The non-existent legacy of Earnie Stewart

Well now — I’ve just finished reading — twice over — a long (nearly five pages, wow!) story  about Earnie Stewart. Telling us that he is leaving his job at the U.S. Soccer Federation (where he was the Sporting Director) and returning home to the Netherlands to work for PSV Eindhoven. And telling us what a grand job Earnie has done here working on the development of soccer in the USA.

I have absolutely no quarrel with the article when it is wishing Stewart well in his new job with Eindhoven. But I have a massive problem with the article relentlessly heaping praise on Stewart for the job he did in the USA. Frankly, I cannot discern anything done by Stewart that has had any overtly positive effect on the situation here.

For a start, as one proceeds through the article it becomes pretty clear that originality does not feature among his attributes. Get an earful of this: “I think we need to develop a different type of player ... creative players who are capable of creating goal-scoring opportunities.”

Yikes! Talk about the effing obvious! How many times over the past decade or two have I heard a version of that loudly asserted as the cure-all for a continually under-performing national team?

Maybe you think Stewart should be praised for spelling it out? No, he shouldn’t. The only praise surrounding that totally unsurprising discovery will be due when someone does something about it.

Stewart, clearly, did nothing. Or if he did, he got it wrong. The problem persists. This is particularly unsatisfactory in the USA, a country surely among the world’s most resourceful when it comes to nailing problems.

When I first became involved in the sport in this country — around 1960 in New York — we (noisy, mildly belligerent groups of self-appointed experts, most of us foreigners) used to regularly moan that we needed more boys playing the sport, and more coaches.

The first of those difficulties got solved fairly quickly as the pro game — hence the Cosmos, hence Pele — led to the sudden sturdy growth of youth soccer. The second need, too, was “solved” by the creation of the coaching schools and the subsequent deluge of dubious diplomas and lightweight licenses. I say “solved” because the ubiquitous licenses have created quite as many problems as they have solved.

But the need for more skillful players was soon noticed — and that need has never been thoroughly satisfied. Stewart’s efforts to tackle the problem — if indeed he made any — are not known to me.

No matter, it seems, because Stewart is alleged to have had a vision for the future of the U.S. game. In the 5-page article (really more of an encomium) that I am referring to, that word vision crops up six times. It would seem that vision is one of Stewart’s great strengths, yet I cannot see any evidence whatever to support such a claim.

Stewart himself makes no claim to vision. But he does announce that “Development is my passion.” Which is a significant claim — but a hollow one if the development does not involve a vision. And Stewart, I insist, has no vision at all.

I can be quite certain of that, not because of anything he says, but more damagingly, because of what he leaves out.

We are back to a situation that I have been writing about for quite some time now. The place of the Hispanic soccer community in the development of the U.S. game.

I am far from impressed — indeed, I’m appalled (though not, of course, surprised) — by the bald fact that Stewart, after over three years as one of the most important people involved in soccer in this country, seems to be blithely unaware that there is a sizable Latino soccer community in this country.

In the article to which I am referring, Stewart is liberally quoted. Not once does he bring up the Latino question. The community is routinely forgotten — or is it ignored? — when it could be making an enormously significant contribution to American soccer.

The utter blindness of the ruling powers in American soccer — that is, the Federation, U.S. Soccer — on this issue has been going on for so long, that I feel quite justified in referring to it as traditional. So traditional that one might get the impression that even talking about Hispanic soccer is an embarrassing faux pas, something that just isn’t done. And done it certainly is not.

Back to that word — vision. Something that Stewart is supposed to have. More, he is praised for leaving behind him, as he returns to the Netherlands, a vision for the future of the U.S. game. A vision for the future of American soccer that doesn’t have a place for the Hispanics. An utterly slipshod vision. Quite incredible.

To deal with just one detail: I mentioned above Stewart’s cri de coeur: “I think we need to develop a different type of player ... creative players who are capable of creating goal-scoring opportunities.”

