Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by ZooCougar, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Nailed it. It's not surprising that the mainstream guys get it. It's because they aren't stakeholders in the US soccer establishment.

    Speak For Yourself (@SFY) | Twitter

    In America we've taken something that should be inexpensive and uncomplicated and made it expensive and complicated.

    MLS Academies are still by and large a pay to play proposition, where success is measured in the number of kids who get college scholarships. Only in America does soccer have 22 year "rookies".

    Go to any major city or suburb in America. Youth soccer is a sport dominated by privileged families who can afford to travel to expensive away tournaments.

    And lastly, why do we never see the MLS based US Soccer media ever criticize our players? They are treated with kid gloves. When a player fails to perform it's always because of the choice of formation or being played "out of position".

    Jurgen Klinsmann isn't popular with the MLS based US media because he is critical of the status quo and they are the defenders of it.

    He's not right about everything but he's more right than Don Garber, Alexi Lalas and Matt Doyle.
     
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  2. WingU-Conn

    WingU-Conn Apologista 2.0

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    Klinsmann might not be the problem, but as coach, he isn't the solution either. US Soccer is dysfunctional. Let Klinsmann develop US Soccer from an institutional standpoint, fix it from the ground up. But as coach of the USMNT, he's not above the same criticism Bradley deserves. JK's record against top teams, in meaningful games, is horrible.

    We didn't expect JK to pull a miracle and beat Argentina, but everyone knew that the lineup he went with wouldn't even be able to keep it close. The fans on this board knew exactly how and why we would struggle before he ever posted that lineup. His teams have no identity, his lineup decisions are questionable. He seems intent on a strategy that doesn't suit his personnel, and unwilling to accept that we can't play like Spain, Germany, and Argentina because we don't have the talent they do. And the few pieces that could develop into those type (admittedly at a lesser quality) don't get into the game nearly enough. Even when it's overwhelmingly obvious they should be playing now, because there are a fair number of guys playing 90 that won't be in the next world cup.
     
  3. Chuck

    Chuck

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    I'm not sure that the youth structure is the problem. At least no more than other sports today. Basketball is probably even less complicated and expensive yet AAU and tournaments dominate the elite youth scene. Baseball is ridiculously expensive, time consuming, and tournament based. Our women's national program seems to be fine with the academy / tournament / college process.

    Men's soccer is different, but that doesn't mean there isn't a different way to be competitive. Most of the competitive academies that I know around my area are starting (at U11) to tell kids they need to drop all other sports, and they don't allow the kids to play for their schools (middle school or high school). My son is a step below those academies (mostly because of talent and partially our choice), but some of his teammates have moved to them and I know some kids that are getting financial support from the academies.
     
  4. WingU-Conn

    WingU-Conn Apologista 2.0

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    I agree that cost isn't the main issue. It's more a matter of interest. The idea that we can't compete because poor kids (of all races) don't have access to soccer is silly. There are kids in countries that dominate (or at least compete with us) who grow up playing without shoes on dirt fields with no nets (if they even have goals). Why? Because they love the sport. Countries are good at what they care about. We care about football and basketball, then baseball and hockey.

    Comparing the success of the women's program to the men's is misleading. How many youth girls football teams are out there? How many young girls have to pick between soccer and football in the fall? I suspect not many.
     
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  5. Excalibur

    Excalibur

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    The masses have access to AAU and tournaments in basketball. Not so much in soccer. That's kind of the point they're making. Baseball isn't as good of a comparison as, outside of Japan, Cuba, the Dominican and the old Netherlands Antilles, nobody is really trying in baseball, and yet those countries are producing a growing percentage of the world's elite players precisely because the masses have access at a young age. Once the top players reach their early teens, there are rich benefactors that fund their training and development.
     
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  6. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Soccer as the world plays it isn't like other sports in this country. You shouldn't have to leave your city of even get in your parent's car to practice or find a match in your neighborhood.
     
  7. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Also you don't see low income types and minorities by and large in these youth leagues. There simply are ginormous segments of this country's population that aren't effectively serviced by the present system.

    Comparing the women's game to the men's is laughable. We're the only country that has the sports system coupled with the educational system. We have the most robust system for women's game possible.

    If the club system interestingly put the same emphasis on the women's game then we would fall behind rapidly.

    There isn't a different way to be competitive. When your system only services a small segment of your population then you are limiting yourself.
     
