Monday, September 30, 2013

U16G Soccer in PA, NJ, MD, VA & NY

Note: These high school women at age 16 are no joke. Many are looking ahead to college soccer play. They tell their stories here.

190 comments:

Anonymous said...

look at Got Soccer rankings this morning

1. STA
2. NJ Crush
3. JU
4. Jeny B
5. MF
6. FC Copa
7. NJ Stall
8. PDA OR

Certainly not a perfect system.

As far as got soccer goes at the moment, there are 3-4 teams that do not have 22 or more in the top 10. Easy to look at them.

Do any of the teams have a policy to keep the roster at 18, if you look at other teams in these clubs the do exceed the 18. So while your daughter's team at U16 may be at 18, they might add to the roster next year where the number becomes unbearable. That is what happened at JU from last year to this year.

A governing body (US CLUB) should set a limit, that benefits the kids and not the profits of these organizations.

Anonymous said...



Then leave your current club and go to one that does not have a roster over 22 and or go somewhere where you think your daughter can play and play a good amount.

Call a coach and see if there is a need or if you can be an upgrade at her position(s).

Anonymous said...

Couple ways to look at this. In theory I agree with 9:44. It would be nice to have some governance over this, but alas, it is more like the wild west here with anything goes. It's up to the parents to choose what they think is right. If you want max of 18, find it. But chances are if the team has any success, people will flock and unless the coach/club has some integrity tied more to quality of product than it is to money, the roster will grow.

Thing is, a limit of 18 could take a considerable amount of profit from the coaches. Again, in theory, this could make the job less attractive to the "top coaches" .. I mean hacks .. having them opt to do something else with their time ... who knows what.

If you are a coach rostering a player, you gotta find ample playing time for her - not necessarily equal, but ample so that the kid can progress. Of course good attitude and attendance is a given here. otherwise, bets are off.

Frankly most of these teams are coached by hacks anyway - but its our beautiful system that permits these hacks into leadership roles. Alas, I guess these are the best of the lot. Many people would not know good soccer training, coaching and mentoring if it jumped up and bit them right in their plump arses. So perhaps we don't deserve better if we can't tell the difference. Caveat Emptor.

Anonymous said...

11:47am. What teams do you believe are incorrectly coached by "hacks"? I'd like to be enlightened.

Anonymous said...

You would be very surprised. Most American coaches and ever foreign coaches on these shores do not have a clue as to how the game should be played, how get the best out of the players and how to train the minds of the players. And the worst of it - and this is a very well known defect in most American coaches - they overvalue current athleticism as opposed to developing and molding talent. We may have some decent talent evaluators, but not good talent predictors and developers. You have a bunch of fools who can pick a great team for today, but to project and forecast a player for what he or she will become, and help mold that player to reach potential is a FAR DIFFERENT THING and something I believe 80% more of our hacks fail miserably at. But again, this is as much a fault of our effed up system as it is with the coaches themselves.

I will not name names here. But you name one, and great chance he or she is on the hack list.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Glenn, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Here is the list someone posted from got soccer (plus 9 and 10). Who of these are hacks? I know from the below that only 3 of the coaches have had the team since U11 onwards. Others either started later or have had changes of coach through the years.

1. STA
2. NJ Crush
3. JU
4. Jeny B
5. MF
6. FC Copa
7. NJ Stall
8. PDA OR
9. NJ RUSH
10. NJSA

Anonymous said...

I am opinionated about the coaching quality in the youth game. I am making general statements that I believe in. Taken them for what they are - an opinion from someone you don't know, who as far as you are concerned knows less about the game than the hacks I speak about.

I will state that most US soccer coaching is garbage. I am trashing the system, and yes, a lot of the people in it. But I will not name names. There is no need for that here.

If you put each of these clowns in a vacuum with the same players and took away the pressure of having to win games in the short term and placate silly parents looking for scholarships for their kids, and see what each of them comes up with in terms of how they have their teams playing, we could see who knows what the heck they are doing.

But we don't have this vacuum to perform the experiment in. So you need to form an opinion based on what you see and hear in coaches and how they have their teams playing.

Anonymous said...

as a GK parent, i'd like to have a simulator. see how a coach would perform (or another keeper) in the same situation when that coach says "you should have had that" from 3/4 a field away.

Anonymous said...

10:10, all -

What you wrote could be a very good case in point for me. Does this coach say this out loud for all teammates, opponents, parents and spectators to hear, or does he/she tell her this quitely on the sidelines and discuss how she might have handled the shot better ? There is no real middle ground here. Criticism without constructive correction is the mark of an idiot coach. Doing so in front of others and showing up a player - especially a keeper - who has only to sit around an stew instead of being involved in the action, is a nightmare coach. A coach who does this has no place in the world of developing athletes. NONE AT ALL.

For goodness sake, you don't see a pro coach showing up a player or goalie like this on the field. Why not a) because he knows it is a disgrace and that it would be all over the media and destroy any hope he had for a reputation as a players coach b) he wants to build confidence in his players / not break it
c) he wants the players to play for him and this requires a degree of trust.

Ah, but in our wonderful world of youth soccer, where we do let hacks roam the sidelines, short of flat out physical or other abuse or misconduct, there are no repurcussions and there certainly is NO QUALITY CONTROL over how and what the coach delivers. And in some instances, there is emotional abuse, but that is a fine line and the girl can always leave the team. NO QUALITY CONTROL because we don't have the system in place for it. The only system we have - you win, you stay. you lose, you go. And that is pretty much the story. We are failing our kids on so many levels its beyong ridiculous.

Now back to the buffoon/hack we were discussing before, if you consider that a good coach's goal is to improve his players and win some games along the way, then how does showing up a player lead to that improvement. Maybe to some old school idiots it might, but for sports, there are some things that I believe in strongly - 1) Confidence is key. You want a player to play to their best ability and reach their potential, they need to be confident. 2) Trust in the coach and knowing that the coach has your best interests at heart and mind. 3) Credibility of the coach. Does the coach do what he says, does he speak with knowledge, is he able to connect to the players and make sure they walk away with the right understanding of what needs to be corrected and is he treating players equally fairly, not holding dual standards amongst the players.

Anyway, that buffoon coach and those like him lose out at least 2 or the 3 areas. Probably all three.

