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SBI Wednesday Rewind: Altidore gains perspective; Green looks ahead; Kaka on MLS growth; and more

SOCCER : FIFA World Cup 2014 - Round of 16 - Argentina v Switzerland


One day later, the United States’ exit from the World Cup may not be any easier for fans or players alike. But for one player it may be the hardest pill to swallow of all. Jozy Altidore was supposed to be the target forward that would drive the attack and carry games forward. Instead, after 21 minutes, his World Cup ended. But Altidore said Wednesday the injury made him realize how much playing means to him and he was proud of the U.S.’s run.

It’s a very different tale for Julian Green. No one expected him to be on the World Cup roster — and many probably didn’t want him there either. But in one appearance that lasted just 13 minutes, he silenced critics. Speaking to reporters, 19-year-old Green said being able to score in a World Cup is experience that will help him grow as a player.

In Major League Soccer news, Kaka said he had been courted by both the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy, but the timing wasn’t right. At 32, Kaka said he still has plenty to give his new club, Orlando City SC, and wants to be part of MLS’ growth in the U.S.

 Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI today:

Altidore disappointed to miss World Cup, but hungrier than ever to return

Green makes most of World Cup debut

USMNT proud of World Cup showing despite falling in Round of 16 again

Americans go digital for World Cup experience in record numbers

Orlando City Notes: Kaka nearly signed for RBNY; envisions MLS as a top league; and more

10-man TFC hold on for point at Fire

MLS Ticker: Feilhaber ready to return; Impact sign Piatti as DP; and more

D.C. United parts ways with Cristian Fernandez

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona begin Suarez negotiation: Chelsea agree Costa deal; and more



  1. Funny Expat, JG isn’t going anywhere if Bayern, doesn’t want him too.
    Sell rather than Lose is the operative word.

    P.S, on another related note,
    still critical detractors and even the article saying he didn’t get solid foot on the ball,
    anybody notice the 10 million dollar Belgian defender draped all over him?(could be why it wasn’t as clean as could be, yet still 100% effective),
    despite this he still finished and closed the deal,
    first touch a goal, signed, sealed, and delivered, period.

  2. I didn’t care that Julian Green was on the team…and I wouldn’t have cared if he wasn’t

    But am I off ? He made a great run, a remarkable pass put the ball on his foot (how do we not talk about Bradley’s pass more ? ) and he miss hit it, but it went in. Other than that he was fairly weak. A cross he mis-hit to the keeper, etc. Seemed out of position and lost many times.

    I am sure he has talent, but I don’t think we have seen it. Reminds me of the team I coach…if a kid scores, great game.

    I don’t think I am going to change my mind and I don’ t have some agenda I am pushing. but I am interested in other non-agenda opinions.

    • I am sure you are not going to “change your mind”.

      I am also sure that you do not believe you have “some agenda”. However, by your giving the wrong description of Green’s play, his run+finish, (which most everyone here has seen multiple times) it would logically follow that indeed you do.

      • Yeah that is what I figured. A guy who is too excited not saying anything contradictory.

  3. Once a player comes under a coach, arguably creative developement will slow down. Generally coaching does not make players better technically, It just homogenizes them

    • Coaching helps teach technique to youth players. Coaching helps to put players in a situation where the players find solutions in different parts of the field on there own; tactics, combination play, man to man defense, zone defense, double team defense, etc…Good coaching gives players knowledge that they use to increase physical and mental approach to the game. The players get out of it what they put into it. Too much coaching can hurt or limit the ability for players to find solutions on there own.

    • I think these are both great points

      Dr. K– I think your thought is dead right insofar as it connects to the quantum difference we see in the valuations of players who have come through European academies. In many ways, those who have completed this training are treated as “investment grade” by the European clubs who spend the vast majority of global transfer funds. In theory (and often practice) this pedigree ensures a certain level of technical proficiency and match experence, as well as exposure to a diverse set of concepts ranging from strategy/tactics to training regimens. Also, many of the Eurpoean-born prospects will have fuctional proficiency in multiple languages. All of this makes for a much more comfortable investment thesis — these kids are considered to be much closer to “plug and play” compared to the unknown quantity of foreign prospects. And scouts do not risk so much by recommending an individual for purchase.

      MikeG– I think you have hit on something that is the biggest area of differentiation that is available to us, a big opportunity to help our guys with tailored instruction, but also a potentially huge risk that is tough to mitigate. The learning curve our our guys can be rapidly accelerated through the coaching function, but we have to be much more careful with our top talent, since we are placing trust in individual coaches who are not teaching a single philosophy (as theoretically happens in the European academy system). We have played around with the “mentorship” concept (Adu/Nowak was a high profile and unfortunately unsuccessful example). The jury is still out on how we can get more here.

      Interested to see how the (not yet meaningfully actualized) idea of European clubs setting up acadmenies here could be helpful. I think there is a way this could be very valuable, but the investment from both sides would need to be heavy, and the temptation to simply produce “window dressing” could spoil the potential

  4. HEY, Coaching ability has NO correlation with talent level or playing level In any way An MLS coach will be as good or bad as most coaches in the world. Is maradona or Pele a better coach that WENGER OR KREIS? Lets try to be a little less stupid

    • There is a reason why these guys are coaching in MLS, not in Europe. Bob Bradley is the only MLS coach that found a European gig, and even that was in a league that is arguably weaker than MLS. There are plenty of bad coaches throughout the world (even in Argentina and Brazil), but what makes a difference is having a quality coaches starting from the youth system and all the way up to the professional teams in the top division. Does MLS have a single world class coach that top European clubs would seriously consider hiring?

