Mondial Minimes: U.S. U-16s beat Belgium

The defending champion USA won its opening game at the 45th edition of the Mondial Minimes in Montaigu, France, with a 1-0 victory over Belgium. The U-16s won on a penalty kick by Barcelona's Konrad De La Fuentein the 47th minute.

U.S. under-18 head coach Omid Namazi is working with the team while U-16 head coach Shaun Tsakiris is serving as an assistant coach with the U.S. U-17 national team, which is preparing for the upcoming Concacaf U-17 Championship.

USA starting XI vs. Belgium: Ochoa, Martinez, Araujo, Rangel, Peraza, Anaya, Morris, Haro, Rivas, De La Fuente, Stojanovic.

The USA will next face Japan on Thursday in Mouilleron le Captif. If the USA wins its group, the team would advance to a semifinal matchup on Saturday.

“With teams like Japan and Belgium, who are some of the top teams in the world, this tournament is a great a measuring stick,” Namazi said. “It gives us an idea of where we are at with this age group at the international level and compared to some of the top talent in the world.”

U.S. U-16 Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nico Defreitas-Hansen (Everton/ENG), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Julian Araujo (Santa Barbara SC), Abraham Gonzalez (FC Golden State), Ian Hoffmann (Karlsruher/GER), Kevin Peraza (IMG Academy), Victor Rangel (FC Golden State).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mario Anaya (San Jose Earthquakes), Armando Haro (San Diego Surf), Nelson Martinez (D.C. United), Matko Miljevic (Argentinos Juniors/ARG); Aidan Morris (Weston FC), Aidan O'Toole (Lonestar SC).
FORWARDS (7): Jalen Anderson (Oakwood SC), Jordan Bender (Orlando City), Mitch Cruz (LA United FA), Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP), Jose Rivas (Weston FC), Gabe Segal (Bethesda SC), Stefan Stojanovic (Sockers FC).

128 comments about "Mondial Minimes: U.S. U-16s beat Belgium".
  1. don Lamb, April 12, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.

    Gary Young - I wouldn't read too much into this one result, but along side the results at the Generation adidas Cup, these are more promising signs for our players in the 14-16 age range. MLS academies have never gotten results like they have over the past few days at the Generation adidas Cup. FCD beating Real Madrid was the cherry on top of a lot of really good results.

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 12, 2017 at 5:41 p.m.

    Yeah but it's a lot more fun to say how terrible we are and how we will never catch up to Europe/South America.

  3. don Lamb replied, April 12, 2017 at 9:40 p.m.

    Think about all of the fun that we have missed out on as we have enjoyed watching this progress! We could have been bitching about irrelevant stuff this entire time!

  4. Gary Young replied, April 12, 2017 at 11:13 p.m.

    Beating Belgium is nothing special. Their good teams are random as is usually the countries that small. So yea i wont read too much into it. Pur U17 have some really interesting players but that has always been the case. I just think we do an extremely mediocre job scouting and recruiting players. Pick too many friends kids or politically. That I have seen first hand.

  5. Gary Young replied, April 12, 2017 at 11:18 p.m.

    South American teams dominated the Champions division at Generation Adidas. Usually all these foreign clubs send teams that are at least 1 year younger. I would have to check those rosters to see how far we have realistically come.

  6. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 8:37 a.m.

    Gary - NYRB U17s have advanced to the semis in the champions bracket. That alone is impressive. Consider that even just a couple of years ago, MLS academies wouldn't even schedule MLS teams against foreign teams due to the gap in quality. This year, most of the MLS academy teams held their own against some of the most respected Central and South American academies. Three of the four premier brackets are sending MLS teams to the semis over Mexican powers Chivas, Pumas, and Monterrey. Tigres is the only Mexican team to advance in that division. This is huge progress. The size of the players suggests that most clubs did not send younger teams.

  7. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 11:50 a.m.

    Its official Real Madrid brought their B team to this event. Wouldnt be surprised if most foreign teams including Liga Mx did the same.

  8. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 11:51 a.m.

    Maybe not younger but Real Madrid defenitely sent their B team.

  9. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 11:53 a.m.

    I also heard that countries like Brazil send B or even C teams to Nike Friendlies and it makes perfect sense given the great difference in quality of players developed ultimately. Just different sets of standards. I don't get why you can't grasp that.

  10. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 1:45 p.m.

    Regardless, the success of our youth teams is unprecedented. If these are indeed B and C teams, we are performing better against them than we ever have on a much more consistent basis. Not to mention, I guess you could say that FCD was playing with their B team since the top 3 players who are age eligible were not on the roster. Same with ATL UTD and their top 2 players. No matter how you want to look at it, our youth programs are having unprecedented success.

  11. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.

    Oh, that's nothing. I've heard teams hold lengthy tryouts to try and find the worst players imaginable and send that as their team any time they play an MLS team. Give me a break. Some people have a vested interest in calling US Soccer and MLS failures. I have no knowledge of what Real Madrid's strongest U16/17 team looks like and I'm guessing you don't either. What's your source for this B team allegation?

  12. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 2:35 p.m.

