They are one macro-culture and two micro-cultures.
- Big organizations
- The household
- The team
This refers to the culture driven by large scale organizations. The most obvious are state governments.
They dominate the rhetoric, implement policy, and execute the law.
Neglecting the minority, these things combined funnel the worldviews and value systems of an entire people.
On a smaller scale, but still macro-level, are the soccer federations (ie US Soccer).
They too dominate the rhetoric, implement and execute policy of an entire nation.
First, and most powerful, is the culture of the household. If we’re talking about player development, parents dominate the rhetoric and most influence the value systems of their kids.
Second, and least powerful, is the culture of the soccer team. The coach dominates the rhetoric and can have some influence in the thoughts of his players.
And unless a coach establishes real authority and is charismatic, his cultural influence is negligible.
Having all three aligned, gives us harmony. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the products of this harmony are globally the best. It just means the products are maximized for that particular worldview/culture.
There are strengths that come from this homogeneity in culture, but there are weaknesses as well.
And of course the same is true of a heterogeneous culture.
Strengths of homogeneity
Who’s going to beat England playing 50/50, hard working, physical, vertical soccer?
Who’s going to beat Brazil trying to play flashy, samba style futbol?
Who’s going to beat Spain trying to play tiki-taka?
Those countries have their macro & micro cultures well aligned. There is harmony.
What about heterogeneity … the ‘melting pot’?
Here a competition between highly variant ideas is most likely to exist. But if the best idea is to take hold and win in a relatively short period of time, we must minimize protectionist policies.
A problem in the US, is that our macro culture is not aligned with countries who are the best in football. (Don’t lose track of what we’re talking about, this has nothing to do with popularity of the sport).
Our country’s rhetoric, policies, and hence general worldview is most like England.
The general American household follows suit.
And the general American coach as well.
So while our population has great cultural variety, those in control of our soccer systems and infrastructure do not. They are all essentially cut from the same mold, and protect each other from would-be challengers.
There is protectionism in the soccer market.
An open market where the best ideology, and hence product, wins, is the last thing they want. And with that policy, the strength of our heterogeneity (the proverbial melting-pot) is held at bay.
Dr Loco says
Heterogeneity is synonymous with diversity but melting pot is not. Otherwise great post.
Here is an example of how our macro/micro cultures are not aligned.
Are we training for a marathon, body building contest, NIKE commercial, random skills, athletic demonstration?
Actually Dr Loco from what I have been observing it would appear that your example video is proof that they are aligned for women’s soccer. When I watch the current USWNT I see a bunch of athletes that use speed and athleticism to over come opponents. I was observing a nation-wide Elite ID camp for women’s soccer yesterday and the focus was on testing speed and athleticism both in the training and the practice games. I was at a youth soccer tournament this past weekend and at the U14 girls lowest division most teams were playing a style based on speed and athleticism. It was actually quite eye opening for me to see that at the “elite” levels and the beginner levels of women’s soccer that they game looks almost exactly the same. 7 players, (midfield and defense) work to get the ball from the other team so they can kick the ball up field for the forwards to have a track race with the other teams defense to try and score. I am not saying I like what I say. Rather I was quite disheartened. But it sure looked like women’s soccer in the USA has a HIGH degree of alignment.
Once there is that much alignment the entrenched soccer system has that much more control over protecting the status quo and ensuring their incomes and survival.
I know Dr Loco that you are a revolutionary man. For Women’s soccer in the USA I fear it will take a revolution to create meaningful change any time soon.
Have you guys not seen what guys like CR7 and Diego Forlan, for instance look like when they take off their shirts? They are obviously doing this same kind of training. Being in tip top shape and being a great soccer player are not mutually exclusive. I’d say it’s mandatory to be in that kind of shape to play a season in any top level professional league.
Performance training is an important element but as evidenced by the video our soccer culture over-emphasizes the physical side. Of course you have to be fit to play the game but more than that you need to be smart! Big strong robots is not a recipe for success!
