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  #1  
Old 10-11-17, 08:16 AM
3343 3343 is offline
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US Soccer - What Needs to Change

With the USMNT not qualifying last night for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, what changes need to be made in order to turn this thing around?
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  #2  
Old 10-11-17, 08:18 AM
Kickin Wing Kickin Wing is offline
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Make me coach!
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  #3  
Old 10-11-17, 08:20 AM
2731 2731 is offline
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Originally Posted by 3343 View Post
With the USMNT not qualifying last night for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, what changes need to be made in order to turn this thing around?
Only everything. Take the entire u-17 squad plus Pulisic and Acosta. In fill with u-20s and ride that until '22 take your lumps along the way. Let Ramos coach em.

They will be 25 by the time it matters again. Bottom to top changes, not the other way around.

Also it's pretty obvious the National Team needs to separate itself from the MLS. The MLS is just not good enough.
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Old 10-11-17, 08:30 AM
Kickin Wing Kickin Wing is offline
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Originally Posted by 2731 View Post
Take the entire u-17 squad plus Pulisic and Acosta. In fill with u-20s and ride that until '22 take your lumps along the way. Let Ramos coach em.

They will be 25 by the time it matters again.


You can be my assistant coach.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-17, 08:43 AM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Top to bottom AND bottom to top changes.

Sunil out. Arena out. Old players out.

Reform the structure. Solidarity Payments. Promotion/relegation. Those are all good and needed. But, until soccer players start doing more on their own, we'll still struggle. Play more. Train more. Quit relying on a coach to make you better. Put down the Mt. Dew. Leave Game of Thrones for an hour. Get additional touches. Make teammates better, it's not all about yourself.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-17, 08:46 AM
3343 3343 is offline
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Originally Posted by 2731 View Post
Only everything. Take the entire u-17 squad plus Pulisic and Acosta. In fill with u-20s and ride that until '22 take your lumps along the way. Let Ramos coach em.

They will be 25 by the time it matters again. Bottom to top changes, not the other way around.

Also it's pretty obvious the National Team needs to separate itself from the MLS. The MLS is just not good enough.
I really like the idea of having Tab come in as a coach! I also agree with the youth movement, like you said take the loses as they come, but when it matters they will be in their mid 20's and ready to play.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-17, 09:23 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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A total tear down from top to bottom.

Now I know this is going to rankle some folks who worship at the alter of "elite" club soccer but US soccer should at least look into focusing more attention on High School Soccer as a means of facilitating large scale youth development. Heck, this pipeline has worked very well for football.

Look the nature of American child labor laws and contracts makes it tricky to have European style academy's. Let's face it, high school soccer has an infrastructure in place to build off of as it has already organized the kids into groups, provided a structure for extensive practice and game playing and added a bit of spice in representing your school and playing in front of your classmates under the lights. Elite club soccer rarely offers all these things.

If US soccer started providing grants to high schools to upgrade their fields and provide training for their coaches and special local camps over the summer for the players (I know they already do some of this but I'm talking seriously enhancing the effort) then you might be surprised at the results in ten years.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-17, 09:47 AM
2731 2731 is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
A total tear down from top to bottom.

Now I know this is going to rankle some folks who worship at the alter of "elite" club soccer but US soccer should at least look into focusing more attention on High School Soccer as a means of facilitating large scale youth development. Heck, this pipeline has worked very well for football.

Look the nature of American child labor laws and contracts makes it tricky to have European style academy's. Let's face it, high school soccer has an infrastructure in place to build off of as it has already organized the kids into groups, provided a structure for extensive practice and game playing and added a bit of spice in representing your school and playing in front of your classmates under the lights. Elite club soccer rarely offers all these things.

If US soccer started providing grants to high schools to upgrade their fields and provide training for their coaches and special local camps over the summer for the players (I know they already do some of this but I'm talking seriously enhancing the effort) then you might be surprised at the results in ten years.
That's all great except the u-17s are doing just fine. None of them played HS.
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  #9  
Old 10-11-17, 09:51 AM
Happygoluckky Happygoluckky is offline
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Originally Posted by 2731 View Post
That's all great except the u-17s are doing just fine. None of them played HS.
Don't see HS as part of the solution for USMNT. Unless it's IMG model.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-17, 10:37 AM
ammtd34 ammtd34 is offline
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I have an honest question. I am not trying to start an argument, but just providing this as a disclaimer because I know how this topic gets.