    Don, I don't know how you measure if we are progressing if we are playing B C level teams from their respective clubs. Missing 2-3 top players does not make a team a B level team. I can appreciate that you are a huge Nls fan but let's try to keep wverything in perspective please. What most of these truly pro clubs do with their Academies is take their rosters according to level of competition to always push them and develop. I have been at Dallas Cup and always asked Mexican and foreign clubs. For example at the last Liga MX U15 tournament where the top Mls teams went along with a few German teams, the German teams came an age younger which made alot of sense as the score reflected it. This was just last year. Liga MX killed all Mls teams. Fc Dallas was the only club to somewhat compete. Perhaps knowing the level of competition in Mls all of these teams planned accordingly as they gain nothing from promoting they beat Mls teams. I dont know if this would be for all foreign teams but it makes much more sense to me knowing that Real Madrid brought an all B team.

  13. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 2:40 p.m.

    Fire look at Top Drawer website. It was verified there. Thats a very credible website. How about we keep up with these Mls U16 and Real Madrid top U16 team and see where those players end up in 2-4 years then we can measure success and failure. I am taking bets that it won't even be close. Lets do the same for Luga MX teams. What I just dont get is you guys talk about Mls as if they are already on par with these foreign clubs development wise yet they cant produce 1st team players for Mls, a weaker league, than those same clubs do for their better leagues. Makes no sense to me.

  14. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 3:25 p.m.

    No - neither Don or I ever say that MLS teams are as good at youth development as Real Madrid. Instead of just vaguely referring to a website, post a link to where someone with credibility (i.e. not you) says that Real Madrid brought a B team. Maybe they did but I'd like to see evidence of it.

  15. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.

  16. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 4:28 p.m.

    Ok but that very same article says it was a B team for Dallas too.

  17. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 4:46 p.m.

    No it doesnt. It clearly saids they are only missing 2 players. Dont know how you label a team B when 95%+ of the roster is present.

  18. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 4:58 p.m.

    "It was all the more impressive because most of FCD’s best U17s (Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira, notably) are competing across town in the older division at the Dallas Cup, where they managed to smash visiting Everton 5-0 late last week." So, no it does not say that. Thanks.

  19. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:08 p.m.

    Your welcome

  20. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:13 p.m.

    That article states that neither FCD nor Real had their best team, but it also stated that the Real players were OLDER than the FCD players. That kind of flips the script on your narrative. In any case, nobody is saying that we have caught up to the world here. We are saying that there has been lots of progress, and that this is evident in this tournament. This is the first year that MLS teams have really even been paired up with these foreign academies to this extent, and they have performed well.

  21. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:22 p.m.

    Its a 2000 born tournament. Fc Dallas took their Academy U16 wich are mostly 2000. Did RM bring 99s? I dont think the tourney rules allow this. Couldnt it be that in the past foreign teams brought their best to this tournament but then adjusted to the level and made it a challenge for their B teams like Real Madrid did? But I will find out who brought their best teams and let you know. Hard to believe that most of these Mls teams got manhandled a year ago in that Miga Mx tourney and they suddenyl caught up to Liga Mx A teams. That makes sense to you?

  22. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.

    The article says that Real had 4x the number of 2000s on their roster, so I infer that FCD had a lot of 01s.

  23. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:33 p.m.

    Also, even though it only mentions Pomykal and Ferreira as missing this tournament by name, it says that MOST of their best 17s were not there. That sounds like a B team to me. So, a younger FCD B team beat a weak Real Madrid team.

  24. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:42 p.m.

    "any case, the marquee matchup of this event from the off was always FC Dallas and Real Madrid. Ironically, the two met on Wednesday with little of substance to actually play for; the relatively unheralded Independiente del Valle from Ecuador had already won the group and made the FCD-Real Madrid matchup about table scraps." I saw the roster for Dallas Cup. There were no or few 00s on it. We call 99s U17s this year while everyone else in the world calls them U18. In any case it was precisely that a scrap game where both teams, surely Real Madrid, played their entire bench. Who won that Group? A Peru club. South America does it again.

  25. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:49 p.m.

    Gary you need to try and figure out why it is so important to you to denigrate any success a US team might have. Don and I celebrate US successes because we are Americans and want to see our teams do well and we want the game to continue to grow here. What is your motivation for seeking to downplay even the notion of a step in the right direction?

  26. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:52 p.m.

    Gary the article you yourself described as reliable said the win was "hugely impressive" and that Real Madrid had four times the number of 2000s as Dallas did. It also says 2000s are the oldest age group permitted. At this point, you must just be trolling and shame on me for falling for it.

  27. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:07 p.m.

    Fire I love America and thats why I refuse to allow mediocracy in the sport I love. I want for us to really be a soccer world power so therefore I dont see the benefit from celebrating empty wins or cheerleading a failed system. I cant think of a more American way of helping my country. Sorry that bothers you. Actually I am not.

  28. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:12 p.m.

    The article also said the game was meaningless so the bench played for at least Real Madrid team. Older younger really doesnt matter when the fact still remains that they played vs a B team. Or wether both were bench teams playing for nothing. As a competitor the true test will always best vs best and as far as these 2 Pronclubs are concerned the even bigger gauge of development is how many of their top Academy players end up going pro and where. Case closed.

  29. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:38 p.m.

    The most American thing you can think of is complaining about everything and desperately trying to downplay any success by Americans? Wow, that's odd.

  30. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:40 p.m.

    Gary if you're going to make things up you shouldn't make things up about an article you posted to. It doesn't say Real's "bench" played.

  31. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:44 p.m.

    You call it complaining. I call it being realistic. I have to cheerlead with you guys to be more American? Nah. I've said many times Fc Dallas is the best Academy in Usa and they are the only ones to consistently compete vs Foreign clubs at youth levels. Just because i question the RM game to be a great win for them doesnt mean I minimize their great work. Unlike tou 2 im not an ass kisser. Just say it how it is.

