For the overwhelming majority of American youth soccer players, the sport of soccer is a social endeavor. The kids don’t look at soccer as a way out of the ghetto. These kids aren’t from the ghetto. Most American soccer players come from middle and upper middle class backgrounds; They’re in the gifted programs at school, they eat out three evenings a week and the only thing they worry about is when they’ll get their braces off. They have college educated parents who have worked very hard to ensure that they get every opportunity available to be successful in this country.
Developed by Dutch powerhouse club Ajax, from 1969 to 1973, Total Football (Dutch: totaalvoetbal) is a system of play (like Barcelona) that focuses on tight possession of the ball within the midfield and explosive offensive endeavors. It’s not uncommon to see teams that have mastered this tactic dominate a match by possessing the ball as much as 80% of the game. Tiki-taka is an evolution of the Total Football system into the quick passing, highly possessive style of soccer that Barcelona plays today.
In the United States, we’ve created an environment that prioritizes monetary compensation for EVERYTHING we do. A dollar value is placed on every task, every product, every service and our time is measured by the hour in dollars. It’s so bad that bending down to pick up a dime (quarter if you’re my wife) is measured against the time lost in getting back to work. It’s no wonder that we now pay youth coaches of every sport to do something that just 20 years ago was performed by volunteers