What is the correlation between promotion/relegation and an improved national team? Meaning, if every impediment to pro/rel was removed tomorrow, how does the USMNT improve by 2020?
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  #11  
Old 10-11-17, 10:50 AM
EastYoungstown EastYoungstown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammtd34 View Post
I have an honest question. I am not trying to start an argument, but just providing this as a disclaimer because I know how this topic gets.

What is the correlation between promotion/relegation and an improved national team? Meaning, if every impediment to pro/rel was removed tomorrow, how does the USMNT improve by 2020?
none
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  #12  
Old 10-11-17, 10:56 AM
EastYoungstown EastYoungstown is offline
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the biggest problem is that it's a cash cow for the club world no matter what the USMNT does

and that club world and it's profits have HS and college soccer exactly where they want them. Every HS and college coach is telling every parent of every soccer playing kid that they have to go to these places to get better. Heck, most club coaches ARE the college and/or HS coaches

YET

every HS coach will gladly take an exchange student or immigrant and put them on their team immediately to winAND college coaches gladly fill close to half of their college roster with kids from overseas in order to win

One last thing, if anything, this failing will only result in an uptick in profits for all those guys

They woke up this morning ready to cash in

that whole world would be NUTS to get on board with any kind of change

just my 2 cents
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  #13  
Old 10-11-17, 11:00 AM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Originally Posted by ammtd34 View Post
What is the correlation between promotion/relegation and an improved national team? Meaning, if every impediment to pro/rel was removed tomorrow, how does the USMNT improve by 2020?
It can serve as an identifier for more players. That's one of the first examples. The current system only allows for the "select" few within 1st Division to really remain an option, then also plug in domestic players playing abroad.

Second, players moving up the pyramid in competition only puts more pressure -- to win, to compete, etc. Thus, the hope is to make a more mentally strong national team as well. Currently, there's limited pressure (that's the claim) because there's really nothing riding on the current system. Get a draft pick. Half of MLS makes playoffs and anyone can play there. Very soft system structure.

Pro/rel is a win or go home mentality. You don't have joke ownership not impacting the USMNT at all anymore (NE Revolution, Rapids, Fire, etc.). It allows for players to be identified, pushed, and hopes to make the whole country able to compete at a higher level.

Those are just immediate changes. There's numerous others that impact soccer in general, not necessarily immediate turnarounds in 2-3 years.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-17, 11:03 AM
Happygoluckky Happygoluckky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammtd34 View Post
I have an honest question. I am not trying to start an argument, but just providing this as a disclaimer because I know how this topic gets.

What is the correlation between promotion/relegation and an improved national team? Meaning, if every impediment to pro/rel was removed tomorrow, how does the USMNT improve by 2020?
It creates a business model that requires clubs to focus on youth development (Stoke, Monaco) or investing huge sums (ala PSG, Man City) for already developed talent. The piece that is missing in the MLS is professional youth development and grwoing talent in the US. a player with world quality talent like Pulisic has to play overseas (most players cannot follow his model)
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  #15  
Old 10-11-17, 01:10 PM
sebbyb sebbyb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3343 View Post
With the USMNT not qualifying last night for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, what changes need to be made in order to turn this thing around?
Problem: Too expensive to play.

This is from May of this year and NOT an overreaction to last nights game.



Finding a way to fully fund the DA would be a good start.
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  #16  
Old 10-11-17, 01:23 PM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Want to make soccer more affordable? Quit paying for club and/or DA (just fancy club). Invest in own development and growth. Learn the game. Coach your kids, or local kids. Pay-to-play exists because people rely on everyone else to "teach" and "develop." Own your own development.

No one HAS to play club. No one HAS to pay. They choose to. Flip the system upside down. The rest of the world doesn't pay much, even outside of the wealthy clubs and academies. They play on their own. They learn from family. They learn from friends. They actually watch the game. They own their development because it's a part of their culture.
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  #17  
Old 10-11-17, 01:23 PM
ammtd34 ammtd34 is offline
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So we identify players at a younger age. Aren't the coaches still the same coaches? And isn't the player pool largely the same?

I don't think sending the best players overseas is a negative if that's the best option. It's working out in South America.
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  #18  
Old 10-11-17, 01:57 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happygoluckky View Post
Don't see HS as part of the solution for USMNT. Unless it's IMG model.
I'm not saying it should be the only thing done nor am I saying that it would happen quickly. But if you could redirect more resources into HS soccer you might wake up in 20 years with a fairly robust structure to develop young talent.