And at the heart of these things is not even about his soccer knowledge. They mostly have to do with the quality of the person mentoring your daughter and these are things that would apply in any teaching scenario.

Once you get into the actual soccer aspect of things, the flaws and lack of quality in our coaching clowns gets far deeper.

But I don't care how much soccer accumen and technical/tactical advise a coach can offer, if he is not a good human being - a good teacher - then you are lost right from the git go.

Hey GK parent, if don't want to get me going again, I'd refrain from putting out posts like you did .... lol. I'd also say that this coach is an even bigger idiot if he is 3/4 of the field away from a goalie. At best he is out of his technical area. At worst, well ... WTF is he doing down closer to the other goal anyway - praying his team will move the ball upfield ?

Anonymous said...

1.37 you'll get no complaint from me.

okay, 1/2 the field away is a little fairer than 3/4.

let's say it wasn't a positive experience and leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

So where do you coach?

Anonymous said...

My daughter was on a team where the coach would walk around drinking a cup of coffee during a training session.
I thought the kids should place a bet - 10 bucks to the kid who could knock it out of his hand.

Needless to say, we moved on.

Anonymous said...

I coach at the field next to the physics lab where Einstein worked, if you get my drift.

You don't need to be a doctor to understand human anatomy.

You need a good understanding of the game and of people. And a degree of decency.

A lot of it is common sense after you have a root knowledge of the spatial aspect of the game and the absoute necessity for intelligent movement off the ball but not only by the player next to the one with the ball but by all players on the field. It's only after ou see this constant movement do you know you have a team that plays soccer.

Now I have seen a couple of the better teams in the area do this. Some of them have an idea but are not there yet. Most teams unfortunately are not. There are an abundance of reasons why not. It takes time, patience and desire, let alone enlightenment, which it is sad to say most coaches do not have. Mostly because all of this work could have and should have been done at u10-u15 ... Priming the soccer brain for future success, but instead we were too busy focusing on wins, and athletes who can get us more of them at that time without thinking about building a strong foundation.

This btw is one of the top failings of soccer in our country. There are others but a major contributor is the primitive and short sighted minds of many of our coaches. Not entirely their fault - its a horrible system.

But no, I am not coaching now. I will go on to say that no self respecting coach comes onto this blog. Note that I use the term self respecting, as their is no shortage of hubris with them. But that doesn't mean you as parents have to respect them for the many areas where they are failing your kids.

Just like in school we come across many teachers who we don't respect - we want to respect them because of their position in the life of our kids - but their attitudes and actions make it impossible. Start thinking a bit more intelligently about your kids' coaches, their ways and means, the way they have the kids playing and what they do in training to improve the skills and tactical senses of the players.

We will have a lot of girls who have success beyond high school and some of the in spite of the coaching they've had. Imagine what could be if we had a working system with coaching standards. Last btw .. This goes way beyond any lisence. Sometimes the higher the lisence, the bigger the idiot.

Just wondering what is the lisence of the DB who yelled at the goalie from the previous post.

A good coach/teacher will not just criticize. After identifying the problem they will constructively guide you, or lead you to a solution and work with you until you get there. Otherwise this coach has failed you, and I regret that there are a lot of failures in our midst.

Anonymous said...

Finally a knowledgeable poster......Amen.. For real.

Anonymous said...

license? now that is funny! maybe E?

Anonymous said...

You go on and on calling people names and saying how they are idiots. An idiot still knows how to spell license. Not you though!

Anonymous said...

I never did win a spelling bee.

I have to admit that is one word I have always had trouble with. No more thanks to you.

You got me. C before the S.

I still stand by the content, but if you look hard enough, you might find some more flaws in my grammar or spelling. Knock yourself out.

To be clear, I am not calling anyone in particular names. I am not naming names or pointing fingers. There are idiots in our population that have nothing to do with soccer. We all know they are out there. There are idiot drivers. Idiot teachers. Idiots we work with. Even idiots in some of our families that we need to put up with. I am just opining here that there are idiot soccer coaches too.

BTW - from your logic, it is possible I am not an idiot, since I can't spell license and all idiots know how to spell license. Check that - I am on this blog debating this nonsense with you ... I must be an idiot.

Anonymous said...

From Dictionary.com:

noun


1.

Informal. an utterly foolish or senseless person:
"If you think you can wear that outfit to a job interview and get hired, you're an idiot!"


2. Informal. an utterly foolish or senseless person:
"If you think you can motivate a teenage soccer player to get the best out of them by berating them in front of their team and parents, you're an idiot (of a coach) !"


Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.

I think the poster was using his choice of words in the sentiment of #1 above and not #2.

If you just replace some of the words you'll have this

Anonymous said...

well that post came out messed up, but I think you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

No. Go back to knowing it all, you made more sence

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing ... What I know is that I don't know it all. I'm still learning and willing and open to see things and hear new ideas about the game.

But these less-than-stellar coaches I write about - the ones I have met that do fit the mold - they do know it all, and they never get tired of reminding you.

See the thing is - when you know it all, there is nothing left to learn. To me, this is not the mark of a good coach.

I don't mean to come across as a know it all. After all, these are just my opinions but if there is any intelligent discussion surrounding them, then I think that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Do you coach? If not, step back.

Anonymous said...

Step Back ? Now that is precious, and also once again giving me a case in point to discuss.

You see folks, here it seems we have a coach, or a defender of a coach, applying bully tactics such as step back, as there is no room for any questioning of their methods and/or know-how. Without questions, either self-questioning or from others, there is no growth. And you should ask yourself whether or not you want your child to be coached by someone who won't be questioned or doesn't need or want to grow.

As far as whether or not I coach, I refer you back to my earlier point about Einstein.

The point is, I can see plenty of problems in our coaches today and the system. But seems a little foolish to expect that only other active coaches are permitted to question current coaches - Sounds like a pat-on-the-back, good-old-boys, bull session to me.

