May 27, 2014

U.S. World cup soccer team by ethnicity

While the U.S. women's national soccer team is traditionally extremely white, the U.S. men's World Cup team generally likes to load up on black and part-black athletes (even though not many African-Americans concentrate on soccer), while not being very welcoming of Mexican-American players (even though many do focus on soccer). For example, in 2010 I wrote:
By my calculations, the team is 57% non-Hispanic white (13.0 players), 33% black (7.5), and 11% Hispanic (2.5). 

This pattern is not all that dissimilar to other American professional team sports where blacks and mulattos are over-represented and Indios and mestizos are underrepresented, even though Mexicans and Central Americans have a much stronger soccer culture than African-Americans.

I'm not going to pretend I've got fully scoped out the latest team of 23 players that's just been announced (e.g., veteran World Cup star Clint Dempsey looks kinda black, but that never seems to come up in articles featuring his parents), so I'll defer to your expertise in the comments. So far, I can say that among the three Spanish-surnamed players, Omar Gonzales is of Mexican ancestry (and is 6'5"), Nick Rimando is half-Mexican, half-Filipino, and Alejandro Bedoya is descended from a couple of generations of Colombian soccer players.

The U.S. squad often gets praised by other World Cup coaches for its athleticism. Its results in the World Cup are usually okay but not stellar, about as good as Mexico's.
      

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

this cycle is a bizarre triple-bank shot I-steve wonderfest.
The coach of the US team is a German living legend. He has been criticized, both in the US and abroad, for oddly selecting tons of players with Germanic ties. Objectively, Diskerud and Beckerman aren't "obvious" picks, while the former US Soccer frontman, Landon Donovan, was not selected.
Reasonable minds can suggest Donovan was too old and/or burnt out, but all and sundry have kinda raised an eyebrow or two about Diskerud making the team.
There is a credible narrative suggesting The German went out of his way to select Germanics

Anonymous said...

this year is also very tricky in that it is a near certainty that the US will be knocked out right off the bat.
The World Cup has a big element of luck, teams are randomly assigned "groups" in the beginning and some groups contain relatively weak teams while others contain powerhouses.
The US had the shit luck to draw to play, right off the bat, the 2 best sides in the whole World Cup.
As such, there is a very strong sub current of "since we know that we will lose AND no one will hold it against us, let's use this time to develop the young newcomers. Get them used to the heat and pressure of the WC level. That way,m in 2018, if we have better luck in drawing rivals, we will have players who will have already seen The Big Show".
There are those agitating for putting the best American side forward right now, as we have it, but that's clearly not what's happening. This is a development year

Anonymous said...

Are you counting Fabian Johnson as one of the part black players?

Jason Roberts said...

IIRC, when Klinsmann was providing commentary during the last World Cup, he said the USA needed more Mexicans...on the team.

Steve Sailer said...

"Are you counting Fabian Johnson"

I haven't counted yet. I have readers who know four orders of magnitude more than I know about soccer.

Dave Pinsen said...

Here's Clint Dempsey rapping. He is the highest-paid player in the MLS, though, and a former star over in the English Premier League, so it's hard to question his inclusion on the team. Tim Howard plays in the Premier League, so he's a top tier player too.

The US team did well against Latin American teams in last year's World Cup qualifiers, if memory serves, but having Germany and Portugal in its group at the World Cup will be a challenge.

Anonymous said...

lastly, as you so love to note, Mexicans just aren't that good at soccer.
Most Latinos in the US are of Mexican origin. That's a poor stock to be drawing from.
There's fair points to be made about player development being done outside the Euro leagues and about how that's an over-stated metric, but it's handy and close enough for most purposes. And by that metric, Mexico really only has Hernandez, Guardado and Dos Santos going for it.
As a comparison, Uruguay has Godin, Pereira, Caceres, Coates and arguably the best current player, Suarez.
Uruguay has ~3M people, Mexico ~120M.
And this doesn't even include historical trends. Before Suarez was the best player, Forlan was the best. Forlan, too, was Uruguayan.
Long story short, Mexicans don't add much to a team

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

"One Nation. One Team."

The more they repeat it, the less it's obviously true.

Anonymous said...

as a trend worth noting, many of the 2014 side seem to have been explicitly chosen for their MLS credentials.
Time was, the guy who sat the bench in a 3rd tier Euro team got a slot over a big name Domestic League player.
This year, guys like Beckerman are "go long" bets on the merits of the MLS. Beckerman has been the MLS star player for 4 years in a row. Picking him is a strong vote in favour of the US Domestic teams.
***
Notably, Beckerman is Jewish but does not show up on Wikipedia's list of Jewish Soccer Players
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_footballers
One wonders?

Anonymous said...

Are you counting Fabian Johnson as one of the part black players

Of course he is part black. His father is african-american. His mother is german.

countenance said...

If there is a deliberate effort to engineer the race composition of USMNT for the WC to reflect that of, say, the football team in a high school whose student demographics are 85% white, 14% black and 1% other, it's probably because they don't want to load the team up with Hispanics, so as to prevent the bad PR that soccer is a Hispanic sport, while trying to sell U.S. Soccer to gringos.

