Rajon Rondo would be a dominating goalie. Steve Nash would be superb. Rafeal Nadal would be stellar. Lebron James would be amazing.
OT - Ideal pro athletes that would dominate soccer?
Nash grew up playing soccer—he stated in a 2005 interview that he could have played professionally if he had focused on it—and continues to hold an interest in the sport. When Dirk Nowitzki arrived in the NBA from Germany, he and Nash became close friends, in part because they enjoyed watching soccer together. Nash is friends with several professional soccer players, including Alessandro Del Piero, Thierry Henry, Owen Hargreaves, Massimo Ambrosini and Steve McManaman. During his off-season, when he lives in New York City, he has trained with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, and once tried to arrange a pick-up game in the city's Central Park with the Red Bulls and one of his local teams
His brother has 30 caps for the Canadian Men's National Team as well
I'd have to agree, Lebron or Jordan would be unreal soccer goalies, or strikers. Huge hands, athletic as hell. With their verticals/heights there would be lots of header goals.
Hands-down. He would be the leading scorer... and play goalie.
in the net!!!
Pavel Datsyuk would probably be pretty good... Although I have to imagine that he likely has played soccer growing up in Russia.
The boy “with the twitchy walk” caught the eye of Krikunov, but not on the ice. Instead, Datsyuk excelled on the soccer field, where his anticipation, vision, and intelligence were more apparent. Under Krikunov, Datsyuk evolved into a particularly efficient two-way player, and he began to draw wider attention among Russian hockey fans. Despite his early successes, however, he went undrafted in the 1996 and 1997 NHL drafts.
Completely agree...he would've made these "athletic" forewards look mediocre.
Iverson Crossover....He'd be like Ronaldinho in his prime.
Iverson. Derrick Rose. John Wall.
I think Charles Woodson at fullback would shut down a few scoring chances for the other team.
I'd like to add Chris Paul.
Barry F'ing Sanders
Obviously not a fan of Dennis Leary...
Zoltan Mesko would have made a great striker
I'm thinking a guy like Chris Johnsom could be a great striker (he's fly past anyone) and Taylor Mays as a defender - he could physically overpower guys but also has good speed. And neither of them would scream like a pussy if they tripped over their own feet.
And neither of them would scream like a pussy if they tripped over their own feet.
Unfortunately, I think this would actually be more of a detriment to their soccer skills than an asset.
This was my facebook status a week ago....
Imagine if USA was a International Football (soccer) country we would probably be talking about a 3 peat World Cup Champions!!!! Revis would be the greatest defender ever, Chris Johnson would be the best striker in the world, and Ron Artest would redefine the Goalie position and never let a goal in his whole career! USA USA USA
Yea if only. Maybe someon will see your facebook status, and deem that this would be a worthy cause to fund. I have some experience in the stock market, so perhaps we can work out a deal of some sorts.
Also, do you have a twiiter? Its like facebook but it is just status updates. Oh and you can only use 140 characters. That would be even more exposure to making our simple dream a complex reality.
I don't use Twitter :/
Goalie- Dwight Howard,
Backs- Lebron, Calvin Johnson, Taylor Mays, Ed Reed.
Mid- Kobe, Garrett Rivas, Allen Iverson , dwayne wade
Forward, Chris Johnson, reggie bush.
Bench, Randy Moss, Jahvid Best, chris paul, rajon rando.
This would be funny.
Former Michigan kicker?
Woops too much Michigan on my mind , Darrelle Revis
Height can be an asset for a center back or a holding forward, but most great soccer players are average to below average in height. Messi is really tiny, for example. The low center of gravity and ability to move your feet quickly in tight spaces is more important that raw size.
And with keeper, too much height is a real disadvantage b/c it takes tall goalies far longer to go to ground.
Eeeeh.. not really... most elite players are of average height or above. Messi and Xavi are about average, Rooney is dead center at 5'10".. but players such as Ronaldo(both), Ballack, Torres, Zidane ect ect ect are at or above 6 feet.. actually.. for every great offensive player that is short.. I can name you 2 or 3 that are above 6 feet tall.