  32. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 7:14 p.m.

    Yea it doesnt say that. I aasume that since the article did say the game was meaningless to both clubs. Thats usually what happens with real youth academies and pro clubs.

  33. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 7:39 p.m.

    Gary - You cite the article when you think that it supports your point, but then you downplay the article when it does not -- all the while showing a lack of reading comprehension. Perhaps we have a little bit of perspective. Thus, our "cheerleading." We are not pretending like their is not a lot of work to be done, but to downplay any and all success that has been shown with regard to youth development is just tired.

  34. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 9:18 p.m.

    Don, the article itself downplayed the win by saying themselves that the game meant nothing point wise and that the Real Team had a B team. The title said it was an impressive win. I basically just said what they said but, I know, it sounds worse when I say it. As for me minimozing everything, lets put it this way, i do that as much as you both cheerlead so maybe we are both tiresome each in our own way. Much of what you personally claim as an "improvement" has yet to be proven. This game is no different given the facts sited by the TDS author. I too want us to be the best but can see our shortcomings that many times are self inflicted and not because we are "just getting started" like you claim.

  35. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 10:19 p.m.

    Of course the result didn't matter, but as you should know that means very little from a developmental standpoint. And if you think that the improvement in youth development is not proven, then you might want to pay more attention. We have many many more teenagers playing professionally than we have ever had -- by a lot -- several at really big clubs. MLS academies are actually starting to produce players on a consistent basis. Coaching is improving dramatically. Lower leagues are being developed and giving lots more opportunities for players. And on and on... There are so many reasons for excitement. Does that mean that we are going win the U20 World Cup every year? Does it mean that everything with youth soccer in the US is great? Does it mean that there aren't some piss poor aspects of US Soccer? Of course not, but perspective would show you that we are poised for a serious breakout as a footballing nation right about the time that we could be hosting the 2026 World Cup. To think that this was going to be a quick and easy process is flat out stupid. To think that we can just copy the way that Brazil develops players or the way that Spain or Germany develops players is extremely naive. To think that a silver bullet like training compensation exists is foolishly simplistic. MLS became stable only about 8-10 years ago after a brutal first 10-12 years. MLS only started focusing on producing players about 5 years ago. What MLS has accomplished in the last 10 years has been amazing, and it is certainly cause for lots of excitement when you think of how much it could grow in another 10 years.

  36. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 12:02 a.m.

    Agreed on thw winning means little. Never said otherwise. Tell me how our improvement is proven please. Since there are no previous leagues or clubs to compare to in usa i can only compare to other countries and their development and product numbers and even countries that are lately producing. I never said it was easy or to copy brazil. What i saud was we should be looking there before we do Europe for obvious reasons as far as player development us concerned. Whats anazing about mls in last 10 years?

  37. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 7:50 a.m.

    If you don't know what is amazing about MLS' growth over the last 10 years, then consider that the league is now financially stable, most teams play in their own stadiums, many teams have built their own training grounds, all teams have academies and these are starting to come good, and the quality of play has dramatically risen (even compared to just about every other league in the world). To think that just ten years ago that MLS was not even stable, and now it's where it is is amazing. For you to not recognize this progress is astounding. Maybe you are just young. If you can't see the progress that we have made in player development then consider that we have more teenagers playing professionally than we ever had. I keep on telling you that, but you keep ignoring it. That is the most important stat as far as player development goes, but you ignore it. Even compared to 5 years ago, we have a ton more teenagers playing professionally. It will take another couple of years for these guys to break through and another couple to reach their potential, but there are dozens who are on a much better track than their predecessors.

  38. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 8:01 a.m.

    Don how many teenager homegrowns do we have playing in Mls exactly?

  39. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 8:11 a.m.

    The number of homegrown teenagers in MLS is more than 20. Five years ago, that number was probably 3. It would be even higher if so many players weren't signed by teams like Fiorentina, Dortmund, Barcelona, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Fulham, etc. You seriously don't see this?

  40. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 8:58 a.m.

    Don give me a number of homegrown teenagers playing meaningful minutes this year. Not just signed. Playing on 1st teams.

  41. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 9:04 a.m.

    Probably 15 right now playing meaningful minutes. You apparently don't even follow the league that you continually bash, and that is the definition of ignorance.

  42. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 9:29 a.m.

    So less than 1 per team. Thats not progress to me. League has doubled in size in 10 years so naturally that number would double too. Ignorance is claiming progress in this case

  43. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 14, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    I'll give you an example with my team - RBNY. They brought through Matt Miazga and sold him to Chelsea at age 20. Tyler Adams bossed the midfield in the Concacaf U-20s, including against Mexico. He is now starting every week for RBNY. The team traded its captain and fan favorite, Dax McCarty, to make room for him. That would not have happened five years ago. Derrick Etienne, another guy from NJ (although he chose to play for Haiti) is also get plenty of minutes at age 20. The pipeline is finally there starting from U-12 through the USL to the first team. It needs to be built out more but the progress is there. Pretending it's the same as 20 years ago, or even 5 years ago, requires willfully ignoring evidence.

  44. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 14, 2017 at 9:57 a.m.

    I didn't mention Tyler's age - he just turned 18 in February.

  45. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.