Matra said...

Here you go from Sports Illustrated: Declining Mexican influence on USMNT

Anonymous said...

hercules gomez and cherundulo just retired from international competition.

Anonymous said...

I think it's kind of intereting how Michael Bradley is developing into the most talented USA player. Interesting thing to see from the son of the coach Klinsman replaced.

Alot of it just comes down to height. The USA recently fielded a heavily Hispanic team at a international competiton and the Hispanic players lack of height was a huge liability especial for a team like the USA which emphasizes set pieces and long passes.

Interesting message on the roster poster was the person who created it under the impression that the South and the North usually fielded seperate teams.

Superman said...

The US had the shit luck to draw to play, right off the bat, the 2 best sides in the whole World Cup.

Right off the bat, USA plays #22 Ghana. Then, USA plays #3 Germany and #7 Portugal.

(numbers based on oddsmakers)

Anonymous said...

The real tragedy is that the hottest player in the world right now, Gareth Bale of Real Madrid, won't be playing because he represents Wales and Wales will not be playing the World Cup.

Anonymous said...

as per the height posts, there's a lot to this. The US Team's most (commercially) successful players are it's two goalies. Both have gone on to full-on balls-out success in Europe.
A HUGE part of being a Goalie is flat out being tall.
There's some interesting questions as to why the US (over)produces exceptional keepers, but as long as that's the plan, the reality will be the Over 6' crowd will be vital

Anonymous said...

(numbers based on oddsmakers)

hey, man, you want to bet against Ronaldo, be my guest.

Dave Pinsen said...

One of the goalies in the Champions League final on Saturday was 6'6".

Anonymous said...

This just in: soccer, still gay.

Anonymous said...

The US youth national teams have been heavily Latinized these past few years so expect an influx of Latino players in the future Cup cycles.

Anonymous said...

Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones and Deandre Yedlin are all part black. Look it up.

That means the majority of Team USA has african ancestry.

wiseguy said...

Fabian Johnson has a black American father and a German mother. Same with Jermaine Jones, Julian Green, John Brooks, and Timmy Chandler. That means 5 of our 23 players are the sons of black servicemen fathers and German mothers.

wiseguy said...

The obvious implication being that we must keep our military presence in Germany for the sake of our soccer team's patriotic glory. To think otherwise is to be an anti-American traitor.

Anonymous said...

""""""The real tragedy is that the hottest player in the world right now, Gareth Bale of Real Madrid""""""""

STOP. You cad.

MESSI is the best in the world right now at football.

Also, Steve, this issue was raised at the last women's soccer world cup. To compensate for too much whiteness, there is at least one black woman on the team named Sydney LeRoux.

Actually she's part white (on her mom's side) and she's the daughter of a former LA Angels pitcher back in the 80s. She was born in Canada so not sure why that doesn't prevent her from having to play for Canada's national team.

So the Women's National Team has at least one black (or half) and possibly another (also half) named Shannon Boxx unless she retired but then she also has Lupus so if she did retire then the whole squad would defacto be white. Growing up she trained and played youth soccer in Canada so the Canadians would have a right to complain that she's only choosing to play for US to get fame attention etc. By rights, she belongs on the Canadian National Team.

But don't worry, the powers that be are trying real hard to correct this oversight since Jesse and Al have loudly complained.

Can't allow people to think that an all white squad might actually win a major sport.


NOW THEN.

Mark well for all those who think that the NBA is the be all and end all as some were saying a few months ago here.

The World Cup begins next month and will go roughly for about three weeks. The stadium of which the final will be played in can hold nearly 200,000 fans, no telling how many will be turned away due to overcrowding.

More people will watch the World Cup globally than all the NBA finals' ratings for the last 30yrs if not 40yrs.

More people will watch the World Cup in person for the final (nearly 200,000) than some of the worst TV rating markets for the bottom 17 NBA franchises. In other words the final match will draw even or receive slightly higher number of fans in person than what the bottom 17 NBA markets average per season via TV ratings.

So keep dreaming that the NBA is gonna one day surpass soccer globally. Keep dreaming.

It's Messi's world, so don't mess with the Flea!

Silver said...

The Maracana has been renovated and can only hold 78,000 now.

DPG said...

Yes, the new trend is to recruit young German men who are the half-black sons of American serviceman. They're culturally German, so they grew up playing soccer instead of basketball/football (side note: are Germans highly tolerant of miscegenation? These soccer players seem far too common, and the Sting/Heidi Klum relationship also comes to mind).

Klinsmann, being German himself, obviously has an advantage in recruiting these players. Theories abound that Julian Green, a rising prospect for European powerhouse Bayern Munich, declared for the US this year at the age of 18 because Klinsmann secretly agreed to take him to the World Cup this year (Green has played a total of 9 minutes, NINE, for the US national team).

