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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:37 pm 
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green4life wrote:
Congrats to USA. They were out played the entire game but maintained their discipline and self belief and eventually it paid off. Good preparations puts you in position to squeeze out results even against all odds.

@Prof E2, the USA men’s team is on the brink but not quite there only because their best athletes are still lost to football, basketball and baseball. Eventually they can get there but it will still be difficulty for that reason. Compare to their women’s team where their best athletes opt for soccer before any other sport: hence they are always top 3 in the world. Just my gut.


Green, I have had you repeat this 2nd paragraph assertion several times and I often ask myself how “best athlete” are determined? Endurance? Perseverance? Tactical nohow? Coaching? Success? Growth? Intelligence? Emotional intelligence?
I will like your input on this, as you are involved in sports agency and immersed in talents discovery. My 20+ years observation of sporting talents growth and development in US from elementary school to college grade makes me seriously doubt this assertion, especially having seeing my kids and friends kids progress through this system.

If we judged “best athlete” in terms of intelligence, emotional and otherwise, you will agree with me that the best athlete in that term in High School are mostly in cross country and long distance. Majority of them end up in Ivy League and took to professional sports. Very few like our very own UConn graduate, Emeka Okafor, end up in professional sports.

If we use endurance and perseverance, the kids referenced above will score highest again and of course the habits you develop at age grade will translate and sustain you through professional levels. What begins to make the difference at college level, as we are discovering with upper middle class kids is the investment the parents make outside of the school parameters, hence most of the top athletes in US and Brazil in the last couple of years came from upper middle class kids.

If it comes down to sustained growth and development, best athlete, are often the ones with poor grades as they focus on one sport to the detriment of everything else including their education. This is the way Most kids in lower rung end up as top athlete. They hone their skills and endurance at YMCA gyms and BigBrothers and Sisters all over US whilst their counterparts are in class studying. They don’t care much about education as their recruiters will take care of that.

If your thesis is right, how come US do well in Olympic sports like wrestling, boxing etc, all,of which are not traditional big sports? I got more to stay, but I am on my way to Baltimore from my perch in the west so will respond at the next airport.

Like you I am basing my analysis on my gut and observations.
I moved this discussion out of France U 20 thread

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:06 pm 
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The tag 'best athelete' is an attempt at placing a label of certinty on a subjective endeavor.
Most teams in a competition are generally well prepared, but uncontrollable circumstances
prevents them from their goal. Which is why I wonder why people set themselves up for
a huge depression when their teams lose.

On the topic at hand, one can make the argument that the US best female atheletes
are in basketball and track.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:42 pm 
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I believe the "best athlete" moniker refers to innate physical attributes, as in hand-eye coordination and balance- physical balance, among others and of course innate intelligence.

This is the foundation on which personal interest is overlaid. Personal interest conditioned by social and environmental factors: perhaps a parent who played the sport; early exposure thru TV; dominant sport in a particular locale, etc....

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:16 pm 
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txj wrote:
I believe the "best athlete" moniker refers to innate physical attributes, as in hand-eye coordination and balance- physical balance, among others and of course innate intelligence.

This is the foundation on which personal interest is overlaid. Personal interest conditioned by social and environmental factors: perhaps a parent who played the sport; early exposure thru TV; dominant sport in a particular locale, etc....

Thanks. That clears things up for me a little bit.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:40 pm 
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furiously frank, sorry for the late response. My reasoning with regards to America's best athletes is primarily based on key physical attributes that coaches (football, basketball, soccer, baseball, ice hockey, etc) look for such as:
1. Speed
2. Physical Strength
3. Size
4. Height
5. Endurance/ stamina
Etc. etc. The more of those attributes a player has, the higher the chance a coach will identify them for further developing of the skills required for that sport. Let's say you have 100 boys who each have all those attributes. Those boys at bare minimum have 5 major professional sports competing for their attention in USA whereas in a place like Nigeria it's only one major sport (football). Going back to my sample of 100 boys, if America is lucky, Soccer is attracting no more than 1 or 2 out of every 100 top athletes at best. Keep in mind that their best athletes mostly come from urban and mid to low-income areas or rural parts of the country. Whereas soccer (at least when my son played elite level under 12 before we headed to Naija) is largely middle to upper middle-class sport which requires a family to invest money in coaches (the coach for my son's team was paid full time and funded by parents of the players); lots of gear and miscellaneous travel expenses including lodging and tournament fees.

