June 9, 2010

U.S. World Cup soccer team demographics

Corrected: There are 23 players on the U.S. World Cup soccer team. Allocating partial shares by parent's ancestry (e.g., Jonathan Bornstein is half white and half Hispanic), by my calculations, the team is 57% non-Hispanic white (13.0 players), 33% black (7.5), and 11% Hispanic (2.5).

This is pretty similar to the demographics of the squad in 2006. I think there were about 2.5 Hispanics and 6 blacks. So, the USA team has been getting blacker but not more Hispanic. Hispanics have been underrepresented on the last two World Cup teams versus their share of the U.S. population, which is pretty interesting.

Blacks are quite heavily represented, considering how few African-Americans show much interest in soccer. Of the 7.5 blacks, two have African last names, one is of Haitian descent, two have ancestors from Trinidad, and another from Jamaica.

The foreign-born make up 9% (2), which is less than I expected. All four players who have whole or part Hispanic background are American-born. The immigrants are a Scotsman and a half-Jewish Brazilian. More than a few players appear to have foreign-born parents.

Quibbles:

- I'm counting the son of Haitians as black, not Hispanic (I assume that Hispanic has to have something to do with Spain).

- I'm counting the guy born in Rio de Janeiro, Benny Feilhaber, who has a Jewish father from Europe and a Brazilian mother, as non-Hispanic white on the grounds that Brazil is not a Spanish-speaking culture.

- I have Clint Dempsey down as unmixed white because that's what he's implied to be in articles, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's not exactly true.

By the way, here's an excerpt from my 2006 American Conservative article on the World Cup, "One People, One World, One Sport:"
Soccer is by no means a bad sport to play. It’s fun, good exercise, cheap, and, unlike basketball or football, it doesn’t help to be 7-feet tall or 300 pounds. In fact, soccer shares many virtues with hiking, but there are no hiking hooligans and nobody calls you a nativist boor if you don’t watch Sweden v. Paraguay on TV in the World Hiking Cup.

The American professional classes have learned that soccer is a terrific game for small children. In comparison, tee-ball generates farce, while Little League baseball inflicts humiliation on rightfielders who drop fly balls, strike out, and get picked off. (Not that I’m bitter or anything.) Via random Brownian motion, a soccer team of tykes is almost guaranteed to stumble into a few goals. (That’s why college robot-building competitions typically feature soccer matches.) When my five-year-old would trot off the field after one of his AYSO games, which he spent discussing the Power Rangers with his opponents while occasionally swiping at the ball as it rolled past, he’d brightly inquire, “Did we win? How many goals did I score?”

To us Americans, a kids’ soccer game doesn’t look all that different from the endlessly ineffectual endeavors of the scoreless 1994 Brazil-Italy World Cup final in the Rose Bowl. Similarly, because we can’t recognize quality soccer, we’re as happy to root for our women as our men. We were ecstatic over America’s victory in the 1999 Women’s World Cup of soccer. We’d beaten the world! When cynics pointed out that the world, other than China and Norway, doesn’t much care about women’s soccer, well, that just made us even prouder of how liberated our women are, compared to those poor, oppressed women of Paris, Milan, and London, whose consciousnesses haven’t been raised enough to want to trade in their Manolo Blahniks for soccer spikes.
  

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lusitanic?

Anonymous said...

Steve, thanks for the ethnic breakdown of the Nats.

However, your knowledge about the game of soccer, either as a sport to play or as a spectator sport, sucks.

Four years later, and you have nothing new to say, and obviously haven't learned anything.

Why not stick to writing about topics you actually know something about?

Or get a cable/satellite subscription to Fox Soccer Channel and follow the Premier League for a year.

You might learn something - there's always a chance if you make the effort.

Steve Sailer said...

"Or get a cable/satellite subscription to Fox Soccer Channel and follow the Premier League for a year."

But, then, when would I have time to watch the World Hiking Cup?

Howard Hughes said...

Steve,
Something that might interest you: English football [soccer] star Frank Lampard has tested around 150 on an IQ-test.

