John Hackworth: 'We have some potentially world-class players'

After the USA’s 5-0 win over Paraguay in the round of 16 of the U-17 World Cup, U.S. coach John Hackworth  spoke about his players bouncing back from its loss to Colombia in the final group game, its performance in the wake of the senior national team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

“I’ve always thought they've had an excellent responses whenever they have a performance that isn't up to our standards,” said Hackworth, whose team opened with wins over India (3-0) and Ghana (1-0) but advanced as a third-place team because of the 3-1 loss to Colombia. "I’m so proud of these guys. They’re fun to coach. It’s good.”

GAME REPORT: Weah, Carleton and Sargent run wild in historic 5-0 victory

Before the Paraguay win, Hackworth said his team had played “five really good halves.” The bad half came in the second against Colombia in a game played the day after the USA failed to qualify for Russia 2018.

In the postgame press conference after the win over Paraguay, Hackworth was asked whether the victory, the first U.S. knockout stage win at the U-17 World Cup since 1999, compensated for senior team’s failure.

“I don't think anything is going to take away that, and it’s a different level,” said Hackworth. “I would say that we talked about that internally when that happened as a team and I told these guys that the responsibility was falling on them now to give hope to our country and to all the good work I think we're doing with the national team programs.

“It's easy when you have a bad result for everyone to think so negative, and no more so than when you miss a World Cup. But hopefully with this performance tonight we've shown our country and the world that we're a footballing nation and we have some potentially world-class players like the gentleman sitting next to me [Tim Weah].”

"U.S. player development on right path"

Hackworth added: "I think [the victory] validates the fact that this group of young men and that this particular pool of players we have in the U.S. right now is a special group. I think it also validates the fact that player development in the country is on the right path. This is a team that has quality, that is coachable, that has the grit when it comes to these kind of games. If you look at the goals that we scored tonight, it’s hard to argue that some of those weren’t world class."

Weah’s hat trick included a magnificent 22-yard shot, one of the best goals of tournament so far.

Speaking of Weah, Hackworth said: “This young man did it all and the goal, by the way, wasn't brilliant, it was world-class. I’m sure a lot of people are taking notice.”

In quarterfinals on Saturday, the USA will face the winner of England-Japan.

“I don’t know what to say,” Weah said. “I just cut back and my striker instinct told me to hit it. It ended up being a beautiful strike. Without the pass coming from [Indiana Vassilev], I wouldn’t have created the space to score this goal. I really thank him. I don’t score a lot of beautiful goals, most of my goals are tap-ins -- a striker’s real goal -- but today I’m just so excited to have scored a brilliant goal.”

“I was just so excited,” said Weah. “It’s one of those shots where you just hit it and see where it goes, but the form that I used to shoot it was just perfect and I thought ‘Wow, what a one in a million chance to be in a World Cup and score an amazing goal like that.”

70 comments about "John Hackworth: 'We have some potentially world-class players'".
  1. R2 Dad, October 17, 2017 at 6:26 a.m.

    Weah seems to be benefiting from his couple of years at PSG--he hasn't been the regular starter at his position until this last match. Hopefully the lure of development in Europe will attract more US youth players.

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 10:02 a.m.

    Seems like you are trying to match up facts to your narrative.  Dude developed in the US until 14 and looks to be a good prospect?  Um, well he was trash and then he went to Europe and became good. 

    By all means, if someone can go to Europe and develop at a top club, they should go for it if that's what they want.  But most guys can't go until they are 18, unless they have an EU passport and even then it's age 16.  Weah has a French passport so he could join PSG at age 14.  So we can't rely on Europe, we need to develop young players here.

    Nearly everyone else out there was developed through DA.  Our development system is not perfect.  Far from it.  And I'm not saying that an MLS DA is as good as PSG's academy but can we at least acknowledge that DA has produced some decent players?  For example, McKennie went from Dallas's DA to Schalke's first team in about a year.  Pulisic was developed mostly in DA.  And so on.

  3. frank schoon replied, October 17, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.

    R2, exactly, notice the two top players, Weah, and Sargent, on the team both have had European developmental experience, interesting. If i'm not mistaken all three, Sargent, Weah, and Pulisic  have had parents who were deeply involved in soccer along European backround experience. These players are not a reflection of the good training given by DA. These players are the exceptions as compared what DA usually develops which can be easily seen so clearly when comparing  the level of technical abilities between those said players what and the rest of the herd the DA produces...

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 11:31 a.m.

