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Sunday, June 25, 2017

To The Next Great American Athlete: The Top Ten Reasons You Should Play Soccer Instead of Football/Basketball/Baseball

July 14, 2010 by Adam Montgomery Lampert · 37 Comments 

This is a letter to all the young American athletes out there destined for greatness. To all the future Michael Jordans, LeBron Jameses, Peyton Mannings, Bo Jacksons, Kobe Bryants, and Jerry Rices, I beseech you: consider soccer. There is more money, more fame, less risk, fewer injuries, and more glory in it than any other sport on earth.

The dream is over; our hopes are dashed. America’s World Cup chances no longer reside within the reach of our current generation of players, however valiant their efforts. They now rest squarely at the feet of our youngsters, currently developing on fruited plains, from sea to shining sea. For all the grumbling that is certain to follow America’s disappointing exit from this year’s World Cup, one thing is clear. Our players are simply not good enough.

For this there is no excuse. We Americans have long taken pride in our athletic superiority, yet at the World Cup we have never once been considered competitive. Despite winning more than twice the number of Olympic Gold Medals as any other nation in history, America has simply neglected the most popular sport in the world, and allowed it to fall by the wayside. This must not go on.

The problem is clear. In the past, our best and and brightest athletes have had little reason to consider the original “football;” after all, fame, fortune, and greatness have not been historically linked with soccer here in the States. But things have changed. We now reside in a global economy, and Kobe Bryant sells more jerseys in China than he does within US borders. Thanks to the rapidly changing world we live in, soccer now offers young American athletes more opportunity for success than do football, baseball, or basketball. Without further ado I present

The Top Ten Reasons You Should Play Soccer Instead of Football, Baseball, or Basketball

1. Money

There’s a reason they call it the bottom line. At the end of the day, your paycheck is what counts, so when it comes to choosing a career, money is hands-down the biggest piece of the puzzle. Look at these figures:

The NFL, MLB, and NBA have recently reported annual revenues of around 6, 5.8, and 3.2 billion dollars, respectively. This brings the total amount for all Big Three sports to approximately $15 billion. This year, Deloitte reported that the largest European soccer leagues posted a cumulative revenue of $20 billion. Simply put, there is more money in soccer than in all three major American sports combined. And that doesn’t even include many of the other large soccer leagues around the world (Japan’s J League, Russian Premier League, Mexico Primera Division, Australian A-League, etc). Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber, swindler, and all-purpose crook got it right when he said “go where the money is.”

Total revenue is not the only arena where soccer dominates the dinero. Professional soccer players in those same five largest European leagues number over 10,000. (The English Premier League tops the list, with 92 teams of about 26 players each in four divisions: Premier, Championship, League 1, and League 2, the minimum average of which is around $75,000.) In comparison, Major League Baseball professionally employs 1000 players, the NBA employs 432, and the NFL employs 1696, totaling 3128 professional athletes in all. Obviously, the numbers worldwide will increase for all sports, but far more for soccer than any other sport, leading to a probable increase in that discrepancy. Although somewhat crude, these preliminary estimates indicate that soccer supports at least three times as many athletes worldwide as the Big Three combined. And if you simply want an imaginably large sum of money to sustain your every whim, no matter how frivolous, I’m sure David Beckham’s 250 million dollar deal will do.

2. Women

There is certainly nothing wrong with Laker Girls or the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. But consider this man:

Ronaldinho, easily one of the ugliest human beings you could possibly set eyes on, could pluck literally any flower he desires from his home country of Brasil, and pretty much the entire continent of South and Central America as well. Keep in mind this is a man whose teeth resemble the dismantled railroads of Atlanta after General Sherman’s famous March To The Sea.

And for all the press coverage that A-Rod’s carousing inspires among the American media, Cristiano Ronaldo’s list of conquests makes A-Rod’s little black book look like The Big Book of British Smiles. But to be fair, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo were both at one point voted the best player in the world. Perhaps a better example is Peter Crouch.

