U.S. Abroad: Young signs with Werder Bremen

Isaiah Young  became the sixth American from the high school class of 2016 to join a German Bundesliga club when he signed with Werder Bremen. The 18-year-old forward brings to 42 the number of players from the Class of 2016 who have turned pro with clubs in Europe, Mexico, MLS, the USL or NASL.

Young was a U-17/18 conference player of the year in the Development Academy for New Jersey's Players Development Academy. He originally intended to play for Wake Forest.

Young scored against Panama and assisted on gamewinner against Japan for the U.S. U-20s in the 2016 NTC Invitational and turned to PDA in the fall, scoring nine goals in seven games.

Three of the other Americans have already made their first-team debuts. Christian Pulisic is a regular starter at Borussia Dortmund while McKenze Gaines (Wolfsburg) and Haji Wright (Schalke 04) both played with their first teams during January friendlies.

Nick Taitague, who is considered the top prospect in the Class of 2017, is expected to join Schalke 04 when he turns 18 in February, and JJ Foe Nuphaus, a high school junior, is at Hoffenheim.

From the Class of 2016, 42 players have turned pro. Sebastien Des Pres (RSL Arizona) debuted for Blackpool within days of signing with the English League Two club.

Class of 2016:
EUROPE (15):
Danny Barbir
, West Bromwich (England)
Kevin Coleman, Kaiserslautern (Germany)
*Luca de la Torre, Fulham (England)
*Sebastian des Pres, Blackpool (England)
McKenze Gaines, Wolfsburg (Germany)
Brooks Lennon, Liverpool (England)
Ethan Lotenero, Belenenses (Portugal)
Weston McKennie, Schalke 04 (Germany)
*James Murphy, Sheffield Wednesday (England)
Matthew Olosunde, Man. United (England)
*Joshua Perez, Fiorentina (England)
*Christian Pulisic, Bor. Dortmund (Germany)
Emmanuel Sabbi, Las Palmas (Spain)
Haji Wright, Schalke 04 (Germany) (< New York Cosmos)
Isaiah Young, Werder Bremen (Germany)

Juan Albizar, Queretaro
Benn Diaz
, Queretaro
Carlos Flores
, Santos
Ivan Gutierrez,
Hector Montalvo, Tigres (< Grand Canyon Univ.)
Jonathan Navarro
, Santos
Abraham Romero
, Pachuca
*Alex Zendejas
, Guadalajara (< FC Dallas)

MLS (8):
*Danilo Acosta
, Real Salt Lake
Hugo Arellano, LA Galaxy (< LA Galaxy II)
Reggie Cannon, FC Dallas (< UCLA)
Pierre Da Silva, Orlando City (< Orlando B)
Mason Stajduhar
, Orlando City
*Ben Swanson, Columbus Crew
Auston Trusty, Philadelphia Union
Brandon Vazquez, Atlanta United (< Tijuana/MEX)

USL (9):
*Christian Albelo
, Swope Park Rangers
*Charly Flores, Rio Grande Valley FC (< Houston Dynamo)
Felipe Hernandez, Swope Park Rangers
*Will Little, Swope Park Rangers
*Terrell Lowe, Timbers FC 2
*Lorenzo Ramos, Sounders FC 2
*Yosef Samuel, Bethlehem Steel
*Augustine Williams, Timbers FC 2
*Ethan Zubak, LA Galaxy II

NASL (1):
*Eric Calvillo, New York Cosmos


*Alexis Velela. ex-New York Cosmos
*Played for first team in official competition.

94 comments about "U.S. Abroad: Young signs with Werder Bremen".
  1. Scott Johnson, January 23, 2017 at 2:52 a.m.

    I believe that Timbers signing Marco Farfan will be graduating high school this spring--i.e. he is in the class of 2017.

  2. frank schoon, January 23, 2017 at 10:34 a.m.

    After the Freddie Adu experience, I think we need to take a step back and look at these signings after a couple of years to see how well they are doing.. At Ajax of Amsterdam there is always talent to go around but somehow don't make it, for there is a difference between talent and growing and developing into a good player.Whatever happened to the young American player who was with Bayern at one time and was traded off to a lower team, somewhere. I think young talent should not be send to Germany for the German style still demand a lot of physical work. A young American talent who is very technical should not be send to Germany but to a country, for instance, that allows his technical finesse to grow to fruition. That is why it also prudent to not send them to England. Neither country England nor Germany is known for developing youth , like Holland ,for example with Ajax.
    Dennis Bergkamp stated that he wouldn't have gone anywhere as a good player when young if he was born in Germany....

  3. Wooden Ships replied, January 23, 2017 at 12:11 p.m.

    Frank, that would be Julian Green that Bayern sent away on loan. I think it was on loan. Generally, I agree with you on Germany and England, but Germany is transitioning some. Christian Pulisic is in a good place with Dortmund.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:01 p.m.

    Germany isn't known for developing youth? Huh?

  5. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:08 p.m.

    No, Germany has not been known for developing youth players,just like England. That is one of the reasons why the US soccer has been so abysmal in creating youth talent ,like the US soccer style of play, in the past for it has been the Germans and England that have had the most influence in US soccer. Too bad our soccer influence didn't come from Brazil , Holland or Yugoslavia beginning back in the 70's. And to this day US still hires English coaches and trainers to come here.....go figure...

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 4:12 p.m.

    I don't know how you can say Germany doesn't develop player. Looks how many great German players there are. They've been the most successful national team in the world over the past 40+ years. I'll take a fraction of that success for the USMNT gladly.

  7. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 6:09 p.m.

