Can U.S. players compete with the world's best?
Do American players have what it takes to compete with Europe's best in the Champions League?
America is one of the biggest countries in the world. So you would think with its size it would be one of the best development areas for football talent, right? Well, not so much.
Over the past few years we have seen some American players compete and do well in leagues around the world, such as Brad Friedel, Tim Howard, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, and Clint Dempsey. However, the next crop of U.S. players seems to not be so well off; and many people around the world have the same question - why?
Are they not coached to a high enough standard? Do they not have stiff enough competition growing up? Are they waiting too long to start their professional careers? Whatever the question is, it seems that the American players are just not up to the standard of players in Europe at a samilar age (or even younger).
Now don't get me wrong, we have seen some of the younger American players do well in Europe such as Geoff Cameron with Stoke City, Eric Lichaj with Aston Villa, Jozy Altidore with AZ Alkmaar, and Brek Shea with Stoke City, but we just haven’t been seeing high enough numbers out of the American game to consider it as a legitimate area for football talent.
Major League Soccer (MLS) isn't much help to the younger players either. In fairness, the league has shown great development over the years, especially with the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry staking their claim in America. The thing is the league has not shown the potential that should be expected in such a big country like the U.S., and if it continues like this, soon enough the "big dogs" from Europe will be wiping their paws all over the American game.
So what needs to change in the MLS to make the most of their talented players? Do you get rid of the Super Draft to target talent at a younger age? Do you make the under age academy teams more serious? Whatever the case may be, a change must happen to help the US national team improve their world standing.
What do you think needs to change in the American game? Tell us in the comment section below!
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