    Last year Homegrowns played about 7% of overall minutes on average. What is that % today? Mla teams are allowed 8 foreign player signings per year and mostly seem to want to max that number out and a growing trend amongst these teams is to get these foreign players a green card asap so they can yet sign more foreign players. That undeniably goes against Homegrown signings and minutes. In 2006 Americans made up 65% of rosters. Today its under 50%. Progress? Lol

  46. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 11:01 a.m.

    The percentage of homegrown minutes this year is UNDOUBTEDLY much higher than it was last year. More than a couple have broken through in a big way, and many more are on the cusp. You keep on making statements and asking questions that make it clear that you don't actually follow MLS closely. You would rather bitch about it, which is, again, extremely tired and ignorant.

  47. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 11:25 a.m.

    Don, I continue to give you facts to support my statements and you continue to use words like "In a Big way" and "Undoubtably" to somehow try and support yours. Give me facts and numbers. It seems I follow it a little closer than you because i actually have factual info that you lack or werent aware of. How about now countering with facts and stats. No more "I believe my eyes" quotes. Doesnt make you look to good.

  48. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 1:12 p.m.

    I have listed many times the names of the teenage prospects that are playing in MLS and abroad. It's a long list that grows by the month. I'm not going to go back and tell you how this compares to 5, 10, and 20 years ago because I don't know where to find that data. You can find it if you want to, or you can trust someone who has been paying attention/living in the middle of it for that long.

  49. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 2:11 p.m.

    Don yea you gave a small list of players which in no way signifies an improvement in overall numbers. I can appreciate you getying exited over those particluar players but it doesnt mean we are more efficient producing more of them overall. If we have 20 good prospects today in Mls and had 10 of them 10 years ago and have 30 with 30 Mls teams in the future, that means we have not prpgressed whatsoever as far as producing more talent. If this new generation is better than what we have jad in the past and proves it then we can at least say we produced the same small batch but better players. Sure. But then again you would have to prove to me that Mls developed that small batch for so many years directly under them. A small list of random names proves nothing and you convince no one. Show me facts and stats then we can talk. I did and that seems to bother you.

  50. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 2:43 p.m.

    The "facts and stats" that you gave prove nothing to your point. You can find facts and stats to support just about anything, and there are also lots of things that are so obvious that stats are not necessary. This is one of those things. The number of teams in the league is only marginally relevant to this conversation. More teams does not necessarily mean more talent or youth products just as fewer teams does not necessarily mean less (it means less opportunity, but that is relative anyway). "If this new generation is better..." There is no "If" about it! This generation is clearly on a much better track than those that have come before them. Unless you believe that NCAA soccer is just as good as being on an MLS roster or in Europe, then you would have to agree with that.

  51. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 3:08 p.m.

    Don, facts dont prove anything? Hahaha. Come on man. This isnjust getting silly. Fact is we only played homegrowns 7% of overall minutes last year and fact is we dropped 15% for American born/developed players in Mls to now have more foreigners than Americans. That only means that your claims are not yet true because they are not proven. More Pro teams means more Academies which should mean more american players developed by Mls teams. So of course it is revelant. This generation is better. Hopefully you are right but that has yet to be proven. Lets say you are right, fact still remains that we are not devekoping greater numbers of pro players even though we now have twice as many teams in Mls.

  52. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 3:57 p.m.

    "fact still remains that we are not developing greater numbers of pro players even though we now have twice as many teams in Mls." First of all, yes we are producing more pros -- where do you think all of the players is USL and NASL are coming from (that's another 800 players)? But the much more important point is that we are producing better and younger pros.

  53. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:27 a.m.

    Engalnd has 4-6 lower divisions also full of english players. The lower you go the higher that number gets. Thx for proving my point.

  54. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 11:59 a.m.

    That proves nothing. England's leagues have been around for well over 100 years. Our leagues are still forming. To make that comparison in the first place is asinine.

  55. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:22 p.m.

    Point is England is an example of how more foreignors in top division means less quality ffor National players. Thats a well accepted fact. For some reason you believe thr Mls will be thr exception and Thats what is truly asinine.

  56. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 3:21 p.m.

    see below re: exports

  57. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 3:56 p.m.

    See below that. All leagues export. Croatia exports. England doesnt export as much, according to you, but still full of foreignors in the epl, which of course means that their englishmen are mostly relegated to 2nd division and lower.

  58. Goal Goal, April 12, 2017 at 9:24 p.m.

    This is a much better team with Namazi at the wheel.

  59. Nick Daverese, April 13, 2017 at 12:17 p.m.

    Remember when a lot of people thought Belgium had all the answers for success from youth to adult. I collect this stuff but it is much too long to post on here. Evidently, it does not work any way.

  60. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 2:43 p.m.

    Yea I remember. They had one good year and everyone looked to Belgium for player development. Just like Spain. Meanwhile Brazil again is ranked #1 in the world and havr won the most world cups of any country. 4 of the top 5 soccer countries in the world are South American. But let's keep lookong to Europe for revolutionary theories of development! Lol

  61. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.

    On the other hand, the last three and four of the last five world cups have been won by European teams. In any event, surely we can learn from both. Plus, Belgium's current generation of players is pretty impressive for a country of 9 million people don't you think?

  62. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 3:52 p.m.

    You are comparing a continent to one country dude. That saids it all. Fact is not one country comes close to Brazil all around. Germany is a close 2nd to Brazil in world cup wins but Brazil hands down has produced much better world class players and much more of them. Yes we could learn from both but we should defenitely start with the best. This is Usa man! Shiuld be nothing but the best right? Yes Belgium is doing good but Chile is doing better and Uruguay has been impressive for years with the amount of people they have. The bias is unbearable.

