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Old 10-13-17, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly_Cat View Post
I disagree with all of this. High school soccer is not the answer. You use high school football as the model, but that is not apples to apples. America has the monopoly on football in the world. America has all the athletes and sets the standard. We can run football just about anyway we want and we will still produce the best players and teams. That is not the case in soccer. This same sort of monopoly on the sport is what led to the US Woman's program being so successful. We were one of the first countries to buy into the idea of letting woman sports be legit. Thus that gave our women a head start on training and development over the rest of the World. And we showed what that head start can do. But now the women's game is starting to look like the men's game when you look at international participation? The result: The pack has caught up.

Unlike football, in soccer we don't have the best athletes, we don't have the best teams, we don't have the best leagues, we don't have the best clubs. And we are competing against the entire world, as pretty much every developed country has soccer. And you think high school soccer, where you play for 4 months or so, is the answer to US soccer internationally? Come on son!

I personally think the basic structure for US soccer to be better is already in place. The problem is the American mentality changing to fit to it. High school soccer won't help internationally. College soccer will not help internationally. But these are the normal athletic pathways Americans are ingrained to know as THE way to the pros. And those two ways can and will get you to the America. But the MLS is far inferior to many other pro leagues around the world. So you can follow that path and potentially make be a pro in the MLS, but you are still lacking in the rest of the world.

Americans as a whole don't like to ever believe their way isn't the best way. So instead, we sit at a stalemate between the American public and US soccer, and US Soccer will continue to suffer because of it.
Philly, to be clear while I went into details about how HS soccer could be modified and used to improve US soccer I don't believe it could accomplish this in a vacuum. Many of the other ideas put out on this thread could still be done in addition to a focus on taking advantage of the soccer infrastructure already in place.

* Move the HS soccer season to the spring across the entire USA. Exploit the growing popularity of soccer to recreate the "Friday Night Soccer" experience at the high school level. This would include evening games under the lights and bands playing at halftime. Kids are looking for a place to hang out and HS baseball simply can't provide the experience to mimic Friday night lights that soccer can, IMO.

* If you can establish a "Friday Night Lights" experience for soccer in HS it WILL attract better athletes to the game. As an added bonus you will convert more kids into future adult fans for the game. This is a win-win.

* You mention that HS soccer would only be a few months, true but the kids practice and play games basically 6 days out of 7 following a daily preseason training regimen. It's been over 20 years since my kid played club soccer but I don't remember them practicing as often as they do in HS.

* I get your criticism that football is unique so let's go with baseball as the model where you have year round club baseball AND high school baseball complimenting each other. In the case of soccer, if you can recreate the "Friday Night Lights" atmosphere for spring soccer, then it would have an edge on HS baseball in attracting top athletes.

Bottom line is that it's time to experiment and recognize that there isn't one solution here. Simply trying to incorporate HS soccer into the plan as part of a bigger effort seems like an easy way to both generate a larger player pipeline AND increase the sports popularity.
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