People in positions of authority/influence over our kids NEED TO BE QUESTIONED. And they also need to be evaluated often, corrected, guided, mentored and have some measure of quality control imposed on them outside of just the W/Ls they produce. These measurements should be based on their methods, how they perform their training, the way they treat their players, the actaul improvement of the players and how well they adhere to some driving principles of intelligent soccer which would hopefully be set forth by the club, and not just as lip service on the clubs website and club meetings, but actually put into practice. I can't tell you how many times I have heard coaches and clubs say and write they promite the beautiful game and attractive soccer and possession game and playing out of the back, as they are the key buzzwords they need to market themselves. But when push comes to shove, you still find the common practice to be goalies punting, outside backs dumping the ball out of bounds instead of working their way out of trouble with their teammates, players exhibiting control players booting long 50/50 balls upfield whether or not they are under any pressure, instead of controlling and executing a simple lateral or backpass to a teammate you can preserve possession and has more time to move the ball intelligently. W/L IS NOT A GOOD MEASUREMENT FOR YOUTH COACHES - even more so in the younger ages, but still, to a degree at U16, W/L should not be driving factor in coaching. The above are all important considerations in determining how players should be developed.

So coaches and others - Please - if you want to dispute my opinions, by all means go right ahead. But I do question others motives and need to squelch opinions and position themselves in a place where you they better because you they coaching or they have some other reason for defending current coaches.

Anonymous said...

See folks, what we have here is a know it all that makes decisions on the parents sideline. Does not have to worry about feelings, parents, looking good or god forbid win a game. You are a problem.

Anonymous said...

It seems I may be corresponding here with a real live coach.

Regarding your last post, coach or non-coach ... and its good to have this discussion to hear an active coach's point of view ... I'll address what you wrote:

Know it all - i thought we already addressed this. I am still very willing to read, watch and learn. Games on TV. Youth games. But the key is the desire to know more and have more insight about the game is there.

Making Decisions - I make NONE today other than what team my children play on and what insight and advice I decide to give them. If time permitted, trust me, I would be coaching today and in a position to make some decisions.

Feelings - Always take them into account when dealing with kids. Always. Out here, since we are all anonymous, we are not showing anyone up in a public forum. I am free to voice my opinions, which I think is what blogs are for and you are free to argue back. When I speak or write about the quality of coaching in the youth game, if I have caused feelings to be hurt by using terms like idiot and hack, its only due to my frustration at seeing what I see, and experiencing at times with my kids and my passion for this topic perhaps has caused me to go overboard. For that, I am sorry if your feelings were hurt. But for the kids, well feelings, inspiration, love for the game, confidence, optimism, freedom to make mistakes ... these are all things that a good coach should aspire to bring to his players. I feel strongly about that. So when I talk about the things that so many teams are doing wrong, there are ways to correct these things, collectively and individually without being harsh about it. A good coach will know how to impart this.

Anonymous said...

Parents-Free to come and go as they choose. In discussions with them, they need to be respected and their opinions taking under consideration. This does not mean that you do what they want. You try to hear the concerns and establish a plan to get beyond them, which could include giving very specific targets to the player on what is expected. You took the kid. Parents are paying for it. Now you go and coach her and make her better. If it doesn't work out at the end of the year, cut the player. At least you have given your best shot to work with and for the player and perhaps they are just not suited to play at that level. At this age, a lot of these discussions can happen with the player themselves without parental involvement. However, I completely disagree with the approach where the parent is not permitted to speak with the coach, because that is the way it is in college and they are being trained for the college experience. Baloney. Kids are going to need to face a lot of difficulties in their lives. You are their soccer coach. You don't have to become one of them and hide behind your statement of giving them a college experience to justifiy your laziness or your lack of empathy and willingness to really help the player.

Looking Good - What exactly does that mean ? Someone who is concerned more about looking good as opposed to developing soccer talent should not be coaching. Besides, a coach who is able to get their players playing the game intelligently and skillfully will start to look plenty good after a while.

Winning - Winning is important. Development is more important. Learning how to win is part of development. If you develop properly, the wins will come as a by-product. We all want to win. Its a measure of success. It is not the success itself.

I am a problem - I can clearly see I am a problem for you. And this is a good thing. I wish I had the time and resources to become a problem for a lot more to have to worry about. In order to improve anything, you must first recognize there is a problem. My hope is that the parents and system will change enough to gain intelligence to migrate to better coaching, and it this has to happen as a result of a more educated consomer about the game demanding more and better (this is the problem you speak of, I think) from the coaches they pay, then so be it. When change happens, for things that matter, it is usually made when someone or a group of people are not happy with the status quo.

Some of the above may seen harsh - not sure - they are just ideas about soccer coaching. Again, the thoughts are there. Let's get them out in the open.

Some coaches out there must think that there are areas where they can and need to improve as a coach ... aren't there ?

Please ... if there are specifics in the areas you touched on that I replied to where you disagree with me, then let me know. I know these things may not be easy, but they must be tried otherwise I think we fall short.

I know ... get lost ... get a life ... and all those things. I'm going. Bring me back at your own risk ... lol.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Blog on amigo. Blog on. I agree with you on most if not all counts. Right now we are very satisfied with our daughters coach. He checks a lot of your boxes.

Anonymous said...

Coaches, pay attention to what your most recent blogger is saying. Learn from it.

Someone might not like what he is saying, "just a parent making comments" maybe but most of our comments come from conversations with our daughters. Feedback from them which they are afraid to voice to their coaches for fear of being benched.

My daughters HS coach is horrible. girls hate him. He benched our best GK for a big loss. It was all her fault? We won more games with her in goal but he was too blind to see that. He plays (field) a girl who clearly does not belong on Varsity because her parents are the squeaky wheel. If a parent yelled to me(a coach) from the stands, I'd never play the kid. NEVER, even if she was a superstar.

Mine switched teams this year. She likes the HC, LOVES the Asst coach. they LISTEN to and talk to the girls. They don't scream or bark at them. I've talked to other parents and this seems to be how most of the girls feel.

Anonymous said...

new to this got soccer thing. i've never really followed it before. when do got soccer points show up from a tournament? days or weeks after the event?

Anonymous said...

6:06am-new to got soccer? Really?

Anonymous said...

Everyone has their first time for everything they do at least once.

Anonymous said...

i said i didn't follow when gotsoccer was updated. i didn't say i was new to the internet or ignorant people.

Anonymous said...

was it okay that i was here at 11.42pm since 6am was suspicious? LOL

Anonymous said...