[url]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/4940708/Frank-Lampard-has-higher-IQ-than-Carol-Vorderman.html[/url]

I'm not sure how important g is in the game. Surely higher than basketball, but probably not on the same level as American football or hockey.

Anonymous said...

Torres' mother's maiden name is Mezzell, which gets me absolutely nowhere as far as identifying her ethnic background. But I have a feeling someone here can help.

AmericanGoy said...

A quick recap of American centric sports:

American handball - a game played by incredibly obese, out of shape "athletes" who must take an extended time out after every play to rest and to listen to the coaches (as in multiple men) tell them what to do on the next play.

Perhaps the most overcoached sport in the world.

Basketball - a sport for really tall freaks of nature. It's like a visit to old style human zoo, except the tickets are much more expensive for some reason.

"Step right up, ladies and gents, and see these incredible freaks of nature! Step right up!".


Baseball - A sport played by steroid abuses. The funniest season of this "sport" was the homerun race (after the strike I guess) where the league allowed steroids into the game to break home run records and raise the "excitement".

Compare a picture of a typical Dominican Republic male and Sammy Sosa who literally ballooned to really freakish dimensions.

Most Europeans would rather watch the paint dry than watch an hour of baseball.


One thing these sports share is breaks in plays/action to allow for TV commercials. Basketball is quite ridiculous as the last minute of a match takes roughly 10 minutes real time with all the time outs and overcoaching of balding white men strategizing with some gang bangers.


It is a curiosity that a native American will laugh at "soccer" and then in one sentence breathlessly tell one that baseball is much more exciting.

It explains a lot of the power of the media over the populace and the (voluntary, accepted happily) delusions that an American accepts as truisms ("We're number 1 - in EVERYTHING!").


Have a great world cup everyone!

On a more serious note, I shudder at the vuvuzelas. These are the overly loud, overly obnoxious horns that destroy the atmosphere and literally deafen (as in affect people for the rest of their lives) the spectators in the stadia.

Hopefully TV technicians will find ways to mute them off...

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should stick to writing about sports you know? (which is what anyway? your football knowledge seems limited to a man crush on some white running back who will inevitably flop in the NFL)

Couchscientist said...

Why the under representation? Too short/slow? How are they repped in other sports? Very few in football, basketball . Well repped in baseball, lighter weight boxing. Soccer is their big deal though. Cultural/ economic? Young American Hispanics work instead of train for sports that don't put tacos on the table for years?

Reg C├Žsar said...

I'm not sure how important g is in the game. Surely higher than basketball... -- Howard Hughes

Arthur Jensen once suggested that professional basketball had an IQ floor of about 85. It would be fun to speculate on similar floors of other sports-- or positions within sports.

...Frank Lampard has tested around 150 on an IQ-test. --HH

On the other hand, John Derbyshire has repeated the claim that soccer, or at least heading the ball, lowers your IQ. So soccer joins boxing among the few sports that (to borrow Fred Reed's word) "enstupidates" its practitioners. Perhaps Mr Lampard started out with an IQ of 165.

Jack said...

Why is IQ for soccer necessarily higher than that required for basketball?

Anonymous said...

- Torres' mom is super euro looking plus she learned Spanish as an adult so I think Torres should be split half and half

- Roman Hispania referred to the area that covers both Spain and Portugal so Feilhaber should be split too

- I think your black count is off. I'm guessing Robbie Findley's name threw you off. Findley is totally black

Steve Sailer said...

"Torres' mom is super euro ..."

Thanks.

"I think your black count is off. I'm guessing Robbie Findley's name threw you off. Findley is totally black"

Thanks. I went back and saw I had made a stupid typo, putting DaMarcus Beasley, of all people, in the wrong column. Findley, by the way, is much blacker than his NBA cousin Mike Bibby.

I'll put the corrected figures in my post.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Brian Ching?

Howard Hughes said...

Jack,
I'm no basketball expert, but, at least nowadays, it seems to focus more on individual athleticism than tactics & strategy. Also, blacks being so dominant in it do suggest that g isn't that much of an advantage.

Steve Sailer said...

"What happened to Brian Ching?"

The part Asian part white Hawaiian made the preliminary World Cup team but not the 23 man final roster.