    What European experience does Sargent have?  He lived in Missouri his whole life until he joined the residency program in Bradenton.  Are you talking about the two training stints he had?  Yes, I'm sure he learned everything he needed to know in those two weeks and not the years he spent in the DA and with other American clubs.  LOL...that is a good one Frankie.  

  5. don Lamb replied, October 17, 2017 at 12:47 p.m.

    The best prospects are Carleton, Sargent, Durkin. Developed in Scott Gallagher (DA), GA United (DA) [now ATL United], and DC United (MLS). Other top prespects are Sands (NYCFC-MLS), Garces (Weston-DA). Weah is a decent prospect, but not in the top five on this team. Every top player has been developed in MLS or the DA. You can argue that the best move for them as professionals is to move to Europe, but there is no denying that they all developed in the US within the new system that was put in place within the last decade.

  6. don Lamb replied, October 17, 2017 at 12:49 p.m.

    R2 and Frank - Carleton is arguably the best prospect on this team. He is clearly the most technical and creative player. How are you going to spin his development being anything but a success story within the DA?

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, October 17, 2017 at 2:28 p.m.

    If I were to summarize what has been said by everybody, the US has demonstrated that we know how to develop some outstanding amatuer 16 year old players, but developing professional players from 16 to 23 is another story. MLS has a long way to go before the US professional development opportunities will rival the best professional opportunities for male players in Europe. 

    A key problem for males is the gap between 16 and 18 when all talented players may be transferred internationally. For those 2 years, US development opportunities are all that is available. USSF realized this 10 years ago and created the DA. As a nation, we are going to be held back from taking our game to the next level until MLS develops into a league equivalent to the top 5 both in terms of player identification and development and in terms of level of play on the field.

  8. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 3:50 p.m.

    Players cannot transfer internationally until age 18.  The only exception I'm aware of is a transfer of an EU national to a club in another country within the EU.  This can take place at age 16.  Pulisic has a Croatian passport which is why he was able to join Dortmund at 16.  

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, October 17, 2017 at 6:14 p.m.


  10. don Lamb replied, October 17, 2017 at 10:04 p.m.

    Bob - Regarding your post above, MLS does not have to be one of the top leagues in the world before it can be a league that produces a world class player.  As long as MLS is committed to playing young players, history tell us that the league only needs to be as good as the leagues in Holland and Portugal, for instance. But, hell, Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent have shown that you don't even have to be in an MLS Academy program to be developed into a potentialy world class talent. We WILL have a top 5 league one day, but we will produce our first world class player before that ever happens.

  11. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 10:28 p.m.

    Sorry Bob - I misread your comment.

    Don - that's right.  Brazil and Argentina for example are not top 5 leagues but obviously they produce as many talented players in those countries as anywhere in the world.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, October 17, 2017 at 11:26 p.m.

    Don Lamb, I agree with you, but I am looking at what it takes to win a world cup. I want a pool full of great players. One or even a couple won't cut it. (Holland and Portugal would be my examples too.) For the world cup you have to have depth. Players have to be available, playing regularly and at 100%. 

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, October 17, 2017 at 11:29 p.m.

    Brazil's professional club system is massive and has a long history of experience. I don't know anything about Argentina, except Brazil attracts good players from other countries.

  14. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 10:32 a.m.

    Don, Atlanta United is essentially a mix of clubs so how can you give them or DA credit for developing anyone?
    And thats the problem we have in our system. We dont give credit where its due and we let the few people who own or prpfit from the system dictate who we give credit to.
    Fact will always be we will never be a top soccer country ubtil we have pro/rel and pay Training Compensation. Sure we will occasionally get good playerd here and there through current system but nwver the deep pool needed to excel at the highest level. Germanys B team is twice as good as our A team and we want to believe irs because they have a head start? 
    Ive got news for you. Unless we have a time machine they will always have a head start si hiw about we stop being mediocre and do what is actually needed for once?

  15. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 18, 2017 at 12:55 p.m.

    Yes, great suggestion - stop being mediocre.  And yes, the fact that Germany is a large welathy country with decades of soccer tradition is a huge advantage.  It takes a long time to close that gap.

  16. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 1:10 p.m.

    How long Fire? I keep hearing from you that it takes a long time but never how long. 
    How long did it take Iceñand?
    How long did it take Brazil to become bettwr than England where soccer was invented?
    How long did it take AfricanAmericans to establish their dominance in basketball, even though they werent the first to play it?
    Are all those special circumstances? 
    Mediocre to believe we have much mich longer to go till we can equal Germany. 
    What is true is that the time is now to change our system.
    Pro/Rel and Training Compensation

  17. don Lamb replied, October 18, 2017 at 2:18 p.m.