There are two reasons for regarding that statement as an inadequate response to the American problem. First: has Stewart not surveyed the global scene to discover if there is a country where such players are produced? Had he done so, he must surely have focused sharply on Brazil, long a source of brilliant attacking players for European teams who find it difficult to produce such players.

And Stewart must surely then have taken a long look at the World Champions, Argentina. A nation that is now rivaling Brazil in the number and the quality of its creative players.

Stewart, then, would perforce have realized that what the USA needed was a supply of Latin American-style creative players, the ones who create goal-scoring opportunities. And any vision he would then entertain for the American future must be built on that need.

But it is stretching matters too far to imagine Stewart coming to that conclusion. Here is the answer to Stewart’s belief in “a different type of player” — but he did not see it, of course he didn’t. If he were genuinely receptive to the idea, he would have spotted it years ago. And if he really knew about the U.S. scene, he would have realized that a wonderfully convenient breeding ground for such creative players already existed in the USA — in the Latino community.

For a few years, Stewart was in a position to make a vital contribution to American soccer. He failed totally to do this. To picture him as someone with vision is sheer claptrap. His legacy in the USA is non-existent. He achieved, and has left, nothing of great value.

In short, it is what he did not do that is so regrettable. The chance to broaden the influences on the American game — to bring in the Latin element — was lost because Stewart, far from being the visionary portrayed in the 5-page article I have before me, was in reality a narrow-minded European unable to take in the news that the USA was not part of Europe and that in the case of soccer, the Latin influence is a better bet than the European.

34 comments about "The non-existent legacy of Earnie Stewart".
  1. Nate Spencer, February 25, 2023 at 1:37 a.m.

    Obed Vargas

  2. frank schoon, February 25, 2023 at 9:20 a.m.

    Great Article, Paul. The Earnie Stewart phenomena is quite interesting. Here is someone who grew up in Holland and learned the game there,and took advantage of the opportunities given to him; for he is someone who was at the right time and place. Earnie played for 3 dutch teams who were always on the lower end of the table, at times were relegated and as of now are not even in the Eredivisie.

    Earnie as a player in Holland was not a skillfull ,technical type, he employed his turbo and fight and besides he was fortunate to pick up the better aspects of the game that our American boys did not have and were(still) not taught to them.  Earnie was accepted with a lot of fanfare to play in the US and even played for the USNT. Having played his game in Holland  was a PLUS on his resume here in the states. He was exotic when compared to the sh*tkickers we were developing in the US.

    I keep hearing we that we have a Stewart, Perez, Claudio Reyna, Tab Ramos, Brian McBride and a couple more as the brain trust to handle our soccer development, for they've been there. REALLY??? All I ever hear, every couple of years is one of these signed a contract to run a team or is be a sportws director of new team or old team in the MLS or USL....What have these characters really done so far in soccer. I hear Perez or Ramos needs to be the NT coach ,which is probably better than what we have, relatively speaking.  Realize,  you can do only so much with what you're given as players. We have got to be hurting if that is what we can up with as the answer to our soccer problem.

    So Earnie, is going back to Holland to PSV, for PSV hired him because of 'international' contacts especially in the America where soccer is grown. PSV has enough 'braintrust' to handle soccer matters, and Earnie has his little 'niche' cut out for him....Let's say it is all about the money, not about soccer intelligence when it comes to Earnie and PSV.

    "I think we need to develop a different type of player...creative players who are capable of creating goal-scoring opportunities". How is that done??? I would suggest the USSF 'illustrious' coaching Academy should take a look at this and perhaps set up a new coaching/development course to produce creative goal-getters costing only $19.95. I would highly recommend paying this amount now before it becomes $19,995.

                                                                 NEXT POST.

  3. frank schoon, February 25, 2023 at 11:06 a.m.

