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Thursday, September 25, 2014

U15G - U15 Girls Youth Soccer

This page is focused on Under 15 girls youth soccer in Region 1.

During this transition from middle school soccer to high school soccer, teams seem to change as quickly as the players do.

Stay tuned.

910 comments:

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Anonymous said...

So how many kids would come to match fit tryouts if it was announced that the team would be free including travel costs? Now it would be open to everyone. Would the roster completely turn over because only the rich kids who really aren't good are now playing there and there is a whole team of underprivileged superstars poised to take the spots if cost is no object. Oh the free team does exist. They are pretty good but definitely don't have all the best kids. Where are the kids playing who are better than some of the strikers? Mostly Ecnl teams....

Anonymous said...

I don't think you need to be described as "underprivileged" to say I not getting an on airplane to play a soccer tournament. Try middle class.

Anonymous said...

these expensive competitive teams would likely attract many more players if they were free including travel.

Why would that ever happen? Someone has to foot the bill for all the expenses. There is no great incentive to gather all these top players on one team. They would win lots of games and tournaments to what end?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

There is no money in the women's professional league. Its a net loss for colleges as well. As I said before until girls / women's soccer becomes a product that supports itself financially you will not see money flow into a development academy type system. I agree that the cost of ECNL (travel) is prohibitive but the model of selecting the best (clubs not teams) is a winning model. They weren't perfect with their selection of clubs but additions and subtractions are happening. I'm not sold on all the travel to the showcase tournaments and how necessary they are to be "seen". That is an area that I feel ECNL needs to address. If they could cut that travel by 50, 60 or even 70% you would have a perfect league in my opinion. They could do more local regional showcase events and maybe even a tournament with USYS regional premier league teams, which would help promote soccer in general. Instead of all the "National" showcase tournaments set up a ECNL national showcase camp in the summer, where kids and college coaches could train and play for a week. Instead of college coaches making multiple trips to tournaments they could go to one place for a week and see any ECNL kid they wanted. Make it free or as cost friendly as possible. Anything you do to limit the cost makes it more inclusive and I do think they should address that. I don't see it being free (not anytime soon) but there are things that could be done to cut the travel expense.

There is no need for my daughter to go to San Diego for the weekend to play soccer...

Anonymous said...

@8:21
"There is no need for my daughter to go to San Diego for the weekend to play soccer..."

-----> exactly right

More Regional Play.
Encourage Open Tournaments (all league's) if not Open League's.

So much more could be accomplished and a lot less stress on everyone.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Again..a comment about Latino participation in youth soccer removed by the administrator. Why is this issue not allowed to be discussed on this forum? Do you think the issue will just vanish if you keep deleting it from the forum?

It was an informative post pointing at out that on the boys side, when the top academies are free, Latino representation on the teams increases significantly.

Anonymous said...

Beyond the Latino issue, the post indicated that when the team , including travel is free, the make up of the player pool changes. This seems obvious and not worthy of deleting.

The point of the post was "look at the boys development academies to see what happens when the top teams are free. It is a better indicator of the possibilities than just looking at the PA Strikers.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why the administrator removed my previous comment. I was commenting on the free model of the PA Strikers and cited the Boys Academies. Of the top 10 clubs in the DAs, 5 are MLS affiliated, 3 are not MLS affiliated and are now or very low cost, and 1 are 2 are standard Acadamy fees.

The DAs have had an emphasis on expanding the player pool and 38% of the players in the MLS player pool are Latinos. I believe that you would see the same trend occuring in the free/low cost non-MLS affiliated Academies. The demographic trend in the MLS Academies has been well-documented. 38% of the players are Latinos. I find this to answer the questions of what will happen when high level soccer is offered for free. It will not happen in the ECNL anytime soon because it needs to be a sustainable financial model, but I think you would see the same demographic shifts in the ECNL if it were low/no cost system.

It's not just the ECNL its all "Academy" Soccer. A kid can't can't even play at a reasonably high level for less than $1500/year with many non-ECNL clubs charging fees on par with the ECNL Clubs not including uniforms and travel. This system is great for people with the resources but undoubtedly limits the high-level player pool which in the long run is bad for US soccer as the world catches up to us.

Anonymous said...

Any time you try and rip the system, or even a certain program or two, you are more likely to see you comments booted.

Craziness.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

I have had quite a few of these posts deleted. I am sure that this post will be deleted as soon as the administrator reads this, but any time you mention the word hispanic or Latinos and correlate it to the lack of diversity in girls youth soccer it gets deleted.

The elephant in the room that no one ever really wants to mention is that Youth Soccer on the whole is a white Suburban sport, there are exceptions, but anyone of us can lok around at the make-up of the teams and the sidelines on any given weekend and see the reality.

Anonymous said...

How does the non profit status work for these very expensive academies?

Anonymous said...

This works like any other non-profit which means that develop a mission that is not intended to be for-profit-organization, ie to promote and develop youth soccer. They set them selves us as a 501c organization which means they are tax-emempt. Nothing in what they do prohibits paying management or employees high or market related salaries. Any surplus revenue must stay within the organization and not be distributed except to meet the goals of the organization. The amount of fee charged to the players in a soccer is irrelevant to it's not for profit status, it is based on how the funds are used.

Anonymous said...

Why is "promoting and developing youth soccer" a legitimate tax free mission?

Anonymous said...

That would be a question for the IRS, I just checked and Amateur Sports organizations are exempt. here is the tax code.

http://www.irs.gov/irm/part7/irm_07-025-026.html

Anonymous said...

The strikers used to get pretty much all of the best kids. Then along came the ECNL.
In the United States it takes some money to develop female soccer players to elite levels because we are a country with few informal opportunities (cheap) for development. Where there are active pick up games in the US (and the rest of the world) girls are frequently "not allowed". I am not saying that there aren't any dad coaches who are actually skilled enough and have a critical mass of coordinated enough girls to put out some decent players because I think there are, but they are rare and more likely to encourage players to progress to a more competitive team. I think by u15 in our area there are very few true impact players who are not known to the system and hiding on local travel or rec teams.

I know many of you think your kids could make the ecnl team or strikers etc and some may, but the number of difference makers, immediate impact players are few. At this point the top teams are not trading role players for role players they are adding impact players. If they are out there start sharing the teams' names that are harboring them. Of course it will be hard to verify the level and confirm that the kids really are all that because the teams won't be playing like competition.

Anonymous said...

No way all the "impact players" are playing on these teams. They are way too expensive with all that travel and many many players are excluded and would not even bother to inquire.

Anonymous said...

Explain then what happens with the boys academies. When the income requirements are taken out of the equation, do impact players only miraculously appear on the boys side?

Anonymous said...

Clearly the MLS has had an outreach for 2 reasons. One they want to imporve the quality of soccer and that is done by expanding the player pool and second, the MLS knows that hispanic fans will only come to MLS in large numbers when there are identifiable hispanic stars.

This is a quote from an article on this very topic and the number of hispanics that play in unaffiliated leagues. I have no data to support this, but I would think there are a lot of Latino kids in our area that never progress out of a local rec league or local travel team because they are unaware of the options and do not search it out because of the cost.

"Independent soccer leagues – in other words, leagues that do not fall under U.S. Soccer’s purview – have traditionally been the primary alternative available to young US Hispanic players. Participation rates across the U.S. are staggering, and some of the nation’s top undiscovered talent resides in large US Hispanic markets and are confined to these unaffiliated leagues. For example, as of April 2013, there are an estimated 95 independent soccer leagues in the Los Angeles DMA alone. With an average of 1000 players per league, nearly 100,000 independent Hispanic soccer league players in the L.A. DMA participate in year-long seasons on both weekdays and weekends.

Only recently, though, could these leagues’ best players aspire to break out and play at the professional level.

By advancing to MLS youth academies, undiscovered Hispanic soccer talent is starting to play a key role in US soccer culture’s growth. The 2010 Census states that 16.5% of the US population – and 1 out of every 4 people in the U.S. under age 18 – is Hispanic; with 39% of MLS Youth Academy participants being of Latin-American descent as of April 2013 (excluding Canadian teams; Real Salt Lake and Philadelphia Union did not report), Hispanics are over-indexing by a factor of 2.3."

Anonymous said...

Surely there is off the radar female talent as well. There is just no economic incentive to find it. That is what is it but don't fool yourself into thinking the greatest players are all suburban girls that can afford the hefty fees. Obviously some of the greatest players are from this demographic but certainly not all.

Anonymous said...

1:12 I absolutely agree with you. My point has never been none of the girls that play Academy Soccer (and I do not just mean ECNL, it's NPL, it's EDP and USYS clubs) do not deserve to be there. I have watched a lot of ECNL games and there is amazing talent there as there is at other levels of US soccer. My point is that when we talk about Elite soccer in girls soccer we are talking about Elite soccer from a player pool that is not representative of the broader population that are skilled and could develop into Elite players. Of the current pool, I don't know whether what percentage of the current poll of players would remain. The MLS data shows that the hispanic population is more greatly represented in the DAs compared to it's percentage of the population as a whole. I write on this a lot, and my main point is that it is bad for US Soccer that we reduce player pools of potentially very talented soccer pools. I don't know what the answer is. I suspect the bigger DA clubs that are non-MLS affiliated have been successful with corporate sponsorships, they charge a small price at an actual cost for the playing, or they everyone one else in the club pays for the free DAs. The third is probably not financially sustainable, the first 2 would probably work.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you still haven't told me where the impact players are that are not playing mainstream soccer. You keep simply saying well they must be there because I believe they are. How about some solid information? Maybe a philanthropic person would like to help these players out?

There is no comparison between boys and girls within the hispanic culture. Many fewer girls than boys are playing in less privileged neighborhoods due adverse to social pressures. Your quotes regarding what happens to boys are not completely transferrable to girls at all.

Indeed if you look at the Philadelphia Union Academy rosters, most of the development clubs listed for each of the boys are pretty high priced academy programs. That would imply that cost isnt limiting access to elite teams. I still believe its skill development at early ages that limits access of lesser income plyers to elite programming.

There are few cheap opportunities to develop young players in lower income neighborhoods specifically. Kids cant get rides even to the free Union programming. In other parts of the country and certainly the world free development is located everyday in easiliy accessible dirt and concrete patch in the form of pick up. That's why you can find a Ronaldinho in Brazil but not in the US. Even less opportunity for girls who are often excluded from participation either because of social pressure or outright refusal. By the way Kaka was a well off child of a doctor, so even we of privilege can occasionally produce a world class athlete.

Anonymous said...

6:41 PM You really have no clue what you are talking about. Just look at NJ, there are about 400 clubs registered with New Jersey Youth Soccer. You can spend some time and educate yourself about rather than relying on people like myself to provide you real life evidence of where soccer players are. It's not just about Latinos,however, many first/second generation Latinos have a family culture of soccer to it is an obvious demographic. But there are registered clubs in NJ in Newark, Paterson, Hammonton, Bayonne, Camden, Trenton, Gloucester City, Harrison, and on and on. This blog focuses on just a few clubs. Challenge yourself, go to a few league games of teams in the CJSYA, SJYS or or other Youth league and watch some 9, 10, 11 year-old soccer and you'll find that at that age many of the kids are just as athletic and teachable as kids in many of the kids that come through Morris, Somerset, Monmouth Burlington, Camden or Ocean Counties. Then talk to some of the parents and ask if they are considering their kids for PDA, Match Fit, or whether they are worried about whether their kid can get to the ECNL or NPL. You'll probably get a lot of blank stares.

