Josef Martinez adds two more MLS scoring records to collection

Josef Martinez, who set the MLS record for goals in a season in 2018, set two more records on Sunday when he scored both goals for Atlanta United in its 2-1 win over New York City FC.

Martinez, who had missed Atlanta's 2-0 win at Orlando City in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Tuesday and was doubtful for Sunday's game, set a league record by scoring in his 10th consecutive MLS match, breaking the record he shared with Portland's Diego Valeri.

Martinez is also MLS's all-time leading scorer over a three-season span with 70 goals in 76 games. He has nine games to extend the record. He shared the record of 68 goals with the Red Bulls' Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014-16).

Atlanta United coach Frank de Boer praised the 26-year-old Venezuelan for the energy he brings and how he inspires his teammates.

“He demands from other players that they have to give the best out of themselves," de Boer said. "He pushes them to the limit. That's fantastic to see. He pushes himself to the limit to score goals and is always eager to be there in front of the goal and score goals from his teammates. Sometimes he's angry about it when it's not going his way, but he keeps everybody awake.”

Martinez's single-season record of 31 goals set in 2018 is under threat, however. Carlos Vela scored on a penalty kick in LAFC's 4-2 win over the Red Bulls to take his total to 23 goals in 23 matches. LAFC has 10 games to play in the regular season.

Photo: Atlanta United.

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38 comments about "Josef Martinez adds two more MLS scoring records to collection".
  1. frank schoon, August 12, 2019 at 9:41 a.m.

    Enjoyed watching the game. As I stated before, Nagby is the most improved American player since
    Frank de Boer took over. He no longer runs around with the ball and inefficiently delivering it ,UPS style, to his teammates. His transformation began under Tata but now under de Boer he has become even more efficient technically and tactically. He stays behind the ball, and gives the ball off as quick as possible to a better ball handling teammate up front. Between the 9 th and 11 th minute of the game he passes a ball ,switching the field of attack, employing the outside of his foot with such authority and pace, making the ball  break in the last 10 meters directly to his teammate near the left flank. It was a pass that is not often seen anymore, although in the 70's and 80's and in the early 90's it was a standard pass employed not only by midfielders but also by the defense in switching the field. He executed technically with perfection...so mouthwatering... and he also increased the tempo of the game, tactically, by employing this pass.
    Let me explain, for example when you receive a pass from the flank, let's say, a centerback or a centermid receives the ball from a rightback. He receives it with his right ,turns, takes a dribble or two, in order to position his body to follow up with next pass which requires several steps in the movement and passes it using the inside of his foot to the left side. This is what happens all the time in games. It is very inefficient and time-wasting. All you have to do is turn and while in the turn your able to place your body just far enough to allow an outside of the foot pass, hard with less energy, time, and movement.
    This pass is just not taught because those who teach soccer today in the DA programs are unable ,incapable of demonstrating how to make this pass because they, themselves, never played like this; instead you see players today only passing the inside of the foot which takes longer , and more predictable for the opponent( if he's smart) can read the direction of the pass when it is passed with the inside of the foot...it's that simple. But when you employ the outside of the foot, the release of the pass is not only faster but it is also more difficult to read where it will go for you can't read it. 
    I also find Nagby is doing in smaller areas but still needs work...I wish he would work on his shot which would give him an additional option.

  2. beautiful game, August 12, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.

    Couldn't agree more with F.S. But hoping that Nagby develops shooting ability is a long stretch of the imagination. BTW, referee Marrufo is totally consistent in his swallowing the whistle....on three occasions in the first 25 minutes he witnessed (even pointed) players being chopped down and delivered no cautions, only the typical smirk that referees tend to express to the victim...Marrufo et al is a joke. Coaches who prepare a game plan with Marrufo et al in the middle need to instruct their players that cardable tackles only come after a second Marrufo counseling session.

  3. frank schoon replied, August 12, 2019 at 10:12 a.m.

    BG, I don't expect him to develop a Eusebio rocket shot or a Cruyff bending shot on the run but any pro who works on his shooting will improve his shooting capability. It's that simple...

  4. beautiful game replied, August 12, 2019 at 6:32 p.m.

    F.S.; your comment that..."any pro who works on his shooting will improve his shooting capability. It's that simple...." If it was that simple why is it that the majority of players in MLS, EPL, La Liga, etc.,are unable to shoot effectively on goal? Most practice it and can't become eficient for many reasons. It's the same about high Soccer IQ players; some have it and most don't. I find your observation lacking merit.

  5. frank schoon replied, August 12, 2019 at 7:03 p.m.

    BG, when you practice at something you get better. How many players spend after practice practicing crosses for another 40 minutes. You have to put time into it. 

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, August 12, 2019 at 9:58 p.m.

    I have to agree with BG on this point. While technical skill can be improved, that is not usually the problem. Not many people have poise on the ball under pressure in the penalty area. I think that is probably a bit like IQ, something that a player should have picked up in development before he gets to the senior level. It isn't just the mental stress. Too much stress kicks in tunnel vision.