    Fire Paul.. This is the last time I will try to explain it to you.. your statement that Germany has been successful in the past +40 years, true. But why, If German soccer was so successful why did they want to change their game , because former greats like Beckenbauer, Bertie Vogts and many other German greats knew their style of soccer sucked. It did not produce exciting players like Holland. Winning isn't everything ,it is also style and how the game is played which Holland was famous for.
    Point one, as a result the Germans wanted to emulate the soccer of Holland, that has never won a world cup. Holland has produced great soccer and great players and were always in the forerunners of new ideas in soccer. Slowly Germany began to work on it organizationally, regionally and beginning from the bottom and worked up, changing their passing style and tactics, for instance less running, allowing the ball do the running, building up the attack,etc. Point two ,Germany watched the development of Barcelona that followed the Cruyff (dutch style) during Frank Rykaard's (Rykaard being a former player of Ajax of Holland and coached by Cruyff)time as coach of Barcelona, then came Guardiola who took Barcelona a step further than Rykaard. It was under Guardiola's time as coach of Barcelona that Barca's style of game that set the world on fire. Naturally Spain began to follow Barcelona's style likewise by employing many of the Barcelona's players coached by Guardiola.... like the Dutch National Team of '74 that introduced "total soccer" by employing many of the Ajax
    players, that learned played 'Total soccer' under their coach Rinus Michels.
    Point three, Germany before Guardiola, had been following Guardiola's Barcelona as well as the previous development under Rykaard(dutch style soccer) so that German soccer was well familiar with the run of things of Barcelona and Guardiola before he came to Bayern. So we have now established Guardiolas influence on the German game was existent way before Gaurdiola ever came to Bayern. Next van Gaal the dutch coach ,and student of Cruyff's dutch philosophy of play was coaching Bayern all along before Guardiola came. So it was up to Guardiola when he came raise the level of play a step higher or further. In other words Guardiola's influence upon the German game and upon the german national team did not begin when he came to Germany to coach Bayern but way before..
    As far as the developing youth in Germany. Germany has never been known for it. German soccer has been characterized by their own players and coaches under the term "stampfen und laufen' , running and fighting..and thereby their players were never known as refined technical types like they had back in the early 70's.

  8. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 8:23 p.m.

    Frank - Nevermind my comment below about Pep's influence on Germany. I was confused about the timeline you were on, but I see that you are saying that his influence began well before he arrived in Germany. Fair enough. But you are giving way too much credit to coaching here. Players win championships, and the reason Germany won in 2014 and the reason Bayern and Dortmund have had so much success in Champions League is because of the players. How can you say that Germany doesn't develop players when these teams have won the biggest titles in the world with mostly German players? Van Gaal, Guardiola, Tuchel, Klopp, whoever else you want to thrown in there would have zero success without great players in their squad. No way you can deny Germany's player production over the last 10-15 years.

  9. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 24, 2017 at 9:58 a.m.

    The fact they realized they had to change their style doesn't mean the previous style "sucked". They won world cups in 1974 and 1990 and reached finals in 1982 and 1986. That doesn't suck. The game changes and you have to change to along with it to continue to be successful. Germany has certainly done that. To act like the US has nothing to learn from Germany just makes no sense. They've produced tons of great players, any one of who would be the greatest player in US history. It sounds like you haven't updated your comment repertoire in decades. Have you watched Holland play recently? It ain't pretty. In fact, they're the ones that are going to have to change their way of doing things or risk falling behind.

  10. frank schoon, January 23, 2017 at 1:19 p.m.

    Yes ,Germany decided to change their game since 2002, when they finally realized their style of soccer needs to drastically change and therefore began to follow the Dutch Style. But still Germany has in their DNA the drive of wanting to be physical and like to run..try reading Guardiola's book when he was in Germany. Pulisic is build like a German type and he looks like a German style player who in general are not good in small spaces. Pulisic looks better in open field running, which fits the German mold....

  11. Wooden Ships replied, January 23, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.

    Agreed Frank, I see Pulisic as a young Muller. Not sure that he couldn't develop the tight space dribbling, but that isn't the Bundesliga history. Maybe stated differently, the patience. DNA does reference the cultural-geo differences of the ability to dribble small and fluid. That's best demonstrated with Latin and Southern European players. Yes, there are occasional exceptions, but swivel isn't an Anglican trait, nor patience.

  12. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 2:42 p.m.

    Wooden ships, player like Ozil from Germany can play in small spaces. You have them,and usually for someone ,left footed players, left halfbacks usually are..You do have them in Germany but they have to be allowed to nurture their speciality...

  13. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:02 p.m.

    Wow, despite the fact that Germany apparently knows nothing about soccer they won the world cup. Amazing.

  14. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:14 p.m.

    Fire Paul Gardner... Your statement Germany apparently knows nothing about soccer they won the world cup. Amazing." tells me you have a very simplistic understanding of the game and therefore I will leave at that and it is not worth to fully go into all of the implications....

  15. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:31 p.m.

    Wooden Ships, In soccer it is golden rule that you are either good in small space or in large space. YOU CAN'T BE BOTH! I wish it could but it has to with one's make up.

  16. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:39 p.m.

    Frank - I think there is a much deeper point to Fire's statement about Germany winning the World Cup. They did that with a youthful squad who were all developed in Germany. Many were developed at Schalke, who has recently been investing heavily in American players. And they did it playing in a very different way than the traditional German style that you referenced above.

  17. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 4:13 p.m.

    Frank - the fact that you just name call rather than make a substantive point tells me that you have no substantive point and that you can't back up your statements about Germany.

  18. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.

    As I stated before , Germany decided to change their game afterWC2002, and thanks to van Gaal, and Guardiola(especially Guardiola) who gave the whole new impetus in playing the game for Germany. Without Guardiola's influence into the Germans game , I wonder if they would have won the WC'14.. Just like Spain, after Gaurdiola's exit , Spain's soccer has gone down...So we will have to see how Germany's game will be. Regardless, the German game has gotten better as far as the National team goes..

  19. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 5:02 p.m.

    Makes no sense. Pep had never managed a first-team game in his life when Spain won Euro 2008. And you're saying Germany won the world cup because Pep showed up at Bayern in 2013? Seems like a stretch. Fact is Germany produced enough players to win the last world cup. They've also reached at least the semifinals in the last three Euros and in the three world cups before Brazil. They must be doing something right.

  20. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 8:05 p.m.

    Frank - I'm a big fan of Pep, but you overstate his influence in Germany. Bayern beat Dortmund in the Champ's League final the year before Pep even arrived in Germany. Bayern was not able to accomplish the same thing with Pep in charge. Bayern's style of play was already a high pressing possession based game, and it could be aruged that they took a step back with Pep in charge. It would be a humongous stretch to say that he was a serious factor in Germany winning the World Cup the next year. That was all due to the youth development that happened years earlier at places like Schalke, Bayern, Hoffenheim, etc.

  21. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 8:47 p.m.

    Don, I stated in a long explanation to "Fire" further back up , the influences of Guardiola and along with a composite of various others factors that include van Gaal, Cruyff, the Holland / Ajax style of play,and the Dutch team of WC '74, Frank Rykaard, along with Cruyff's Barcelona's "Dream Team" , all played a part.The German player Tony Kroos at Real Madrid players the role of Guardiola in front of the backline, like The German Paul Breitner player did for Germany in WC '82. Guardiola got his reputation worldwide when he coached Barcelona. Beginning in 2002 , the German training methods were influenced and patterned by what I just mentioned, all of which had the Dutch influence. Bayern changed their style to an even higher level of play, a step up from van Gaal.Whether Pep did not attain certain things with Bayern is meaningless. Just because Holland never won the World Cup that doesn't mean Hollands soccer can't be very important as compared to German soccer that won at least 4 world cups. In the end , holland's influence in soccer has been much greater than Germany's and not too mention Germany decided to follow the Dutch style and influence as well.
    Pep brought about various details of the game that made Bayern play very sophisticated. Bayern is AND will always be the Flagship of German Soccer. I'm not going into the various details but ,in sum, German soccer was no longer the same due to Pep's influence.