Soccer is a team sport, where teamwork is one of the biggest factors in success. See the France squad, with great individuals, but lots of problems on the field. With this, you can scratch Allen Iverson off the list. He and Deion Sanders are prime examples of "I" players, who wouldn't last in soccer.
Steve Smith would be a rediculous striker.. Maybee a little marshawn lynch at the midfield.
If America actually cared about soccer like other countries do, we'd win the World Cup pretty much every time. We have the most athletic sports players in the world. Woodson would dominate.
I don't dispute that we have a lot of absurdly athletic...uh, athletes, but I think that England pretty much demonstrate that caring a lot != winning a lot. That notwithstanding, it would be nice to see more support for the sport in the USA.
While I don't think the US would win "every world cup" if we cared, the top end athletes in England arent even in the same realm as the top end athletes in the USA. There is no English version of Kobe, Lebron, Dwight Howard, Chris Johnson, Darelle Revis, etc. They maybe have one or two very top-end elite athletes but their depth would be nowhere near the USA depth (one product of our 300 million population with high-end development leagues to go with it).
I really don't think it matters that much, and here's why:
Babe Ruth was a monster baseball player, but he wasn't a phisical specimen, he was rather chubby, but he had a talent, he was capable of swingging the bat at will, and hit balls all over the field, he was a great player.
Soccer is much like that if you ask me, Maradona was(is) hardly 5'6" he's always seemed kind of chubby as well, and we know he had the ability to dribble anyone, right now Messi isn't either the pinnacle of athleticism, also around 5'7" and also a world class player, then we have a lot of examples...
Ideally a goalkeeper should be someone tall, rangy, with great hands and fast reflexes, but, then you see David James, he's like 6'6" and he's awful, often fails to read the plays, doesn't act like a last defender and gets nailed into the ground when he should go out and try to reduce the gaps.
Ideally a central defender should be tall, so he can deflect crosses, should be strong so he won't be moved out of position by strikers, etc, but you see guys like Cannavaro (around 5'10") and plays like a dog ( well used to) he's fierce and very hard to pass by, he competes when the ball is in the air, if he isn't that tall it doesn't matter.
I kind of get the feeling that, to be a good soccer player you need to have 2 things, the right mindset, so you can not only play but know your possition, know what you're supposed to do, and to practice, you need to practice like crazy, all those nike freestylish plays are a result of a lot of practicing, brazilian kids live with a soccer ball by their feet, all the time, they play at school, during lunch time, they play at the street after and before they eat, they play indoors, one on one with their brothers, cousins, neighbors, etc, that's why they are so skilled.
I would also like to point out that IMO there's no one right way to play the game, Argentinians, Brazilians, Italians, Germans, each one have their own way to understand the game and they play according with the way they see the sport, it's like arguing whether is better to run or pass when you're talking about (american) football, there's no right or wrong, they're both ways to win games.
then you've never played soccer in your life. Try running around for 90 minutes with intermittent bursts of sprinting...then try doing it while kicking a ball and having other dudes try to take it away from you.
Soccer is more like rugby than American football (endurance vs. fast-twitch raw strength), and yes, it's a very cerebral game, but professional soccer players (as well as professional tennis players) are all extremely physically fit.
Well, AAMOA i live in Mexico, and i've played since i was like 5 years old, that doesn't mean that i'm good enough to even dream about going pro or something, yes players have to be fit, back in the day some players were allowed to just jog and help very little at recovering the ball, right now that's not the case anymore, everyone has to run, and it's very very tiring, i have played in amateur 7 on 7 leagues, the game only lasts 40 minutes divided in halves and with unlimited subs i play like 15 minutes, going on and off, and it's indeed very tiring, but if you have the talent it only takes around 6 months tops to get the required endurance to play a whole match.
If soccer were a huge cultural phenomenon in the US, I think we'd be much better on the world stage not because the Americans who currently dominate basketball and football would be dominating soccer, but because we'd field a team comprised of a handful of the millions of kids who currently devote their childhoods to basketball/football and never make it because their physical tools are poorly suited to the specifics of these sports. Basically a bunch of little American Messis.
Roger Federer actually came to a point in his life where he needed to choose between professional soccer and professional tennis. Freaky athlete.
that's Nadal.. not Federer... Federer's not a freaky athlete.. Nadal is..