    Realize goal-getters are not made. Messi was not a goal getter when he started out, neither was Lewandowski, who didn't even start for Bayern when Guardiola coached him, nor Christiano Ronaldo, who finally realize when he played for Real Madrid to score goals, neither was Ruud van Nistelrooy, nor Dennis Bergkamp, nor Henri, nor van Persie nor Zlatan who finally became a creative goal scorer when he played in Italy....What I'm saying it is a evolution and it also depends upon the coach, like Fabio Capello who told Zlatan, "I don' need you ,if you can't score for us". I sometimes read naive posts stating, 'we need to work more on shooting exercises to produce goal-scores....There is so much more involved that one has to learn than just scoring goals...
    But ,you know what, all these characters I've juist mentioned have one thing in common in their youth development which is like a 'red thread' ,  PICKUP SOCCER.

    Did Earnie mention anything about 'pickup' soccer or how 'bout' Perez, Ramos, Reyna,etc...these guys all came from a culture where pickup is second nature...NOT A WORD FROM interesting.....Earnie never mentioned  'creative players', that's because he was never one himself. Earnie was no visionary . Those who run soccer here, believed bringing over Dutch licensed 'idiots' from the KNVB Academy would improve US soccer . These licensed KNVB idiots have accomplished nothing in soccer themselves. But, man, they are so good in organizing, setting up computer programs. 

    Those coming from Europe come from a society where everything is licensed to the point where you need a license to 'fart' or otherwise you're fined. Those European coaching Academies, like in Holland or Germany where having a license allows one to enter the "yellow brick road'. These coaching academies have been an anathema to the better development of youth soccer, and we follow this philosphy here. It has impeded the flow of 'real knowledge' of the game, the inside details, by forcing retired pro players  to go back to the classroom to get a license.

     By reducing greatly the pro applicants ,  individuals with lots of classroom theoretical knowledge less technical skills ended up teaching the youth, like we have  here,  instead the real stuff ,the technical insights the pros can teach. PG was right on about the coaching licensing progams...Our youth player development has not improved with the large amount of license coaches.

  4. frank schoon, February 25, 2023 at 11:32 a.m.

    It's true, the hispanic aspect of soccer has taken a back seat. American soccer has basically been controlled by the Germans and English, a bunch of stiffs. It is what it is. I noticed that over 30years ago. The problem is that the development of soccer was run by first world countries ,not second and third world. The NASL could not have been run and controlled by hispanics due to their economic plight ,their poorly run gov't, which is still a problem. Just look at our southern border...

    The problem I see is that even though we have a large contingent of hispanic soccer players, the only ones that are any good that play here come from South America. It is not like we have lots great hispanic talent produced by the large hispanic communities in the US. Sorry , I don't see it. And it is not that somehow we are holding down lots of latino super talent becuase the hispanic contingency is not appreciated. 

    If you think we should emphasize hispanic style which is missing in our player development than one is as naive as these idiot coaches who thought that we need to teach and play Tiki-Taka to our youth when Guardiola made furor with Barcelona over a decade ago. What has happened in the past 20years is that South American soccer has followed the European way of playing. European and South American soccer has begin to merge more and more, the only difference being that the South American kids have more touch and technical baggage.

    The problem is that all the more technical players in South America have one thing in common when they grew up as poor youth, PICKUP SOCCER. It wasn't that the youth had great coaching, they play a lots of soccer.  Ask Zlatan or Zinedine, Messi how much they spend playing pickup. Notice not one has ever mentioned any coaching influence when they were young. Zlatan never played organized soccer until his late teens...

    Study the backround of these great players when they were young and that's is the direction we need to follow. These kids need to play as much as possible in order to gain more touch and skill and for that you don't need a LICENSED coach. 


  5. Ben Myers, February 25, 2023 at 3:15 p.m.

    Paul, you are not being cruel to Stewart, only pragmatic and factual.

    Bon chance, Earnie! The US will survive his non-legacy.

  6. Stan Meihaus, February 25, 2023 at 3:17 p.m.

    Nothing to say to Paul but AMEN!

    As to you, Frank, how about getting your own column instead of downloading it here on the comments page? You just wrote three times what Paul wrote.