    Lloyd was an amazing success story of improvement after age 30, but I don't know of any other example of that for a player who has already spent a decade or more in development.

  7. frank schoon replied, August 13, 2019 at 9:23 a.m.

    Bob, you have to practice a certain skill to become better at this skill. Your statement,<" Not many people have poise on the ball under pressure in the penalty area "> is true but every situation in the penalty area is not one of high pressure situation which is also true, especially in today's game where often I see the backline move backwards in the penalty area allowing opponent space to shoot. The next case for Nagbe to work on his shooting is that his shooting would come from outside of the penalty for he doesn't play on the front line and therefore has more room and space to shoot...It's that simple...
    Your statement, <  " I think that is probably a bit like IQ, something that a player should have picked up in development before he gets to the senior level"> is a partially true but that is more related to playing rhythm than real skills that you have to work on to become better. You have an inborn talent but talent has to be developend through practice. You think Cruyff got all his great skills just playing street ball. Street ball makes you learn certain game aspects but other aspects have to be practiced at, like shooting on the run ,receiving a pass on the run, etc...
    Christian Ronaldo shows up a hour before practice begins and stays an hour after practice ends. He's is the most hard-working soccer player. He works on his skills and other things to become better...
    Like Cruyff states, at Ajax it is not about the few great talents with natural ability for we'll always have those but all the other mediocre players that we have to make better and that is done through practicing the various skills to make them better. At Ajax , they work at making you better by working to improve where your weak at.....

  8. frank schoon, August 12, 2019 at 10:10 a.m.

    De Boer is following some of the Ajac concepts. For example, note the left flank is more technical, creative and it employes penetration. The rightflank has a rightfooted wing that crosses the ball bending away from the goalie and that is how Martinez scored. Note the balance and difference in how each flank approaches the attack. Note the bending away crosses forces the goalie to come out.  It is simply refreshing watching proper footed wings(rightfooted on right, vice versa). Note also, that crosses bending away forces the defender to choose , watch the ball or his man but he can't do both. 
    I like de Boer's style of ball possession which before him as coach, was not done or seen in the MLS. This is just another part of help boster the American DNA in playing better soccer.
    What I also like is Joseph Martinez getting on his players if the pass is bad. Bad and inaccurate passes have to be frustrating for players like Martinez, Zlatan, Rooney, etc., for they are used to having good passes come to them which is something the MLS has to improve in, passing quality.
    As one teammate of Cruyff stated in an interview is that the technical skill has gone down as well as passing accuracy( Cruyff stated comparing technical skills of players when he played to today he would rate in his days as an 8 as compared to a 5 today). What he finds humorous is that often you will find today's player give a thumbs up to the passer whose pass didn't make it because it's inaccurate, 3 meters off or so. He stated that in his days if someone gives a 'thumbs up' back to the passer, the passer would feel insulted for he thinks the receiver was being sarcastic.....That tells you how passing accuracy has going down in today's game for now it is considered a compliment for an inaccurate pass, meaning 'good try ,anyway".
     Martinez's criticism is right on for he deserves better service for his game relies on scoring goals and that requires good service....

  9. Seth Vieux replied, August 12, 2019 at 1:23 p.m.

    Frank, while I agree with most of this, two points for fun's sake:

    1. I think the old players are remembering 'with advantages' (tip of the cap to Shakespeare's brilliant dialogue in Henry V) the technical levels of their day. For sure there were the geniuses and pioneers, but video doesn't lie. The average technical level of a first division player from the 70s or 80s would be lousy on today's pitches. Anyone with clear eyes that watches even highlight clips from those eras will see many players on the field with hard first touches, inaccurate passes, and shooting techniques that leave a lot to be desired. Quality of pitches in the modern era certainly have a big impact here, but even being a player with a competent, let alone superior 'weak foot' were the exception not the rule. The technical level of young boys in today's age of academies and extended training hours exceeds many pros from that era IMO.

    2. At first was surprised to see your delight in seeing right sided wingers on the right, but then remembered Robben, one of the best inverted wingers ever, never played for Ajax so probably doesn't rate in your Dutch pantheon ;-)

  10. frank schoon replied, August 12, 2019 at 2:03 p.m.

    Seth, I disagree with you on the technical level of players. First of all the players that I grew up with played anywhere 20-40 hours a week ,pick up, as youth. That in itself should tell you how much more touch players had on the ball as compared to today's players. The technical level is so incomparable to todays kids. Show me a player that could pass a the ball with outside of his foot a la Beckenbuaer...Todays players are programmed ,not intelligent not creative. Now I do admit players are more athletic and physical which has nothing to do with playing good soccer as Xavi, Iniesta ,Busquets at Barcelona have shown the world which is ,it is not size or speed ,but skill and brains.I don't want to even go into the whole subject, for it is time -wasting for me...It is a non-issue for  me..
    ...As far as the quality of the field goes, that's not much of an issue at all.There has always been good fields, well manicured. South Americans like to play in higher grass, Europeans in lower cut and as far as astro turf goes today...that's a joke, that should be banned for you really can't play real soccer on that garbage.
    To me I prefer rightfooted wingers on the rightside and viceversa. The dutchman Robben used to play leftwing in the beginning of of his pro-days. As a matter of fact I have tape of him playing for Holland against the US on the leftwing when Arena coach USMT.
    I don't follow your quip about Robben not rating because he didn't for Ajax...There are plenty of dutch players that didn't play for Ajax, like Ruud Gullit, Van Nistelrooy, van Persie, etc

  11. beautiful game replied, August 12, 2019 at 10:05 p.m.