You may not have heard of Peter Crouch, but if you have, you are certain to have noticed his resemblance to a spider monkey:

Peter is a mediocre forward whose freakish dimensions allow commentators to constantly note how skilled he is for a monstrous giant with no control whatsoever over his limbs. Ironically, Peter is married to this:

The point here is obvious: If you like hot chicks, play soccer. You don’t have to be good, or good looking, or even proportioned like a normal human being. You just have to play.

3. Fame

There is no stardom like international stardom. Being an American superstar is fantastic, but how many people in Europe even know who Amare Stoudemire is? To be considered truly great an athlete must transcend nationality(think Muhammed Ali), and even though America proudly boasts many international superstars, the ability to market oneself across international borders is far easier as a soccer player than in any other sport, due to its undeniable international appeal. Even David Beckham knows that.

If your goal is to be as famous as possible, then play soccer in the English Premier League. While the competition is arguably stiffer than any other league on Earth, the exposure payoff is commensurate. The EPL is the most watched sporting league in the world, ahead of the NFL, NBA, MLB, and  everything else. It reaches an audience of half a billion viewers in a total of 202 countries worldwide. Then, of course, you have the World Cup, which reaches an average of around one billion viewers in recent Final matches. Comparatively, the highest rated TV audience in Big Three sports history was the 2010 Super Bowl, which took in a meager tenth of that: 106 million viewers.

4. Health

In a tragic accident, Cincinnati Bengals’ star wide receiver Chris Henry died in December 2009 following a serious head injury unrelated to football. Although he was only 26 at the time of his death, his autopsy revealed chronic brain damage. At 26.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is the term for the type of brain damage Henry suffered, is common among active and retired professional (American) football players. The neural damage it accompanies causes delusions and depression and is often blamed for many former football players’ bizarre deaths. CTE was blamed when one-time Pittsburgh Steeler Justin Strzelczyk accidentally killed himself by driving  his car into a tanker truck after experiencing inexplicable hallucinations and leading police on an errant car chase for more than 40 miles. Tom McHale, a former lineman whose teammates almost exclusively described him as stable and dependable, mysteriously sank into a deep depression in 2008, quickly developed a drug problem and then died of an extreme overdose. He was diagnosed with CTE post-mortem.

Brain damage isn’t the only long-term health risk associated with playing professional football. Studies have shown that, while the average lifespan of an American is 77.6 years, the life expectancy of a professional football player is 55, and 52 for lineman. For every season played, the average NFL player will lose 2-3 years of life expectancy.

Conversely, according to a number of studies, professional soccer players live significantly longer than average, and show noteworthy reductions of cardiovascular problems, cancer incidence, and immune deficiencies. Translation: If you want to know your grandkids, play soccer.

5. Power

We don’t normally consider the ability to stop wars among the benefits of athletic superstardom in America. But the beautiful game is different. Neil Stormer wrote for Common Ground News:

“In 1967, Pele travelled to Lagos, Nigeria, then in the midst of a brutal civil war, to play an exhibition match. In order to allow both sides of the conflict to see the greatest ever play the game, a 48-hour ceasefire was called and honoured. A single footballer[soccer player] stopped a war.

World Cup qualification can do it too. Cote d’Ivoire is in the middle of a civil war. After the country’s qualification for the World Cup, President Laurent Gbagbo acquiesced to the pleas of the Ivorian football federation and star forward Didier Drogba and restarted peace talks. The country now enjoys a tense ceasefire, thanks solely to the team’s trip to Germany. The peace may not survive much longer than the World Cup, but any cessation in fighting is a reason to celebrate.”

Sport’s ability to unite is seldom seen here in the States; Muhammed Ali surely represents our most powerful example. But soccer has occasionally transcended the physical, and entered a global realm. From Stormer’s piece once more:

“Consider the Christmas Truce during World War I; caked in mud and nearly frozen, Germans and Brits climbed out of their respective trenches along the front, set aside their guns and mutual animosities and celebrated Christmas by playing football. The truce didn’t last, the war continued, but soldiers on both sides found themselves unable to fire out of their trenches — to fire across their erstwhile football pitch — at their enemies. A large amount of wasted ammunition was recorded on the following days as guns were trained at the stars above and not at the enemy.”

