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Thread: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

  1. #16
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Damn, I didn't realize Bradley was only 31 years old. It seems like forever ago he made a splash on the WC stage, and then has been a shell of himself for two WC cycles now. Its a same because I thought he was a rising MF star whose game really took a nose dive in his prime. It feels like the national team needs to move away from him and hand the mantle over to a younger player. They really need a player who can play a true MF and allow Pulisic to be Pulisic. Having him constantly drop too far back really limits what he can do.




    I remember watching a MLS game and people were like "here comes Jordan Morris" and then the USMNT got excited about him. Granted I have only seen him play a few times, but he has done nothing to flash, nothing to say "wow."

    I wonder if the MLS is both a blessing and a curse for the USMNT. Its a blessing in that it creates buzz in the US for soccer, it creates a playing field for a bunch of players to come up through. But it is also a place where you can make a decent pay day instead of really pushing yourself against better competition. You can succeed in the MLS, or you could push yourself overseas. Often the worst thing for a rising soccer star is to spend his early and mid 20's in the MLS.
    This debate happens all the time, but there isn’t a right answer, it just depends on the player.

    Guys like Pulisic, Yedlin and Brooks are super talented and playing a lot so it’s good. Hopefully Adams, McKinnie, Weah are talented enough to make it work and help their development.

    Is a guy like Matt Miazga getting better in Europe? Maybe but I wouldn’t say that’s a for sure. There’s lots of guys like that too, that maybe aren’t helping themselves in Europe.

    Then you have guys like Paul Arriola and Aaron Long who look to be good contributors and certainly helped themselves with MLS playing time.

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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I wonder if the MLS is both a blessing and a curse for the USMNT. Its a blessing in that it creates buzz in the US for soccer, it creates a playing field for a bunch of players to come up through. But it is also a place where you can make a decent pay day instead of really pushing yourself against better competition. You can succeed in the MLS, or you could push yourself overseas. Often the worst thing for a rising soccer star is to spend his early and mid 20's in the MLS.
    I'll go with curse. The generation that missed the WC and a pile of tournaments before that was the product you get when you rely on MLS. It does not produce world-class players. Technically and tactically it is an inferior league. It's a physical league with grueling travel because it stretches across a continent, but we have massive deficits when it comes to playing with the ball. You can see how much Pulisic and McKennie have jumped ahead of everyone else by playing in Europe.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRed27 View Post
    Brooks, Yedlin and Adams all missed the tournament and are likely all defensive starters.
    I'm hoping for Adams to settle in at defensive midfield. That's the big hole. Bradley's got to go. He gets abused by quality midfielders.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRed27 View Post
    This debate happens all the time, but there isn’t a right answer, it just depends on the player.

    Guys like Pulisic, Yedlin and Brooks are super talented and playing a lot so it’s good. Hopefully Adams, McKinnie, Weah are talented enough to make it work and help their development.

    Is a guy like Matt Miazga getting better in Europe? Maybe but I wouldn’t say that’s a for sure. There’s lots of guys like that too, that maybe aren’t helping themselves in Europe.

    Then you have guys like Paul Arriola and Aaron Long who look to be good contributors and certainly helped themselves with MLS playing time.
    I'd say Europe has put Miazga into a position to be one of the starting CDs on this team. He's ahead of all the MLS guys his age. Nantes turned into a dead end for him, and Reading is a dubious move (the Championship plays a dire brand of football). IMO, he'd have been better off staying in the Netherlands. He may have a Tim Ream ceiling, which I don't consider nearly good enough, but he's at least seen and participated in the game when it's played at a higher pace.

    On a separate note, why can't our nation produce left backs? We got nothing there.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I'd say Europe has put Miazga into a position to be one of the starting CDs on this team. He's ahead of all the MLS guys his age. Nantes turned into a dead end for him, and Reading is a dubious move (the Championship plays a dire brand of football). IMO, he'd have been better off staying in the Netherlands. He may have a Tim Ream ceiling, which I don't consider nearly good enough, but he's at least seen and participated in the game when it's played at a higher pace.

    On a separate note, why can't our nation produce left backs? We got nothing there.
    I like Miazga, my point wasn’t to slam him, but he was already in contention to be a starting CB when he played for NYRB. If he was actually playing and practicing with Chelsea than great, but he isn’t. The Championship is a marginal step up from MLS if at all and he didn’t play in France.

    Then you have guys like Bobby Wood, Joe Gyau, and Lyden Gooch, who have had some injury issues, but I would argue aren’t really being served by being overseas when they would all likely be playing in MLS.

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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I'll go with curse. The generation that missed the WC and a pile of tournaments before that was the product you get when you rely on MLS. It does not produce world-class players. Technically and tactically it is an inferior league. It's a physical league with grueling travel because it stretches across a continent, but we have massive deficits when it comes to playing with the ball. You can see how much Pulisic and McKennie have jumped ahead of everyone else by playing in Europe.
    MLS doesn't produce world-class players because we, as a country, still don't put a soccer ball at the feet of our top athletic talent early enough in life. I also agree with the take (just espoused by Tim Howard most recently on PMT a few weeks back) that soccer isn't enough of a way of life in this country -- you don't develop incredible ball skills going to practice a few times a week, you develop them because you go out and play pickup every day after school and spend all summer out with your friends running 5 v 5 or 11s from sunup to sundown.