It works for football and to a lesser extent baseball. My concern is that we will never be able to mimic what works in Europe due to the unique issues of soccer in the USA. Maybe it's time to look at what we already have - high school & college - as avenues for developing players and see if soccer can use these same infrastructures like Football, Baseball & Basketball do.
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  #19  
Old 10-11-17, 02:03 PM
2731 2731 is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
I'm not saying it should be the only thing done nor am I saying that it would happen quickly. But if you could redirect more resources into HS soccer you might wake up in 20 years with a fairly robust structure to develop young talent.

It works for football and to a lesser extent baseball. My concern is that we will never be able to mimic what works in Europe due to the unique issues of soccer in the USA. Maybe it's time to look at what we already have - high school & college - as avenues for developing players and see if soccer can use these same infrastructures like Football, Baseball & Basketball do.
But with the exception of the 2 kids and the players that always lived internationally... "What we already have" are the players that just washed out. They ARE the product of HS and regular club teams.

EDIT**** Baseball and Basketball rely pretty heavily on Club structures too.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:14 PM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
I'm not saying it should be the only thing done nor am I saying that it would happen quickly. But if you could redirect more resources into HS soccer you might wake up in 20 years with a fairly robust structure to develop young talent.

It works for football and to a lesser extent baseball. My concern is that we will never be able to mimic what works in Europe due to the unique issues of soccer in the USA. Maybe it's time to look at what we already have - high school & college - as avenues for developing players and see if soccer can use these same infrastructures like Football, Baseball & Basketball do.
It works in football, baseball, and basketball because those sports mimic the same playing seasons as their college-to-pro systems. Soccer does not.

It won't either. Look at the fight against "specialization" that hits soccer more than any other sport. "You can't tell me I can't play other sports" hits so hard in soccer than ANYTHING else. But, at some point the athlete will have to choose and focus if they want to be superior.

Soccer is played roughly 2-3 months a season at the youth-to-college levels. Professional is 8-10 months. No other sport has THAT big of gaps in competitive season.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:41 PM
EastYoungstown EastYoungstown is offline
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The difference is that most other sports here in the US are survival of the fittest.

Soccer is survival of the richest.

AAU basketball teams don't carry scrubs. Neither do travel baseball teams. Travel is non-existent in football, but size and strength eventually weeds out 90% of kids before any kind of recruiting begins.

In soccer the poorest are weeded out first.

Are any club director's out there saying no to the middle class stay at home mom driving the Acura or Mercedes SUV to practice? I don't think so. As long as they fork over the money, they'll be a good squad player to have at practice and help pay the bills.

The kid with the parents willing to fork out the most generally lasts the longest.
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  #22  
Old 10-11-17, 02:41 PM
EastYoungstown EastYoungstown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belied dat View Post
It works in football, baseball, and basketball because those sports mimic the same playing seasons as their college-to-pro systems. Soccer does not.

It won't either. Look at the fight against "specialization" that hits soccer more than any other sport. "You can't tell me I can't play other sports" hits so hard in soccer than ANYTHING else. But, at some point the athlete will have to choose and focus if they want to be superior.

Soccer is played roughly 2-3 months a season at the youth-to-college levels. Professional is 8-10 months. No other sport has THAT big of gaps in competitive season.
Are you serious?

It can be year round for 5 year olds.

Every indoor place runs sessions from at least November 1 til the end of April. Rec and travel seasons bridge that gap.

You can probably find a soccer tourney in Ohio somewhere almost every weekend of the year now.
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  #23  
Old 10-11-17, 03:31 PM
Happygoluckky Happygoluckky is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
I'm not saying it should be the only thing done nor am I saying that it would happen quickly. But if you could redirect more resources into HS soccer you might wake up in 20 years with a fairly robust structure to develop young talent.

It works for football and to a lesser extent baseball. My concern is that we will never be able to mimic what works in Europe due to the unique issues of soccer in the USA. Maybe it's time to look at what we already have - high school & college - as avenues for developing players and see if soccer can use these same infrastructures like Football, Baseball & Basketball do.
Football is not a skill sport (other than QB) Basketball is more like soccer with AAU being the development driver.

I do think you are correct in trying to mimic EU...completely different culture/pro set up.
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  #24  
Old 10-11-17, 06:57 PM
steelboot steelboot is offline
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Originally Posted by 2731 View Post
Only everything. Take the entire u-17 squad plus Pulisic and Acosta. In fill with u-20s and ride that until '22 take your lumps along the way. Let Ramos coach em.

