2014 World Cup Project, if the USA doesn’t want come home again at the beginning.
The World Cup is gone! While waiting for the next, there’s time to heal the deep wound and find new hope and energy, but in particular to change the way we raise the new generation of top soccer players, otherwise in a few years we will be here repeating the same words!
The way we build the future generation of soccer players, in particular the top group that will represent the USA at the next 2014 World Cups has to be totally rethought and rebuilt.
In this moment there are 17 million soccer players in the USA and 12 million are kids. How many good soccer players, really good soccer players, outstanding soccer players and World Superstars are out there?
Only considering the boys, around 12 or 15 years old, I’m sure that we can say half million. These are the kids that play on organized teams. How many others just play REAL pick up soccer games on the street or in phantom or pirate leagues? So considering the total number of kids that play in this moment in the USA, we can count on:
HUNDREDS of really good soccer players.
DOZENS of outstanding soccer players.
3 to 5 World Superstars.
So, what’s the problem? Let’s just go get them and put them together!
This is the problem. We can’t go get them, because we don’t know yet WHERE THEY ARE and WHO THEY ARE!!!!!!!! A few of them are at the Elementars or High Schools, a few others in the ODP Program, but the greatest number are still playing on the street or on some unknown teams that don’t play the State Cups or the usual tournaments.
The ODP program, that was created to identified these talented players, is still looking at the High Schools and Colleges, where these players won‘t be found. And as if this misunderstanding of looking in the wrong places wasn’t enough, it takes a lot of money to enter the program. Exactly what the immigrant families of Latinos or African-American players DON’T HAVE!!!!!!!
So, not only is it time to look in the right places, but it’s time that one of the richest countries in the world, uses it’s money to find, sustain, teach and promote the activity of these players, as students, citizens and athletes who could proudly represent the USA in international soccer competitions and NOT ASK THEM TO PAY TO HAVE THE HONOR OF WEARING THE USA JERSEY TO DO THAT!!!!! The way the ODP program works now is deeply wrong.
The modern soccer player is an athlete with a strong body, very tall, very fast, naturally skilled in handling a ball, with a great sense of creativity and able to play in any position on the field. The Afro-American kids who play Basketball and Football, are perfect for playing modern soccer. It’s time to identify them and give them the opportunity to develop a soccer career.
First the money! For Companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma and so on, that make hundreds of billions of dollars a year by selling soccer gear to the 17 million soccer players in this country, it’s time to give a few dozens of millions back.
I said 2014 World Cup Project, so there are 6 years to identify and put the talented players in the right environment.
FIRST YEAR. (12-15 years old)
How many? In the first year let’s say 1,000!
How to find them? Let’s put together 100 talent scouts and give them a staff that can organize pre-try outs, just identifying a decent group of talented players. Let’s reasonably divide the territory between these 100 staffs and ask them to identify 10 TALENTED PLAYERS each. 10 players each of them, means that they don’t have to look for good or really good soccer players.
They have to look for……………………monsters of talent.
The ones that even someone, who’s not a soccer expert, can’t help but recognize. And these players are already 12/15 years old so it’s impossible that in growing they will loose their talent. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Walcott, Rooney or Messi, were like that at 10 and at 17/18 already playing at the highest level in the world, so only someone blind wouldn’t be able to recognize the same talent at 12/15!
After having found the 1,000, let’s divide them into teams of 20 (2 keepers each). This means 50 teams. Let’s divide the teams into 5 groups of 10 teams that would be located in 5 States with clearly developed soccer professional clubs. Every team would have 1 General Manager, 1 Head Coach(from Netherlands, Germany, France, England and Italy), 1 Assistant Coach (USA), 1 Athletic Trainer and 1 Psychologist.
All these soccer players would be put under contract for 6 years and their contract would be the property of the 2014 World Cup Project, as long as they stay in the program. If they stay until the end, after the 2014 World Cup, they could go play for professional teams, even in Europe, and all the money that would be paid to buy their contracts, would be used to sustain the 2018 World Cup Project.