  63. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 3:59 p.m.

    Fire, Ill give you a better example. When picking the best development system to pick Belgium or Spain over Brazil is like picking Stanford over Schalke. Stanford is good too and a player can probably learn there too but the comparison is silly

  64. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 4:31 p.m.

    Why do we have to pick only one country to choose from? And Spain has had far more success over the past 20 years than Brazil has. TO be honest, if you limit it to the last decade or so, Chile has been more successful than Brazil. But it's a false choice. Don't we have something to learn from all of them? And others too?

  65. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 4:52 p.m.

    Chile and Spain jad one good run each with a particular generation. Spain is spiraling down on a steady decline since their world cup win. Brazil has been a World Cup contender most of the time throughout history. Last world cups team was the worst brazil team I have ever seen and they still managed to make top 4. Also, by your standards, they played with their B team without neymar and silva. At its worst Brazil still develops the worlds best players and no one is as consistent in that department. Yes we can learn from everyone but our people in charge solely ppint to Europe and ignore the very best. That is clear. We could learn more from Mexico development than most European countries for gods sake. We go to Europe while many European countries spend their resources to see why Mexico is doing so well with their youth. Snap out of it man.

  66. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:01 p.m.

    Brazil hasn't won anything in the last decade but I agree they are absolutely one of the top soccer countries. Just not sure why we should only try and learn from them, as if no other country has anything of value to show us. Seems rather narrow minded and biased on your part. Germany, for example, has had just as much success historically.

  67. Gary Young, April 13, 2017 at 5:18 p.m.

    Fire, do we look at all to South America for developmental ideas or coaches? And im the bias one? 4 out of the top 5 countries in the world all in south america and which one of those do we even mention when talking about player development? When I say we I mean our Ussf, Academy coaches, Us Youth Soccer, Us Club Soccer, etc. No other 2 countries produce better players in the world at such a consistent and productive way than Brazil and Argentina by a long shot. Germany has done great but is much more team oriented as is Spain. Brazil and Argentina produce the greatest individual talent in the world throughout history. Spain has one good run with one generation and thats all everyoen talks about. No one talks about Brazils current dominance or their great history. And im the bias one? Uruguay has produced more great individual talent than most European countries. Chile is playing probably the most attractive style of soccer in the world. Colombia is fun to watch and also in top 5 being a small country. Even Peru is very dynamic and competes well vs those 4. Its not even close. Yea lets learn from both. I agree. What are we waiting for?

  68. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 5:55 p.m.

    I don't know what your point is.

  69. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:13 p.m.

    I replied to your comment. Point is South America is better at development yet we ignore them pretty much.

  70. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 13, 2017 at 6:42 p.m.

    I don't think we ignore South America and I also don't think it's clear South America is any better than Europe at player development. In any event, you don't know a lot about South American player development since you thought Neymar played on the street until he was 14 when in reality he was at a club at age 7. And please don't cite the meaningless FIFA rankings as proof of anything. Not long along Belgium were #1. That was nonsense, as are many of the current rankings.

  71. Gary Young replied, April 13, 2017 at 7:27 p.m.

    Fire, keep up man. Wiki doesnt say Neymar played soccer or not. All the clubs in Brazil have youth teams that play futsal and most of all at U13 and under. Thats a fact. You can look it up. It is no secret that Brazil best players ALL played alot or only futsal until their teenage years along with street soccer. They all say it. So being part of a Brazil club doesnt mean they are playing training soccer whatsoever. You not wanting to admit that the best players in the world consistently come from SA doesnt mean its not true. Its quite amazing and inconvenient if you are pro Euro. I know.

  72. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 14, 2017 at 9:59 a.m.

    Stop with nonsense. You said he learned in the street when that is clearly wrong. I'm sure he played plenty of futsal but futsal in Brazil is highly organized. No doubt he also played soccer outdoors too.

  73. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

    Why is it clearly wrong? Its an assumption just like yours. Can tou factually tell me he played soccer before age 13? Mr. Nonsense

  74. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

    Nonsense is ignoring statements from greats like Ronaldinho Neymar Cruyff etc who always emphasize the importance of futsal and street soccer as credit to their development. Is that all they did? Probably not but maybe. But was it so important they all feel they need to state it when asked why they are so good? Undeniably yes and that probably means thats what they played the most. Its called common sense. Try it.

  75. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 14, 2017 at 11:13 a.m.

    I think your points would be better received if you didn't insult people in every post. Why not try it?

  76. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 11:28 a.m.

    Well Fire, its pretty insulting when you call others narrowminded and his statements nonsense. But I apologize for my offenses. Lets keep it kosher homie

  77. Nick Daverese, April 13, 2017 at 6:17 p.m.

    Well we did look at a Brazilian coach for the national team. The guy that did the Metrostars. But the Brazilians did not even like the way he won the World Cup not enough artistry for them. You now the year they won it in the US. The great Romerio and company.

    Then we had a guy from Portugal. Another Metro star manager. We wanted him to do the youth program and the national team. But he just wanted the national team. It hard to make everyone happy.

  78. Nick Daverese, April 13, 2017 at 6:25 p.m.

    Personally at one time I would have loved Dr. bilardo to get the team and the whole youth program for that matter.

