Post #1
Tuesday December 30, 2014 2:59pm

Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts: 298
This question is probably asked in one way or another in various threads, but I'll bump to the top....

On one hand, I don't think any team has made as large of a leap over the past 20 years, and the future does look bright in terms of bright, young prospects.

On the other, I remember being super excited about the Altidore, Adu, MB90 U-20s of a few years back and expecting the US to truly have elite professional talent to come from that class only to be disappointed. (Altidore's signing with Villareal and Adu's with Benefica ultimately provided false hope.)

It's not as if we haven't produced very solid professionals, but just not top level talent at top level clubs.

Charleston, South Carolina
Post #2
Tuesday December 30, 2014 3:22pm

Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts: 1,408
I think it depends on your level of involvement. I think most of us here have a reasonable expectation of how the growth should be coming, and most of us recognized the best years of the talent to be developed would be at the earliest 2018 and certainly come 2022. I'm my opinion it's come faster, with more talent out there than previously expected, and certainly more talent available when our supposed "golden era" was coming into term with Bradley, Altidore, Adu and the like. It's just different now.

Post #3
Tuesday December 30, 2014 3:46pm

Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts: 1,151
I agree that no nation has made as much progress as we have in such a short amount of time. Our facilities and infrastructure are already better than some top nations. In order for us to keep furthering our development I think the next frontier is improving the quality of the coaching, as well as continuing to develop our national network for player identification.

Rey Regicide
Post #4
Tuesday December 30, 2014 3:51pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
Here's an interesting question, what is progress? Getting alot of names that people outside of our country recognize and value? Or getting results in tournaments?

Post #5
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:01pm

Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts: 298
Original post from Rey Regicide

Here's an interesting question, what is progress? Getting alot of names that people outside of our country recognize and value? Or getting results in tournaments?

Well...I think we'll find that one naturally leads to the other. It's not name recognition per's the name recognition that follows club recognition.

Know Nothing
Post #6
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:13pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,781
I would say it has not changed, if only because of the Pavlovian response in here and in the media about the possibility of getting dual nationals like Julian Green and Zelalem.

Progress to me would be getting these players without much recruiting and play them up through the youth level without having to guarantee them full MNT squad places for signing on.

Post #7
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:36pm

Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts: 1,175
Slow to me. From last in 98 to elimination rounds then not even out of the group in 06. Yes the pool has expanded, but we still havent really had that depth we all want. I have always thought we would make semis before 2018 without the duals:green, zelalrm, jones. but now with some available, maybe by 2022 Will be semis. Transition periods are always weird and ugly.

Rey Regicide
Post #8
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:39pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
There are some teams that constantly put out players of reknown but don't amount to much internationally. Portugal being an example, save for a finals appearance in Euro 2004, in their home soil.

I think we've done great at getting decent results against powerhouses in international tourneys of varying importance. All without really getting the acclaim and recognition for our players.

Rey Regicide
Post #9
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:44pm

Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts: 2,001
And the majority of that has been in recent years. So I would say it's come fast, esp given our nascent youth producing infrastructure .

The production of talent that European clubs splash money over or covet through scouting has definitely been stagnant until honestly a couple years.

If it weren't for that, I would say we've been accelerating rather nicely no?

Post #10
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:46pm

Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts: 954
Our youth development and coaching has gotten better more quickly than I expected. I mean this in the very broad sense, not youth NTs, which are a bit dangerous to take seriously.

USMNT results? About what I'd expect, maybe a little better - QF appearance and another couple of recent 2nd round appearances.

The question is borderline moot. Soccer development is much less formulaic than other sports. Remember the Soviets, soccer was one of he few sports that they couldn't do much in. China will be better in 20 years, sure, but I think they'll still have jack schitt for NT results.

Post #11
Tuesday December 30, 2014 4:59pm

Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts: 3,321
I'm going to say a lot faster than expected considering where we were back in the day when there really was a conspiracy in this country against soccer- nowadays that's just bs when someone says that. There is a huge marketing push, MLS franchises are worth Millions.

Finally all the youth programs that came about because of the popularity of the 94 WC have started to produce genuine players. Most of our best players and hopes for the future weren't even born yet. Adu was a product of hype- though there was some substance there. 10 years later, we have 40 Freddy adus. The MLS teams have finally figured out how to collaborate with those top youth teams to where that young player has a platform to become a professional.

As far as the national team goes- we routinely are neck and neck with Mexico for best in concacaf and that's a start. We used to get absolutely destroyed by those pinche cabrones. We qualify every time now for the WC (1st regularly), and actually can compete in the contest and the fans get upset when we don't. We used to scrap for a point or not qualify at all. The World Cup is a crapshoot-- even the best nations can't get very far because the tournament is stacked.