ECNL, NPL Soccer, EDP Soccer that actually is not the mainstream soccer you refer to. Mainstream soccer is the other 350-375 clubs that are playing every weekend in the Fall and Spring. The impact players are the ones that the MLS and Free non-MLS Academies are pulling into their systems through outreach. By the time you hit 13-14, you likely very well know that it is too late for many kids that have been parent coached for years to catch-up. The kids are out there, using NJYS 400 clubs and assume 16 kids, that's 6400 kids playing soccer for a registered club on Fall and Spring Weekends in every age group. I guess your logic would have us think that after the top 400-500 of those kids none of those kids would be good enough to be developed into a an Elite soccer player.

It will not happen in the girls soccer environment and it is the attitude that the other kids playing soccer really don't exist is why things won't change. Your absolutely right Kaka came from affluence and Lionel Messi came from a middle class family, but I would be fairly sure that these guys didn't develop as they did just playing with kids in their demographic. They likely became as great as they did because they played against kids that developed from the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich and everything in between. That's the exact reason why these other countries put out great soccer players while the US has Landon Donovan who is one of the best players to come out of the US system but really has never been highly competitive on a global level. US players at the Elite levels only get to play with kids that can afford the entry price. It's a pipe dream but yes I think US Soccer would benefit from the 6000 other kids that are not even thinking about academy soccer being put into a prospective player pool.

If you ever do take up the challenge to watch some of the 6000 kids playing on a weekend in NJ, you'll also find that the kids have no different dreams of being the next great soccer star and the parents have the same desires as parents at the major academies to see their kids be successful.

Anonymous said...

We actually agree. My point was that I don't think at u15 there are many impact players out there who are unknown to the "system" so to speak. Indeed the pool is more narrow because some of the kids with the athletic and mental potential to become impact players weren't developed as they did not have the opportunity for quality training. In the absence of free pick up culture development which actually may be open to boys in some communities these girls never achieve their potential. My point is that the people saying there are these pockets of u15 kids who are impact players, but can't or don't want to play R1 or ECNL are wrong. It is an entirely different social question on how to improve the development opportunities for all kids in the US so that more impact players are ultimately available to the "system"

Anonymous said...

Yeah, time to go to bed, I think it is the first time 2 people from different sides of an argument came to the same conclusion. Yes by U-15 the landscape is pretty much what it is and the pool of kids that can get to the ECNL is very small. I have been amazed with my kid going into HS Soccer speaking to people who never knew the world around them and feel their kids are already playing high level soccer. and have never been exposed to the higher level stuff. My daughter is an ECNL level player and we live in a small town, and while I am a big ECNL critic (I guess I'm a hypocrite) 2 people after watching my daughter play asked how their kids could try out, and to both our points, it's probably too late, but I gave them the coach's name anyway. By the way, what I did find encouraging about your point on the Philadelphia Union is that there were a decent numebr of kids that actually didn't seem to come from a club or big club affiliation 20-30%. I think the MLS outreach is having an impact.

Anonymous said...

Well said 6:41 you are right on point with this line - "I still believe its skill development at early ages that limits access of lesser income plyers to elite programming." Very very true and let me add one more point, and this is for all players not just low income players. If you don't have the mental toughness and dedication to work harder than everyone else out there your chances to succeed will diminish substantially. There are lots of physically gifted athletes out there but only a few who are truly dedicated and able to take it to the next level.

Anonymous said...

There are alot of people who think there are kids on their town team that are good enough to be impact players on the top level teams. Unfortunately they are most often incoorect in their assessmnt because few of them are actually competent evaluators of talent.

Anonymous said...

Some of you need to open your eyes and look around. Most families are not sending their children to play soccer tournaments that require airplane tickets,etc. What a waste of limited resources that would be for most families. This is such a wealthy area that many families can do that. It supports many of these top level very expensive teams.

There are thousands of players in nj not doing this. Some are top players. They are playing up, attending extra practices, etc to improve, not buying plane tickets.

Anonymous said...

So there are "many" ECNL R1 u15 impact players playing rec and low level travel? Have you seen this level if play and you have seen these impact players playing in their rec environment. If so you are absolutely confident that your many impact players can be just as effective against elite defenses? These players have learned the skills and higher level tactics necessary to play in elite leagues from where? The arguments that there are so many players playing rec and town travel so there must be some u15 impact players due to shear numbers does not ring true to me. No one has cited anyone or any team with such players specifically. I maintain without exceptional training or a "soccer culture" of pickup everyday with older male players, to make it to u15 elite level is impossible no matter how athletic.

Anonymous said...

You are right....all impact players can afford to be these teams. If they can't..they can not possibly be an impact player.

Anonymous said...

You are right....all impact players can afford to be these teams. If they can't..they can not possibly be an impact player.

Anonymous said...

So once again where are they then?

Anonymous said...

Keep making the same argument...they simply must be out there.

Anonymous said...


The rule applies to all high school age athletes that is true.
but the point being made is the U15-U18 girls tams at pda have had players who ,lived beyond the 50 miles allowed from rutgers playing on teams at those ages that were coached and trained by pda coaches who at the same time were on the rutgers coaching staff.
this has gone on for the last 14 years and continues to this day.
the only way this conflict of interest will stop is if the other clubs being affected by the unbalalnced playing field this causes start to complain about the continued cheating.
letters written to the Big Ten and NCAA as well as the administration of US Club Soccer would be a good start.
you should include a verbatim copy of the NCAA rule as shown above and note the fact that players from beyond the 50 miles from Rutgers continue to be rostered to these pda teams and coached and trained by current members of the Rutgers coaching staff.
Oherwise PDA is not going to comply and give up a competitive advantage.
Note how PDA fought tough and nail for years to keep MatchFit out of ECNL until it was forced down their throats.

August 16, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Anonymous said...


Here is the 50 mile rule from the NCAA website:


Institution's Coach Observing Prospective Student-Athletes While Acting in Capacity for Local Sports Club (I)

Date Published: November 7, 2012
Item Ref: 1
Educational Column:

Editor's Note: This column was updated June 20, 2013, to add additional questions to assist with membership clarification.

NCAA Division I institutions should note, pursuant to the local sports club legislation, in sports other than basketball, an institution's coach may be involved in any capacity (e.g., as a participant, administrator or in instructional or coaching activities) in the same sport for a local sports club or organization located in the institution's home community, provided all prospective student-athletes participating in said activities are legal residents of the area (within a 50-mile radius of the institution).

Very Clear.

Anonymous said...

and our area could easily sustain 2-3 more ECNL clubs, but that's what happens when your Board Members are from clubs protecting their own interests.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so threatened that there are actually other talented players that are not on your daughter's ECNL team?

Anonymous said...

I am not threatened at all quite the contrary I would like to recruit them

Anonymous said...

In case you didn't know most impact players don't pay to play....

Anonymous said...

The travel costs are a larger financial obligation than the club fees. Are you really unaware of how costly these teams are? They ask players to commit to distant events.

Anonymous said...

Maybe in NJ there are impact players on rec and small town teams but not in MD or Northern VA Sure there are some but the vast majority are playing on an ECNL team. Even Annandale finally had to jump ship and join FC VA. I know 5-6 players from SAC / Frederick / PWSI and a couple of other clubs that are ECNL caliber players and that's it. There just not out there contrary to what you are saying. And as 6pm said the (parents) are actively looking for them to join the team. I laugh at comments that claim ECNL players / parents are afraid of "competition" from unknown players etc. Our practices are open and we are consistently trying to get the best players. Maybe some of you ECNL haters should take your D1 full ride to a ECNL tryout (you don't have to join the team) and see how she does? ECNL teams (at least ours) have outside players consistently coming to our practices to see if they can hang and want to give it a shot. This is all great and how it should be, this is how it works at big clubs. I've done the small club thing. Lots of fun, everyone plays equal time, everyone is happy and protected because most talented kids bypass them at tryouts and go to better teams. Then you wakeup and find yourself unable to get into even the most Micky Mouse type of tournaments. And then the 2 or 3 players that were good leave and the rest are left holding the bag. By some of the comments posted to this blog I get the feeling that a number of you were left holding the bag. I get the cost thing regarding ECNL I truly do and have posted that that needs to change, but these comments regarding D1 ghost players no one has seen are laughable. And like I always say if your daughter is happy it really matters little where she is playing its just a game.

Anonymous said...

Yup still waiting on where the phantom ecnl impact players are.
By the way individual sponsorships can be obtained through churches, scouts, letter writing, leg work. And yes even those on the team are often willing to help. I have personally helped kids' families travel as far as Costa Rica. If a kid really wants it and are truly impact players ( no fees at all) they and their families can make it happen. Nova dude nj is the same. By now the skills have passed the athletic kids with possibilities by.

Anonymous said...

OK..we non ecnl losers better get ourselves our a weathly patron or a church charity case deal or we might as well just hang up the cleats.

Anonymous said...

What some of you are failing to realize is that there are quality players that choose not to play for an ECNL team. There's noting wrong with that. Not every kid that plays soccer is in it for a scholarship.

If you look at the DC area there are 4 ECNL teams. To think that there are only 80 girls in the northern VA/DC/Baltimore corridor that are good enough to play for an ECNL team is laughable. That's a population of over 9 million people.

Anonymous said...

Again not talking about good enough role players. Agree there are others of that ilk. Talking about difference makers. Impact players. Players that bring a team from good to great. You do anything to help that kind of kid find success. Charity work whatever it takes. Otherwise she doesn't want it enough

Anonymous said...

How many parents define "helping their child to find success" as begging borrowing or stealing so their daughfer can play in a certain youth sports league.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying or at least I haven't read that ECNL is the place to be for all. It's the place to be for those that want to play soccer beyond College.

We need that for our top players, any of you see our girls get eliminated by North Korea at the u20 championships? Not Germany - North Korea. We need a league and clubs for the best players in a region to play. I'm not talking about best teams. Not sure about you guys but Country before Club always. Is it perfect (free), no - but it's something that is starting to make a difference.

Anonymous said...

I personally do anything legal and ethical to help my child succeed. It's not just youth sports. Remember the discussion is about the ecnl / R1 impact player top .01 % the kid with a legitimate chance to attend a university she might not be able to without soccer. if youth soccer players. Positioning that player on an ecnl/ r1 tteam does not require any unethical behavior to make ends meet, but if your personal comfort overrides your child's interest that is on you.

Anonymous said...

9:44 and that's the problem with this discussion some people are talking about the ecnl / R1 impact being for players with legitimate chance to attend a university.

I think that's what the Team based leagues should be the R1s of the world and the club based NPL. ECNL should be for the players that have what it takes to play beyond College - and that's what I'm talking about Girls that want to play in WNT, UEFA, NWSL, W-League, WPSL. These types of players need a league for these types of players to play in. Women's soccer will never draw so I can't see a legit DA being created (but what do I know) so we have ECNL. AND yes these are the players the universities want to see first.

My question is if you have a top talent to play ELITE soccer (WNT, UEFA, NWSL) and wants to play that level soccer are they better off not going to ECNL and staying where ever they are because their parents think ECNL is to expensive and there is no way for their kid to play? I say if you have that type of talent see for yourself try and if it it's not a match you walk away no harm done, but don't try to talk others out of it because it didn't work for you.