It's quite understandable that parents with teenagers have insomnia. Late night. Early morning. What does it matter.

I don't think there was any suspicion over the 6am comment. That's just how we bloggers identify a comment to respond to.

Anonymous said...

Booooooooooooooring

Anonymous said...

How would you like to liven it up ? Did you bring a lampshade?

Anonymous said...

To the hack/idiot coach blogger:
I think we all understand and appreciate the concern you have over your children being short changed by these coaches. I personally feel that your expectations are too high for a soccer coach. These academy guys are all basically running a business and taking advantage of their clients. Call me cynical, but you have to realize that we are constantly being sold their products or their friend products while we are in pursuit of “what?” for our kids. I agree that youth soccer is NOT by any means a perfect system, we are fueling it and making it grow.
While I have a couple of kids who play and have lots of friends whose kids have played with varying degrees of success, for us it is the journey and what you can take away from it. The W/L means nothing. Realize that if you teach your kid anything be it commitment to the team your child is on and her team mates. Teach her to recognize the good from the bad, learn when to stay, and when to walk away. Most important let her learn when an adult really does not have her best interests at heart for that is a lifelong lesson that I think we need to recognize. With my kids who have had dozens of coaches each in various sports, there have only been 3 or 4 coaches who had their best interests at heart. I point this out to them, it is a sad lesson for them to learn, but an incredibly important one and the hacks/idiot out there make it an easy lesson.

Anonymous said...

Best interest = playtime. No one complains when their child is playing.

Anonymous said...

my kid starts and gets a lot of time. i still believe that 24 on a roster is WRONG.

Anonymous said...

How does that answer the question. No one complains when their child is playing. Simple.

Anonymous said...

3:16pm For the most part your comment makes sense, however, my daughter was getting tons of playing time on her former team. But we were both complaining because there was no training, there was no commitment from the club for her particular team, the players on her team itself were not committed to the team and the coach eventually was not committed either, in the long run. We walked away for a better opportunity. Very happy where we are now.

Anonymous said...

3:16. I disagree. Maybe no one you know complains if their kid plays. My kids play. I do not complain about playing time for my kids. But that is like saying, for instance .... I am going on a cruise that gives me a lot of food. But the food tastes like garbage ....

The point, I think you can get, is that it is not about quantity here. It is about quality. Don't get me wrong. Playing time is important. Very important. But this is about so much more than that - its about the quality of the product. More to come.

Anonymous said...

There are many other things I refer to insofar as the coaching deficiencies. These things can be seen in the way kids play, what the coaches say and don't say during games and practices after witnessing certain things. Most of this is not about the physical or the skills. It's about the mental. And these are things the kids should have be trained in and reinforced since u9. The fact that u16 soccer is so bereft of intelligent play, and coaching teaching and demanding it, is a large problem. Its akin to expecting a student to thrive in algebra or geometry without a mastery of basic math. You see there are not only skills fundamental but there a mental fundamentals. Yes .. We do have a few very intelligent teams in our area. And a few others not so bad. And some smarter players scattered amongst the rest of thhe teams. But speaking generally here, the play at this age could be and should be so much better. Even some top ranked teams still struggle. And some of these teams are in respected programs with respected coaches.

Some examples ...
A. To many defenders booting 50.50 balls upfield, or just simply returning the ball to the opponent at midfield, when the defender has time to settle and work for an option where team can keep possession and mount an attack.

B. far too much thoughtless sideline platform all positions. This includes but is not limited to the dump out of bounds by the defender under some pressure, but when there is cover support. If there is no other defenders back, then it might be understandable but u see this far too often. Also, players who try to make a pressured play on the sideline, instead of shielding and letting the ball roll out, when opponent was last to touch the ball.

C. Uninventive midfield and forward play. Lack of off ball movement. Forwards standing and waiting for their long ball to run onto.

D. First touches into pressure.

E. taken on players drilling 1v1 in midfield and defense when there are clear possession passes to make and the downside outcome of the 1v1 far outweighs the upside of beating oponent.

F. Reluctance in general to make the simple lateral or back pass to retain posession and possibly switch play and point of attack, and instead opting to dribble of play a ball upfield directly into pressure.

G. Forwards receiving ball around the midfield from defense or mids and attempting to turn either into a defender or trying to take on two defenders instead of holding up play and waiting for offensive support. There are times when going 1 v1 is a necessity. There are times when it is desirable, like if by beating a player you are in on goal or can penetrate and make a pass. There are other times it is clearly wrong and many our kids don't have a clue.

H. To many Offensive opportunities being laid to waste due to the (perhaps selfish) player shooting on goal from an angle of less than approx 25 degrees. This could be acceptable if it was a breakaway without offensive support in the middle, but in most cases, when that shot goes right to the goalie or hits the side netting, this is a waste instead of shooting far post or getting the ball across thhe goal mouth to a teammate. This is cringe-able.

When these things do happen, here and there you will hear a coach say something corrective. But not nearly enough, and this stuff happens very often on some of the so-called better teams.

As parents, if we become more cognizant of these things as we watch our daughters and their teams play, we might know when we have a good coach or not. A quality coach will not allow the perpetuation so such habits without a real good fight. A player is a measure of their physical abilities, their skills, their heart and many other things. Most often under coached in youth soccer here is the brain.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 5:39, but I see no solution to the problem. Do any of these clubs have a quality control process.

Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

539 here. No. I know of no solution that I could implement.

Give me a bunch of money to quit my job and have the wherewithal to form something meaningful ... ah, a pipe dream.

For now, I can identify the problems. That is the first step. If there are enough like minded people, the could start demanded better informed and more well-meaning coaches.

But I do fear that it is our system that sustains itself through the $$ of the parents, as opposed to youth systems around the world where the only way you will get pulled up to a higher level is if someone from an independently funded club thinks you are good enough. Not because you can pay for it. I also believe that within those systems, the dire need to win today does not drive decisions. There is a recognition that their job is to bring along players who will eventually help at a higher level even though they are not able to be of great impact today. I reference my previous remark about the differences between talent identification, talent forecasting and talent development.

Some have said that had Leo Messi come up in the US program, he would have been overlooked. Now I think that is an exaggeration as I can't see anyone missing how special he is or would become. But I think the point is well taken, as in our system, we just care far too much for the present day wins - and we all know why, and we are all part of the problem.