Ironically, in his last season before moving to Naija, my son played tackle football (pony) in the same season as elite level soccer. The coaching and training were more aggressive and intense and importantly, it was a lot more affordable for families compared to elite level soccer. Here's a sport he played on the side just to 'test' it (while playing soccer) and was voted to the county all-star team at the end of the football season. Now, if we did not move to Nigeria, who knows which sport he may have ended up playing. But this provides an insight as to why it's harder for soccer to attract the top athlete kids compared to the other major popular sports in America.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:20 pm 
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green4life wrote:
furiously frank, sorry for the late response. My reasoning with regards to America's best athletes is primarily based on key physical attributes that coaches (football, basketball, soccer, baseball, ice hockey, etc) look for such as:
1. Speed
2. Physical Strength
3. Size
4. Height
5. Endurance/ stamina
Etc. etc. The more of those attributes a player has, the higher the chance a coach will identify them for further developing of the skills required for that sport. Let's say you have 100 boys who each have all those attributes. Those boys at bare minimum have 5 major professional sports competing for their attention in USA whereas in a place like Nigeria it's only one major sport (football). Going back to my sample of 100 boys, if America is lucky, Soccer is attracting no more than 1 or 2 out of every 100 top athletes at best. Keep in mind that their best athletes mostly come from urban and mid to low-income areas or rural parts of the country. Whereas soccer (at least when my son played elite level under 12 before we headed to Naija) is largely middle to upper middle-class sport which requires a family to invest money in coaches (the coach for my son's team was paid full time and funded by parents of the players); lots of gear and miscellaneous travel expenses including lodging and tournament fees.

Ironically, in his last season before moving to Naija, my son played tackle football (pony) in the same season as elite level soccer. The coaching and training were more aggressive and intense and importantly, it was a lot more affordable for families compared to elite level soccer. Here's a sport he played on the side just to 'test' it (while playing soccer) and was voted to the county all-star team at the end of the football season. Now, if we did not move to Nigeria, who knows which sport he may have ended up playing. But this provides an insight as to why it's harder for soccer to attract the top athlete kids compared to the other major popular sports in America.

Hmmm. Thanks that’s enlightening.
I still have questions though:
1.so how come Americans still excels in other non-big 5 sports? Like wrestling and other Olympic sports? Especially, if their top athletes would have already been snapped up by the big sports.
2. What role is CET and football injuries playing in decisions about what sports to choose? Did you consider it with respect to your son decision?
3. Will this open the door for soccer in US?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:52 pm 
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furiously frank wrote:
green4life wrote:
furiously frank, sorry for the late response. My reasoning with regards to America's best athletes is primarily based on key physical attributes that coaches (football, basketball, soccer, baseball, ice hockey, etc) look for such as:
1. Speed
2. Physical Strength
3. Size
4. Height
5. Endurance/ stamina
Etc. etc. The more of those attributes a player has, the higher the chance a coach will identify them for further developing of the skills required for that sport. Let's say you have 100 boys who each have all those attributes. Those boys at bare minimum have 5 major professional sports competing for their attention in USA whereas in a place like Nigeria it's only one major sport (football). Going back to my sample of 100 boys, if America is lucky, Soccer is attracting no more than 1 or 2 out of every 100 top athletes at best. Keep in mind that their best athletes mostly come from urban and mid to low-income areas or rural parts of the country. Whereas soccer (at least when my son played elite level under 12 before we headed to Naija) is largely middle to upper middle-class sport which requires a family to invest money in coaches (the coach for my son's team was paid full time and funded by parents of the players); lots of gear and miscellaneous travel expenses including lodging and tournament fees.