Another wrinkle to consider is that Klinsmann has a contract through the next World Cup. The U.S. has been drawn into an extremely difficult group. Germany is a bone fide favorite to win it all, and Portugal, featuring arguably the best player in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo, are a top 10 team. The U.S. may not win a game. If they hope to advance, they MUST win their first game against Ghana.

All this leads to Klinsmann's exclusion of Landon Donovan, who has been playing well enough to break into the starting lineup, let alone the 23 man roster. He may be a bit older, but the US is simply not that deep talent-wise. Essentially Klinsmann may be punting on this World Cup, bringing three or four of his German prospects along for the ride to give them some experience for when they've developed into full-time players 4 years down the road.

One last note: there tends to be a tradeoff between athleticism and skill (My theory is that this is emerges shortly after puberty. Players who are more athletic tend to learn to rely on that, to their detriment once they get to the professional level and face players who are as athletic as them AND skilled.) The U.S. cannot field a team as skilled and cohesive as Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, so their strategy must be to defend intensely and use their athleticism to score off a counterattack, set piece, or broken play (the US is often praised for their fitness levels, allowing them to play doggedly for the entire 90 minutes). You can see the same pattern at the club level in England. Top clubs tend to deploy as many skilled players as possible in order to control the game, whereas middling clubs will play hard-nosed tacklers to break up the play in the middle of the field, and then have an athletic black guy play up front in the hopes that he can use his speed/athleticism to score a cheap goal.

Lex said...

30-man preliminary World Cup roster:

http://soccer.si.com/2014/05/12/usmnt-world-cup-roster-jurgen-klinsmann/

-------------

Wondolowski is partially Native American.

Dave Pinsen said...

Goldman Sachs's analysis of the upcoming World Cup.

Anonymous said...

When I last lived in Germany ten or so years ago it really depended where you lived. In the East blacks are worse than Turks, in the North they were tolerably outsiders, the Midwest full of German trash and rural kids that found blacks cool, and down south blacks were a way for middle class girls to rebel against their parents. The closer you got to a US military base though the more they were equated with the same level of disrepute as the local Turks.

Alte said...

"There is a credible narrative suggesting The German went out of his way to select Germanics"

Why question genius? It's Fußball. All that matters is that you win.

"That means 5 of our 23 players are the sons of black servicemen fathers and German mothers."

It works out just as well with the sexes reversed, which is why they keep hounding us to put our son in the local Fußball team. My cousin's kids both dominate their German clubs, as well, and one is studying to be a professional coach.

It's not just the black athletic fitness and German club system, it's also the Germanic build (tall, with strong legs) and the way their brains are wired like engineers. It's the holy grail of soccer.

German ideas about interracial marriage don't exactly match American ones, so please don't try to project that onto a foreign culture.

BrokenSymmetry said...

"There is a credible narrative suggesting The German went out of his way to select Germanics"

Jurgen Klansmann

Alte said...

Klinsmann has been all around the world, looking for dual-nationals. It's just so German-heavy because of the huge pool of German-American soccer players, the half-black advantage common to the children of US soldiers (Germany is plastered with US bases), and the fact that German soccer players idolize Klinsmann and would rather play for him than for Lowe.

I doubt it was intentional on his part, but it's only natural.

Alte said...

"Long story short, Mexicans don't add much to a team"

This. There are millions of Mexican-American soccer players and only thousands of German-American ones, and he stacks the younger club with Mexicans, but the end roster gets picked to win. You'll probably see more Mexicans later, as they come up the pipeline, but Germans will be disproportionally represented for a while yet (they're closing bases over here).

Most of the decent M-A players will want to play for Mexico, anyway. Klinsmann and the Stars&Stripes aren't as much of a draw for them.

(Sorry, I meant "Löw".)

John Mansfield said...

Yesterday, U.S. won 2-0 against Azerbaijan. "At San Francisco, the U.S. got goals from second-half substitutes Mix Diskerud in the 75th minute and Aron Johannsson in the 81st. Diskerud was born in Oslo, while Johannsson was born in Mobile, Alabama, and moved to Iceland with his family when he was 3."

Anonymous said...

This "one nation, one team" sloganizing is getting a bit pathetic and desperate, doncha think?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:24, according to SkyBet, every team in Group D is in the oddsmakers' top 15, including the aforementioned Uruguay at 33/1. They show Ghana and the US both at 150/1.

Anon 9:16, aren't there any native-born tall kids to be European soccer goalies? At least as important to being an international soccer goalie is being born and brought up in a culture where the dominant sports call for using your hands and athletic American kids spend a lot of time catching things and developing hand-to-eye coordination. Which is why the first Americans to crack the elite Euro leagues were goalies.

Anonymous said...

tim howard's half hungarian half black.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Howard

he was the guy who called out the Gold Cup organizers, and good for him!

http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/06/28/tim-howard-its-a-f-disgrace-that-entire-gold-cup-post-match-ceremony-conducted-in-spanish/

Anonymous said...

all the german players on the U.S. squad are black (or half black), thanks to U.S. bases in germany

Anonymous said...