Organized youth soccer in USA is a collection of independently run, for profit organizations who make their profit at the youth levels. Their is no greater vision in the minds of most clubs and coaches. They serve no higher level.

Organized soccer abroad comes from the top down. If your child has talent, the only thing paid is the sacrifice of time and commitment. No money. The money comes from above and the return on that money is only realized by the development of the talent either by way of developing stars that they can sell tickets and merchanidise with, or sell for millions to other clubs. It profit driven, for sure, but it distills and clarifies the decision making processes at the lower levels.

And you can be sure that at these lower levels, they are training the brain as much as the body and skills as that is what they are expected to do and what is demanded of them from the people who pay them.

Sorry - I don't know a better way here, and btw, it will happen for boys before girls, I think. There is more of a push from US Soccer downwards on the men's side. The right ideas are known and implemented at the higher levels in this country. The problem is that we don't have the infrastructure in this game, in this huge, diverse country, to enforce them in the wild-wild west of youth soccer in America. Down here, if you win, all is great, no matter how you win.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve.

Anonymous said...

Who's Steve ?

Anonymous said...

A good read for parents and coaches alike. This gives some insight into some concepts I've tried to convey here.

At this link: https://coachalec.wordpress.com/

scroll down about half-way down, you will find an article entitled Rhythm.

What puzzles me is the following:

- Are our coaches watching enough soccer on TV and are they learning from it ? How can our youth coaches not watch high-level soccer on TV. Its quite prevalent today. Easy to find. We are always encouraging the kids to watch, which I think is right. But the coaches - are they watching ?

- For those that are, how can we have such shining beacons such as Barca and several other teams out there and not try to at least emulate what they do. Please let's not get into not having the talent - its obvious that 15-16 year old girls are not going to look like this athletes making millions, but what I would be looking for is they should be trying to play with some sophistication. Its about the intent. And remember, their opposition are other 16 year olds - not million dollar players.

Can we at least make an effort instead of giving in to the forces pulling us in the wrong direction ?

Anonymous said...

My kids have had did watch soccer on TV. I have had conversation about games.

You should ask your daughter's coach if they have a favorite team. Watch the team's games and have a conversation with the coach about it. You can then follow up with a discuss about emulating it.

Anonymous said...

That is one approach to take that might work. But isn't that a little like asking the chef in a restaurant what their favorite dish is, and only after that discussion does the dish appear on the menu.

Just be ready for the answer that you can't make a potable bouillabaisse without quality saffron. In other words, don't expect to play like Chelsea with this group of players. Consider that art instructors do have their students try to copy monet.

Anyway we can have fun with these analogies for a while but the point it that this should come from the coach first, shouldn't it? Otherwise what on earth are they getting paid for ?

Anonymous said...

If your daughter does not know who her coaches favorite professional team is, I would move to another team. It shows a lack of passion that he/she is instilling in the kids. This would be a HUGE red flag to me.

there are some basics that need to be in every cook's broth.

Anonymous said...

Why did Copa play in the lowest bracket of the U17 group at Pa Classics this weekend?

Anonymous said...

College coaches care about U17 games, and U16 games not so much.

Anonymous said...

couldn't have been a very good show for COPA players. 5 and 7-0?

Anonymous said...

I would think there would be more college coaches watching the top bracket u16 than the lowest bracket u17.

Anonymous said...

You would think so, but you are incorrect.

Anonymous said...

College coaches of D1 programs are absolutely paying more attention to U15 and U16 than U17! The top players from the 2017 grad year are verbally committing left and right to D1 programs. Maybe D3 coaches are more interested in U17 but not the top programs.

Anonymous said...

wrong YOU are. I have been through this and D1 programs are finalizing their incoming classes NOW. They are not focusing on U16 at this time.

Anonymous said...

You are both wrong. And you are both right.

Now be nice !

Anonymous said...

Coaches are looking at u16 and u17 right now. I just can't imagine going to the lowest bracket in u17 rather than the highsest u16 was a good decision for the Copa girls. They would have played YMS. I'm sure there were coaches there... not sure if DI was at Pa Classics winter tournament but I'm sure there were plenty of coaches there. My daughter is committed but there are coaches at her league games all the times and we are u16.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's team is U16 and has 5 kids who have verbally committed and two are 2018 playing up. Educate yourself...this article from the NY times is a good start...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/sports/committing-to-play-for-a-college-then-starting-9th-grade.html?_r=0

Anonymous said...

coaches at league games, hahahahaha
Oreilly yes.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is not on O'Reilly but she is in the ECNL and there have been coaches at the games for the past two weekends.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a matter of choosing to play top U16 or bottom of U17. Copa wasn't planning to be in that tournament to begin with. Last minute they replaced a u17 that dropped out. It was a good practice session for the upcoming Disney tournament. Although they shut out all competitors, the last game was decent competition. And, for the record, YES, there were a nice amount of college coaches present.

So to whomever feels the need to call out Copa every time they play anywhere, please check your facts before you post.

Anonymous said...

I was the original poster and was legitimately just curious. I knew there had to be a reason and thank you for answering my question. Nobody was saying anything negative... just curious.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:41 - which grade is your daughter in?

Anonymous said...

@12:34
When did you move your daughter to an ECNL club? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Hypothetical situation ... Not saying it is mine. Let's say your daughter is carrying above a 4.0 weighted average, she is a very good player and she does very on says/acts, or at least u can project that she will with a good degree of confidence. Now an offer to commit comes along. But you feel that it might be underselling her academically.

What is the thought process that should go into this decision.

Anonymous said...

School FIRST ALWAYS! Education is forever. Soccer glory is fleeting. I've seen too many parents/players jump at the first offer (any offer) of soccer and the schools are mediocre. If she is truly that bright, shoot higher. If soccer doesn't happen at the better school, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

@12:33
Definitely wouldn't have the child settle. Aim for a better school academically. There are many top universities that are both top soccer and top academically. If no offer comes along from any of those, I would look at top D2 soccer schools that have both good soccer and academics.

Anonymous said...

Do NOT choose your school based on sports. Pretend you have a major injury your first day. Do you want to e there now?