    Kids with great handles in basketball develop those playing in the driveway or the park, not in practice.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRed27 View Post
    I like Miazga, my point wasn’t to slam him, but he was already in contention to be a starting CB when he played for NYRB. If he was actually playing and practicing with Chelsea than great, but he isn’t. The Championship is a marginal step up from MLS if at all and he didn’t play in France.

    Then you have guys like Bobby Wood, Joe Gyau, and Lyden Gooch, who have had some injury issues, but I would argue aren’t really being served by being overseas when they would all likely be playing in MLS.
    His two years on loan to Vitesse helped push him into his nominal starting slot. His ability on the ball and general compete level are better for it. If he stays in MLS he's Chad Marshall.

    There's guys who do benefit from having a secure spot in MLS, but the USMNT needs better than those guys. If you can't thrive outside MLS, that's an argument against having you on the national team. Miazga did well in Holland and not so well in France. Hopefully Reading turns into a ticket to first division football (either there or elsewhere). He can always go back to MLS. Striving for more and getting it is what the NT needs.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    MLS doesn't produce world-class players because we, as a country, still don't put a soccer ball at the feet of our top athletic talent early enough in life. I also agree with the take (just espoused by Tim Howard most recently on PMT a few weeks back) that soccer isn't enough of a way of life in this country -- you don't develop incredible ball skills going to practice a few times a week, you develop them because you go out and play pickup every day after school and spend all summer out with your friends running 5 v 5 or 11s from sunup to sundown.

    Kids with great handles in basketball develop those playing in the driveway or the park, not in practice.
    I don't think it's about the athletes who select the sport. Your average NBA or NFL would be useless on a soccer pitch. Size is often a detriment. It's the lack of ball skills and random play time that costs us. It's more Pulisics, not trying to convince Russell Westbrook to play soccer.
    Last edited by M2; 07-25-2019 at 04:30 PM.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I don't think it's about the athletes who select the sport. Your average NBA or NFL would be useless on a soccer pitch. Size is often a detriment. It's the lack of ball skills and random play time that costs us. It's more Pulisic's, not trying to convince Russell Westbrook to play soccer.
    Said it before, but the problem isn't that Russell Westbrook picked basketball over soccer as a kid, the problem is that the lightning-quick 5'6/5'7 D-3 PG you've never heard of picked basketball over soccer as a kid. Or the stud defensive back that was too small to get a scholarship.

    By the time you find out you aren't gonna be big enough to play hoops or football, you've already missed out on potentially a decade+ of development time with the ball at your feet -- and that's where we lose out. As it stands, we only occasionally get lucky on it.
    Last edited by Caveat Emperor; 07-25-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Said it before, but the problem isn't that Russell Westbrook picked basketball over soccer as a kid, the problem is that the lightning-quick 5'6/5'7 D-3 PG you've never heard of picked basketball over soccer as a kid. Or the stud defensive back that was too small to get a scholarship.

    By the time you find out you aren't gonna be big enough to play hoops or football, you've already missed out on potentially a decade+ of development time with the ball at your feet -- and that's where we lose out. As it stands, we only occasionally get lucky on it.
    I agree there.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    His two years on loan to Vitesse helped push him into his nominal starting slot. His ability on the ball and general compete level are better for it. If he stays in MLS he's Chad Marshall.

    There's guys who do benefit from having a secure spot in MLS, but the USMNT needs better than those guys. If you can't thrive outside MLS, that's an argument against having you on the national team. Miazga did well in Holland and not so well in France. Hopefully Reading turns into a ticket to first division football (either there or elsewhere). He can always go back to MLS. Striving for more and getting it is what the NT needs.
    I think we need both. The USMNT won’t be able to have a real player pool and a solid 23 man World Cup roster for a very long time without MLS development. They won’t be able to actually compete and be a factor in the WC if more top players aren’t competing in top European teams/leagues (I’m not sure Netherlands counts).

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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRed27 View Post
    I think we need both. The USMNT won’t be able to have a real player pool and a solid 23 man World Cup roster for a very long time without MLS development. They won’t be able to actually compete and be a factor in the WC if more top players aren’t competing in top European teams/leagues (I’m not sure Netherlands counts).
    MLS has proven deficient at developing players. Dallas, NYRB and RSL have been notable exceptions, but even then you've got to leave them at a fairly young age or you stagnate (e.g. Kellyn Acosta). Expecting the product coming out of MLS systems to do the job is what cost us a spot in the 2018 World Cup. It's a handful of clubs covering a massive land area and millions of kids. It can't begin do that job. There needs to be a come-to-Jesus meeting about development, moving away from pay-to-play, teaching skills, establishing solidarity payments, broadening the base for who's developing players, but US Soccer isn't going to do that. It already didn't do that.

