Jeff Carlisle has an important corrective against the argument that the U.S. needs to get its best athletes to play soccer. Sure it would be great if Chad Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and Barry Sanders (just imagine him with a ball at his feet) played soccer. But a lack of athleticism is not holding us back. Our league and our team are already considered very athletic for soccer, we don’t lack athletes we lack skillful creative players.
Of course it would be great to have better athletes but they don’t need to be 6-4 wide receivers. Answer this, what sport would Maradona play in the U.S.? One of the greatest soccer players ever, an amazing athlete yet could never play basketball, too small for football, perhaps baseball, but you get the point. If you are an amazing athlete in the U.S. under 6 feet tall your options are pretty limited. Sure you could maybe the few guys that make it as an NBA point guard, but the there are great athletes under 6 foot that have really long odds in the other main sports and would be better off choosing soccer. The point being we really don’t need players to pick soccer over the big three sports to “make it.”