I think the league has great potential and only time will tell if it sticks around and gets better or a new flavor of the month pops up. I just think the top players in our country need a place to train against each other and play each other, this is no knock on the many greet teams in this country - just saying we need something for the top players to advance their game. PS. I'm not saying my kid is at this level either I'm speaking as a soccer fan.

Anonymous said...

So the U-17’s don’t even qualify for the world championships, and the U-20-s have a very poor showing at the World Cup, and the ECNL is the answer. Quite to the contrary, if the ECNL is the way to go then there are not enough ECNL teams to ensure we have a larger player pool at early ages. Kids are rushing to get to ECNL clubs earlier and earlier. With about 7,000 kids in NJ playing soccer at every age group, it is absurd that by age 14 we only have spots for less than 1% of those kids at the ECNL level. This cannot be good for US Soccer, and while people are saying this is what’s needed for women’s soccer, all of the evidence indicates otherwise. With the ECNL at age 5, the U-17 national team which would have had a full crop of kids coming through the ECNL the team has performed poorly, and the U-20 team’s performance speaks for itself and these girls would have spent a lot of time in the ECNL.

If the ECNL is the future then there needs to be more ECNL clubs. PDA fought very hard to try to keep Match Fit out of NJ, and they will fight to have any more ECNL Clubs in NJ. OK so we have a monopoly being developed for Elite soccer, but should we have clubs trying to monopolize whole states. California has 4X the population of NJ yet 7.5X the number of ECNL clubs, so we can expect NJ to be underrepresented at the National level in the future because we are funneling fewer kids.

Watching the USWNT U-20’s and hearing about the U-17s, I hope there are some serious rethinks about the current model of development, what I saw was a lot of individual play, players trying to dribble through a whole defense, players collapsing under pressure, poor play off the ball. OK, so soccer is a middle-upper class sport, we get that, but I think when we do that and we select kids from a couple of tryouts, we pick the kids who are bigger, faster, and stronger and we will develop the kids later. It was clear watching 3 of the USWNT U-20s that it is a team of bigger, faster, strongers, but not a lot of tactical.

We are seeing the future of Women’s soccer right in front of us and it ain’t great. Perhaps why our current USWNT is made up of a bunch of 25 year old + women who came through the process when the player pool was larger for a longer period of time.

Anonymous said...

1:16 is spot on IMO!
The leadership of PDA on the girls side helped set up ECNL for this very reason(monopoly) and the sooner everyone recognizes they have only the best interests of PDA(money and exposure of their club on a national level)the better for our girls.
Their are MANY more NJ based players going D1 each year than can fit on the rosters of the 2 NJ ECNL Teams.Clearly NJ could field 4 or 5 teams that would be competitive in the ECNL, just look at the often one sided scores in ECNL events.It's all about money and the selfish interests of these few Academies as opposed to what is bet for the young players.
the first step is recognition of what they are doing and it is nice to see a few posters starting to "get it".

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you are saying regarding the U20 and U17 team. I watched 2 of the U20 games and must say I was disappointed. Your assessment is spot on with the type of players they put on the field. I think they are all fine players but certainly did not play a serious possession style of soccer.

That said I'm not sure adding more ECNL teams is the answer. I'd much prefer to see some sort of ranking system, and if a particular club falls below a certain ranking for say 2 years they get booted and a new club is offered a spot. That spot offered should go to the most deserving club, and that club could be based in any state. My experience with ECNL makes me believe that by adding more teams, (yes) you might find a few more truly exceptional players but you will do so by creating weaker ECNL clubs. There are a number of weak ECNL clubs right now and adding more will just make it another watered down league where the competition is marginal at best. I much rather see the ECNL ( replace a few clubs) with stronger ones and create 64 really strong clubs. When you get that then lets start talking about expanding.

Anonymous said...

2:20 I agree with you, but there is no one really pushing for it. I actually think the ECNL and PDA have contradicting goals. The ECNL should match the supply of ECNL with the demand for it. When you look at how strong NJ has been historically in soccer, are we really to believe that 1-50 of the top kids are Elite, that there's not another 50 kids that can compete. There are also kids that wouldn't drive 3 hours a night to get back and forth to training and not everyone is happy with their current club so kids would also move clubs. I personally would love to see a club having the ability to earn its way into the ECNL with objective measures. I think if there were competition it would improve the quality of the ECNL and the next level below. This weekend I watched Leicester City play Everton. They played to a tie. Leicester City was promoted this week and I'd be quite sure that getting a taste of the Premier League has made them a better team and the threat of future relegation will be a strong motivator for them to compete at the highest levels.

Anonymous said...

I'm watching the Little League World Series, Nevada Versus illinois, and they are talking about what happens when Little League ends and you get into Travel Baseball and costs and that Baseball is losing out to Football and basketball. They talk about a bat costing $300 and a Glove $150. They are also talking about how no one plays pick up baseball any more. They are talking about how we are losing out in baseball because it is an accessible game around the world. In baseball this gets a little hidden since an American team has to be in the finals.

Anonymous said...

2:48 you are responding to my post and I agree that NJ needs another ECNL club. My daughter plays in MD and I know the hotbed of talent that's in NJ. My point though was that they should take ECNL away from a club like Las Vegas Premier SA. Every age group finished last but one it finished second to last. Clearly the demand was there for that ECNL club but it doesn't mean your putting out a quality product.

I have no idea what the politics are in NJ and PDA / ECNL but yes they need another club there.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why FC Virginia U15s are rostering 30 kids? I'm new to this blog but there seems to be a lot of inside information here. My daughter plays in Richmond area (non ECNL) and with consolidation there is only one area ECNL team this year. Would make the drive to NoVa if it was feasible but not to play on a team with 30 kids. How do they get any playing time. After seeing all the gripes about NJ teams B and C kids getting shafted, isn't it just a matter of time before the FCV A parents start doing the same thing? Say you have 5 kids on that team that are way above average (probably a low ball). That leaves 25 kids to fight over the other 6 positions. Unless all 30 receive full rides at FCV, who would stand for that

Anonymous said...

4:39 I disagree about another ECNL club. The reason California has so many is because how big it is. In NJ one covers the North and one the South, that should be enough to field the top 50 players in the state. And what about 51 - 100 either work harder to become one of the top 50 or be happy where you are and get your D1 scholarship with your current team. ECNL should be for the elite players in a region to build a strong player pool for our national teams.

And their prize for working so hard would be a scholarship - I don't see what's wrong with that.

Maybe PDA should change their name to NJ North and MF should change their name to NJ South.

We have NPL for other strong clubs as another avenue for players to be seen. Wait it doesn't stop their we have Region 1 leagues (USYSA) and National League as another avenue. Hold on we don't stop their we have ODP also.

This is the problem with youth soccer to many opportunities for people to take advantage of people and we have seen that happen because we are all paying way to much.

So they field a bad team - maybe that's the best they can do in Las Vegas, so we should take away their spot and give one to a state that already has 2 and is about a 2 hour ride from border to border

Anonymous said...

5:30 how many kids make VA ODP? Only 18? What do you think would happen if they could field only 1 team would players 19-30 get shafted for making the team and not getting dressed for a game.

Most of the ECNL teams in the Northeast field NPL teams. SO their 2nd and 3rd teams play against each other to win a trip to the NPL finals somewhere in the USA to play A teams from other Clubs that won their leagues. Does that sound like players getting shafted? or does that sound like people with an agenda posting some hate?

Anonymous said...

There doesn't need to be an league like ECNL that while it may include the strongest clubs as far as their top to bottom strength it doesn't necessarily have the best teams in each age group and showcase all the top players.
How about the best teams in each age group make the top flights in the biggest events.
That would showcase the best players and open up more possibilities for players who are the farthest from an ECNL club to be showcased without driving so far to train. Of course this would take the monopoly from those current ECNL clubs and make for an even playing field and we couldn't have that could we?

Anonymous said...

@5:30 - FCV also has an NPL team, so they are probably cross-rostering a bunch of the girls. The ECNL team is also entered in USYS National League, so I presume they are rostering as many as possible in case they have schedule conflicts. For example, they have an ECNL game the same weekend as the WAGS tournament, so that gives them the ability to play both, assuming there isn't an NPL game the same weekend.

Anonymous said...

5:30,

My guess is they told the players (18) who are really on the ECNL team. The other 12 plus other FC VA kids will play in another league. You can only dress 18 for a game and I seriously doubt they are rotating players for every game.

Anonymous said...

5:39 California has 15 ECNL teams because the kids are there and there is a demand. There are 6 ECNL clubs clustered around San Francisco in a geography the size of NJ, there are 6 around LA in a geography around the size of NJ, and 2 serving the greater San Diego area. NJ would only have 1 ECNL club if PDA had its way.

Anonymous said...

Does your soccer team, any level, provide an audit to the parents each year.

In other words are you sure that each dollar you put in is spent on exactly what was promised?
Are you share that each player is paying the same amount?

Without an audit, how can you be sure?

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Pay to Play is bad for soccer, and ECNL is not The Answer. Just ask Judy Foudy.
@JulieFoudy: The USA u20 loss in WWC Qtrs last nt has me bothered... & USA u17s didn't even Qualify for their WWC. Needs 2b addressed. Ahhh.

Anonymous said...

Yeah DC Shore, our team does, and, gee, we are an ECNL team.

Team is given a budget with every imaginable expense they can think of, for the year, including rentals for indoor space when the weather is bad.

Any invoice for an expense, no matter who from, is submitted to the club's financial admin, and also to each Team treasurer, for approval as an originally budgeted expense, before being paid. Once the team treasurer approves, it is paid by the club. This is called professionalism.

If you are paying for it, you should know where it is going....should hold true for all clubs, ALL levels ! You are right, people need to know where their $$ is going, If you are part of a professional organization, they should do things right, has nothing to do with ECNL vs. non ECNL.

Anonymous said...

12:00AM,

I bring it up because with all of this money talk (how much, how little, who, where, etc.) most folks fail to follow up on what they are doing themselves.

IT IS RARE that you get the proper accounting from your org. I think this equally applies to local clubs and academies. You need to make sure your dollars are going to YOUR kids activities/team. And not serving as a scholarship fund for other players.

A lot of noise on this board lately...especially about money...I just wonder how sharp everyone is on their own finances. No matter how little or great the fees they are paying may be.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Thee is no system of development in the US. Kids start out playing in their towns at a young age, no one scouts out talent, kids either decide to stay with their local town team or go to a more competitive club. As they grow and develop, some may decide to go to a higher level club. Again, no one is identifying any of these kids, they are likely self-selected based on how they dominated at younger levels and often because they were bigger, faster, and stronger. So at the youth level we have a self-selected group of best athletes now trying for ECNL Clubs. We have ODP that charges you to enter a development program and you have a few selectors for to chose kids in an hour and a half and they admit themselves that they often get selection wrong. Then at U15, the kids play half a year with HS where a coach teaches a different game than is taught by the club team. If the kid goes to college, then they ply 3-4 months for their college team with mixed competition throughout the season and left with little competitive alternatives the rest of the year.