6. Career

Doing something you love for a living is a privilege. So why pick a sport where you’re only likely to play for 3-4 years? According the NFL Players Association, the average career length of a professional (American) football player is 3.5 seasons. The average NBA career length is 4.82 seasons. The average professional Major League Baseball career length is 5.6 years. Conversely, the average career length of a professional soccer player is 10 years, nearly twice that of any of the Big Three.

But enjoying what you do isn’t the only reason a longer career is a better one. Guess who makes more money: a man who works for five years, or a man who works for ten?

7. You Don’t Have To Be A Freak To Compete

If you want to be a Hall-of-Fame defensive lineman, striking fear into the heart of quarterbacks everywhere, setting the single-season sack record, you’re going to need to weigh 280-350 pounds. If you want to effortlessly dominate the paint a la Shaq, Wilt, or Kareem, you’re going to have to be at least seven feet tall, which only 3 people out of every million are. Even MJ and Kobe were in the tallest 1% of the human population for height, so good luck with that. Do you want to be a star wide receiver? Well, you’d better look like this:

On the other hand, soccer is populated by non-freakishly built humans. Here is a list of the heights of ten of the greatest soccer players of all time:

Pele – 5′ 8″

Maradona – 5′ 5″

Franz Beckenbauer – 6′

Johan Cruyff – 5′ 11″

Michael Platini – 5′ 10″

Lev Yashin – 6′ 2″

Zinedine Zidane – 6′ 1″

Lionel Messi – 5′ 8″

George Best – 5′ 8″

Gheorghe Hagi – 5′ 9″

While goalkeepers tend to be slightly taller, great soccer players are  in general far more likely to be normal-looking people. So unless you happen to be a 7′ 6″ stretched-out giant,

or a 382-pound behemoth,

consider futbol.

8. See The World

Do you long to get the fuck out of Detroit/Chicago/Camden/Baltimore/Los Angeles? Last year, US men’s national team forward standout Jozy Altidore signed on loan with Hull City, an English Premier League team, for a transfer fee of 11 million USD, at the age of 20. There is no better way to simultaneously follow your dream of becoming a professional athlete and explore the limitless fruits that the world has to offer. Your mom has always wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower, right?

9. Beauty

Here are about fifty reasons they call it “la joga bonita” (the beautiful game).

10. Blood

If, alternatively, you prefer the perceived brutality and toughness of popular American sports, have a gander at the following:


Those two clips are both from this year’s now infamously physical World Cup Final. Here are two more, courtesy of two of the greatest footballers in the history of (sometimes not so beautiful) game.

Thus concludes our top ten. For the good of your country, your body, and your bank account: consider soccer.

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Comments

37 Responses to “To The Next Great American Athlete: The Top Ten Reasons You Should Play Soccer Instead of Football/Basketball/Baseball”
  1. n2n10t says:

    This article makes no mention whatsoever of the CFL (canadien football league) which is basically another NFL. Do youre resaerch next time.

  2. CBack21 says:

    The CFL has a salary cap of 4 million per team. The NFL has a salary cap of 100 million per team. The CFL is basically a 20th the size of the NFL in terms of money and resources… even if you add all that in soccer still comes out way on top

  3. 2010bucs says:

    nobody gives a flying f#$% about soccer in America because it is boring as hell and always will be. And if you want to watch guys kick each other in the head then go to a UFC match where t fights are actually regulated instead of just having a bunch p@#$ies sucker punch/kick each other.

    ——————

  4. Demps4Guv says:

    If you don’t like soccer, then don’t watch it. Nobody made you read this article so stfu. And by the way, American soccer is clearly on the rise:

    http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5378712/french-striker-thierry-henry-signs-deal-new-york-red-bulls

    Thierry Henry (one of the best strikers of all time) just signed with the MLS, so suck it. Football is just a bunch of meatheads giving each other concussions until the kicker comes on the field and actually scores some points.

