Outside The Lines on Project 2010
If you have the space on your DVR between recordings of Lost and SNL (does anyone actually watch it "live" anymore?), you really should be sure to catch ESPN's Outside the Lines this week. In addition to telling a pair of Afro-centric stories about the World Cup, Bob Ley and Julie Foudy examine U.S. Soccer's Project 2010. Featuring interviews with Sunil Gulati, Alan Rothenburg, Alexi Lalas, Lando & Kyle Beckerman among others, it's the first of what I'm sure will be many examinations of the 12-year plan for an American World Cup title by....July. This July.
At it's core it's really a player development plan, with it's two most-important contributions to the IMG residency program (it's inaugural class in 1999 produced Lando, Run-DMB, Gooch, and The Great Unwashed™) and P-40, now known and Generation Adidas, responsible for churning out Jozy, Deuce and Timbo. We'll have to until this summer to gauge the initiative's ultimate success but here's a stat that sticks out: of the 43 players to appear for the Yanks in this cycle of World Cup qualifying, 58% came from either IMG or GenAdi. Even if the Yanks are denied the Jules Rimet trophy this year, you can't deny that the program hasn't given them the tools --and players-- to make it possible.
Outside the Lines will air again at 3pm EST on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on ESPN.