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Football: The Winter Break


polishgenius
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Just for the fun of it - there are a few Americans among our well-remembered players. Neither of them are in the "club legend"-bracket, though.

I'd rank them Tim Howard (well, he was steady-ish for about a decade) - Landon Donovan (exciting when he was on song) - Brian McBride (sadly was only here half a season) - Joe-Max Moore (lots of energy!) - Espen Baardsen (less said the better).

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15 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

So that makes your unfounded opinion more valid? Many have criticised the pay-to-play system and say that it's hurting football development, including Alex Morgan. But I guess she's also making incorrect assumptions and only Mr. Tywin knows best.

This is the last I'll speak of it. I know you might keep replying because you come across as one of those people who think if they get the last word in it means they won.

I hate the approach of getting the last word means that you've won. Frankly it's petty and I try to walk away though I'm not perfect. But you did literally cite a random high school news paper and call it credible journalism like a major source backed up the claims. That's silly and I hope you can recognize that. It's really not that hard to write for a HS paper in the US. My dumbass self got elected to student body government in college.

Now, if you want to have an honest conversation about the topic at hand, I would love to because there are a lot of flaws with the system, but arguing that they're pricing out the best players is not credible. The prices are high because parents want to pay for their less talented kids to make the team too. The people that get screwed are those that fill the obvious gaps. 

Edited by Tywin et al.
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13 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I think a lot of people here would put Donovan ahead of him, and the Landon has said he thinks Pulisic is more talented than himself.

 

 

An argument can definitely be made that Dempsey can't be it because after it didn't go for him at Spurs he seemed to kinda give up on Europe easily too soon, but I think he was considerably more consistent overall up till then and was unfortunate not to get a shot at a bigger team earlier, so...




Anyway there are lots of things the US could do to be better at football than it is, but not all the right decisions and correct challenging of funds and athletes would make them a dominant superpower in the sport, for the fundamental reason that, no matter what you do, it's never gonna be the thing kids in the US do in their spare time like that. A substantial portion of boys in Europe and South America grow up playing football nearly daily since not that long after they can walk. Pretty sure that's true of a lot of Africa and parts of Asia too. It's just never gonna be the culture in the US, and it means the players are playing technical catch-up from the start. 

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The US is never going to be truly competitive when they only have MLS as a way to make a living. Because of their reluctance to have promotion/relegation the talent pool of proffesional players is so small. There must be 150+ teams where you can play full time in England. 

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36 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

The US is never going to be truly competitive when they only have MLS as a way to make a living. Because of their reluctance to have promotion/relegation the talent pool of proffesional players is so small. There must be 150+ teams where you can play full time in England. 

Wrexham! Wrexham! Wrexham!

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4 minutes ago, Winterfell is Burning said:

Szczesny's penalty save was good, but the one in the rebound was probably the best save in the tournament so far.

Wow!  Somebody light that man a cigerette and let him smoke it in the shower.

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USMNT desperately needs a striker or a 'finisher', someone who can make things happen in the D. I dont think Pulisic is quite it, or if he is, he hasn't caught fire in this tournament yet. I was also puzzled why he was the only corner taker in the entire US team (he was kicking with his right foot regardless of which side he was on), who the hell was supposed to get the goal after that?

Anyway, can KSA repeat their Argentina performance? They were definitely dominating in the first half when I was watching.

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One day I'd like to have a look at Qatar's games from the 2019 Asian Cup to see if there were any shenanigans going on. They beat Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan en route to winning the tournament and conceding just one goal. Looking at the four teams in this tournament, Qatar have not looked even remotely close to the level of Saudi Arabia, South Korea or Japan. Either shenanigans or an incredible fluke.

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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

An argument can definitely be made that Dempsey can't be it because after it didn't go for him at Spurs he seemed to kinda give up on Europe easily too soon, but I think he was considerably more consistent overall up till then and was unfortunate not to get a shot at a bigger team earlier, so...

Ultimately it comes down to a hand full of low spades. It's hard to really pick the best player because by comparison they're not going to be able to live up to so many other nation's best player ever.

Quote

Anyway there are lots of things the US could do to be better at football than it is, but not all the right decisions and correct challenging of funds and athletes would make them a dominant superpower in the sport, for the fundamental reason that, no matter what you do, it's never gonna be the thing kids in the US do in their spare time like that. A substantial portion of boys in Europe and South America grow up playing football nearly daily since not that long after they can walk. Pretty sure that's true of a lot of Africa and parts of Asia too. It's just never gonna be the culture in the US, and it means the players are playing technical catch-up from the start. 

I played daily starting when I was five or so. The problem is more simple, it's just not the pipeline the top athletes are funneled into. As long as our football and basketball remain so ahead priority wise we're not going to be anything special. It's again why I've argued that very average pros in those two sports could have been stars in "soccer" for us had they dedicated themselves to it, whereas it's hard to imagine just about anyone who has ever played for USMNT going pro in the NFL or NBA. 

1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

The US is never going to be truly competitive when they only have MLS as a way to make a living. Because of their reluctance to have promotion/relegation the talent pool of proffesional players is so small. There must be 150+ teams where you can play full time in England. 

It's not reluctance, there's just a lack of resources at the professional level, but the club here locally was able to prove itself and get promoted to the MLS. Relegation is just never going to catch on here. Wish it would, but structurally it will never work. Maybe one day my dream of relegating owners will come true. 

As far as the number of teams goes, I can compare quality, but don't forget there are numerous D1 university teams. It's not for a lack of competition or avenues to improve, it again just comes down to priorities. 

Edited by Tywin et al.
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14 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

USMNT desperately needs a striker or a 'finisher', someone who can make things happen in the D. I dont think Pulisic is quite it, or if he is, he hasn't caught fire in this tournament yet. I was also puzzled why he was the only corner taker in the entire US team (he was kicking with his right foot regardless of which side he was on), who the hell was supposed to get the goal after that?

Like I said yesterday, even having a nice shadow of Kane would make a huge difference. We just don't have that. And he takes most of those kicks because he's good at them and not a great finisher in those situations. He's built like Messi and Neymar, but lightyears away from their skill. 

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It really showed it was a very heavy stone out of his chest (even if he later should have scored another and haven't). 

And Szczęsny's save was incredible, but if it was a goal it shouldn't count, the striker went into the box much before the penalty was shot. 

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I have watched a good few matches.  It has been interesting.  Delighted to see Iran win their second game. 

Is there any striker in the whole of Northern America?  And you can include Mexico in that group too.  But Canada and the US seem to have otherwise improved a lot compared to previous years.  I was really impressed by the US (except for the second half against Wales).

The second tier European sides have been very average.  And i'd include the Dutch in that.  Worst Dutch team i've seen I think.  Belgium and Croatia are in the past.  Poland always does the same at major tournaments (nothing).  The Danes and Swiss will probably look better against stronger teams because they can rely on their defense.  Portugal may have potential though.  And Serbia could do much better against their other opponents.

Spain were magical though.  But will obviously have much sterner tests.  Ecuador are a very neat team.  And Brazil did very well in the second half after a slow start.

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1 hour ago, Padraig said:

Poland always does the same at major tournaments (nothing).  

1974 and 1982 World Cups beg to differ. And I even personally remember watching the latter, so you can probably imagine how it pains to watch them this century. 

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