Speed can’t be taught. Improving one’s speed can be learned, but reaching maximum capacity is G-d given.
In soccer, finesse and skill on the ball can take a player only so far. Add speed, then players like Lionel Messi emerge. Messi is considered the greatest attacking player because he combines all the goal-scoring (finishing) attributes.
On MLSSoccer.com, there are discussions on which players influence the game most with their natural born talents.
Right now, the man considered the fastest is Dominic Oduro, from Ghana.
Apparently, the Chicago forward is also fond of his talents.
If you ask him who’s the fastest, Oduro doesn’t shy away from saying that he is. His signature move after scoring a goal is to juggle one of his cleats and blow on it like it’s on Fire.
The others that made the list for fastest in MLS were: Marvin Chavez of the San Jose Earthquakes; Fabian Castillo of FC Dallas; Landon ‘the Legend’ Donovan of the LA Galaxy; and Dane Richards of the N.Y. Red Bulls.
Unfortunately, this top tier of fastest men lack equal ability with finesse and skill on the ball to accompany their speed (with the exception of Landon Donovan).
They are still acquiring ‘finishing’ reputations that accompany goal-scorers who command the attention of the defense.
Everyone agrees that blazing speed is a huge advantage to be utilized as a counter-attacking weapon. But these fastest men in the game would rather not be known as ‘one-trick ponies.’
For many players, MLS is a stepping stone to bigger leagues. Hopefully for these fastest men, when their reputations aren’t just talk, they’ll stick around a while longer in MLS to let fans enjoy the ride along with them (like Landon has done).
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com