  5. 5_2go says:

    RESPONSE TO

    If you don’t like soccer, then don’t watch it. Nobody made you read this article so stfu. And by the way, American soccer is clearly on the rise:

    http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5378712/french-striker-thierry-henry-signs-deal-new-york-red-bulls

    Thierry Henry (one of the best strikers of all time) just signed with the MLS, so suck it. Football is just a bunch of meatheads giving each other concussions until the kicker comes on the field and actually scores some points.

    ———————

    YEah just like Beckham 5 years ago… lol

  6. Demps4Guv says:

    5_2go:

    The situation with Henry is nothing like Beckham. Read up and educate yourself before making frivolous claims:

    “Henry Isn’t Beckham, Take Two”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/soccer/columns/story?id=5379532

  7. concerned citizen says:

    If you don’t know the difference between Beckham and Henry, you probably shouldn’t be commenting on this piece.

  8. 999Seamster says:

    Soccer is a game for p#$%ies. You guys all run around on a field for 90 minutes doing basically nothing, and fall down screaming if somebody accidentally brushes your arm. That’s why soccer will never catch on in America, cuz its for the weak and American sports fans know better

  9. DonoToe says:

    999Seamster:

    How the f#$% is soccer for the weak? Football players are covered in nice little pads from head to toe cause you can’t handle the physical contact. Oh and by the way, try running for 90 minutes straight. Football players, on average, only play for 12 tiny minutes per game! So even if you never come off the field, 12 min divided by 2 for offense and defense means at the maximum football players play for 6 minutes per game! Which sounds weaker to you: 6 min vs 90 minutes? Gimme a break

  10. old boy says:

    American football is primarily fat men in tights & cod pieces grappling with one another – pretty sketchy!

  11. daBomb says:

    So is soccer the only sport with diving in it? Sidney Crosby dives like crazy. How about basketball players? Soccer is a sport (unlike basketball and baseball) where physical contact is actually aloud. I love Basketball, Hockey and American football, but for me Soccer comes first and I can’t stand all you morons bashing it. Soccer is “the beautiful game” no question about it. I like the excitement in the other sports but there’s no beauty in them.

  12. AlsoRant says:

    Franck Ribery is about ten times uglier than any of those guys. No wonder he has to fly 16-year-old hookers all over the world to get laid.

  13. LivinLorge says:

    AlsoRant:

    Dude Ribery was in a horrific car accident when he was like 3 years old which disfigured him for life. Cut him some slack he’s one of the greatest footballers in the world

  14. seriously says:

    There is no use comparing soccer with other american sports and trying to determine which is better. Everyone has a different opinion on that. I think that when people say “soccer is cathing on in America”. They don’t mean that soccer is replacing football, basketball, or baseball. But that it establishing itself with the other sports. When soccer catches on in America ( I think it already has ), it will co-exist with football, bball and basketball as one of america’s great sports.

  15. No Bias says:

    In Thierry Henry the MLS have captured one of the most talented players of his generation and it’s arguable that he may be the considered the best player in the last decade; most certainly a farce that he never won World Player of the Year. He is obviously not as prolific as when he was at Arsenal, but he is a class apart when it comes comparing his ability to Beckham’s. Beckham is more of a celebrity, a household name, someone who is very talented, but his talent is solely down to his work ethic more than an innate ability. Football, or “Soccer” is something and I have grown up with, from when I was a three year old outside on our estate playing football. Don’t think that I

  16. No Bias says:

    do not respect American Football or Basketball, but “Soccer” is one of those sports that transcends beyond a game; no better example than December 25th 1915, where both the Germans and the British ceased fighting to play a match in No man’s land. No sport can ever displace the memories you had watching and playing your sport over the span of your life, from playing catch with your dad outside, or watching the Miracle on Ice live on television, but I emplore you not to be ignorant and use the World Cup as a stepping stone in educating yourself about football, something that is loved all around the world. Also sorry for this long, tedious message :P

  17. Art says:

    Peyton Manning. With an “o”.

  18. Holden Mecoc says:

    Actually the NFL is just a bunch of convicts taking their frustrations out on each other and getting paid ridiculous amounts of money for it. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the NFL, those players would be in jail.

