Picking a Team of Athletes from Other Sports to Create a Kick-Ass Soccer Lineup

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2013

Picking a Team of Athletes from Other Sports to Create a Kick-Ass Soccer Lineup

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    It is always a topic of discussion: Which athletes from other sports would thrive on the pitches of world football?

    With so many talented athletes spread across all of the many sports that are played across the globe, only 11 made it into this lineup.

    These athletes come from the four primary American sports as well as tennis and track and field.

    These 11 athletes have been chosen because of a specific skill set that they possess that would make them a perfect fit in the position chosen for them. 

    Here is the complete list of 11 athletes from other sports that will form this kick-ass lineup. 

Henrik Lundqvist

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    Position: Goalkeeper

    When choosing a goalkeeper for this 11, there was only one sport to turn to, and that was hockey.

    The best goalie in hockey at the moment is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. 

    The 30-year-old Swede has been denying the attacks of NHL opposition since the 2005-06 season and he was finally rewarded for his play by winning the Vezina Trophy last season. 

    Lundqvist is not only a star for the Rangers, but he is a star for the Swedish national team as well.

    Lundqvist was the starting goalkeeper during Sweden's gold medal run back in 2006 at the Winter Olympics in Turin. 

    With a gold medal and a Vezina trophy, alongside two seasons that saw him record 10-plus shutouts, Lundqvist was the only player who could fit into this lineup as the goalkeeper 

Richard Sherman

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    Position: Right-Back

    Richard Sherman vaulted himself into the national spotlight this season as he shut down opposing wide receivers for the Seattle Seahawks. 

    Sherman also gained plenty of attention for his outspoken ways and his vehement denial of his four-game suspension, on which he won the appeal (via USA Today Sports).

    Lost in all of his off-field antics this season was the spectacular play that Sherman turned in week after week. 

    With his speed and agility, along with the 11 turnovers he forced this season, Sherman makes the perfect full-back.

    His powerful defense and on-field tenacity would give any of the best wingers in football a challenge. 

Tyson Chandler

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    Position: Center-Back

    One of the key physical qualities that is required out of a center-back is height.

    Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks has plenty of it at 7'1".

    Chandler is also one of the best defensive players in the NBA at the moment and his play was rewarded with the 2011-12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

    He is a perfect anchor for a back four that can take away chances from opposing offenses, and he has a knack for scoring as well. 

    With the Knicks this season, Chandler is averaging 11.1 points per game, and if he makes his way into the game of soccer, there is no doubt that he would score goals on set pieces. 

Yadier Molina

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    Position: Center-Back

    While he may not have height on his side, Yadier Molina is a respected general when it comes to defense. 

    Molina is the best defensive catcher in baseball and he has five Golden Glove Awards to back up his accomplishments on the diamond. 

    What Molina lacks in speed, he makes up for in his knowledge of the game and ability to handle a St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff that has seen plenty of changes throughout the years. 

    Molina has also shown off his offensive abilities over the past two seasons; he reached a career-high of 22 home runs and 76 RBI in 2012. 

    The 30-year-old is a true all-around player and his defensive skills combined with his leadership abilities make him a perfect fit at center-back. 

Zdeno Chara

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    Position: Left-Back

    Zdeno Chara is a perfect fit at the left-back position because of his impressive skill set that includes his strong defensive prowess and his powerful offensive numbers. 

    Chara has been a menace in defense during his NHL career that has lasted over a decade and seen the Slovakian play for three different teams. 

    The 6'9" defender is known for his powerful left-handed shot that consistently wins the hardest shot competition on All-Star weekend.

    Last season, Chara's shot was recorded at 108.8 miles per hour, which surpassed his previous record in the competition by over three miles per hour. 

    Not only does he have a wicked shot, but he is also an accurate passer.

    In the last six seasons, Chara has recorded over 30 assists, which is a perfect statistic to possess as a full-back in soccer. 

    At left-back, Chara could be a strong taker of free kicks with his powerful shot and large assist totals. 

Usain Bolt

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    Position: Right Winger

    Usain Bolt is the fastest man on the planet and he would be a terrorizing right winger if he ever wants to take up soccer.

    Bolt has been seen numerous times at Old Trafford and he has even been offered an opportunity to play in a charity game for Manchester United next season by manager Sir Alex Ferguson (via The Guardian).

    Not only is Bolt a terrific individual champion by winning four gold medals in the last two Summer Olympics, he has also been a great team player as a part of the Jamaican 4x100 meter relay team that has won gold at the past two Summer Olympics. 

    With a personal- and world-best 100-meter time at 9.58 seconds, Bolt would easily blow by any defender on the pitch. 

Novak Djokovic

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    Position: Central Midfield

    Another athlete with an Olympic medal in this starting 11 is tennis star Novak Djokovic. 

    As a central midfielder, Djokovic would be forced to cover plenty of ground on the pitch throughout the match, which is something that the 25-year-old Serbian does during each one of his tennis matches.

    Djokovic is also no stranger to winning championships as he already has six major titles, including four Australian Open titles.

    And if you had any concerns about him being a team player, the tenacious No. 1 player in the world is a consistent member of the Serbian Davis Cup, and he even took home the competition title in 2010. 

Adrian Peterson

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    Position: Center Midfield

    We have all come to the realization over the past 12 months that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is not human. 

    Peterson came back early from his torn ACL and MCL and ran for 2,097 yards this season, an impressive total that earned him the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards.

    To add to his growing legend, Peterson reportedly played with a sports hernia towards the end of the 2012 season, an injury which he just had surgery on last week (via USA Today Sports).

    Any soccer team would welcome a bionic man like Peterson into their lineup.

    As someone who plays through every ounce of pain in his body and gives 110 percent on every single play, Peterson would be an excellent fit in the middle of any team's midfield.

Billy Hamilton

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    Position: Left Winger

    Not many people outside of baseball are familiar with Billy Hamilton's name, but he will soon come on to the radar of many sports fans. 

    Last season, Hamilton broke Vince Coleman's record of stolen bases in a season with 155. 

    Hamilton could have easily reached 200 stolen bases if his season did not end in early September, as opposed to the MLB season, which ends a month after the minor league packs it up. 

    This year, Hamilton is being converted into a full-time center fielder and he will start the season at Triple-A as he continues to develop (via Hardball Talk). 

    With plenty of speed and versatility, he throws right-handed but is a switch-hitter, Hamilton would be a perfect partner to accompany Bolt as the second winger in this starting 11. 

Thomas Vanek

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    Position: Forward

    Every team needs an experienced scorer to power their attack, and Thomas Vanek fits that position perfectly. 

    The Buffalo Sabres winger has set the NHL on fire since the season began with a league-leading 11 goals and 12 assists. 

    Vanek is on pace to challenge his current career-high of 43 goals if he stays healthy through the duration of the season. 

    With someone up front who is scoring at will at the moment, any team in any sport would love to have the scoring talents of Vanek in their lineup. 

LeBron James

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    Position: Forward

    There is no better scorer in any sport at the moment than LeBron James of the Miami Heat. 

    James has torched opposing defenses in his last five games by scoring over 30 points in each of those contests.

    What is even more impressive about James' run at the moment is his shooting percentage, which is 68 percent during that span. 

    James has moved himself up to fourth place on the scoring chart in the NBA during the streak and his scoring average is now 27 points per game. 

    Any team in the world would want a hot scorer like James in their lineup, and this starting 11 would benefit from his talents greatly.


    What athletes would you put in a starting 11?

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.