They will be 25 by the time it matters again. Bottom to top changes, not the other way around.

Also it's pretty obvious the National Team needs to separate itself from the MLS. The MLS is just not good enough.
Unfortunately a lot of the USMNT players aren't good enough to play at a higher level (overseas, Mexico, etc.) than MLS.
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Old 10-11-17, 07:07 PM
steelboot steelboot is offline
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every HS coach will gladly take an exchange student or immigrant and put them on their team immediately to winAND college coaches gladly fill close to half of their college roster with kids from overseas in order to win
Funny I just had this conversation at lunch today with a buddy. You are exactly right. D1 Colleges only get 9.5 Scholarships for Men's Soccer and those are typically used up by the foreign students leaving the US students out of the mix. Problem is the Colleges are not involved with USSF and probably could care less about feeding the pipeline for the USMNT.
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Old 10-11-17, 07:21 PM
steelboot steelboot is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
I'm not saying it should be the only thing done nor am I saying that it would happen quickly. But if you could redirect more resources into HS soccer you might wake up in 20 years with a fairly robust structure to develop young talent.

It works for football and to a lesser extent baseball. My concern is that we will never be able to mimic what works in Europe due to the unique issues of soccer in the USA. Maybe it's time to look at what we already have - high school & college - as avenues for developing players and see if soccer can use these same infrastructures like Football, Baseball & Basketball do.
Soccer is a completely different animal than Football and Baseball (to a lesser extent). If we are waiting until HS ages to really start developing these players we are way too late. This is probably oversimplifying my evaluation of Football but you teach a kid to tackle the guy with the ball at age 10 or 15 and by the time he is 18 unlikely you'd notice the difference. Football is more about raw physical ability. Soccer is also about physical ability but also about muscle memory and repetition (touches on the ball). Not to mention we don't get a 40 second break every 5 seconds (wink). I do agree kids should be playing HS and not CLUB year round. These Club Directors are only interested in one thing and that is more $$$. If they can get kids to quit playing HS then they have 2-3 more months of revenue stream.
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Old 10-11-17, 09:20 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Some great feedback to my suggestion of focusing on HS as a way to develop US soccer talent. Here's my responses to some of the points made:

Steelboot you bring up the most critical issue and I would view Junior/Senior High School soccer as a bridge between youth & pro/college. Jr/Sr HS soccer would cover ages 12 - 18 and of course you would need improved training & coaching and a stronger commitment to U12 and younger soccer to ensure the development of foundational soccer skills. Jr/Sr HS would be where players developed team skills and progressed into an advanced level of soccer.

Happygilucky football skill positions involve more then the QB. Receivers, TE's, RB's and defensive backs are all skill heavy positions. Nor should you shortchange the offensive & defensive lines. While these positions involve large men they require extensive skills training in the hand & foot movement involved in effective blocking and shedding a block. It is far more than brute force.

The reason HS football can be a pipeline to the NFL is that it's very popular so benefits from a large number of teenagers wanting to play the game and willing to put in the time and effort to excel AND the coaching at the HS level is outstanding in teaching the kids the fundamentals of the game.

And this is the attraction to me of focusing on HS soccer as a primary (not the only) player development model. So here's what you need to do and much of it is cultural:

* Move the HS soccer season for the entire country to the SPRING (like they do in the SW). Those states that have fall soccer are going up against football for popularity and will lose every time. In this way soccer can become the most popular spring sport in HS.

* Provide the incentives neccesary to convince AD's to feature soccer in the spring like they feature football in the fall and basketball in the winter. that means creating the FRIDAY NIGHT SOCCER mystique. Play your games on Tuesday and Friday nights with the Friday night games pulling out all the stops including cheer leaders and a marching band! This will lead to an increase in popularity of soccer in HS which will in turn lead to more high level athletes choosing to play soccer in HS. I also believe that there would be synergistic crossover between soccer & football like you see in the American southwest. The NFL. MLB & NBA are full of players who competed in the other "big" American sports when in HS.

If you think I'm crazy here I've been to some afternoon HS playoff games that featured huge crowds. There is a potential student & community market out there for FRIDAY NIGHT soccer. At the very least you would be creating legions of soccer fans for MLS & the US men's team.