  7. Ric Fonseca replied, February 25, 2023 at 3:53 p.m.

    Stan:  Thank you for telling Frank S. to write his own column.  BTW, his last commentary is narrow-minded and demeaning of the Latino communities of this vast country.  Ironically, several days ago while rummaging through my files, I came accross several articles I'd written decrying the dearth of Latino-"Hispanic," players in the young NASL, etc.  In fact, those letters to the editor (LA Times, La Opinion of L.A.) were written in the early '70's....  

    so "bon chance" Senor Stewart, that Senor Gardner for the insightful article, and Senor Pancho S., i'd read your column, that is and should S.A. were to offer you some space gratis as they're doing so now with your lengthy comments...  Hasta la vista senores!!

  8. Roy Curtiss, February 25, 2023 at 3:39 p.m.

    Bruce Arena in coaching DC United in the early days had more of this needed vision and had several latino stars that generated copious quantities of skillfully executed goals!

  9. Alvaro Bettucchi, February 25, 2023 at 4:20 p.m.

    I would like to add another vision that we are lacking, the choice of our coaches. Take a look at the top leagues of Europe! Many have added Italian coaches within there leagues. Not to put down others, but we should look at attracting a successful, proven coach, rather a local or Englisn, German taught coach! As an Italian-America, I would say, put additional spice in the soup and improve the meal.   Alvaro Bettucchi

  10. cony konstin, February 25, 2023 at 5:20 p.m.

    Football/Soccer is the USA is treated worse than a hobby. It's basically treated like a game board that is kept up high in the back of a closet and taken out on the holidays. Paul has been speaking about the lack of embracing any form of Latino football for years and it will continue to stay that way until there is a soccer revolution in the USA. Sad to say that revolution is not going to happen soon. Currently there are too many opportunists that are sucking the blood out of the beautiful game. Hopefully the next generation of youth can fix this abomination that is occurring throughout the country. This Charlie Manson helter skeltor approach towards the beautiful game will only be fixed once everything is under the roof of USSF. Meanwhile the opportunist will continue to rape and pillage the beautiful game. 

  11. R2 Dad replied, February 26, 2023 at 12:38 p.m.

    That's pretty dark, Cony, but I think we need the cultural change ( I'd prefer Evolution over Revolution but maybe that's not possible) before we can get the 10,000 futsal courts. A first step might be getting sponsorship for a traveling futsal competition, Team Falcao vs Team Ronaldinho, held outside at US locations, w freestyle demonstrations, etc. if we make it about the ball and friends instead of screaming coaches and cones, we've got a good chance.

  12. Steve Rustige replied, February 27, 2023 at 12:20 p.m.

    R2 - I really like your idea of a futsal tour!  Wonder if it could be held in hockey arenas?  I also agree that creating neighborhood places to play would help with pickup soccer growth.

    I really appreciate those on these forums with a great deal of historical knowledge.  Thanks to all of you who contribute to the comments!

  13. David Pines, February 25, 2023 at 6:49 p.m.

    Interesting take Sir.

    While "pay to play" creates more of a shoddy pitch for youth development, I do believe that Ernie had a spell with the front office of the Philly Union- home of the #1 Development Academy in the MLS. The academy talent is both diverse and local. 

    Ernie contributed greatly over his years in the USA, as a player, an ambassador and a leader. I, for one, appreciate his contribution.

  14. James Madison, February 25, 2023 at 6:56 p.m.

    Stewart has not accomplished much. The numbers aren't good.  We have fewer high school players now than 5 years ago;  But despite Pau's repeated rant, the Latino community is no longer overlooked.  Check out the USMNT U-17 abnd U-20 rosters.  

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, February 26, 2023 at 7:51 a.m.

    I think the point was that it is Latin soccer culture that is excluded. Any player is welcome as long as they drink the USSF soccer kool aid. 

    I think that it is pretty tough for a coach to leave his view of the game behind so he can coach for USSF. At a certain point it isn't worth coaching if you don't believe in what USSF is doing. Trying to change an established organization "from within" is nearly impossible, even if you are the president of the organization.