  22. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 9:47 p.m.

    Yes, but we are talking about player development here. Are you saying that coaching made German teams great? Don't you believe that great players are what allowed those coaches to implement those brilliant tactics? The majority of those players were produced in Germany, so your statement that Germany is not a good place to develop players seems off to me.

  23. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 24, 2017 at 10 a.m.

    Who cares if years ago the Germans were influenced by the Dutch? Right now, Germany produces tons of really good players and is a great place for young players to develop. That's what we're talking about here. I can't think of too many better places for our young players to go. As Pulisic has shown, if these young Americans are good enough, they'll play. Hopefully, Pulisic is not the only one who's good enough.

  24. don Lamb, January 23, 2017 at 1:57 p.m.

    Jen Russ - Are you seeing the trend yet? 43 18-year old Americans playing professionally. I wonder what that number was a decade ago (or even 5 years ago) when the the USSDA and MLS academy systems were not in play yet. Do you still deny the progress that has been made regarding youth development over the past decade?

  25. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 2:36 p.m.

    Don ,were talking quality, not quantity. I rather see one nice offensive player with lots of great talent come from America to be fought over by Real Madrid and Barcelona, Arsenal, or other great clubs rather than have 200 more of these drafted, so let us see in a couple years where these players will be at...

  26. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 3:36 p.m.

    Frank - These are prospects. The more prospects we have, the better. You mentioned Freddy Adu. As a teen, he was labeled the savior of American soccer. None of these kids is being labeled a savior, but simple laws of probability mean that we are much better off than we have ever been. You mention teams like Real, Arsenal, and Barca when we already DO have youth prospects at Arsenal and Barca and even a first teamer at Dortmund. Others are at big time breeding grounds such as Schalke and Hoffenheim. This is a numbers game, and the increase in those numbers over the last 5 years is eye-opening.

  27. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 4:15 p.m.

    Exactly Don. And it's not only a numbers game but a patience game. Anyone with a little perspective will see how much better the game is in this country compared to 20 years ago. Now imagine how much further it can do in another 20. But patience is essential.

  28. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 8:15 p.m.

    Damn right, Fire. In 20 years, we are going to be a powerhouse with the strongest domestic league in the world and one of the perrenial favorites to win the World Cup.

  29. Bob Ashpole replied, January 23, 2017 at 10:13 p.m.

    Frank has a point--he would like to see some players develop in a less physical, more technical, environment like Spain. He is not saying that wingers and physical play are bad. He simply recognizes that playing in the center requires more technical skill than playing on the wing. On the wing there is more room and a winger can be effective with quickness. Inside you need great control because there is much less space.

  30. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 11:26 p.m.

    This universe that fans live in where they get to choose the exact league and team where a player develops is not reality.

  31. Ben Myers, January 23, 2017 at 4:23 p.m.

    The number of USMNT prospects playing professionally outside of MLS speaks loudly about our pro league both as a vehicle for player development and as a league that offers players good financial incentives to sign. Seems like the women's pro environment is evolving the same way, with European pro clubs offering more possibilities for the women. Sunil? Garber? Plush? Are you listening? Is there a turnaround plan?

  32. frank schoon replied, January 23, 2017 at 4:33 p.m.

    As long as the Americans don't change their style of game , one from counterattacking to a more sophisticate ball possession game ,like the Germans did 15years ago, then the players will not be able to raise their level of play.
    For example the American teams style of play are unable to build up an attack from the back for American cannot play a possession type of game. So you can send players to Europe or more are signed and drafted to play for the MSL ,it is not going to make a difference to their development for they will end up playing a very unsophisticated game.

  33. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 23, 2017 at 5:03 p.m.

    So now Germany is a model? You are confusing frank.

  34. frank schoon, January 23, 2017 at 4:24 p.m.

    Don, there will always be enough prospects, but my example refers to a player, with such abundant talent that he is ready to play on the first team as a star ,which we don't have. One of the problems is that the American game hasn't changed for it is basically a counter attacking game with lots of ball loss. The American game from youth to pros can basically described as" ball loss city"
    Possession style soccer is not our forte and it is within the confines of this type of soccer that has been detrimental to the American game to develop players at higher level

  35. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 8:13 p.m.

    There will always be enough prospects? Just one of us could have counted the number of teenage prospects playing abroad with our 10 fingers just a few years ago. Now, there are so many that it's hard to even keep track of them all. This is clearly a new time unlike any that we have seen before regarding youth prospects. When you say that you are looking for a teenage "first team star," are you forgetting about Pulisic? And when you talk about "ball loss city" it makes it sound like you have not been watching our youth national teams over the last couple of years. The current U17s and U19s play a different way than the stereotypical American way that I think you are referring to.

  36. Wooden Ships replied, January 23, 2017 at 9:23 p.m.

    don, I agree that we are trying to possess at the levels under the full USMNT. But Frank too is correct. Jurgen didn't insist or stick to the transition in style. I believe we had many of them but he went to his default style. Will Arena, assuming we win the next two, select the possession player and continue through qualifying and Russia? And, I agree we have much more quantity and yes, quality these days and that's exciting as heck. But, why do we struggle so with finishers? Could over coaching and over regimentation be inhibiting the goal scorers?

  37. don Lamb replied, January 23, 2017 at 9:53 p.m.

    I don't think our overall player development is strong enough for us to ask why we aren't producing one certain type of player yet. Simply put, we need to develop more of every type of player. Arena is going to put the players in the best position and formation for the team to succeed. It will most likely be based in simple possession and organized defending instead of a flowing style of the beautiful game or on individual brilliance. We are probably 6-8 years away from our tactical revolution. At this point, we are still need to get our best players on the field and mold the style around them.

  38. Bob Ashpole replied, January 23, 2017 at 10:21 p.m.

    Being able to penetrate defensive lines by combination passing is not necessarily the same thing as possession style. It is a desirable ability for direct play too. So the USA's current style of play is not really the problem. The problem is a lack of touch and a need for better other fundamentals too. These are not something you teach at the national team level. We have to do a better job raising the level of play from the youth level on up.

