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SmorgasBorg: Does American soccer appreciate goalscorers?

05 February 6:59 de la tarde

SmorgasBorg: Does American soccer appreciate goalscorers?

By Simon Borg

All you have to do is look at the transfer market in case you didn't already know it: The most valuable asset in the sport of soccer is the goal.

And yet in American soccer these days, we have a habit of dismissing our goalscorers as if they were utility journeymen.

We start with Kenny Cooper, who has scored 18 goals TWICE in his MLS career. Yet he's on his third MLS club in three years.

Chris Wondolowski has led MLS in scoring for three seasons and yet he can't make the USMNT's World Cup qualifying team.

Jozy Altidore is having the best season of any American forward to ever play overseas, but it earns him a smack-down with the USMNT for his lack of goals in red, white and-blue (let's glance over the fact that the USMNT continues to struggle to create enough chances).

Fredy Montero had four straight double-digit scoring seasons in MLS, and yet somehow that wore out his welcome in Seattle.

What are we left to conclude? Either American soccer hasn't yet learned to truly value soccer's hard currency or we're witnessing a massive shift in what is truly being expected of the modern forward: athleticism (Montero didn't have it), speed (not Wondo's strength), hard work (Altidore has apparently not done enough of it) and smash-mouth play (Cooper has earned reputation of being a soft "finesse" player) are apparently more important than how many goals you can bag.

Gone are the days when the team worked to service its top scorer. Instead, the forward has been asked to become a servant of his team.

Welcome to today's reality. In every walk of life employees are being asked to multitask. Whatever the industry, if you want to stay relevant, you better know how to do it all. One-trick ponies — no matter how valuable the trick — need no longer apply.