Totally agree with you that fitness and strength are highly valuable assets that when paired with soccer skills and IQ can be a deadly combination. CR7 is a chiseled physical specimen. When he plays he brings much more than speed and athleticism to the game. Real Madrid does not simply give him the ball at the half way line and ask him to try and out run 4 defenders. That IS what “elite” soccer coaches are doing here in the USA. The problem in the USA is that athleticism and speed are trumping all other attributes when it comes to selection and development. The video alone does not tell this story but a combination of symptoms point to this root cause and the deeper problem is how aligned the current US women’s soccer system is to this approach.
A few posts back the topic of soccer versus men’s soccer versus women’s soccer in the USA come up. I am of a strong opinion that the women’s game in the USA is running separately and independently from the men’s game. They both have problems that need fixing but they do not move in unison. Fixing one will not fix the other. There are different people owning and protecting the systems.
But see this video is not the problem. These same women who are in great shape could also be playing beautiful soccer.
It’s easy to look for scapegoat reasons. Many people like to blame our shortcomings on body types, or race or athleticism, or socioeconomic reasons, but I guarantee you that a team full of short, chubby, poor, non-athletic , non-white players isn’t going to solve our problems.
I have read enough of Dr Loco’s posts to understand the concern behind your comments. I definitely agree with you. We should not abandon the groups of people who are already passionately involved in soccer. We need to get them better coaching. Are there some players being left out, yes. And the players that are selected are not getting all the development they deserve as well. The revolution needs to be against the system not the players.
You are exactly right Wolfgang.. I’m not sure what I can do as a (non soccer playing) parent of a very good player other than look for the best coaching possible for my son and keep him involved in the game as often as possible. I wish Gary and Brian’s Barca team were a year older!! (or they would go to calendar year 2000)
BTW, my son’s name is Wolfgang!!
Dr Loco says
Just because you are in great shape does not mean you can play beautiful soccer.
Short, chubby, or non-athletic? Ever seen Pele, Maradona, even Messi?
Some guy wrote this a few years ago. Amuzing.
“Scientists have studied this. It’s a scientific fact that shorter players are better in football (soccer) because they’re closer to the ground. But there are numerous tall players who are excellent.”
Great players are going to solve the problem wherever they come from or however they look.
Dr Loco says
Good stuff. Fatty Foulke
“Some guy wrote this a few years ago. Amuzing.
Scientists have studied this. It’s a scientific fact that shorter players are better in football (soccer) because they’re closer to the ground. But there are numerous tall players who are excellent.”
I just wrote this a few minutes ago
“Scientists have studied this. It’s a scientific fact that people named Jeff are smarter because they have the best name. But there are are numerous people with other names who are very intelligent”
Has about the same amount of credibility as “Farrah” at Yahoo Answers. Don’t you think?
I would love to see this “scientific study” that actually quantifies what “Better in Football (soccer)” means and how “shorter” (whatever height “shorter” is defined as) players meet that criteria ahead of “tall players”
Dr Loco says
Wolfgang, I see your points and they make sense but is there a flaw in your analysis.
“Large organizations dominate”
I assume that both the macro/micro cultures want to “unleash the beast” in women’s soccer. Are they all aligned or really misaligned?
“A problem in the US, is that our macro culture is not aligned with countries who are the best in football. (Don’t lose track of what we’re talking about, this has nothing to do with popularity of the sport).”
“There is protectionism in the soccer market.”
Just because the women’s national team, women’s head coach, women’s large sponsors (NIKE) are all aligned does that create harmony?
We are neglecting the minority which does not feel so small anymore. I’m sure there some girl youth coaches here that are not in alignment with womens’ soccer.
You are right Dr Loco that there is a minority that is looking at things differently and wanting something better both on the men’s and the women’s sides. I do however see a lot of parents and households and local coaches and clubs, the micro culture in women’s soccer aligned to what the macro culture in women’s soccer is selling. I will keep rooting for the minority that We all know it out there.
All you have to do is watch the USA vs. France and you’ll see the majority at work. It’s just dreadful soccer.
Ken Sweda says
Bingo. Glad someone else noticed, and said so. Our forces in US Soccer are very much in alignment, unfortunately they’re aligned in the wrong direction. There is a minority, on this site and elsewhere, that keeps trying to initiate change, but that minority is dismissed by the folks that want to retain their authority, incomes, etc…It’s a classic case, really. There is a lot of history, inertia and rot to overcome.