  39. Bob Ashpole, January 24, 2017 at 4:24 a.m.

    @don Lamb, this article really drives home the point you have made repeatedly that the US is developing some promising young players.

  40. don Lamb replied, January 24, 2017 at 6:57 a.m.

    Cheers, Bob! It should be an exciting time!! I don't understand the pessimism of some. To be clear, Frank is not being pessimistic, but Jen Russ is wayyyyyy off base with his commentary. Nobody is saying that we have arrived, or that any one of these kids is the savior, but we are finally producing the number of players that will give us a pool of players that will significantly raise the level of MLS and the national team. That day that people who have been referencing for the last 40 regarding the US being an up and coming soccer nation is just about here. I believe that once this wave comes through in another handful of years, we are going to see a dramatic shift in our mainstream culture and soccer will be viewed in a completely different light than it has been. When that happens, look out.

  41. Wooden Ships replied, January 24, 2017 at 9:52 a.m.

    Yes don, I agree the quantity is vastly larger than years past, quality as well. Frank was initially stating some history and love for Holland, nothing wrong there. Most of us have some years under our belt, so its natural we go there. If given the choice between going pro young is between the Bundesliga or MLS, I'm sure Frank would choose the former. There is a correlation between the type of player and the leagues they signed with. But, don, your enthusiasm that MLS in 20 years will be the best domestic league on the planet seems a reach. Hope you're right. Turf fields and a non traditional international schedule and no pro-rel?

  42. don Lamb replied, January 24, 2017 at 4:28 p.m.

    WS - Turf fields, the calendar, and the existence of pro/rel have no influence over the strength of a league. It's all about money and player development. If the cultural shift that I predict happens, money will be flowing like it does in the top three pro leagues and we will have hundreds of teenage prospects instead of dozens.

  43. frank schoon replied, January 24, 2017 at 4:55 p.m.

    Wooden Ships...agree with you on that. If Don thinks that the MLS will be the best domestic league on the planet than I'm glad for his optimism but I don't quite see that.
    Watching the Old NASL back in the 70's showed much better soccer than the MSL today. The U.S has got to get serious and totally change their game from top to bottom in their training and playing with the very first step is to institute "ball possession". For without ball possession you can't play soccer, follow a concept employ players's strength in the most effective way.

  44. frank schoon, January 24, 2017 at 10:27 a.m.

    Don, Bob, Wooden Ships, and "Fire", guys I"m going to try to answer some of your good questions.
    Realize , I'm coming from a background of soccer and experience which affords me to look at it on another level and therefore my statements might sound off base or perhaps a little unreal,do to your different experience of soccer. Let me give you an example of how I see the game. We all know Messi is a good player but in my eyes he is a very limited player, although good. He is excellent in receiving the ball and playing with it in small spaces. His weakness in small spaces is that he receives the ball only with his best foot (left) when he has a man on him. Just that specific detail tells me as a player ,let's say,or coach, what his follow up possibilities are before he receives the ball. Knowing that particular detail of possibilities I can as his teammate speed up the game through how I position off the ball, as related to another teammate(s) for example.( I don't want to go any deeper involved than this , so I'll leave it at that.) Another weakness of Messi is that he rarely if ever uses the outside of his left foot (his best foot even) to make a 20-30yard pass. Now why is that important. The passes he makes to Neymar as Messi cuts diagonally inside are made with the inside of his instep, which results in the ball taking clockwise spin. The execution of this particular pass is much too slow not only the path off the ball but also making that type of pass is too predictable.
    Furthermore, defensively Neymar's direct opponent ,the right outside back is able to see Neymar and the ball coming to Neymar. But if Messi would pass the ball with the outside left than the ball would take a counter clockwise spin. The advantage of the "counter clockwise spin in this particular situation is; one, Messi would be able to pass the ball on the dribble faster, and much less predictable for the arc of the ball would be lower ; two, the most important advantage is the counter clockwise spin forces the defender ,the right outside back, to choose to look at the ball or Neymar but he can't do both because ball would be going over the defender's left shoulder not his right where Neymar would be.
    Let me a new comment box

  45. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 24, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

    Point 1: prefacing your comment by stating that you understand the game on a different level than we do, when you know nothing about our backgrounds, is not a great start.
    Point 2: spending the rest of your comment trashing the best player on the planet at least since Maradona doesn't tell us much about why young American players shouldn't sign with German clubs, which is the original point you were trying to make. After all, the subject of this article is a young American player signing with a Bundesliga club. You think it's bad while everyone think it's good. Your comments about Messi have nothing to do with why it's bad.

  46. Bob Ashpole replied, January 24, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.

    Frank, I am not disagreeing with your views. You are looking at how far professional player development needs to go yet and I am rejoicing in how far player development has come since 1970, when English pub league players were better than our college players. At least that was the impression I got from the foreign graduate students at college. IMO the level of play in college has consistently increased every decade since 1970. In 1990, our national teams were largely college players. (In the women's case, that was an advantage.) The domestic professional leagues were intended to change that. In that context 2002 was huge progress for the MNT. I understand the frustrating limitations of amateur players who only pass with the inside of the right foot, although I admit that I didn't see any weaknesses in Messi (I accept what you say though--I know I don't see as much as I should).

  47. frank schoon replied, January 24, 2017 at 12:38 p.m.

    I agree Bob, U.S. has gotten better from the days you remember but I'm talking now 2017 and not 1970's or '80s'. likewise the US coaching school and coaches with licenses have grown by leaps and bounds but still we are not producing the individualists in soccer. A player like Pulisic goes to Germany when about 18 or so he will of course be better off there for his development by just playing with better players. His development at his age will be more related to team play which is much more sophisticated than if he played in the MLS . I would have rather seen him play in Spain than in Germany but his build and the way he plays is more suited for German style of play. Realize England and Germany are still the major countries where Americans tend to go for the style of soccer comes closer to the American style

  48. frank schoon, January 24, 2017 at 11:29 a.m.