    Frank, in response to "shooters" you remind me of a soccer TV commentator who several years ago stated that forward X entering the game can score goals, he has 4 in 22 games. 

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, August 12, 2019 at 10:18 p.m.

    Seth, when you are talking about the 70s and 80s, I think it very much matters the location. There was a great deal of difference in the level of skills. 

    In the US I had the pleasure of playing with a number of players on a military team in the 80s, some had far better skills compared to the college players we played against. The difference was they were foreignors who learned to play the traditional way in Hispanic countries.

    I will agree that elite US amateur players has steadily improved in skills and tactics over the decades, but back in the 70s, the typical "elite" US amateur players were below the level of a European pub league player. You could find highly skilled amateur players that developed in the ethnic leagues, but not elsewhere. So we had a long to way to go. We still have a long way to go.

  13. frank schoon replied, August 13, 2019 at 9:32 a.m.

    BG, the ability to score goals is fine but the next step is for the coach to allow his ability to be used to the fullest. For example, having a centerforward who can head the ball and scores a lot of goals needs to have crosses coming in from the flanks. Well, if he doesn't get service from the flanks, like the wings like to cut inside like a Robben, then as a coach you failed to place the players in a position they can ultimately use their strength. It is like a great dribbler, why would you play him as a back where his dribbling skills are not warranted.....

  14. Seth Vieux replied, August 13, 2019 at 3:54 p.m.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1K_BiOvdn0

    One of the greatest matches between two incredible teams; sorry but the technical skill level is not on par with the game's current best players. The first near goal from Brazil is anything but technical beauty lol.

    The goal at 0:45, assisted by my boyhood hero, was again anything but technical beauty, and an honest observer would also call into question Cruyff's decision making to even attempt that pass. The Brazil defense is well marked and positioned, and his innaccurate pass that deflects off the Brazilian left back (not even cleanly beating a defender applying soft pressure) is only scored through an athletic slide that finds its way over the keeper. If not for the deflection (again due to passing inaccuracy in the final third by the world;s best player at the time), the ball is easily cut out by the Brazilian defense.

    The second goal at 1:20 is certainly a thing of beauty finished by the world's best player, but does anything but the finish stand out as technically superior to today's pros? A nice passing combination to break open the flank for sure, but how many exceptional first touches are there in the build up? Would anyone suggest that just about any of today's first division left wingers couldn't deliver as good or better ball to Cruyff, maybe not requiring such brilliancefor the finish?

    My point isn't to poo poo the old players, only to easily dismiss the idea that soccer has somehow regressed ove rthe decades in the quality of play, especially from the 'average professional' perspective. I believe there's a lot of rose colored glasses in those memory banks, and while there is no shortage of beauty in the old videos (I absolutely love watching them myself, and certainly still learn from them), there's an awful lot of ragged play even amongst Worl Cup winning teams. 

    Bob, in the US there can be absolutely no doubt that the overall technical level of youth through pro ranks has drastically improved. My U13 boys would put on a technical and tactical clinic for the U17 team of my youth, and while they're doing quite well, are not yet strong enough to hang with the region's premier teams. While the advancement in technical level is likely more pronounced in the US than just about anywhere else in the world, it is better virtually everywhere else as well, and certainly more widespread across the backs of the game. 

    I also really enjoyed playing on some quite good military teams in Hawaii, and many of our strongest players came not only from latino players, but even moreso from guys of African and Carribean descent. Tons of fun for sure and I surely miss those days. But there were also a whole lot of very fine players raised playing the the 'US style' of the 70s-90s as well.


  15. Seth Vieux replied, August 13, 2019 at 4:02 p.m.

    Frank as a coach I prefer to invert those particular wingers who have the natural feel for goal scoring, though I wouldn't say it's for all or even most players. By inverting pacy players who are good 1v1 in space, but perhaps struggle keeping track of everything in the crowded middle of the pitch, giving them the option to attack diagonally and even from the deep flank into the box to shoot off their stronger foot can really put a lot of pressure on defenses, and allow you to attack with the penetrating pass to the back post when defenses overcommit to stop those dribbling attacks. I also find, especially for youth players, it promotes (or maybe forces) the development of a high quality 'weak foot' for out-swinging crosses into the box on the run plus the ability to cut the ball back onto the strong foot to shoot or hit in-swingers to the far post. Especially for teams with a penchant from strong counter attacks that can be very valuable. Inverting them also puts them in better position to finish with their strong foot when receiving crosses to the back post from the opposite wing. 