Federer's simply naturally gifted at playing tennis.. just like Tiger Woods at golf.. Federer's not going to beat many players in the ATP inside a gym...
Kobe Bryant is a really good soccer player. He grew up in Italy and played a lot as a kid... I bet he'd be a pretty solid striker or back with that vertical
Speed, quicks, great balanace and vision.
Chad Johnson loves soccer and was close to taking the route in life, but chose football due to the money (or maybe the lack of money in soccer). He would have been a top tier forward.
People have brought up good names, like Iverson, Randy Moss, Chris Johnson, etc. But even looking back in history of other sports of people that could have been potentially really good at soccer we see the likes of:
Baseball: Griffey, Bonds (before 'roid rage), Cal Jr., Willie Mays, Hank Aaron
Football: Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, Lynn Swann, Desmond Howard, Tim Brown
Basketball: MJ, Spud Webb, Isiah Thomas, Magic (regardless of college), John Stocton, Pete Maravich
The list is really, really deep. And honestly, it's hard to even tell with some other athletes if they wouldn't have worked out differently depending on sport. Tyrone Wheatley, Ray Lewis, Bo Jackson, players like these who bulked up for football may have been great soccer players if they would have conditioned for that instead. In the end, they are obviously very different sports though, and while the coordination for all these players was very good in their respective sport (sports in the case of Bo), it's tough to say if they would actually have the foot-to-eye coordination required, though I wouldn't doubt many of them if they trained for that from the start.
I mean, besides, Ozzie and Raines, you just listed off a bunch of burners. Bonds before 'roids was one of the fastest players and the game and clearly had great coordination, Griffey had some of the best awareness in the outfield. Cal Jr. redefined how SS is played in baseball. Hank Aaron might not be the best choice to throw in there, but during his prime he still had some good speed. Willie Mays, on the other hand, had some of the best coordination and was probably the most athletic player in baseball during his time.
Also, those were just some examples, I think some of the guys you listed could be good too, but I really don't see how my players were ridiculous.
Where would a slow-footed 6'9" guy play? His incredible court vision would help, certainly, but he wasn't agile enough to be a soccer player.
I know you said pro athletes, but seriously. Denard is so fast he could pass the ball to himself and be offsides.
Steve Nash is a gifted soccer player and I've heard that he could play professionally if he wanted to (albiet somewhere like the MLS and not a good league). I've also heard that Chad Ochocinco is good at soccer, although probably not quite as good as Nash.
The problem with soccer is that you can be the most athletic player in the world, but having no ball skills is going to get you nowhere (look at Robbie Findley, maybe the most athletic player on Team USA, but also one of the worst). So basically, this is just a new spin on "how good would Usain Bolt be in the NFL?"
You'll have to excuse me, but I've always hated the view you seem to take on athleticism. I don't care how fast someone is. Being athletic refers to being able to do many things. Running, and things of that nature, is only one of them. Balance, vision, coordination, physical and mental toughness, and strength are all part of the equation too. So, in my view Robbie Findley may be the fastest and quickest person on the team(I have no clue if he is or isnt), but he can't possibly be the most athletic.
I have to imagine that you're in the minority if you think that vision and mental toughness are a part of athleticism.
Being athletic isn't all about speed, but realistically in professional soccer it's a lot more about speed because there isn't a ton of variance when it comes to players--when was the last time you heard about Kaka's amzing balance or Drogba's jumping ability?
Skill and athleticism are decidedly different things, and because speed is by far the most important part of athleticism in soccer, it's what most people think of when they think of athleticism.
I absolutely think that vision and mental toughness are a major part of being an athlete. As a matter of fact, I think they are two of the characteristics that separate the great athletes from good athletes-particularly vision. I just think speed(relative-at the pro level no one is slow)is overrated when it stands alone as a skill set.
I think you are confusing being athletic with being talented
I've also heard Steve Nash is Canadian.. but that might be just a rumor... hahahahaha..
As a sweeper. He would be lockdown.
So many gifted atheletes out there that it would take too long to list them all....
Some recent great athelets would have to include:
Just to name a few not mentioned. I'm thinking of guys with height, size and speed.