    "Fire" had stated German soccer has been successful for the past 50+ years, which is True. But it was never good soccer,even though Germany won ,I think, 4 world cups and German teams have also won European cups..
    German soccer style was based much on fighting and running, and you can never count them out until the game is over for they have a great fighting spirit. Their style of soccer was always counter attacking, no build up from the back, and much running with the ball sometimes 30 yards crossing midfield...The game wasn't sophisticated, it didn't produce nice tricky players (wingers), with the exception of a Pierre Litbarski of the 80's or Stan Libuda of the 70's. The German passing game was not sophisticated like quick give and go's in small spaces, build up from the back, furthermore many of the passes resulted in many 50/50 duels ( like the American game and that is why Americans are unable to play a possession game) therefore Germans did not play a possession style until Guardiola and the dutch influence came about with Bayern. So when I say the Germans didn't develop good soccer players in their youth programs is because of the lack of sophisticated play and manner of soccer they followed. THIS IS WHY IN 2002 BECKENBAUER AND OTHER GREATS OF GERMAN SOCCER DECIDED THAT THIS STYLE OF PLAY HAS GOT TO STOP FOR IT SUCKED AND THEREFORE DEVELOP A BETTER BRAND OF SOCCER TO PLAY AND AS A RESULT A BETTER PLAYER. Realize that the US soccer development over all the years followed the German methods of training, after all it was Detmar Cramer that even began the national coaching school here. The English and Germans over the years have had greatest influence in the US soccer development. THIS TO ME HAS BEEN CATASTROPHIC IN THE U.S. GAME. Neither country is known for playing a sophisticated style of game ( until Germany began to change their ways in late 2000's). Until America wakes up and initiates what Germany decided to do in 2002 in changing to a more sophisticated style of game, the American players will not become better for it is the level of play, style and sophistication which sets the tone for player development.
    Don, what I mean by"ball loss city" is that the next time you watch one of your "under 19 ,or 18, 17 or U16 or whatever play count how many passes it takes before they lose the ball or possession and also count also how often each pass that is made results in a 50/50 duel, then we'll talk about "ball loss city". Even in higher level play like in the MLS it is awful.
    Yes, the Germans are finally producing or better developing better players, but better does not necessarily mean you will win for like in the World Cup the best doesn't necessarily win. Look at Messi , he looks great with Barcelona due to the system and style of soccer and then compare him how he does with the Argentinian National Team that is represented with the best Argentinian players, which in this case he is not as effective.

  49. Bob Ashpole replied, January 24, 2017 at 12:11 p.m.

    I have always thought of the US in the past as being a poor imitation of Germany. There was a lot to admire in the German game, but it was limited. I would be surprised if anyone disagreed that to improve we need to add Dutch style tactics and Latin-like ball skills to our game. Clearly the Germans see that and, to progress, I think most countries see the need to develop a more complete game based on excellence in all four aspects of a player.

  50. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 24, 2017 at 1:51 p.m.

    Right - at this point they've changed to a more modern style and are producing so many great players they can win the World Cup even when a player as good as Marco Reus gets injured on the eve of the tournament. Sounds like a great place for our young players to develop. Spain would be great too but maybe Isaiah Young didn't have comparable offers from Spain. Or maybe he likes Germany better. Either way, I'm more than fine with our young players going to play in Germany. Hopefully we see Isaiah in the first team soon.

  51. don Lamb replied, January 24, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.

    Frank - How can you say that Germany's style of play was not sophisticated when they revolutionized the game with the use of the sweeper by the way that Beckenbauer, Matthaus, Sammer played? They might not have been pretty, but they were mechanically precise and organized. That was a different time (you know better than I it seems), but that style was plenty good enough for them. It might not have been the way you prefer to play/watch the game, but it was good enough to be the best in the world.

  52. frank schoon replied, January 24, 2017 at 5:49 p.m.

    Don, that is a good question. Germany did not revolutionize the style of soccer by introducing the libero,which ,as far as I'm concerned should still be employed instead of the flatback-four defense. The Italians created the libero(note it is not a germanic word)when they instituted "Cattenancio" by Helenio Herrera at InterMilan in the 60's.
    Beckenbauer a former winger became a midfielder but he realized during WC'66 playing midfield required too much fighting and running and began to play libero after WC'70. But realize because he was a former attacker (Puyol of Barcelona likewise began as a winger that ended up on defense in the back ) Beckenbauer introduced attacking impulses from the libero position and it was easy for he was never guarded as he moved upwards. The Germans in the 70's with Beckenbauer played great soccer. As a matter of fact that was the last generation of germans that did play great soccer. The German game changed for the worse in the late 70's for two reasons, one the "street soccer" generation
    was beginning to retire and two, which really hurt the game was "Total Soccer". Not "Total Soccer" itself but the blame is on the coaches who tried to copy the "total soccer" successful training methods of Rinus Michel's who coached Ajax and Cruyff of the early 70's and the Dutch National team of WC'74.
    The coaches studied the training methods of Michels and found that he did not spend any time on technique and skills ,other than the tactics, and mostly on the physical aspects of the game basically run, run ,run, weights, tempo and intervals training. So all coaches followed this type of training for their players. HERE is where it went wrong!!! for soccer!!
    The reason Michels didn't practice skills and technique was because he had nothing but great technical ,skillful players, all of whom grew up playing in the street soccer era. So why would Michels waste time bothering with skills and technique, instead he worked on what he could improve on which was the physical side of the game.
    What the coaches forgot was the new generation of players coming up were not as skilled or technical as the old generation for they no longer played street soccer due to all the cars. So you can see what happened the training methods becoming more physical applied to less technical players resulting in a less sophisticated type of game. Germany kept their success although their soccer was no longer great but were able to survive for almost 40years since most countries employed the same training methods. The only technical difference between countries was due to cultural of the game. Let me open another comment box

  53. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 24, 2017 at 6:02 p.m.

    Frank why are we debating what style was being used by whom back in the 1960s when we are discussing whether it's wise for young American players to sign with German clubs as opposed to somewhere else? What difference does it make? Right now, in 2017, when Isaiah Young is signing for Werder Bremen, German clubs produce tons of great young players. That's good enough for me.

  54. frank schoon replied, January 24, 2017 at 7:16 p.m.

    "Fire" I can't answer your question as to how "Style" got into the discussion. I would have to double back and go through all the comments and figure that out..which is a waste of time. Furthermore in these discussions and the back forth between individuals other elements are brought into play creating other directions..it is what happens.....

  55. don Lamb replied, January 24, 2017 at 9:58 p.m.

    You referred to it, but the Germans absolutely revolutioned the sweeper or libero position by having that player join the attack. That is not an insignificant evolution in the history of the game.

  56. frank schoon replied, January 25, 2017 at 9:13 a.m.