Anonymous said...

then how do you explain 10th graders deciding on schools now ?

Anonymous said...

See 7:32 a.m.! Some have educated themselves on the process of picking a school but some are jumping at the first offer that comes along.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me with the following:

As a general rule, I know that D1 is a much bigger time commitment than D3. I know they both play in the fall seasons. What is the difference of time commitment in the fall between D1 and D3 ? And what is the difference between the D1 and D3 in terms of what soccer related activities they are involved in winter-spring-summer. My daughter thinks she wants D3 but does not want to be completely out of soccer when it is not in fall season.

Thoughts ?

Anonymous said...

D2?

Anonymous said...

I didn't ask about d2 because we've looked at the list of schools and not much there to interest her. Also I think d1 and d2 share some of the same characteristics. I know their scholarship numbers are different but my inquiry was focused on the experience. By all means if my question can be answered while including d2 school that would also be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

PB still living your soccer life through your daughter?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the link to see results at the NPL Florida tourny

Anonymous said...

http://clubsoccer.us/TTSchedules.aspx?tid=USCLUBGS&tab=5&sub=0&Round=2014&sYear=2014

Anonymous said...

That gives schedules but not results

Anonymous said...

not sure what you are doing wrong but click on the age group and it shows schedules and results.

Anonymous said...

Guess I did make the right decision staying with NJSA instead of jumping on the SJA bandwagon. At least we played in Disney, and they were not their.

Anonymous said...

Why, because going to Disney did so much for you?

Anonymous said...

The NPL Tournament was very, very weak compared to Disney.

Anonymous said...

4:32, you went to both? That is good, please tell us the differences as you saw them.

Anonymous said...

Amount of College Coaches in attendance as well as quality of teams in attendance.

Anonymous said...

You know that because you were at both events?

Anonymous said...

I was at Disney and you couldn't move for College Coaches (over 400). You also had some of the best teams in the Country in attendance. At our age group there were 6 out of the top 10 in the country.

The person with a gripe is obviously a parent who attended the NPL Tournament, no need to get upset. Just stating facts that the quality on paper was far higher at the Disney Tournament.

An example is PDA Blues (who were at NPL) played a team from Kentucky who has won 1 game in 17. Then the PDA Florida team from a YEAR BELOW (who on paper do not have a good record). And Boston Breakers NPL who are mediocre at best. To travel all the way down there to play teams like that would be a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I have no gripe, and was not at either. I was looking for real information. Don't assume.

Anonymous said...

Apologies

Anonymous said...

I would suggest not sleeping on the Blues. They have worked hard and will be a very good team this year. Thank you for all your research.

Anonymous said...

If you say so 2:51pm. I very much doubt it though.

Anonymous said...

Why do you doubt it, do you know the additions? Have you seen the training? Just askin'

Anonymous said...

I know of the additions. I have not seen the training but unless we have Jose Mourinho working at PDA then it won't make as big a difference as 2:51pm suggests. Good luck to them, they won't be a top 10 team in NJ in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

mt laurel and SJA not on jeff cup acceptances?

being PDA does help. blues, impact and shore in even though ranked lower. blues and impact are NPLs

Anonymous said...

Of course Shore is lower ranked, they are a brand new team. Of course PDA matters.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but SJA is just not worthy of Jeff Cup. Truth.

Anonymous said...

How would anyone know if a new team, SJA, would be worthy of anything. Unless of course you are a SJA parent.

Anonymous said...

Most of these girls have played together for years with same coach with mediocre results. Added some new so-so players. All around, not a great team therefore not worthy of Jeff Cup.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I laugh so hard when I view these comments about SJA. This one person, yes...ONE person hates on them so much that they just need to throw in a negative comment about them every chance they get. Get a life! Stop being a child!! You would think by now at the U16 level we could all talk about the important things that will be affecting our girls moving forward but instead some of us just act like 5 year olds. It is so obvious to all of us reading that you live and breathe every moment of your pathetic life dreaming of your next SJA posting! LOLOL YOUR such a child!!

Anonymous said...

11:14 Actually, no I don't breathe every moment dreaming of SJA. I really don't give them a thought until someone posts about them. Then it brings to mind, why they aren't worthy of Jeff Cup. Btw, they aren't the only team not worthy. There are many more. Some that come to mind are: PDA Blues, PDA Shore, NJ Wildcats, you get the gist. Take a deep breath now, you don't want to have a stroke.

Anonymous said...

We'll get to see what SJA is made of when they play in the top division of the Region 1 Champions League this Spring. Considering that they were accepted in that division, I would question why they did not get into Jeff Cup. There are a number of Division 2 teams that were accepted.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to be honest with yourself, there are REALLY only a handful of truly talented players out there. The rest of them are all over paying for their childhood soccer experience.

Anonymous said...

wow, a little sensitive? you seem to think you know who is posting? i find that funny.

take a deep breath and step away from the computer(or put the phone away).

this is so not worth it.

Anonymous said...

Talent, my friends, is a very subjective word. And if you have read any of my previous posts, you will understand that it is something that even our so-called top coaches are very poor at identifying, let alone developing.

So I am not sure how many of us out here are really qualified to evaluate talent, and I would venture to say that those who are think that they are, probably are not, mostly because there is too much about soccer that the adults surrounding the game, both parents and coaches, simply don't get. I believe firmly that at least up to the U15 age, the priority of a youth soccer coach should not be about identifying talent. It should be more focused on forecasting talent and developing talent.

We are ALL overpaying for our youth soccer experience. Not just the ones who are not in this so-called truly talented handful.

Finally, I am just curious - what is the point of saying that there of only a handful of truly talented players out there ?

Anonymous said...

11:41 Please tell us what makes you so qualified to make such statements about so many teams and deem them not worthy of a Jeff Cup acceptance. You seem to know so much about them. Do tell!!

Anonymous said...

1:34. Because it is true.

Anonymous said...

709, but by the nature of your comment, it is not one that can be easily determined to be true or false. It's just an opinion, and even then, we'd have to go about first determining what talent means and at what level can a player be constituted as talented.

So it's your opinion which you are confident in, so much that you feel you can state it as a fact - but this type of thing really can't be fact checked.