If the US could produce more Megan Rapinoe’s (and actually bring them ALL up the ladder), and rely less on Abby “Lurch” Wambach and Amy “10 Yard First Touch” Rodriguez types, as “effective” as they are in their own narrow arenas,, we’d start to play better football.
Dr Loco says
Exactly! Vector — direction & magnitude
It does not matter how much and fast you progress if it’s in the wrong direction.
Ain’t that the TRUTH!
I think you aren’t giving the “melting pot” element of US Culture enough credit. The US tends to absorb the best of other cultures and we’re just now starting to realize what is the best of these other soccer worldviews. The general populace is seeing that the way we’ve been doing isn’t working and the USSF and MLS clubs will jump on board when they figure out the providing a better end product will bring them more $. American kids growing up playing soccer have always looked up to foreign teams and stars but only in the last few years have they started trying to figure out not only the how but the why. The landscape is changing much more quickly than we think. We travel quite a bit with our club and nearly every where we go we are seeing more and more teams attempting to play the “beautiful game”. Developing outstanding technical ability and an original “American Style” will take a while but it will happen. I’ve only been actively involved in youth soccer for about 4 years and looking back it is already vastly different experience than what we were first introduced to.
Gary Kleiban says
USSF & MLS want more money / better product, no doubt.
But they have decisions to make as to how to go about doing that.
The don’t have to choose this or that way.
For instance, they may very well choose to go with a business model akin to the EPL.
Agreed but this is going to take a while. It’s going to take one forward thinking MLS coach that puts together the right side and starts beating the hell out the rest of the league and then the revolution begins. It’s already starting to spread in the EPL as well. Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool might just be the guy to open their eyes. We shall see.
I had a troubling thought ..
All those Dev Academy teams that are being funded by MLS teams ..
What is their mission statement?
p.s. no disrespect was intended.
Why is that a “troubling thought?” How can no disrespect be intended when you make a statement/ask question insinuating negativity or thoughtlessness on the part of a club, and NOT mean disrespect??
Since I don’t feel I need to apologize when making statements/ask question etc on this blog .. “it is what it is”.
Well, what is their mission statement ie., goals considering these players are not paid professionals!? Plus, I think most of the Dev Academy players still need to pay their own way!!
IMO, I think these are reasonable goals for the players of Dev Academy teams that are being run by MLS teams:
1) College/University route .. Gen Adidas contract if they leave early
2) 1st team i.e., professional contract i.e., home grown
3) USMNT U15, U17, U20, U23
IMO, the college route is still the predominant; where the players can get a free education / scholarship & MLS can get a large player pool for the MLS draft.
Haven’t many folks discussed how the college route is not the preferred option for producing players that are world class & can compete Internationally?
Wasn’t asking you to apologize Larry. Was asking you to clarify your contradiction.
MLS DA academies are free – as per MLS rules (it’s my understanding some do charge a fee of some sort). Non-MLS academies are surely pay-to-play (except Richmond Kickers they are free).
I don’t mean to be a prick Larry and I have read and re-read your posts. They are contradictory. July 28th, 12:50am refers only to MLS teams, slams them, but then says “no disrespect.” Then at 10:55pm you change focus to include most of the DA: “most of the Dev Academy players still need to pay their own way.” But then go straight back to MLS DA referencing with the “4 goals”.
But then go onto a different topic discussing if college is the best route for American soccer or not….
it’s all quite confusing.
I’ll give you my take:
1. 10 month season is best
2. I believe those paying for privilege of playing in DA should have option of playing HS or not – though I don’t think they should make that choice
3. College soccer is a great route/option for 96% of DA – some will develop in their mid-20’s (Clint Dempsey).
4. The top 2-4% of DA should be striving to play NASL/USL Pro or overseas equivalent
5. The top 1% should be signed to MLS deals period (it appears they are – but then not getting playing time).
Why aren’t HG signings getting playing time? That’s a diff’t discussion.
You are correct. I went from A to B, where B is a superset of A. This was done to prevent the counter argument ie exception to A which I did not want you point out 😉
Also, you are correct! .. I’ve been known to be confusing. You can partly blame the iPhone & my poor eye sight. Though in truth, I prefer to “drop hints” than use other methods.
