Originally Posted by M2
If you had to run an 10-man relay, I'm guessing the U.S. would be one of the top finishers. True or false, McBride (who you wouldn't count as one of the faster players on the U.S. roster) runs around folks in the Premiership pretty well?
What the U.S. doesn't have is the skill of other nations, but we've got kick and run down pretty well. Everybody needs organization and accurate passing, but what you just described is Italy (soccer's version of the Borg). The U.S. can't beat them at that game.
When I talk about athleticism, I mean that more in the way of ball skills, creativity, and quickness. The only U.S. player with world-class quickness is DaMarcus Beasley. Our defense, while physical, will be one of the least-athletic starting back lines in Germany. McBride isn't athletic (comparatively). Gritty? yes. Hard driving to the ball? No doubt.
There's a reason Landon Donovan couldn't cut the mustard for Bayern Munich. He's a great player who fits into the US's cohesive unit style of play very well, but he doesn't possess a world-class skill set at this point in his career.
Look at Claudio Reyna, arguably our best player. He's far from athletic, especially at his age. He is, however, an excellent decision-maker and very strong on the ball.
I do agree that we should play a hard-charging style of soccer in the world cup to maximize our chances, but our success won't be because we have better athletes (yet) or players with better, more complete, skill sets.