Soccer is a sport that favors first and foremost skill, and tactical and strategic thinking. While speed, especially starting speed, is very important, so is strength, middle-distance endurance and extreme fitness.
This favors white or partly African genetic background. No African or Asian team has ever even come close to winning the World Cup, and none probably ever will. Africans lack organization and either endurance (West) or speed (East). Asians have a lot of cohesion and endurance, but lack stature and skill. (Of all the billions of Asians, only a few have made it to the highest levels of soccer, with no real worldwide stars whatsoever).

The book "Soccernomics" a few years ago typically tried to argue that the richer and more populous the country was, and the closer to the "intellectual center of soccer", the more successful it was. However, smallish European and white Latin American countries, such as Holland, Portugal (and now Belgium) have been way better than one would predict based on this "formula". They typically are predominantly white with a few black or partly black players players from the colonies. While populous and rich Asian countries have underperformed. Two of the Latin American powerhouses (Argentina and Uruguay) are white, while Brazil is mixed, usually some shade of brown, but also with very notable purely white or black players.

As a counterpoint, the rich, populous country in the middle of the soccer power center - France - experimented with fielding a nearly all-black team in the last WC. It disintegrated because of internal and on-field squabbles and left the WC with a tail between its legs.

In any case, to the topic at hand, the current US NT reflects the racial mix needed to succeed in soccer: sturdy, tall, predominantly white with some black or mixed-race players. Unfortunately, their skill level and tactical organization isn't nearly high enough to overcome the likes of Germany or Portugal (though in one match anything can happen, as the US has beaten Portugal in the past).

The German GI Joe babies have some of German build (most of the German team is typically over 6 brawny feet tall), tactical thinking and skill, and West African speed - a good combination. Alas, despite this, Klinsmann is picking from German NT rejects or those who were never going to make the team.

Btw, possibly the best American player, NJ-born-and-bred Rossi, is playing for Italy.





Anonymous said...

so as to prevent the bad PR that soccer is a Hispanic sport, while trying to sell U.S. Soccer to gringos.

dude, the only way you can sell soccer to gringos is thru winning and performance at the world cup. latinos dont matter in this equation.

Hunsdon said...

Broken Symmetry said: Jurgen Klansmann

Hunsdon said: That's a good one.

Anonymous said...

Usually the white kids play soccer more than Hispanics since they can afford the soccer mom lifestyle but in California Lacross is replaying Soccer among whites. So, maybe that explains for blacks in the sport. Blacks are over represented in most sports except the white dominated sport of swimming. In California whites still dominated swimming with Asians in second place.

poolside said...

Klinsmann has done a good job of expanding the reach of US Soccer and bringing in players with dual eligibility for a look-see.

The Mexican-American players he trialed throughout qualifying just didn't match up, though I'm not all that impressed with some of the German-Americans he picked.

But as someone else posted, the youth national teams are increasingly Latino and it's just a matter of time before those guys make the senior team.

In this World Cup, the best of the USMNT newcomers may turn out to be Aron Johannsson, who is as white as they come, being Icelandic-American. He scored last night in a friendly and got his first international goal in a qualifier against Panama.

DanJ said...

Soccer is interesting from a HBD point of view. The best club teams are ethnically and racially diverse. The demands for success in European club soccer are extremely high, so they do not hire a diverse team just for PR. Players are mostly of normal build, not freaks. Teamwork is everything.

A good soccer team works like we would like the world to work.



P.S.
re: Sting/Heidi Klum reationship: I give up. Which one is black?

SGOTI said...

1. The World Cup will go on for three weeks and not 300 total goals will be scored. Yawn.

2. How the hell can't you beat Ghana?!?

Anonymous said...

The US soccer team shows the shortcomings of genetic determinism. "Blacks are the best athletes, so let's just play as many black guys as we can and we're bound to succeed". That's the attitude which permeates all American sports.

in ohio said...

The iSteve pattern for WC viewers to notice is brilliant breakaway runs towards the goal by West African/Caribbean players, who then shoot high, their shots going over the middle crossbar of the goal, by significant (and often comic) margins.

Seamus said...

Geoff Cameron and Clint Dempsey are both white. Dempsey is a poor white from East Texas who grew up with Mexicans. Cameron is a typical Northeast masshole. The dark hair and brown eyes throw people off I guess.

Anonymous said...

Notably, Beckerman is Jewish but does not show up on Wikipedia's list of Jewish Soccer Players


Somebody (or somebodies) at Wikipedia has a monomaniacal obsession with creating "Jewish" lists. 1000-1 the people in question are Jewish. You'll see Wiki pages on two relatively obscure people - but one is "Jewish" while the other is not, so the "Jewish" one has a paragraph devoted to his ancestry while the other one has zero ancestral analysis.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the men's national soccer team doesn't go after the plethora of former college basketball players who are 6' 7" and taller and teach them to be goalies. In theory, these guys have decent lateral quickness and good overall athleticism. Imagine a 7' athletic freak like Kevin Garnett or Kevin Durant as a goalie....

