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  #1  
Old 04-25-17, 07:53 AM
sportsfanofyear sportsfanofyear is offline
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U.S. Soccer is trying to clarify the chaotic youth scene?

I found this article “factual” and interesting but I disagree with the premise that “U.S. Soccer is trying to clarify the chaotic youth scene”. I would argue that US Soccer has made the youth soccer scene even more chaotic (age group changes, DA-no high school, more travel-less local play at young ages). This is happening when “Soccer on television is no longer exotic”.

The big fact of the article is: “Youth soccer is losing players – down from 11.2 million in 2011 to 8.9 million in 2015”.

I think the college soccer game interest has also gone backwards and US Soccer should be working to improve that as well.

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/featu...nts-understand
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  #2  
Old 04-25-17, 11:59 AM
Empty CUP Empty CUP is offline
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11.2 million kids playing soccer in the US? That's a crazy a** number.

Here's what U.S. youth Soccer had to say about growth

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/us_yout...rowth_in_2014/

Or these numbers that certainly seem much more accurate also from US Youth soccer.


Key Statistics

Membership Statistics

US Youth Soccer Annual Registration of Players
1974 - 103,432
1980 - 810,793
1985 - 1,210,408
1990 - 1,615,041
1995 - 2,388,719
2000 - 3,020,442
2005 - 3,050,465
2007 - 3,123,698
2008 - 3,148,114
2009 - 3,094,868
2010 - 3,036,438
2011 - 3,025,551
2012 - 3,020,633
2013 - 2,804,711
2014 - 3,055,148
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Old 04-25-17, 01:44 PM
sportsfanofyear sportsfanofyear is offline
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EMPTY CUP, do you believe that youth soccer participation is trending up or down?

Why hasn't US Youth updated their numbers since 2014? Could there have been a major decline in membership? Possibly due to the age change policy?

Anecdotally, I believe youth soccer is down due to costs/fees, travel requirements, fewer multiple sport athletes, and kids not playing with their grade level friends.

Looking at the numbers from US Youth from 2007 to 2014:

YEAR MEMBERS DIFF from AVERAGE
2007 3,123,698 85,053
2008 3,148,114 109,469
2009 3,094,868 56,223
2010 3,036,438 -2,207
2011 3,025,551 -13,094
2012 3,020,633 -18,012
2013 2,804,711 -233,934
2014 3,055,148 16,503 (World Cup bump)

AVERAGE 3,038,645
PEAK YR 2008
LOW YR 2013
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Old 04-25-17, 02:11 PM
2731 2731 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfanofyear View Post
EMPTY CUP, do you believe that youth soccer participation is trending up or down?

Why hasn't US Youth updated their numbers since 2014? Could there have been a major decline in membership? Possibly due to the age change policy?

Anecdotally, I believe youth soccer is down due to costs/fees, travel requirements, fewer multiple sport athletes, and kids not playing with their grade level friends.

Looking at the numbers from US Youth from 2007 to 2014:

YEAR MEMBERS DIFF from AVERAGE
2007 3,123,698 85,053
2008 3,148,114 109,469
2009 3,094,868 56,223
2010 3,036,438 -2,207
2011 3,025,551 -13,094
2012 3,020,633 -18,012
2013 2,804,711 -233,934
2014 3,055,148 16,503 (World Cup bump)

AVERAGE 3,038,645
PEAK YR 2008
LOW YR 2013
Yes but if you read the original cited article instead of just copying tables you would have learned that participation in youth sports in total is trending down. That's the reason for the article at all. Less kids are playing ANY sport. It was never about US soccer trying to drum up participation, that conclusion is manufactured.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:22 PM
Empty CUP Empty CUP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfanofyear View Post
EMPTY CUP, do you believe that youth soccer participation is trending up or down?

Why hasn't US Youth updated their numbers since 2014? Could there have been a major decline in membership? Possibly due to the age change policy?

Anecdotally, I believe youth soccer is down due to costs/fees, travel requirements, fewer multiple sport athletes, and kids not playing with their grade level friends.

Looking at the numbers from US Youth from 2007 to 2014:

YEAR MEMBERS DIFF from AVERAGE
2007 3,123,698 85,053
2008 3,148,114 109,469
2009 3,094,868 56,223
2010 3,036,438 -2,207
2011 3,025,551 -13,094
2012 3,020,633 -18,012
2013 2,804,711 -233,934
2014 3,055,148 16,503 (World Cup bump)

AVERAGE 3,038,645
PEAK YR 2008
LOW YR 2013
Do I think they lost 2+ million kids? or 20%ish Hell no! That would be a dramatic loss of kids.