  19. Omnifoot says:

    I really thought football would be fairly popular in the US by now, but at the moment I just don’t see it really catching on until the US wins a World Cup or the MLS becomes a bit more respectable in comparison to European leagues and S.A. leagues. When I say “really catching on” I mean the sport generates some anticipation for a new season. Many in the US (especially in the Midwest) have this mentality about football:

    1) It is boring to them there is too much “downtime” between goals. In other sports there’s hitting (NFL) going on between touchdowns or goals in hockey and less downtime between points in basketball. However, given this, I don’t understand how baseball is vastly more popular and therefore more interesting than football. I’ve read that a baseball is in play for about 12 minutes in a 3-4 hour game (I’d like to test that out because I believe it). The rest of the time the cameras are watching the players stand around, or watching the manager stand in the dugout watching his players stand around on the field.

    2) The points are not worth enough. American football one touchdown is worth 6 points and basketball each bucket is worth 1-3 points. In baseball the points are worth the same but there are opportunities to score more than one point with one hit (up to 4). I’ve read many complaints about how it took Spain nearly two hours to get one point in the final.

    3) Many here (the Midwest) are just ignorant and don’t understand the game in general or how big the game really is. When there is a world champion, it’s legit, because the entire world was involved. Much of the claims that the Yankees are world champions, or the Lakers are world champions, or the Saints are world champions are false. It’s like having a talented family of tennis players who live in New York City. The family compete with only each other and whoever comes out on top are declared city champions. Is it right to call them city champions, even if there are a few others who play the sport within the city and may not be that good?

    Number three may sound like semantics or being PC, but when you involve a word that has that big of a meaning, then add it to champion, you’d better damn well play more than just your backyard to earn that title.

    I do find it annoying that so many people in America bash football. It’s their opinion, but more times than naught they don’t understand what they are bashing. Many times they’re exposed to this sport once every four years and for some that in itself is too much.

    *Note: this may not apply to other larger cities around the US and on either of the coasts. This is just what I’ve observed from being a footballer in the Midwest (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, etc.) where general sports interests outside of NFL, NASCAR, and MLB is fairly poor. To get football on a regular basis you need premium cable.

  20. itsfootballnotsoccer says:

    This article is not any good, if the kid doesnt have a passion to play the beautiful game and goes into it for the money women and power, then he will be like all these stupid american athletes we have now, making millions but being stupid just cause they think they have power. If youre a kid reading this article and are considering football now, dont do it for these reasons. Understand why its the beautiful game and go juggle an orange somewhere

  21. nobodyyouknow says:

    itsfootballnotsoccer says:
    July 20, 2010 at 4:00 am
    This article is not any good, if the kid doesnt have a passion to play the beautiful game and goes into it for the money women and power, then he will be like all these stupid american athletes we have now, making millions but being stupid just cause they think they have power. If youre a kid reading this article and are considering football now, dont do it for these reasons. Understand why its the beautiful game and go juggle an orange somewhere

    —————————————

    This is unfortunately just the way it is. In American culture, it would be very hard to sell any sport without all these reasons… I agree that the game is beautiful, but without money, fame, women, etc, young people would never want to play it, especially today’s generation (see The Decision as a great example of society’s current norms). I’m okay with doing everything we can to sell the game to Americans, then letting them understand the beauty of it once it has established itself here. These things take time, and in America they normally take lots of money too.

  22. jason says:

    overall, pretty good article although there are logically some pretty big issues.

    First off, you start with money and your point is that the various LEAGUES make more money, but really, your whole argument for the whole article is about how much money a specific PLAYER can make. The very highest paid soccer players make ~100k pounds per week. ~5MM pounds = 7.7 MM dollars. This is by no means higher than what you could make playing basketball (Kobe makes 24MM), football (Carson Palmer maker 16MM), baseball (Arod makes 33MM). Hell, EVEN FUCKING HOCKEY makes more – crosby makes 10MM a year.

    Listen, i’m a die hard gooner. I’ve played college soccer in the US and had an opportunity to play League 2 football in the UK. I like most of your points but the money doesn’t fly. There’s way more money to be made playing pro sports in the US. PERIOD.