The US system is a mess and the ECNL is not doing anything to help the situation. It is giving our system a false sense of hope that we have identified and placed the best elite kids in an elite system. There is no real evidence that the coaches and training at the ECNL level is better, and kids aren't identified as elite. They or their parents identify themselves and go to tryouts. And because at the younger ages the emphasis is on the W, the big, strong, fast kids, predominate, and those then become the kids that self-identify as the most talented soccer players and move on to bigger clubs.

Anonymous said...

10:03 - I agree. Since PDA and some other academies are categorized as non-profits are the club administrations individual salaries accessible as public record.
I'm sure that would give you a good handle on where your dues money is going.

Anonymous said...

Does ECNL play in the fall for u15 & up or do they pick up once High School season ends?

Anonymous said...

No Fall play, most come together around November and may do one November tournament and prepare for the December showcases.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in this detailed accounting if you would make it available. It would help immensely to clarify some of these expense questions particularly about travel.

I would also expect and hope to see scholarship costs detailed. If you are operating as a tax exempt org with a social mission you better be giving scholarships or you better start paying taxes.

Anonymous said...

Who are you asking for a detailed accounting from? Ask your club. Scholarships have nothing to do with non-profit status. Non-profit status can be granted to any amateur sports organization. This is true of your local rec league or travel club as it is true for PDA.

Anonymous said...

The question was as a non-profit are the salaries of pda administration and DOC a matter of public record and accessible?
Simple question.

Anonymous said...

12:08PM

I do not believe so.
Also, I'm not sure if these are truly non-profits as opposed to simply Tax Exempts. I am not an accountant nor do I play one on TV but I think there is a distinction.

In reality officers, coaches, trainers of any academy program can make as much money as they want. I'm not sure they have to report anything.

I could be wrong about all of this though.

That said, no matter what the laws are, I think it would be in good practice to show the 'in-flows and out-flows' of all cash.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Any 501c3 of which most if not all clubs are, they are non-profit tax exempt organizations. As such, both the IRS and the company itself are required to make the finances publicly available including directors, officers and key employees. They are also required to make their records available for public inspection during regular business hours.

Anonymous said...

i stand corrected...LOL!

DCShore

Anonymous said...

How does this work.

Do these ecnl clubs serve the impact players whether they need financial assistance or not and so are not exusionary?

Or is it..they better not be using any of my money to help another player and they should serve the impact players that can pay?

Anonymous said...

The impact players don't pay

Anonymous said...

Some of the dues collected from the players on the B and C teams are used to scholarship impact players to aid in recruiting them.
Sort of like a Ponzi scheme.

Anonymous said...

They are not exclusionary, any kid who requests a scholarship gets one. It's an open system for anyone who wants it.

That would be great wouldn't it. The reality is it remains exclusionary. Very few kids get scholarships and even fewer if any will get all fees paid for. Parents also have to show financial need. These scholarships almost always do not include travel, uniforms, gas driving to games and practice. If there are scholarships for sure they are being subsidized by the other players or the forced fundraising. If you are thinking that half of the kids on a team are getting scholarships, think again. If it is fees for 1-3 kids on a roster of 25 then you'd be closer. The clubs also do not promote this and this pretty good PR for the club but mostly inconsequential in terms of numbers.

You seem to want to find a contradiction in what people are saying, but it doesn't exist. These scholarships are not open to 25 impact player and the clubs remain exclusionary.

Anonymous said...

You guys are hilarious! Clearly you didn't "self select" your daughter onto an ECNL team... Otherwise you would know that "scholarships" are based on financial need. If your daughter "self selected" herself onto an ECNL team and you could not cover the cost of (dues), after providing the appropriate documents, than dues are waved. Many of the parents who also have "self selected" kids on the team usually help out financially with travel cost and reach into their own pockets and help the less fortunate player out.

If you were part of the ECNL experience you would realize that the players and families are always trying to field the best team possible. It will only help with showcasing our "self selected" kids to be seen by colleges if that's the route they pursue. Plus who wants to do all this travel and lose a bunch of games?

I got to go now and "self select" my daughter to UVA...

Anonymous said...

2:24 Clearly you didn't actually read my post, I don't think I said that kids were self selected onto an ECNL team. What I said is that they are self-selecting into the tryout process. Most kids are not recruited to attend tryouts, this is what I said "So at the youth level we have a self-selected group of best athletes now trying for ECNL Clubs." It is the broader point of who goes into Elite soccer, it's the kids who dominate at the young ages who are big, fast, and strong and are constantly told that they are the best soccer players and therefore tryout for high level clubs.

I doubt that the parent coaches at age 9-12 are watching a kid that has exceptional technical skills and says well kid you should be going to the next level.

The broader point which you are clearly missing, is that our Elite system is failing to produce kids that are competitive at the highest levels. The current make-up of the USWNT and the performance of the U-17 and U-20 national teams are starting to prove the point that technically we are not developing the best soccer players have to offer. I believe this is because we have a system that rewards speed, size, and strength at the early ages These are the kids that get picked to go to the next level whether they select themselves to tryout or whether they are recruited to tryout.

The NWSL is not fun soccer to watch, the USWNT U-20 was not great to watch, and I think three is a direct correlation between a pay-to-play elitist youth system that is getting more so. The first products of the ECNL are there for the world to watch.

Anonymous said...

I was being slightly facetious but understand your point. Frankly I don't believe any youth soccer player needs to be recruited most if not all know where to go for the most competitive experience in their geographic region. I also agree that US soccer overemphasis (speed) and to some degree size over technical ability but the reality is at the U15 level and higher most impact players are pretty technical. I don't blame the system the way it is currently set up, I blame the coaches that can't teach a possession style game, and a country that frankly doesn't understand soccer. I believe the current roster on the U20 team (or at least most) could play that style if a coach forced it on them. They play to speed and are direct. Not players fault its the coaches.

Anonymous said...

I read an article on the U-20 wake up call. In the comments, I read this quote and it couldn't be more true, "US Soccer sold out the youth for their friends in the game."

Yep, it is happening right in front of us.

Anonymous said...

You can absolutely teach the possession game to anyone. Heck, I was was in my late 20's when I learned to actually play it. I always knew the right way THE GAME was played but I never had coach or team strive for it. WINNING was too important.

You can teach THE GAME but you have to have patience and you CANNOT focus on having to win. So there goes 90% of the teams (clubs and academy).

When it comes to Youth Soccer you are either about development or winning. It cannot be about both.
Don't confuse this with meaning that you can't win if you are a development team. It simply means you will not put results in front of development. How many teams train one way but play/are coached different on game day? Answer: TOO MANY

DCShore

Anonymous said...

The theory is right, but I have a few reasons why it won't work, kids (and parents like to win), winning is seen as a recruiting tool and I think team record would make a difference of a kid deciding to join a club, and in the world of everyone striving for a D-1 scholarship getting showcase exposure matters and losing clubs wouldn't get it the exposure. I don't think winning and development are mutually exclusive. Keeping a team together and teaching them to play over a longer period of time would be the ideal. I also think that once we put the term "professional" in front of the word coach and everyone assumes that they are competent.

Anonymous said...

I think it can be about both. If you develop top talent the winning will take care of itself.

the problem with our NTs can go many different ways. I think all the focus on D1 schools is the problem. I think we need a league for the top talent (DA) and these players should be developed to play at the highest levels (and guess what this will cost money - even if your tuition is free someone has to pay for all that travel and overnight stays - nothing is for free everyone has choices and sacrifices to make). D1 will be the prize for these kids because all the D1 schools will want them.

The we can have whatever for all the other kids fighting for scholarship money.

Anonymous said...

The question about FCV. 22 are on the USYS roster. 8 from last year's team are only on the ECNL roster. So the top Premiere players will play ECNL. Most of the lower Premiere players will not get much ECNL experience. This is fine, until you have a USYS/ECNL conflict or injuries. Both teams had many injuries last year and with lack of recovery time - they might have large cross sections of the team injured during the season. Rumor is they already have injuries.

Anonymous said...

The original FCV plan was two teams (ECNL and USYS) with a pool of 40 sharing 4-8 players between teams. But Gus had to give his entire roster ECNL patches to keep his crazy parents (like the former manager and the annoying German lawyer that all the parents and coaches can't stand) from causing more drama than they already cause.

Anonymous said...

Due to Ecnl rules you can't be sharing 4-8 players. Only 2

Anonymous said...

Are you sure ? I thought within the same club that kids could be rostered to both. If the team is a fcv team taking over abcg stats I thought discovery rules didn't apply

Anonymous said...

2:17 - the 6-8 were going to be dual rostered on two FCV teams (USYS and USClub) in the original plan.

Instead, they went with a pool of 31 (one rostered on 16s) with 22 on the USYS and ECNL roster and 8 only on ECNL roster and a requirement to play State Cup, National League, Region 1 Premiere League, ECNL, NPL, and Super Y National Championships plus a crazy tournament schedule with everything from Dallas to PDA to Jeff Cup (breaking into two teams of 15) and a full slate of all ECNL showcases.

Anonymous said...

A couple of the Annandale parents are very insecure about how their daughters stack up against their former teammates who went to Mclean. Many of the current starters were reserves when the two teams were combined. Others were on a PWSI team that would invite Annandale to a tournament and for the honor of losing 6-0 each year so they could get easy GotSoccer points. So the former reserve parents and the PWSI parents have pushed for a schedule with very little recovery time between games in an attempt to win a National Championship (USYS, ECNL, NPL, Super Y). The coach doesn't care because he makes money.

All I will say is, I would hate to be on FCV if they lose to Mclean or CASL. It will make Dance Moms look like watching PBS.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure we are properly identifying or developing soccer talent in this country. Look at the U20 woman's team. Some of the comments remarked about the lack of technical skills, innovation, or ability to control the flow of play. Most of these girls played ECNL. I realize the ECNL Technical Directors and Coaches promote they are developing the best players. But that is subjective. This is not football where if you have consistent 100 yard rushing games, a coach cannot ignore your talent. Same with basketball where if you score 40 a game, but your shot isn't right or you are a bit smaller, coaches have a hard time saying this person isn't "league" ready. In soccer, there is alot of comment about being ECNL ready players. It is all subjective. Some coaches might think one is ECNL ready, while another doesn't. If you live in an area where the coach likes A' players and your daughter is an A* player then you are SOL. Doesn't mean your A* player isn't good or ECNL ready. She may not be a good fit for the local ECNL club. Look at college recruiting. Does every D1 school offer every single ECNL player. No. Sometimes they offer players which might not even be perceived by the parent, technical director, or parents as impact players. The problem with subjective it is too subjective. The problem with the US game is we are trying to build systems instead of developing players. It isn't working.

Anonymous said...

I have a daughter on an ECNL team and you are right. Talent evaluations are always subjective and often times when one coach sees one thing, another sees something different. I'm very familiar with the ECNL teams from Mass to North Carolina, and west to Indiana. Here's what most of those teams consist of. On (average) they each have 3-5 D1 players, and some of those more than likely go to small D1 school. The rest of the team is made up of nice D2/3 and some probably just finish out high school / ECNL and don't go on to play. Some of the better ECNL teams probably have 6-9 legit D1's and maybe 2 or 3 of those are real impact players. The difference between a really good town team and an average ECNL team is very small, and the town team could be better. The best thing about ECNL is that it seems to a magnet for good players, so league play is getting better every year. For our team when we were younger U11 / U12 it did not matter what league we played in the competition was horrible. ECNL has by in large solved that.

