Newsweek has a good article on this 13 year-old American soccer phenomenon, as does The Washington Post. By all accounts this kid is already a great soccer player, and he is likely to be one of the best, ever. It looks like he might be our first international superstar. His personal story is interesting: mother wins an immigration lottery when he is eight, comes here, became a citizen a few weeks ago, and now he will play for the US. Both articles are terrific. It will certainly be worth following this guy.
I ahve seen the child prodigy in action this Spring when he played in Dallas against 18 and 19 year olds international players and promptly dazzled them all with his footwork and speed. He just signed a contract with Nike for $1mm a pittance compared to LeBrons 90 mm but pretty good for a 13 year old immigrant from a desparately poor African nation. let see theaverage American makes around$50k per year so 20 years of work in one shot ( anddidwe mention he is 13!).
I dont know if heis the first American soccer superstar. Good argument could be made for Brad Friedel and Claudio Reyna. But superstar is a very imprecise term so lets just say that I agree he has the potential to be talked about the way Pele was (and still is). He could be THAT good.
Peteryour breadth of topics sometimes amazes me. Do they play soccerat Ashland?
I didnt mean to take anything away from Friedel and Reyna; they are great, and the US has been playing some wonderful soccer! It just seems (from what I have read and heard on TV, I have never seen him play) that this guy may be in the league of the truly great ones, like Pele, Breckenbauer, Puskas, etc. I have played soccer all my life; after baseball, its the best thing!
Perhaps I should have deduced with a surname like Schramm that you would be a life long adherent. I on the other hand, grew up playing baseball. My glove was either on my hand or on the handle of my bicycle as I was enroute to another pick up game ( organized leagues came later and never fully supplanted the pick up games). I would not have known where to find a pitch and did not know anyone who owned a soccer ball growing up. But at 35 I began to learn, thru my kids, and I played my first matches in the 0ver 40 league.
The fervor is always strongest with the convert. You sir have the order reversed. It is soccer first and then baseball. I will hear no more blasphemy!
Bechenbauer? How about Juergen Klinsmann???
I was ten when I came here (Los Angeles). No one played soccer; so I didnt. I played baseball, just like you everywhere I went from age eleven on I had my glove with me (and of course on the bike); never played in anything but a pickup game, and I would say that I averaged playing about three hours a day (there were many Saturdays and Sundays when I played for ten to fifteen hours a day!). Although I made the baseball team in high school, I had to quit immediately because I couldnt play (worked for my parents who owned a restaurant). Later in high school (Hollywood High) there were more and more foreigners (Mexicans, and others), people started kicking the ball around, I joined in and started playing again. By the way there was not one American, ever, who played in those years (circa 1962-65); they were all immigrants. Finally a real semi-pro (may have been one of the first ever) team was formed (circa 1964) and I played right wing at first, then defense (I was a great right winger, but my stamina was not good enough compared to others). I had to quit because of work, or was dropped, actually dont remember. Having said all that, I love baseball. A convert, I guess.