Juergen Klinsmann Believes US Can Develop Its Next Soccer Star
I'm sure Italy wants to develop the next Michael Jordan too.
Last week Juergen Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as the U.S. Men's Soccer National Team manager. This move is a positive move for the US Men's Team. Klinsmann brings instant credibility to a team that has little on the world stage. It's no secret that the U.S. team struggles in international play and Klinsmann alluded to a big flaw during his news conference.
"Down the road, I hope we find ways to find the (next) Messi in the U.S.," Klinsmann said referring to Lionel Messi, the goal scoring genius for Barcelona and Argentina.
It's a nice dream and a great idea. But is akin to believing winning the lottery will replace your retirement plan. Just as the best basketball players in the world come from the United States, the best soccer players in the world come from everywhere but the United States.
During the 1910s and 20s, soccer was actually quite popular in the United States. One of the best clubs in the nation was Bethlehem Steel. The team was born out of Pennsylvania's steel production and comprised mostly of European players who were promised well-paying jobs in the mill in exchange for playing on the company team. Yup. Ringers. Little has changed in 100 years. The best players come from everywhere but here.
I admire Klinsmann for making the statement but would be very interested in seeing his plan to make that happen. The soccer/football youth development infrastructure in the US is not the same as it is in Europe. Messi and his entire family were relocated to Barcelona when Messi was a kid so he could be developed in the Barcelona football system. If the US wants to develop their own soccer talent, that talent almost has to be developed in Europe where the best talent all plays.
The best basketball talent is here in the States and is a big reason why Italy won't be developing the next Michael Jordan.