30 American Sports Stars Who Would Kill at Soccer
With the popularity of soccer here in the USA steadily booming, the demand for elite athletes increases, and footy is starting to attract more and more of this country's strongest youth prospects.
But imagine the best athletes in America suiting up for a world-class football team. I have found myself pondering whether or not some of these players could be successful on the pitch.
It isn’t that hard to picture actually, considering the freakish athletes America has in every major sports league. There are plenty of names that even have links to the beautiful game, and at one point or another they spurned opportunities to play footy themselves.
Here is a list of 30 American sports stars who could probably find success on the football pitch.
1. Michael Vick
Forget the fact that he is as quick, strong and graceful as any footy player on this planet. Just look at his form when he gives this ball a kick!
2. Kobe Bryant
An obvious choice due to his past experiences with footy—Kobe is an avid fan of soccer and has been for a long time.
He pledges his allegiance to a certain footballing giant, and I am sure he could still kick the ball around just fine.
3. Floyd Mayweather
Brash, arrogant and a proven winner, Money Mayweather is a beast with the footwork as much as he is with his mouth.
Remind you of somebody you already know?
4. Sebastian Janikowski
Having the most powerful leg in the NFL certainly makes you the most dominant kicker.
But what if he took that leg to the pitches of Europe or South America?
5. Carl Crawford
One of the quickest base stealers in the MLB, Crawford has made a name for himself as a speedy outfielder with unworldly athletic ability.
Give him a ball at his feet and freedom on the wing, who knows how many defenders he could blow right past?
6. Derrick Rose
With gifted court vision and a knack for popping up in the clutch, the reigning MVP packs a giant punch for such a little frame.
He is jobless at the moment though, so he should utilize his awareness and passing abilities to carve out a career as a central midfielder.
7. Tiger Woods
Woods loves to party, as do most professional footballers. Plus, his lavish lifestyle complements his former dominance in athletics.
8. Chad Ochocinco
We all know his first go-around with footy didn’t end so well, but Ochocinco is pretty resilient. If he put his mind to it, he could give it another shot and possibly do alright.
9. LeBron James
As part owner of Liverpool FC, the King is already smitten with footy love.
Instead of trying to take the field for an American football team, he should try his luck with real football, and use his massive frame and power to patrol a defense.
10. Jose Reyes
Playing second base with grace and range, Jose Reyes is a multi-tool player who can cover a lot of ground quickly.
So who says he couldn’t be a multi-sport player, because I can envision him covering some ground defensively on the football grass.
11. Candace Parker
One of the few female shout outs, Candace Parker is good enough at basketball where she could hold her own against men. And as tall as she is, I am sure she could making a pretty substantial career as the next United States women’s national team goalie.
12. Mike Scifres
Scifres is an accurate punter who prides himself on putting the ball exactly where he wants it.
I could picture the San Diego Chargers’ special teams guru being a pretty good penalty taker if his foot is that precise.
13. Andy Roddick
The tennis star has been all over the world and is used to being under the microscope. He is a pretty good tennis player as well, and has a passion for soccer he could definitely translate onto the playing field.
14. Kevin Garnett
Ultra competitive and a growing fan of football, KG is a notorious Chelsea fan and could definitely provide intimidation in their squad.
How physically scary would CFC’s back line be with David Luiz and KG playing alongside one another?
15. Reggie Bush
Some people are just so advanced athletically, you imagine they could be good at any sport.
Reggie Bush falls into this category, and the NFL running back is also marketable like many soccer stars.
16. DeSean Jackson
In the game of soccer, size is irrelevant, and DeSean Jackson has been extremely productive in a sport where size certainly does matter.
I think soccer would be more fitting for the swift and compact wide receiver though, and he would find life just as easy on the other football field.
17. Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest)
Every football team needs someone like Metta World Peace, who attracts the ire of away crowds and constantly takes the pressure off his team by getting in the heads of the opposition.
As one of the biggest personalities in the NBA, the man formerly known as Ron Artest has the potential to be an enforcing midfield who isn’t afraid to hear the boos.
18. Darrelle Revis
Revis is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and he has constantly shut down opponents—no matter how much bigger or faster they are.
He combines athleticism with intelligence and timing, making him the perfect mold for an outside back.
19. Tim Lincecum
The lanky San Francisco Giants ace is an avid fan of the FIFA franchise of video games, and has even appeared in commercials for the title.
If he decides to stop fanning batters on a regular basis, his buddy Landon Donovan could probably help him get his soccer career going.
20. Patrick Kane
Young, effective and fearless, the Chicago Blackhawks winger has been doing damage in the NHL since his rookie year.
Hitting the ground running at such a young age is common in football, so I could see Kane handling the pressure of the beautiful game quite easily.
21. Dwight Howard
As many NBA players have found out, driving against the Orlando Magic center is not always the smartest idea. As one of the best defenders in basketball, Howard could use his long limbs and aerial abilities to carve out a decent goalkeeping career.
22. Clay Matthews
Arguably the best linebacker in the NFL, Clay Matthews has gone from unknown to a Super Bowl champion in such a short time.
With devastating power and a brilliant ability to unlock teams, Matthews could terrorize defenses as a brutal striker.
23. Prince Fielder
The Milwaukee Brewers first baseman comes from a family of athletes, and he has used his genes to become a formidable hitter with deceptive speed and above-average defensive skills.
This type of all-around player bodes well in the game of footy, as coaches always look for versatility within their squad.
24. Laila Ali
Another famous offspring, I would never want to step into the ring with the famous boxer.
Considering she could kick my behind, I could see her dominating the women’s game with her combination of brute force and grace—just like her father did in the ring.
25. Tim Thomas
The Boston Bruins goalie has set records with his ability to keep the puck out of the back of the net. Would he convert that goalie prowess to the bigger footy nets?
I think so.
26. Russell Westbrook
A player who personifies heart and dedication, Westbrook is a fiery point guard with mega passion and a strong work ethic.
These qualities are all similar to many of the greats playing footy today, and I can see Westbrook accepting the challenge of getting out on the soccer pitch.
27. Derek Jeter
The Yankees shortstop is the captain of his team, and the true definition of a leader. Like many captains in the world of footy, it is important that younger players have a suitable role model to emulate, and Jeter could use his influence to direct a football squad.
28. Devin Hester
Hester is the greatest return man in NFL history, and his speed and elusiveness are trademarks to his game.
Put a soccer ball at Hester’s feet, and I predict he could blow past many defenders as a winger. Besides, if his first touch is poor, he has the jets to make up for it!
29. Matt Kemp
Fresh off a MVP-caliber season, Kemp is physically peaking and is at his athletic prime as an MLB player. Imagine if Sir Alex got a hold of the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder and molded him into a menacing striker during the best part of his career?
30. Michael Phelps
The dynamic swimmer has dominated what is considered the most prestigious sports competition in the world—the Olympics—and is a physical specimen, to say the least.
Phelps would have no problem holding off defenders with his back to goal, but his endurance might be a flaw in his game.