      • Having the quality to be world class and actually being considered in Europe are two different things. Overcoming a lack of exposure on the other side of the planet as well as the stigma of being a coach in the states is asking a lot when there are thousands of managers to choose from in leagues in Europe. The financial motivation to seek out and develop managers in far away lands is not the same as it is with players.

      • There should be some coaches like Jason Kreis, Bruce Arena, and the coach at Seattle, but there is still this bias against U.S. coaches. There have been coaches at Portuguese clubs that have gone straight to the best clubs in England. Coaches like the above should be considered for clubs in at least Denmark, Belgium and some of the lower La Liga teams in Spain. What Bob Bradley is doing right now from coaching Egypt and now in Norway is opening up doors for other coaches.

    • Written by 24 or 25 year old Ryan Cowper, a Database Specialist at Alston Power, Inc., in Seattle. He is also a “volunteer staff writer at SB Nation.

      In other words, he follows the internet like most everyone here does. I wouldn’t put much faith in his conclusions or opinions concerning anything Bayern.

  5. I’ve been trying to distract myself from arguments that tend toward the emotional. Also, I’ve been bored. Here’s something I’ve been chewing on, and I’m curious how others interpret

    Transfermarkt’s estimated of starting lineups from yesterday’s game

    Belgium Starting XI (Aggregate Estimated Value: 237,000,000 Euros)
    Thibaut Courtois- 25,000,000
    Toby Alderweireld- 10,000,000
    Vincent Kompany Р35,000,000
    Jan Vertonghen- 22,000,000
    Daniel van Buyten- 1,000,000
    Axel Witsel- 35,000,000
    Kevin De Bruyne Р17,000,000
    Marouane Fellaini- 23,000,000
    Eden Hazard- 45,000,000
    Dries Mertens- 23,000,000
    Divock Origi- 10,000,000

    USA Starting XI (Aggregate Estimated Value: 35,125,000 Euros)
    Tim Howard- 2,000,000
    Omar Gonzalez- 4,000,000 (NR – estimated by proxy)
    Matt Besler- 400,000
    DaMarcus Beasley- 1,000,000
    Fabian Johnson- 4,000,000
    Michael Bradley- 6,500,000
    Alejandro Bedoya- 2,225,000
    Jermaine Jones- 3,000,000
    Graham Zusi- 500,000
    Geoff Cameron Р4,500,000
    Clint Dempsey- 7,000,000

    [Transfermarkt is not perfect, obviously, and their valuation models tend to be more robust for UEFA players. But it beats spending 5 hours going case by case, and for the most part is consistent enough to draw conclusions on an aggeregated basis.]

    What does this tell us? Actually, I can think of about a dozen things it suggests and another dozen that it doesn’t properly capture.

    Clearly, I’ve ignored the subs above, which was more a function of the inadequacy of any valuation for Green/Yedlin than anything else (Wondo’s age makes his valuation likely immaterial). Altidore is obviously ommitted but would have accounted for some additional 6 million Euros, net of whoever he replaces

    Also, it should be noted that this particular Beglium side has an absolutely ideal age profile from a valuation standpoint. Outside of Van Buyten, almost every player in the the XI (and more on the bench) is likely to generate significant follow-on sale realizations, which of course increases market value. This is not necessarily a distortion — it’s a product of a high-functioning development program and sets them up well for the future. Bit worth noting as our story is almost the complete opposite, with top performers such as Howard, and Jones having minimal transfer value due to their age.

    Still, look at these numbers and it becomes a lot easier to understand how we struggled to control the flow of play. Beglium had a midfield of players clustered between the ages of 23 and 27, all with top clubs and valuations averaging E28.6 million. We have a dogs-and-cats group of MFs with enormous heart and balls, but an average value of E3.3 million,.

    What do others think? Is it realistic to think our guys will ever have a market profile like Belgium some day? Do we care? Dumb metric? Many potential answers, just curious how others see it.

    • The reason Belgian players have higher valuation is that Belgian youth development system is a lot more efficient than our pay-to-play system. They are able to produce players that are good enough to merit these evaluations, we don’t. Until we get the coaches that know what they are doing (and I don’t mean former college and mls players) and make player development central, we will lag behind. Even though MLS took some good steps with development academies, they are miles behind European clubs in terms of youth coaching.

      • Yup. Yup. Yup. Agreed slow.
        Taking the initial steps of putting the structure in place has been huge. It will take time to fine tune it, get the right people/coaches within that structure and then time for that development to begin to bear fruit.. Even if we had accomplished the impossible with a world class system in place from day one, you are looking at a decade before you see significant results. The bottom line is, we finally have regionally based academies run by pro teams with some resources and financial motivation to go out and mine local talent. As we see some of these players come into MLS and win hardware and/or be sold for high transfer fees, the race will be on and I think growth will accelerate exponentially. We live in an age accustomed to instant gratification, however making an incubator capable of spawning Maradonas and Xavis with any regularity won’t happen overnight. We may have to settle for Yedlins and Zardes until the genetic lottery puts a freak of nature into the right place at the right time and the US has its first footballing savant. Perhaps he’s kickin a ball around his crib right now…

    • Real nice there Ali Dia, btw it’s not a dumb metric at all.
      especially if you put it in a context most Americans who are not
      big soccer fans would understand.
      For example it would be like a triple A team, playing the Yankees.
      Or a Canadian football team playing any NFL team.
      Further any world hockey or basketball league team that does not have the initials
      NHL, or NBA attached to it.
      mind you the point is financial, but as you clearly show Ali Dia,
      this has a relevance which can not be missed or understated.
      + 10 looking to pay Pele


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