"Aside from soccer, Ching is also an avid surfer, and lists Superman as his favorite superhero. Ching also likes to read and play golf."

Sounds like he has a nice life, other than not making the final cut.

Fred said...

"Arthur Jensen once suggested that professional basketball had an IQ floor of about 85."

Probably higher than that. The game requires high speed coordination and quick decisions.

Nick said...

Though no doubt better than other sports, there is still room for a fair amount of embarrassment in kiddie soccer.

To wit: I remember my first little kid rec league soccer game. I was maybe 7 years old at the time and, thru some sort of scheduling snafu we ended up on the field with a girls team that had to be about 4 years older than us. For some reason they let us play.

It was horrifying. I was the goalkeeper. I couldn't kick the ball out of the defensive zone, nor could my defenders be expected to do anything intelligent or effectual. I was under constant assault, in terrified awe of the mighty amazon women who swarmed about me. How they pranced and whinnied as they scored goal after goal. We lost 6-1.

To this day I prefer my women be of average height or shorter.

Ross said...

"John Derbyshire has repeated the claim that soccer, or at least heading the ball, lowers your IQ. "

Modern balls are a lot lighter than the ones they previously used, so it might not be true anymore. That's why a number of players from the 60s and 70s died of degenerative brain diseases.

Graham Asher said...

Steve, mate, they're right - don't bother with this subject. You're a great man, but it's not your forte and it shows.

Good luck for tomorrow, by the way. Of course I hope we win, but good luck anyway.

Anonymous said...

The demographics of the American team aside, the soccer does seem unique in bringing together people from the widest demographic in the world: Europeans, Asians, Latin Americans, Middle Easterners and Africans.

The only ethnic groups that don't appear to participate are those which generally aren't competitive in any major sports like India or Indonesia, or the Philippines. What sports are popular in Israel?

Soccer is a unique globalized sport for American elites and SWPL to promote. Yet, beyond the AYSO level, few defect from our nativist American sports of football, baseball and basketball.

More than anything else, it shows the strength of culture over a people and their perceptions.

Anonymous said...

"We lost 6-1."

Ah, but in Ottawa, Canada, you would have won. What a profoundly homosexual country I live in and it's no wonder we're rated 90th or whatever in soccer. Except in women's soccer, where our lesbians are top 5 rated because women in other country are busy being feminine instead of trying really hard to be men.

Remember what I keep telling you guys: Obama's end game is to turn America into Canada. Note how the talking heads in America are imploring Obama not to actually do anything about the oil spill, but rather show empathy. Gay. And then there was the blown perfect game call; women just don't seem to get the concept of rules and regulations, preferring instead for everyone to be warm and fuzzy.

josh said...

"Or get a cable/satellite subscription to Fox Soccer Channel and follow the Premier League for a year."


Fox Soccer plus features Rugby, which is actually pretty awesome.

ATBOTL said...

"However, your knowledge about the game of soccer, either as a sport to play or as a spectator sport, sucks."

True. Steve came up with some crazy theory that soccer's offsides rules took away the advantage in speed that black players have. This is the exact opposite of the truth. The off side rule makes speed more valuable for attackers, because they must beat the defenders in a race for the ball starting from the same place or further away as the defender. Without the off side rule, attackers would just stand around by the goal the whole game.

Anonymous said...

While Brazilians may not count as "Hispanic", I believe they can be labeled "Latino", since Portuguese is a Latin-derived language that is very similar to Spanish and the Brazilians are culturally similar to their Hispanic neighbors.

Perhaps Haitians are "Latino" too, since their language is a bastardized form of French.

Anonymous said...

No Freddy Adu? I recall this guy getting quite a bit of hype a few years ago, and how his prodigous rise and inevitable domination would finally get Americans excited about soccer. Did he bust or is it too early for that call?

Anonymous said...

One interesting thing to soccer's credit: soccer players appear to have the best physiques, achieved without weightlifting or calisthenic training. They appear to get this physique simply by playing the game.

Lacrosse players have similar physiques. Both sports involve a lot of short sprinting and hard running, with major muscle group rotation and exertion. Both sports are increasingly popular with girls and women. A good thing. Women should pursue these sports, even if just at the amateur level. Will keep them in shape and looking nice.