    Another failure in reading comprehension by Kumar. I clearly gave credit for Carleton's development to Georigia United, not Atlanta United. A better question is, how could you NOT give the DA credit for developing Carleton?

    To answer your other question of how long... The answer is 8-10 years. Training compensation would help, but we will be a world power in 15-20 years even without it, and pro/rel does not even factor into the equation of player development.

  18. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 2:45 p.m.

    so Pro/Rel had nothing to do in develop players like Messi CR7, Kaka, Ronaldhino, Zlatan?
    This is exactly the arrogance that everyone is talking about.
    What a joke.

  19. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 18, 2017 at 2:56 p.m.

    I don't know exactly how long it will take but MLS started from scratch 21 years ago, DA started from scratch 10 years ago.  So, longer than that at least.  

    But answer me this Kumar - how long until you are removed from the site under this new name?

  20. don Lamb replied, October 18, 2017 at 3:34 p.m.

    Kumar - How many times have Messi, Ibra, Ronaldo, etc. have to worry about relegation? For that matter, how many times have they been on a team that had a chance to gain promotion??

  21. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:32 p.m.

    So implimentation of new DA system 10+ years ago plus another 8-10 years of excluding our poorest population will get it done huh? 
    How did you come up with this nunber genius?

  22. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:36 p.m.

    Jaja. You guys really hung up on Kumar huh?
    My guess is that I will get deleted and someone else will pop up with similar views.
    Question is why are both of you so happy to see someone with my opinions deleted?
    Again, this is the arrogance that kills progression. Cant wait to right a book on all this.

  23. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:46 p.m.

    Don How many times did they have to worry about relegation? Is that a serious question?
    You do know that Barca has B teams right?
    You do know that Zlatans early career team played to not get demoted right?
    The entire system they all played in throughout their entire careers was Pro/Rel.
    Wether they were on top teams or not they played vs teams that were avoiding to be relegated.
    That very comment of yours shows how naive too many Usa fans are and also arrogrant.
    Question is how many soccer dtars do you know that didnt play in that system?

  24. John Polis, October 17, 2017 at 8:45 a.m.

    An exciting group for sure, and I can't wait to see them play again. But hey, let's cool our jets about "potential world class." That's the kind of comment that must make soccer observers outside the USA cringe. Haven't we learned our lessons on this yet? Methinks the term "potential world class" to describe players should be banished from our dictionary, at the very least until we produce our first one. 

  25. Joseph Pratt replied, October 17, 2017 at 9:53 a.m.


  26. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 10:04 a.m.

    That is maybe a little too much hyperbole.  I assume he's saying world-class for the U-17 level but still, there's no real need for that.

  27. Bob Ashpole replied, October 18, 2017 at 1:11 a.m.

    Why do you say the US hasn't had "world class" players? What is your definition of "world class". There are 2 former US players on Pele's list of the 100 greatest still-living players (Akers and Hamm). I will let you take that one up with Pele. Then there is Lloyd who was voted FIFA's top female player in 2015 and 2016. 

    Then there are our Hall of Famer keepers and Tim Howard whose performance at the last world cup was ranked in the top 5 keepers.

  28. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 10:48 a.m.

    Bob, I think its clear he meant on mens side. On womans side not sure how much credit we get given few countries if at all took womans soccer seriously. 

  29. frank schoon, October 17, 2017 at 10:18 a.m.

    Study the first goal around 55 seconds into the video. Notice the second touch on the ball when he cuts in, that's the secret. You can tell his father taught him well. I have to admit I didn't see the game but what I've seen of Paraguay sofar from the video, is that they have been poorly taught about defense in a positional sense via the ball and via the men,and the faulty positioning of the centerback, which made us look a lot better. If you notice in the game so much space was given to Weah to cut in with his right, instead of disallowing him that space and make Weah to go further down the flank thereby not only reducing the angle shot on goal but also force Weah to use his left.
    Now having said that going back to the "second touch" on the ball in which Weah not accelerates but also increases the distance from the defender therefore keeping the body between defender and the ball, was simply superb. I always teach kids that the "second touch" is the IMPORTANT touch for it is here you throw the opponent's timing off. That type of sophistication with the ball on the wing I don't see in the MLS. This kid needs to serious work with left to give him more versatility with space and with shooting on goal for presently he'll become too predictable. I could watch the mechanics of doing this cut all day. Obviously, this kid, SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING IN THE MLS, but in EUROPE, for spinning his wheels...

