFA #4) though tough result (nice tweet I saw "what a crushing perfectly acceptable result").

Germany (FIFA #2) might not be a good benchmark - Group is such that neither team wants to lose so both squads may turtle up and a 0-0 draw is a not unlikely result.

But USA seems to be consistently able to compete with the Big Boys (beat Spain FIFA #1 relatively recently).  But of course, never get close to the Big Prize.

Kinda reminds me of Stanford Basketball (not Football).

2) Viewership of the USA-Portugal game was about 25 million in USA.  This is better than NBA Finals or World Series, 5x better than Stanley Cup final and roughly similar to BCS national championship (though far below NFL playoffs or Super Bowl).

So 2 questions (related):

1)  What would it take for the USA (clearly capable on an international level of fielding world-class athletes in every sport) to become a world power in Soccer?

and 

2a)  What would it take for MLS to compete with the NFL, NBA or MLB in viewership, sponsorship and mindshare?  

2b) [in my opinion the key question] When (if ever) would the next young American uber-athlete like Kobe Bryant or Andrew Luck (2 elite American athletes with professed love for soccer) choose Soccer as their vocation?
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Posted: 06/24/2014 4:11 AM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


At this point I think what it will take is time. 

The demographic shifts in the U.S., combined with the exceedingly strong focus on head injuries and the lifelong impacts of that, will move athletes toward soccer as a sport.  

The notion that we can be internationally competitive only helps add fuel to the fire.
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Posted: 06/24/2014 5:05 AM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


Portugal's riveting 2-2 win over the US was a great game.  Wish we had come out on top.

One benefit of the 15 million undocumented Democrats crossing our border would be the emergence of a Ronaldo among them sooner or later.  If we had Ronaldo we could make a serious run at the cup.  Maybe that's what destroying our borders is all about.   Getting some good players and Winning the World Cup.

Last edited 06/24/2014 9:03 AM by neodymian60

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Posted: 06/24/2014 6:31 AM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


We will never be a world power. After Holder is impeached and Republicans take over the Senate and Perry wins the WH, we will shut the borders tighter than a drum, and Icelanders, Germans, and especially Mexicans and Central Americans with one US parent will be sent packing back to their native lands where they belong.

Plus Michael Bradley. Send him away, auch mit dem deutschem Coach, wir brauchen ihm nicht.

Leaving the USMNT with no choice but to bring on female players, especially those tough babes accused of assault who play goalie.

And we will make ALL CAPS the official typeface. GOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!!!!
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Posted: 06/24/2014 8:09 AM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


what is necessary is not a Kobe level talent.  It is the guys built to excel at soccer, the real good junior college and D-1 college basketball guards and db's and safeties and wide receivers--the guys that are quick and have great natural endurance to figure out that being the 4th wideout on the SeaChickens for 2.5 years and being cut is a poor option compared to a 12 year MLS career or 10 years in the Bundisliga and La Liga.  You may not turn the inner city kids from football and basketball, but if you start to keep that type of kid in soccer after the age of 10 in middle class suburbs then....  We have the numbers, they are out there.  And the way you find a Ronaldo is with numbers.  There is so much talent wasting its time here in the United States being half-assed junior college football and basketball players because those are "cool" sports--when will those kids wake up and smell the coffee at age 14 and find a sport that can get them a college schollie and then put some work into it.  Its soccer not tennis.  

What I do like about this team is that we appear to have better overall athleticism and size.  We look more like a World Cup team now.  We are deep crap against Germany though.

our state of grace is gone.

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Posted: 06/24/2014 8:36 AM

This is the rot in the CEB 


Can't even discuss soccer without turning it political.  Can't let it go for a goddam minute.

"Those are my principles and if you don't like them...well, I have others"   Groucho Marx

Last edited 06/24/2014 8:39 AM by TLV01

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Posted: 06/24/2014 8:41 AM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


Ronaldo is 6' 1".    Thinking of Allen Iverson in his prime at 6' as a soccer player.    We must have close to the population of Portugal of guys with that size and athleticism.

