Friday, September 5, 2008

Hey, little cousin!

Did anyone notice that I now have family in the U.S. U17 national team program? It's in the genes, I tell ya.

Seriously, I don't think we're related, but it was still fun to see the name on the list.

Back when I was covering games for TopDrawerSoccer, I watched a few of the guys on this list play at the U14 camps, including one young Charles Renken. However, players develop at different rates or display different levels of dedication as they get older and perhaps distracted. I think some of the greatest players for the U.S. may still be some unexpected talents that don't come up through the standard system.

Still, congrats to all the young players for making it to the first competitive stage of the youth national team.


Jon E said...

I gotta think that there's a structural logic that dictates that a pretty healthy percentage of the US' real talents won't come up through the standard system. One, scouting is still pretty patchy, so a lot of kids get missed. Two, a lot of youth development in this country seems to be in the hands of people as tactically clueless as I am, so they miss players who are impressive in ways other than size & speed. And, three, our kids play too many competitive games too early, which discourages creativity and creates a coaching mindset in which creative kids are too often discarded as "selfish" or "flashy."

In terms of the patchiness, though, it's nice to see as many latino names on the list as there are. It suggests that scouting is getting a bit more comprehensive.

Matthew Zimmerman said...

What a coincidence!

I also have family in the U.S. national team pool.

A.C. said...

You sure do, Matt. I always thought of that ever Preston played.