Btw, have you read this? Your thoughts?
Culture is such a big and nebulous thing–we Americans struggle with large issues and compilcation…compli…big ideas. USSF should focus on fixing the issues over which it has control. e.g 3 player substitution rule. The rest of the world plays FIFA rules at most/all ages, but in the US we grow brainless players because teams are allowed wholesale substitutions to reinforce the bad habits of our lame kick-and-run coaches. Fix it Again Sunil.
Gary Kleiban says
The substitution rule is why we grow brainless players?
Stick with us man.
Ken Sweda says
One other thing: the US is not a melting pot, we’re a mosaic.
IMO, how the soccer club is organized &/or the Director of Coaching (DOC) may play an even larger role than the (current) coach. Have you looked at how the typical SoCal & Norcal youth soccer academy is organized and run?
Gary Kleiban says
The DOC does not have 1 on 1 interactions with individual players with the same frequency as that of coaches.
We are talking about the transmission of culture.
Not ‘soccer culture’.
The influence at the macro is minimal on the individual and team level. Unless a player’s father or other family member actively reinforce individual practice, watch games together, and knowledge sharing of how to play and understanding tactics – the coach has most influence. The coach has direct impact on style of play, tactics, technique and how much soccer smarts is conveyed. That’s why the right coach in well thought-out system (playing style / philosophy) is so important at young ages. And allowing players a good amount of playing time until they are about U14 or U15 is also important since kids develop mentally and physically at different stages.
The macro can and does influence, it’s at the micro level where meaningful change occurs. Look at the “La Roja” lessons learned I pointed out in another post. It was at the club level by a visionary coach that transformed an entire playing philosophy and built La Masia. This happened in response to, in spite of La Furia style that mirrored Spain’s fascist dictatorship.
Success at the micro eventually affects the macro (e.g, Spain and transition from La Furia to Tiki-Taka).
Until a team or club can be successful with whatever the “American soccer style of play” is, then we will circle around the status quo until something pushes us to a new plane. Until a then, dozens of pretenders will vie for attention and further complicate matters.
But how will we know it’s arrived? Success breeds success (e.g., Spain at very national team age). Until then, our heterogeneous soccer system will keep pumping out average players with inconsistent styles. Thus making it harder to play as a system functioning as one at USMNT level. Something Spain understands.
Whatever the ?American system” is, it will need to be common (homogeneous) so 8 year olds play same and learn same system as 23 year olds, as is done in most other countries. Without this dogmatic rigidity, La Masia, the other canteras such as Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad — the Spain National team would not be who they are. They depend on one another in a symbiotic relationship.
Dr Loco says
“American soccer style of play” is currently created by the homogenous group in our society. The heterogeneous soccer systems have not even begun to take effect. As you can see they are only 11 years of age and younger.
Gary Kleiban says
This is a post on general culture.
It’s connection to soccer is this:
General culture drives how people play, interpret, and teach the game.
The macro level is most powerful!
The micro level at times can end up changing/influencing the macro’s worldview. And when that happens, it’s monumental.
Thanks for guiding us on this thread 😉 I think I see now ..
Gulati and Klingsmann are at the “head” of our soccer world but they can’t seem to get our Boys to play an effective 4-3-3 😉
Where am I going with this?
Gary Kleiban says
Go bigger Larry … much, much bigger.
Think governments, Presidents, Congress, Parliaments, CNN, Fox News, CEO’s, Universities, and so on.
Nice post – true of all “teams” in all markets, although obviously barriers continue to be broken by minorities, women, and so on.
Melting pot is quite a long road….
Expanding on what I said about Spain’s canteras (literally “quarries”) having symbiotic relationship with the national team – does the USDA and various competitive youth clubs understand who their clients are? Is it college, USMNT, MLS, or any professional club around the world?
The answer is: “Yes”!
To American soccer’s deficit, almost all (if not all) youth clubs see college as their client. The ends supported by the means. This feeds the power and size problem we see in college soccer.