Last edited 06/24/2014 8:53 AM by neodymian60

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Posted: 06/24/2014 2:42 PM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


Iverson in his prime was the MVP of the NBA.  So arguably he was the best basketball player in the world. He would have been a great damned near anything.  

But your larger point is nails.  For sure.  I'd personally like to see more of them go into tennis, but tennis takes somewhere between $30k-100K a year for a kid to get real good.  Raw athleticism is great but you can't catch up skill wise once you get too far behind.  Soccer, like basketball and football, takes great skill development, but you can make for alot with sheer ability.

our state of grace is gone.

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Posted: 06/24/2014 2:59 PM

Re: This is the rot in the CEB 


Go re-read the nice poem I posted.

Ommmmmmm........ommmmm..........ommmmm.........

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 06/24/2014 3:49 PM

Re: World Cup and USMNT and the future of USA Soccer 


I don't see soccer being big in college because the dominant trend internationally is to go pro before college age.  In fact, there is a decent argument that is why the US is not as good as it could be.  Klinsman regularly laments that youth soccer is oriented toward an NCAA scholarship while German soccer (and everyone else) is oriented toward producing a professional soccer player for a club.  It is an interesting question as to whether MLS clubs will grow enough to attract the best US youth players instead of those guys going to college or Europe.  Some of this is happening now as MLS ramps up their academies.

There is a big gap between world power and good team. The US is already a good team.  Regular World Cup participant (7 in a row) and on the verge of qualifying for the knockout round for the 3rd time in 5 trips.  Despite that good progress, its another mountain to be able to win the World Cup.  Mexico has been to the knockout round 7 straight World Cups and never been close to a final yet alone winning.  England did win more than 40 years ago, but despite their culture, history, talented players, domestic league, systems, finances, etc. has not been close to winning the World Cup since.  

I do think the US is improving and hope it can get to the top level - like Brazil, Germany, Spain, but it may be that they get stuck one level down for an entire generation or two.
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Posted: 06/24/2014 4:12 PM

Roscoe is right 


That is how Volleyball (particularly on the men's side) has developed over the past 30 years.  Al Scates at UCLA used to grab guys who were doomed to gathering splinters on Wooden's bench and get them on the volleyball team.  Eventually, guys turned down USC football scholarships (such as USC's Tim Hovland) or turned down mid-major basketball scholarships (such as Stanford's Matt Fuerbringer) to play volleyball and win NCAA championships.  

USA Volleyball has also beefed up its development program and is identifying promising players earlier in their careers, so kids know VB is a viable college option while they are still in high school.  And after a long drought of not even qualifying for the Olympics in the 1970's, the US men and women have each medalled 4 times since 1980.

Back in the old days in the late 70's, I was a fairly tall VB player at 6'4".  These days, guys are 6'6" - 6'10" for the most part.  And the players are far more athletic.  Stanford even has a very promising 7' MB on its roster, who chose VB over BB for college.

The sport still loses a few great players/prospects to the big time, such as Chase Budinger, but Volleyball is becoming a nice option for athletes, particularly those otherwise inclined to basketball.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
---Hunter S. Thompson

 

I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.

---Samuel Goldwyn

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Posted: 06/24/2014 9:51 PM

a question to people who follow the FIFA/ World Cup rules 


Do they reseed the teams after group play, or is it set in stone that the winner of A plays # 2 out of B, etc.
"Après moi le déluge" Louis XV
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Posted: 06/24/2014 10:13 PM

Re: a question to people who follow the FIFA/ World Cup rules 


Set in stone. you can google World Cup brackets to see the pairings thus far. Half the sweet 16 is set.

Greece plays Costa Rica which means one of those countries is going to be a shock quarter finalist.
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Posted: 06/24/2014 10:30 PM

Re: Roscoe is right 


Agreed with dpbrewster.  My kids have spent the last nine years in club volleyball, and my oldest played club ball with two All-Americans, Brian Cook at Stanford and Taylor Averill a 6'7" middle at Hawaii.  Robert Page is a 7' outside hitter for UCLA. 