  16. Mike Lynch, February 25, 2023 at 11:07 p.m.

    Paul, Interesting article. The goal of any leader is to leave their position in better condition than when they arrived. On that measure, I feel the results are mixed. In some ways, much improved. In other ways, much the same story. I believe I heard at this year's Philadelphia United Soccer Coaches convention that the Japan FA is 20 years into a 45 year strategic plan. In Qatar, I felt they dictated play, the opponents reacting to them. They didn't make it to the finals, but their play was deliberate, they continue to make progress and they are playing how they want to play. What is the US vision? Have we progressed playing the way we want to play? Stewart was the Sporting Director, perhaps the answers to these questions hint to a legacy metric. 

  17. Kevin Leahy, February 26, 2023 at 1:37 a.m.

    I do agree with Paul that this federation has generally ignored the Hispanic community. There was also some kind of fallout with Hugo Perez and several Hispanic coaches that we had working in our national youth system not that long ago. No one will speak specifically to any of this. The reason for the lack of creative players is over organized atmosphere that has infected all sports in this country. Coaches want full & total control of all things. Just look at how many timeouts a college basketball coach has. Pickup play isn't even anything that goes on in this country in anyway, shape or form. Children don't even play outside anymore. Don't really see a future where any of that will change. 

  18. R2 Dad, February 26, 2023 at 2:28 a.m.

    Ouch, PG, that's a pretty harsh assessment. But you've been quite consistent in your message over the years, and nothing's been done program-wise that we can see. Fortunately, there are plenty of Hispanics falling in love with the game via family playing & watching of the sport. They already have the cultural part down--couldn't we benefit hearing local Hispanics in our own communities preaching about how they learned to love the game? They're doing something right in that regard. Is it too much to ask to recognize that fact?

  19. Ric Fonseca replied, February 27, 2023 at 3:25 p.m.

    R2D2 Dad, we were born IN LOVE with the sport, and so we're not just learning to love it....

  20. Kent James, February 26, 2023 at 10:51 a.m.

    As usual, with a PG column, there's a lot to unpack. I liked Ernie Stewart as a player, and while I don't know enough about the specifics of what he did or did not do in his job (which, uncharacteristically I think PG was kind of short on as well), I do think our players are MUCH more creative and technical than they were 20 yrs ago (though I think that's true all over the world). Looking at the number of US players with skills (not just keepers or defenders) playing in Europe, clearly the US has made progress. So it seems that PG's criticism of Stewart is a bit harsh.  

    On the other hand, PG's early and persistent criticism of the failure to include the Hispanic community is fair.  Some of that neglect is the language barrier, some resistance on the part of the Hispanic community to want to be included (around here they have separate leagues because they like to control things themselves or don't want to pay the fees and cede control to the USSF's bureaucracy, which is understandable).   Certainly their used to be a lot of prejudice, both racial and about the way the game "should" be played (the Anglo world viewing the Hispanic game as selfish and unmanly).  I think both of those have lessened considerably (though not gone away completely).  But as James Madison pointed out, you look at the U17s and there are a lot of Hispanic players. So it seems like progress there too (though maybe there's a problem getting them to the full USMNT).

    There is also the major question of how much we should blame the USSF, and how much we blame ourselves.  If the USSF is responsible for developing soccer culture in the US, which it tries to do (through rules for youth development, coaching schools, licensing programs, etc.), then it's Ernie's fault we haven't made more progress.  But if Frank is right (and while he could say it in fewer words, I think he is), that pick-up soccer is the answer, then we need to take more of the responsibility off of the USSF. Hispanic soccer flourishes because they already have a soccer culture.  We need more of that.  Maybe the USSF can do more (emphasizing the importance of pick-up in coaching schools, e.g.), but there's a lot we can do without the USSF.  