  16. frank schoon replied, August 13, 2019 at 5:38 p.m.

    Seth, There is nothing wrong with a wing cutting inside and shooting with strong foot. You have to take into account many factors. As a coach you look at your centerforward, is he tall does he score a lot of goals with his head, if so ,it is better for the wing to not cut inside and apply his crosses which bend away from goal. Two, if the centerforward is not tall , then yes, cutting would be a possibility. But that depends on if the opponents all come back on defense and sort of play a 'park the bus' style of defense which clogs up everything. So cutting inwards would further clog up things for you'll also bring a defender with you. Since this game is a game of "time and space', clogging it up is not helpful for it reduces time and space. Another thing you have to realize is the wing,for example, a leftfooted right winger would have difficulty facing a leftback who is rightfooted for he can tackle with strong leg, his right leg as, opposed to a back who is leftfooted.
    The crosses you mentioned with the weak leg aren't that good, not powerful enough and lack accuracy. That is why also crosses in today's game are so terrible.
    Furthermore a leftfooted rightwinger crossing the ball as he cuts in with his left footed produces a lousy cross, making it easy for the defense. The left footed cross will have an inward path, with a clockwise spin, which allows the opponent's right back to be able to see his man and the ball come at the same time; and worse it gives the opponent an edge on a counterattacks for the ball's path is coming at them making it easier to head the ball out with force for a counter.
    Also a good cross is a cross that forces the defense in a position to either choose to see the ball or the man but not both and that is why I prefers crosses that swing outwards , not only away from the goalie, but place the defender at an awkward position of having to choose to follow the man or the ball.
     I prefer a rightfooted rightwing for he is able to go down the endline forcing the opponents defensive line all the way back ,thus giving space away in front of the goal. And at the same time as the defense run back they are at their weakest as far as covering their own man. When I enumerate advantages of both a rightfooted and leftfooted rightwinger , the former has more. 
    In sum , a winger should be able to cut in, as you say, but to me that is employed in order for the defender not to commit fully defensively, going one way or the other, which is advantageous for the winger . If the winger finds an opening in the middle that he can use than by all means cut in.
     

  17. frank schoon replied, August 13, 2019 at 5:59 p.m.

    Seth ,as far as expressing the technical skills of players today are better, is to me so laughable.  If  you don't see that then I can't help with that. As Cruyff explains, as he knows something about this game,  that player skills today are not that good, comparatively. One of the problems is that the game has become more physical ,much more running involved as a result skills become less. .The more you run automatically technique comes at a cost. Furthermore today's players are less intelligent, less savvy and more programmed..Another reason players from the older generation were better skilled is that theyplayed much more soccer than youth today, and therefore had a much better touch on the ball, especially first touch...
    Tactically the game today is basically played following the tactical conscepts of 50years ago brought about by Ajax of the 70's and the dutch team of WC'74, as introduced by Rinus Michels, Cruyff and Guardiola. 

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, August 14, 2019 at 1:27 a.m.

    Seth, I don't have any data to dispute what you say, only my subjective observations based on the very little part of soccer that I watch and see.

    This is what I see. For the WNT program, I don't see any progress as far as the style of play goes. What Ellis did was take the US WNT back to what won the cup before--attacking soccer featuring overwhelming the opponents with 3 outstanding forwards. That is what all 4 world championship teams have in common. Specifically Ellis steered the WNT away from 442 and knocking predictable long balls forward to a target forward and toward advancing the ball combination passing. The US attacks were most successful when using long diagonal balls instead of vertical. So I don't see that as an advance, but rather going back to what worked in 99. (I think Ellis is a genius, but that is a different issue.)

    On the men's side, I think the quality of our players has actually dropped. (Our MNT's play has certainly declined after 2010.) Cryuff wasn't talking about the best players on pitch. He was talking about the others. So don't look at the best 3 players on the team. Look at the rest and think back to 2002. I think there is good reason that we didn't qualify in 2018 and went to the quarterfinals in 2002. And it was the same coach.  

  19. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 11:51 a.m.

    Frank, on your first point covering wing play I would agree with all points, with the exception that as coaches you probably value wide spaces more than I do, which doesn’t make you wrong or me right, and maybe that’s not really a difference at all as you do make a comment about wingers attacking into the middle of they see opportunity to? I think in general there is more opportunity inside (especially in the middle third and further out in the attacking third) than players / coaches think, especially if you are confident in your ability on the ball and you have central midfielders with great sense of time and space. Far too often, even amongst professionals, I see wings and midfielders take the ’easy’ space wide when there is ‘good’ space and numerical superiority (I call it local numbers up) through the central midfield. Once a winger commits to attacking deep on the flank off the dribble the cross will be the result over 90% of the time, and even a decent U13 team knows that. When a winger decides to “dribble towards the flag” from the middle third I want them to get that cross off as soon as they possibly can to prevent the defense from having time to close out the space between their back line and keeper and parking that bus. As you said, the cross / centering ball there played between center backs and keeper forces the backs to run towards their own goal and they cannot watch both the ball and their marker. Even better some of them cannot even keep track of their own line mates and complete defensive disorganization is often achieved. Of course the advantage is to the striker in the footrace for a ball in which the direction of each players sprint is directly towards goal as the attacker is already going the way he wants while the defender must try to win the race with enough time and space to turn the ball away at least a bit, and he certainly has trouble checking his shoulders in this frantic race so rarely makes a good decision even when he wins the race.