    P.S. Ronaldo makes 11MM a year, so more than hockey but still…point still makes sense.

  23. footroot says:

    Jason:

    I think that’s exactly the kind of misconception that this article attempts to confront. Look at this year’s top-earning athletes (came out yesterday in Sports Illustrated):

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/fortunate50-2010/?eref=sihp

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/fortunate50-2010/index.20.html

    Last year, only one NBA/NFL/MLB/NHL player earned more than any soccer player (LeBron James). His number of $45 million is followed immediately by Lionel Messi ($44 million) and David Beckham ($40.5 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($40 million). So you’re not really right here. There are 3 soccer playing athletes above $40 million in income for last year, and only one NFL/NBA/MLB player. And of course we all know that income for professional athletes isn’t all about salary (LeBron got $30 million in endorsements for example, which is about twice his annual salary as paid by his NBA team).

  24. jason says:

    Wow, awesome footroot. The bottom of the article states:

    Sources: Salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players’ associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2010 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (golf, auto racing, tennis), 2009 calendar year amounts used. Boxing purses are from July ’09 to June 2010.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/fortunate50-2010/index.20.html#ixzz0uWHry3BU

  25. brotherfromanothersmother says:

    lol I love that Thierry Henry’s team listed in the SI piece is New York Red Bulls. It’s only been like two days but that looks so awesome next to his name. Sweet goal too, that guy has wizard-like skill. Why does that thing at the bottom of the SI article matter?

  26. jason says:

    part doesn’t matter per say, just thought it was interesting where that money was coming from.

    So…i’ve had some time think about this after footroot’s excellent research.

    First off, big hat tip to Adam. Having this many people comment on your article is a testament to the interest in it. Thanks for writing.

    The biggest thing I think holding USA back, despite the best selection (and money) of sporting talent in the entire world is two things, money and ‘popularity/fame’, and no unbelievable athlete would ever choose soccer in america…yet.

    Let’s take a step back and follow the life of an american child with god given talent at anything he does. Kobe, Reggie Bush, Lebron, Deion Sanders just off the top of my head.

    Now, you’re 14 and you were playing as many sports as you wanted. Now you’re in HS so you have to decide on three, because of the seasons. Typically soccer overlaps with either football or basketball. If you’re really tall and it overlaps with basketball you’ll probably choose basketball. If you’re really big and buff you’ll choose football. Point is, this is problem #1. HS chicks love these two. Not soccer players.

    Next, you’re 18. Time to go to college. Big scholarships only for bb and fb. Not soccer. Money. Period.

    Lastly, the “big contract” in europe are so outside the window of an american soccer player, no matter how much he loves the sport, until someone (not a goalie) does it. We need landon, or someone, to sign at a big name club to show the rest of america that it’s possible. ok, that is all for my rant.

    1) Money: My point above was that

  27. jason says:

    btw, adam – can i sign up for alerts to this story so i can see responses?

  28. Adam says:

    Hi everybody!

    Thanks so much for all your comments(even the haters); passionate debate is a sign of interest, so I’m grateful for that regardless of opposing/supporting perspectives. Our administrator installed a “subscribe to comments” plugin that you should now be able to see immediately below. Just enter your email with your comment and you will be notified of any additional comments… Thanks again!

    -AML

  29. papa bear says:

    @ itsfootballnotsoccer July 20, 2010 at 4:00 am

    In fairness, kids in other countries don’t devote all that time to soccer simply because they like the game. I mean the money, power and women are certainly a huge draw. If you couldn’t make money in it in say Argentina, believe me they’d be playing basketball instead.
    There is nothing wrong with wanting to pursue something harder because the money is better.

    @the Beckham bashers claiming Henry is a repeat:
    you have no concept of Beckham’s game. He was never a big goal scorer. Second, if he is such a failure, how do you explain increased league revenues, several more teams competing in the league, more salary cap money, multiple, multi-year TV contracts being signed since his coming here.
    To say he’s had no impact is foolish. Sure LA hasn’t won a major title, but his impact is huge. Henry’s impact will be even bigger because he will score 30-40 goals a year if he remains healthy.

