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Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Titans Bastard, Jul 1, 2014.
Just saw that video of the "goal", terrible . I would not be surprised if there was payola.
The US seemingly has no problem turning out elite women's players; I wonder if the model could be copied by the men's national program? Obviously we are dealing with different variables, as soccer I would associate as being a glamorous sport for young female athletes, as opposed to male athletes growing up wanting to be NFL, MLB or NBA stars. In addition, the US infrastructure for turning out female athletes is so far ahead of a majority of the rest of the world that of course they are going to dominate if they put resources into it, unlike in men's soccer where the US is playing catch-up. Still, if you examine how the US consistently produces the best women's players in the world, I think you might learn some lessons.
I also think the targeting of immigrants, which pay to play does not always incorporate, is a smart idea. The US gets more immigrants than any other country, many of whom come from soccer loving cultures , yet have we really felt that presence on the national team? Obviously you take a look around the world and see France and Belgium stockpiling talent that are the children of immigrants, but even a country like Sweden, which you wouldn't normally associate with being a melting pot of diversity, as turned out two all-world class strikers in the past twenty years, both of whom are the children of immigrants.
To elaborate on both points; I was born in 94 and played soccer at the youth and hs level from 2000-2012 in Waltham. Throughout my time we had a really ethnically diverse team, probably about 80 percent of our team where immigrants or children of immigrants. We were never great, but we had a lot of talented kids that loved soccer. However there was no infrastructure at the youth, or even HS level. A lot of it came down to the parents; we were lucky if 3-4 parents showed up and when we played other towns at home, it would be embarrassing when there would be 5x as many people cheering for the away team. As a result, we never had great coaching, often times it was just some random dude who could pass a query test. There were plenty of kids who were good players, nobody was going to play professionally, but the fact is they were never even given a chance to develop into promising players. The local league was just interested in taking in their $135 and that was it.
At the same time my twin sister played soccer as well. Her team was always well supported, they always had a knowledgeable parent as a coach, and the parents were very involved with the preparations and the infrastructure was all there. Her team was also not nearly as diverse; which perhaps played a factor. I don't want to get too judgmental because this was only my personal experience, but it seemed like it was both a class and a culture divide. A lot of the boys on my team had parents that where either working on weekends, or came from a culture where the idea of being really involved in your kid's sport wasn't that prevalent. At least in my community, women's soccer was always much better supported than men's soccer, from the parents on down. I'd be interested in hearing from someone who was a youth coach in a similar community and if they had a similar experience.
Anyway, my main point is I think the current system is good at finding talent within the wealthier communities, but poor at cultivating talent from more working class, or poor communities. Considering most American sports thrive on the talents of athletes who grew up in the lower class, I think that maybe an issue.
I don't think so. The success of women's soccer here is based more in the fact that the US has huge numbers of women playing and has devoted more resources to women's sports than other countries. The US women's developmental structure has many of the same flaws, but they can get away with their problems and inefficiencies much more readily than the US men due to the quality and scope of their competition.
A Tony Pulis team would not have lost to T&T.
Exactly. The strengths and weaknesses of the two teams are pretty similar. The one women’s team that reminds me of their elite male counterparts is Japan - who uses their passing and possession skills to overcome size and athletic disadvantages.
Yeah, I don't think there are too many things we can take from the women's team that can be applied here. They have been great because they were stronger and faster than other teams, not necessarily more skilled. Our sporting culture was also way ahead of most other countries in encouraging girls to play soccer as much as boys.
Recent performances (knocked out before the medal round in the 2016 Olympics and coming in last in the 2017 She Believes Cup) suggest that the rest of the world is catching up, and the problems with pay-to-play and the lack of top coaches apply to them as well. Hopefully another couple of Mallory Pughs are in the pipeline, because Carli Lloyd isn't getting any younger.
Say rather that the rest of the world does not. Women's soccer does not have the history or money in Europe and South America that men's soccer does.
I know those U12 teams in the Chicago area. From what I know through friends with kids involved, they are well run and very supportive programs (especially compared with the local traveling baseball programs...yet to hear a good word about one). Unfortunately, even though the sticker prices are lower for families, the indirect costs (travel, booking evening & weekend time for kids sports not work) still serve as a barrier to low income families. Addressing that is Auper resource intensive, of course. We are far from that right now.
