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> Milan star takes scouting trip of America

 
Warchant
post Jun 25 2007, 02:33 AM
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MONTCLAIR, New Jersey (AP) - Less than a month after winning the European Champions League title with AC Milan, Clarence Seedorf is back at work.

But instead of prowling the midfield for his Serie A club, the 31-year-old Dutchman is gathering information about soccer's world game.

Having already toured the Middle East and Djibouti in the horn of Africa, Seedorf is getting a firsthand account of Major League Soccer in the United States, educating himself about the landscape for his sports and entertainment management company: ON International.

"I'm here to meet the people, talk a little about the reality of football in the States, and the club, myself. Get to know a little more about the situation," Seedorf said Thursday while watching a New York Red Bulls training session at their Montclair State University training center. "Watching games from Europe is one thing, but being here and really understanding is another way of understanding."

Seedorf set up ON International within the past year under the directorship of Geoffrey Schuhkraft, an Australian with a lifetime of experience managing entertainers and athletes such as swimmer Grant Hackett and cricketer Matthew Hayden. So far it has only one client: Seedorf.

Unlike David Beckham, Cuauhtemoc Blanco or Juan Pablo Angel, Seedorf doesn't see himself playing in MLS. He's committed to AC Milan for four more years, by which time he'll be 35.

But getting involved in the United States in some other capacity is a possibility.

"When I see the World Cup I see there is a lot of potential out there," Seedorf said. "I think it's only a matter of time before the U.S. can compete at the highest level. But something for sure needs to change.

"It's been about 10 years that we've heard this and it must improve. I think they want it," he said. "But I'm not here to judge. I'm here to listen and get a better picture."

Seedorf already has set up a charitable foundation, Champions for Children, and is promoting that on his travels as well.

With former Ajax teammate Dave van den Bergh now making his living with the Red Bulls, Seedorf was able to find a welcome host club in New York.

His whirlwind trip to the U.S. will include meetings with MLS officials, then out to Los Angeles, back to Milan, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and finally to his native Suriname, the former Dutch colony in South America.

"A lot of people talk about starting a foundation, but never do it," Schuhkraft said. "(Seedorf) genuinely wants to make a change. The fact that he wants to come here and understand American football, and check the support it has is admirable."
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jbryant1
post Jun 25 2007, 04:55 AM
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MLS is pretty weak. There not many players that could go to Italy and really make an impact. Beckham won't change anything. He is overrated in my book, mostly a celebrity.

The US team did win the Gold Cup. Problem is most of the teams played are Venezuela and small countries. By the time we get to the World Cup we haven't played a real team except Mexico and Argentinas B squad.
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kurtsimonw
post Jun 25 2007, 05:23 AM
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QUOTE (jbryant1 @ Jun 25 2007, 03:55 AM)
MLS is pretty weak. There not many players that could go to Italy and really make an impact. Beckham won't change anything. He is overrated in my book, mostly a celebrity.

The US team did win the Gold Cup. Problem is most of the teams played are Venezuela and small countries. By the time we get to the World Cup we haven't played a real team except Mexico and Argentinas B squad.
*

Beckham won't change anything because he's got nobody to service over there. Landon Donavon's about the best player in his team, and well, he didn't make an impact at all in his time in Germany.

Unless Milan are intending on buying Juan Pablo Angel, it's pointless looking over there, he's the stand out guy over there, clearly. There's a couple of others that are okay, nothing more than a couple, though. BUT, as far as I know the MLS as we know it now hasn't been around all that long, 12 years or something. Give them time and maybe they'll start developing talent (What ever happened to Freddy Adu?).

I disagree about the USA NT, I think they're alot better than people give them credit for, they've got a couple of decent players from the MLS and they have a few guys in Europe that aren't half bad. If they didn't have such a tough group at the latest World Cup they would have been okay. I see them as a top 15 nation, easily.

