Re: USMNT: The March to Brazil - World Cup 2014
What I have gleaned in the last few years is that top youth clubs (wherever they are - South America or Europe) set technical objectives for kids. Just like school you are expected to learn certain skills at a certain age. The earlier you learn those things, the sooner you can move onto more advanced technical skills. Conversely, if you don't learn them, you don't continue to compete at the same level. Coaches know the objectives they have for player for each team each year.
The biggest difference between the US and the rest of the world that I see is that soccer coaches command more authority and respect everywhere else in the world. We have parents coaching kids until 10 years old in most parts of the US. That does not happen in the rest of the world. Coaches are trained, and even more than that, they are committed to analyzing and understanding the game, even obsessed with soccer. They are always trying to figure out how to teach the game better. Contrast this approach with US parent coaches who are trying to make sure who brings the juice boxes on a particular day, why little Johnny is not himself today and whether the other parents are happy with the experience their kids are having.
People don't follow soccer the same way in the US as they do in the rest of the world.
Do you know who is regarded as the best player in the world - outside the US, and the UK? Not Messi, not Ronaldo. Xavi. He is displayed as the ideal player for his unique ability to see the field and to use this to break down defenses. He doesn't score the most goals, but his passing frequency and passing accuracy and his defense splitting passing are unique. He is not an athlete like Kobe Bryant nor has the dribbing ability of Messi but he is the key to Barca's tiki taka.
His head is on a swivel, and more and more analysts are looking at how often he checks off different parts of the field before receiving a pass and trying to quantify that skill. They are doing it because it is so valuable to his ability to complete accurate passes. They want to quantify it so they can emphasize it and teach it to kids.
People appreciate Meszut Ozil, but at Real Madrid Luka Modric took his position away because he completes more passes and like Xavi, looks around many times before he receives the ball. Ozil has beautiful touch, but Modric was far more industrious and successful at passing which is why the Great Zidane, who works for Real Madrid, gave his blessing to releasing Ozil.
Everyone is looking for the new Xavi, with his vision and relentlessly active head on a swivel.