  79. Gary Young, April 13, 2017 at 10:08 p.m.

    Nick, its just not bringing over 1 or a few Brazilian coaches. Its the entire mentality and system that we should heavily look at. We only take what we thinknwe can make money off of with parents. Like futsal for example. We effed up a simple game with an extremely simple methology behind it and turned it into an expensive way to develop rich kids. The reason futsal has helped brazilians is because they play it every day along with street soccer for free. Its easily accessible to play anywhere on any surface. Every day for hours. No different than playing pickup basketball. But we turned it into nonsense.

  80. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 10:50 p.m.

    You want us to develop players like Brazil does, but don't you understand that a big part of the reason that they are able to produce those players is because they are BRAZIL? Like you said, they a ton of their population plays/watches/eats/breaths soccer every day. Is it any wonder that they produce such great players? Same with Argentina and many of those South American countries. The fabric of our culture is much less influenced by soccer than most other countries, even when you are comparing a the average Mexican to the average Mexican-American. Even though we have a greater capacity to be great due to our country's size and resources, we need more of the general population to be more deeply immersed in the game before we can get there. Fortunately, that is happening relatively quickly. This just sounds rational to me, but you will probably say that I am being a cheerleader. There is no reason to believe that if we just implement what Brazil does, then we should expect to have any level of success close to what Brazil has.

  81. Bob Ashpole replied, April 13, 2017 at 11:19 p.m.

    If we could actually provide good training opportunities to the 3 million registered youth players, our game would grow exponentially.

  82. don Lamb replied, April 13, 2017 at 11:39 p.m.

    Correct Bob. That means that we need parents to be more informed about the game -- let's face it, that is who coaches the majority of who the coaches are that teaching the game to those 3 million kids.

  83. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 1:04 a.m.

    Don, the reason Brazil breathes and loves soccer is because of how easily accessible it is for them. Because their sustem is inclusive to all demographics, unlike ours. We make no attempt towards this so thereforr we will never even come close no matter how much cheerleading you and Fire do. Tennis nor golf is popular in our ghettos because of no or limited access to them. Is it a surprise we dont see many more black golfers and tennis players? How about hockey? If Ussf and Mls really wanted to take soccer to the next level development wise they would do very simple stuff in the "real" soccer communities like many cheap street soccer tourneys and futsal tourneys. Free tryouts for state teams by ussf. Scouting presence in barrio leagues. All this is very easy to and inexpensive to do. Instead we have. One futsal tournament at u14 a year? Now we have several futsal federations that charge an arm and a leg to play organized futsal with the federation's blessing. Not only are we not doing what Brazil does. We are doing the opposite. We are not exclusive or special when it comes to development and incentive to develop Don. Cant understand this if you constantly cheerleading.

  84. Bob Ashpole replied, April 14, 2017 at 5:01 a.m.

    Gary you lost me when you said we needed more tournaments for kids.

  85. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 7:57 a.m.

    Gary - Soccer is much more than just accessible in Brazil. Technically, it is just as accessible here. That doesn't mean that, culturally, our society is going to play/live the game like they do. Our society is much different and the game is going to have to follow it's own path. We should look all over the world to learn and theorize based on how other countries do it. Brazil should be near the top of that list, but our country is very different from others, and we have lots of cultural factors that mean that this is going to be a slow (but extremely rewarding) process.

  86. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 8:05 a.m.

    Why bob? Did you not watch the movie Pele? Countries lile that hold tourneys and make them exonomically accessible to everyone so they can scout those games. How else would you encourage street soccer and futsal in the poorest neigborhoods? By bringing those games at a low cost or free to their neigborhoods. Thats how. Or are you telling me that more training at a cist is better and a better motivator? Lol. Typical

  87. Bob Ashpole replied, April 15, 2017 at 6:59 a.m.

    I didn't get my knowledge of the game from watching a movie.

  88. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 7:56 a.m.

    Bob, many types of knowledge arent always useful.

  89. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 8 a.m.

    Don, there is absolutely nothing stopping both the Ussf and Mls from bringing those types of events to underserved communities lile th barrio. They van afford to even hold for free. The barrio is the community where most soccer is played and with the most flavor. Whats so different about that community that these 2 organizations cant figure out? Are you saying we cant do that? Or dont want to because our culture os designed for those 2 to profit from pay to play? Dontbget what you mean.

  90. Nick Daverese, April 14, 2017 at 3:38 a.m.

    There was plenty of prejudice in Brazil did you know that? The light skin Brazilians were very prejudiced against the dark skin Brazilians. That is no joke that prejudice was real then I don't know if it is the same now.

  91. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 8:12 a.m.

    Yes. No different from us. And with those light skin guess what style of play is more popular? Euro and thats why they have always tried to push for on National teams. What a surprise? Thats an on going battle in Brazil as incredible as it might sound. This is from Brazil who has undeniably had more success playing their Ginga style that comes from the dark skinned people. Same battle we are having here in Usa bit the light skinned are imposing their Euro style when its a fact that the Hispanic style is better and just more fun to watch.

  92. Brian Kraft, April 14, 2017 at 8:47 a.m.

    This is fake news. Everybody knows there are no youth players in the US.

  93. Fire Paul Gardner Now, April 14, 2017 at 10:01 a.m.

    Gary - you've made your point. You are as tedious and narrowminded as that guy Frank. He thinks Holland circa 1974 was the peak of the game and the only thing we can learn from. You think it's Brazil. You're both wrong. At least understands how the Dutch development system works. You change your description of what development in Brazil means to suit whatever argument you feel like making.

  94. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.

