July 24, 2018

By Kab Hakim

France (15/23): Mandanda, Sidibe, Mendy, Varane, Umtiti, Kimpembe, Kante, Pogba, Matuidi, Tolisso, Lemar, Mbappe, Dembele, Fekir, Nzonzi

Belgium (11/23): Kompany, Boyata, Dembele, Tielemans, Witsel, Fellaini, Chadli, Dendoncker, Lukaku, Batshuayi, Carrasco ​

England (12/23): Walker, Young, Arnold, Rose, Trippier, Alli, Lingard, Delph, Loftus-Cheek, Rashford, Sterling, Welbeck

I have already given you the recipe of futsal and street soccer as the key ingredients to developing world class skills in even average athletes. But the nurturing at home, the neighborhood at school and with friends, in other words the social world, is clearly the biggest factor in creating a top player for the future.

Thus America, instead of wasting millions on middle class athletes who do not have the hunger, passion, personality, suffering, desperation or fear of failure to become great in this sport, maybe the money should be invested in inner city charter schools by providing them with courts and fields to play all morning and evening before and after school, monitoring the best players coming from that culture.

The blueprint for today’s society is here.

Take the best 20 or so 10-12 year olds from each school in each city and make them dribble phenoms in every position and in the next 8 years we could easily have our first American Neymar, Salah, Mane, Firmino, Cavani, Marcelo, Sane, Cuadrado, James, etc, without losing their education to fall back on.

In the US we can do it with this generation. There is a charter school program in New York and Chicago among others who do focus on soccer with their education curriculum. This is key because it takes the cost out of participating in the domestic and national game and keeps the kids in a safe institution year round with their teachers and coaches, while their parents stay out of the soccer process (unlike the American amateur youth club) but engage on the academic status.

But still they don’t have that one ingredient that matters. The street. The suffering. The desperation to be great and survive their world, their hood, their barrio, their village, their manor. This is where player selection is key. Everyone wants the easy to handle kid, the disciplined kid, the kid who listens. Well, that is what we have on the US team today and good luck with those.

No, we need the fighters, the demons, the ones with fire in their belly. White folks are afraid of them until they are in the army, marines, or jail. Well, we can save them from that destiny, we can give them a future, a fun sporting future that will challenge their personalities, but we need an institution to back us and then we can provide the direction for them to achieve on and off the field.

Let our public know.

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