How many guys are over 200 pounds?
How many of them can run a 4.4 forty?
Real or fake?
You don't think those guys are over 200 lbs because they workout to be that big? All those guys were significantly lighter when they were entering college, and put a lot of work into bulking up to be able to play football. If they had been focused on soccer from a young age they would never have spent so much time working on their upper body strength.
Bo Jackson! He would have been unstoppable.
Monta Ellis, Barry Sanders, Carl Lewis, Walter Payton...
I'd get a list of the CBs in the NFL and start with them. I think they have plenty of transferrable skills.
I'd take the worst team in the MLS over a team of the top 11 CBs (or any position, for that matter) in the NFL.
I didn't mean *right now*. No, I don't think the CBs could compete immediately. I was speaking in terms of raw materials. Some training and whatnot would be assumed.
And having played in England for 3 years as a kid, I can tell you that tall people generally do not make good soccer players, even at goalie. Occasionally you will get a Ted Eck. Therefore, most of NBA probably couldn't cut it. Also, soccer requires a great deal of athleticism and endurance, so just about no baseball players could be included.
IMO, the athleticism, endurance, and playing in space is very similar to hockey.
I would assume that most American soccer fans would steer clear of retarded sports chauvinism.
Obviously, baseball and soccer reward a non-identical set of physical tools. But for instance, RE comparative athleticism, I'd be willing to bet that the median MLB centerfielder has a good bit more straight-line speed than the median World Cup roster member.
While you may be right - a median MLB centerfielder may have more straightline speed than a median WC roster member, but can the MLB centerfielder keep in up for 90 minutes? I doubt it, even for the best centerfielders.
Simply put, baseball requires a different set of skills, and being fit and athletic is not necessarily one of them. Baseball players sit, stand or squat about 98% of the time - soccer players do not.
Baseball's greatest player in his prime was a hard drinking overweight chain smoker. Soccer's greatest player in his prime was a symbol of fitness and endurance.
This is not to take away from baseball as a fun and enjoyable sport to play, but to suggest that baseball players have even the slightest comparison to soccer in terms of fitness and athleticism is IME a bit outlandish.
Are you suggesting that of the thousands of professional baseball players (on big league rosters, farm system teams, professional leagues outside of U.S., etc.) that none would have the physical tools and physiological make-up to play soccer at an elite level had they have been place in some soccer development system at an early age?
The two sports clearly require different skill sets, and I don't think anyone would deny a current baseball player isn't nearly as conditioned for endurance as a soccer player. But that's a product of their training, not some predisposition to a sport whose action is intermittent.
While I think those who are tall or naturally bigger (i.e. overweight) have a disadvantage in soccer, I think anyone from any race in any country can be good at soccer with the right development from an early age, even those who would end up playing baseball.
But the point of OP post was what current athlete could dominate soccer now. Baseball players are not developed or conditioned to run for 90 minutes, let alone 2 minutes, and the game of soccer is vastly different than baseball, even moreso than football, basketball and hockey.
With that, I don't think that anyone in MLB baseball now would be even remotely good at WC soccer now (and maybe vise versa). Not even close.
think you'd get an argument on the conditioning. We clearly had different interpretations of the original post, but for the record, it's pretty clear he/she didn't mean to limit this to current players
My question then, who amongst current and former professional sports stars do you see as having the most potential to dominate in soccer? Who are the prototypical athletes that would have excelled?
Further, at least to my mind, "would have excelled" implies a hypothetical--i.e., Who would have been great at soccer if he hadn't grown up playing it instead of [sport X]?
Sorry for the tone in my initial reply -- I used to both play a lot of baseball and take pride in my modest athleticism, so I've always been pretty chippy about assertions that no baseball players are athletes.
But I still think you're unduly favoring a very narrow definition of athleticism. Saying that baseball players are vastly athletically inferior to soccer players because baseball games don't require great muscular or cardiovascular endurance (which is for the most part true) is in my mind no different from saying that soccer players are vastly athletically inferior to basketball players because soccer doesn't demand size, upper body strength, or vertical explosion.