    Don, the sweeper was around before beckenbauer, but as player, his presence, making the beautiful passes with the outside of his foot were poetry. I made a tape of Beckenbauer just on his passes. So it wasn't revolutionary it is how he played it, for there were other attacking Liberos that moved up to midfield. All the other Germans who tried playing libero after Beckenbauer couldn't couldn't shine his shoes. Mateus began as midfielder, good player but no "Beck". Sammer was from east germany, tough player, typical German, no frill player, but let us say he filled the position. Doing away with the libero position has made the game worse, for both center backs are not soccer players ,like the liberos were for most were former attackers. Now defenders are just defenders, very uninspiring

  57. frank schoon, January 24, 2017 at 12:44 p.m.

    True , Bob. The U.S needs to change their ways. The first step is improving ball possession, for without it , you're not really playing soccer for you don't know what will happen after the second pass and as a result you can't plan anything further

  58. Bob Ashpole replied, January 24, 2017 at 10:41 p.m.

    I agree. IMO the US needs a tactical and technical renaissance from U10 to U12. Athletic development actually starts well before that, but it depends more on parents than organized soccer.

  59. Basil Jach, January 24, 2017 at 2:46 p.m.

    My son played with Issah at the Union academy , he is the toughest most determined player I ever seen , technical skills are average but in the German System he will develop and excel something he could never do staying in this country and I know he will make it, he plays like Thierry Henry go luck Issah ,, Basil

  60. frank schoon, January 24, 2017 at 6:21 p.m.

    Germany in those last 40 years played ,boring ,uninspiring soccer. They were successful but no one would emulate their style and the typical german player was nothing to get excited about as compared to Holland that created many exciting stars like van Basten, Kluivert, Bergkamp, Gullit, Koeman, Davids,Persie, Van Nistelrooy,Robben, Sneyder, etc, etc. The German greats like Beckenbauer knew that German soccer basically was made upon a lot of fighters and runners but they were successful and functional but nothing to write home about. They saw how Cruyff with Barcelona's "Dream Team' created a new revolution in soccer in the early 90's and as time went on in 2002 Germany finally decided they had enough of the boring soccer they played. They decided to copy the Dutch style and as matter of fact today Germany plays better Dutch soccer than the Dutch themselves.

  61. Bob Ashpole replied, January 24, 2017 at 10:31 p.m.

    I remember watching German soccer on PBS in the mid-80s. It looked really good to me, but then it was the only soccer on TV at the time. Today the young adults and teens have watched the best European clubs play. TV tends to show the top of the table matches, so the quality of play being viewed is pretty good. As for me now days I watch some of the best teams and matches in history on youtube. The internet is awesome.

  62. frank schoon, January 25, 2017 at 8:08 a.m.

    Yes , I watched it in the 70's and '80's as well. It was great for it was the only soccer on TV. Remember the announcer Toby Charles and Allan ..., (forgot his last name). It was good soccer for you still saw players who grew playing in the street soccer era . Remember the great midfielder from Stuttgart ,Sigurvinson. You know I have tape of so many of those German games from PBS.
    It is interesting how they played, the midfielders could run 30-40 yards unaccosted wth the ball because in those the Germans after losing ball possesssion
    would run back to their own goal leaving a big gap at midfield. This finally changed in late 2000's when watching how Barcelona applied forward, high upfield defensive pressure. It is interesting to how that change in style effected the type of German midfielders which led to an Ozick, and Tony Kroos

  63. frank schoon, January 25, 2017 at 8:33 a.m.

    "FIRE", let me know if you are there , for I will explain about STYLE and soccer

  64. Junhua Wu replied, January 25, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    Hi Frank, I enjoy reading your comments. It is so obvious in US, the game lacks possession. The players don't have the good touch and pass skill under pressure. I watch a lot of games from Europe and Mexico, they are simply better. I watch my three boys' games every weekend, barely have over 10 passes in the game. Two are in the DA team in a major club. A lot of turnovers, players try to dribble first, made a lot of error passes due to pressure and slow action after receiving the ball. The overall soccer environment is better, but it will take a long time to catch up.

  65. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 25, 2017 at 10 a.m.

    Feel free to comment as you like but it seems like you are wedded to outdated stereotypes about how the game is played in various countries. Also, it seems like you are convinced there is only one "right" way to play, which doesn't make sense to me. Finally, the point of this article is a young American player, Isaiah Young, signing with a Bundesliga team. Why are we discussing national teams in this context? There is no single monolithic style of play amongst German clubs. Dortmund and Leverkusen play differently than Bayern who play differently than Bremen etc.

  66. Bob Ashpole replied, January 25, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.

    FPGN, while I agree that there is no "one" right way to play, I believe the "Dutch Style" is more than a style of play or a philosophy. IMO it is principles for attacking soccer. Cruyff's application of Dutch Style to Barca and Guardiola's application to Bayern demonstrate it. The most interesting issue in soccer today is what is happening at Manchester City, with the potential to change English soccer. What is happening today at Manchester City is directly related to Ajax in the 1970s. Win or lose, it may significantly change English football.

  67. frank schoon replied, January 25, 2017 at 1:39 p.m.

    Bob, I agree with you. When you see Germany, Spain copy the Dutch Style and other teams like Benfica copying it as well as certain elements of the dutch style, that doesn't mean there is one style. But somehow countries have seen Holland, one of the smallest countries, with 16 million people, that has never won a world cup, produce so many great players such as Cruyff ,the greatest of the 20th century, great soccer , attacking soccer, "total soccer", well known for its youth development and although they have never won a world cup ended up2nd in 3 world cups, become such a world known entity in soccer. Many representatives of coaching schools and coaches of teams world wide have to come Ajax over the years to study the soccer of Holland that follows the Cruyffian philosophy and take back to their country the various elements of Dutch soccer. Yes it is dutch style but the style came really into existence by Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff. But more importantly ,Johan Cruyff world wide is considered a mental genius of the game. Liked Gerd Muller says of Cruyff, over 90% of what Cruyff does and says he is correct in. Guardiola stated every practice of Cruyff at Barcelona was a college seminar. One Argentina's greats who later became the technical director of Real Madrid and the winning coach of '78 world cup Ceasar Menotti of Argentina stated that Johan Cruyff was the King when it comes to knowing the game. So yes ,it is the Dutch style because Cruyff is dutch but it is more than that for Cruyff knew so many of the golden insights of the game that he discovered and employed in coaching and on the field as a player which transcends any culture or style which could be employed by any other country....

  68. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 25, 2017 at 1:52 p.m.

    Again, this comment has nothing to do with where young Americans should go and play in order to best develop. You haven't backed up your comment that Germany doesn't produce any good players. I suspect it's because that comment can't be backed up since it's demonstrably false.

  69. frank schoon replied, January 25, 2017 at 3:31 p.m.