But to 3:20's point I'm not implying ECNL is producing better national team players or that ECNL is the best model for that. Just saying it's been the most competitive league to date my daughter has played in, and as a whole has a majority of best players in it when you compare it to other leagues.

As far as evaluations go I would encourage serious players (someone who wants to play in college) to be seen by as many coaches as possible. You have no idea how good (or not good) your daughter is by listening to one coach. Go to college camps, TopDrawer combines, local camps etc. The more college coaches that see you the better understanding you will have when it comes to areas that need improvement and what type of school they might expect to play for.

Anonymous said...

9:03 You are probably right about what you are say. The competition in the ECNL may be better, but I'm not sure that this system is creating better soccer players. Fast, big, and strong against fast, big, and strong will make for good competition. Our model is for fast big and strong because when the big clubs bring new kids in they need to win to keep their reputation in tact and do not have the patience for continued development of a player. D1 soccer is often not that pretty to watch either. We've set it up a some sort of standard, but D1 does not yet meet a great standard and overemphasizes size, strength, and speed. Lindsay Horan is probably the true future of top level soccer where D1 soccer is bypassed and right into a super high level of International competition.

Anonymous said...

10:09 - you are forgetting one thing about ECNL - it's been around for 5 years. So the kids that started with a ECNL club at u9 are just starting to play.

Right now the norm has been for parents to keep their kids out and get better or equal training + ODP and then bring their kids over. I think those days are numbered as the soccer specific athletes are starting younger with the ECNl clubs and there will be no way they lose a spot to an athletic non-soccer specific kid in the future don't care what sports they played.

I think we are going the right way and I think people get hung up on this D1 thing. AND I agree 100% with you Lindsay Horan signed a huge money deal to skip school and play pro in UEFA.

While this is great news for our girls as they will be able to follow their dreams and play the sport they love and get paid for it - it's horrible news for the NWSL since they can't pay because we don't have the demand for Womens Soccer in the states.

As of today and I'm talking NT level players only - ECNL is the best option - ODP is a waste of time and Money - but that's just my opinion. However, if you are hunting for a D1 scholarship many different avenues for that.

Anonymous said...

9:29 I think your post makes the opposite point. The kids that standout at young ages are either the very fast kids or the very strong kids. Those are the kids that are told and think they are the best soccer players and then will start going to the ECNL clubs. Just because you take a fast, big, and strong kid and put them in an ECNL club doesn't mean they will learn to see the field, will develop good foot work, will play well under pressure, etc. I have also seen enough "hotshot" kids even playing at ECNL clubs are unwilling to distribute the ball because it takes away from them being the center of attention. I am still amazed when I watch high level clubs and I see kid consistently trying to take the ball the whole field or take on 2-3 defenders.

Anonymous said...

10:16 I agree with you about what you are saying. Selfish players don't know team ball and that's fine, maybe they had to carry the load and it's tough learning to trust another player if you couldn't do it before. These same players I bet you hate to lose. They will learn or they will go as far as their type of play and skill level will take them.

You are missing my point.
We have Athletic Soccer players that have vision and skill plus soccer IQ. Then we have Athletic players that have size and strength and play multiple sports (jack of all trades master of none).

I am saying that athletic soccer players will be searching for the ECNL clubs more and more and some of them will have size and strength. These players will develop into the stars of tomorrow at the NT, UEFA or NWSL levels. Can you imagine if you get these kids at u9 and surround them from the beginning with players that want to play and get better instead of wasting their time with ODP and playing for teams looking for results at the early ages.


Anonymous said...

The Germans (article link below) understand that small size often is associated with the best technique. There are exceptions Zinadine Zidane stands out in that regard as a good example of soze speed technique and tactics. Though intuitively I agree big strong fast AND technically phenomenal is the holy grail, that is exceedingly rare as a complete package. What I think we are seeing is that we don't have enough technically and tactically gifted players, midfielders especially, in the game to raise the level. That is because they are often being ignored by the selectors whether "elite" youth coaches or U20 WNT

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/may/23/germany-bust-boom-talent

Anonymous said...

2:12 I agree - Most of the time is coaches pushing kids from their club if not that are the big fast and strong. We are great coaches and we can mold them.
This has been our philosophy for years.

In the past it didn't matter because no one played the game now we can't get out of concacaf if we are u17 and can't beat North Korea if we are U20.

How do you fix that? Do nothing business as usual win our games go to the national league and get our D1 scholarships and just point out the facts or do you give the ECNL a chance and maybe if more people promoted it as the place to be for elite talent instead of holding them back for what ever the reason maybe we change that and let these kids push each other.

I agree it's expensive, but nothing is for free in life there is always a cost.

Anonymous said...

Selectors changing a bit? Look at the ODP regional teams' rosters for '99 and '00. Certainly not as many kids as there once were at the camps and some of the best choose not to participate, but seems that some of our mid altantic small technical kids are being chosen.

http://www.region1.com/clubsite/?p=5800

A small technical kid from PA chosen to the U14 GNT camp. Are we starting to understand that the other nation's are catching up and we might actually need to put forward soccer players rather than just great athletes to succeed at the world's game?

Anonymous said...

I think it's a big leap to think that the ECNL will eventually develop the talent for the US to succeed on the global level. You need the ECNL clubs to commit to a development philosophy and that's difficult. ECNL clubs want to recruit the "best" players. How do they do that? By winning. This puts an emphasis on winning rather than development which runs counter to the development philosophy.

Also, in our area, the girls that end up on the ECNL teams do not rise up through the same club and get developed. They are mostly from other surrounding clubs so this results in the teams being "All Star"-like teams. Assuming little turnover, it may take time for any team structured like this to gel, even if they all play a similar posession oriented game.

Even if the kids did develop and rise up through the ECNL club, they would almost need to start at the U9 or U10 level. Who knows at this age if the kid is going to succeed or not?

If you want the ECNL to be a showcase for college identification, then that's possible with today's clubs. If you want the ECNL to be the training ground for the USWNT, then the structure and emphasis needs to change.

I suspect that many of the players (or at least their parents) are more concerned with playing in college than making the USWNT, so there's no push to change the system.

Anonymous said...

To those who say that it's only 5 years give the ECNL time, I would argue that on the National Level we do not have time. If some of us are right about the ECNL being bad for US Soccer development then our country will be so far behind in identifying national talent that we will be too far behind to quickly catch up. The only incentive big clubs have is to win, play in big events, and get as many kids into college as possible because without that they wouldn't have their marketing tool.

The other major problem we have is that the US has no soccer philosophy. Whatever we have at the US Soccer level is not pushed down through the clubs. Even within clubs, there is a major inconsistency with coaches.

My daughter is a pretty good soccer player, and she is constantly frustrated by her "professional coach" who coaches one thing in practice and then is critical of the same actions in games or coaches a style of play but let's some kids consistently deviate from a style of play whereas as other kids are berated for deviating.

I don't believe US Soccer at the youth or highest levels is in great shape. When we get knowcked out of the U20 World Cup by North Korea who then loses to Nigeria 6-2, something is seriously wrong. Is there a correlation with this being the first crop of kids coming out of the ECNL Someone was on this blog a few months back about how the US Youth National teams are populated almost entirely by ECNL kids.

Anonymous said...

5:18 - you are unhappy with your paid coach. Your daughter is unhappy with her paid coach. Why do you pay so much money for your daughter to play on a team that you believe has a bad coach? Are you sure he works on one thing at practice and expects something else in a game? I can only think of 3 scenarios here:
1) you are willing to pay a lot of money for a bad coach for the ECNL patch.
2) Your daughter is not understanding what the coach wants in a game (maybe he uses different terminology or is foreign?)
3)Lack of playing time is leading to frustration.

Anonymous said...

9:59 The point of the post is about the quality of coaches and about the lack of soccer philosophy that exists across all of US Soccer.

Be judgmental if you must, of course everyone chooses a club for their own reason. My daughter plays for an NPL club and we've chosen it because of proximity and quality of the overall club. The coach is actually decent guy but I believe he's a poor communicator and lacks consistency in what he wants from the kids. That's my opinion and others may view it differently.

Broadly, I don't think we have a lot of quality control over coaches in our system. I think it's a big part of the development issue and I don't know that at the youth level that there is a lot of teaching going on.

Anonymous said...

Coaches are a commodity traded in a market. You have kept the demand up for weak coaches by buying weak coaching. You have done that for "proximity" and "quality" of the club. First off why care about the quality of the club if the quality of the the specific team which is based largely on the quality of the coach is lacking? The proximity factor is family dependent, but I think you have little room to complain if you aren't willing to broaden the market by traveling some. Carpools often make the travel more feasible. Recruit some local kids to a better situation with your child and you may make the travel possible. While there is not yet a critical mass of great coaching present in the US, there are islands of great coaches out there and you may have one within acceptable commuting distance if you make a concerted effort to find him/her.

2 years ago when my child, who was a late puberty technical kid and does not fit in with a direct style of play, was unhappy with her position and playtime with the "local" team ( which had just changed coaches after 5 years) We went shopping for soccer teams. Ultimately she specifically chose a team based on the coaching and the style of play. Yes we must commute a significant distance and it is a challenge that we have accepted. The team plays the same style in practice and in games and the style is dictated by the DOC. All teams in the club play the same style. It is a fairly successful team but by playing out of the back (unlike the u20s the goalie rarely punts / drop kicks) they do lose some games. There is a very competitive environment for playtime and there were significant cuts/ adds at tryout this spring. Some might find the team's philosophy stressful. We couldn't be happier with the choice our child/ family has made.

Anonymous said...

I agree coaches are key - but with so many registered players not that many soccer specific people available to coach. So you take moms and dads who love other sports and are successful in other sports trying to translate what works in those sports to soccer = Big, Fast, Athletic, Aggressive kids will win games when they are young and will enjoy winning and traveling to tournaments makes everybody happy.

I think US Club soccer is trying to change that - by setting up standards like the DA's for clubs to follow. They accept clubs that meet these standards. Are all the coaches great, probably for some kids and probably not for some others at least they are holding clubs accountable. It's not the wild wild west where teams do what they want, the club advances love the the patch not the team. I't not every day you come across a PA strikers situation. For every PA strikers you have 10 hacks.

Anonymous said...

USYSA is committing elite programming suicide. It scheduled the ODP interregional to overlap the first national league event at CASL. This affects many regions and teams. ABGC, Tophat, Legends, PV storm, Cleveland FC etc all have several players representing the region at ODP interregional and are in the national league. USYSA touts these events as opportunities for recruitment and youth national team exposure, yet superimposes them. Brilliant...
I am personally considering seeing if my kid can be successful in the ECNL to get away from this mess.

Anonymous said...

So now that ABGC Premier isn't around to suckle off of, it seems that PWSI Red has turned to McLean ECNL for their points teat. Invite them to their tournament, barely beat two younger U14 teams by a goal each, and lose twice to McLean without scoring a goal, but will probably still get about 700 points.

A true illustration of all that is wrong with GS. How can you justify earning any points without ever winning a single game against a team in your own age bracket?

Anonymous said...

We all know got soccer's limitations. It is however immensely useful as a database for results. As in who has beaten whom and at what venue.

what is much more interesting is what will happen with the national league and ECNL at ABGC/FC VA? Dose anyone know? How are they working the rosters for specific events?