This post has been edited by kurtsimonw: Jun 25 2007, 05:36 AM
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Warchant
post Jun 25 2007, 05:42 AM
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QUOTE (jbryant1 @ Jun 24 2007, 10:55 PM)
MLS is pretty weak. There not many players that could go to Italy and really make an impact. Beckham won't change anything. He is overrated in my book, mostly a celebrity.

The US team did win the Gold Cup. Problem is most of the teams played are Venezuela and small countries. By the time we get to the World Cup we haven't played a real team except Mexico and Argentinas B squad.
*


there are only a select # of players worldwide that could go anywhere and make an "impact". however, there are a lot of MLS players that could play in any league and perform just as well as the players already in the league. I believe that Eddie Johnson has (possibly) 2 years left before he moves overseas and makes a huge impact.

Copa America will give our young squad a true test of what it's like to play on a very high level. You have to remember how far the US is behind in amount of time soccer has been "big" compared to other countries. The fact that we can semi-compete is saying a lot for the growth of the sport in this country.

Beckham will draw fans to stadiums. Maybe not 5 years from now, but the first 2 years he is here he will bring fans to the stadiums. Ticket sales have already shown that. He may not ever win any titles, but he will bring fans to stadiums...some of which will come back the next week.

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What ever happened to Freddy Adu?


He is playing for Real Salt Lake. Sadly for him, they are terrible. He's still VERY young and I think that he need some time out of the spotlight. He is still performing very well for our U-21 squad, and everyonce in awhile he shows flashes of what he is capable of, but I think he still has some growing to do before he ever makes it big.
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jbryant1
post Jun 25 2007, 07:11 AM
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QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 24 2007, 08:23 PM)
Beckham won't change anything because he's got nobody to service over there. Landon Donavon's about the best player in his team, and well, he didn't make an impact at all in his time in Germany.

Unless Milan are intending on buying Juan Pablo Angel, it's pointless looking over there, he's the stand out guy over there, clearly. There's a couple of others that are okay, nothing more than a couple, though. BUT, as far as I know the MLS as we know it now hasn't been around all that long, 12 years or something. Give them time and maybe they'll start developing talent (What ever happened to Freddy Adu?).

I disagree about the USA NT, I think they're alot better than people give them credit for, they've got a couple of decent players from the MLS and they have a few guys in Europe that aren't half bad. If they didn't have such a tough group at the latest World Cup they would have been okay. I see them as a top 15 nation, easily.
*

Problem with US is that there is no real competition for us. In England you play Italy, Netherlands, France, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, and other teams that give you a real measure stick on how solid you are. As well as earning a spot in the World Competitions.

The US plays small countries about the size of California. Its not that impressive when all you have to do is beat these teams to qualify for the world cup versus playing top clubs. The last world cup proved this and has been a problem. Our friendlies aren't even full teams. We play brazil, they bring 2 of their stars and the rest are youth players.

Problem also is that most of our athletes are into baseball, basketball, and football. Pretty much where the big money is here. Our youth system isn't as effective either in that most go pro at 22-23.

There are a couple players that have made impacts in the Prem and in the Bund but overall its not on par with what you guys are doing in Europe. I wish it was. I went to Milan, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Barcelona, Rome, and the Netherlands and saw major clubs there I wish I could go every week.
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kurtsimonw
post Jun 25 2007, 07:42 AM
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I agree that your biggest problem is that you've got no competition.

I really can't think of any way at all football will catch on in the US. You had Bobby Moore and Pele in the 70s and that didn't work. You got the World Cup in '94 and that hasn't worked.

Having so many big sports over there doesn't really help. When you have the Yankees and such paying out $15m a year contracts, every kid is going to do whatever they can to be one of those people.

If Beckham doesn't work for you, nothing will. He's possibly the most well known footballer of all time, he's got the celebrity wife and everything to go with it. I'm sure he'll spark some interest, whether he'll inspire kids is another thing.