Ironically, in his last season before moving to Naija, my son played tackle football (pony) in the same season as elite level soccer. The coaching and training were more aggressive and intense and importantly, it was a lot more affordable for families compared to elite level soccer. Here's a sport he played on the side just to 'test' it (while playing soccer) and was voted to the county all-star team at the end of the football season. Now, if we did not move to Nigeria, who knows which sport he may have ended up playing. But this provides an insight as to why it's harder for soccer to attract the top athlete kids compared to the other major popular sports in America.

Hmmm. Thanks that’s enlightening.
I still have questions though:
1.so how come Americans still excels in other non-big 5 sports? Like wrestling and other Olympic sports? Especially, if their top athletes would have already been snapped up by the big sports.
2. What role is CET and football injuries playing in decisions about what sports to choose? Did you consider it with respect to your son decision?
3. Will this open the door for soccer in US?



On #1. There's always local and/or personal factors. Also, some high performers who fall short in the major sports or opt to avoid high competition for spaces, for instance, do choose the lesser sports as a way of getting benefits such as college scholarships.

As you know, this is a large country and a variety of factors are at play. In some areas (towns, counties, school districts), certain sports like swimming, or wrestling, or lacrosse is #1 for kids.

Anecdotally, the impact of CET is still very limited. It will likely continue to grow over the very long term, but probably at a low level as a result of the continuing popularity of the sport, and the NFL's huge investment in countering this...

Like G4L, I have a son in the soccer program and travelling around, it's obvious the sport will continue to grow. While it does not and may never have Nigeria's talent base, I have seen some truly wonderful talent.

And when you add the resources that is often behind these young players wrt training, nutrition and conditioning, it's easy to see that the US will break through before Nigeria.

The sort is leaving us behind at a fast rate...

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We watched this very boring video, 500 times, of Sacchi doing defensive drills, using sticks and without the ball, with Maldini, Baresi and Albertini. We used to think before then that if the other players are better, you have to lose. After that we learned anything is possible – you can beat better teams by using tactics." Jurgen Klopp


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:01 pm 
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txj wrote:
furiously frank wrote:
green4life wrote:
furiously frank, sorry for the late response. My reasoning with regards to America's best athletes is primarily based on key physical attributes that coaches (football, basketball, soccer, baseball, ice hockey, etc) look for such as:
1. Speed
2. Physical Strength
3. Size
4. Height
5. Endurance/ stamina
Etc. etc. The more of those attributes a player has, the higher the chance a coach will identify them for further developing of the skills required for that sport. Let's say you have 100 boys who each have all those attributes. Those boys at bare minimum have 5 major professional sports competing for their attention in USA whereas in a place like Nigeria it's only one major sport (football). Going back to my sample of 100 boys, if America is lucky, Soccer is attracting no more than 1 or 2 out of every 100 top athletes at best. Keep in mind that their best athletes mostly come from urban and mid to low-income areas or rural parts of the country. Whereas soccer (at least when my son played elite level under 12 before we headed to Naija) is largely middle to upper middle-class sport which requires a family to invest money in coaches (the coach for my son's team was paid full time and funded by parents of the players); lots of gear and miscellaneous travel expenses including lodging and tournament fees.

Ironically, in his last season before moving to Naija, my son played tackle football (pony) in the same season as elite level soccer. The coaching and training were more aggressive and intense and importantly, it was a lot more affordable for families compared to elite level soccer. Here's a sport he played on the side just to 'test' it (while playing soccer) and was voted to the county all-star team at the end of the football season. Now, if we did not move to Nigeria, who knows which sport he may have ended up playing. But this provides an insight as to why it's harder for soccer to attract the top athlete kids compared to the other major popular sports in America.