  21. Bob Ashpole replied, February 26, 2023 at 12:45 p.m.

    Kent, the quanity of US players in Europe is not what matters. What are they doing in Europe matters. Many of them are in lower division clubs and most are not creative players. There is a significance difference between going to the Ajax academy at age 10 and going to a bottom rung or lower division club at age 18. Even in my limited experience I learned that once you fall behind in skill development as a child you can never catch up to the players who mastered the ball early and kept improving since. Physical skills aren't enough by themselves to find success at the central positions. 

    If you want to compare today to 1990, then sure we have made a lot of progress, but not compared to 2002. Me, I complain that we haven't made any progress since 2002. And about the quality of the players, I complain that our players need better coaches than they currently have. 

    Generally speaking, US coaches are happy playing an unsophisticated turbo style so they develop unsophisticated turbo style players who excell at following instructions instead of thinking for themselves.

    This is not a problem with a 10-year solution. Player development in soccer lasts into the early 20s. We have to do better during the entire cycle. You can't just focus on the end of the cycle and expect a significant change in the quality of the players developed. A 45-year plan sounds about right.  

  22. Bob Ashpole replied, February 26, 2023 at 12:58 p.m.

    Also about letting USSF off the hook because the lack of street soccer is to blame. I disagree. I disagree. We US citizens include over 60 million Hispanic soccer loving people. Whether you see anyone outside playing pickup soccer or not depends on where you are looking. USSF sanctioned organized soccer is very different from soccer outside of USSF. So yes, USSF is to blame because amatuer soccer is by federal law their responsibility to promote. All of it not just their DA. Their role is not supposed to be about ownership and control. It is supposed to focused on promoting amatuer soccer everywhere in the US. 

    Instead USSF builds fences around money-making soccer farms. 

  23. Donald Lee, February 26, 2023 at 3:01 p.m.

    I could not read much of this crap. Never have been able to read Gardner's nonsense. Once I read "continually underperforming national team" I had read enough.  

    Then I saw the last paragraph at the end about the failure of USSF to develop latin talent.  It is like Gardner lives in a wierd cut-off little world divorced from reality.  Are we not seeing a USYNT u_17 team composed by majority latino talent??   Has he not seen our U-20 rosters?

    Come on Gardner.  Retire.  Stop despoiling Soccer America.


  24. R2 Dad replied, February 26, 2023 at 7:01 p.m.

    Perhaps it is you that live in a tiny little world divorced from reality. Yes, there are more hispanics on the U17 team, but lets take a look at how that has been accomplished. USSF has had nothing to do with the development or enabling of youth development in this country, as they do not see it as their responsibility. Their mission statement is: to make soccer, in all its forms, the preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels." In the past they have shifted responsibility of the youth/hispanic side to the US soccer foundation, whose mission statement is: "The mission of the U.S. Soccer Foundation is to provide underserved communities access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs that instill hope, foster well-being, and help youth achieve their fullest potential. We view soccer as a powerful vehicle for social change." They are a charity, not exactly how you might consider relating to the fastest growing soccer constituent in this country. Let's take as an example Cruz Medina. I don't know him or his family, but I see he was developed locally up through U13, then transfered to SJ Earthquakes at U14. Who did he grow up playing with and training with? I don't know all the details before the SF Glens had him, but his father is a coach in the Glens system and his older brother plays as well. Hispanic culture developed this player, not USSF, not US Soccer Foundation. They did it all on their own, though now SJ Earthquakes have been at it the past couple of years and will take credit for all of it. Did USSF have anything to do with that? No. I would call this the typical development track for hispanic players, the family doing everything to enable the young player's dreams. USSF and MLS are the benficiaries, not the creators, of this dynamic.

  25. Santiago 1314 replied, February 27, 2023 at 9:46 p.m.

    And Don, I think most of the Mexico team was formed with Mexican-Americans {-,o}(Sarc)

  26. R2 Dad, February 27, 2023 at 1:16 p.m.

    Interesting takes from Brazilian and Argentinian-influenced media guys in the sport:

  27. frank schoon replied, February 27, 2023 at 3:04 p.m.

    R2, thanks, Nothing new here for me about what they are saying, for that's what i've saying for years. 