Nanonymous said...

Re: Lampard's IQ.

Doesn't surprise me. He is known to have done very well in school. And his game always struck me as very intelligent. He is a midfielder, and the midfield is a position where IQ requirements are probably highest (next would be goalie, IMO). E.g., midfield is where you will find whites on a French soccer team. Also, I'd bet that majority of Brazil's whites are midfielders.

Gc said...

"Perhaps Mr Lampard started out with an IQ of 165."

And what are to odds of that? Playing the ball with your head doesn`t hurt if it has enough air and you don`t take it on your face. Maybe Derbyshire meant the situations when two heads accidentally collide. But overall soccer is obviously much better to your brains than hockey or american football, not to mention even modern amateur boxing, from which you can survive just fine.

poolside said...

Steve, at the youth club level, most Latinos traditionally self-segregated and formed independent teams that are coached by dads speaking Spanish.

This is because most youth club trainers in the U.S. are British, and Latinos don't want any English bloke training their sons.

Being independent, however, makes it difficult for these players to achieve the same level of visibility that the kids from the big clubs get. So in the past, they were often overlooked when it came to the US national team development program.

However, that is changing.

The white folks running the clubs assume that the reason Latinos won't play is because they can't afford the fees. So they offer all kinds of scholarships and freebies to entice them. And that seems to be working.

Interestingly enough, at many youth clubs, the girls side -- 95 percent white -- totally subsidizes the boys side, which increasingly consists of Latinos getting a free ride.

In my area, more than one big youth club has been forced to disband when the white girls' parents finally refused to keep funding the gravy train.

But the end result of this recruitment effort is an increased number of Latino boys participating in the traditional structure of U.S. youth soccer.

In fact, if you look at the Olympic Development Program (ODP) regional all-star teams, you see lots of Latino names on the boys side.

In other words, it's just a matter of time before the USMNT is all black/Latino.

Anonymous said...

Most Europeans would rather watch the paint dry than watch an hour of baseball.

I recently painted my fence. By municipal ordinance such fences may only be six feet high - my six foot fence is fourteen feet high.

Sorry for the digression. Back to paint.

Redwood weathers to an attractive gray if you're lucky. I couldn't wait. I made up a custom hand rubbed stain. That was ten years ago. This year I just bought a commercial gray fence and deck product and slapped it on.

Part of the wood had lost its stain and had turned gray naturally, part was still gray where the stain hadn't worn off, and the low parts that I painted first before I got out the ladders was a dry gray.

So you won't be surprised to learn that I did indeed watch my paint dry. I checked it every couple hours as the paint dried and the light changed.

Baseball is best experienced live at the ball park. It isn't much when watched on TV. Baseball means crowds, sun in your eyes, cool breezes, and beer. And O yes that stuff going on on the field. An afternoon at a ball park can be magical. That's why as Kevin Costner and Robert Redford understood so well, people love a supernatural baseball movie.

Albertosaurus

TD said...

"I have Clint Dempsey down as unmixed white because that's what he's implied to be in articles, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's not exactly true."

As someone who's followed his career for years, I've never seen any reason to think he's anything more than your basic rural white Texan.

It wouldn't surprise me if there's some American Indian buried deep in there somewhere -- just something about his features -- but if you're wondering about possible Hispanic heritage or whatnot, that doesn't seem to be the case.

In fact, a key part of Dempsey's story is that he was this crazy trailer-trash white kid who had the balls to play in the Hispanic leagues around his neck of the woods -- and to do it with Latin-style skill and flair. He still likes telling the story of the adult Mexican player who spit in his face and whined about Dempsey "doing all those fancy tricks."

ESPN2 is running a piece at 6:30 tonight (Thursday) on Dempsey's upbringing, and delves into some of this stuff.

I find him the most fascinating of the U.S. players, actually. He's a chip-on-the-shoulder white Texan with a hip-hop street attitude and Latin flair who plays in the English Premier League. Kind of a neat guy, and exactly what U.S. soccer needs.

Matra said...