Ronaldo scored X amount of goal last year. whatever X may be, this can be verified to be either factual or not. Someone being good or talented is really more based on individual perception.

All this being said, I can tell you that if I make a statement such as ... the soccer ball is round ... that would be a true statement. But just because it is true does not explain why I might feel the need to publicize it in this forum.

When I write that most parents and coaches surrounding youth soccer do not know very much about the game, I tell you this and feel strongly about it, but I recognize that it is my opinion. I can argue for my point, but it is not the kind of statement to be called true or false.

Anonymous said...

fact and true: some people think they know everything.

fact and true: no one can tell them they are wrong.

fact and true: they are jackasses and that will never change.

just separate yourself

Anonymous said...

Opinion: Whoever wrote that nonsense at 3:55 A.M. is a jackass and could do us a favor, in the future, and go to bed before posting more garbage that makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

3:55 - Fact and True. Isn't that redundant ?

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

Jeff cup brackets... Lot's of surprises from some Top Rated NJ teams. What gives?

Anonymous said...

i'll bite, surprises how?

Anonymous said...

Surprised as to how PDA Blues made the second flight? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

JU / Copa / NJ Wildcats / Matchfit NPL all pretty surprising placements. Are the groupings based on past performances? Where is Matchfit ECNL or STA ?

Anonymous said...

5:31pm. Doubt it's based on past performances as teams like Blues are placed far too high.

Anonymous said...

JU and Copa are ranked too low. Both should be in at least 2nd flight. Blues ranked way too high. Should be in 3rd or 4th flight. Wildcats and MF are appropriately flighted. Remember, MF is NOT the same MF. It's the north team that took over the NPL title and they were low in GS rankings.

Anonymous said...

Blues are where they belong, PDA name pulls weight. Want to be ssen?

Anonymous said...

Haha Blues are where they belong? Seriously?? We'll come back to that comment after they get smashed down at Jeff Cup against far superior competition.

Anonymous said...

Not the point. The point is to be seen and PDA offers that.

Anonymous said...

The point is to be seen in a competitive environment. Do you think a coach will sit and watch a poor team play regardless of the name? Shows how little you know about how College Coaches work.

Anonymous said...

10:43/9:00 what do you know please tell?

PDA Blues will def. be challenged at Jeff Cup. Is that a bad thing? Its about development people! Blues are trying to get better as a team and individual players. Yes, 1043 college coaches will watch them and opponent so you're wrong. Anyway, you get better by playing stronger teams and that is what's going to take place at Jeff Cup. PDA is preparing players for college, its not all about this event, the vision is larger then your peanut brain.

JU/Coppa/ have a good case to be moved to higher flight, however I bet my mortgage payment the coach wont act on it. They will stay in lower flight to chase gotsoccer points!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up john.

Anonymous said...

It's not about chasing the GS points, per se, but the higher you are ranked in GS is supposed to help with what tournaments you get accepted to and what flight you are placed in. This is why is makes NO SENSE that PDA Blues are flighted higher than both FC Copa and JU. The almighty PDA name shouldn't be the deciding factor when clearly the team hasn't earned the right to be placed that high.

A previous poster hit the nail on the head. So the girls can play against better competition and supposedly up their individual games, but the college coaches will not be impressed by their lack of skill and their getting crushed by much better competition. If they want to embarrass themselves, let them.

Anonymous said...

BUT PDA does carry that weight AND how do you know they will "get crushed" and "embarrass" themselves? Do you know the team, who they added, how they trained, how they have grown?

Anonymous said...

Same players, different team.

Anonymous said...

Who? Blues? You are wrong if that is your point.

Anonymous said...

End of the day what is the point in playing in tournaments/leagues, doing well and therefore improving your ranking and then getting misflighted due to the short sightedness of tournament directors placing PDA teams higher just because they are PDA.

Look at Blues/Impact records and name a worthwhile tournament either have won or made the Final in the past year?

Impact have a better chance of an encouraging showing down at Jeff Cup than Blues have. And yes i am familiar with the level of players they have brought on board, and they aren't at the same level as the teams currently ranked top 7 in the State (below).

PDA ECNL
JU
STA
NJ Rush
MF ECNL
Copa
NJ Crush

Anonymous said...

3:06
You are a funny character! You really think those coaches that are misflighted are complaining to the TD!?, NOPE!! So it's not the TD's fault or PDA's influence, nice try. Some coaches request lower flights. I bet your JU, gotsoccer chaser and Coppa gotsoccer chaser, are happy where they are.

NJ has some good teams that are too close to tell until they physically play each other which has not happened in certain situations.Teams have played similar competitions and based on that all you can do is tier the teams in NJ.

PDA ECNL 4- JU 0
STA 0 - JU-0
PDA Impact 2- STA 1
JU 0 - MLU 1
PDA ECNL 1 - NJ Crush 0
JU-0- NJ Crush 3
NJ Rush 3- NJ Crush 2
FC Coppa0- World Class ECNL 3
PDA Impact 1- World Class ECNL 1


Tier 1-PDA ECNL
Tier 2-MatchFit ECNL
Tier 3-NJ Rush, PDA Impact, NJ Crush
Tier 4- STA,Copa, JU
Tier 5 The rest of NJ

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Anonymous said...

you also have to look at how many events they attended to get their GS ranking. Coppa and JU(i think it was) have 13 to Impacts 7. Impact also has a much higher win % than both with half the events playing mostly top 10 state teams.

Anonymous said...

This top 10 in the state stuff doesnt matter anymore. Top 10 in the region, now that matters. To be ranked #7 in the state really isnt that good anymore.

Anonymous said...

Ranked by who? Gotsoccer? Topdrawer? Soccerwire? Which one really matters? Right now it's all about Showcasing. Nobody should be getting points or rankings at all anymore; starting at u15.

Anonymous said...

Said the team that isn't ranked high. You need to have some order when making tournament brackets, rankings help.

Anonymous said...

Says the team who is only ranked high because they do every mediocre tournament under the sun.

Anonymous said...

Shows what you dont know. Top ranked teams that play in mediocre tournaments get very little to no points. They go in as the highest ranked team and it does nothing for them (regarding points)

Anonymous said...