When I was young in Milano I studied to become a cameraman. For 3 years, one of the subjects that I studied was “History of Cinematography”. So, these 1,000 Kids, if they want to become soccer players, would study ’deeply’, the “History of Soccer”. They barely know who Pele’ or Maradona are! They need to learn who the greatest nations were that developed soccer, the greatest players that marked history with their performances, who won the World Cups, when, where and how, all the formations of playing and the development of strategy, through the 100 years of modern soccer!
They would study soccer…………………… for REAL!!!!
In the morning they’d wake up at 6:00, study like every other kid in the USA and if they don’t get good academic results, at the end of the fist year they would be sent home! In the afternoon they would practice soccer for 4 hours a day, all year round aside from a normal amount of vacation.
They would eat healthy food, sleep enough, read the right books and see the right movies that would make them better players and citizens. Right amount of computer, TV, news paper, time. (Newsweek, National Geographic or New York Times and not the usual garbage that only poisons their young minds! Who likes to go to church could go and who doesn’t, doesn’t have to go.
Besides practicing every day, the 10 teams in each group would play a regular season between them, playing each other 2 times in an 18 game season, every Sunday, for a little more than a 4 month season. After they’d have a play-off among the 5 teams that won in their respective groups. During the rest of the year, aside from practice, all the teams would play 1 friendly game during the week against a professional team in their State!
SECOND YEAR. (13/16 years old)
All the staffs would come together, make evaluations, and half of the players would be sent home, with a scholarship to end their academic career without problems. They could clearly even try to pursue a professional soccer career. The remaining 500, would be divided into 25 teams and no one would stay with a team-mate of the year before.
All the coaches would stay and be doubled on all teams with specific responsibilities in developing skills and strategies. Everyone of them would be responsible to specifically follow and develop 5 players. The coaching staff would continue to teach soccer history, review and analyze the greatest games and performances of the past and simulate the same situations on the field that lead to scoring and finding the right corrections not to permit that!
The teams would go back to the same 5 locations, divided into groups of 5. Same life of studying and practice as the year before. Soccer seasons playing each other 4 times. 16 games in 4 months, play-off and friendly games against professional teams during the rest of the year.
THIRD YEAR (14/17)
The staffs come together. 250 players would be sent home. Same scholarship and possible soccer professional career. The others would be divided into groups of 50 and go back to the 5 locations.
The coaching staff, would be cut 50%. So everyone of those remaining would still follow 5 players. The 50 players would be divided into 3 teams (2 keepers each) of 16 plus 2 that keep rotating on the 3 teams. Constant tournaments among themselves, playing each other 3 times, for 4 months, constantly mixing the rosters. Same friendly games against professional teams.
IMPORTANT! When the National Team comes together to play for the World Cup qualifications, 30% of the team would be formed by the top 7 players of the 2014 World Cup Project.
FORTH YEAR (15/18)
At the beginning of the forth year, the Staff of 2010 Project and the Staff of the World Cup National Team would come together and choose 50 players. The 200 sent home would have scholarships etc., etc.
11 of these 50, would form 50% of the national team plus 11 professional players that are already part of the team.
The forth year would be a delicate equilibrium between these activities:
The 50 players would be divided into 3 teams that train together and periodically play each other. They would be A, B and C level, with a monthly promotion or relegation of level.
They would travel sometimes, separately, all over the world and play against professional clubs in Europe, Africa and South America.
11 players, not necessarily always the same, during the World Cup qualification games, would be part, train and play with the National team.
When the USA acquires the qualification, and they will, it would be time for the National team staff, to choose the 22 that would form the 2014 National team roster. Minimum they would choose 11 of the 50 (not necessarily from the A Level) to complete the roster of 22. Obviously if among the 50 there are more players that are better than the professionals and deserve the National Jersey, they would be on the roster.
To put together this program, would take a lot of courage, knowledge and vision.
Does anyone have all 3? I don’t know. What I know is that if we repeat the same errors, unfortunately, we will have the same result and maybe worse, not getting qualified for the World Cup!
The rest of the soccer world, constantly progresses and gets better.
Posted on 13 Sep 2006 by coachgianni