  20. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 11:53 a.m.

    Unfortunately most wingers, from youth through pro ranks, can not overcome the joy of winning a 1v1 dribble and feel some unhelpful desire to take as much space as possible before being ‘forced’ to cross whenever that left back or his cover finally track him down and apply enough pressure. The result is a tactical mistake where all that is accomplished is forcing the defense to do exactly what you do not want, parking the bus.

    While I do see value in using wide spaces once the defense is bunkered in, once there are 7 or more players well organized in their own box with their back to goal, they should not be terrified of the cross as they have better numbers in there and far better options on where to head the ball than the attackers, who are mostly limited to the goal or flicking to a teammate somewhere near goal. I much prefer to unlock the this bus through possession of the ball in the high center, and the more legitimate 25-35 yard shooting threats a team has the more the parked defense must respect and fear allowing too much possession or space in that range, which the special inverted winger provides at least one more of.

  21. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at noon

    As to the special lost art of football technique that apparently was lost for all time in the 90s (perhaps the secret scrolls will one day be discovered by a modern day Indiana Jones in the dark crypts underneath Johan Cruyff ArenA?), we shall certainly never agree for Sir if you can watch games from both eras and not see the difference I cannot help you either. As to the modern game’s over reliance on running as compared to the golden KNVB teams that never quite could win it all, I present to you for at least the second time on these boards, those wonderful teams (and that’s not tongue in cheek this time because I loved them probably nearly as much as you) produced their dominance as much from running more than their opponents as the genius of Cruyff. Gegenpressing is basically the definition of team running to smother the opponent and exploit the MANY technically inferior players in defense and midfield of the day. Why has a full commitment to true Gegenpressing disappeared from earth? BECAUSE TODAY’S PLAYERS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER IN TECHNICAL ASPECTS ACROSS THE FIELD THAN THEY WERE IN THE 70’s!!!!! Not even the great Ajax or Dutch national teams that have this in their DNA can press like this because the modern defender has skill on the ball, doesn’t wilt under pressure, and can play with their head up while under pressure to gut a team that dares try to commit a team to running right at them. Gentlemen if this isn’t clear to you, you are dinosaur.

    Please enjoy several minutes of the greatest way to play soccer (that no one plays anymore) that is based on beautiful technique against teams with equally beautiful technique where out running the opponent definitely isn’t important to the team’s tactics

  22. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 12:15 p.m.

    Bob,
      First, want to make clear that the discussion above isn’t about US soccer, it’s about the state of the game today across the world.

    USWNT, absolutely no doubt that today’s team as a whole is better technically and tactically than in the past. Quite simply the 4-3-3 requires such a high level of player pool quality (which is why more teams play 4-2-3-1 which requires a very good player level but not necessarily special like 4-3-3) that this was the first team that could pull it off. Most teams don’t have 3 extremely talented forwards to make the defensive risk worth the squeeze, and of those that do even less have three of the right kind of midfielders to connect the back 4 to the forwards. That the USWNT has not only 3 forwards and 3 midfielders capable of making a 4-3-3 work, but in fact a few more of each on the bench as well

  23. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 12:31 p.m.

    For some reason the video of Dutch Gegenpressing in ‘74 got cut out, maybe this will work.

    https://youtu.be/hfqTy2bJzmU

  24. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 12:59 p.m.

    Bob my USMNT comments also got cut out for some reason, so here goes again:

    USMNT is definitely worse now and even more so over the last qualifying cycle, than the teams of the 90s and their immediate predecessors. I won’t claim to know exactly why, but believe some combination of lack ofdirection/focus throughout USSF during their development and careers, MLS growth (good in general but due to USSF interest in this negatively impacted USMNT), and just plain down cycle in talent directly impacting the career opportunities of most of the pool. After Dempsey’s short but significant success at Fulham, no midfielder or forward made even a blip in European competitions. Aging keepers and backs (Brooks,Cameron, Yedlin, and Johnson a winger for Gladbach) were the only guys playing even slightly meaningful minutes in higher competitions, and most of them weren’t no doubt first choice players for their clubs.

    On the upside, there is undeniably unprecedented talent at roughly age 24 and younger and far more of them than ever before are already contributing in meaningful ways at European first division clubs. There are even more contributing at second division clubs than even the best of the old USMNT players. Pulisic, Adams, McKennie, Sargent, Dest, Weah, Brooks, and Steffen all have a chance to be important parts of their clubs’ immediate plans. That is insanely more than ever before and they are all young. Holmes, Ream, Miazga, Yedlin, Green, Cameron, Lichaj, Robinson, Carter-Vickers etc have chances to play meaningful minutes in second divisions too, so I think that within a few years we’ll have the best USMNT team to date after we’re out of this awful slump of current players.

