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Thread: World Cup 2010 Draw

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    Have to say that claim is total hogwash, Road - the reason 'soccer' is the sport it is is because skill trumps athleticism 99% of the time: if it came down to being the most 'advanced' country or whatever, Brazil would have never won a World Cup. They have a schmozzle of a domestic league, and a putrid infrastructure, but carry off World Cup after World Cup. Mind you, if they had Urlacher, South African triumph would be a certainty.
    You, and EM, make really good points. Skill does trump athleticism. Unfortunately, it is impossible to envision a scenario in which American kids are kicking around "a ball of rags tied with string" as soon as they can walk.
    I have tried to make my argument work, but have reached the conclusion it might not be valid. However, I am extremely curious to see how guys with the speed and athleticism of NFL WR's and CB's would translate to the pitch IF they were raised on the sport. I find it difficult to imagine they would struggle at anything they take up.

    By the way EM; I am surprised at how you describe the US National Team. I have never thought of the American national team as well organized, especially defensively. Their clearances are sloppy, they give way too much space near the top of the arc, and they are terrible defending set pieces. The most evident difference between the Americans and the top teams is the total lack of composure players show in their own third of the field. They lack the skill to free themselves when under pressure and deliver a simple ball. Instead, they choose an "ugly clearance." However, they manage to stay competitive with solid goalkeeping, deceptive speed, well-timed counter attacks, and most importantly..."grit" in the defensive third.
    Last edited by RoadFan; 12-07-2009 at 02:36 PM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Turk View Post
    I take it you haven't watched Urlacher play soccer?
    To be fair, Urlacher would have annihilated Messi when he came across the middle on that header vs ManU. (OK, Rhodes may have whiffed, but not Urlacher!)

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by EM31 View Post
    I would also say that soccer needs to grow from the streets. It needs to be a game of and for the people first. Look at Brazil, their talent pools is limitless because every kid is playing in the streets with tin cans for a ball and any two random objects to mark the goalposts practically as soon as they can walk.

    The same is true in Europe albeit to a lesser degree as well as in Africa which is what makes those guys extremely dangerous.

    Now let's take the US. Soccer really is not a game of the people. Kids start off with coaches and semi organized ball as soon at they can walk. It is a bit like painting by numbers. At the end of the process you have something which resmbles a nice oil painting but that does not make you into an artist.

    The US has a healthy soccer program at the college level and so players are fit and well coached but they would not know big time competition even if it hit them over the head. The best of the best go over to play in England where they might get a gig on the 2nd tier of professional level (if they are lucky).

    Under Bruce Arena the US was well coached and defnsively sound. Teams like this can give the appearance of being competetive at the top level because true world powers are not going to score a lot against them. Look at the US players. How many of those could get a job in the English Premier league or in the top Italian or Spanish leagues? Very few if any. The goalkeepers have done well. Everyone else, not so much.

    If the US was in the European qualification groups, they would never qualify for a world cup
    .
    Your post is mainly spot on, I reckon, well done - the bolded bit I disagree with as I think the US would not 'never' qualifty if they were in Europe, but that it would be a huge struggle and there are definitely Cups they would miss out on. In some ways the US are similar to my home country, Australia - when we had to go through South America to qualify we rarely made it. All of a sudden, now we are in the Asian grouping, we romp qualification home with ease.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadFan View Post
    You, and EM, make really good points. Skill does trump athleticism. Unfortunately, it is impossible to envision a scenario in which American kids are kicking around "a ball of rags tied with string" as soon as they can walk.
    I have tried to make my argument work, but have reached the conclusion it might not be valid. However, I am extremely curious to see how guys with the speed and athleticism of NFL WR's and CB's would translate to the pitch IF they were raised on the sport. I find it difficult to imagine they would struggle at anything they take up.

    By the way EM; I am surprised at how you describe the US National Team. I have never thought of the American national team as well organized, especially defensively. Their clearances are sloppy, they give way too much space near the top of the arc, and they are terrible defending set pieces. The most evident difference between the Americans and the top teams is the total lack of composure players show in their own third of the field. They lack the skill to free themselves when under pressure and deliver a simple ball. Instead, they choose an "ugly clearance." However, they manage to stay competitive with solid goalkeeping, deceptive speed, well-timed counter attacks, and most importantly..."grit" in the defensive third.
    US Goalkeeping has been better than solid in my opinion. This has been a true strength at a national level and there have been times when the US has had several Keepers capable of playing at the very highest levels.

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