Not when you get mediocre points over and and over again; it adds up. Then you are a mediocre team sitting at the top and when you start playing top competition, you fall. I've seen one particular team in NJ do this time and time again over the years.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again. The more mediocre flights you play in and win the less points you get for the victories. Your thought process is flawed.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. 1000 points here, 800 points there... It adds up. So this mediocre team gets to 15,000 from doing 8 tournaments plus EDP league who hands out points for showing up. While, for example, PDA OR gets the same points by doing two tourneys and one league. I agree with 8:20pm.

Anonymous said...

When did Rush take over Jet?

Anonymous said...

7:01 stop being so cryptic. Which team are you bashing now?

Anonymous said...

7:01, you just dont get it. If you have a lot of points you will NEVER gain points by playing inferior competition. Your example just doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Cup schedules are out.

Anonymous said...

Are the fields clean?

Anonymous said...

seriously? ur asking a month+ before the tournament if the fields are clean?

Anonymous said...

Well, are they?

Anonymous said...

Manhattan Tournament canceled for this weekend. Snow covered fields and frigid temps.

Anonymous said...

NJ Wildcats actually got games in this weekend I heard...Won Saturday EDP 2-0 over North Union United, PA and tied NJ Rush 0-0. How did they play this weekend and kudos for getting out there this weekend...

Anonymous said...

It had to be indoors, no? What fields are not snow covered, even turf. It's all frozen.

Anonymous said...

You heard did you? Was it cold?

Anonymous said...

have a friend in NH whose son plays lacrosse. they are practicing on turf. you do what you have to do.

Anonymous said...

Is the crew playing in the spring challenge this weekend ?

Anonymous said...

LOL, so interested, why not find out for yourself?

Anonymous said...

I heard the crew didn't want to play the wildcats so they backed out of the tournament

Anonymous said...

it's good to see the trolls are alive and well. snow isn't bothering them. LOL

Anonymous said...

"FC Copa will manage the official Sky Blue FC Reserve Team U23 and U20 teams in a co-branded agreement which will play a season concurrently with the full professional side." For real?????

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is playing is a spring challenge this weekend.

Why are the Wildcats afraid of anyone ?

Anonymous said...

Who said the Wildcats were afraid of anyone? Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

you have it backwards.....troll post suggested that crew pulled out of SC because they didn't want to play wildcats.

Anonymous said...

Monmouth Ocean co rankings

1 wildcats
2 sting
3 shore magic
4 the crewwwwww

Anonymous said...

Monmouth/Ocean county rankings??????????????????????? You are a joke.

Anonymous said...

OMG, too funny!

you really need to get a hobby of your own.

Anonymous said...

i find it funny you are ranking a team that has never played any of the others.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that you are ranking teams that are ok at best.

Anonymous said...

I find it sad and funny that some wildcat mom or dad needs so badly to promote the team and bring unnecessary and negative attention to their daughter's soccer team and club. And at the same time grind whatever ax they have to grind with sj crew. Your girls are growing up. Its about time you did too. Does big Kev promote this nonsense? Erin go braugh.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why a parent on any team would want to promote this nonsense. The Wildcats team is a nice group of girls that get along well on and off the field. The girls are playing competitive ball and neither their coach or club owner would approve of such a post. Let's not talk negatively about any team and ignore responding to such posts. Let's just enjoy watching our kids enjoy the sport.

Anonymous said...

Is Rage Premier Magic still the same team or did they change when they merged with NJ Rush?

Anonymous said...

Any surprises at Jeff Cup?

Anonymous said...


O'Reilly win 2-1

JU loses 2-0
CRUSH tie 1-1
COPA win 1-0
Impact loses 3-1

Anonymous said...

Blues lose
Magic wins
SJA lose
Wildcats lose

Anonymous said...

So, No surprises

Anonymous said...

Surprised your not here

Anonymous said...

O'Really get it

Anonymous said...

only 2 teams survived at Jeff Cup.

Anonymous said...

Which ones? I saw a lot of NJ teams in the top 4 of 12 team brackets. I would say that's pretty good.

How will points be awarded? Not that it matters at this point but I'm just curious.

Anonymous said...

This is a SHOWCASE you morons...who gives a crap about wins and losses except a few of you losers. Get a life and get a clue!!! There were coaches everywhere at all locations. Great exposure for all of these kids. Kids who work hard in school and work hard on the field. Good for them! I wish them all luck.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about wins? How about the coaches. If they didnt care about wins why wouldnt they play everyone equal minutes? Why wouldnt they start different players?

Anonymous said...

Moron here...yes, this was a showcase event but every 12 team flight had a winner, finalist and two semi-finalists and there were thousands of points on the line. Showcase events are not meaningless in terms of rankings..but, what do I know, I'm just a moron.

Anonymous said...

Yes poster, your daughter is going to UVA!!!

Anonymous said...

SJA no longer on EDP schedule?
Anyone know why?

Anonymous said...

I guess the crewww thinks that their too good for EDP!!!

Anonymous said...

I am sure they are looking for points elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

MF tryouts announced. MF or PDA, horrible choices in this age group but where else to go? Just received another email from PDA about their "optional" training sessions. Oh, bring a check. All is well though, all the teams get placed in the top 15 flights. At least you know the team will be there, MF teams come and go as quickly as the players do. All about the money for all of these clubs and coaches.

Anonymous said...

while i would love to see the town teams survive and compete, very few do. it has just become a fact.

i also agree that people deserve to be paid for their expertise and time. i would expect it and i am sure you would too. does it have to be so expensive?

MF was the biggest waste of money. i could throw out the laundry list but there is no point. if your daughter is serious, choose PDA.

Anonymous said...

3 years ago the crew coach was singing the praises of matchfit and bad mouthing the tr fusion coach. Now he is bad mouthing matchfit and he hired the ex tr fusion coach for his u15 team ---- unbelievable

Anonymous said...

LOl

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head 9:03! Just goes to show what kiss a**es and fake coaches there are out there. What suits THEM at the moment. Can't trust most of them...

Anonymous said...

And the fields..... Too much snow, too much rain, Club closed the fields. No games, re-doing scheduling. No practice b/c of the wind.....
Lots of money thrown at keeping up the incredible fields that we can not play on. They look great, and the few times they allow us the privilege to actually get on them and play is wonderful. But at what costs??

Devit lol