Those who get upset at our "lack of results", while in their right to complain, are really stretching the truth. We have improved. Other countries at the same time have improved as well. It's just that we started from level 1, and those other countries from level 3 or 4. We are still playing catch up, but the gap is closing. The hard work being done across the USA by very dedicated individuals is actually too big too fail.... Patience will be rewarded, creativity and talent (which we have here in the USA in abundance) will push us over the top. It may take another 20 years, or 40 years. We will win the World Cup. I believe.

Post #12
Tuesday December 30, 2014 5:09pm

Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts: 97
I don't think it's fair to judge JK on general progress. I think there have been things he's been marvelous at progressing, and things he still has not yet succeeded at progressing.

I think our recruitment of youth (Zelalem, Green, AJ, etc.) has been wonderful. Expanding our pool with young potential never hurts a NT. It also gives us fans a reason to be involved and excited in the future (even if we normally would anyway).

I think JK's forward and challenging thinking and his open criticism of MLS and sometimes his players is commendable, despite the fact that it is controversial. In my opinion, USMNT before JK never experienced this kind of "stir up the pot" controversy. These ideas and thoughts presented by him encourage fans and bystanders alike to be engaged and think about what they want their national team to look like. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, he's got you interested and engaged. We've never seen that to this extent in a coach before. People are finally watching, and watching with a more critical eye.

As for toying with his roster, I think he has missed the boat a little on this one. He might know more than we do about soccer, but I still can't see MB playing in an attacking role. I still have doubts about JJ being a centre back. I still criticize his use of older players like Wondo and Beckerman (even though they have done great things at times in the NT picture). JK has experimented so much that he's failed to put players in their most successful positions. I think his team's on field chemistry is damaged as a result. Once again this is something that could easily end at any time, he could play players with some consistency in positions and gain a little chemistry (I understand using new players to expand the pool).

As for our actual on field looks and results, I wouldn't say that he has failed. But he hasn't succeeded either. It's odd because it seems like at times we're on the verge of it (first half of Czech Republic game I was ecstatic). We just haven't had the consistency to make it gel for a whole game against a higher level competition outside CONCACAF. I am patient, however.

Overall, JK for me has been acceptable. While the on field product is not always there, it's encouraging to me to see our improvement in youth as well as the increased involvement of fans. This next cycle is going to be a ride filled with ups and downs, and I'm still okay with some growing pains. I just hope we can fricken learn how to play it out of the back consistently.

Post #13
Tuesday December 30, 2014 5:12pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 6,060
Tournament results matter the most. Who cares if we have players playing in the top clubs/ leagues in the world if they can't give you great results at the international level then there is no progress at all. A country will always be graded on tournament results. You can argue with any soccer fan in the planet and tournament results will come up. For example my team made the semis in 1982 wc and 2002 what has your team done ?? And it goes on and on. Also there is a big difference when it comes to the word Prospects, how many will actually go on to have a long great international career ? Not many as the past has shown. I actually think we took a step back from say 10 or so years ago. But I think we will start taking a step foward in the next 5 years or so. But we won't know until the Tournament results, ( gold cup, Sub 20 wc, Copa America, Olympics, Confederations cup ?, gold cup, World cup etc).

Post #14
Tuesday December 30, 2014 7:59pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Original post from admsghs27

Tournament results matter the most. Who cares if we have players playing in the top clubs/ leagues in the world if they can't give you great results at the international level then there is no progress at all.

Wrong. Results measure success and failure. Progress is moving towards the desired results.

Quick example:

An NFL team finishes 2-14 with a rookie qb. Next year they are 6-10 The next year they are 9-7 and just miss the playoffs. In three years they progressed from a crappy team to playoff caliber. Did the team succeed? No. No one will remember them if they dont KEEP progressing towards a championship appearance or title but you cant say they havent progressed.

Post #15
Wednesday December 31, 2014 1:35am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805

I remember thinking in '02 that I couldn't wait to see how good our players would be in ten years. It looked as if Project 2010 wasn't such a crazy idea. The previous generation grew up in an era without soccer, and the current one grew up in an era when it was the most popular sport among American youths and not only do we have a professional league but a well-developed youth system. Well, the new generation has put together some good results at the international level (although not as good as that '02 side). but we still haven't produced anyone on the level of Friedel, Reyna, Donovan, McBride, Cherundolo (although he didn't end up playing), John O'Brien, etc. The only ones that have come close are Dempsey and Howard, and that was a while ago. Now it's going on 13 years later and our best players, aside from the dual nationals, are still nowhere near that level. Sure the MLS has improved leaps and bounds (we are producing more competent players) but in terms of our best players (the leaders of our NT), we have actually regressed. I don't see how people aren't at least a little disappointed by this.
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