Thursday, February 10, 2022

In this corner...

Side note: URGH. Sorry for the delay (again), but some serious - and completely maddening - business came up that had to be rectified immediately, and this time it actually involved the domain for this very blog. All taken care of now. Now on to the actual post (which I just noticed has been sitting about 98% completed as a draft for four full weeks... not cool, Greggo).

It has been eons since I weighed up which states boasts the best all-time teams of homegrown talent. Actually, it's been a long time since I've seen anyone run that fun little exercise. A lot of players good enough to represent their home states have come along in the interim to boost their respective selections, but when it comes to picking the state with the best possible XI born inside its border using the peak powers rule, it still comes down to the same two states.

Sure, there's other states with starting line-ups that could battle these two tough, but there's always some defect that doesn't quite allow them to measure up when it comes to overall talent level and/or depth. New York comes closest, but their squad balance is off (right backs and defensive midfielders and keepers, oh my!). Missouri, Illinois and Texas could give a valiant effort, but would almost certainly come up short in the end.

When it comes to size of the big two, one's a David, and one's a Goliath. Let's start this bout by introducing the latter, otherwise known as California...

This line-up would fit the bill for pretty much any possible USMNT match. The pieces all fit together snuggly. They'd be fun to watch and hard as hell to beat. And then there's the bench, for which there is a wealth of worthy options.

For crying out loud, Cali's fourth choice center back duo would probably be Steve Birnbaum and Justen Glad. In the end I went with: Boaz Myhill, Jimmy Conrad, Ryan Hollingshead, Jeff Larentowicz, Cristian Roldan, Eddie Lewis and Chris Wondolowski. Every eventuality is strongly covered from a staffing standpoint - and that's with the likes of Joe-Max Moore and Aaron Long not even making the gameday selection.

Uhh... gooood luck, David.


This weekend, I'll get to our David for this fight scene (if you think about it for 2-3 seconds, it should be obvious which state will be the feisty challenger). And maybe by then I'll even be able to decide on which team I think would win a one-off showdown.

- Greg Seltzer

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