On a more serious note, I shudder at the vuvuzelas. These are the overly loud, overly obnoxious horns that destroy the atmosphere and literally deafen (as in affect people for the rest of their lives) the spectators in the stadia.

Hopefully TV technicians will find ways to mute them off...


Racist!!! LOL

During last year's Confederation's Cup held in SA, the vuvuzela controversy led to accusations of racism directed at complaining Europeans. A quick google search involving the words 'vuvuzela' and 'racist' will show tens of thousands of results including many from soccer forums with posters saying things like "I'm not racist but I can't stand the vuvuzela". Needless to say the vuvuzela is usually absent from cricket and rugby matches in SA as they attract a different demographic.

Bruce Banned said...

Steve, Feilhaber is 100 % Jewish according to the online bios I've perused. (jewish Brazilians from Central Europe).
As for his classification, I've come up with this: Non-hispanic Latin-American White. Brazil is a non hispanic part of Latin America, right? You could throw in "non-gentile" for fun too.
Haitians are trickier: non-hispanic latin american Blacks? (or is it African -americans?) I'm getting confused.

josh said...

Good God!On the day after the Hawks have won the Stanley Cup(after a 49 yr drought) we gotta talk about a lame sport like soccer!? Not that i was all that big a fan,as opposed to my childhod self who was A FANATICAL HAWKS FAN!! It was Bobby Hull's rookie year,and how ironic that it would be the one time the Golden Jet would play for a winning Hawk team. I recall a story about him that surfaced not too long ago,about how he banged some broad in Norway or someplace during a game there,in the 50's. That stuff went on back then?? OH!yeah,the World Cup. I dont care in the least.You wouldnt see me going to SA for all the tea in China!!

SF said...

OT, Steve, you should have run for Sup. of Public Instruction. Unlike Mickey Kaus' race, there was no incumbent, and not one candidate willing to say that the achievement gap is largely genetic and will always be with us. I didn't see any candidates willing to endorse more expulsions to remove distractions from the classroom, and not one willing to point out the huge savings that could be gained if the state withdrew from its agreement not to enforce prop 187 and sought a Supreme Court reversal of Phyler vs Doe.

Anonymous said...

Sailer wonders why Hispanics are so underrepresented and why blacks underrepresented.

The answer is that American soccer coaches and scouts (most likely influenced by American sports like football and basketball) look for the best athletes, the kids who are naturally big, strong, and quick. These are generally black kids. Hispanic kids by contrast are generally smaller and slower, and worse athletes.

In American sports (except baseball) the most important thing is being naturally athletic and having the right body type. Actual skill in basketball or football is something that can be taught, what is important is being big, strong, fast and able to jump high. Hence why players like Dikembe Mutombo or Hakeem Olajuwon were great basketball stars despite never playing as kids. In football a guy like Antonio Gates can not play any football in college, but because he's big and can jump he can be taught to play and become one of the best tight ends in history.


In soccer by contrast being athletic is an asset but far more important is what Europeans can technical ability, the ability to use your feet to make a ball do what you want. Obviously because of the way humans are designed this is a rare skill, but one that can be developed to some degree if practiced constantly in childhood. Ruud Gulit the great Netherlands player said technical ability stops developing at 15. So if a player doesn't have it then he'll never have it. And if a player does have great technical ability it really doesn't matter how great of an athlete you are. Paul Scholes, the manchester united midfielder is a short slow asthmatic. But because he can make a ball go where he wants it with his feet he's one of the greatest players in Europe.

I think soccer coaches and scouts because they are American, and are influenced by American culture tend to think about soccer as if it were football and basketball. They see a guy like Jozy Altidore who is big, strong and quick and think he can be a good soccer player if he is taught the game. By contrast they see a short slight hispanic player who has technical ability and think he doesn't have the build or speed to play (look at jose torres who never got called into any American youth teams or scouted by American colleges). Similarly European nations have academies where players are judged on practices where one can see how their technical ability is developing, but American kids are largely judged on games, where an athletic kid can dominate when playing against unskilled players.