Anonymous said...

Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones and Deandre Yedlin are all part black. Look it up.

Look it up yourself, you numbskull, they're not all part black.

That means the majority of Team USA has african ancestry.

It's amusing that the most fervent proponents of the one-drop-rule in the modern age are members of "minority" groups seeking to inflate their numbers and importance.

Anonymous said...

The USA recently fielded a heavily Hispanic team at a international competiton and the Hispanic players lack of height was a huge liability especial for a team like the USA which emphasizes set pieces and long passes.


They could always adjust their game plan to suit Hispanic players rather than black ones.

Anonymous said...

Silver said...
The Maracana has been renovated and can only hold 78,000 now."""""

Yes, and they were also building a brand new stadium that could hold up to 200,000 specifically for both the World Cup and the Olympics in '16.

Also, you have to take into account that 78,000's the official capacity but with world soccer attendance there will be up to 50,000 who will jam their way in so the attendance at the final will be at least 130,000 including those who managed to jam their way into the stadium.

Its been done many, many times and not just in Brazil.

People are fools if they underestimate the level of fanaticism to soccer. NBA does not come anywhere close, even in the US.

Anonymous said...

"""""""""""""When I last lived in Germany ten or so years ago it really depended where you lived. In the East blacks are worse than Turks, in the North they were tolerably outsiders, the Midwest full of German trash and rural kids that found blacks cool, and down south blacks were a way for middle class girls to rebel against their parents. The closer you got to a US military base though the more they were equated with the same level of disrepute as the local Turks."""""""""""


Let's get to it. Aside from US black servicemen in Germany, there simply aren't that many blacks in Germany total. It's about ONE, one percent of all Germany. So, out of about 80million, it's not quite one million of them running around.

As blacks tend to not enlist in the numbers that they used to, less likelihood that they'll be over there.

My brother works in advertising and did a video for '10 World Cup for Adidas its on youtube. Its a parody of Star Wars cantina. It stars Snoop Dog, Oasis frontman, David Beckham AND "der Keiser" Klinsmann.

Still up on youtube: Adidas Originals Star Wars cantina.

Anonymous said...

Tim Howard genuinely has Tourette's and by that I mean non-Hollywood Tourette's.

Anonymous said...

@DPG my obsevations as a german are: german women actually love miscegantion more than anything else. When you talk to them about that subject during the day, when they are sober, they would never admit it. They would say "thats racist" or "what has skin color to do with that" or "the only thing that matters is personality/a good heart". But when you talk to them about those questions in the night, when they have had already some cocktails they get more open about it, then you rather hear "they have great bodies" "i would like to have such a boyfriend". I have disucssed those question with a friend and we concluded that at least 80% of german women would ceteris paribus choose a male with westafrican male over a male with european ancestry (and males with european ancestry over westasians, and westasians ober east asians, but thats another topic). So there are a incredible lot of kids in germany with a father westafrican ancestry, in most cases the father is directy from westafrica, but often also from the usa or teh carribeans. In west german big cities i would guess around 10 percent of all kids with german mothers have fathers witn westafrican ancestry. You see much less half turkish kids, although there are much much more turks in germany than blacks. You also see much less kids with mixes ancestry with some asian or eastafrican background, no it is nearly always westafrican background.
And it is not just the women who love it that way, actually the whole german society approves misgenation with westafricans very much, half-black children are often the stars in school classes both loved and reespected by their peers as by the teachers. Half black kids are starkly overrepresented in advertising, snd in the media in general.
So yes one can say germans tolerate miscgenation.
Of course it is not possible to talk about such topics in the public, in public it is all like "what do you say? Women choose their men using racial criteria? What a kind of nazi are you?" And everybody pretends not so notice that there are such a lot of half black kids

peterike said...

To add to anonymous at 11:00, not only do German women hunger after blacks, so do German men. Germans have long been big into sex tourism, and German men love going to black countries and paying for sex.

That being said, the idea of half-black, half-German children is about the saddest sign of deep social sickness that I can imagine.

Simon in London said...

"about as good as Mexico" is not the typical overseas view of US World Cup performance. >:)

Anonymous said...

The USA beat Portugal in the 2002 world cup. No Ronaldo in those days, admittedly, but it's the kind of result that is on the radar. Beating Germany in a major tournament however is extremely difficult and I can't see the USA doing it. Ghana is usually among the best African teams but even the very best African teams rarely live up to the hype.

Anonymous said...

"I'm surprised the men's national soccer team doesn't go after the plethora of former college basketball players who are 6' 7" and taller and teach them to be goalies. In theory, these guys have decent lateral quickness and good overall athleticism. Imagine a 7' athletic freak like Kevin Garnett or Kevin Durant as a goalie...."

