Have a great idea for a penalty kick goalie specialist

Discussion in 'Nuttin' but Net' started by oneatatime, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. demosthenes
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    demosthenes Well-Known Member

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    My personal opinion is that it's naive to assume we can figure out with certainty who will be great at another sport when we can't even do it within sports. How many "can't miss" prospects have come to Florida and were a bust? Too many for me to name or remember them all and that's just at one school. Anyone remember Darrell Lee who "could step right into the NFL" coming out of HS? What did he do in college much less the NFL?
  2. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    I'm going with a guy who not only can't miss but didn't miss. He was alongside TT and Wes Chndler, the most dangerous player in UF hstory. He wasn't just one of the scores of can't miss prospects who have come thru UF. It's not realistic to compare him to guys who weren't even productive in college.
  3. demosthenes
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    demosthenes Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying but you're still extrapolating success from prior success, the same thing that is done with other can't miss recruits. Like I stated earlier in the thread, another can't miss recruit that turned into an all-star and future hall of famer in his sport said he was nothing special despite growing up in Italy playing soccer. At any rate, it's clear we won't agree. Peace.
  4. sixoburn
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    sixoburn Active Member

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    As someone who moved to London and has discussed these things with the locals, here are a few thoughts.

    1) People outside the US think the NFL combine (when they know of it) is ludicrous, and "how can you possibly put that much focus on some random tests in a sport?". Pretty much every major sport is a combination of skill and athleticism, but the importance of each varies (and by position, too). There have been several NFL TEs who have been college basketball players, and switching a sport in your early 20s and being a professional really suggests that there is relatively little "skill" involved (even though TE is technically a skill position). Can you imagine someone taking up QB after not playing it and making a NFL roster? Or a WR not making the NFL and running the point for an NBA team? On a scale of "skilled" to relatively "unskilled", QB and PGs are very skilled positions where you basically need years of playing in order to be effective, and if you have skills you can give up some athleticism (certainly at QB). I really doubt if we watched Steve Nash kicking around a soccer ball we would think "wow, this guy will win an MVP" because he is (by NBA elite PG standards) not super athletic, but he is very skilled. Soccer is much more like being a PG, and that makes it much more difficult to judge who would and wouldn't be good from US sports. I tend to think that people who excel as point guards are really good at seeing things in the field/on the court and making the correct pass, and if there is any correlation between hand-eye and foot-eye co0rdination, then Russell Westbrook would probably be a pretty decent soccer player, but it is harder to know that than the likelihood of Arjen Robben, who is 5'11" and one of that fastest soccer players, being a pretty good WR in (american) football. Being a PG is probably much closer to the skills needed for soccer (aside from kicking, which is slightly important) than wide receiver, and I would imagine the likelihood of top PGs being good soccer players is higher than WRs/CBs/RBs, which rely more heavily on athleticism. Being taller is better in soccer, but most of the best players are not tall (central defenders tend to be pretty sizeable), so clearly it isn't that important. Luis Suarez is shorter and, from what I can tell, less athletic than Jozy Altidore, but Luis Suarez does things like this () while Jozy does things like this (). Jozy and Suarez both played in the less competitive dutch league and scored a lot of goals before moving to the EPL, but like a QB moving from college football to the NFL (or HS to College), you really don't always know how good someone will be until they suit up. Many skills can't be measured, and you won't know if someone is going to be one of the best until they play the best.

    2) When look at athletes, it is really important to keep in mind the biases each sport has in regards to body size. LeBron James is great because he is extremely skilled, extremely athletic... and 6'8" and 270 lbs. In the NBA, those extra inches are very, very important, where they really aren't in soccer. Barcelona put together a great team on the backs of Iniesta/Xavi/Messi, all of whom are 5'7". If you could make a LeBron James a bit more skilled but merely 6 feet tall, you would say no way in basketball, whereas in soccer it is probably a good deal. I do think people like Chris Rainey are much better suited to playing soccer because their small stature isn't really a problem, where they basically have no chance of playing in the NBA, and will have a limited role in the NFL. Messi is surely one of the greatest athletes on the planet, yet he would never make it in the NBA, and would be a scat back (at best) in the NFL. I have come to really enjoy watching soccer, and it would be interesting if kids who are on the small end started playing more often, we could probably greatly improve the quality of the USMNT (and surely the MLS) with players who are too small to play in the NBA/NFL (Erving Walker?).