This would be the same reason America has developed so few soccer players despite having a professional league, a collegiate system, the game being widely played (there's a reason the term is soccer moms) and above all an enormous population. American soccer players lack technical ability in nearly all cases, with altidore and robbie findley being excellent examples. Hence why they are so unsuccessful in European leagues. (Altidore scored one goal in 20 games this year, a good striker has a rate of one goal every two games). If you compare America to Sweden, America has 30 times the population, but has never produced players like Ibrahimovich, larrson or lundjberg.

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks. That makes sense.

Now, why is Mexico a perpetual underachiever in the World Cup compared to Argentina, a country with the same per capita GDP and 1/3 as many people?

You'd also think that living and training at fairly high altitude would give Mexicans an advantage. They've sensibly tried to exploit that by playing a fast-paced game, but their overall performance has been mediocre.

Anonymous said...

"Now, why is Mexico a perpetual underachiever in the World Cup compared to Argentina, a country with the same per capita GDP and 1/3 as many people?"

Argentina has also produced much better basketball players. Hmm...

Howard Hughes said...

ATBOTL: Yeah, but blacks aren't that fast the first 10-30 meters of a race. Since football players generally doesn't have to sprint for 100-200 meters, blacks speed is not as useful as one may think.

Anonymous said...

this site has more World Cup 2010 soccer demographics
http://www.quantumofsport.com/2010/05/world-cup-2010-demographics.html

Position
Average age
Average height / m
Average weight / kg
Goalkeeper
28.5
1.88
83.6
Defender
27.8
1.82
77.2
Midfielder
27.2
1.79
74.4
Striker
26.9
1.81
76.3

The more defensive players are more experienced which suggests those positions require more careful thinking about positioning and what to do with the ball when you get it. The further toward the opposition goal you get the more simple the game becomes: shoot! - hence younger, more athletic players.

The defensive players are also taller and heavier. Frank Lampard being a smart, tall midfielder is an anomaly, although Brazil's 6'1 midfielder Kaka is extremely intelligent... his dad was a civil engineer.

Frank Lampard is exceptionally tall for a midfielder - at 1.84m he is taller than the average defender. Too tall, I still think, to win at the highest level outside England (i.e. World Cup, European Champions League) where he is effectively a second striker (one of the highest scorers in the Premier League this year from midfield). I had always thought he had more smarts than natural talent, and had awkward technique. His slightly shorter six-foot England midfield rival Steven Gerrard is more powerful, strikes the ball cleaner and has slightly better technique (youtube it). In fact Gerrard is now England team captain. Never knew Lampard had genius level IQ but that probably explains how he overcame the disadvantage of his height and lack of natural skill to be a great player. Frank Lampard is also the nephew of the Premier League football manager Harry Redknapp.

Anonymous said...

Why does Mexico underachieve? They think 5'9" is an appropriate size for an international goalkeeper.

Truth said...

"They see a short slight hispanic player who has technical ability and think he doesn't have the build or speed to play (look at jose torres who never got called into any American youth teams or scouted by American colleges)...And if a player does have great technical ability it really doesn't matter how great of an athlete you are."

This of course explains all of those world cup trophies lined up in the Honduran, Guatemalan, Salvadorian, and Mexican Sports Museums.

"although Brazil's 6'1 midfielder Kaka is extremely intelligent... his dad was a civil engineer."

What if, hypothetically, Kaka's mom AND dad both had Ivy league PHD's; would that automatically make him "extremely intelligent?"

Bill said...

Howard Hughes said...
ATBOTL: Yeah, but blacks aren't that fast the first 10-30 meters of a race. Since football players generally doesn't have to sprint for 100-200 meters, blacks speed is not as useful as one may think.

Yeah, blacks really suck at the 40 yard dash.

Howard Hughes said...

Whatever, they still aren't the fastest in just 10 meters. And it's a lot more important to be fast in the first 10 than to be fast during 40.

Anonymous said...

Truth:

I think you misconstrued what I wrote. But considering the size of Honduras or El Salvador (and the size poverty, and ethnic strife problems of Guatemala) its unreasonable to think that they'd ever be able to win a world cup, were talking about countries that are smaller than New York city.

