1. VegasJustin

    VegasJustin New Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    I watched some of the game last night and it was obvious Belgium were better. As they should be. They are loaded with talent. We are playing in the Toulon tournament and lost both of the opening games. We didn't qualify for the Olympics and have struggled at the U-17 level. My question is, where is the improvement in the future going to come from? We have obvious problems now, but there was a time where we thought we had a bright future and I'm not seeing much room for optimism. This will be Dempsey's last World Cup, Donovan isn't even in the fold and Jozy hasn't hit the back of the net for us in forever. Where are the stars that can compete against the best teams? Look at Belgium. All of their players are playing at a high level and they aren't even what anybody would consider a contender for the World Cup.

    Somebody convince me we have a bright future because I'm not seeing it. I see an average senior team and not much going on at the youth level. This is a long ways away from the days of 2006-2010 where we thought we were on our way to competing. I remember those days. People were excited. Now I would be happy to just make the World Cup and not make a fool out ourselves.
  2. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    I'm feeling you Vegas, I've been disappointed almost every time I see the youth teams for awhile now and have remarked before how we can't replace an aging Boca or Dolo. They're really good players, but we should have players by now that would have made their presence with the US extremely doubtful (not by a coaching decision). But, nope, they're still some of our better defenders on the International level. This just isn't good enough. There some names that get banded about on some of the yank abroad forums, mostly from Germany though. I guess it's just going to take awhile for the new up-comers to make their way onto the team. I remember people saying Luis Gil was going to be the next big thing. He's doing well, but should he be further along in his development by now? I don't know? Just seems like he should be more involved in senior teams and getting more overseas interest? Maybe he is, I just haven't had as much time to view as much soccer as I used to. Just not too thrilled with the progress, as our younger players don't seem to be competing at the next level. I don't mind if it's a slow and steady approach, but we do seem to be going slightly backwards as compared to when Donovan was a youth player. Was the Bradenton Academy a dud? Where is Danny Szetela today? Icon FC? :doh:
  3. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    I am being serious when I say that I don't expect the quality of US Soccer to improve until salaries for US Soccer players make kids dream of not playing some other sport. As long as the best athletes play other sports guys like Dempsey and Donovan are going to be one off's and not the norm.
  4. VegasJustin

    VegasJustin New Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    Heather was getting to the best point. Why do our future stars not become stars? Why is it that we can't produce top quality talent? They do well at the youth level and then do nothing at the senior level. I mean, Donovan was the last time somebody played good at the youth levels and met expectations at the senior level. That generation was it. Why can't we produce stars? We have enough kids playing football, what is it about our coaching that doesn't produce top quality talent?

    I don't know the answer to this question. I can only hope that Hyndman produces, he's probably getting the best education out of all our youth players. I hope we have another golden generation. Because we're going backwards and that's not good enough for the most talented country in the world in terms of athletes.
  5. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    Glad to see your name Justin, have been wondering where you've been. I have no idea why there isn't more upper echelon players coming through the system. Agree w/Barry in that it's probably cyclical, but I'm with you, getting to the WC and not getting embarrassed is about all this group is capable of (unless the D pulls the head out and the switch goes on and Jozy sees the light). I will say that our talent pool has always been very thin in terms of international ability, but a series of injuries and stupidity has messed with this group. How different would things be if Holden, Gooch, Charlie Davies, and the forgotten one Bobby Convey had not been derailed by catastrophic injuries?? Throw in running off one of the best young CBs in the world in Subotic along with Bradley and that would be a pretty solid unit. We keep waiting for Mix Dixerud, Josh Gatt, or Bedoya to step up, but they seem to go to the lower Euro leagues and and not progress. As Mo rightly pointed out we are missing some serious athletic ability. Zusi is a nice player, but no where near the level we need to compete anywhere outside of Concacaf.
  6. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    While I cant know what the problem is, I certainly have plenty of thoughts on the matter. First for some perspective on the Toulon tournament; it is a u21 tournament and we took our U20 team. The French team that beat us 4-1 was a U21 team. They have some guys on their roster that are 23 yrs old. I dont know how that can be possible unless it is something you qualify for in the previous year, but in any case that is what the announcers said. I think most other countries bring their U20 team like we did which is probably why France has always been way more successful in this tournament than anyone else. Also, Tab Ramos said that while he would like to win, he is using this tournament to give all of his players exposure to the elite level of play so he is rotating players and not just trying to field his best XI. Winning is not his #1 objective. Also players like Gil, Villareal, and Yedlin who will play in the U20 World Cup were left off this squad due to their MLS club commitments.