Hmmm. Thanks that’s enlightening.
I still have questions though:
1.so how come Americans still excels in other non-big 5 sports? Like wrestling and other Olympic sports? Especially, if their top athletes would have already been snapped up by the big sports.
2. What role is CET and football injuries playing in decisions about what sports to choose? Did you consider it with respect to your son decision?
3. Will this open the door for soccer in US?



On #1. There's always local and/or personal factors. Also, some high performers who fall short in the major sports or opt to avoid high competition for spaces, for instance, do choose the lesser sports as a way of getting benefits such as college scholarships.

As you know, this is a large country and a variety of factors are at play. In some areas (towns, counties, school districts), certain sports like swimming, or wrestling, or lacrosse is #1 for kids.

Anecdotally, the impact of CET is still very limited. It will likely continue to grow over the very long term, but probably at a low level as a result of the continuing popularity of the sport, and the NFL's huge investment in countering this...

Like G4L, I have a son in the soccer program and travelling around, it's obvious the sport will continue to grow. While it does not and may never have Nigeria's talent base, I have seen some truly wonderful talent.

And when you add the resources that is often behind these young players wrt training, nutrition and conditioning, it's easy to see that the US will break through before Nigeria.

The sort is leaving us behind at a fast rate...

Scary....so, if nothing change we may never be able to go beyond the group stage at the World Cup? Unless we begins to raise teams from diaspora kids where they have access to the modern training, nutrition and conditioning

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:44 pm 
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I always cringe when I hear people say Nigeria has more talent than the United States in soccer. This is very far from the truth. Many of our players will not make it in MLS (I kid not). You can bring the top five Naija league teams vs MLS top five and Naija teams will lose 9 out of 10 (I kid not).

Now what is talent? Is it dribbling? Shot placements? Positioning? tackling? Execution? Exactly what is the talent that Naija players have that Americans don't?

As for US losing best athletes to other sports. This is far from the truth. Why?

1. For you to lose something you must have had it. At what point did United States have best athlete play soccer (at any age) but lost them to football/basketball/baseball etc? Basket/american football/tracks are dominated by blacks (AFAM precisely) and at no point do they invest their time in soccer (I'll go on a limb and say 97% of them). Soccer is just not attractive enough to them, at least currently. And if you want to talk about white folks, well, how athletic are they anyways? They only play soccer at the early age but majority of them find something else to do with their time as they grow (you sure ain't losing them to hockey because that sport requires you start really young...you know...kinda like ice skating).

And speaking of hockey (ice hockey for non-yankee folks here) that sport requires you have lots of money if you want your kid to be a professional player. It is quiet expensive.


2. The right athletes are the ones we have currently, club wise (country wise, there are many politics). While many people constantly underestimate the United States, many are overestimating their progress just because of the name "USA." USA is right where it's supposed to be. WC is the most toughest tournament at any level because you are playing against the very best of other countries who have about the same talents as you (at least the top 20 countries). Oh and don't forget that they have performed exceptionally well at these tournaments. I can never forget USA vs Nigeria at the WYC 1989. So there is nothing wrong with the athletes USA has playing soccer. So what do we say if US loses the next match? Would we say they have regressed (since they were fourth place in 1989)?

And as for Nigeria, the only wrong with us is coordination and truthfulness. It is not about nutrition. It is not about skills. It is not about talent. It is not about fancy training facilities. It is about corruption at all levels. We can have all the fancy training facilities in the world; we can have the best nutritionists in the world; but nothing will come to fruition under the auspice of corrupt minds.

More to say but few to write for now.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:41 pm 
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@Kolinzo, Nigeria has a greater talent pool of soccer players but they are mostly undeveloped due to infrastructural deficiencies in Nigeria compared to USA. The pool is greater because soccer is the only professional sport of interest in Nigeria.