I had in mind, but didn’t write, that I’m thinking at the U10 & U7 levels, maybe even U5. Heavily subsidize a cohort of coaches to earn F/E/D licenses and start up well organized youth leagues in Latino & immigrant neighborhoods. Introduce kids to fundamentals and teach them a love of playing the game. A 5 year trial period would allow the programs to track kids up to age 10-15 to assess how many are still playing and how many have streamed up into selective/collective/travel programs.
Thinking more about the facilities piece, Chicago has competed 2 excellent joint baseball stadium development projects in recent years: one a collaboration between University of Illinois at Chicago, Curtis Granderson (UIC alum), and the city; the other between Kerry Wood, the Cubs, and the Chicago Park District. A very basic enclosed turf pitch could cost much less than these stadiums, but the same private-public-chartiable funding approach seems like a real winner for all involved.
I’m so glad we solved the pipeline problem. Can’t wait to see it implemented when TB is elected USSF president.
I'm all for it!
Your posting reminded me of this:
In 2015, NYCFC created a youth league at U9, U10, U11 levels that includes teams from various local clubs. No idea how well it's working out, but it's a loosely similar concept. The lack of information about funding indicates that there's no subsidy of any kind.
There’s a lot to like in that program. Reminds me of the NFL Play 60 flag football league my son is in (6 & 7 year olds): very well considered rules that emphasize teamwork and fun. The problem, of course, are the coaches. Across the league about 2/3rds think they are coaching up a high school team - drawing up elaborate route combos, play action...
USSF executives, including Sunil Gulati, planning to take ?s Friday about #usmnt situation. Bruce Arena status among topics, no doubt
Federation in process of scheduling 2 friendlies next month. Opponents, venues fluid after recent results involving USA and possible foes
8:50 PM - Oct 11, 2017
So this is a little bit of a tangent, but are NCAA substitution rules and the college pipeline as harmful to the US soccer development pipeline as I think they are?
I completely forgot how condensed the timeline is with the upcoming FIFA dates occurring Novemeber 6-14. The next international break after that is not until March. Although the United States will not play a competitive match before the 2019 Gold Cup, it would be wasteful to play these friendlies with an interim manager. Hopefully US Soccer acts quickly.
kinda? One the one hand college probably stalls out a lot of careers because of all the rules around pratices, amateurism, and short seasons.
The flip side is that since there is basically no youth soccer structure outside the pay to play, college scholarships are a way for poor kids to get noticed, even if they have wasted years of development time up until then.
I was listening to SiriusXM FC this afternoon and John Harkes (I think) said that when they were in camp years ago some players asked if when in training camp if the USSF would pay for them to get coaching licenses if interested--Bruce Arena was the coach and said yes, great idea. Train during day, classes at night. USSF said no.
Anyway, according to the most recent financial statements, the USSF has assets of over $120 million and only $20 million in liabilities. Time to start spending it. Maybe a national version of La Masia.
Nothing about college soccer is particularly good for development, but it's increasingly irrelevant. There are more opportunities than ever before for talented HS aged kids to go pro. Some take foreign offers when they are old enough. MLS academy products sign first-team contracts or sometimes USL deals to play for a reserve team. Others play only a year or two before going pro one way or the other.
Domestically, pro clubs are better positioned to provide a good developmental path for young players. However, some clubs have a better culture of trusting young players than others.
The substitution rule isn't the biggest problem with college soccer. Larger issues include the fact that the season is super short and condensed, coaching isn't very good, and practice time is limited. The short season means that teams play too many games in too short a time (hence lots of subs).
From the last USMNT roster, by NCAA experience:
4 yrs: Besler, Ream, Zusi, Cameron, Bedoya, Wondolowski
3 yrs: Gonzalez, Nagbe, Dempsey
2 yrs: Guzan, Rimando, Yedlin, McCarty, Feilhaber
0 yrs: Howard, Beasley, Villafana, Bradley, Pulisic, Arriola, Acosta, Wood, Altidore
That's a roster filled with old guys. I guarantee you that when the pool turns over, college soccer's influence will be less.
Worry about ages 6-18, not college soccer. As long as most serious prospects aren't spending much time there, it's fine. We just need to make sure it's nothing more than a safety net for late bloomers like Cameron.
Tony Pulis out CONCACAFs CONCACAF. We might end up at war - real, shooting war - with Honduras after a road game.
This is a strangely alluring idea. Because you are correct.
Hey CP this is a little off topic but if you could find a new hotel in Vienna. Not saying it's you but Trump one year, USMNT crashing out of WCQ the next. Let's just say I'm not that excited to find out what happens the morning after you stay there next fall... Thanks!