    Klinsmann was given charge of the whole set-up on the men's side and the philosophy he has installed is that all our teams from the senior team down will play the same style of soccer. The idea being that by the time players reach the senior level they will be well versed on what is expected in terms of play and can seamlessly transition into a team of older, experienced players. On paper this makes some sense but wouldnt it have been better to implement the idea from the bottom up rather than try to immediately implement it at every level? I'm fine with prioritizing player development or a philosophy above winning at the U20 on down levels, but the senior team and the U23 team is about winning first. Also, I'm just not convinced that this philosophy of having one playing style is wise. After hiring Klinsmann as a consultant, Toronto FC tried for two plus years to play a certain way and they failed. They have now moved on, I wish the US would also.

    The U23 team was a massive failure but I blame this on Klinsmann's meddling rather than the talent of our U23's for several reasons. First of all, Klinsmann is the one who picked Caleb Porter as the coach despite the fact that the man was in the middle of his college season and had full time job responsibilities as a division 1 college coach. He expected Porter to implement his system during three camps, one of which was held in Germany when Porter wouldnt even be there. There is no way that was anyone but Klinsmann's idea; it certainly wasnt Porter's. If Klinsmann is such a great, experienced coach worth the $2.5 million he is paid, he should know whether it is possible for a coach to implement his style with so little time and under those conditions. The results show it was not. Also, the idea of including so many Germans in the U23 camps or on the squad was flawed. Their german club teams could care less about the US Olympic team so this meant holding a camp in germany and in most cases only being able to have the German American players in one of the camps. What is the point of that? How can you expect to prepare a team for an important tournament when every camp, and then the tournament team, included different players. One of the reasons for choosing Porter was that he knew the U23 talent pool from coaching college and the U18 national teams. In both of these capacities and as Portland's coach, Porter has shown he can quickly identify the right players and get results with less at his disposal than most of the competition. There was no need, nor the time, to go to Europe and look at brand new players that hadnt been identified before yet this is what was done. It was nothing like the way Porter normally operates. The U23 failure was a management failure not a talent failure.

    Why do the youth team failures coincide with Jurgen Klinsmann's revolution? Maybe it just hasnt been given enough time yet, I dont know, but I think by now we should have seen more positive signs than we are seeing. After two years at the helm of the US MNT shouldnt we being seeing the style we were told about or at least some of it. Shouldnt we be closer to choosing the starting back four and shouldnt they have had some time in a run of games to gel as a defensive unit? I think so but instead what we continue to see is experimenting.

    I dont think Bradenton is a failure and point to Donovan, beasley, Bradley, Jozy, EJ, etc as proof of that. Szetala is simply a burn-out, that stuff happens. Bradenton doesnt appear to be producing the players it did in the past but perhaps that is because elite players now have the option to stay close to home and get USSF training through the US Development Academy. If I was going to point to anything in youth development that is not working I would point to the Development Acadamies. You could say the creation of this program has also sort of coincided with the string of bad results, although it preceded them by several years. After six years perhaps USSF should take an honest look at the Development Academy to assess if it is working. Personally, I think the USSF could do a better job of supporting these academies and thinking outside of the box in order to provide more resources. Part of the problem could also be that the MLS reserve league has been underfunded and poor. Until this season MLS reserve teams were only playing about 10 games per year against a handful of teams. That just isnt good enough compared to other top leagues. You could argue players not getting game time with their MLS first team were better off staying in college yet these players were encouraged to leave for the pros.

    The college game is so much better than it used to be. We have more young players training and playing overseas than ever before. I just dont believe the future is as dim as it appears. There are too many kids playing soccer and the coaching is too much better than in the past for this to be true.
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