Part of our transformation as a soccer nation is to widen the funnel and realize that college is no longer the singe path to a professional career. Maybe 10 or even 5-years ago, but more and more kids are bypassing college, trying lower American leagues (NASL, USL, PDL,), going straight to MLS or trying their luck in Europe after a year or two of college. Some kids aren’t college material. No interest. Club soccer needs to come to terms with that.
So what does professional soccer look for? Does size and power really matter? What about technical skills, mental quickness, game understanding? Is that what the market (pro soccer) wants?
We all know college soccer is about size and power. Club soccer needs to look past college and think of those players who have no interest or near-term desire for college. What players and skills do they need to develop? Start thinking and acting like feeder clubs to a pro career instead of solely college focused. Develop relations with MLS and European scouts. Maybe go to more tournaments abroad. Get a coach on-staff with reach-back and connections to European or South American clubs. In addition to a college rep, have a pro soccer rep on staff that can help those kids who what to bypass college. But right now, if you aren’t going to college, USDA clubs and all other clubs have nothing to offer once you pay your last club fee and graduate high school.
I know this requires money, but MLS isn’t stepping up. MLS is a closed system. That is, head buried inside American borders. European and South American clubs scour the globe for talent. They think globally. Their clubs look to the generic “professional market” and identify and develop players. There’s a niche market for USDA clubs to fill until MLS steps up. Even then, USA is large enough to have a place for both.
Just a thought – does club soccer think that college is their client or are parents, club soccer’s real clients, demanding that soccer be an avenue to college? Parents drive the clubs by their enrollment. Clubs market to the parents. The dream of most parents, if I can generalize, is to give their child an education. I don’t believe that will ever change. But, soccer at the college level can change. Probably easier than the MLS.
Déjà vu! See article on Soccer Nation http://www.soccernation.com/san-diego-soccer-player-roman-martin-makes-a-splash-overseas-cms-3193
SoCal U15 player goes to Brazil, impresses, and since got opportunities to play tournament in Spain.
This is exactly where I was going with my post above. We need more clubs to think globally and provide players with international exposure. Also need clubs to provide guidance and opportunity instead of traditional US route through college. I think clubs exposing players internationally and opening doors via professional contacts will happen far easier than US having a common playing style /philosophy from U8 – U23. The difference has to do with implementing change at the macro vice micro level as Gary’s post touches on.
Joe fabian says
You just described communism. A totalitarian regime under the cover of some sort of pseudo-democracy. One dictates, everybody else must follow. I tell you how you have to coach, what system your team must play, how many times you need to practice, and for how long. Kill creativity, individual flare, thinking, just follow the rules brought to you by the few.
Gary Kleiban says
A country doesn’t have to be totalitarian to funnel the views and actions of a people.
Not at all.
Regarding the English bit, the vast majority of British Isles Descendants in the USA live in the South East United States where futbol/soccer is completely foreign and will never take there. College football and obesity will forever be king there. They literally have zero impact on the sport here. Also reason why the MLS will never open up a team there……………..where I’m going with this regarding culture and the English/Scotish/ “influence”, we should want nothing to do with how the English play their game, yet because of common language and a certain few in charge of protectionism in USSF we keep on keepin on. There are English like Bradly littered all up and down throughout the food chain in USSF, College ball, club ball etc…………………………..since when has England ever pumped out a bonafide player, furthermore the vast majority of their descendants don’t partake in the sport here, yet they control many of the processes here in US Soccer?
I don’t know. I was at the Tottenham/LA Galaxy game last night and Jermaine Defoe and Gareth Bale (for example) are miles ahead of anyone on the Galaxy. Maybe the Birts aren’t the be all end all, but I’ll take Defoe over Donavon all day long.
I can’t resist asking .. would you take Messi over either of them!? 😉 How about Xavi? Iniesta?
Of course, but these players are miles ahead of what e have now. The English are doing it better than we do.
true but England is far from being the gold standard. The English language is important to this country no doubt but the English soccer culture is antiquated by today’s standards.
Actually Larry, I would take all 5 of these players!!
I think while you may be correct that England is not the Gold standard, we could still learn from them. I believe America needs to take the best from different successful systems and find one that works for us.
Right now, if we were to come up with some players on the level of a Bale, Rooney, etc. I think we’d all consider it a huge step forward.