  25. frank schoon replied, August 14, 2019 at 1:01 p.m.

    Seth, Technique has never been lost, it isn't used to it's full potential. It has to be taught, that's why Cruyff began his revolution with Ajax before he died. He saw that youth development was not good and not taught correctly and he saw this back as far as in the early 90's . Like I've stated before, you ovbviously understand the game better than Cruyff when it comes to understanding the technical of the game,maybe he should have asked for your advice. This is the reason why we have La Macia of Barcelona and the school of Ajax which was set up due to Cruyff seeing that technical development was not good and some other aspects,for it was going downhill. He saw how well youth learned the game back when he and his generation was young and followed those aspects of over 50 years ago which were employed as a format at the Spanish and Dutch school of development. Of course he wasn't the only one but many other players lamented over the fact of the lack of touch and skill  of the new generation of players.
    Cruyff stated that there was too much emphasis on running which has the effect of reducing one's use of skills. What is more important is the speed of the ball not the player for you can't out run the ball. And in letting the ball do the running, you need to be able to a positional game which according is not taught properly by most coaches for most have never played a possession style. That's why it is enjoyable watching Atlanta play for Frank de Boer has played nothing but positional soccer which requires more brain work as compared to running. Like Cruyff states the more you rely on running the dumber you are.
    You should read interviews by xavi, Laudrup, Romario, Gullit, van Hanegem, Beckenbuaer and many others who will state the thing Cruyff has stated. There is a reason why Barcelona in past dozen years, not too mention Bayern, German team, who followed Cruyff's philosophy have done so well.
    I"ll leave it at that....
     
     

  26. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 1:58 p.m.

    Frank you do not listen; nothing in your response is a response to what I'm stating. I LOVE Cruyff, I wear only 9 or 14 in his honor my entire life. A true genus of the game, but that does not mean he is immune to failures in introspection! What he taught was masterful as a coach, I embrace it fully! But again, he and many of his generation remember far too fondly just how well they played the game as compared to the players he coached and today's younger generations. For god sakes watch the video of them playing and make a defense that his greatest teams played in the way he revolutionized the game as a coach! Can you watch the video just above and honestly say the 74 Dutch team played in the style Cruyff innovated as a coach? It is running running running until the opponent can no longer make the ball move faster than the gang hunting the ball due to their lack of technical ability! And once these great teams won the ball from pressing did they stop and play tika taka or immediately run even faster onto goal to exploit the opponent's error and defensive disorganization? The answer is not what you have said on here for many years!

    Certainly my hero Cruyff was a true genius of the game as a player and coach, but like for the great majority of people in the world nostalgia is a powerful drug! Do I think a player like Cruyff would still be special in today's game, even if we transported him directly from 1974? I actually do! But the strong majority of the players he played against and with would be very hard pressed to be successful. 

    I do not dispute Cruyff's vision of how best to play the game or how to develop players, only his assessment of his own generation's ability. He was not incorrect as a coach to watch young players and assess that needed better technical training to play in the style he envisioned, but that's the rub! He was a VISIONARY! He didn't look back at how his own teams played while still on the pitch and go we have to get back to that, he said there is a better way but we have to have better players to do it so let's develop all players on the pitch to approach the technical levels of the very best of his own playing days!

    I will ask one more time, using any of the videos I've posted above or finding your own from the 70s that demonstrate the style of play and superior technical levels that you and Cruyff advocate. I advocate for them as well, I just have eyes and a decent enough understanding of the game to see that the substance of the 70s game is not what the fanciful memories say it was. 

  27. frank schoon replied, August 14, 2019 at 5:25 p.m.

    Seth ,This is getting rediculous  for this will be my last response. Let me repeat certain things. The technique of players in the old days was better because their  TOUCH was so much better developed and went far beyond what todays kids experienced. The reason for that is that kids in those days played nothing but soccer between 20-40 hours week;for there were no computers ,tv to watch but only soccer. Any fool can understand why kids that spend playing 20-40 hrs a week soccer have better skills compared to kids who don't that much soccer...
    You seem to compare technique from the 70's to today instead the technical level went downhill year after year...it is not a then and  anow comparison. There were reasons for the dimunition of the skills. One, street soccer as we played it in those days in Europe diminished because of car traffic. The more cars the less pickup soccer, and as a result newer  younger generations  experienced less and less street soccer. As over time the street soccer diminished more and more youth began to rely on going to the club to play , which meant FAR LESS, playing time. It's that. Todays kids don't pass hours upon hours passing to each on the streets, most kids don't have walls to pass against like we did. You can't even find a tennis wall on at youth soccer fields...Another big reason kids today lack good passing touch, that we as kids developed in a natural way. Kids lack good give and go skills that we as kids learned naturally using the walls against homes and curbs....I can go about lack of skill developed that was learned without joining a club. Kids in my days or Cruyff's generation had plenty of good one on one skills before even joining a club. They were  so far ahead of today's kids in skills that kids today are suppose to learn later on when joining a club...Kids of generation were way ahead Tacticall and technically before they even joined a club. Kids then weren't programmed by some licensed who himself has demonstrating skills. 
    Why do you think Wiel Coerver became famous when he began teaching world wide skill development. Do you know the reason why he created this program because he like Cruyff saw how bad the kills of youth players were becoming.Read his book and he'll tell how bad he thinks the youth skills had become and therefore needed  a program of skill development. This is why Cruyff and Michells stated ,street soccer was greatest training grounds for kids that we have lost.
    NEXT POST.