  30. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 11:32 a.m.

    Yes we know, anything a US player does anything well he learned it from a foreigner and any team the US beats is terrible.  Same comment as every other time a US youth team won a game.  

  31. Bob Ashpole replied, October 18, 2017 at 1:29 a.m.

    That second touch was perfect.

    Increasing separation after a turn or any other move is a fundamental which should be taught to all players at an early age, but it often isn't. Separation is last part of every move.

  32. don Lamb replied, October 18, 2017 at 9:35 a.m.

    Frank - That touch from Weah was nice, but pedestrian by professional standards. The real touch in this that should be studied and lauded was Carleton's outside of the boot one touch through ball that split two defenders with perfect weight leading to Akinola's assist to Weah on the first goal. That was pure brilliance.

  33. frank schoon replied, October 18, 2017 at 9:51 a.m.

    Bob, there are 4 ways to teach timing or rather throwing off your opponent. Johan Cruyff once stated 'If you try to time me than your beaten". One, the second "touch" is all about 'timing".  As you know a defender times you as you dribble, for he reacts to what you do. If you come running fast at him he will prepare himself as you get closer to him to run as well. That is why I tell my players don't run fast at an opponent for then you not only show your intentions but it allows the opponent to prepare himself.  I tell them to slow down the dribble  as approach him to allow the opponent to read and time you and then speed up once your at him. Two, another way to throw off the opponent is the pace or gate stepping with the ball and that can be executed with the inside or outside of the foot. In the former, employing inside it becomes a "drag move". In other words dribble once with the outside of the foot pushing the ball forward, the next step with the same foot, you don't push the ball forward but place the foot next to the ball, then  the next push you employ the inside of the foot thereby dragging the ball with the backfoot. The defender in other words times  your dribble foot 2x with the forward foot, but on the 3rd step the ball is on your back foot that drags the ball quickly, completely throwing the defender off. Third way, is the shift to the other foot. You dribble 2x lets say , employing the outside of the foot, then quickly follow up with the other foot, thus eliminating the in-between step of the other foot ,totally messing up the timing of the defender. And fourth, I call "switching sides" which is done changing your position to the other side of the ball in a manner that opponent doesn't sense the need to change his timing. In other words, when dribbling lets say, the ball is on your right side but your foot movement as you dribble allows your body to position to other side of the ball so it is on your left side. This movement allows you to change direction of the dribble while the defender body balance is timed for the other direction. This kind of technical knowledge is not taught to coaches at the coaching school when getting a license. This is kind of technical "insights" kids need to learn and should be taught to. This is why the USSF Coaching would be better off producing a coaching "Technical Adept" license which takes perhaps 3 years to master but once you acquire this license you're able demonstrate anything that has to do with Technique; and thereby a coach can truly as coach I can teach skills. All the other licenses does nothing for skills which is unfortunate when dealing with youth in their formative stages...

  34. Bob Ashpole replied, October 20, 2017 at 1:12 a.m.

    Frank, thanks for taking the time to explain that. To me, it is a new way of thinking about dribbling. I first learned to beat opponents in basketball and pointy football, so that is what I applied to soccer. The difference of course is that the former sports are played with the hands. You have given me something more to think about. 

  35. frank schoon replied, October 20, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.

    Bob, I hope my way of writing and explaining in detail the dribbling is not confusing. I only wish I could write like you, I admire people that do that. Johan Cruyff Dribbling Compilation (4Dfoot) - YouTube. Watch this tape 37 seconds into it. Note how Cruyff makes his opponent flatfooted by dribbling by turning to his right one, thus forcing the defender to his left on the run which makes him offbalance because he moving backwards, then Cruyff turns and beats him. NOTE when Cruyff turns to his right he makes 2 dribbles thus giving the opponent time to time Cruyff. I always tell my kids if you want to throw off a defender then go one way at least 2 dribbles for that give the opponent to think and time in a direction that you won't going into. I wrote a manuscript for a book many years with info like this and I gave it to Hank Steinbrecher to look at one of the coaching convention many years ago , he advised that I needed a big time name to make it saleable. He was right of course. Anyway dribbling is not about beating opponents on speed but beating them when in off balance position. For example, I teach my player to dribble slow along the sidelines with my back facing the sidelines, employing the inside of my right foot ,the back foot , facing the opponent. As I push the ball and the opponent times me ,I wait until his left foot ,his back foot, follows and then I cut inside with the outside of my right foot and beat him....If you can establish a rhythm then you actually push right between his legs, if you time it right. It is about balance when beating an opponent not fancy moves or speed

  36. Bob Ashpole replied, October 21, 2017 at 5:08 p.m.

    Thanks Frank, I think I understand. I say it differently. I want to catch the opponent "wrong-footed", meaning moving or at least leaning away from the direction I want to go. 