Dr Loco says
“America needs to take the best from different successful systems and find one that works for us”
If the basketball community read this they would think we were loco.
That is not the way a free market works. Individual philosophies need to fight for survival and the weak must die. Let’s stop being imitators and innovate. As a nation we do not let the game evolve with these protectionist ideologies. Give all youth players an equal opportunity to compete and let the best coaching philosophy win.
Everyone has influences though. That is what I mean. With the diverse population we have and today’s kids being influenced heavily by great players from around the world.
Last time I checked Donovan went to epl on loan and went straight on the starting roster. Must not be that bad! Get over your hate America bias.
TMul: “since when has England ever pumped out a bonafide player”
Don’t get carried away TMul. I am not an English-soccer apologist by any means but they defintely have developed (and there are even greater numbers if you include the entire UK/GB) some “bonafide” players.
Giggs, Scholes, Rooney, Cole, Best, Le Tissier, Ferdinand, Gazza. The list does go on and on and on. When players like Xavi and Zidane call Scholes the best midfielder in the world, you might want to stand-up and take notice.
That being said – is England producing players to compete properly? No, they had no chance to actually win the last Euro. But, they went 2 wins, 2 draws, 0 losses (I don’t cout PK losses as “losses”!!) through shear hard work and determination, not because they were so wonderfully skilled.
Should USA model themselves after England? No. Should Canada? No.
But to be fair, the academies here in Canada at least are being run by non-Englishman mostly, and are not playing “English” or “NA” style really at all. And these are new academies. Give it another 5 years and see how the 12 year olds who joined those same academies are doing when they are 17…..will be a different story.
But don’t go so far as to say England has never developed a “bonafide” player. Now, USA and Canada….neither has produced a “bonafide” player. Not Dempsey, not Donovan, not DeRo…..despite the population base and resources. Why? Coaching, and geography would be 1A and 1B.
Dr Loco says
Geography, really ?
Are they too far north from the equator? Interesting concept. Perhaps temperature plays a roll in player development. I have seen plenty of ballerz in Stockton, Fresno, Sacramento, Bakersfield Cali where during the summer it’s 100+F.
Can someone research this for the top footballers in the world?
Very thought provoking post. I tend less to view this less as a majority vs minority issue and rather the insider versus the outsider. The outsider-immigrant, gender minority, just plain different thinker-tries to succeed in the insider’s world. The successful stay true to their own culture/beliefs/values; the most successful can transmit those values into organizational change. But being the outsider is hard-every one who has been through it knows that. That is why so many who have fought their way in use the knowledge gained to turn their children into insiders as fast as they can. The melting pot may have swirls of color but it all tastes the same in the end: big, strong, fast, win.
I was struck by this at a game this weekend. A parent commented on the number of Latin looking kids on the other team. They won playing fast, hustling to the ball, and big looper shots on goal. No finesse, little creativity. At the podium their names where called out: Justin, Jarrod, etc-not a single Jose or Juan-well on their way to becoming instant insiders in the society their parents struggled to assimilate into.
What is most energizing about this board is the obvious “outsiders” here, rising to make their voices heard over the din of faster, stronger win win win. Gives me hope for the future of soccer/futball in the US.
I’m 47 & I play in a Men’s over 35 indoor soccer league in Norcal. The majority of the players are Hispanic (from Mexico or from a country in South America). The Hispanics are all very passionate about soccer. You would imagine that most of their children would be playing competitive youth soccer, with dreams of becoming professional soccer players. Not true. I’m just guessing, but I have a feeling that most Hispanic parents would be satisfied if their children had a soccer field to play on over the weekends for free.
I apologize if I offended anyone of this board with the above comments.
How ignorant do I sound?
Speaking of society’s influences it would be useful (especially Dr. Loco) to remember de Tocqueville’s comment on America from 1835:
“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”
Dr Loco says
My American educational system must have failed me. I never heard of Alexis de Tocqueville. Let me investigate more.
Dr Loco says
Hincha, you and me both are trying to repair our soccer nation.
I am with you Dr. Loco. Don’t give up the faith!
Dr Loco says
Tocqueville is rather interesting but I’m too exhausted to delve into political science right now.