What non-soccer fans don't seem to understand is how skill-dependent soccer is. You can't just take an "athletic freak" and teach him to play soccer well enough to excel at a high level in a few years. It simply does not happen. Most U.S. sports are extremely specialized where one outstanding skill can be enough. In basketball, you can take an gifted 7-footer and make him into a superstar (e.g. Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Serge Ibaka and many others) in a few years. They switched from soccer, swimming etc. to become basketball stars, but the reverse never, ever happens. That simply doesn't work in soccer, even for goalkeepers, who have much lower foot skill requirements than field.

To develop the tactical awareness of proper positioning and movement takes a long, long time and can't really be polished in individual drills, as it can in basketball, baseball, or football.
I think it's similar in tennis, where no particular freakish athletic ability (speed, height, wingspan, vertical leap, endurance) is sufficient to be good. All these help, but are insufficient. If a soccer or a tennis player is not already very good by age 12 or so, he's never going to make it. Whereas is it's entirely possible to pick up basketball or football in late adolescence if one has the proper build and enough athleticism.

Americans in general worship freak athletic abilities, rather excellent athleticism combined with extreme skill levels. Hence the worship of West Africans as "the best athletes". However, in reality they're only best in basketball, which favors all of their strengths, in sprint, and in certain speed positions in football. For monocultural American sports fans these are the only things that matter, hence these explosive, but not overall outstanding, athletes of West African heritage are held in awe (perhaps experience beatings by the more physically mature and aggressive blacks in school also help in this regard).

But blacks are not actually better than whites at most sports. The vast majority of sports that matter a great deal - soccer, tennis, swimming, strength sports, wrestling, gymnastics, and many others, are actually dominated by whites and, to a much lesser degree, East Asians.
David Epstein's "The Sports Gene" details some of the reasons for this, and I highly recommend that those in the "blacks are the best athletes" camp read it.

Anonymous said...

Do you even believe that list of sports represents the sports that matter. You left off sword fighting and that sport where the Irish dudes kick each other in the shins.

Anonymous said...

""""""""""But blacks are not actually better than whites at most sports. The vast majority of sports that matter a great deal - soccer, tennis, swimming, strength sports, wrestling, gymnastics, and many others, are actually dominated by whites and, to a much lesser degree, East Asians."""""""""""""""""""""

You forgot golf, by the way.

So translation: Many of these sports where non-blacks are superior tend to require a higher than average IQ as opposed to lower skill (comparatively) and lower IQ level of b'ball. You could basically take an 85 IQ person with exceptional athleticism and he could with practice make it to the NBA but not necessarily make it at the highest levels of professional world soccer.

Higher IQ sports = more complex range of motion as well as more complex strategies.

Soccer has a wider and longer field; the players play for a longer amount of time before halftime; no breaks; constant motion and movement.

It's a marathon, not a sprint (NBA)

And they certainly aren't the best swimmers. It's the one sport where their lower bodies musculature structure doesn't help them at all.

Silver said...

Also, you have to take into account that 78,000's the official capacity but with world soccer attendance there will be up to 50,000 who will jam their way in so the attendance at the final will be at least 130,000 including those who managed to jam their way into the stadium.

Its been done many, many times and not just in Brazil.


So what? It's not exactly civilized behavior is it. Anyway, I think it's extremely unlikely the authorities would allow 50,000 extra spectators to jam in an event as prestigious as this. It's not 1950 anymore.

Silver said...

The USA beat Portugal in the 2002 world cup. No Ronaldo in those days, admittedly, but it's the kind of result that is on the radar. Beating Germany in a major tournament however is extremely difficult and I can't see the USA doing it. Ghana is usually among the best African teams but even the very best African teams rarely live up to the hype.

The USA also defeated Mexico in that World Cup, and performed admirably against Germany in the quarter finals. At the time I thought the US might develop into a soccer powerhouse. That obviously hasn't happened yet.

I agree that African teams are ridiculously overhyped. The best performing African team was Cameroon in 1990, who squandered a 2-0 lead in the quarterfinal vs England. During the game British commentator Martin Tyler shared a story he'd heard that before the match English player Paul Gascoigne had joked with a black English teammate (Paul Ince, maybe) that he "should be playing for the opposition tonight." I could't imagine such a thing being said or repeated today.

ATBOTL said...

"@DPG my obsevations as a german are: german women actually love miscegantion more than anything else. When you talk to them about that subject during the day, when they are sober, they would never admit it. They would say "thats racist" or "what has skin color to do with that" or "the only thing that matters is personality/a good heart". But when you talk to them about those questions in the night, when they have had already some cocktails they get more open about it, then you rather hear "they have great bodies" "i would like to have such a boyfriend". I have disucssed those question with a friend and we concluded that at least 80% of german women would ceteris paribus choose a male with westafrican male over a male with european ancestry (and males with european ancestry over westasians, and westasians ober east asians, but thats another topic). So there are a incredible lot of kids in germany with a father westafrican ancestry, in most cases the father is directy from westafrica, but often also from the usa or teh carribeans. In west german big cities i would guess around 10 percent of all kids with german mothers have fathers witn westafrican ancestry. You see much less half turkish kids, although there are much much more turks in germany than blacks. You also see much less kids with mixes ancestry with some asian or eastafrican background, no it is nearly always westafrican background.
And it is not just the women who love it that way, actually the whole german society approves misgenation with westafricans very much, half-black children are often the stars in school classes both loved and reespected by their peers as by the teachers. Half black kids are starkly overrepresented in advertising, snd in the media in general.
So yes one can say germans tolerate miscgenation.
Of course it is not possible to talk about such topics in the public, in public it is all like "what do you say? Women choose their men using racial criteria? What a kind of nazi are you?" And everybody pretends not so notice that there are such a lot of half black kids"

Whiskey, is that you?