I just want to thank everyone for the great discussion here. I am far from an expert, but I've learned a lot.
Well, at least the progression from "Trump wins" to "USMNT loses" isn't so terrible...although in truth, I did watch the Red Sox lose Game 4 the other day from the same hotel as well. Maybe by next year the curse will come in September and only result in Gronk getting a sore throat for a day or two or something.
U17s start a largely first-choice team against Colombia:
Akinola in for Weah and Acosta in for Ferri.
They've clinched a spot in the knockout rounds, but could finish anywhere from 1st to 3rd in the group.
Off to a less than auspicious start. Conceded in the 3rd minute
Already down 1-0.
I've seen this script before.
EDIT: Nearly tied it up.
Friend of my son just signed to the Houston Dynamo DA: http://txrs.ussoccerda.com/sam/teams/index.php?team=3936900&player=280916076
A few years ago I watched him play futsal in the HS gym (the HS programs did it as a way to raise some cash in the winter before tryouts) and his touch and skill were just on a different level--he was probably 13 or 14 then and just worlds better than everyone else. He'd dribble through kids playing varsity and feather a pass to some 8th grade kid to tap in
Acosta ties it up on pass from Carleton.
EDIT: I feel like if Acosta played for Nagbe the other night we win. I'm halfway serious about that.
I'm just able to follow along on Twitter, but I found video of the goal:
If you have the FoxSports app, it's on there.
Any manager would be interim before the February USSF elections. Does it really matter whether it's the existing interim manager or a new-but-still-interim manager?
If this were a UEFA or COMBEBOL Arena and Gulati would have resigned and the election would be pushed up. Problem is Gulati wants that last term so we're stuck in limbo for 4 months.
U17s ended up losing 3-1. I didn't see the game, but one thing I wonder after seeing the lineup is that maybe playing a similar XI for three games in seven days in 90+ degree temps is not the best idea. The US was already through after the first two games, just play backups, take the L, and keep everyone fresh for the knockouts.
The Houston Dynamo have run an academy for about 10 years, like most other MLS teams. Last year, they also partnered with (or maybe took over?) Texas Rush, another DA club and they've renamed it Houston Dynamo Youth. This club exists alongside Houston Dynamo and both entities field teams in the DA.
This kid is playing for Houston Dynamo Youth, not Houston Dynamo, at least according to his DA profile page. I don't really understand the dynamic between the two clubs, so I'm not sure what that means exactly. His profile also says he's from Virginia. Plenty of kids move for non-soccer reasons, but there's a definite uptick in recruitment of players who are in "no-man's land" outside of the catchment area of other MLS clubs.
Fake edit: according to Soccer America, Houston Dynamo Youth is supposed to serve the northern part of Houston, but the Dynamo's site doesn't give them equal billing.
Historically, the Houston area has been a bizarrely unproductive soccer non-hotbed. I really don't understand why Dallas produces a ton of talent and Houston produces so little. That being said, Texans SC Houston won the U19 league championship last year, so maybe that's changing. Of course, two of their best players were poached by....FC Dallas.
An interview with Arena came out and it's a doozy.
Maybe it's because the USSF has seized control over the structure of elite youth soccer on the boys' side and now the girls' side too? (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but they bear responsibility for development now.)
Maybe it's because coaching education IS player development?
Elsewhere, an interesting chart:
Also, if all you can hold USSF responsible for is coaching education then every single employee should be fired, coach education is many times more expensive in the US and the quality is straight garbage. There's a reason there are at best 2 quality American managers, and even that is probably stretching it. Coaching, more than player development, maybe even more than youth outreach is the worst part of US Soccer
Didn’t know there was distinction either.
He moved there for soccer reasons. He played Rush here in Va then when they lost their connection to USSF (or whatever that was) he played his freshman and sophomore year here at my kid’s high school then moved to play with Texas Rush. He’s trained overseas with some clubs too.
The top local travel club has ties with DC United. Not sure why he went to Texas.
I largely agree with you and I'll only nitpick to say that I don't see a distinction between coaching and player development. Good youth coaching IS player development.
The USSF did overhaul their license system a year or two ago and hired a Dutch guy as Director of Coaching Education who held a similar position in the KNVB for quite some time.
I haven't heard anything particular about him. I'd love to read some inside reviews of the new licensing process from a content standpoint. The pricing is awful and it should be a priority for the USSF to make licensing more affordable and, therefore, more widespread.