    3) It does seem that Soccer is growing in the US (Florida is getting one MLS team in Orlando, and probably another in Miami), and it will be interesting to see if you it shakes out with who plays what. Is it mostly geographical? Or do tall kids go to basketball and short kids play soccer? Or more based on ethnic backgrounds?
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
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  5. BA69MA72
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    BA69MA72 Member

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    There are probably athletes in US sports who might be excellent soccer players, but if you want evidence that there are skill-type differences, consider the non-soccer playing successful athletes from soccer-playing countries--such as Dirk, Ginobili, Rubio, baseball players from Mexico and Columbia (which both made the World Cup field)
  6. gatormater
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    gatormater Active Member

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    Brah, you could also make the argument that the body types are different because the training is different. Of course if you're doing long distance / endurance type sports, you're going to have a leaner body. We could probably argue all day on this point, but will never know since it's a hypothetical.

    That said, there has been proof over and over again that some of our best athletes could play dual sports that require different skill sets (bball/baseball, football/baseball, bball/football, track & field/everything). It's just a matter of limited time that becomes the constraint in training for the sport (though even that was surpassed by the likes of Deion and Bo Jackson). And even when some "failed" like Jordan, it proved that he was stukk capable of being pretty competent in a completely different sport with very limited training time.

    My point is, if you had Lebron fully dedicated to training for that sport and who is naturally athletic, the skies the limit.

    I understand people argue about how Lebron's height would work against him, etc. etc., but we've also never seen an athlete like Lebron.

    Fact of matter is, the best population of athletes that exist today are in the US and of those athletes, most of them play basketball and football. If it was soccer instead, then many of the top guys we see in the NBA/NFL would excel in soccer instead. That is my opinion.
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  7. Osiris_DPM
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    Osiris_DPM Premium Member

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    Soccer had a little push in the US back in the 80's, with the Tampa Bay Rowdies being somewhat popular here, and that flame burned out quickly. There have been youth soccer leagues for years and years, with most of these kids being suburban children who grew out of it by the time HS started (giving rise to the term "soccer moms"). Every so often people claim the sport is really taking off in the US and will supplant ___ sport on the main tier of US fan support, followed by a dark period of several years where soccer isn't mentioned on ESPN, sports radio, etc. The last time was when David Beckham was signed by LA - it started a wave of sports talk discussions about the future of US soccer...for about a month. It's already been days since I've heard any soccer talk on sports radio or ESPN, and I expect that to continue until the next World Cup. This is exactly like the Olympics, where Americans become fans of track and field, and every other obscure sport loved by Europeans, for a couple weeks every 4 years. Track stars are like rock stars in Europe where fans crowd stadiums to watch the European club tournaments. Those guys walk around the US unrecognized. Will always be that way.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  8. sixoburn
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    sixoburn Active Member

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    I don't think soccer will supplant any of the big 3 anytime soon. I consider hockey a bit different than football/basketball/baseball in that it is highly regional, and I would guess soccer is already more popular in some places than hockey (growing up in Florida I don't think I knew a single kid at school who would call themselves a fan of the NHL, aside from one kid who moved from Detroit), but there are other places (Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, etc) where hockey is much more popular than soccer is anywhere in the US.

    But 20 years ago there were no professional leagues in the US, you couldn't really watch soccer on TV and it was significantly less popular for kids to play. Now we have the MLS, which is growing from a small base, you can watch several european leauges on TV (mostly EPL, but I think the bundesliga is going to be shown live this year, champions league, etc) and the larger amounts of money networks are throwing at soccer means that someone believes it is going to be worth it.

    I think my other point was simply that soccer will take body types which you absolutely cannot play in the NBA and probably not in the NFL. DeAndre Yedlin, the 21 year old from Seattle who played in some world cup games for the USMNT and might be getting sold to AS Roma in the near future, tried out for HS football when he was a freshman, but realized he was too small to really play (he is 5'8" 149 lbs now, and probably smaller back then). He is obviously quite athletic, he and his family decided to give soccer a try, and it seems to be working pretty well. Most kids play a bunch of sports growing up and I always think of basketball as the top of the totem pole as far as sports go. Most people who can make it into the NBA in the US probably do. The NBA is almost certainly the world's most difficult professional sports league to play in, and there are a lot of kids who find more success on the football field and play college football instead (if you are 5'11" and aren't one of the top 5 PGs in your recruiting class, the chances of you playing in the NBA for any significant period of time is probably quite low, and it is probably fairly low even if you are one of the top 5 at that height or shorter). By pretty much any metric soccer is both becoming more popular and significantly less popular than football, basketball or baseball. If soccer can grow to the point where "I am too small to play football, but maybe I can play soccer professionally" becomes an option lots of kids consider, then it will do a lot for the growth of the sport in the US, even if it never catches football or basketball.

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