    Why are we wrong? And what exactly are you right about? Lol.

  95. Bob Ashpole replied, April 15, 2017 at 7:27 a.m.

    FPGN, you are focusing on the wrong thing. Frank is an advocate of the Dutch Style, a set of tactical principles for dominating play. The focus is not on particular teams or players, rather on ideas which are timeless. AC Milan under Sacchi had an Italian version, Barca adopted a Spanish version, and more recently Bayern adopted a German verison. It is not the only tactical school of thought and it has never been commonly used, but the basic premises are quite good.

  96. Gary Young, April 14, 2017 at 10:50 a.m.

    Cheerleading makes you open minded?

  97. Gary Young, April 14, 2017 at 10:57 a.m.

    In case you missed my post above, Last year Homegrowns played about 7% of overall minutes on average. What is that % today? Mla teams are allowed 8 foreign player signings per year and mostly seem to want to max that number out and a growing trend amongst these teams is to get these foreign players a green card asap so they can yet sign more foreign players. That undeniably goes against Homegrown signings and minutes. In 2006 Americans made up 65% of rosters. Today its under 50%. Progress? Lol

  98. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 14, 2017 at 11:14 a.m.

    Posting something twice doesn't make it any more correct or persuasive.

  99. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 11:29 a.m.

    Really? Whats incorrect about this last post Fire?

  100. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 1:15 p.m.

    Who cares what percentage of Americans are in the league if the level of play is crap. I'd rather have 30% Americans playing in a good league than 60% percent in a horrible league. The other factor that this does not consider is the age of the players, which has dropped considerably in two key areas: foreign players coming into the league and American prospects developing in the league. Yes, even with a lower percentage of Americans in the league, MLS is much better for player development than it was in 2006. Certainly progress as our players are not only breaking into better teams and competing against better players, but they are doing it at a significantly younger age.

  101. Bob Ashpole replied, April 15, 2017 at 7:11 a.m.

    Gary comparing percentages is misleading because MLS grew from 10 teams in 2004 to 22 teams. Also roster sizes grew. This is a huge increase in the number of MLS players. During this type of expansion, the league has to be concerned about maintaining the quality of play.

  102. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:27 p.m.

    Bob Any pro team and league in the world is always worried about mantaining quality. There is and will always be 2 ways of doing that. Buying foreign players or developing your own. Both require proper investment. Buying foreignors is easier. This is why many leagues have at one point or another had to establish a limit on foreignors. You would think 8 foreignors would be more than enough for Mls teams but we now see that if they can get away with getting more by getting others green cards they will do exactly that. Where should the line be drawn. Why would we need a great league if our Usmnt continues to be trash?

  103. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 3:24 p.m.

    Gary - MLS could easily withdraw foreign player spots on the roster over the next 5-10 years as we really start pumping out players.

  104. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 6:58 p.m.

    Sure but they wont and we both know that. They are doing the opposite this year. Getting their foreignors green cards. Come on now. You lost this debate comments ago

  105. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 7:24 p.m.

    I'd say you lost this debate when you tried to downplay FCD beating Real Madrid even after it was shown to you that your assumptions were wrong and that FCD was actually the younger team. I don't care if it wasn't Real's best team. It wasn't FCD's best team either, and any way you slice it, the players are part of Real Madrid. For a younger FCD team to beat them is pretty awesome. But you can't even admit something as clear as that because it goes against your narrative.

  106. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 10:33 p.m.

    Its a good win. No doubt. Never said otherwise. It just wasnt Fc Dallas best beating Real Madrid best and it was all in a game worth nothing to both teams. Author said this and also pointed out it was RM B team. My debate wasnt about this game as main point but good try

  107. Gary Young, April 14, 2017 at 2:18 p.m.

    "Who cares what % are Americans in the Mls"? " Id rather have 30% Americans". Holy Bat ass kissing Robin! So let me get this straight, you are overly exited about how great Mls is developing more and more players but would rather have 30% Americans? Which one is it? If what you claim about development is correct then that should mean we should have more Americans, right? Lol. So Mls is developing better players just because you say so right? Even though facts point otherwise we have to take your word for it right? We are developing better players and more of them while we have dropped 15% in last 10 years for Americans playing in Mls right? Wishing something to hopefully happen and it actually being fact are 2 different things Don. Hopefully that helped you out.

  108. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 2:50 p.m.

    Once again, your reading comprehension has failed you. I said that would rather have a high level league with 30% Americans than a crap league with 60% Americans. What good is a high percentage of the players being American if the overall level of play is horrible. I would rather have our top 200 players playing with and against great players than have them playing with lesser players. The other part of the equation that you completely missed is the age of the upcoming players. MLS is signing and playing prospects at a much younger age than ever before. An 18 year old breaking into a good team is much more impressive than a 23 year old breaking into a good team, and we are starting to see that with the young players.

  109. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 3:13 p.m.

    Yes I read exactly what you said. You know who also has a high level league full of foreignors? England. Do they have the English players to show for it? Nope. But at least now we know that what you care about more is to have a league full of foreignors as long as its better play instead of giving our youth a chance and making Mls accountable for development. Thx for your honesty. I do agree with you in that 200 crappy players born here are no good and thats why i say make mls teams acvountable for it. But you will disagree with that as well beacuse your ass kissing knows no limits. Yea we have younger players and the great majority of them are not developed in Usa. Foreignors. Same blah blah.

  110. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 10:54 p.m.