    One thing I discovered is that you don't dribble directly at the opponent because that allows him not to commit. You move obliquely to force the opponent to move. 

    Whether passing or dribbling, you beat an opponent by using the fact that he cannot move a leg bearing his weight. But he has to move to commit his weight on one foot. I think this is similar to the "timing" comment.

    I didn't have the skills to play in the middle, but I was quick and played winger using the typical quick dribbling moves and deception. As a coach I am playing catch up on learning about dribbling for penetration in the center. 

  37. Bob Ashpole replied, October 21, 2017 at 5:14 p.m.

    Watching Cruyff just now, I couldn't help thinking he moves just like Messi. I am sure that is not coincidence.

  38. frank schoon replied, October 22, 2017 at 10:58 a.m.

    Bob, watch how Cruyff dribbles, he shields the ball. This aspect is rarely discussed. Watch for instance how are U17 or U20, none dribble in manner that they shield the ball. This is why you don't Cruyff in videos or games ever being tackled...It is a joy just watching his videos..

  39. cisco martinez, October 17, 2017 at 11:16 a.m.

    What is frustrating to me when talking about our U-17, U-20 or olympic team is when they do well some of the players dont get rewarded to being called up to our senior team? Freddy Adu comes to mind, many of Tab Ramos players that lost in the quarterfinals in penalties havent even had a look. To name a few Cameron-vickers playing in Totenham, Miazga at chelsea and Vitesse, rubio rubin in holland, only Acosta and Arrieola are seeing some action with the national team, why arent some those players even looked at? In 1999, when the U-17 went to the semi finals, the core of that team led to our success in 2002 and 2010, oneywu, beasley, convey, donovan, beckerman. Will some of these U-17 get called up to the U-20s or olympic team oe national team? How is it that we've only called up only two players to participate in our senior squad?  

  40. Travis Smith replied, October 17, 2017 at 11:36 a.m.

    Cisco-while I understand your larger point, if you follow these players and the national team you would realize that they have been called in or are not playing in their respective leagues.
    Miazga was with the gold cup but i agree he should've had a look in the qualifiers.
    rubin has fallen way off and he has been called in on several occasions.  hes no longer in the dutch leagues...hes now in norway. doesnt deserve the national team. 
    cameron-vickers is with sheffield united...he doesnt sniff the field with tottenham.  hes not exactly lighting it up with sheffield so it's hard to say he deserves a call.
    also, convey and beckerman were not involved in 2010. 

  41. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 11:40 a.m.

    Most players from most countries' U-20 teams don't become mainstays in the full national side, it's not just the US.  Meanwhile, have you looked at some of the guys you mention?  CCV is playing at Sheffield United, not Spurs.  And he only just started playing regularly.  Miazga has had callups although he is at Vitesse and not Chelsea.  I'm sure you'll see both a lot going forward. Rubin's career has stalled.  

    You will see more of the 2015 U-20s called up now that we are building for the future for the next 2-3 years.   Some of the 2017 U-20s too, including Tyler Adams.  You will likely see some of them in the squad for the Portugal game in November.  If not, then I agree there's something wrong.  But I'm sure you'll see a very young US squad for that game.

  42. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 10:52 a.m.

    Cisco, it really depends on the coach and his politics. We dont have fluidity in our system National teams and that is clear.
    Look at our 99s. When Hugo Perez had them it was a mostly Hispanic team. As soon as other coaches got them the number of Hispanics on team dropped ina heartbeat.
    Coincidence? I dont think so.

  43. Goal Goal, October 17, 2017 at 12:55 p.m.

    They looked good and everyone has to admit that Paraguay helped in making them look good.  The proof will be how they compete when they get into the guts of the tournament competing with the top teams which by that time should be playing at their top.  I hope they do well and I don't care where they were trained.  

    I will tell you this though.  There have been far too many excellent players discharged from younger national teams at the u14 and u15 level because they did not meet the athletic protogype which has been the nemisis of US soccer.  These were players who were technically adept good ball handlers who new what to do with the ball instead of launching it into orbit for the fastest strongest player on the field to catch up with.  The coaches didn't have a clue on how to coach them thus they went by the wayside.  That is sad but the way it is.