I guess I'm just asking for people to think out of the box on this. The infrastructure for high school soccer is already here. And unlike most clubs parents are conditioned that Jr/Sr HS sports involves a six day effort of practices & games during the season. Where else can you get such focused participation in soccer outside of an academy?
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Old 10-11-17, 09:27 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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As an aside and as a rabid fan of BOTH soccer & football I think some of you are underestimating the skill levels and finesse required to play football at a high level. I get that soccer & football are different beasts in many ways but there are also similarities and given the enormous success football has had in the American sports landscape from High school through college and on to the NFL it might be the sport that American soccer looks to emulate in some things rather then always gazing with jealous eyes towards Europe.
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Old 10-12-17, 06:35 AM
Happygoluckky Happygoluckky is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Some great feedback to my suggestion of focusing on HS as a way to develop US soccer talent. Here's my responses to some of the points made:

Steelboot you bring up the most critical issue and I would view Junior/Senior High School soccer as a bridge between youth & pro/college. Jr/Sr HS soccer would cover ages 12 - 18 and of course you would need improved training & coaching and a stronger commitment to U12 and younger soccer to ensure the development of foundational soccer skills. Jr/Sr HS would be where players developed team skills and progressed into an advanced level of soccer.

Happygilucky football skill positions involve more then the QB. Receivers, TE's, RB's and defensive backs are all skill heavy positions. Nor should you shortchange the offensive & defensive lines. While these positions involve large men they require extensive skills training in the hand & foot movement involved in effective blocking and shedding a block. It is far more than brute force.

The reason HS football can be a pipeline to the NFL is that it's very popular so benefits from a large number of teenagers wanting to play the game and willing to put in the time and effort to excel AND the coaching at the HS level is outstanding in teaching the kids the fundamentals of the game.

And this is the attraction to me of focusing on HS soccer as a primary (not the only) player development model. So here's what you need to do and much of it is cultural:

* Move the HS soccer season for the entire country to the SPRING (like they do in the SW). Those states that have fall soccer are going up against football for popularity and will lose every time. In this way soccer can become the most popular spring sport in HS.

* Provide the incentives neccesary to convince AD's to feature soccer in the spring like they feature football in the fall and basketball in the winter. that means creating the FRIDAY NIGHT SOCCER mystique. Play your games on Tuesday and Friday nights with the Friday night games pulling out all the stops including cheer leaders and a marching band! This will lead to an increase in popularity of soccer in HS which will in turn lead to more high level athletes choosing to play soccer in HS. I also believe that there would be synergistic crossover between soccer & football like you see in the American southwest. The NFL. MLB & NBA are full of players who competed in the other "big" American sports when in HS.

If you think I'm crazy here I've been to some afternoon HS playoff games that featured huge crowds. There is a potential student & community market out there for FRIDAY NIGHT soccer. At the very least you would be creating legions of soccer fans for MLS & the US men's team.

I guess I'm just asking for people to think out of the box on this. The infrastructure for high school soccer is already here. And unlike most clubs parents are conditioned that Jr/Sr HS sports involves a six day effort of practices & games during the season. Where else can you get such focused participation in soccer outside of an academy?
Yes they take skill, but skill takes a back seat to speed and athleticism. If you run a 4.4 40 or are 6'8" and 280 lbs you will get interest from college and NFL scouts regardless of skill/experience. There are very few people in the world that meet the size and athletic requirements and development prior to age 16 is pretty much a non-factor. Baseball is different - hand eye coordination mixed with power and specific skill set.
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  #30  
Old 10-12-17, 07:40 AM
cincinnatisoccerfan cincinnatisoccerfan is offline
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Cannot be Fixed

Get rid of Football, Basketball, Baseball, Lacrosse, and Hockey. Don't let kids try out until they are 14 years old and tell them they have very little future unless they make the National team then you will have a team capable of winning the World CUP.

The game was not even televised on any National TV outlets for Gods sake but preseason NBA Basketball was all over the air.

OH Yea quit paying $2,000 for Johnny to play Soccer from U7- U13 and getting burned out by coaches so they quit the sport by the time they are 14 and HS age.

How's that for a start.

Can't wait for the Paid coaches to jump in on this one. PS I have coached and trained for Free for the last 10 years. Even when the club said I had to be paid I gave the money back to the parents or Kids! My teams always paid 1/3 of the going Club Fees won most of the time and almost all of my kids still love the game! It drives those trainer and paid coaches crazy.
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