    Another false claim from you! The truth is that the vast majority of the young professional American talent spent their formative years in the US playing in either a DA or MLS academy. The American development system is taking shape fast. As these developmental and professional clubs reach deeper into their communities and grow over the next decade or so, I don't think it's difficult at all to see how this momentum is not going to snowball. We are just a few years from everything being in place in terms of infrastructure (stadiums, media, feeders, etc.), tradition (MLS 30 years old, about to host 2nd WC?), maturity (MLS full grown and settled -- potential grows for discussion about most effective league formats), and player development and foreign player acquisition (academies mature with time to develop players on long term, more money to spend on better players and better reputation among those players) will all be in another 10 years. I will be honest -- my excitement, or "cheerleading" as you call it, about MLS is not necessarily for where the league is currently, but for where it is projecting to be in a few years. I understand that you are frustrated by how some things in the soccer world operate, and although some of your criticism of the game in US is understood, I really have no idea how you hold seemingly zero positive thoughts about MLS and the overall progress of player development in the US.

  111. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 8:06 a.m.

    Which part is false? We have hosted a world cup before. What did that change in our soccer culture? Mls is not reaching deep into their communities. Only the upper class. No effort at all towards the lower class. I also look into 10 years from now and if Mls has made no effort to target those communities by today I can very simply see where its going. Its called being realistic.

  112. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.

    This comment was utterly false: "we have younger players and the great majority of them are not developed in Usa." I agree that MLS can do a better job of reaching further into the community -- as can other local clubs -- but to say that MLS is doomed because it has not cracked that nut is just ridiculous.

  113. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 5:44 p.m.

    By doomed, I mean its doomed to ever be a favorite amongst the lower class. But of course tou measure success purely on profit. Reading my comments the barrios and hoods will understand whats going on and act accordingly

  114. Nick Daverese, April 14, 2017 at 3:19 p.m.

    I really think the English players in the premier league are better then ours. They should be doing better in tournament play. So why aren't they. I think there are too many foreign players in the premier league taking up spots on teams that Englishmen should have.

    I think if that changed they would be better in tournament play

    Italians said the same think about seria A in the 80s.

  115. Gary Young replied, April 14, 2017 at 3:29 p.m.

    Yes that is a well established and historical fact. Less foreignors always improve quality of national teams. But you won't convince these 2 Mls crazy fans!

  116. don Lamb replied, April 14, 2017 at 3:53 p.m.

    The thing that you are not considering is that England exports very few players. We, on the other hand, push many of our best to play in Germany, England, Mexico, etc.

  117. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 14, 2017 at 4:42 p.m.

    How is it an established fact that having no foreigners in a league makes the national team better? I think you will find in most of the countries with poor national teams (and I mean really bad, not England), the leagues have few foreigners.

  118. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:25 a.m.

    Don, lol, so England doesnt try to export theirs? Come on man. In any country that opportunities are slim in their own league players will always tey elsewhere. More foreignors allowed = less homegorwn talent. Always.

  119. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:28 a.m.

    I said less. And yes less foreign players = more opportunity for homegrowns = better national teams. Like in everything else a balance must be established based on an objective

  120. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.

    Gary - You must not be familiar with the English system. There is so much money in the English leagues, and English players are so valuable due to domestic player rules that they rarely leave England to play. Another comment by you that just shows how you lack a lot of knowledge...

  121. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 12:29 p.m.

    Don, you do know that the English league is thr league with the most foreignors in the world right? That means less Englishmen. Which coincidentally has meant they are subpar as National team. Am I wrong?

  122. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 3:20 p.m.

    Yes, but there is a major difference between us and the English. And that is the fact that we export much of our best talent whereas England does not. Whereas the English mostly only have opportunities in England, our players have opportunities in the US as well as Mexico, Germany, England, Spain, etc.

  123. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 4:09 p.m.

    Don come on now. I am willing to bet you money we are one of the countries that least exports players.

  124. don Lamb replied, April 15, 2017 at 5:44 p.m.

    We don't produce the same quantity or quality that many other countries do, so of course that statement is correct. But in terms of philosophy, we are much more open to exporting talent than the English and that is the comparison that you chose.

  125. Gary Young replied, April 15, 2017 at 7:02 p.m.

    I chose England to prove that too many foreignors are bad for player devlopment. Its miopic to suggest that Mls is fully invested in player development or will be soon knowing they cant get enough of the foreignors. The more ticlets they sale the less incentive they will have to develop and promote their own. We are not exactly open to export. Players are leaving because they can and because of limited opportunities here. They dont see Usl as a realistic opportunity and who can blame them?

  126. Nick Daverese, April 14, 2017 at 7:33 p.m.

    I don't consider leagues like England and Italy bad. But if those players were playing in their leagues best division they would get better then they already are.

    You can't say the MLS is a better league then the Premiership or Seria A can you?

  127. Bob Ashpole replied, April 15, 2017 at 7:37 a.m.

    Generalizing about quality of play is difficult because there is a huge difference in quality between the top of the tables and the bottom, due largely to bottomless checkbooks to purchase players. Compare MLS to the clubs at the bottom of the tables and you get a completely different picture than comparing them to teams at the top of the tables.

  128. Nick Daverese, April 15, 2017 at 8:39 a.m.

    We had a player who played on one of the bottom teams in Seria B in Italy a year before the MLS first started. His salary there was around 100 thousand American dollars. So yes they paid their players more then we pay our players. He could have definately played for the Metrostars. But never at the money he made playing in Italy.

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