Writing articles about the Messi’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s of this world are always going to receive the shares, hits and get the best reviews, but one of the main reasons why I signed up to write for Football Deluxe was to tackle some key issues and hopefully make a difference. The way I see it, is that even if one person is impacted by this one article then it has been worth it.
I have been coaching in the US for many years now and what I can say is the potential for development is limitless. I could finish there, but there is more, and it is a bitter-sweet story in many ways.
Firstly, because I have made this country my home and clearly I want it to succeed. However, I was born and raised in the UK, Manchester to be exact, and my home town of London will always have a special place in my heart.
I see so much here in my new adopted home, that it surprises me they haven’t progressed more. I say I’m surprised, but in all honesty, because of the attitude and education they have here when it comes to this beautiful sport, it actually does not surprise me in the slightest.
When I refer to education, I am not referring to the academy training they have here. If you compare, even to the biggest clubs in Europe, some of the facilities and training they have here, it is top of the line. So what’s going on? Why are there only a few top American players playing in the top European Clubs and why doesn’t the US National team succeed?
Clint Dempsey is a symbol of what could be if they all showed the grit and determination, with that inner desire he was able to make it to the pro-ranks. Clint Dempsey, a product of the Dallas Texans Academy based in Dallas, Texas, but many have spoken about how he always had the internal desire and was destined to succeed because he would never quit, he was always caught with the ball at his feet. My point being, he is one of a few, not one of a multitude of players shipped out of a country that has the potential to birth the greatest, well that is my humble opinion.
If you look at the type of Athletes the US has churned out, it’s remarkable.
Take all the NFL and Basket ball players, their size, speed and strength is unbelievable, can you imagine Michael Johnson or former Cowboys great Michael Irvin running down the wings? if some of these players were channeled in to Football (soccer) and then taught the right way, if they had a love for the beautiful game, do you think the US would be a force to be reckoned with?
Last weekend one of the teams i coach had a challenge tournament to see if they would remain in that division. Firstly, the bottom 8 teams out of the a 10 team division had to challenge. (DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU?) Also, it just so happens the tournament was scheduled at the same time as the Champions League Final.
I know for a fact, in the UK if there, anyone half serious about football will be sitting at home in front of the telly (TV) watching that game, not out playing themselves. In the US if the Super Bowl was playing, no one would be out throwing the ball. And that is the problem right there. A lack of passion for this sport and a lack of understanding in how to promote it and schedule it the right way.
There is a time for everything, and unfortunately youth football here in the US isn’t governed by football fans, but by parents who really know nothing about the sport (My point and case made in my previous comment). It may sound like a harsh statement, but when you have tournaments playing at the same time as World Cup games, Champions League finals, then you know there is a problem right at the top of youth football. The US will never be a world force unless something changes in the way they approach things and when people here seriously become passionate about a global sport.
I hope you enjoyed this article, it’s just a point of view and I am aware there are many if’s and but’s, if you can add or take away, please do. I would love to read your perspective.