My point is not that hispanic soccer players have technical ability which other soccer players don't have, its that technical ability is something that has to be developed young and practiced by constantly kicking a ball around, it can't simply be taught to a big strong and quick 16 year old, the way basketball or football can. The soccer playing kids who would most likely to develop that technical skill would be ones who grew up with the game, like either Hispanic, or 1st generation European and African immigrant kids.

If you look at American players who have technical ability your talking about a small group, I would say Dempsey who played in semi-pro mexican leagues as a kid, and Reyna whose father played professionally in Argentina.

Regarding Honduras it should be noted that there are currently 3 outfield Hondurans starting in the English premier league (the world's best league). There are also 3 American outfield players currently starting in the premier league, Dempsey, Altidore, and Spector, with both Altidore and Spector performing poorly. 4 if you want to count Donovan's month at Everton. Considering that Honduras has 7 million people and the US has 300 million you can't say the US doesn't have problems developing players.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Lampard, height is not a disadvantage, for a midfielder. Lampard's shorter than Patrick Viera or Michael Ballack and of similar height to Zidane. Generally in soccer height is useful for central defenders and a "target man" striker, but other than that players can be tall or short, the most important thing is they can use their feet. Hence most players are of average height, but some like Viera are notably tall, while others like maradonna or Scholes are notably short.

Also considering Kaka speaks 4 languages I'd imagine he's pretty smart.

BamaGirl said...

"ATBOTL: Yeah, but blacks aren't that fast the first 10-30 meters of a race. Since football players generally doesn't have to sprint for 100-200 meters, blacks speed is not as useful as one may think."

Howard Hughes, any evidence for this? If anything its the opposite of what you stated.. I've never once heard (or seen in the numerous track practices/meets I participated in a few years back) that blacks are slower under 100 meters. Their fast twitch muscles are what give them most of their advantage in sprinting, and those muscles would also provide the same advantage when taking off in short bursts.

Anonymous said...

What if, hypothetically, Kaka's mom AND dad both had Ivy league PHD's; would that automatically make him "extremely intelligent?"

I perhaps could have phrased that better. He is extremely intelligent and his dad is a civil engineer.

Good spatial intelligence is useful for may positions in football, particularly central midfield. Perhaps that's why the Danish football team (from pop 5m) always seems to be better than the Jewish-Israeli (from pop 7m)?

Anonymous said...

re: Freddy Adu

I've been reading some articles by typing his name into Google News, and it sounds like he is indeed a bust. It'll be hard for him to even reach the Premier League, let alone be a star in it.

Anonymous said...

Ching ... lists Superman as his favorite superhero. Ching also likes to read...

What a nurrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!

Ben Tillman said...

Caught the end of the Uruguay-France game before taking off from Love. How about those white Uruguayans?

And, incidentally, how about the difference between the Texas Southern and Rice campuses? Had a great view on the approach to Hobby.

Anonymous said...

Could the low Hispanic representation perhaps be related to the fact that any good Hispanic player would surely be able to dredge up sufficient ancestry in a real soccer playing country to contend for a place in a serious national team instead?

Just musing.

(I'm English, and suddenly realise that sneering at US soccer - while always easy and fun - could be giving a dangerous hostage to fortune in the run-up to this evening's game. But hey ...)

stari_momak said...

From the LA times report on the US-England game

"Inexplicably, neither of the giant scoreboards at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, just outside Sun City, was working Saturday, making it impossible for anyone in the crowd of 38,647 to keep up with the elapsed time of the game." [my emphasis]

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BerJdS2VJhA

Football is more fun than soccer.

Truth said...

"I think you misconstrued what I wrote..."

Interesting points.

Anonymous said...

"In American sports (except baseball) the most important thing is being naturally athletic and having the right body type. Actual skill in basketball or football is something that can be taught, what is important is being big, strong, fast and able to jump high...
In soccer by contrast being athletic is an asset but far more important is what Europeans can technical ability..."

Clinical insanity in action again? The last time I checked height, weight and BMI values of basketball and football players, they stood farthest from usual values in athletic events, out of all popular sports. In reality, you confuse "athleticism" with "freakism", which are not the same things. The irony is that soccer players - if they are not too small - actually have physiques that are closest to a theoretical most versatile athletic body.