  28. beautiful game replied, August 14, 2019 at 7:02 p.m.

    F.S., for a guy claiming to have played soccer and being an officianado of the sport, your understanding of Soccer IQ is perplexing. Soccer IQ has nothing to do with technical, physical or whatever skills you want to throw into the mix. IMHO, Soccer IQ is the instinctive mental efficacy that top soccer players possess which distinguishes them from other professional players. High Soccer IQ cannot be learned playing the street games. It is a born gift of space, timing, perception, and mental awareness that can't be taught. Every player can improve their Soccer IQ through proper coaching and personal ambition to succeed, but few will ever reach the heights of current players such as Messi, CR7, Kane, Salah et al who have that extra edge and greatness. BTW, Rinus Michels' Total Football without those quality players that you mentioned, would have never been a reality. His technical players with high Soccer IQ were key elements of Total Football; as do Bayern, Barcelona, and Man City et al. I agree that playing time is important, but there are too many variables that come into the equation in order to hone a player's potential into quality players. 

  29. Bob Ashpole replied, August 14, 2019 at 7:31 p.m.

    Interesting topic, BG. Perhaps people mean different things by "soccer IQ".

    Myself I think of it as a combination of knowledge, pattern recognition and problem solving.

    I think that that it is appropriately called IQ, but what really is "IQ" anyway. It is usually measured by testing a person's knowledge and comparing results with others. I think the qualities you mention like a gift for spatial relationships helps but I don't think "soccer IQ" is instinctive. I think even gifted people need experience to develop "soccer IQ". One point that supports the idea that it is not instinctive is that some coaches and educators accept that multiple sports athletes tend to have a better understanding of tactics during development. To me that indicates that learning and experience are an important factor.

    By the way the two players I have known who had the best vision were both fighter pilots, which again suggests to me that experience improves performance. Relatively recent studies have concluded that the brain actually physically changes to adapt in response to intensive tasks. In hindsight adaption seems likely, but that is something I never heard about even 20 years ago.   

  30. frank schoon replied, August 14, 2019 at 10:07 p.m.

    BG, you are absolutely right about IQ. But  Bob's comment is also fitting. For example, Cruyff had an extremely high playing IQ and was smarter than his teammates. As I mentioned learning soccer throught the rhythms as related to IQ ,I meant that when you play with a Cruyff on the field you also begin to see an learn from Cruyff as you play with him. So yes he is smarter but playing with will also make begin to see and learn more about the game. As one player or teammate of the WCD'74 dutch team , one of the van der Kerkhof twins stated that he always made he was around Cruyff so he could learn while he played with him. Cruyff learned also from his older teammates when he was young which added to his IQ. 

  31. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 11:33 p.m.

    Great discussion on soccer IQ gents, agree with all three of your perspectives. Ultimately I think the most dominant factor in soccer IQ is decision making, the speed at which a player can make the ‘correct’ decision. What abilities/aptitudes/skills enable correct and fast decision making is the interesting part. The highest IQs aren’t in fact making ‘fast’ decisions, but in reality they’re making the decisions before other players even realize there’s a decision to be made. Their spatial awareness, vision, pattern recognition, tactical knowledge/accumen and several other things all enable this. At practice just this evening I quoted (paraphrased) Cruyff on how despite never being the fastest player on any pitch he’d ever set foot on, he almost always got to the right place first because his understanding of the game gave him a 2 second head start before his opponent even recognized or realized where the ball was going to go.

    I always had aptitude for many of these things which made playing central mid far easier for me than many others. As an adult I became an Army scout helicopter pilot and those same aptitudes made me quite good at flying, synchronizing actions in time and space, coordinating and delivering fires to the right spot at the right time in coordination with the ground element in contact, artillery from distance, and occasionally those lazy jet-jock friends of Bob’s

  32. Bob Ashpole replied, August 15, 2019 at 2:03 a.m.

    Situational awareness. In soccer you only have to track 21 other players and the ball. And nobody is hidden. Pretty simple compared to combat flying.

    Thank you for your service.

  33. frank schoon, August 14, 2019 at 5:59 p.m.

