The hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach of the US national team has sparked a heated debate about restructuring the US Soccer youth system.  The conversation has mostly centered around concepts like: fostering more “free play,” developing a soccer culture, “pay for play,” developing a national style of play and emphasizing player development over results. Well, maybe there’s an easier answer. It’s called: The Mule.

This “soccer ball launcher” serves up balls with pinpoint accuracy allowing you to “score more goals, develop better ball control, improve settling skills and even improve goalkeeping techniques.”

Here’s how it works.

Just to recap, this soccer machine will allow you to “accomplish in hours what used to take weeks, or even months” because “there is no other method of acquiring or developing your soccer skill or technique that even comes close.”

So how much for this piece of American made machinery? You can have your very own donkey-emblazoned soccer catapult for the very low price of  just $1,595.00. But wait, there’s more: for that price you also get the “Euro Training System.”

“I now believe using the Mule along with our European Training Method will change the face of soccer development, not only in the United States, but around the entire world,” said Shane Mihaljevic, the son of George Mihaljevic, who developed the original concept for the Mule.

The makers of The Mule are a confident bunch; they make more lofty claims on their website:

  • “The Mule and our training system is all you need to become the best player you can be”
  • The Mule will be “the best money you have ever spent on the game of soccer.”
  • “In as little as 2 hours per week; your child will develop awesome 1st Touch skills; become a great goal scorer; improve dribbling, and be superior on the field.”
  • “Using the Mule Increases your child’s self-confidence.”
  • “Their new found love of the game will come naturally as your child becomes proficient with our drills”
  • “Your center back who was great at clearing the ball with his head is now a goal scoring weapon.”

The Mule men also say they have some high-profile customers, including: Manchester United, Chelsea, Sunderland, and Real Salt Lake.

And they even say a “professional player from Chelsea” bought one for “personal use.” Must be Fernando Torres. He could really use the extra finishing practice these days.

Here’s a full list of the clubs using The Mule, according to their website:

Manchester United Football Club
Chelsea F.C.
Jersey Knights Soccer Club
Sunderland A.F.C.
Real Salt Lake
Avalon Football Club of St. Charles
Scott Gallagher Soccer Club
Desoto High School
Highlands Ranch Community Associates
Denison University
Kennedy Highschool in St. Louis
Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Maryville University
Harrison Highschool in Arizona
Ridgefield Highschool in CT.
University of Lethbridge in Canada
Bellarmine University

I just hope that Barcelona doesn’t get ahold of this advanced technology — then they’d truly be unstoppable (and imagine how good Messi would be if he had one of these as a kid).

Bonus Features:

Still not a believer? Maybe, you just need to listen to the words (and sweet sounds) of Chris Martin and Coldplay,”if you never try, then you’ll never know.” Watch/Listen.

If Coldplay isn’t your cup of tea, here’s something a little more… Jersey Shore for you.

If you’re still reading at this point you must want more mule. Here you go: Terry Brown from….well, he doesn’t say…just Terry, with more…