“The first who attracts the eye, the first in enlightenment, in power and in happiness, is the white man, the European, man par excellence; below him appear the Negro and the Indian. These two unfortunate races have neither birth, nor face, nor language, nor mores in common; only their misfortunes look alike. Both occupy an equally inferior position in the country that they inhabit; both experience the effects of tyranny; and if their miseries are different, they can accuse the same author for them.”
Let’s filter this down to reality. What influences the exceptional player’s development is 1 – CULTURE; 2 – use of individual talent; and 3 – as Johan Cruyff said having mentoring by an exceptional teacher. The rest is up to you! MY NAME IS RICK FIGUEIREDO.
Dr Loco says
Rick Figueiredo, nice to meet up! How long have you been on 3four3?
So what do we do when we are missing 1,2,3?
You stated a reality down below that continues to be ignored.
“The key race to our elevation remains dormant. How to get them interested in what they call a “white man’s sport” is the real challenge. We are perhaps 50 years away from really making a mark in the World Cup. “
I strongly believe part of our culture problem is discipline and lack of working to the common good. We are such a heterogeneous society that these can be difficult. The American way is to be independent, do what’s best for the individual. Not saying that’s bad or good, just the way it is.
I’ve travelled to Japan and Korea many times last 25+ years. The J-League and K-League are very popular and their societies are extremely homogeneous. Drive around and you see soccer fields in parks and schools. Japanese soccer coaches are as serious as their commercial business practices. Their focus and dedication to being the best is palpable.
Like the Germans, Japan and Korean societies are very disciplined and group focused (common good). If you’ve read “Soccernomics” these countries are predicted to be footballing powers in near future because they have infrastructure and economic power. They just lack experience.
Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Italy are world powers and very homogeneous societies. Brazil has many races, but their culture and soccer culture are inseparable.
I’m not saying USA will never be a footballing power. I’m more saying our lack of a common, disciplined vision and playing philosophy is a complicated obstacle to maneuver. I don’t see that vision and thought leadership at USSF and among USDA clubs. Maybe they’re thinking about it behind closed doors, but how do we create a playing style and player identification that brings out the best of our heterogeneous society? How do we make the best of our advantages in player physical size and power, infrastructure, economic strength?
The elements seem contradictory and mutually exclusive, but Spain and Brazil figured it out despite political turmoil, economic challenges, and regional tribalism.
Does US Soccer need an overhaul? Reinvent soccer power pyramid and make it more cohesive? Rebrand out vision and playing philosophy? USSF tried that when they rolled out Kilnsmann, but been a whimper since. The power brokers of status quo will do everything to prevent it. They want to feed us same shit and like it and say that’s all that’s on the menu.
Dr Loco says
Good stuff Kana!
I’m being rather simplistic but the solution is to ask David Stern from the NBA. They put together the ‘Dream Team’. Soccer should be able to do the same.
I think someone like DLH needs to take over and restructure US Soccer.
The USA’s dominance in world basketball has been over for some time now. The ROTW has narrowed the gap at the Olympics for how long now?
Where are the “Big Man” players coming from these days?
Would agree with you here, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy are all socialist countries. The “common good” for the purpose theme. It’s all over their national teams too, their players and how they act. Korea and Japan as well. Barcelona made the rule for the players to not flash their money/cars/houses/etc as it was pissing off the people there, IE Ronaldinho with his blings hummer. (Ironic it was Ronaldinho carried barca all those years, they used the fuck out of him and they just kicked him)
It’s interesting, read some things but the Spanish League, in the 1980s La Liga, was every bit the hachet job league that the EPL is now. Big, strong, physical mean aggressive. All their clubs came together and made a systematic change to the league, the people voted for the change.
Germany saw in the early 2000s that they were getting bypassed in football, playing Ole English style, we should have beat them in the 2002 world cup quarters playing USA style; however all of their clubs made the same socialist change and you’re seeing their fruits now.
The England League is now 75% foreign players and it keeps rising yearly, all their big clubs are owned by foreigners who honestly don’t give a shit about the English players (most of the English players are average anyways), more of the Arabs keep buying the rest of their smaller clubs, wonder if the average English futbol supporter will have enough? All the big clubs in Europe, in Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands are backed by their governments (people)