The strength, speed, durability, coordination, and reflexes displayed in some combination by all top-level baseball players are I think impressive in any context. Babe Ruths and John Kruks notwithstanding, pro baseball players are great athletes.
It seems we all have vastly different ideas of what athleticism means. I place more of an emphases on fitness and endurance, you maybe on reflexes and coordination.
But I agree, basketball players are better athletes than soccer players (maybe not VASTLY better) for the reasons you gave.
Overall, baseball players are definitely athletes, I just don't think they are as athletic as any other major sport (except for golf, if you are counting that). Again, this does not mean baseball players unathletic.
Thats because tall people in England means someone like Peter Crouch who's pretty awkward. Guy like that just doesn't have the athleticism of a Kobe or Lebron
So we're the only country in the world with tall athletes? Come on.
France produces both soccer and basketball players - there are like 10 French players in the NBA and obviously a ton in elite soccer. But none of their soccer players are supertall. Guys that tall just aren't cut out for soccer.
Goal- Rajon Rondo
Backs- Darrelle Revis, Ed Reed, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson
Mid- Chris Johnson, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson
Forward- Lebron James, Steve Smith
Rondo combines instincts, hops, and huge hands in goal
Revis helps shut down any quick strikers or counter attacks. Ed Reed is the QB of the defense, helping everyone move together and keep on the same page. Calvin clears crosses and corners with the best of them. And Woodson is diverse enough to be able to shut down the best attacking mids and yet create offensively as an overlapping left back
Obviously, Chris Johnson and Iverson provide explosiveness to attack inside and out from the mid. Kobe is the captain of the team, a true leader. Nash creatively sets up Iverson and Johnson and chances are open all day.
Lebron has the body to shield defenders with his back to the goal and the vision to distribute to any of Johnson, Iverson, or Steve Smith cutting towards goal. And he can beat anyone on corners and crosses.
There you have it- the perfect US Soccer team, on paper.
pretty much every other Bill Simmons podcast contains into a post...cmon let the damn soccer talk die already.
Anyone who plays any professional sport in America is athletic, but as a few have pointed out, you don't want huge or even that tall of a team. So football players close to the line of scrimmage and forwards or centers from the NBA are out. You have to be able to run a ton and be fast, so that takes out half of the MLB.
The bigger issue in my opinion, is the youth developement. While a ton of kids growing up play soccer, the level of training is inferior to England, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil and Argentina from a knowledge and level of competition standpoint. If we had clubs like they do in some of those other countries and if we had coaches like the other countries do, things would be improved.
Then if you added more financial incentive for an athelete to play soccer over say basketball, you would be able to have a more athletic team. In fact, I think we don't need to take atheletes from our current leagues. Our soccer team could be dominant if we filled it with 5'9" stud athletes that were considered "too small" to make it in football or basketball.
When and ever a time comes that US soccer players are recognized as the highest paid athletes in America, there will be a natural shift to begin playing hockey at a very young age. I never had over 10% of non-caucasians hitting golf balls with me at the range until Tiger came along. Now its the norm. Money and fame will dictate who plays what, and I just don't think that's ever going to occur in this country.
Your best soccer players would naturally be your top sprinters who already possess the foot speed for the sport and from those you could begin separating those with the dexterity needed to play socccer. So instead of concentrating on the big three sports, start looking at your sprinters and long jumpers from the world of track. No doubt an Olympic caliber triple jumper would be an ideal goalie.
Being a tremendous athlete doesn't equal being a tremendous soccer player. These lists of athletes could just have easily been a list of great players in their own sport who could have been great players in another sport; be it soccer, baseball, tennis, hockey etc.
But athleticism doesn't translate into being good at any particular sport. Look at Jordan and baseball. Would he have been a great tennis player? Maybe. A great football safety? Maybe. A great goalie? Maybe. I have my doubts but we'll never know.
I'd take my chances with someone with unbelievable quickness. That to me is the essential, innate quality that you look for in a soccer player. I don't care how big, or strong, or tall, or fast you are. If you are quick, my money is on you. That's why I think that many on these lists would fail as soccer players. Some are very quick but most are not.
