This link is a short argument from ESPN.com about how Clint Dempsey, the most successful American soccer player in recent history on the European stage, should leave Fulham to join a better team:
I couldn’t agree more with Klinsmann. Dempsey needs to show that an American outfield player can make it at the highest levels. As the US produces more talent, young players need to see that an American actually can make it to the summit of the beautiful game. Until more young athletes believe that soccer can be a legitimate occupation one day, basketball and football (maybe baseball… maybe) will continue to take too many promising athletes from our ridiculously large pool of star-and-striped talent.
Just for fun, imagine how nasty the US National Team would be if we focused our athletes predominantly on one sport like most of the rest of the world. In this lineup, I’ve inserted some of our most extraordinary non-soccer-playing freaks of nature into what I like to call the Remixed US Men’s National Team (numbers given out mostly arbitrarily). If we’re ever going to be a five-star FIFA team, we’re going to need a team like this:
GK- #1 James, LeBron
It was not a question of “if” but rather “where” Lebron would end up on this list. I put him in the net because that’s exactly where a 6’8″ behemoth should be. His leaping and body control would be helpful for punching out crosses as well as diving to the corners. A 7’5″ wingspan couldn’t hurt either. To those who say he might have issues getting to the ground for worm burners, I answer: He’s LeBron James. He’ll figure it out.
LB- #23 Revis, Darrelle
Obviously. A marking dream.
CB- #5 Willis, Patrick
I thought about how intimidating trying to get around this guy would be. Then I laughed. I would never try to circumnavigate this person against his will in any event. This 6’1″, 240-pound mountain of a man runs a 4.51 40 yard dash.
CB- #3 Wade, Dwayne
The Heat get a second selection to the USMNT. D-Wade makes the list for his tenacity, fairly muscular build, quickness and general quickness Also, like many soccer players, he’s always hurt. I even let him keep his number.
I wanted to put Ed Reed here as CBs have to play the proverbially centerfield much like free safeties, but I think some height is important for a central defender. Wade has 5 inches on Reed.
RB- #6 Haden, Joe
Speedy cornerback with a bright future. Just like Revis, his ability to stick to wideouts would translate nicely into shutting down wingers.
RDM- #8 Polamalu, Troy
Anytime you can put a guy on the field with no disregard for his own safety, you take that opportunity. I’m not sure if such a lack of caution is evolutionarily advantageous, but hey, his family line made it this far.
A strong safety just makes sense here. Aggressive, speedy (4.33), and powerful, Polamalo would make one hell of a ball-winner in the middle. If I’m Klinsmann, I’d have everyone’s favorite Head and Shoulders advocate hold in the middle and give ***SPOILER ALERT*** CP3 more license to help the attack.
Now that I’ve given away the other CDM…
LDM- #7 Paul, Chris
CP3 becomes CP7. I know, it’s less catchy, but Wade made a huge fuss about keeping his number. The 4-time NBA steals leader would be perfect for making key takeaways in the middle and then distributing up to the scorers, much like he does now on the hardwood.
CAM- #9 Rose, Derrick
Both a prolific scorer and gifted playmaker, I’m thinking he’s the Mesut Ozil of our remixed team. He’s also 6’3″ with a 40-inch vertical, so he’d be dangerous in the air too. In this 4-3-3, I’d give Rose the freedom to venture Cruyff-like from sideline to sideline or even up past the striker. Welker or Kobe can drop to cover if necessary.
LW- #12 Welker, Wes
Arjen Robben is the prototype here. I’m thinking Welker’s pace would give him the ability to whip in crosses from the flanks and also cut inside and rip shots from just outside the 18. And he could do all that without being anywhere near as creepy as the Dutchman.
F- #10 Johnson, Calvin
Think Drogba, just slightly larger. With his size, speed (a holy crap-worthy 4.32), and leaping ability, Megatron would dominate on crosses. At 6’5″, 236 pounds, how could you miss him?
RW- #24 Bryant, Kobe
Kobe actually loves soccer, a fact that’s less surprising when you consider that he spent some of his younger years in Italy. Not only is Kobe an amazing athlete and deadly finisher, but he plays defense, too, so I’m thinking he’d be a decent two-way contributor. He’s got good intangibles: he’s a proven winner, mentally strong, and relishes big moments. I just hope a decade or two of growing up as a soccer player would be enough to teach him to pass a little more.