    Another reason why technique diminished in soccer is that the accent was placed more on physical soccer and running which became called 'tempo training'. Another reason why Cruyff and Coerver and many others complained of the lesser skills. You know who was responsible for creating less emphasis on technical skills and more on the physical, running.  RINUS MICHELLS !! It wasn't really his fault but the idiot coaches that wanted to play aand copy how the dutch played 'total soccer'.
    Rinus Michells when he coached Ajax had a compilation of some the greatest technical players who all grew up playing street soccer. He had great technicians of the game ,one of which was Cruyff.
    He asked himself what could I possible teach these guys or better what could they possibly improve on? The only aspect left had nothing to do with a ball but instead it was lots of running and playing very physical. Coaches world wide watched and copied how Rinus Michells trained which was mostly running and physical work. These idiot coaches totally overlooked that Michels had great technical players so why would Michels work on skills, but instead on other aspects. Rinus Michels has had a great influence on soccer for the past 50years and unfortunately the physical and lack skills emphasis likewise influenced the way players play today.
    Cruyff has had influence since he began coaching. He installed the 433, then invented the 343 system with Ajax; went to Barcelona and created the "dream team" introducing a faster style of game all based on the PRINCIPLES of the Ajax early '70's TEAM under Michells and WC'74 dutch team. Notice hear PRINCIPLES ,they never changed, which is the underlying essence of Cruyffs soccer philosophy. As you read Guardiola's books in which he states he follows the style of soccer of the Ajax of the 70's and the WC'74 dutch team. Each coach adds something to it but the PRINCIPLES of how socccer is played 50 years ago REMAINS. These principles can likewise be seen at Bayern , M.City and Guardiolas BARCELONA team....
    In sum we again how technique was diminished as a trend over time. Less playing time as a youth on the ball and less emphasis on technique. 


  34. frank schoon, August 14, 2019 at 6:23 p.m.

    Of course another thing that didn't help technique was the advent of license coaches who can't demonstrate good techniques. Wiel Coerver made a laughing stock out the KNVB licensed coaches whose job it was to teach kids skills....this has been going on for years. 
    Your observation watching the '74 team ,running, running,running and perhaps for the simplistic eye  but there's more to it, for example who initiates the run, where of the run, who should run ,  why? And why would you run forwards, what is the reason. And why would you play Tiki-taka after gaining possession,which is the dumbest thing you can do, in the first place especially when you're in transistion. In transistion you run into the open space forwards in attack where there is space. 
    That is taught even today. And tiki taka is really employed to controll the ball until there is an empty gap on the other side to exploit on attack. Tiki taka has nothing to do with passing the ball but holding on to possession until you find a opening, those are Cruyff principles which all comes down to space and time. 
    Go watch Barcelona "dream team' of the early 90's or Ajax when he coached it in the 80's ,the nuances were different because the opponent learned from the '74WC dutch team about how the dutch employed the running to pressure. The tactics had to change although the PRINCIPLESremained the same over time which is don't give opponents time with the ball. Don't run back on defense but run forwards ,keeping the opponents in their own half...the PRINCIPLES REMAIN THE SAME. If you have eye for the game you can these principles which is the most important aspect to follow but what you're noticing are nuances which can change from game to game or era to era ,tournament to tournament but not the PRINCIPLES and that is what good teams follow worldwide. 

  35. Bob Ashpole replied, August 14, 2019 at 7:46 p.m.

    For me the most interesting topic in soccer is how Cryuff applied those principles to Barca and how Pep applied them to Bayern and Manchester City.

    Two reasons. 1. It is easier to distinguish the general principles from situational tactics. 2. I think these are case studies on how to implement change at a club and as a consequence influence a national team. Something I think USSF should be studying closely. 

    One could use Ajax as an example as well but there were other factors than principles of play clouding the picture. Like changing from an essentially amateur club to a professional club.

  36. frank schoon replied, August 14, 2019 at 10:47 p.m.

    Bob, the nuances are very interesting for that is directly related to how you make the opponents employ their weaknesses. Then you have the situational tactics that are directly related to each moment of play and that is where Cruyff really excelled in ,for it requires instant tactical decisions that so much anticipation...and then you have the principles a team follows.  This is such fascinating stuff!!

  37. Bob Ashpole, August 14, 2019 at 7:05 p.m.

    Thanks for the responses Seth. We essentially share the save view of the US national team programs. 

    My thoughts about Cryuff's statement is that he was a perfectionist and played with and coached outstanding players. He had very high standards and teammates that very few players are ever priviledged to have. He was also coaching a playing style that is much more technically demanding than most players are used to. I think that is more likely to explain his opinion than faulty memory.

  38. Seth Vieux replied, August 14, 2019 at 7:20 p.m.

    Bob I whole heartedly agree, great conversation throughout gentlemen.

    Frank, I think one big problem here is that you seem to think only you understand this game, the second that you don't recognizez sarcasm. Thanks for your enlightening response to my question about Gegenpressing and tika taka. If you weren't so damn sure that we should all kneel at the throne and be awed by your genius, you might recognize that many of us also understand not only the very basic and repeated ideas you share, but perhaps a bit more as well.

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