Anonymous said...

1:33 That is not interesting to me, lay it out and make it interesting to an ousider like me.

Anonymous said...

The FC VA team has a giant ECNL roster listed. This isn't terribly uncommon in ECNL land as often many B team (NPL) level kids are rostered so that they can play ECNL occasionally. However, this giant roster has a mix of last years' ECNL kids and just about the whole ABGC national league team. By USYSA rules they have to have some roster continuity (50%?) for national league so many of the ECNL kids will have to play in, I think, 2 national league events. CASL and one other?. Will the top (largely ABGC) kids predominantly play both ECNL and the 2 national league events. Will they also play region 1. Or will the top kids play ECNL and just enough to keep roster continuity of the bottom of the old ABGC roster play national league and region 1? The answer speaks to the overall viability of USYSA programming versus ECNL. If the top kids are playing both next spring, there will be a question of overuse. Will they schedule their events around each other as best they can to keep the top team playing everything or will there essentially be 2 teams, one that plays ECNL and one USYSA? How is this balance going to work with team chemistry and overall team satisfaction?

Anonymous said...

OK....why is this so interesting? A team needs to figure out who will play where in what games. Every team has to sort that out.

Anonymous said...

yeah everyteam with 30 kids on the roster...

Anonymous said...

Maybe not so interesting to you, but to others, is what happens to the kids that have had the carrot dangled in front of them and end up not playing much or at all, and how soon will the others burn out or get unnecessarily exposed to injury because of their coach's ego.

Anonymous said...

Also will be interesting to see whether the "A" roster plays ECNL or Usysa when there is a conflict.

Anonymous said...

Ecnl rule " NO more than 2 players coming from a different team/roster"
If you are an Ecnl team you can't have on your roster 3,4... players playing usysa only 2.

Anonymous said...

How are your girls handling the riggers of HS? Went to my daughters first (varsity)scrimmage the other day and I must tell you I'm marking off the days when it's over. The product is beyond bad. The coach told my daughter (plays holder) never pass back to our defense - its a dangerous ball.. Said he understood that in "club" that is how you play but here the girls don't have the talent to handle it. The coach said if no one is available in front of you just kick it away. Packs 8 in the box and prays for a windy day because our 2 strikers have no chance to ever score.

The saddest part to me though is the fact that many of these girls have and are still playing club soccer somewhere. Many of them have been playing for years like my daughter. I have no idea what they are teaching them but their level of understanding (soccer IQ), technical ability is on par with what you would expect out of a rec player.

I've invested in 5 rolls of duck tape that I will use to cover my mouth so no one can hear me mumbling "what the..." Might have to put some over my ears as well because if I have to listen to parents scream "great ball" as it was just kicked out of bounds or "nice try" when a girl just took a 40 yard shot (that stopped in the goalies box)... I might not make it through the season. Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

Since just about every u15g is going into their freshman year, does anyone want to talk about HS Soccer? This sport is supposed to be about having fun. I hope most of the girls and parents are excited about playing for their school.

Anonymous said...

256 you are talking about the discovery player rule. Within the club you can roster up to 30 players as ecnl players as ABGC did. Each ECNL game requires that the team submits a game day roster with up to 18 players named from the 30 eligible. If for example ABGC named 16 of the 30 for a Saturday ECNL game and then had a USYSA game scheduled for Sunday, all 16 kids could play in a usysa event on sunday. If there was a conflicting ecnl game on that sunday 14 of the remaining 30 could play in the ecnl event. Similarly any combination of the 30 players could play in either event on that Sunday regardless of the Saturday's game roster.

From the ECNL handbook (pg 11):

"Dual
-
Rostered Player

If a player in your club is invited to play just for one weekend with your ECNL specific team, you
must roster her on your
ECNL
Season
Roster. She is permitted to go back and play wi
th her
original
team. This is called “Dual
-
Rostered.”

Example:
Pool of players within an ECNL club, if a player is pulled up to play with the ECNL team for a game, sh
e will be
added to the season
roster for the remainder of the year. She will be allowed
to go back and play for her original team; again
this is called a “Dual Rostered” player.

If a player within your
ECNL Club is pulled up from a non ECNL team and/or invited to play for the ECNL team (even for
one game), the player must be added to the ECN
L season roster for the remainder of the year.
Yes, the player will count

The discovery players are specifically players outside of the ECNL club

ECNL Handbook page 23:

"A Disco
very Player is a player that is not a member of an ECNL Member Club in any capacity. A
Discovery Player is allowed to
participate in ECNL
U14, U15, U16, U
17 ECNL teams may
each have two (2) Discovery Players,
total"

Thus ABGC can indeed have the 30 players rostered run between ECNL and USYSA competition freely exchanging players for any specific event.

Link to the handbook if anyone is interested:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gaujadlox979d29/2014%20-%202015%20ECNL%20Member%20Club%20Handbook%20.pdf
.




%%%%%%%%%%%%
2014
-
2015 ECNL Member Club Handbook .docx
12
of
37
8/12/14
ECNL
®
towards the ECNL Season roster maximum (30 players in all age groups).
In saying that, the player is permitted to go back
and play with her other team (non ECNL team) during the se
ason.

In other words, there is a pool of players within an ECNL club. If a player is pulled up to play with the ECNL team for a
game, she will be added to the ECNL season roster for the remainder of the year. She will be allowed to go back and play for
h
er original non
-
ECNL team. "

the 2 "discovery player" limit applies to kids who are primarily rostered on teams outside of the ECNL club.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:28 & 8:33 My daughters HS school experience has been different. The level of play on the varsity team is higher then her club team. The few girls playing at the varsity level that have not been trained properly are getting educated by the high level club players on the team. The coaching seems ok. It's worth mentioning that my daughter goes to a large school with a lot of soccer players to choose from. It should be fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

I have to say my daughter is finding the HS experience less then pleasurable. HS varsity coach has inside info from gym teacher/ middle school coach who shared info on her top incoming freshman. Girls play low level local soccer and middle school while best incoming where at top clubs and skipped middle school soccer. Varsity coach blind to new players and takes the word of gym teacher. Coach will eventually see the better players but since freshman are separated the process will take time. Hard to explain to your daughter that HS soccer is very different and HS coaches have very little familiarity with the skills that recent freshmen now arrive with.

Anonymous said...

157 have the same experience. She's hoping for a move up at least before playoffs. But when the coach is a teacher and not a fulltime soccer guy...
trying to just let it be the social experience it really is without an injury

Anonymous said...

It also helps the HS experience when mommy runs the booster club and daddy has been stalking the HS coach since little Mia was in sixth grade!

Anonymous said...

In our area most of the talented players bypasses HS soccer. It only exposes the kids to unnecessary injuries and constant frustration. The HS has revolving coaches who don't understand tactics or training, and the games are hard to watch. There's also no benefit from playing, other than earning a varsity letter.

Anonymous said...

5:19 Sadly you are right. Knew it would be bad but not this bad. I pray the "fun" factor kicks in.

Anonymous said...

5:19 I disagree - there is always a benefit to playing. Every expert points out that we don't have pick up games in the states. Of course not, why would high level soccer players play with their friends who know nothing about the team unless of course there are 10 kids that play soccer on the same block.

Come on man - is it great soccer? Depends on your definition of great. Is it good soccer? Depends on your definition of good.

At least they are playing or would you prefer they don't touch a ball and play some other sport?

For the kids that love the game play and enjoy - Injuries will happen regardless of the level of play at this age I don't think kids are picking up bad habits but then again I wouldn't know.

Anonymous said...

From what I have seen so far, my child would welcome the ECNL following in the USSF mandate for its DA players: no high school ball. Of course I would expect year round ECNL programming then

Anonymous said...

Anybody else embarrassed by the fact that Sky Blue had the worst attendance in the NWSL by a long shot? The attendance is at least half of most of the other NWSL clubs.

13,362 Portland (+0.3%)
4,650 Houston (-)
3,666 Seattle (+57%)
3,335 Washington (-9%)
3,177 Western NY (-29%)
2,949 *Chicago (+72%)
2,437 Boston (+0.4%)
2,018 FC Kansas City (-57%)
1,640 Sky Blue FC (-2%)

Anonymous said...

maybe because the team is not that good.

Anonymous said...

12:38 - Don't even compare playing pickup games to HS soccer. If there was any benefit, then most of the club coaches wouldn't have such an issue with it. It's far from pickup soccer. Pickup soccer is much better than what they pass off as HS soccer around here.

What's the point of sending your kid to mandatory daily HS practice for an hour and a half, then off to club practice for another hour and a half? They get no benefit from it, besides wearing them out. Most decent top-level club teams are practicing 3 days a week, with scrimmages and/or games on the weekend. You want to throw in another 7 1/2 hours plus 2-3 games a week in addition to that? That's roughly 12 hours of practice and 4-5 games a week.

Sorry, but I don't see the benefit. I'd rather have my kid in the yard juggling or passing with a friend than go to HS soccer. A large part of that is based on the quality of the HS coaches here, and the level of play & practice. It's absolutely pointless.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but there's so much talk on this blog about the development of women's soccer, yet so few people expose their kids to professional soccer? The league can't develop if people don't support it whether winning or losing.

Anonymous said...

My kid is having fun with the bonding and representing her school, but, crikeys it is ugly. She is playing varsity at a consistant top 10 high school team. We have some very good girls playing club soccer, but, the competition for scrimmages has not been pretty.

I did not think it would be this bad, hopefully, teams in our conference will not be as bad as the scrimmages. I cringe every day, waiting for the injury phone call. If it isn't lower level players at other schools, I worry about upper classmen who she may be displacing, and are none too happy about it. Play fast and smart, always aware, and get rid of the ball, if you see someone charging at you, MOVE OUT THE WAY !

I pray every night to her guardian angel. So far it has worked, but we have a long season, and usually go deep into the fall.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

ABGC/FCV roster is also playing NPL (as FCV's team - FCV has another NPL team they gave to ABGC as a replacement for Premiere), State Cup (in the Fall), and R1 Premiere League (in the Spring). Plus tournaments. All ECNL showcases. Plus Super Y finals in Florida.

The second NPL team at FCV (which is on loan to ABGC) contains players from last year's State Cup runner/Colonial League member LMVSC and a couple players from last year's ECNL team.

Anonymous said...

2:32 - FCV has another team (Coached by CC) that's supposedly their NPL team, made up of the ex-FCV ECNL players, a few of the ABGC girls that didn't make the cut, a couple from the now-defunct LMVS, and some others they picked up.

Anonymous said...

Ooos. I wrote that last post after reading 2:31, and didn't see 2:32.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:59 You say “Sorry, but I don't see the benefit. I'd rather have my kid in the yard juggling or passing with a friend than go to HS soccer”
A part of me thinks the same thing, then I remind myself that it’s about the girls having great times & memories in H.S. What has all this development been about if she can’t use that development in H.S. and be a dominant player & leader while representing her town and school? I believe there are plenty of benefits that have very little to do with her soccer development.

Anonymous said...

9:01 - She'll get plenty of opportunity for that in other sports and activities. We know club kids who play HS soccer and they are told not to do the things that good teams do ("don't ever play it back"). It's hard to be a dominant player when you are instructed to kick it up the field as soon as you can, or kick it out of bounds if you are being pressured. She will get much more out of, and get much further by focusing on her club team.