  8. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

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    I'm not sure what the fix is. In the neighborhood we mostly played football or baseball (with a tennis ball) but occasionally soccer or street hockey. We are a diverse multi-sport country. It's a handicap.

    There aren't may kids who kick a soccer ball around all day long like we see in images of people across the world. My neighbor growing up was one, his dad was a very, very good player (and orthopedic surgeon) from Haiti and mom was Columbian. The kid, who was much younger than me, was scoring 5-6 goals a game in youth soccer in elementary school, dominating everyone. But he wasn't a good enough athlete as he aged (and became a Dr like his dad).
     
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  9. Chuck

    Chuck

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    I think your comment is a bit extreme. Every town has a rec program. It's not practical to assume that any sport will bring strong competition to your neighborhood. My impression is probably skewed by living in an area (NJ) that has always had relatively strong soccer. Every town in Northern NJ has a travel soccer club, and there are a half-dozen academies within 20 minutes of me. My kids could ride their bikes to their practices or the practices of a club in the town next to us that some kids play for. Both clubs have two practices per week and a voluntary skills training on another night and games on the weekend. My (mostly white, upper class) town plays against teams from less affluent Newark, Hackensack, and Union City as well as towns most can't afford like Franklin Lakes, Tenafly and Wyckoff. I will say that we play against a lot of minority teams, but they are usually Latino, not African American. We just played in a tournament 2 miles from my house. 4 games for each of my kids against great teams over two days. I can only base my opinion on my experience, but I think you are saying that isn't the norm.

    My earlier comment about the women's program wasn't meant to be misleading. It was interpreted the way it was meant. The system isn't broken, but the talent does leak from the boys at some point. We are absolutely seeing momentum for keeping boys in the soccer program rather than football. My son's age group of two teams only lost one good player to football (which was a foregone conclusion for him) and kept two others who have fathers that played football growing up. But we lost a kid to baseball and there are a few good athletes in town that never took interest in soccer (over football / lacrosse / baseball, etc.). Lacrosse is doing a great job turning the sport into a cultural thing. Soccer has gotten better with televised European pro soccer, but it needs to develop a cool factor somehow that it still misses.
     
  10. WingU-Conn

    WingU-Conn Apologista 2.0

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    If the interest was there, you wouldn't have to. Hartford has (or at least had) a travelling youth program, it wasn't very well funded but they traveled for tournaments and games. The only kids who played were Jamaican, because of their culture the interest was there.

    You seem to keep saying the system doesn't service the inner-city, and poor kids, but where's the data that shows those kids even care about soccer, and just need the access? Where are these young kids who idolize Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey rather than Cam Newton and Lebron James just clamoring for more access to soccer?

    Like basketball, all you need for a game is a ball. You don't even need goals (unlike basketball). A pick up game would be even easier to access if people actually wanted to play.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  11. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    It's not just the inner city. It's the children in the immigrant communities and every other non middle class community. The interest is absolutely there. More kids play the organized sport than any other sport in the country. The parents spend billions of dollars a year on it. If success were based on numbers and expenditure alone we would already have the best team on the planet. But we're not even close to even that, so obviously we're doing something wrong.

    Where are the kids that idolize Dempsey? We're way past Dempsey. Kids these days want a Messi or a Ronaldo jersey.

    Has Hartford ever been successful at anything?
     
  12. AZHuskiePop

    AZHuskiePop

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    Ive been envolved in soccer since the 1980's
    Even back then we talked about the key to attracting kids is a viable professional league along with a college incentive Sports have always been a vehicle for upward mobility
    Football and basketball are viewed as a way to achieve financial success in the the US
    Kids in S America dream of being Messi who does an American keep kid dream of being?
     
  13. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    It's extreme to expect bringing the sport to the neighborhood is practical? New Jersey is probably the model for American soccer, it's pumped out a who's who list of talent over the years and it's because you don't have to go far to games, practice and general immersion.

    I live in KC where soccer is huge, but also ridiculously political. And I suspect it's more representative of what is happening in most of the country than New Jersey. The team in KC has made a noble effort to build futsal courts all over the place, but the youth system is still dominated by these travelling tournaments and local leagues.

    Every town has a rec program, but the seasons are still really short. And the emphasis at all of the youth levels remains on playing competitive games and not skill development. My soon to be stepson's U-11 team would practice 2-3 nights a week and play four games a weekend. Twice in the spring and fall they traveled out of town for tournaments in St. Louis, Lincoln and Manhattan. There's only like 3 Gazillion teams already in the KC area yet for some reason they feel the need to play out of town?

