Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stone and Clay

New post on Massive Report about preseason results.

I'm tracking all the numbers but wanted to approach it in abstract (it's where I'm going to wind up in the end anyway, but still fighting the good fight).

It's been a productive preseason for the Crew but I think there is a big difference between the readiness of the 2nd team and 1st team. I'm going to keep banging away on the value of returning players. In the Massive Report post I look at it from another perspective. Why?

What's missing in the US is anything and everything outside of hustle, hard work, industry, desire and athleticism. The US has those qualities in spades. What we don't have is creativity. Intelligence. A sense of the world around us or a respect for it.

When reading up on Andrea Pirlo, his transitions from team to team are like artistic movements. Purpose and reason. I don't see many outside these borders quantifying his genius based on physical measurables. How fast is his 40? What about his vertical jump? Imagine asking those questions of Cavallini, Pisano, Ghiberti, Pellegrini and you get what we are missing.

Listen closely next time to any non-American calling a game. They use the same descriptive words used to describe art or an artist. Creativity, open space, skill, beauty, movement. A US voice, like Gus Johnson, describes it more like a battlefield in Afghanistan.

I've always kinda thought that the best US voice for soccer would be a veteran NBA basketball announcer. Because the sports are similar, they use descriptive terms close to those in soccer all the time.

Anyhow, neither here nor there. I don't have the answers but am trying to figure it it. What I do know is that until we figure a few things out we are going to have to be content with a Brian McBride or Clint Dempsey every 10 years or so.

My last post deals with specific numbers that show which group of players is having the best offseason. I will have a full report next week.

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