  44. cisco martinez, October 17, 2017 at 12:59 p.m.

    If we cant call up Vickers or Miazga, then how do you all reconcile calling in Omar Gonzalez whom I might add was at fault for the goals against Honduras and Trinidad? If Vickers or Miazga are trying to make a name in Europe, why shouldnt they get a call up? These players were training with the upper echeleon of the EPL? If our players are willing to make the jump in Europe even if they arent starting, how is that worst than bringing in Wondolowski, Gonzalez, etc?

  45. Travis Smith replied, October 17, 2017 at 1:08 p.m.

    cisco-your larger point is taken and i mostly agree. miazga probably should've been called in but to be fair he was brought in for the gold cup and maybe he didnt show well enough?  IMO, i want to have miazga but I'm not privy to all the info. obviously gonzalez is called in and trusted because arena has deep history with him.  Unfortunately it's normal for coaches to call in players they have a history with. 
    regarding, vickers, he's just not good enough.  just because he's associated with tottenham doesn't mean hes national team worthy.  wondo is terrible but his roster spot has nothing to do with the exclusion of vickers or miazga. 

  46. cisco martinez, October 17, 2017 at 1:39 p.m.

    If vickers is not good enough than we are all mad becuase the fact of the matter is Pocchetino played him in some games and Shiefield United is now playing him, both Vickers and Ream play in the English championship, yet Ream get called up and not Vickers? How does Dwyer not get called in but Wondo, Altidore make it? Again, why do we reward MLS players when our european based players whom are trying to improve themselves abroad are given the cold shoulder? Again, why do we as a country reward bad behavior? Bradley, Altidore, Bedoya, howard, Dempsey, all came back to make our National team worst. the only thing Klinsmann got right was he wanted more American players fighting for a spot in Europe.

  47. Fire Paul Gardner Now, October 17, 2017 at 2:23 p.m.

    CCV has played all of five league games as a professional.  He made a couple of cup appearances for Spurs when they were resting players, never a league match.  Bruce was really supposed to trust someone so inexperienced in games that would decide WC qualification?  No way.  I wouldn't even call him in for the November games.  He's played a handful of games for a Championship club.  Tim Ream has played hundreds of professional games.  That's why he was called up for WCQ.  He didn't even play in these last two games.  He did play against CR but at that point CCV hadn't even played for Sheffield Utd yet.  There' are plenty of things to criticize Bruce about but not calling up CCV isn't one of them.

  48. Travis Smith replied, October 17, 2017 at 2:58 p.m.

    spot on FPGN.
    and cisco while your large point is still accepted, the scary thing is that younger players have not pushed out that aging crew of player you are lamenting.  Altidore is beyond frustrating but I have to say there's no one thats outplayed him and deserves that role. Dwyer is not as good as alitdore.  we are sounding like the fans who call for the backup quarterback on the losing football team to solve all the problems.  Most times, there is a reason he's the backup
    If you haven't read Brian Sciaretta's piece about the missing generation, than I highly suggest it.  We have a huge player pool gap between the ages of 23-27.  That's the age group that should make up the bulk of our national team.  we basically have 3 from that era. 

  49. cisco martinez replied, October 17, 2017 at 4 p.m.

    So Omar Gonzalez would have been your choice after the blunders he had? Vickers score in his first Championship game, hes starting and his team is currently third while Reams team is in 9th? Is reams experience helping fulham?

  50. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 5:25 p.m.

    Yes, Omar should have been starting over CCV in vital WCQ games.  CCV is a good prospect but he's certainly made errors in the youth internationals I've watched.  But players can be good prospects and not yet ready for senior international football.  All it takes to play for the USMNT in a crucial game is a couple of starts in the Championship?  

    CCV has played in 5 of Sheffield United's 12 games.  Do you really think he is a major reason they are third so far this year?

  51. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 5:28 p.m.

    You premise seems to be that because Omar and Ream played poorly, literally anyone would have been a better choice.  But that's not true.  I think CCV would have played worse than either of those two did.  That doesn't mean he can't be an important USMNT player but he's not there yet.  Not because of his age (Pulisic is younger for example).  But because of his lack of experience in high-level soccer.  

  52. cisco martinez, October 17, 2017 at 3:51 p.m.

