Originally Posted by MWM
When I watch Germany I think they all look like they could play in the NFL. They don't have lineman bodies, but a lot of the top soccer players have receiver or RB bodies. Ronaldo could play football, Lionel Messi maybe not.
Someone said that kids play soccer more than any other sport, but this is more suburban white kids. I don't think a lot urban kids are playing soccer.
If soccer were 2nd or 3rd, then we'd produce enough players to compete with the international powers. The problem is soccer is more like 4th or 5th, and maybe even lower in areas where a high percentage of great american athletes reside.
There are particular areas where great American athletes reside? If you're thinking of inner cities, I think that is untrue. A lot of basketball players may come from inner cities because basketball is the number 1 sport in cities, but just about every other sport draws athletes from just about every type of community, city, rural, suburbia, etc. Soccer is the same. The idea that it's only played in white suburbia is a fallacy. My son's soccer club is based in a city most would consider largely blue collar. One of the top travel teams is based in farm country. In fact, I'd say the soccer clubs around here are much more diverse than the baseball leagues. And soccer is quite popular in immigrant communities.
As far as the Germans go, they have some of the taller players, but none of them have the build of an NFL or even a college football player. These days even WRs and DBs are bulked up with huge upper bodies and bulky quads. They look like sprinters. Just about all pro soccer players I've seen up close tend to be very lean, like distance runners. I just don't see a guy like Christiano Ronaldo playing football and outmuscling a DB on a 50/50 ball. Plus, he tends to hit the deck when he encounters a stiff breeze.