At the pro level in MLS, I do think we are seeing more tactical creativity from a group of younger managers - Marsch (NYRB) and Vanney (TOR) in particular. My rule of thumb is that I want to see American MLS managers do well with two clubs or at least two different cores of players before giving them serious consideration for the USMNT job. I'm calling it the Kreis Test. (Since RSL's braintrust was blown up, Garth Lagerwey looks a lot better than Jason Kreis.)
No American MLS coach has currently passed the Kreis Test IMO.
From afar, DC's academy seems to have some dysfunction. They have signed Ian Harkes and Chris Durkin lately, but they've also had two 18 year olds leave the academy to sign with North Carolina FC.
Landon Donovan was pretty critical of everything that went down. As a player that was brought in to be a savior at a young age like Pulisic you'd think that he'd have a place in whatever we're going to do. No idea if that's something he wants or if it would actually be something that fits his skill set.
He said (and of course he's going to look fondly at it) that if the teams he played on were in that situation they may have well lost, but they'd end up with 8 guys that couldn't walk the next day because they left absolutely everything on the field, 2 other guys would have red cards, and that every single time Pulisic was chopped down, the best player on the other team was going to get it too.
Hyperbole to be sure, but there's something to it. The US "style" was that they'd outwork and out hustle you. That was not evident the other night.
He said you can't burn it all down, but you also can't say "Well, Panama was given a goal that didn't actually go in, the US got unlucky on Omar's 'clearance', they hit the post twice, a T&T player hits a 1 in 1000 shot, etc.".
Yeah, I guess where I'm making a distinction is to me youth development is:
Locating and bringing kids into the sport
Having structures to identify and nurture talent (not just kids who can pay $1000 a year+ on travel teams)
Player training, camps, coaching etc. for youth national teams
etc, It's a broad category that includes all the steps between a kid thinking they might want to play soccer, through the end (pro career, college career, HS, just playing for fun, wherever the talent and desire lead them).
What I meant by coaching, was mostly about developing and certifying coaches. They have tried to improve the quality, but it's still limited, and again... prohibitively expensive.
Rich kids is the worst group to go looking for elite athletes, and it's the only place USSoccer makes any effort to look.
That Gulati isn't gone already is staggering: he needs to go. It's not a close question.
OK, so I'm reading this. And it hits me as I read this quote:
The next USMNT manager better understand the above, and be ready to help Pulisic with it in any way possible.
Also, and it is such a pipe dream it came in behind Carlo's Eyebrow, but THAT GUY is the absolute dream hire. Seriously. Back up a Brinks truck, give him control of the whole operation, have him train an entire generation of coaches. I mean, it would suck to have to listen to US/Arsenal fans pretend they didn't want to fire him into the sun for the past half decade as they wax rhapsodic about how awesome it is to have him in charge of our NT because he really is a legend, with a system, and success and .... nah, this is stupid. There's no way we're getting Wenger In.
I get this desire. Part of me feels it, too. But I think US soccer is at a point where the USSF needs to create a General Manager/Technical Director responsible for the pipeline, player pool development, and coaching pool development. And I’d even consider giving this person a 6 year contact to provide a measure of independence and greater consistency to what is really the backbone of the whole operation.
The national team coach is obviously involved in this work, but his focus has to be on working with the current player pool and getting results in the pitch. Tying together the senior coach and technical director positions leads to too much instability.
And the USSF pres job needs to be salaried.
So, anything come of this?
One guy I'd like to see brought in to consult on youth development whether short term or in a more ongoing role is Tony Carr. Helped build an amazing youth development program at West Ham, on a modest budget. He won't fix outreach issues, but he could have some valuable insights.
This is from 3-4 years ago when he had a West Ham camp in the US. He talks a bit about the difference between US and England how parents paying want their money worth which leads to quantity over quality issues.
That makes it sound like the board isn't changing anything and the more progressive members are..... not pleased
It appears so.
Arena was always going to resign basically admitted it in his interview yesterday. Meeting last night was likely about Sunil and plans going forward, signs do no took good for any real change
Presumably, they had to call a meeting to tie a ribbon on the whole thing?
MSG's Kristian Dyer reports players are telling him Tab Ramos will be appointed on an interim basis.
That's probably who should be interim right now in that a permanent hire shouldn't happen until Sunil is gone or god forbid, not gone.
Boy, if he's the coach in 6 months I will be irked though.
Tab Ramos has an enviable ability to fail upward I expect he and Sunil will tell us all about the progress they are making after we crash out of the hex in 2021