go go go
Obviously American athletes as they are might not excel at soccer, but the argument seems to imply that if Americans cared more about soccer we would excel at it not because we are inherently better than everyone else, but because our children have the nurtition, free time, equipment, coaching, and talent pool to become better at sports than most countries.
lebron probably wouldn't be a forward and maybe he wouldn't be a good player at all, but if the whole country was devoted to soccer like europe or central and south america are, we'd be dominant. there's just no denying it no matter what some smug dude on espn says
if soccer can be something like the #4 or #5 most popular sport in the US and we can still field top 20 teams then we'd be down right excellent if it was the most popular
America's best athletes play football, basketball, baseball and hockey. If Reggie Bush, Lebron James. Chris Johnson, etc played soccer since they were little kids I'm sure we'd be pretty awesome at soccer.
I think that the argument shouldn't be that the athletes that are good at one sport should necessarily dominate all sports. Sports are so specialized, players generally can't even play other positions within their own sport. From my view, the argument is that the interest in soccer has been low and that players that should haven been soccer players have been attracted to other sports that they weren't built for. I'm sure that we have had athletes in this country that would have made phenomenal US soccer players that didn't play soccer, so they played other sports like football and baseball, weren't as good at those as they might have been at soccer, and now are out of sports.
His main point is that soccer players need high level of training and competition from a very young age that they're not getting, unlike players in other countries. (Which is true). But he's taking to task American athletes for not having built up soccer bodies....when our best athletes were training from a very young age for other sports. Might not all the names mentioned as good soccer players be even more physically appropriate for soccer if they had trained since being kids? And then have that skill set too?
The question is not could other sport athletes be better soccer players than our current soccer players, but could they be better than our current soccer players if they had played all their lives? (Which is much better than pointing out that Kobe shouldn't be going to any summits...WTF was that?).
What everyone seems to be missing (even though it was mentioned in the article) is that having the best athletes in the world doesn't mean shit if you don't develop the skill. Our soccer players aren't lacking in athleticism. They simply lack the skill and creativity necessary to compete with the Brazils and the Spains of the world.
We must stop thinking like American sports fans. In football and basketball, we have rolls for big guys with little to no ball skills...and creativity is only expected out of a few positions.
In soccer, everyone on the pitch (including the keeper) has to possess vision, creativity, instinct and at least a modicum of skill on the ball.
Take a look at the best players at this World Cup: Villa, Robben, Sneijder, Muller, Ozil, Lahm, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, etc.
Now tell me how many look like they would be rad at other sports. In the same vein, how would Gretzky do as a basketball or football player?
It is a game with a unique skill set. Having more Americans play the game at a higher level will improve the American team, but acting like freaky athletes who are really good at one sport would also thrive in soccer is just idiotic.
Forget basketball, hockey is America's sport reserved for middle-sized white boys.