Does it ebb and flow? Yeah. Did the economy declining and the cost of travel soccer increasing impact it? since 2008...we all know that answer.

I'd say it's also quite a bit regional. But regardless US soccer is NOT the answer.
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Old 04-26-17, 08:19 AM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfanofyear View Post
I found this article “factual” and interesting but I disagree with the premise that “U.S. Soccer is trying to clarify the chaotic youth scene”. I would argue that US Soccer has made the youth soccer scene even more chaotic (age group changes, DA-no high school, more travel-less local play at young ages). This is happening when “Soccer on television is no longer exotic”.

The big fact of the article is: “Youth soccer is losing players – down from 11.2 million in 2011 to 8.9 million in 2015”.

I think the college soccer game interest has also gone backwards and US Soccer should be working to improve that as well.

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/featu...nts-understand
Overall, soccer is about the same -- in my opinion -- as it has been in the last 20 years. We have more available in terms of professional options AND television options, but the numbers there for viewership aren't great (especially television).

Soccer is still a second option for many players and parents. It's largely a "recreational" activity instead of ingrained in the culture of the people who participate. They'd still choose to do something else, if they could and were good enough. It's not a sport or mentality that people have brought into their livelihood like football, basketball, and baseball have been for YEARS.

We can put blame on USSF all we want, and they do share part of it. At the same time, they cannot force anyone to participate or adapt to how it "should" be done. Look, they tried on the women's side by starting up a GDA and they got crap from tons of people. But, if ECNL leadership weren't willing to "give up control" then why not start a DA?

Across the world, these things are operated by the FAs. In US, everything is ran by independent organizations that get sanctioned by USSF. There's just no leadership in USSF, for sure. But, it's not like people will go with them when they try to organize things a little better.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-17, 08:49 AM
sportsfanofyear sportsfanofyear is offline
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http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/gall...pending-051117

In this commentary from Fox Sports, “5 things U.S. Soccer should spend their $100 million surplus on”, the author comments that instead of “building a dedicated training ground, which would eat up a chunk of that surplus” they should:

1. Hire more scouts
2. Build fields in communities across the country
3. Pour more money into the development academies
4. Make coaching licenses more accessible
5. Lower ticket prices

US Soccer doesn’t need a dedicated training ground. It doesn’t work effectively well for the US Olympics in Colorado Springs. Instead keep taking advantage of the super facilities around the US and at the colleges.

My suggestions to US Soccer and their $100 million and resources is to:

1. Increase youth participation.
2. Change/improve the college soccer scene.
3. If college is changed/improved do something similar with high school.

Contrary to the numbers US Soccer is using, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association reports that youth soccer participation has significantly declined from 5 years ago. Why? US Soccer should truthfully research the reasons behind the decline. Costs? Access to facilities, coaches, etc? Age group/school group conflict? Etc.

College soccer potentially has the resources and facilities to launch soccer into an elite sport along the lines of football and basketball. The season schedule has to change to both Fall and Spring and a game a week. If college soccer had its championships in late May/early June, would not the following be significantly higher? Use the $100 million surplus to up the scholarship level from 13.9 to at least 22 and stop allowing the division of scholarships so a college can stop mocking players with rosters of 40+. College football (85) and basketball (12) do not allow partial scholarships. (I believe that US Soccer would just rather fight college soccer.)

Many colleges have amazing soccer facilities and they have access to significant media outlets. US Soccer should take advantage/exploit the colleges resources and grow soccer in the US. What will be the public following for the U20 US MNT in the upcoming World Cup in Korea? Will the following be better than college championships in baseball or softball?

The high school change would be more of a standardization of seasons, increase access to qualified coaches and work to change rules so players can participate in high school and club simultaneously/reasonably. (Michigan has spring girls’ soccer and spring girls’ lacrosse preventing good athletes from playing both). Many high schools have good facilities and training staff and practice times immediately after school at the school making it easier for the student-athlete to be a student. (Instead of some evening practice with a 30-60+ minute roundtrip commute).

US Soccer has to improve and optimize the base of soccer participation to attract more athletes and therefore, better athletes. Not just those athletes with parents that have money and soccer tunnel vision.
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