But about looking at the best athletes America has, and assuming that instead of an upbringing and the sport they now play, they were instead brought up playing soccer. Looking at your Jordan and baseball example. Jordan worked at basketball for over a decade and decided he wanted to play baseball. Was he good then? No. If he would have played baseball his whole life instead of working so hard at basketball would he have been good? I think so.
I also look at players like Ray Lewis, and other LBs, safeties, RBs, who are over 200 lbs. If those people were brought up in a soccer country they wouldn't work out to be that big. They would train for a different set of skills.
So anyone looking at current players that could simply switch sports, or even work at it for 5 years, and become a good soccer player is kidding themselves. It many more years to become that good at a sport. For soccer players, using their feet to touch the ball is second nature. That second nature can't be picked up in 5-10 years of adulthood. That's something that is learned in youth. And that is the question being asked I think.
Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince in their primes. Those guys were all effort all the time and extremely athletic, defensive-minded players. Going back to the 80s, early 90s...pick 'em. Imagine a young Dennis Rodman on the pitch. I'd watch.
Terrell Owens would be a very tough forward to defend against.
I think Charles Woodson would make a great halfback.
OK - so is soccer not a huge cultural thing in the US??? Maybe not with the urban African American atheletes (Space Emporer aside) who seem to be listed above as potentials, but certainly in suburbia and with other ethnic groups.
As RioThaN suggests, there are kids in the US that live with soccer balls in their backpacks, and play pick up soccer whenever they have a spare minute, at recess, after school, etc. Then there are the kids on travel teams, etc. At least some of these kids have amazing footwork, speed, etc.
The question is, where does that pipeline go in the US? With as many people as we have in this country, and as many as we have in soccer programs up through high school and into college, what happens?
As I said above, the kids who play soccer at 6 years old and have the potential to be the next Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo either fail to reach their potential because of the lack of very high end training and competion, quit the sport because they don't see a viable financial future in it or switch sports that may be more lucrative.
To answer the OP's main question, for me it would be point guards, defensive backs and short stops. But we would need to improve our coaching and pay pros a lot more in the MLS for that to happen.
I think Mike Hart or Biakabutuka would make a great midfield player since vision is such a important part of being a good midfielder. I think you can put most running backs at the mid position. I think I would have Jalen Rose as a holding mid, but he might be too tall. I would put Leon Hall and Marlin Jackson as full backs. I would also have maybe Marcus Ray at centerback. It would be cool to have Woodson and Desmond play at the striker position. That is what I have thought of so far there are so many options that I wouldn't know what to do with them.
Braylon, Avant, Toomer, Streets, Walker, Law, Wheatley, Breaston, Manningham, Arrington, etc. would be great on the pitch.
Paul Pierce, I mean it'd be best to have someone who is athletic AND loves to fall over and earn phantom calls. That's where the USA earned my respect during the world cup, at no point were they really trying to ask for calls unless they actually deserved them (See Dempsey bloody lip vs Algeria in the box... didn't even get that one). If soccer eliminates the replay it's going to encourage these players to dive more because now they aren't even subject to media scrutiny for being actors on 75% of calls (see Kaka's second yellow card vs Ivory coast). I realize my post is a little sidetracked from the actual topic, but I really enjoy watching soccer and wanted to rant because I'm a little bitter the US lost.
OCHO CINCO #85
he'd have to change his name to no greater than Chad Veintitrés.
Edied. Never mind. Mine's already been mentioned. Twice.
I am not on my game today.
I think Usain Bolt would be deadly on counters as a striker. And he's nice and tall so he can win lots of balls in the air on corners, free kicks, etc.
I am sitting here cringing about the argument that other sports stars could not be soccer stars. I think that is a false assumption because the topic is not can they play now but "what if they had trained in soccer like they have their current sport matched with their athleticism". Sure right now most of the above mentioned guys are built too large or may not be able to run that much for 90 minutes but had they played since they were little then yes they could and yes they would have the skills and they would have trained their bodies for soccer not getting large and powerful.
The question is.... having guys with their caliber of athletic ability matched with soccer-know-how, would it give the US an opportunity to compete if not dominate? I think the answer has to be yes.