    "fire' ,american players can go wherever they want to improve themselves. Like said before , Germany has improved their style of play which can help improve the American player. But realize the American kids that do go to Europe ,specifically Germany, are usually about 18 after high school. The problem is many players in Germany sign a professional contract by that age or slightly before and have trained and played the german new style of play. The American doesn't have the benefit of learning the German methods because they have been in America where the game played is less sophisticated ,with lots of ball loss, and lesser training methods. That is why it would behoove the American player to come before high school age to go to Germany, like Messi did at a younger age leaving Argentina to Barcelona

  70. don Lamb replied, January 25, 2017 at 4:27 p.m.

    Frank - That is usually not possible because of FIFA rules. But anyway the recent cases of Haji Wright, Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and many others disprove your tired and outdated theory that American kids are having trouble breaking into European sides because they are arriving too late in their development.

  71. frank schoon replied, January 25, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

    Don, don't tell me that an American 18year old player who has played and trained in america, played soccer in a less sophisticated style of soccer in a country where the MLS is a joke compared to European league soccer aren't at a disadvantage as compared to an German a 18 year old who has trained all his life in Germany...come on.......

  72. don Lamb replied, January 25, 2017 at 5:20 p.m.

    I'm just telling you to pay attention to what is happening. The very thing that you doubt IS happening. Pulisic is exhibit A. Wright exhibit B. McKennie exhibit C. Carleton, Akinola, Sargeant, Pomykal, Ferreira, Alvarez, etc. are all younger and more examples of players who "have trained and played in America, played in a less sophisticated style of soccer in a country where MLS is a joke..." that would do great in Europe. Times are changing, and you are you sound like a dinosaur spouting those tired stereotypes.

  73. frank schoon replied, January 25, 2017 at 5:43 p.m.

    Don , until the style of soccer changes in America from top to bottom, starting with ball possession ,for that is what soccer is about than the talent going over to Europe will of a much better quality than what is going over there now. Fortunately ,have you noticed that the Americans don't go to a more technical oriented country like a Brazil , or Spain but more to Germany and England ,countries where running and fighting fits the American style of play.
    You will always have the more talented American players having learned in a less sophisticated style like in US able to reach Germany, but we'll see what will happen to them. Unfortunately Julian Green the highly touted player from Bayern is no longer there and playing for a lesser team...I wish SA would do an interview with him and asked what happened to him...

  74. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 25, 2017 at 7 p.m.

    I don't think we need an interview to learn what happened to Julian Green - he wasn't good enough for Bayern (or the 1.Bundesliga). He was overhyped by a segment of American fans with an inferiority complex who think American players are terrible so we need German ringers with US passports to save us. Green grew up at Bayern learning a sophisticated style of play and he's not as good as Pulisic who grew up in the US and is three years younger.

  75. don Lamb replied, January 25, 2017 at 9:53 p.m.

    Frank - Your assessment of Julian Green and the type of impact you were looking for him to make on US soccer says everything I need to hear about your understanding of youth players and their potential. You have simplified it to the point where the team that the kid plays for is the measuring stick for how good he is. And you, therefore, are ignoring a ton of other prospects who have shown that they can bring the very qualities that you have declared US soccer simply cannot based on your tired assessment that is based on history and tired stereotypes. Things are changing quickly. You don't need to look at a player like Julian Green to see that because there are dozens of younger prospects who are serving as example after example that positive change is well on it's way.

  76. don Lamb replied, January 25, 2017 at 10:01 p.m.

    Your comments also show that you have no idea about the actual details of what we are talking about here. I listed a good 10 big time prospects between ages 15-18. You said nothing about them at all besides referring to some ridiculously tired stereotype about American soccer that these very players are quickly making obsolete. Have you actually seen any of these kids play? If so, I don't think you would label it "lacking ball possession."

  77. frank schoon replied, January 26, 2017 at 10:40 a.m.

    Don, I don't what you are trying to prove. I would like for AS to interview, this Julian Green, for I don't know that much about him or have seen him play. But I would find it interesting what he has to say about soccer, about Bayern, perhaps something interesting about the game , the training methods,or about American soccer. I would like to hear some interesting tidbits coming from him about the players he learned from, what he thought of Guardiola , and the present coach. And I have also suggested to AS to interview Jurgen Klinsman, about his thoughts , the game , the American experience, and I have also asked AS to interview American players who were coached by Klinsman, what they have learned, and what they didn't like about him.
    As far as youth talent goes I'm glad you follow that angle of soccer which is great I don't follow that deeply for several reasons. We will always have potential American talent, just like in Holland with Ajax ,there is so much better youth talent playing there and much better trained and coached than here even. But like we say in Holland there is a difference between Talent and becoming a good pro-player, for only a couple will make it and the rest of the so-called talented players will not. So we can talk all day about youth talent but it is meaningless to me for i'm more concerned about the end product. That it is why it bores to me talk about youth talent from previous years that need up going nowhere
    My concern is more about the unsophisticated style of
    soccer the U.S plays, at all levels , so much ball loss, so many bad passes turn into 50/50 duels, lack of good build up, and lack of ball possession, all of which you can consistently see when watching the top league in the U.S. , MLS. The style of soccer played is a reflection of the players that play within it. And when the style of soccer improves our players will improve than the American youth who go abroad will be much better than what we send over there now.

  78. don Lamb replied, January 26, 2017 at 12:49 p.m.

    Frank - I am simply trying to prove that we are making loads of progress compared to where we were a decade ago (much less two or three decades ago). I would have never gotten so worked up about this if it were not for the constant denial of All American/Jake Savino/Jenn Russ, who I have been debating for months. That is fine that you do not follow this stuff closely. I don't expect many people do. But, then I wish you wouldn't come on here proclaiming things about our progress with youth development and the direction that the game is heading in this country if you don't actually know these things closely.

  79. frank schoon replied, January 26, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.

    Don, you don't have prove to me that there is progress ,for that has really never been an issue. My criticism is the methods of how this progress is carried out . For example, the rate of development of the youth player would go much faster and better and take a quantum step up when our style of game improves ,for the great lack of ball possession, lack of good build up, the unsophisticated style of play much faster is a drag on our development. And there is some other criticisms that I'm not going to get into...but at least you get my drift. And don't forget your judgment on talent and my judgment on talent is also different . I've been involved in youth soccer since 1970 , I've met lot of people then who raved that in 25 years the U.S will be a power. I always took this with a grain of sand for I know it is that easy and too simplistic.
    Since I've been around that long in youth soccer seeing the changes and what not and the type of soccer we play, there is one underlying fact that stands out which has always been there no matter the improvement of the players , growth of the game , and that is LACK OF GOOD BALL POSSESSION.....so almost 50 years from 1970 it is the same old story.....