    This summer he tried out and made a new team because the age groups got restructured somehow. He'll still travel down to Overland Park and Swope Park for games twice a month, but they also play rec in the town we actually live in, which is a town of 50k with a bunch of other towns that participate.
     
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  14. WingU-Conn

    WingU-Conn Apologista 2.0

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    Nothing personal, but I'd love to see the data that supports your argument. For the record, I'm not arguing that we're doing anything correct right now. I just don't see the same level of interest you speak of. Our town rec soccer program is loaded with kids at age 5 and 6. But they can't play football until 7. By junior high, there is far more interest in football in the fall, and lacrosse is growing faster among people of color.

    Hartford has put athletes into the NFL and NBA, this has nothing to do with what happens in the City Capital building.
     
  15. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Nowadays? Messi

    At least where I live at the moment, you see tons of kids wearing soccer kit. Go to any public place in KC and you'll see it.

    I even got sucked into a Royals game last year and kids were wearing soccer jerseys all over Kaufman Stadium.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  16. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Feel free to google:"How many kids in America Play Soccer". I'm posting from a public computer in on a military base in Kabul. It won't let me copy and paste links as a security feature.
     
  17. Chuck

    Chuck

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    Don't get me started on the age groups. That was done because US Soccer felt that the reason we suck internationally is because we're the only country that goes by school years rather than calendar years. So they forced an sanctioned league to move to calendar years, no grandfathering. Our league was August 1 to July 31 so five months of kids were moved. I have all kinds of opinions on why this is stupid for the interest and development of US youth soccer. Too much to put here. For perspective, my kids were born at the end of February, so if anything they will no be stronger in their age group. But I don't think it's good for their enjoyment or long term development.

    FYI, US Soccer also banned heading the ball prior to U12 (in practices or games). It's now a penalty with indirect kick if someone heads the ball. The girls never liked heading the ball so we only had one penalty all year, but it really impacted the boys game. Interestingly, however, the only part of the game that I thought was worse was corner kicks and other crosses. We used to get (and give up) header goals off crosses. That's gone now. But I think the boys got better at controlling the ball with their bodies off goalie punts and other hard kicks. I think trapping is an underpracticed skill for youth soccer and I think they made good strides in this area because of the rule. Whether that will disadvantage US players in the future I can't say.
     
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  18. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    As a coach, there was no lineup or formation that would have made a difference against Argentina. It doesn't excuse him for starting Beckerman and Wondo. Jurgen calling Wondo a "like for like" replacement for Wood was ... interesting.

    But I don't blame him one bit for playing Jones and Dempsey. And I bet Dempsey makes it to 2018. He was under pressure in this tournament so he put his best lineup out there.

    During the numerous friendlies he played younger guys and tried people out and was blasted for it. He was blasted by people for sticking with Bobby Wood, probably even me, but cultivating him paid off. Same with John Brooks and now look at him. We also had to put up with Mix Diskerud and Ventura Alvarado.

    So I'll take the bad of Jurgen with the good. If any of us were told befor the Copa that we'd make it to the Semis and get knocked out by Argentina then we would have taken it.
     
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  19. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    I think we use calendar year here. There was a shift and he got to move down an age group which is better because he can play with his friends from school. But it's absurd that he has to play rec on one team and be on a different team for travelling.

    I think the problem is that "we" felt that in order to have good soccer in this country we have to have this super structured system instead of leaving some room for the sport to happen organically. Kids all over the world start getting good at soccer playing against all different age groups in their own neighborhoods.

    I lived in this very little berg in Germany and they had a big soccer complex near my house. A couple times I watched "organized" youth games. Some of the teams didn't even have coaches. My neighbors told me that at that level they don't even care about winning, and that it was more about learning to play the game right.
     
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  20. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    'It’s only working for the white kids': American soccer's diversity problem
     
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  21. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

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    Yes, but that's new. I was born in OP, moved to Manchester CT and then was in Lenexa after Law School at KU. Manchester had the first youth soccer program in CT. KC had nothing (soccer was much bigger in St. Louis then) back then. The Big 12 still doesn't even sponsor the sport. Nobody was wearing soccer kit in the 90's when I was in KC. Maybe it shifted when MLS came to town, and especially in KC where they built the stadium downtown. Johnson County has exactly the kind of semi-affluent suburban culture where soccer thrives here, so I am not surprised it caught on.

