What do Ndamukong Suh, Ezekiel Ansah, Andrew Luck and Odell Beckham Jr have in common aside from their status as National Football League players?
They were reared in the more traditional term of football, and are the subject of a new article called, “How Soccer is Reshaping the NFL”.
You may’ve known that about Luck and Suh, but foreknowledge is not required to appreciate Kevin Clark’s article in the Wall Street Journal. It seems that the “What if Chad Johnson, Jarrett Payton and (insert name here) stuck with soccer?” question of American soccer has a lot more names to insert.
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It makes sense, as soccer is the most popular sport in the world and one of the most played amongst youth in the United States. And the same way we can wonder how Lebron James and Jozy Altidore would look on a different field, it’s fun to imagine Suh breaking off opposing strikers like a more explosive Oguchi Onyewu (not saying it’s a given, honestly).
The article also provides us with anecdotes like the following tale of Colts quarterback Luck, one of the many stories that make us wonder, as always, “What if?”
Luck’s former Stanford teammate, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, said that Luck was so good, he almost single-handedly helped a ragtag group of football players beat members of the Stanford women’s soccer team in a pickup game. He added that Luck’s understanding of how to approach passing in soccer has undoubtedly carried over to the football field, where he’s often scrambling and improvising.
Another question many are asking is when the tide will turn toward soccer, especially given the many safety debates with American tackle football.