    As a former assistant Coach D1 coach/player in D1 and ODP Region IV former player, we as a society fail to give our younger generation a chance even when the experience players are not producing and I think that is our achillies heel in the US. Arena, whom is a great coach made some personale choices that boggled the mind. Gonzalez was terrrible, no fabian Johnson, no Cameron in the midfield or backline, late to bring in a creative midfielder like Feiilhaber, not bringing Dwyer, and Arena before was tactically brilliant became inept. With our personale,tactics, and formations we should be playing a 3-5-2 or 3-6-1, it did well in 2002 World Cup and against Mexico away. Don't get me wrong, I blame Klinsmann for hindering our olympics team twice, Sunil gulati for allowing Klinsmann so much power as a technical director and mens national coach, pay to play for chargig $5,000 for a A coaching license or 3k for youth socer per player per year, and MLS for not allowing players to pursue a career in Europe because our developmental process is not there yet.

  53. Travis Smith replied, October 17, 2017 at 4:09 p.m.

    I continue to agree with your larger point but I get confused by some of your examples.
    MLS not allowing players to pursue a career abroad?  First, unless they have a euro passport, they can't go to Europe until they are 18.  How is that MLS's fault?  Exactly how many American players have MLS "blocked" from going to europe? I have no doubt there are a few but this is not a systemic problem.
    I like to blame klinsy too, but how is he at fault for a crappy player pool for the past two olympic cycles?  

  54. cisco martinez, October 17, 2017 at 4:56 p.m.

    Gulati gave him the authority to be the technical director of our youth systems, tht means he essentially the DOC of US Youth Soccer and the national team. He hires, fires, picks which players come in and dont come in. His friend, Andi herzog didnt make the olympics both times and still kept his job. That is two cycles where no development happened in 8 years.

  55. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 17, 2017 at 5:27 p.m.

    I agree with you on that - Andi Herzog was horrendous.  He made Klinsmann look like Pep or Sir Alex.

  56. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 10:55 a.m.

    Correct Cisco. Klins was more of the same but with a Euro touch in his resume. Goes to show that no coach can fix our mess unless system is drastically changed. Pro/rel and trauning compensation is a must.

  57. don Lamb replied, October 18, 2017 at 2:27 p.m.

    The only thing that goes to show is that our current player pool severely lacks talent thanks to the documented black hole of players between ages 23-27. The "drastic change" that you say we need has already happened, and it has led us to a massively upgraded generation of talent lead by players like Pulisic, McKinnie, Carleton, Sargent, Gonzalez, etc. I've been telling you this for months now, but you have never been able to comprehend it.

  58. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 18, 2017 at 3:04 p.m.

    Kumar, right now SF Deltas are top of the NASL.  They play in a stadium the 49ers abandoned almost 50 years ago and draw about 1,500 fans a game.  Your theory is that we institute pro/rel and promote them to MLS, that will somehow result in a bunch of world class players suddenly appearing out of thin air?

    And I'm all for pro/rel when the time is right.  But not now.  Not when you have a circus like NASL as our second division (although that is unlikely to be the case much longer).

  59. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:48 p.m.

    None of those players are 23 yet and 23-27 is not the right age for Pro 1st division?

  60. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 4:51 p.m.

    If Deltas made 1st division you dont think investors and sponsors would come in knocking ona cinderella story like that? and with that money to buy better players but if not more fans to go for the ubderdog especiaññy if Deltas has a bigger American born roster.
    I know I cant wait for that story to happen and now looks like it will more than ever.
    Something about owners kicking back knowing they cant lose even if they lose foesnt sit well with me.

  61. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 18, 2017 at 11:05 p.m.

    Kumar, I hate to break this to you but even in the unlikely event that NASL survives beyond this year, the Deltas are one and done.  Pro/rel should absolutely happen when we're ready.  But not when the team topping the second division table plays in a high school stadium and gets 1,500 a game.  We're not there yet.  This requires pateince which I know is something you lack.

  62. don Lamb replied, October 19, 2017 at 12:10 a.m.

    I'm not sure if it's patience that Kumar lacks.... He has this romantic notion of pro/rel that sounds like a fairy tale or the way that children believe in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. What he does not consider are the real world ramifications of implementing pro/rel at a time before the leagues are ready for it. For instance, let's the SF Deltas were promoted.... They would have to begin investing heavily in, not just players, but stadium, youth, front office, training grounds, etc. If they are relegated back the second (or worse) in a couple of years, the club would be at risk of going under. No doubt the fans would go back to wherever they were before the club was first division, but, financially, the club would not be able to sustainthe spending levels that they would have started when they had to upgrade everything to match their neighbors in the new neighborhood. We could be ready for pro/rel in another two decades, but it is insanely premature at the moment.