Some of our pro athletes undoubtedly could have made it in soccer if that had been their speciality, but when people start throwing out 6'9" NBA players, that's just silly. How many players in the World Cup are taller than 6'3"? That seems to be about the maximum height for someone who possesses the other necessary skills. If being super-tall actually conferred an advantage, we'd be seeing NBA-sized guys out there right now. We aren't the only country with tall people.
I am cringing at some of the suggestions here. LeBron James could not flourish at soccer - too self-oriented to play anything other than forward, where your speed can only get you so far. You need patience, passing and long-range shooting.....none of which James has regularly shown in the NBA.
I dont expect a soccer field to be any different.
LeBron averaged 8.6 assists per game this season.
I would take all of the best running backs and cornerbacks in the NFL, and sprinkle in LeBron, DWade and few other NBA players. That would make for a dynamite squad IMO.
What position would LeBron play? There's no one at the World Cup close to his size. (England's Peter Crouch is the only player I can think of who's even close to his height, and he's probably 50 pounds lighter.)
Goalie would be LeBron's best position IMO. It would be pretty difficult to score of someone that big, that long, and with that much athleticism.
Give me Chuck Liddell at stopper and I guaruntee that his thousand yard stare alone saves you some goals.
For UM, something tells me that if you put an athletic 6'9" guy like Chris Webber in goal that nothing is getting past him. You would go low corner on him and his 4-foot leg would easily knock it away when he scissored and he wouldn't even have to dive for the high corner shots.
If guys Webber's size are ideal for goalkeeper, why aren't there any in the World Cup? We aren't the only country with tall people.
A soccer goal is 24 feet wide. You don't stop many low shots with your legs. You do it by diving, and a guy like Webber, with his high center of gravity, isn't going to be as quick to the ground as someone smaller.
I see your point and agree which is why that taller than average keeper (6'9" is about 6 in. over ideal height)) would have to be an athletic specimen, some one so freakishly gifted that he broke the mold. Few big men would have the ability to make low saves and I can think of witnessing few big men more athletic than Webber. I didn't say Juwan Howard or Terry Mills or even a pro like Karl Malone because the just don't compare to the athleticism but thanks for raining on my fantasy soccer parade.
Edwin van der Sar, the dutch keeper is 6'5''-6'6''. Although he retired from international play this year (much to the dismay of the dutch national team) he is still a top flight keeper and ManU just extended his contract another year. Tall people can be elite goalies. Just last year be broke the Premier League record for most consecutive clean sheets as well as most minutes played without conceding a goal.
Also, Peter Cech, the keeper for Chelsea, is 6'5'' and considered one of the best keepers in the world. Here is some quick wikipedia info on his awesomeness....
He currently holds the Premiership record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, having done so in 180 league appearances. He also holds a Czech professional league record of not conceding a goal in 855 competitive minutes (he previously held a record for the most clean sheets accomplished in a single Premier League season (25), set during Chelsea’s 2004–05 title-winning campaign).
He also has a club record at his former team Sparta Praha, having gone 928 minutes unbeaten in all competitions in 2001–2002, when his unbeaten run in Czech league competition was combined with his performances in the UEFA Champions League. During the 2004–05 season, Čech went 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal — a former Premier League record until it was surpassed by Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United on 27 January 2009. Čech also won the Barclays Golden Gloves in both the 2004/2005 and 2009/2010 seasons. [
Although it's not 6'8'', hell even Gianluigi Buffon is 6'3'', which is fairly tall by soccer standards, and IMO, he is the best keeper in the world.
In short, tall dudes can definitely play keeper, and several of the best keepers in the world are freakishly tall.
Webber's 6'10". There's a pretty significant difference between 6'5" and 6'10".
I don't think it can be done. There's actually a case study: Hakeem Olajuwon actually was a soccer goalie until he outgrew the position and was steered into basketball. And certainly, he had great, great feet.
I was talking about LeBron as a potential keeper. CWebb would make for a terrible keeper IMO ( and could never play soccer period). I guess my main point was 6'8'' is pretty tall, but we've seen ridiculously tall keepers work before, because several of the top keepers are freakishly tall as is, so I could see LeBron working out at keeper, due to his amazing athleticism making up for the 3 extra inches he has on van der Sar and Cech.