Aside from hanging out with some friends, there is zero benefit from HS soccer in this area. There are no colleges scouting HS games (at least not around here). Unless they get a coach that knows the game and is interested in putting together a team that plays "THE GAME" (to coin a phrase from DCShore) the risks outweigh the benefits, and that's the way my kid feels, not just me.

Anonymous said...

9:01 hit it on the head. HS sports for girls is much more social than it is about the competition. High School can be daunting for a Freshman and to have a social group in place that can be supportive may be more important than the relationships they have with their club team. For many club teams, kids come from different towns and only see the girls during practices or games. This is a time that many girls drop out of playing soccer at the club level, forcing them to play with their club in the fall might be another reason why girls will drop out at this age.

Anonymous said...

It seems that many club are following on the foot steps of PDA and Matchfit and forming A, B, C team. NJ Stallions, FC Copa, NJ Rush have A and B teams that play NPL and EDP.
How competitive are those B and C teams. For what i understand, they pay the same as the top teams.

Anonymous said...

7:41 CC's team is not FCV's NPL. That is FCV AUFC's NPL team (AUFC is ABGC's new name for travel soccer). The ECNL team is FCV's NPL team.

the AUFC NPL team is composed of 3 players, plus 1 goalie from the old ECNL team, 2 field players and 1 goalie from ABGC Premiere and the rest mostly from LMVSC - but they didn't get the impact players (scorers from LMVSC).

Solid team. They got a bad draw in State Cup. If they win first round, they play Premiere in second round

So CC might be coaching against GD is second round of state cup

Anonymous said...

So bottom line- Are the best kids from abgc the ecnl kids and the ecnl first choices? Will they be playing schedules this spring that will promote overuse injuries while over a third of the ecnl roster sits or plays NPL ( the ecnl b team league version of it)?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:55 you say “She will get much more out of, and get much further by focusing on her club team.

Aside from hanging out with some friends, there is zero benefit from HS soccer in this area.”
I respect your position & her school may be just that bad.
What I’m trying to say is that when you say “get much further”, how “much further” is there to get? There is college after H.S. then that is it.
If your kid is D1 material, I don’t think playing HS ball will change that. There may be 2 or 3 people in each state that have a CHANCE at USWNT. Not 2 or 3 in each age group but 2 or 3 in each state. Let the kids enjoy H.S. Soccer, imo. It might just be one of the best memories of her HS years.

Anonymous said...

2:27 - The FCV ECNL team can't be the NPL team. The NPL and ECNL schedules conflict. The ex-LMVS girls that are on CC's team have been told they are playing VA NPL.

Besides, between ECNL, National League, State Cup, and Super Y Nationals, I think the 30 girls on the ECNL roster will be pretty wiped out. To add NPL to that schedule would be disastrous.

Anonymous said...

@4:46 - My kid certainly has no aspirations for the USWNT. I think she's realistic about her abilities and limitations. If she plays in college, that's a just an added bonus. Is she D1 material? Hard to tell, but who knows. There's a lot of time between now and college. If that's something she wants and works towards that, then that's fine. But if that is her goal, playing HS here will do nothing to further that. She will get plenty of social interaction and HS team spirit from other sports and activities that she'll do that won't interfere or jeopardize her playing soccer.

I'm not saying that all HS soccer is worthless, just that I know ours is. There are some programs around here that have a tradition of good teams and by all means, kids in that area should do it if that's something they are interested in. But usually the better kids are on the better club teams, and like DA's, those and some ECNL programs frown (if not prohibit) on HS involvement.

Anonymous said...

Our DOC plainly states he wishes our girls would not play HS ball but many of our parents are so impressed when their freshman makes varsity that they don't listen. Oh Btw one girl on our team has already torn her AcL at HS ball.

Anonymous said...

9:24 - who is going to be the AUFC NPL team - the Annandale team that is WAGS D2?

Anonymous said...

HS soccer is brutal.
And most coaches, some who even coach High School, will tell you that it is a completely 'different' game. I mainly blame this on the fact that it is at the APEX of having to win.

Few HS coaches will take the time to actually farm 'like' talent (kids who know THE GAME) and let them play. Instead they reinvent the wheel, usually with the intent of putting 'scoring threats' up tops and big strong, physical defenders in the back. As many have mentioned NO concept of a passing game. No acknowledgement that the game can (should) be slowed down and played with some actual intelligence. MOST IMPORTANTLY no value in having the players make individual decisions.

It is the ultimate shark tank where if a player makes a mistake (give up a goal, or be involved in a play that gives up a goal) they are riding the bench.

That said, I agree there is value in the social interaction (and a danger). If you player plays a High IQ game in club you will certainly need to adjust your expectations as far as what you see from the HS team and your player. And/Or be prepared to see your player loser her knees, ankles, collarbones, get a couple of concussions, etc.

You will also find that you will need ear plugs and/or a strong will to bite your tongue as dummy parents openly make comments about player mistakes and will have no problem calling out a player when a goal is given up...or a scoring opportunity is missed. WORST PART the joy-sticking they will do as they coach from the sideline.

Enjoy!

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Agreed HS Soccer is a different game, it's a social thing and the girls should enjoy it, but if your saying that the dummy parents and sideline coaching doesn't happen At high level travel games, I reLly need to know what planet your on. I've seen some of the best teams around over the past few years and one thing never changes no matter what level it is. the biggest problem with the whole youth sports experience is parents who haven't played a sport in their life or at a very low level at best with ridiculous expectations for their kid. That's in high school and travel no matter what sport your kid is playing. If fact some of the parents of high level kids can be the worst because they want everyone to live up to their child's standards.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the original post mentioning what a shock and horror show HS soccer was (8/27, 8:28am). I have read the post that have followed and there is a bit of truth in every post that followed.

As a point of reference my daughter plays on an ECNL team and I can tell you all 18 girls rostered to her ECNL team are playing HS soccer. All made varsity and all are starters. I'm not here to say ECNL players are great or anything like that just using it as a point of reference for what I'm going to say.

Everyone knows what HS is as far as soccer is concerned. It's not high level club, yes there is increased chance for injuries and no there's not much you will learn or gain technically from it. You will learn how to bang and grind more (not a great selling point for sure) but I do believe it will make you a physically tougher player. That said HS soccer (and everything that it is and isn't ) provides a break for most girls who play serious club soccer. The last 2 years our ECNL schedule was full year we never stopped, there was no off season. For those wishing that ECNL adopts some rule that prohibits playing both (I believe its happening in a couple of states already) be careful what you wish for. ECNL "only" will prohibit your daughter form playing any HS sport not just soccer. My older daughter played 3 varsity sports in HS (no club) and had an absolute blast. All of her "buds" were from those teams, it is without a doubt a huge social experience and all kids love competing for their HS, on the big stage in front of a screaming student body. I spoke to a number of coaches in our club both female and male and they all came to the same conclusion. Not great soccer but as a social tool it will in many ways shape their friendships and experience during their HS years.

My daughter is already talking about how fun the bus trips are to and from games, plus all the locker room banter before practice. Trust me our ECNL team (girls) for the most part really like and care for each other but HS friendships are on a different level.

Don't you still have HS friends?

Anonymous said...

11:11AM
No doubt. And that is very important too.

But "MY EYES!!!" while watching a HS game :)

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Tragedy in south jersey today when four girls headed to charity tournament were hit by another car who drifted over the centerline. One girl very critical and not a very good prognosis.
Keep your perspective people. This is a time we should all enjoy our children playing a game they love.

Anonymous said...

They are U15 girls

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Route-40-Crash-Teens-Hurt-273315991.html#ixzz3Bwe8cSuz

Anonymous said...

10:12

Agreed and sending positive thoughts.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Can anybody give me your thoughts on NJ Stallions. How is the training, the teams, coaches and training facilities?

How does it compare to other academies around?
Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Can anybody give me your thoughts on NJ Stallions. How is the training, the teams, coaches and training facilities?

How does it compare to other academies around?
Thanks,

Anonymous said...

The Emperor has no Clothes?

FCV (I mean Annandale) loses to Beach FC 3-1 in Greensboro.

Could it be that we find out what everyone in NOVA already knows. That GD is good at winning in early age groups, but is not successful against elite teams once you reach age 15. Or could maybe everyone realizes that Annandale was a small cadre of 1 really strong player, 3-4 strong players, and a bunch of role players when asked to play without the Top 4 players is not better than a Top 10 team in VA.

FCV let GD pick this team. Once TF and CC realizes that he has gotten rid of strong technical players in favor of players who are really good at direct style of play, that should be a good source of conversation between the coaches

After all, really good coaches like Hank Leung or Dave Edwards didn't last long at FCV. How is someone like GC going to last playing his games under the watchful eye of TF.

Anonymous said...

where did the "strong technical players" go to play?

Anonymous said...

2 losses. Yikes. The parents are probably going to blame TF and CC for the losses. GD is going to deflect criticism saying "You guis won before coming to FCV". In NOVA, we are taking odds on how long this marriage lasts. Team Harkes left FCV midseason due a dispute with TF. So what does FCV do, bring in a bigger bunch of power hungry parents, What until there is a conflict between USYS and ECNL and TF/CC want to send the top cadre to ECNL and GD and the Premiere parents want them to go to National League or State Cup. Then the fireworks are going to explode on this little science experiment.

Anonymous said...

9:08. A couple are with the ECNL team. many got put on the FCV AUFC NPL team (which by the coaches own admissions, the former players assigned to the "B' team were ECNL worthy players), and a handful got feed up and went to other local teams.

GD already got one of the strongest technical players in NOVA who was with the Springfield team that was pretty good. He benched her. Ruined her confidence. She is a shell of her former self because of the doubts of playing the Spring under Gus' system.

I think everyone saw that and went, don't want my daughter playing for GD.

Anonymous said...

Aug 29th 10:50. ACL... Our DOC does not want the girls to play high school. I kind of feel the same.
That being said, we also had a recent ACL injury. It had nothing to do with being High school ball. It was a non contact injury, which, is often the case in female ACL tears. It was due to the plant and cut. If it was going to happen, it does not matter if it was on a club pitch or on a high school pitch.

There is nothing you can do when it is non contact except injury prevention. Implement the FIFA 11+. I are my kid to do them at home, and also get her to practice early enough to do them on her own, but at 14, she does not want to look "weird".

You can't just go through the motions, someone needs to monitor that the knees are not bucking, and or turning in or out. We need to educate our girls how to minimize this horrible injury. How to land, and how to stay on the balls of their feet. The heel, and full foot plant is a killer.

The coaches don't have the time to do the warm up and recommended excericises, but I think we all can agree that, if this can cut an ACL injury by even 10%, we would make time for that extra 15 minutes.

