Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A new dimension

The tall and the short of the U23 team.

Chris Seitz is a big guy - he's 6'4. Incidently, this makes him taller than every forward in the U.S. national team pool. However, it only ties him with another young goalkeeper, Brad Guzan. Oguchi Onyewu is also the same height.

Mike Randolph, on the other hand, is the littlest guy in the current Olympic team camp. He's 5'7. I'm assuming Peter Nowak, who is the same size himself, won't hold that against him. Besides, Mike is fast.

So is Marvell Wynne. So is Robbie Findley.

I feel like I'm one of the few people who can actually recall Jozy Altidore being shorter than 6 feet. That was back in his U17 national team days, when he was fifteen. By the time he'd entered the MLS combine at sixteen, Jozy had hit six feet, though his player bio took a bit of time to update that fact. Now, at 18, Jozy is 6'1, but the biggest change I noted interviewing him this time was how much muscle he'd packed on since I last chatted with him. He's built like a tank. It probably helps him a lot battling for position near the box.

With the majority of the squad in camp at over six feet, and while there have always been athletic standouts in U.S. teams, I have to say that the trend is probably increasing. Bigger, stronger, faster.

But Nowak didn't emphasize any of those things when I talked to him about what he was looking for to impress him at the U23 camp. He spoke about skill instead.

"It’s how they play as a team. The way of soccer, the way of imagination, creativity."


brucio said...

i am almost 6'5", do you think i could make the team?


A.C. said...

Perhaps not, but you could probably take Chris on in a bar fight, no?