Ah well, we just got to wait and see I suppose.
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Rossoneri7
post Jun 25 2007, 12:43 PM
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Well as a football fan ... I love to watch the game, no matter on what level.

I lived in the states for a while and attended MLS games from time to time (when no one really cared for them (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) ) ... The problem isn't the amount of stars there are or the level of football. The problem is the fans.

American fans are more intuned with the NBA and NFL because of rules (i.e. time out etc..) .. I mean, in the US, the Super Ball is BIGGER (in the US) than a world cup final (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Then you have the MLB and NHL .. They both have similar rules, with time out and all that ...

So how is this relevant to the topic ? Well, in Europe, you have to sit done for 45 mins each, and is too boring for the American audiance (the majority (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) ) cuz their ONLY interval is a 15 min break between the two halfs. But when you take the NBA, NFL, MLB you look at those games and you see that there are so many intervals in between.

Then you take a look at what the American majority do in those games (between the intervals), they go get a snack or there are several prizes given out to the fans, etc etc making it a fun atmosphere .. And Football doesn't have this atmosphere, therefor, I don't blame the American majority for not coming to terms with football, cuz they have been used to a different atmosphere when attending a game.

But make no mistake, that the level of football in the US is rising (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) Beckham is an attraction, he will draw in even more fans (I'm sure Warchant will try to attend on of his games (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif) ) ... The US have so much talent in the MLS, you only have to watch some games to understand that. Why hasn't the US made an impact with this sport in the world cup ?! Well, they did give Italy a hard time - Italy being the WC winners (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)

I am saying all this, and I am not even a USA or MLS fan ... But I do understand the mind set of what the majority of teh American audiences want when attending a sports event; something they are used to (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Tennie
post Jun 25 2007, 12:55 PM
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I think that the general level of MLS has improved in the last couple of years. There are a few pretty good young players around who could make a move to Europe without too much trouble.

As for fans...well, the atmosphere is also improving. I can't speak from personal experience for other clubs but the fan base for DC United games is growing. I've got a friend who's a member of the Screaming Eagles (one of two DC United fan clubs) who takes me to games now and then. The atmosphere is quite something, sitting with them. Well...standing with them. They stand throughout the whole game and have a range of chants and cheers (complete with naughty words) that could compete with chants and cheers from any European club.
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Warchant
post Jun 25 2007, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 25 2007, 01:42 AM)
You got the World Cup in '94 and that hasn't worked.
*


The World Cup didn't work???

Look at soccer in 93 and look at it now. The World Cup was the for-runner for the MLS. Soccer blew up in this country after the World Cup.

Every year it seems like soccer is getting bigger and bigger in this country. Will it compete with the MLB, NFL, or NBA? Probably not anytime soon. I could see it taking over hockey as the 4th most popular sport in this country.

But soccer in europe has been around forever. Before some of our parents were even born. Soccer has been "big" over here for about 10 years. You can't say that we haven't mad major advances for only having a league for 10 years.

And yes, I'm trying to see Beckham when he rolls through Kansas City in Sept. (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Warchant
post Jun 25 2007, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE (kurtsimonw @ Jun 25 2007, 01:42 AM)
You got the World Cup in '94 and that hasn't worked.
*


The World Cup didn't work???

Look at soccer in 93 and look at it now. The World Cup was the for-runner for the MLS. Soccer blew up in this country after the World Cup.

Every year it seems like soccer is getting bigger and bigger in this country. Will it compete with the MLB, NFL, or NBA? Probably not anytime soon. I could see it taking over hockey as the 4th most popular sport in this country.

But soccer in europe has been around forever. Before some of our parents were even born. Soccer has been "big" over here for about 10 years. You can't say that we haven't mad major advances for only having a league for 10 years.

And yes, I'm trying to see Beckham when he rolls through Kansas City in Sept. (IMG:http://cyrus.medialayer.net/~m1ke/milanfan.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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