Anonymous said...

At peterike: but still you won't see many WM/BF couplings in germany. My estimations how many couplings I have seen while living 25 years in germany (I am the anonymous guy from 11:00 from above)
East asian male, german female: 4
East asian female, german male: 400
East african male, german female: 50
East african female, german male: 10
Westafrican female, german male: 20
Westafrican male, german female: 10000

Anonymous said...

Boris Becker is hot for black women.

I can't imagine many Germans daring to speak critically of miscegenation even if they do oppose it. Their lives woild cease to be worth living. They would be branded with the crimson "N".

Even if black-white mixing is high, I can't see a feral black/half-black underclass ever developing in Germany the way it has (lamentably) in England.

Anonymous said...

>>High Ho Silver said:
""""""""""It's not exactly civilized behavior is it."""""""""""

Irrelevant. Non-sequitor. After all, this is soccer we're discussing. A sport known for hooliganism and where fans have been stampeded to death. Also, Brazil is the country where a soccer referee was decapitated by fans who didn't like the way he ruled vs their home team.

Also, have you forgotten the near coup and anti-government factions that have been going on in Brazil these last few yrs? There was concern that they'd have to move the World Cup to another host nation.

Bottom line: These are ultra fanatics in a way that the US just doesn't understand.



"""""Anyway, I think it's extremely unlikely the authorities would allow 50,000 extra spectators to jam in an event as prestigious as this. It's not 1950 anymore.""""""""""""

Oh, no, of course not. In a corrupt country like Brazil? The cops can't be bought?? Or stampeded to death in the massive throng of 50k additional spectators. Grow up.

This is a common occurance at soccer games in South America. And this is the freaking WORLD CUP

REPEAT: The earth's most watched sporting championship event.

3-4 Billion, BILLION are estimated to be watching these games. (that's almost 1.5 out of every 2 human beings on the earth).

Yes. 130,000 is about what the final attendance figure will be. On second thought, that could actually be a rather low figure. Perhaps closer to 150,000.

Additional numbers jamming into the stadium like packed sardines are quite common down there, actually in most of Europe.

This is their life. This is their passion. This is what they literally LIVE for.

The NFL doesn't come anywhere close to this level of fanaticism.

Anonymous said...

I can't see a feral black/half-black underclass ever developing in Germany the way it has (lamentably) in England.

Lamentably you are wrong. Not as advanced as Marseilles or Rotterdam but things are in a downward spiral wherever you have too much enriching.

Silver said...

Yes. 130,000 is about what the final attendance figure will be. On second thought, that could actually be a rather low figure. Perhaps closer to 150,000.

Okay, calm down. When that fails to occur will I get an apology?

Anonymous said...

It's not golf or soccer, but Argentinian middleweight Sergio Martinez didn't take up boxing until age 20 and went on to win the WBC Light Middleweight, WBC Middleweight and WBO Middleweight titles.

His peak was short, but brilliant. He's now 39 and has suffered injuries requiring surgery after his last few fights. He's a fantastically athletic fighter that maneuvers around and outworks his opponents. Hopefully he backs away from the sport as he slows down.

Before getting caught in the 12th round and almost getting knocked out, his defeat of Cesar Chavez Jr. was a near perfect masterclass. After rehydration, Chavez Jr. easily had 15 pounds on Martinez, but Martinez outlanded Chavez in all of the first eleven rounds and Chavez trainer was thinking of stopping the fight.

Anonymous said...

"I'm surprised the men's national soccer team doesn't go after the plethora of former college basketball players who are 6' 7" and taller and teach them to be goalies. In theory, these guys have decent lateral quickness and good overall athleticism. Imagine a 7' athletic freak like Kevin Garnett or Kevin Durant as a goalie...."

Goalkeeping is incredibly cerebral. Near instant decision making is at a premium. The goal is 192 square feet and the ball can travel over 80 miles per hour. Reach, quickness and agility are very important, but no one covers that much area on physical gifts alone. The position requires more than just shot stopping, unlike say ice hockey. (Failed attempts at) gathering crosses on corner and free kicks probably result in more goal keeping blunders than any other aspect. Modern keepers are often asked to sweep up behind defenders playing a flat back line (to make use of the offside trap), and getting one of those decisions wrong can result in both a red card and a penalty kick.

For this reason, a goal keeper's peak is an interesting intersection of declining reaction time and increased experience. Many goal keepers do not peak until they near 30, some peak after turning, whereas turning 30 signals the beginning of the end for many field players (especially midfielders).