  63. M S replied, October 19, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    Don your arguments areweak. How did Leicester do it? How do small clubs in Spain do it? 
    Deltas make 1st division they now have bigger and better sponsors and if they are smart they secure them for 3 years. If they get relegated right away they come out better thsn they were and raise the standard for all 2nd division teams.
    Usually a top 2nd division team is good enough to compete vs the bottom 1/3 D1 teams without major roster changes.
    For many of us that arent as arrogant as you and Fire playing in a H.S. stadium is not such a big deal and worth it to raise the Pressure and accountability of all teams. 
    You guys are whats wrong with soccer in this country.

  64. M S replied, October 19, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    Don your arguments areweak. How did Leicester do it? How do small clubs in Spain do it? 
    Deltas make 1st division they now have bigger and better sponsors and if they are smart they secure them for 3 years. If they get relegated right away they come out better thsn they were and raise the standard for all 2nd division teams.
    Usually a top 2nd division team is good enough to compete vs the bottom 1/3 D1 teams without major roster changes.
    For many of us that arent as arrogant as you and Fire playing in a H.S. stadium is not such a big deal and worth it to raise the Pressure and accountability of all teams. 
    You guys are whats wrong with soccer in this country.

  65. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 19, 2017 at 10:34 a.m.

    Leicester are small by EPL standards but they are one of the top 30 or so richest clubs in the world (as are most teams in the EPL).  Comparing them to an SF Deltas team that plays in a HS stadium in front of 1,500 fans shows that you lack basic understanding of the issues relevant to the implementation of pro/rel in this country.

  66. M S replied, October 19, 2017 at 4:35 p.m.

    basic understand ing?
    Easy to understand. Everything worthwhile has humble beginnings. I would rather see Deltas fight their heart out every game to stay in 1st division than watch the bottom 4 Mls teams just tank the season and not care.
    I would also love to see Delta players esrn big contracts and Sponsorship deals because of their hard work over old hasbeens who call in sick any chance they get for Mls teams.
    What you suggest is the 1st and 2nd division teams all have a bog stadium to play in plus plenty of money to make your experience a comfortable one. Arrogrance 100%.
    I dont think that in the history of Pro/Rel leagues that they had to start with a sibgle entity structure. Why would we?
    We have so noq it should be easier transition today right?
    So what are we waiting for?
    If it neans to give up comfortable seats for higher level of pressure and therefore competition Im all in.
    Question is why arent you?

  67. Travis Smith, October 17, 2017 at 6 p.m.

    right but the players in the olympic pool were crap so its not all on the coaches. and the first olympic loss was on caleb porter, right?  He was supposed to be the savior.  You were an asst at the D1 level, right? how many national championships did you win?  Did you lose because the coaching staff was lousy or your players werent good enough?  At some point, its on the players dont you think?
    was arena a good coach in 2002? poland crushed us in a game we needed to get a point.  we got through because s. korea bailed us out in a way mexico and costa rica didnt this time around.  it comes and goes.

  68. cisco martinez, October 17, 2017 at 6:22 p.m.

    Yes, played D1 at SJSU from 2000-03 and coached 04. We were ranked #1 in the nation in 2000, made NCAA 2000 and 03. I was a top player coming into college and unfortunately for me got hurt my senior year. i was fortunate enough to play against some of the U-17 team players that went to the semii final of the World Cup. In fact i had friends that were on that team, Steve Cronin, Dj countess, Adolfo Gregorio, raul Rivera, and played aginst Peter Withers, John Wall, Bryan Jackson etc. AT SJSU our coaching staff was not good and very old school, our team was good only because we has some really good technical player, but our coach had no tactical knowledge and was completely the typical american coach that picked athletic players over some of our technical players. We had one players on my team, Fausto Villegas, whom marked Ronaldinho in the U-17 World Cup in egypt not playing often his senior year and picked athletic players over him, absurd. Moreover, his record at SJSU displays even with an A coaching license and former olympian he was terrible as a coach. I personally thought Arena in 2002 was a good coach despite losing to Poland 3-1 and losing to Germany 1-0 even though were in that game against Germany.

  69. beautiful game, October 17, 2017 at 8:09 p.m.

    Coach Hackworth speaks with forked tongue...these kids haven't reached any glory and until they can prove their mertal over a consistent basis, such adulation pointless. Seems a if coach is giving himself a pat on the back...the guy is delusional. 

  70. M S replied, October 18, 2017 at 10:59 a.m.

    seems to me like all these coaches see big change coming and are desperate to show for something.

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