I remember seeing Chase Budinger when his 18 year old Seaside team played for the national championship at the Junior Olympics.  At the time, he was a rare athlete.  Today, the best teams will have several superb athletes.
dpbrewster wrote: That is how Volleyball (particularly on the men's side) has developed over the past 30 years.  Al Scates at UCLA used to grab guys who were doomed to gathering splinters on Wooden's bench and get them on the volleyball team.  Eventually, guys turned down USC football scholarships (such as USC's Tim Hovland) or turned down mid-major basketball scholarships (such as Stanford's Matt Fuerbringer) to play volleyball and win NCAA championships.  

USA Volleyball has also beefed up its development program and is identifying promising players earlier in their careers, so kids know VB is a viable college option while they are still in high school.  And after a long drought of not even qualifying for the Olympics in the 1970's, the US men and women have each medalled 4 times since 1980.

Back in the old days in the late 70's, I was a fairly tall VB player at 6'4".  These days, guys are 6'6" - 6'10" for the most part.  And the players are far more athletic.  Stanford even has a very promising 7' MB on its roster, who chose VB over BB for college.

The sport still loses a few great players/prospects to the big time, such as Chase Budinger, but Volleyball is becoming a nice option for athletes, particularly those otherwise inclined to basketball.
"Après moi le déluge" Louis XV
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Posted: 06/25/2014 8:15 AM

Re: Roscoe is right 


I'm still bored by the game.  I appreciate the athletes.  I enjoy the pagentry.  But I just can't sink my teeth into it.  And the flopping takes the bite out of the game in so many ways.

"I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today."

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Posted: 06/25/2014 9:03 AM

Re: Roscoe is right 


Love volleyball. CYO Seattle for years had a robust girls volleyball program. In my final years as CYO Athletic director I launched a boys program that was doing quite well.
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Posted: 06/25/2014 12:46 PM

Just A Thought 


but if going to college can develop 80% of the NBA talent, including large numbers of guys that become All-Stars, even if they only go one year or two, why can't it do the same for soccer.  There is always more than one way to skin the cat.  But you have to start with improving the talent quality and depth.

our state of grace is gone.

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Posted: 06/25/2014 1:01 PM

A Couple of Volleyball Thoughts 


this goes back again to the depth of athletes in basketball in this country.  6'4-6'7" kids that have good coordination and can jump a bit are a dime a dozen in America.  Thousands of them around.  Thousands of them just in California. How good would college volleyball get if 500 African American kids that will otherwise languish on junior college basketball benches, that are good but not great athletes, started taking volleyball as seriously instead of just basketball.  There is nothing more competitive sports wise in America and California than men's basketball.

And yet, given the athletic abilities needed to excel at both sports, taller kids have a built in advantage, so if you can be a pretty good high school small forward at 6'5" you are probably athletic enough to bust your butt at something else and play college volleyball.  And you don't have to be in nearly the same level of conditioning to play volleyball as you do to play college basketball.  Not that you don't have be in great shape to volleyball well, you do.  But, you sure don't have to haul your 7'0" ***, like the Page kid, up and down the court for three hours every day chasing teammates like you do in basketball practice--and no one is throwing elbows at your nuts and ears and deliberately knocking you *** over teaketttel for a good time.

Another thing, Budinger is a great athlete, lost in a league with 75 guys that are far better athletes than he is.  If he had played volleyball he wouldn't be making guaranteed millions a year, but he would be one of the top 10 guys in the world--if not even better than that.

our state of grace is gone.

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Posted: 06/25/2014 1:34 PM

You thought US looked better than Portugal? 


I thought Portugal looked far better.  Their passing was sharper, ball control looked better.  It looked to me like they had a clear advantage in TOP.
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Posted: 06/25/2014 1:35 PM

I like the World Cup, soccer, not so much 


My impression is, there are a lot of Americans that are interested in the World Cup, but not that interested in soccer.  Does anyone go to pro soccer games in America?  How about college soccer?  I just don't see it.
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