  80. don Lamb replied, January 26, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Frank - Watch our U17 and U19 national teams play. In MLS, watch Columbus, Seattle, Dallas, LA, New England, and some others. Possession soccer is not that hard to find in the US.

  81. frank schoon replied, January 26, 2017 at 2:47 p.m.

    Don , I do watch from time to time these MLS teams you mentions during the season but it is just bad soccer. Maybe you view 'ball possession' in a different light than I do....But it is the lack of good ball possession and bad passes causing a lot of 50/50 duels for the ball, or the improper position of the player off the ball or the ball is passed to the wrong foot ,in relation to the
    defender, or the speed of the ball is not right, or there is no third man off the ball or if there is his timing off moving off, the ball, etc....There is a lot of factors that cause the lack of ball possession.

  82. frank schoon, January 25, 2017 at 11:05 a.m.

    Junhua Wu, it is so true what you say. I've have difficulty watching a youth game, and I'm talking about the better youth, even. I can't even watch a full college game. To tell you the truth , I can only take about 20 minutes of a MLS game. Anytime I tape an MLS game is to teach what they are doing wrong. I watched one MLS game when Stoichkov who use to play for Barcelona came and played for D.C. UNITED. The reason I watched was to listen to the sound he makes when kicking a ball...he has perfect kicking techniques. When I use to train youth, whenever they did passing exercises, I wouldn't watch them pass but walk around and listen to the sound they produce in passing the ball. This tells if they are passing well. You Cruyff was so unique that he could listen to the sound of dribbling and can tell if you're doing it right...

  83. K Michael, January 26, 2017 at 10:13 a.m.

    …and on the eighth day, the Lord looked upon his creation in tiny Rosario, Argentina and said “behold, for to you I have given the best Futbol player the world has ever seen, but since none may be perfect in the eyes of your God, I have made him more compact than others.” Then, looking upon his creation in the Palace of La Masia, the Lord God exclaimed in wonder “Alas, he IS perfect, despite his small stature! He has forsaken me, for none shall be perfect in the eyes of your God but my Son, who laid down his life so that ye may have life eternal!” And so the Lord smote the compact one named Leo and proclaimed “You, young Leo, shall not PASS…with the outside of your left foot.” And as it was spoken, so it was done.
    So, Frank, I bet you feel a bit silly now, eh?

  84. frank schoon replied, January 26, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

    So what is your point K.

  85. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, January 26, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Frank worships Cruyff and that causes him to disparage anyone who might be seen as being better than Cruyff. That said, calling Messi a "very limited player" as Frank has done, just doesn't pass the laugh test.

  86. Coco Rite, January 26, 2017 at 12:29 p.m.

    Quite interesting conversation complete with varying expert opinions. The comment that sticks out the most to me is the one by Junhua Wu. After stating how inferior the soccer coming out of his environment is, he went our to proclaim that "The overall soccer environment is better, but it will take a long time to catch up." I wish he would explain what he means, because it is a little bit confusing? While you are at it can you also explain what is meant by "..., the game lacks possession."?

  87. frank schoon replied, January 26, 2017 at 1:29 p.m.

    Coco. what Junhua Wu means isthat he compared to past development of youth soccer to the present, although still bad it has improved. I was present when it began here and compare it to today, it certainly has, become more professional as far as organization, the run of things, the number of participants, the coaching and training and play ,and what not. That is what he means.
    The game lack possession in the sense there is too much ball loss. In other words if a team has the ball then you want to possess and hold on to the ball and not allow the opponents to get it back. In other words the team that has the ball wants to maintain possession of it. The problem is teams have trouble keeping possession of the ball. In America teams tend to lose the ball after the first ,second or third pass, but often after the second pass. Both teams have this problem and therefore the ball changes possession quite often, making it a very erratic.
    Next you're and about and watch a youth game, get a pen and paper and count how many passes a team makes before losing it. You'll be shocked....

  88. Bob Ashpole replied, January 26, 2017 at 2:10 p.m.

    In recent years commentators have been pushing "stats" including "possession." "Possession" in that sense is a meaningless stat. The best teams hang on to the ball until they shoot at the goal. So ignore the commentator's "possession" and think of possession as Frank describes it.

  89. frank schoon, January 26, 2017 at 2:36 p.m.

    Exactly, Bob

  90. Coco Rite, January 26, 2017 at 6:35 p.m.

    Frank and Bob I would like to say that I understand now, but many more questions is now rolling around in my "thick" skull. Is it administrative improvement you all (bob. Frank & Junhua Wu) speaking about? Because if today you are saying the ball is lost every two to three passes in a youth game, I can't imagine a game being worse that in clubs where parents are paying a lot of money and believe their kid is playing at the highest level "DA". What does this say about the coaches at this level?

  91. K Michael, January 27, 2017 at 8:54 a.m.

    No point, Frank, just kidding with you. You make good, thought-provoking points; just seems a bit over the top your critique of Leo’s outside left foot passing prowess. But, hey, variety is the spice of life, and its hat makes this board fun. Cheers!

  92. frank schoon, January 27, 2017 at 9:51 a.m.

    Coco, I don't think much of the coaching or rather
    DEVELOPMENT. Any idiot can get a license and calls himself a coach. The problem is that the parents don't know any better and think they are getting good training, for the money they pay....Pleaze!!!!!

  93. Coco Rite replied, January 27, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.

    Frank, well said. That I do understand.

  94. frank schoon, January 27, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.

    K , I'm all about soccer, it has been my life. I look at soccer with an eye for detail. Often ,during a game i don't even know who just scored for I was too busy looking who is is where and why, who is out of position in case of the possible counter attack,how is the midfield positioning for the secondary balls,etc,etc.
    I've seen all the greats play from DiStefano in the 50's on to the present. Messi who is a great player is no Pele, Cruyff, or Maradona, but he is very good. As I look, he is very good in small spaces and is able to receive a ball under pressure, also he can touch the ball twice within the same dribble, but he is very limited. For example, he has no hard shot on goal as compared to Ronaldo. Most of Messi's goals are made from inside penalty area.
    He doesn't have a right foot but better than Maradona's who basically uses it to stand on.
    Don't you find it interesting that a South and American player like Messi doesn't use the outside of his foot, his best foot even. Every kid that is born in South America comes out of his crib able to pass with outside of his foot. I think he would be able to expand his options of play ,therefore making him tougher to guard by employing the outside of his left foot as well improve shooting with the right foot.

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