You cannot disregard other sports in USA with regards to the consideration of ‘what would have been’ had soccer been it’s #1 sport as in South America, Europe, Africa, etc.

This is not to say that USA isn’t ahead of Nigeria because clearly USA is far ahead of us at the moment with little hope of Nigeria catching up without drastic changes.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:52 pm 
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@Furious Frank, txj has answered most of your questions however I wanted to add that with regards to CTE, notwithstanding that soccer will see marginal gains, keep in mind 2 factors that will slow down the CTE disadvantage compared to soccer:

1. Football is a religion in USA. Football is America. It’s a source of pride and identity as an American. It will always be. CTE or no CTE.
2. I signed up my youngest boy (i10yrs old) for recreational soccer this spring and to my amazement & ‘horror’ (I’ve been away in naija so unaware of the changes) they don’t allow them to head the ball. Point being that CTE concerns have apparently crossed over to soccer as well. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:54 pm 
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green4life wrote:
@Kolinzo, Nigeria has a greater talent pool of soccer players but they are mostly undeveloped due to infrastructural deficiencies in Nigeria compared to USA. The pool is greater because soccer is the only professional sport of interest in Nigeria.

You cannot disregard other sports in USA with regards to the consideration of ‘what would have been’ had soccer been it’s #1 sport as in South America, Europe, Africa, etc.

This is not to say that USA isn’t ahead of Nigeria because clearly USA is far ahead of us at the moment with little hope of Nigeria catching up without drastic changes.


The pool of talent is not greater than the pool of talent in the United States. There are more serious soccer players in the United States than Nigeria. This I know for a fact judging from various leagues from kindergarten to elementary to high school to college to intramural to MLS. More people play soccer in the United States than Nigeria. I think where we get it mixed up is equating fanaticism with talent. We have soccer fanatics in Nigeria not players. Football (American football) is the number 1 sport in America but less than a few play the sport.

American football is the number sport in America yet they are number one in many other sports (basketball, swimming, wrestling, boxing etc). The reason American soccer hasn't gotten to the Elite 8 level is not because they lack talent or that their best athletes are lost to other sports, but because of factors like proper coaching, proper scouting etc. Football academy is a new thing to the United States and that's the only way you can breed good players that will compete with the elite 8 on a consistent basis. But they are on their way.

And speaking of talent pool, you only need 23 players to make a formidable team. With proper coaching and right exposure, that shouldn't be difficult to produce in USA when things are in place.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:36 pm 
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Nigeria has more talent thab the US in football @kolinzo

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:45 pm 
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@kolonzo, less than a few play American football? This is a ludicrous statement. What you’ve overlooked is kids play different sports in different seasons. The number one sport during fall season for boys is undoubtedly football. This is from experience. Meanwhile soccer is largely played in fall season. Basketball is played during winter (indoor) while baseball rules the spring. Soccer is played almost year round at one level or another but they don’t dominate any season with respect to choices for boys. If you are talking about girls, soccer is mostly their number 1 option.

Talking of football, I live in football country in central Pennsylvania. My oldest played (even while he was great in soccer) and my youngest has just signed up for summer training camp & fall season football. And he’s a product of Nigerian heritage. In addition, many Other kids from my naija friends only play nothing but basketball. All these are potential athletes lost to soccer. Nigeria has no such worry. Also, you presume that Nigeria doesn’t have much talent because you haven’t been home in a while. But I was in Owerri for 7yrs and took my boy to the stadium ground to practice in the club’s Youth program. He could barely hang with the boys on ground. Meanwhile he played in the same youth elite travel league as Christian Pulisic (Hershey, PA only 30 mins from our house) and was performing well at that level.

The point is a lot of naija boys fall through fat cracks because NFF is no where near as organized and professional as USSF.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Got beeched slapped 2 days in a row :rotf:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:33 pm 
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bret- hart wrote:
Got beeched slapped 2 days in a row :rotf:



:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Jamaica, Venezuela

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