My kid plays ECNL, With all of the training and her love of the game, how do you say that she can't represent her high school? I don't have the heart, fully knowing the implications. We have quite a few very good players, but opposing schools, not so much. Scary for a small, young, technical freshman, to step on the field with bigger, more mature physical players, whom sometimes resort to over the top, physicality. Injuries happen but ACL's are often non contact. Other senseless injuries can be prevented by having knowledgable refs, who not only knows the game, but who also recognizes when physical play crosses the line due to frustration or ugliness. It is their job to protect our kids and they should know it. They should be held accountable just the same as a coach would.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from watching several top teams in Virginia. I will just say, I think Virginia State Cup may be unpredictable. Besides Herndon, who kept their core in tact - the rest of the ranked team have alot of questions. Vienna which is seeded #3 had troubles generating a quality attack against Herndon or Bethesda. #4 seeded Loudoun Red looked like a shell of their former self. The #7 seed FASA was outplayed by unseeded Chantilly before getting a favorable bounce that lead to a late goal. No extra time. Right to PKs where FASA won. Everyone was surprised FASA won. Chantilly was the beneficiary of all the turnover in NOVA. They got players from Harkes, FCV, Reston team that won WAGS U16, and the best players from several D2 teams. Once they learn how to play with their new teammates, that team has excellent technical midfielders who are strong possession players. Beach FC beat FCV United. Without their top 3-4 players, they could face any of the top 5-6 teams in VA could upset them.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts by anyone about skipping HS JV or Frosh game for good quality Showcase tournament,WAGS? Daughter prefers to attend the tournament but knows their will be some backlash. HS politics are taking even the fun out of playing. Frosh and JV level is lacking and Varsity is loaded with top older players.

Anonymous said...

My kid quit school ball for club program. Level was horrific. Not particularly fun. training terrible. School is all about the football team. Not much upside

Anonymous said...

@ 9:35. I’m guessing only the top third of the top ECNL and teams of that level will be offered anything in their freshman year. If that is the case, then maybe she should focus on her H.S. experience. I admittedly don’t know much about showcases. My daughter’s team is doing a few this year. I’m thinking it’s a waste of time and money. Someone who has an older kid, please tell me. Do academy type bottom half of team and B team players get offers in freshman year?

While we’re on the subject, my daughter is happy so far with HS ball. Her only concern is her speed and level of play falling off a bit due to H.S level of play, but for her, the positives far out way the negatives.

Anonymous said...

What i find strange in NJ HS soccer is this 2 referee system. Never seen a stranger setup with 2 refs running the sidelines and no center judge. Seeing numerous fouls ignored in middle and more concern for out balls. Is this about money savings or ref availability? Rather have a single in the middle who can see the critical parts of the game. Is this a NJ system or do other states use?

Anonymous said...

@8:55 - According to NCAA recruiting bylaws, coaches are not allowed to contact student athletes until July (June for DII) after their junior year. Athletes may initiate contact, but I think it's rare that underclassmen will be offered anything. I think for the underclassmen, it's more of an opportunity to get on their radar for when the real recruitment begins.

Here's an interesting paper about early recruitment, and the steps that the NCAA has been taking to curb it.

Anonymous said...

Most of the kids with freshman offers are playing up and have been to national camp. A few top ECNL players from Sanford etc, all star regional players from Boca Raton and id2 standouts may get some freshman attention.
Kid not at that level hope for interest by junior year

Anonymous said...

Unless you have a breakthrough prospect that is well beyond everyone else, very few Freshman will receive offers. Anything before the official Letter of Intent Signing means that neither the school nor the kid is committed. An injury, change of heart, new coach can change the verbal offer. Coaches most often recruit on need unless they have the special one and making selections on a HS Freshman means that coaches are not making determinations based on what the expectations of the team will be.

On the HS Side, there are a lot of benefits, the big downside is the kid that breaks a leg, tears and ACL, suffers a few concussions and limits their future prospects. Injuries can happen anywhere, but for some, it is a shame to see there long term future determined by something that occurred in something that is often worse than a pick-up game, with coaches who are History teachers, track, and lacrosse coaches as well.

Anonymous said...

So, what good if any can come from doing showcases in their freshman year? Theoretically speaking, a child is a really good player but not national team type. We’ll say for arguments sake she she shows potential to play at a mid-level D1 or anything below. Do college coaches actually care about looking at these types of players while they are freshman?

Anonymous said...

@12:08 - You get exposed to a higher caliber of competition (in theory), and the kids get used to the format - 1 game a day. It's more of a resume builder than anything else. Unless your kid really stands out, in which case they will probably get noticed.

Anonymous said...

12:08 This will sound cynical, but I think the idea of college showcases for Freshman are to support the Academy's reason for being. Hey, you are going to a college showcase, you are college quality, and we are going to even get your kid seen at 15, the 12, 13, and 14 year old parents see this and say why isn't my precious going to go to a showcase next year, hmmm, I must be at the wrong club. The very high majority of kids even ant the "best" programs will not get recruited until their Junior year. The best thing to do his to have your plan of your list of colleges by the summer before your Junior year and make sure those coaches know who you are then.

There is a major push to market certain clubs as the only place to be and attending college showcases supports this.

There are enough places to get high level competition, especially if you are an ECNL Club because you are already playing the "elite" clubs without the need for a showcase.

This is the Golden Age of Youth Soccer. The pendulum may someday swing back. Every college now has an ID camp at $600 to make you think you have a chance of getting into those schools, Clubs tell you we are the best place to be for your soccer future, "Sports Performance Facilities" are selling that they can give you that little extra advantage, everyone who played college soccer is an expert 1 on 1 trainer.

Anonymous said...

Just play for PDA, full rides promised to A. B, C, oh and now D teams.

Anonymous said...

I think the question was whether to stay home for a low level Freshman or JV High School game or play a club game against better competition. It is not about the Showcase but rather the quality of play. Is staying for the HS game worth it or does club get the nod in this situation?

Anonymous said...

@3:07 Let your kid decide?

Anonymous said...

With our club, it is not an either/or situation. Our club is playing a tournament in November and a Showcase in December without a HS conflict. Personally, as my daughter is a freshman, I am siding with the positive socialization into HS rather than a conflicting showcase. HS can be difficult and this is a time that many girls quit soccer because of the social pressures. New to a large school, she walks the school in the first few days with upper classmen accepting her saying high in the hallway, etc. HS can crush the self-esteem of girls and the summer training and games in HS has helped my daughter tremendously.

Anonymous said...

May I ask a question. Why do so many people think it is wrong when we schedule a parent's meeting after losing 3 games in the first weekend. Especially for a team that is accustomed to winning. Shouldn't we be able to hold the coach and the new club accountable when they take over the team and we don't perform up to our standard. After all we are paying for a winner. If the new club doesn't deliver one, should we have the right to demand one or take the team to a new club?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes things don't go your way and I would agree with people to think that it is overreacting to have a parent meeting after one weekend. I also think the attitude is what is wrong with youth soccer. Development doesn't always come from winning, but character and development are also built from picking yourself up and learning from defeat. That's the thing about sports, there is someone on the other side of the field that wants to beat you as much as you want to beat them.

Anonymous said...

and what u-15 club is playing right now, I thought this blog was moving to the merits or problems with HS Soccer for the next few months?

Anonymous said...

@4:26 Every U15 Club in Virginia and Georgia is playing right now

Anonymous said...

All ECNL clubs are also staring play. A couple played last weekend, and most teams around the country start their season this weekend.

Anonymous said...

The NE ECNL doesn't start until December.

Anonymous said...

@419 did you all really think it would be better? Shame on you all !!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a case of SELF ABSORBED PARENTS. I know this offends many but when your focus is on 'winning' and not your child, their development and the sport of soccer itself aka THE GAME, I have very little sympathy.


DCShore

Anonymous said...

4:19 you better win a few games before you start talking about moving to another club...

Anonymous said...

There a lot of D1-D3 coaches that also coach at clubs. What are the recruiting rules with respect to club players interacting with coaches with respect to discussing college potential.

Anonymous said...

I think this article covers that.

Anonymous said...

For those having feelings of loss about this blog and the lack of communication due to HS, but it is quite fun to read the U-14, U-13 blogs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to break into another age group, but my 2000 birthday kid was at ODP tryouts yesterday and said that there were not many U15/ 2000 kids there. Is high school taking up too much time and energy? Does ODP drop off because of the conflicts? Just curious. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi my daughter is on the PDA D team. No promises were made everyone just believe that PDA was better equipped at exposing our kids to colleges.
We were not invited to Jeff cup even though we were 4 th in the state at the time and NjSa really didn't help out.
This winter and spring we will be attending showcases and what I seen so far from PDA is quality coaching at the clinics and sound advice and eagerness to expose our girls to the upcoming college recruitment process.
So far it has not cost me anymore than any academy.
No one forces me to attend anything extra and even though admittedly I was a PDA basher things are way better than some people on this blog would have you believe.

Anonymous said...

I am a PDA disciple
I have been programmed to respond like thid

Anonymous said...

@5:03 - Some girls get tired of the politics (e.g. coaches with 'home club' bias) and in some cases ODP is just a waste of money. Some kids just don't have the time as they are now in HS with added workloads, and some club schedules get busier (more showcases, state cup, etc) among other things. It all depends on what your kid expects from it, who the coaches are, and if she has the time to do it.

Anonymous said...

6:49

I will take everything you wrote at face value.

That said, what is your expectation for being 'exposed' to college coaches?

D1 Full Ride?
D1 no scholarship?
D2, D3?

No doubt PDA can (and often does) get your player in front of more college coaches on a formal level. But do you have any idea what that actually gets your player? Especially fit hey are not a stand out 'A' team player?

Lots of D2 and D3 rosters are full of Academy and traditional Club players on their rosters playing side by side. MOST do not get any money.

As I have always maintained, the value of the fee can only be determined by the consumer. So whether PDA cost the same or a lot more it is no concern of mine. I am just curious as to what your expectation on the return is.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

6:49 From the sound of your post, it sounds like you just started with PDA. I think it is a little premature to judge since the U-15 season really hasn't even started yet. In the winter you are probably attending the NPL Showcase in Florida being driven by PDA If that is the winter showcase, you really don't know if it is a good or a bad thing. It's a bunch of B and C teams of ECNL clubs and it is happening the same time as DIsney. Funny that the tournament is being held in Florida but the enrolled teams are almost entirely from the Northeast. Imagine that, you travel to Florida to play the B team of East Meadow, World Class, and Penn Fusion - check their history to see the quality. They do not list if/what coaches are attending so who knows if this is a good thing.

Play at least a season and get back to us.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - I just joined PDA but everything they have told me has been true.........so far.

Anonymous said...

Over 70+ players at 2000 u15 EPYSA ODP tryouts. I thought the numbers were pretty good, talent not so good.

Anonymous said...

Why try out for the Olympic Development Program (ODP)? Is your daughter good enough to possibly make the Olympic team? Or even second team Olympic level player? 70+ players at tryouts?

Anonymous said...

I want to throw out a topic that I believe has been discussed in the past, but I am curious to see current opinions. It seems that GotSoccer points are used in almost every tourney these days for bracketing. In some cases, it appears to be the only criteria used, especially in the top brackets. My questions - how accurate is GS these days? Are 7 of the top ten teams in the country really from R1? Is there any good way for GS to augment the rankings with some quality over quantity data?

It seems like we are set up for period here where high GS point teams in the northeast just find ways to play each other over and over (playing frequent events) and keep their status by giving points back in forth. I would love for GS to find a way to more accurately evaluate teams from the midwest, southwest, etc.

Any thoughts? Do you like GS? Dislike? Have ideas to improve it? I wonder if ECNL migration toward mostly closed tournament brackets is hurting the data quality by not promoting play among ECNL and high GS point non-ECNL teams, not to mention the other pitfalls of a closed system that have been discussed here recently.

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