    What I have not mentioned much about and what's so important about pickup soccer ,besides the technical/tactical aspect, is the stimulation of INDIVIDUALISM of the player himself. You see when you play pickup, a feeling of what you have accomplished comes about. You begin to measure your  accomplishment in terms how play against competition. 

    Realize those pickup teams change each time from one day to the next. That means there is no loyalty to anyone team, only to yourself, other than to the teammate(S) you happen to play with that day. It becomes all about how you perform.  And in this environment, you are forced and to become BETTET or the BEST ,and as a result your peers will give you that respect ,which is initself a drive to want to be better. THIS IS WHAT IS MISSING IN OUR DEVELOPMENTAL CULTURE OF SOCCER DEVELOPMENT, because you only develop in a team oriented setting when going to practice. And you totally miss out on INDIVIDUAL development that PICKUP  soccer gives a player.

    Zlatan is the perfect example of INDIVIDUALISM because he developed himself mainly through Pickup soccer. He didn't beging to play organized soccer until in his very late teens. Look how he carries himself, so individualistic, with a big ego, and he isn't afraid of his competition, he comes with this attitude of "try me", while he stares you down. We miss this attitude in our players for they have developed basically through team development ....Today's players, should be developing through 75% pickup and 25% team culture, but instead it's the reverse 25% pickup (it is much less than that) 75%-85% team development.

    As a result our players have such an imbalance in their development

  28. Bob Ashpole replied, February 27, 2023 at 11:40 p.m.

    Frank, balance is an interesting subject. For pre-teens individual development is the priority. About age 14 organized play needs more emphasis. But even at the senior international level good coaches will still spend team training time on individual skills and tactics, in addition to group and team play. 

    Anson Dorrance based his incentive approach on generating regular competition between college players for individual recognition. For example everybody would compete in 1v1 games, regardless of position. 

  29. frank schoon replied, February 28, 2023 at 8:36 a.m.

    Bob,  Check out the discussion that R2 recommended at Youtube. The skill aspect is always emphasized in pickup ,before pre-teen and during teen. Realize the level of soccer quality, thinking wise, speedwise, increases or/improves and with that the technical skills likewise become more sophisticated sometimes fancier or at times more sober and direct. The growth of skills aspect doesn't stop, the thinking part becomes more sophisticated which also blends in more the organizational part. It is a organic process. You can't split this up in parts and say a good coach also will work on skills in practice. That is too disconnected as compared to overal process in what you learn in pickup....

    What Anson Dorrance does with all his player allowing to play 1v1 has nothing to do with developing or improving 1v1 individuality...It is too late for by that time the player by the age 18-22 is molded. It is not skills but brains that need to be worked on at that stage of development. And to play 1v1 at that time is a pure waste of time. It reminds of the statements made in some of the posts recently about creating goalgetters and therefore we need to work more on shooting at goal exercises. It doesn't work that way, it's not that simple, for goal scoring is a process an evolution in time. 

  30. humble 1 replied, February 28, 2023 at 12:34 p.m.

    Thank you for the link.  Much appreciated.  Need to have/hear these dialogues.  Soccer landscape large. Changing fast.  So many experts.  Take every opportunity for new perspectives.  That vid - requires another listen - as they bounce around - time-lines, concepts, countries, US regions, age groups, futsal, soccer, beach, freeplay, whew.  Thank you again.  Good day.

  31. humble 1, February 27, 2023 at 2:13 p.m.