A former college basketball player is already into his twenties. Could work, but they'd have an uphill battle on their hands to develop the needed instincts that more experienced keepers had already been honing.

On top of that, the United States has been more successful at developing goal keepers than any other position. It's not a particularly pressing need.

Germany's Manuel Neuer is probably the world's best at this point in time (highlights) and he's 6'4".

My personal favorite is France's captain Hugo Lloris, the son of a lawyer and investment banker from Monaco who gave up a promising tennis career to focus on soccer. He's incredibly aggressive coming off his line, but is at the same time 6'2" and of a slighter build; seems particularly aristocratic in comparison to the typical professional as the game draws heavily from the working class. (Highlights)

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to pretend I've got fully scoped out the latest team of 23 players that's just been announced (e.g., veteran World Cup star Clint Dempsey looks kinda black, but that never seems to come up in articles featuring his parents)

Where do you get that idea from? Apart from shaving his head and his rap music, Clint never looked 'kinda black' to me. If he had black ancestry, the MSM would be sure to mention it. Since they have not done so, I think it is a safe bet that Clint is just poor white trash. Literally he grew up in a trailer park. He has done quite well for himself considering his origins.

Anonymous said...

>>Silver said:
""""""Okay, calm down. When that fails to occur will I get an apology?"""""""""""""""""""""


Nope. It will occur. Understandable that you don't realize just how much that sport means down there. Sardine packing is done all the time. This is the World Cup, their chance of a lifetime to see their nation (possibly, at least in theory) win it all.

What Brazilian fan doesnt want to see that in person?

Anonymous said...

"Goalkeeping is incredibly cerebral."

Correct. Soccer goalkeeping is very different from goalkeeping in other sports where it mostly comes down to good reflexes (ice hockey, lacrosse, etc). Spatial awareness and timing are crucial; the area to cover is vast and three dimensional, and it takes years to learn to be at the right place at the right time.

Shep Messing is maybe the last good example of an American who came to soccer goalkeeping late at life, ie, college age, and went on to a successful career, in the 1970s. Because goalkeepers in soccer peak late, it was possible for him to catch up, at a time when few Americans were playing soccer.

Nowadays we have plenty of excellent American goalkeepers who started at the position fairly early in life; we don't need to recruit ex-college basketball players, who would be starting late and at a disadvantage against American goalkeepers who started out earlier. Goalkeeping isn't an American weakness. It is an English weakness, apparently (you know you are in trouble when your starting goalkeeper is known as "Calamity James") and basketball isn't very big in England. The English goalkeeping weakness is a bit odd. It's not like they don't have plenty of ball handling sports of their own (rugby and cricket for starters).

Rugby has tried to convert ex-college gridiron football players here in the USA, too, without much result. Like soccer, rugby requires a vast technical and tactical inventory of skills which is best learned early, when young, and not at college age or after.

Idle Spectator said...

The "colored" players on America's World Cup team are markedly better than the "white" players due to their skill. That is why they were selected, not because of their race.

One nation. One team. More truer than ever.

Anonymous said...

Sergio also brutally knocked out Paul Williams with one punch. Paul Williams was ducked by mayweather for years!

Sergio starting boxing so late and still being a legit world champ is very rare indeed in boxing, but is still possible with the right athletic abilities and trainers to go along with mental toughness. The mental aspect is why Americans suck at boxing these days, not lack of athletes

Sri the FLpanhandler said...

Non-Hispanic White: 11 (48%)
Black: 2
Hispanic: 2 (Mexico, Columbia)
Multiracial: 6 (35%)
- 7 black/white
- 1 Latino (Mexico)/Asian (Philippines)
- 1 Native American/black/white

By citizenship
Only USA: 15
Germany: 5
Mexico: 1
Norway: 1
Iceland: 1




Anonymous said...

what a magnificent and important blogspot. It is incredible how many bold, rightfoward comments are made about racism.

Anonymous said...

Especially those with "Aryan", European viewpoints about Africans.

Anonymous said...

I disagree...seeing as Brazil had the largest concentration of African slaves....they seem to do very well in futbol. Football is a very cerebral game along with physical skill. It's much more than large west African descendants running around.

Futbol is a game that needs to be played fromyouth to be excelled in sand lots of African American men for whatever reason choose football and or basketball

Anonymous said...

It's ironic how so many European teams feature black players because they are immigrants; however the U.S. has millions of Mexican immigrants and they don't even feature that many of them. Perhaps it has to do with them being mestizo? I mean, if you look at mestizo/Indian dominated countries like Honduras or Ecuador, you see that the mestizos make up barely 1-4 players on the team, while blacks make up the majority. This is embarrassing for those mestizos (imo), because it shows that they suck at soccer. Maybe mestizos just are not good at soccer, or sports in general? Take a look at the Colombian or Ecuadorian Olympic teams that are made up more of blacks than mestizos. I don't understand it.

Anonymous said...

These guys look like our population.