    So we're left with one option - get out of the USA. The more MLS guys on the squad, the closer it's going to resemble the 2018 product. Berhalter's probably not going to do that because he and his brother are as insider as it gets. They'll keep the SUM wheels greased, trying to mix in some phenoms playing overseas with MLS lifers. Yet players are getting that they have to go. The U-20 NT has taken taken flight - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...20_soccer_team.

    The Netherland's top league produces a ton of talent (and not just Dutch players). The league gets raided constantly, which prevents clubs from assembling the veterans to compete for the Champions League (for instance, Ajax is being shorn of talent this summer). Yet the Netherlands always has phenomenal talents early in their careers and the managers there are excellent on training and tactics. Plus, everyone speaks English (far better than the English). Miazga was on a good club. Won a cup, got to play in the Europa League. Take that over MLS 100 times out of 100.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    MLS has proven deficient at developing players. Dallas, NYRB and RSL have been notable exceptions, but even then you've got to leave them at a fairly young age or you stagnate (e.g. Kellyn Acosta). Expecting the product coming out of MLS systems to do the job is what cost us a spot in the 2018 World Cup. It's a handful of clubs covering a massive land area and millions of kids. It can't begin do that job. There needs to be a come-to-Jesus meeting about development, moving away from pay-to-play, teaching skills, establishing solidarity payments, broadening the base for who's developing players, but US Soccer isn't going to do that. It already didn't do that.
    Is it because "MLS is bad at developing players" or because "Only the bad players (with no real options in Europe) stay in MLS?"

    All of the things you listed are good things (ending pay-to-play especially), but none of it matters unless you get a broader base of players choosing soccer as their "sport of choice" from a very early age. It's incredibly difficult to make up the development time early in life, especially when it comes to ball skills and feel for the game, and there are exceptionally few world-class players who came to soccer later in life ("later" in this case being past the age of 12-14).

    Also, it's kind of an uncomfortable truth, but the only way these issues are truly going to be solved is with money. Not just in the development infrastructure, but in the amount of money being paid to American soccer players. A good many of the best athletes we produce in other sports come from backgrounds where sports is considered the "way out," be it from your rural town in Texas or the inner city in Newark. Kids pick and choose sports because they wanna be like (insert superstar here) and, most importantly, get *paid* the max contract of (insert superstar here). Christian Pulisic is the first American kid to draw serious money on the world transfer market. We're gonna need a lot more kids like that, where you see eye-popping cash on the front page of ESPN.com, if we really want to change hearts and minds of people about path they want to follow (and, maybe more importantly, the path parents want their kids to follow) athletically.
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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    I wholly agree with your development points in terms of pay to play, etc, and all things being equal I’m with you on getting guys into European systems. It’s been encouraging to see guys like Weah and Sargent develop overseas and get a chance to play. Adams is 20 and super talented and absolutely should go play in Europe. My point is we aren’t going to have 40 of those guys that are going to be going overseas, in good programs, getting a chance to play and develop. We just aren’t. So that is where MLS is needed. On the front end to show case guys like Adams to get them chances and on the back end for guys like Arriola and Aaron Long, who are important depth parts of any national team including ours.

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    Re: USMNT...I believe that we will qualify!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Is it because "MLS is bad at developing players" or because "Only the bad players (with no real options in Europe) stay in MLS?"

    All of the things you listed are good things (ending pay-to-play especially), but none of it matters unless you get a broader base of players choosing soccer as their "sport of choice" from a very early age. It's incredibly difficult to make up the development time early in life, especially when it comes to ball skills and feel for the game, and there are exceptionally few world-class players who came to soccer later in life ("later" in this case being past the age of 12-14).

    Also, it's kind of an uncomfortable truth, but the only way these issues are truly going to be solved is with money. Not just in the development infrastructure, but in the amount of money being paid to American soccer players. A good many of the best athletes we produce in other sports come from backgrounds where sports is considered the "way out," be it from your rural town in Texas or the inner city in Newark. Kids pick and choose sports because they wanna be like (insert superstar here) and, most importantly, get *paid* the max contract of (insert superstar here). Christian Pulisic is the first American kid to draw serious money on the world transfer market. We're gonna need a lot more kids like that, where you see eye-popping cash on the front page of ESPN.com, if we really want to change hearts and minds of people about path they want to follow (and, maybe more importantly, the path parents want their kids to follow) athletically.
    We produced better players before MLS switched from a league that plays inside our country to being our prime development arm. A network of unaffiliated clubs and programs like IMG put us in seven consecutive World Cups. The generation that missed the 2011 U-20 WC, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and the 2018 WC came from MLS. We switched to this model and it failed. There's no way 21 franchises can do this job. Other nations have a whole ecosystem beneath their top flights, layers of leagues and clubs that develop players and give opportunities to a broad base of players. We've starved that out here so SUM investors can make their nut.

    The uncomfortable truth with money and soccer in this country is it's not going to broad-based development.
    Last edited by M2; 07-26-2019 at 02:22 PM.
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