    @the author:
    I do have some issues with the ‘cooking of the books’ including the Championship etc in the number of ‘pro players’ the Premiership and other leagues employ is a bit misleading. That’s like the Yankees including all of their minor league players as ‘pro atheletes’
    Most of the players below the Championship make really awful money and usually have to take second jobs to stay afloat. That average salary number is padded by the likes of Frank Lampard who make $150,000 per WEEK.
    Top earners in League One are lucky to earn 50k. Below that level cut that number in half again.

    Otherwise, a good article.

  30. Calmentor says:

    nytimes published piece today about NFL concussions, helmets etc.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/sports/football/27concussion.html?_r=1&hp

    more bad news for NFL heads.

  31. Shane says:

    @papa bear

    “Most of the players below the Championship make really awful money and usually have to take second jobs to stay afloat. That average salary number is padded by the likes of Frank Lampard who make $150,000 per WEEK.
    Top earners in League One are lucky to earn 50k. Below that level cut that number in half again.”

    Are you serious? This shows your complete lack of knowledge and ignorance of the English game. The average wage for League One soccer players (one league below Championship) will be around £4,000 a week ($6,000) and League Two will be an average of £1,500 a week ($2,500). Even the league below that, the Conference, are still full time professionals. Nobody in the Championship, League One, League Two have second jobs. Top earners in League One will make $450,000 a year. It isnt awful money at all. Make sure you know what you are talking about before posting ridiculous comments

  32. Bob says:

    Great thoughts on Soccer in the USA but the idea that soccer will “catch on” here is wrong. It won’t. Not becuase the play is bad, it’s not bad. It just gets bad when the kids who were well coached go to college and get training by football coaches or other knuckleheads who haven’t played the game. College soccer is predominantly big guys who kick the ball hard down the field for the fast guys to chase. Kids who can play well are not recruited by colleges because they don’t fit the mold. tackling is really hard – borderline illegal- there are no tactics, no build up, and no flow to the games. It sucks. That’s why the majority of the players on the US national team either never played college soccer or bailed after a year or so. I’m not sure but it might be no college players in the National team. Maybe that’s why the team has done ok.
    If our hopes for the future of US soccer hang on the performance of the young men playing college soccer today we’re screwed. That game isn’t FIFA sanctioned or officiated and when those boys get to international play it will be a disaster.

    There are good players here in the USA. College soccer damages them to the point that they are not able to play internationally. I’d bet we never see top international players who played college soccer in the USA.

    Worse yet is the trade embargo practiced by european soccer federations. Can’t play soccer in England without miltiple appearances with the USA National team. Most English players can’t make the England team but they play. Only 30 or so Spanish players can make the Spain team but NO AMERICAN can play there without multiple appearances on the USA national team. Spanish, Italian, English, or whatever players are welcome here but can our players go to those countries? Emphatic no is the answer. Wouldn’t want the largest pool of affluent, well fed, well trained athletes in the world to have access to the training and tools to succeed. The European federations are wiser than we. They blockade american athletes so we’re stuck playing college soccer in the USA which as already discribed blows.

    The solution? there isn’t one. As long as we American soccer fans are unable to dislodge sunil Gulati as the head of US soccer we go nowhere. As long as we are willing to allow the trade protectionist practices to continue in europe we will not progress. The kids today take the biggest knock. There is no path upward for them. it’s either stop after highschool or work really hard to let poorly done college soccer poison their game. There is no effective path to Europe. By the time you make enough appearances with the USA team to get a work permit in europe you’re too old and the pressure to perform is too high to have a real chance. Sure, Dempsey is going great guns in England, goal keepers are there too, but no real influx of talent. No improvement in play. Landon is not the great hope. He’s certainly not “the best player in America” by any means. That player is in a youth league somewhere in the western half of the USA and I’ll bet he quits! unless he has a rich dad who can make donations to US Soccer. Sad State

  33. Anonymous says:

    You guys gave Ibrahimovic credit for the gorgeous back heel bycicle kick, but it was actually van der Vaart who scored that goal.

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  37. Adam says:

    We miss Jozy at Hull City he was funny

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