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As a footballing nation, We are in big trouble, IMHO !!!

It the talent pool WE produce can only get playing time at Randers, no not Rangers, Randers, in Denmark & The likes of Shelbourne FC in Ireland, for example, WE will never be able to realize OUR dream of winning a World Cup, at least not in my lifetime.

Playing in Eorope may be a dream, but I would hope it means more than playing in the lower leagues of Sweden, Denmark, Germany & Ireland, which amounts to playing weekend ball in the park with friends, IMHO. This is not the way to develope talent capable of winning the World Championship, IMO.

FIFA views US(A) as a 2nd rate footballing nation, and has assigned us thus in the rankings, making it very difficult for any of our playes without consistant senior team appearances to make it to any of the "major teams" in Europe.

That said, it appears that only Jozy Altidore will attract any attention from any of the major clubs in Europe anyway. Yet We read all the time about how many clubs are setting up academies in the US(A) in an effort to mine the yet barron wastlands that is the US Soccer scene. Let's hope that they have a better time of it than the current set ups (MLS & A-League) in developing talent.

WE will forever be a 2nd rate footballing nation 'till WE create a more competetive footballing environment in which WE develope OUR player pool. Football 24-7 is the only answer.
 

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As a footballing nation, We are in big trouble, IMHO !!!

It the talent pool WE produce can only get playing time at Randers, no not Rangers, Randers, in Denmark & The likes of Shelbourne FC in Ireland, for example, WE will never be able to realize OUR dream of winning a World Cup, at least not in my lifetime.

Playing in Eorope may be a dream, but I would hope it means more than playing in the lower leagues of Sweden, Denmark, Germany & Ireland, which amounts to playing weekend ball in the park with friends, IMHO. This is not the way to develope talent capable of winning the World Championship, IMO.

FIFA views US(A) as a 2nd rate footballing nation, and has assigned us thus in the rankings, making it very difficult for any of our playes without consistant senior team appearances to make it to any of the "major teams" in Europe.

That said, it appears that only Jozy Altidore will attract any attention from any of the major clubs in Europe anyway. Yet We read all the time about how many clubs are setting up academies in the US(A) in an effort to mine the yet barron wastlands that is the US Soccer scene. Let's hope that they have a better time of it than the current set ups (MLS & A-League) in developing talent.

WE will forever be a 2nd rate footballing nation 'till WE create a more competetive footballing environment in which WE develope OUR player pool. Football 24-7 is the only answer.
You make some fair points, but I also think you are being a little too hard on us. The players at Randers, Shelbourne, etc., very few of them were ever going to get close to the NT or ever had the potential to. On the flipside, many of those players are also very young and have much time to develop in less high-pressure environments. Many good players have come out of Scandanavian clubs and gone on to great things.

Also, we have more than just Altidore involved in the European big club picture. Bradley is lighting it up at Heerenveen and is surely attracting some attention from bigger clubs. The only teams in Holland bigger than Heerenveen are Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, and perhaps AZ. Freddy Adu hasn't seen alot of playing time at Benfica, but he is still a great talent. I can't say much about Arguez's playing, but he must be doing something right to earn a move from the MLS to Hertha despite not playing a single senior MLS game. Ferrari is still developing at Samp and Guzan looks to be the next great US goalkeeper, continuing an excellent tradition. Our U20 looked good at the World Cup last summer, I think that although we cannot really compare to the talent production of the top class footballing nations, we're doing pretty well for ourself consdering most of the nation's best young athletes don't even give soccer a second thought. I think we can do pretty well for ourselves in the future. We may not be able to win the World Cup anytime soon, but we can certainly produce the caliber of players that can put out a respectable showing.

As for being a second-rate footballing nation, I don't know. We're certainly not any of the big European or South American teams, but we can definitely mix it with the teams below them, so in that sense, yes I guess we are second-rate (though that has negative connotations, second-tier sounds a bit better to me). Its a matter of time. Everyone was excited about our youth last year, and now people are wondering why they aren't immediately developing or moving off to big leagues, and the truth of the matter is, it's not going to be an instant change. I think its still too early to pass judgement on our current youth crop and state of affairs. Maybe after South Africa we can make a judgement on where these players are. For me, our state of affairs is more or less the same it has been for the past few years. Decent, but could always be better.
 

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I think it's pretty obvious we are a second-rate footballing nation. We certainly aren't first-rate, that's for sure. If we were, we would be putting ourselves on the same pedestal as Italy and Brazil. We are second-rate right now without a doubt; no reason to hide the fact.
 
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