    By the way, here in metro Boston I see kids in soccer jerseys all the time. Mostly of Spanish teams or The EPL, with a handful of Portuguese teams (the Providence effect I suspect).
     
  22. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    Johnson County is exactly what I am talking about.

    Nobody was wearing the kit in the '90s. I was just making a crack about how another country's player is more popular. Who knows, maybe that is a good thing.
     
  23. LIuconn

    LIuconn

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    Maradona has been hyper critical of Messi lately. Our former players are only critical of the coach. Bradley was horrendous all tournament and no one calls him out on it. Alexi Lalas must have stake in the MLS/Don Garber for the garbage he spews on the broadcasts.

    I'm not a Cowherd fan but he's right on here and he's only scratching the surface. Prior to the tournament we felt making out of the group was a success. We went further. Getting out of the Group of Death in 2014 was not expected. We did it.

    After watching Mexico play this tournament we were lucky we took them to extra time at the Rose Bowl. Sure, they quit on Chile and Chile kept piling on -- but what if Arg kept pushing? It should have been 10-0. The TALENT GAP is what's holding us back, not tactics. And it will start moving in the right direction, just look at all the kids in European academies.

    I played with former and current MLS players growing up and we had the same coaches. Our MLS players are being taught by plumbers up until a certain age. Our European counterparts get professional training in a professional setting from a very young age. Coaching is the difference, not athleticism. And it shows when we play against players who line up in the Champions League. Just look at Graham Zusi vomiting up the ball at the corner flag or his 70 yard diagonal ball into the upper deck. Until that changes we have no business even talking about competing with the top 5 teams in the world.
     
  24. WingU-Conn

    WingU-Conn Apologista 2.0

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    Okay what I found (wikipedia) isn't entirely reliable, but it says Soccer is the 3rd most played sport (not the most) behind basketball and then baseball/softball.

    Consider that women don't play football (for the most part), and well, I think the claim that "it's the most played sport in the country" is inaccurate. That said, yes, we're clearly have a problem with developing the talent in this country, I don't disagree. You've yet to respond to my point about football being a fall sport, and the impact that has on soccer in this country. The fact that women don't play football (largely), and yet our women's soccer is the best of the best (most years) speaks volumes to the impact of football.
     
  25. WingU-Conn

    WingU-Conn Apologista 2.0

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    Certainly a different lineup would have made a difference, we wouldn't have won, I think we all agree on that, but it would have made a difference in that game, and going forward had he given Nagbe and Pulicic more time.

    I don't have a problem with playing Jones and Dempsey. I have a problem with Beckerman and Wondo. Everyone, except JK, knew how that would work out for us.
     
  26. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

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    Oh, it's the same here. You see Revs jerseys at Rev's games, and had they kept Jones, you might see more (and there were definitely some for Dempsey in his youth). But you definitely see Messi, Ronaldo, and random jerseys from Man U, Liverpool, etc.

    Ultimately, I think folks consider MLS to be like AAA baseball. I may go to a PawSox game because it's cheap and fun, and easier than going to a Boston Red Sox game, but I buy Boston Red Sox hats and shirts. I think MLS tried to change this by bringing in aging international stars, but it doesn't really work.
     
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  27. ZooCougar

    ZooCougar

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    That's because it is like AAA baseball and probable lower. It's still fun to go watch however, and I have seen some good matches.

    MLS is another big part of the problem. Too much parity has created 20 mediocre teams.
     
  28. meyers7

    meyers7 Smarty Pants

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    It's not the academies, it's the national Academy system rule. If the academy is playing in the Academy leagues, the kids can't play for their school. This just changes in the last couple of years.

    We lost one kid to the academies. He played for Varsity his FR year, but got picked up by Oakwood Academy in CT. Still plays pick up with the kids during the summer and shows up and watches practice during the fall, but can't play (or practice) with us.
     
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  29. John

    John "Come with me if you want to live." - Cameron

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    pretty soon the girls DAP will start, it'll be interesting to see how many of the ultra-talented girls will actually give up HS, especially theat Oakwood/Glastonbury relationship.
     
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  30. Kgun7

    Kgun7

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    Couldn't agree more!! We are 26 years removed from a team that miraculously qualified for a World Cup we had no business making. I'd call that progress ...
     
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