    Could not disagree more.  Stewart legacy, very clear.  Highlights.  #1. Sporting director at Phily from 2015 to 2018.  Look was Phily academy was then and now - same for the team.   Turned Phily academy from nothing into one of top talent producing academies in U.S.  Recall that he would not leave that job before a few lose ends were tied up.  Lotta Philly boys living his legacy.  #2. Took over US MNT GM Job in 2018 after the failed WCQ in 2017 for the 2018 World Cup, in the wake of Klinsmann then Arena, hired the staff and coach that got the men to the 2022 WC and out of the group.  26 young men and a coach and staff would testify to Ernies impact on their oppotunities.  #3  Led the charge that put more US academy trained young men playing abroad than at any time in our soccer history.  This was Ernie and Brian McBride workking the Berhalter and staff, to get players caps so they could move to Europe.  This was not an accident.  It was purposeful, thoughtful and by design.  A whole bunch of players abroad, many of them one cap and done, but that and a bit more, opens the door for a football visa in Europe, it lets a player escape the clutches MLS has on young players salaries and opportunities.  Many young men living that legacy. As it related to the hispanics, there is nothing Ernie can do on this front, all he can do is create framework that the boys ID'd and developed by academy staff, HS and college staffs can then follow if selected for YNT.  What others write above about U17 and U20 teams - is exactly correct.  There is in fact - a sea change - in the last names you see in on the roster.  I think - those that know the game far better than me - know very well - the real impact of Ernie Stewart.  I don't know Ernie at all, I am pretty sure, he does not do what he does for headlines. For me, it is likley he does it for the passion he has for the game and to give young men opportunities.  For sure, in his wake, there are many many more opportutities for soccer players in the USA.  Respect!  Well done Ernie Stewart!  Thank you! 

  32. Bob Ashpole replied, February 27, 2023 at 9:53 p.m.

    I think that the meaning of the word legacy inplies that some significant change has been provided by someone. I didn't not comment on this before, but I don't see where Stewart left behind any significant change. 

    Thinking back to the start of last cycle, Stewart and Gregg were hailed as people who would change the US style of play to being more Dutch influenced. The would meant to me to be a more technical style of play, positional play if you will. Within a few months it became clear that Gregg was not coaching positional play or anything except conventional USSF thinking. I had high hopes for a change, but those died early in the cycle.

    I don't see Hispanic names as being significant. Donovan and Dempsey both played in Hispanic leagues as well as for USSF sanctioned clubs. They represent players from Texas and Southern California. They didn't have Hispanic names, but they had Hispanic flair and passion for the game. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a youth player from the Southwest that hasn't been influenced by Hispanic soccer culture. I grew up a long way from the Southwest, but even I was heavily influenced by Hispanic and Latino players.

    Getting the MNT qualified again was not a legacy. It was expected as a starting point for change. There is a difference between performing a job and leaving a legacy. In this situation "legacy" is puffing.

    As for USSF building better connections to Europe, that is Jurgen's legacy. 

  33. humble 1 replied, February 28, 2023 at 11:39 a.m.

    Back in 2010/2011 when Klinsmann took over, I was working in NM. Son was 4/5, just beginning his soccer journey, and there-by me, mine.  Colleague of mine, Mexican American colleague of mine told me about Klinsmann - told me - you watch - hispanics will be removed and banished from coach and player positions in US MNT.  Look, I was green, still am, but anyway, I just observed.  He was correct.  In 2014, U.S. went to Brazil with 7 german born players and only two with latino roots.  Not saying these players did not have the right, they did, still, point is, it happeded.  Fast fwd 3 years - USA sinking in 2018 WCQs, why, aging team made of retreads, with very little if any youth, due to Kllinsmann faiing to bring thru youth players to to MNT.  You can go back and look at this - I won't put the details - it is a fact.  It cannot be denied.  This is what Ernie and Greg and Brian, inherited.  It was a friggin' mess.  A real cluster fart.  The Klinsmann era, many saw it coming, many still do not grasp how low we went.  They cleaned it up and they got the team back where they should be out of group.  There is a larger then ever cadre of youth than we've ever had.  Ernie did for the USA what he did for Philly.  Call it legacy, call it clean-up, I really don't think he cares - he knows - far better than I what he accomplished and why he did it.  I for one, amd thankful.  Best to all.  

  34. humble 1 replied, February 28, 2023 at 11:43 a.m.

    sorry for spelling errors - on going issue I have with - time contraints, fat fingers, and crude text format with no spell/grammar feedback the web app SA uses.  All good.  Particularly bad in the above. Cheers! 

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications