Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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.

1,060 comments:

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Anonymous said...

For the ECNL lover and Elite soccer, what do you make of this?

http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/teams/62561624/38337394-62562500/TEAM.html

Anonymous said...

I've got some time this afternoon so I'll pose another question that is close to my heart and involves town teams, bigger clubs and Academies equally.

That is the use of guest players.

I witnessed three (3) teams in the past 2 weeks utilize guest players (ringers) for tournament play. Besides showing how deficient Got Soccer is in accounting for this (unfairly awarding points to a team that is...well not a team) what is everyone's thoughts on guest play etiquette. Remarkably 2 of the 3 teams I saw, with confirmed guest players, actually started the guest players over their teams regular bench. Why? Development purposes? My guess is to achieve results.

Would any of you accept this? Have any of your players been victims? Benefitted from this?

Shame, Shame, Shame Coaches. Shame, Shame, Shame Clubs for allowing this. Shame, Shame, Shame U.S. Soccer.

And before the question is asked. Each team had rosters of 17 and 18 players respectively. It was not a matter of having enough players. Not even close.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

I attended numerous Women's professional league games this past 2 years. The top players continue to be those in the 25-30 year range. Is it not possible that the maturity of a top player does not occur till a slightly older age? I think it speaks volumes regarding how poorly our women are prepared at the younger ages. Maybe college soccer is actually the reason for the slower maturity. ECNL and college may be a good match but the college years may actually be the culprit. The college game is not in the picture for most other countries.

Anonymous said...

Fair comment, it is a good point the the College game may be doing more harm than good for soccer development. On the Men's side, the NCAA is considering a Fall and Spring season. I just check the Japan women's team and the German Women's team, 13 and 11 players under 25.

Anonymous said...

Yes,

College Soccer is wonderful for the social-interaction part (like in High School) but a quality development league for professional and national players it is not. Again, the focus is on results (winning) and not developing players.

ONLY in the U.S. do you see 8, 9, 10 - 16 year olds being written off as finished (developmentally speaking) and dropped from programs.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

DC - Guest players is a great debate. My son's younger team uses them frequently, if they didn't they wouldn't have enough players for many tournaments. Some teams do use guest players to improve the quality of the team for that day, this hurts the girls who usually represent that team. They do this to win and get points. What do you think of the following proposal for 11 v 11 tournament play? - Any team that has 15 or more players ob their roster for any given tournament can not use guest players.

Anonymous said...

2:03 - not sure if I am the ECNL lover, but I will comment anyway. That side of the ECNL league was terrible last year. STARS had no competition. I will post a link to the other side of the ECNL North East Bracket which shows that 4 out of the 6 clubs were very close and competitive.
I think the ECNL is addresing this and some other things will make it more competitive. I am not sure but here is what I have heard:
1 - Soccerplus removed from ECNL for not being competive.
2 - Group of World Class players and coach moving to Albertson which wil improve albertson.
3 - Other New England team picked up some strong players. Possibly from NEFC.

That side of the bracket was weak last year and STARS had a nice easy ride to nationals. I think that it will be more competitive next year. I am not a total ECNL lover, I am just trying to point out some of the positives. If you look at the other side of the northeast bracket you will see a bit more balance. The GD is still high BC the teams beat up on the other side of north east bracket.
http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/teams/62561624/38338070-62562500/TEAM.html

ECNL are starting to address the issue of clubs who are not competitve (such as soccerplus) , this will provide opportunities for other clubs who are stronger to apply for ECNL. I also hear another 1 or 2 clubs from region 1 are going to be put on probation by the ECNL unless they improve.

I agree that it was a very poor league on that side. If you look , at least STARS had 8 competitive games when they played the top four on the other side of the north east in cross over games (WC, PDA, BUCKS, PENN FUSION).

Also, when the teams who did bad in ECNL league play go to the regional events and nationals they play other teams who did poorly and teams who did well play other teams who did well. They are matched up. Which games do you think the majority of college coaches are at!! That raises another good question, if your faughter is on a weak ECNL team is the exposure at regionals events still good!.
You people raise some good points, I am not a total ECNL lover. I agree with many of your points regarding the ECNL. There are positive and negatives to all levels and leagues. Maybe you ECNL haters can find it within to admit that there are a few positives to having a daughter play ECNL!!.



Anonymous said...

3:36 You've made the point that the ECNL is not yet Elite. Even in the Northeast Conference. You know that the Northeast Conference was competitive with the bottom 4 teams. You know that PDA and WC were rarely threatened by other teams in their league. There is a big gap in Eliteness between WC and PDA and the rest of that group. It certainly supports that teams in the ECNL live in their bubble and are limiting exposure outside the ECNL. IMO, the current age groups are being used by the ECNL to build things while they get things right.

Anonymous said...

3:36 You've made the point that the ECNL is not yet Elite. Even in the Northeast Conference. You know that the Northeast Conference was competitive with the bottom 4 teams. You know that PDA and WC were rarely threatened by other teams in their league. There is a big gap in Eliteness between WC and PDA and the rest of that group. It certainly supports that teams in the ECNL live in their bubble and are limiting exposure outside the ECNL. IMO, the current age groups are being used by the ECNL to build things while they get things right.

Anonymous said...

Soccer plus merged with FSA - Virginia Rush got outed.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:43. Thanks for the response..I agree. D3 schools must do something to get girls to sign up. Some D3 programs are fiercely competitive. If your daughter is really good she could start most games.

Anonymous said...

ECNL will never be fre like the boys academies. The parents don't want it free, they want it "elitist" so there is less competition for the kids. Bad for US Soccer, but good for the current members.

The puzzling question is why so many families are flocking to be on the B, C and D teams. Those teams are not high level and I can't imagine the players will get scholarships. Someone mentioned D3 schools in an earlier post - already checked out some of these schools clinics and yes, kids on ecnl teams from around the country are flying to the top northeast academic schools to attend ID clinics. It's pretty much ecnl, odp, and kids on top NPL teams that are being offers roster spots.

Anonymous said...

You guys, watching our u20's vs Germany? 1st game of the World Cup up in Canada.

Germany plays much better possession.

GO USA!!!

Anonymous said...

What a crazy start to the 2nd half Horan is good.

still 0-0

Anonymous said...

4:03 - I think that the point you make about WC and PDA shows how strong that league was. PDA and world class are Elite. If you look at the results PDA lost 1-0 to the 3rd place team (FC Bucks) and won over them 1-0 in the second game. This hardly shows that they were not challenged by the teams in that league. They also did not beat Penn Fusion twice. The reults in the WC, PDA conference demonstrate a competitive conference as both the top 2 teams (PDA and WC) were challenged by the 3rd and 4th place team. PDA did not finish many points above 3rd and 4th. On the other hand, you are correct about the other conference, STARS were not challenged. This is me solely looking at results as I did not witness these games.

Anonymous said...

4:35 - Thanks for the clarification on the ECNL changes. Do you know if the VA team got ousted for not being competitive?

Anonymous said...

I do not blame U.S Soccer for the guest player rule. The guest player rule is in place so teams can ensure they have the resources to enter tournaments and so players and teams can get the experience and game time they need. The guest player rule was put in place for this good reason.

It is the coaches that should be ashamed of how they use this rule to improve their team and have permanent players sitting on the bench. The rule was put in place to serve a good purpose, many coaches abuse it. Do not blame the organizations for providing us with rules and regulations that allow us to help players and clubs. Too many coaches bend the rules and are more about winning over helping their rostered players develop.

Anonymous said...

The US was thoroughly outplayed by Germany last night in the U-20 world cup. Hopefully, the US picks it up in the next game against Brazil. It may be time to start to listen to Jurgen Klinsmann because the Germans are doing something right at the youth level.

Anonymous said...

On the Syracuse Development Academy website (I know this is out in left field, but I'm close by there) they mention they are close to gaining acceptance into the ECNL...In your experience is this something that could happen. At this moment alot of their teams are only so-so quality wise. Thanks....

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am an ECNL hater, not for the kids that are in it, because it is great for them, but I am a hater because I believe it is bad for US soccer. I have been writing for some time on this blog that narrowing the selection pool early in a closed system will weaken us in the long term. This is essentially the first group of players coming out of the ECNL process. Someopne was on this blog recently speaking of how many US Youth national teams were made up of ECNL players. It's very early and one game doesn't define a team, but anyone who watched that game would have seen a pathetic display of women's soccer and is not a great sign for the future. The team could not string together more than 2-3 passes consecutively,and played a lot of long ball. It seems like the team has made the same decisions you see often even at the high level academy level. The team is stacked with big and fast girls and they played against a technically superior team and crumbled.

Anonymous said...

1:18 I tend to doubt it for the 2014-2015 season as the schedules for next season are already in place.

Anonymous said...

@2:16PM

Exactly the point so many of us make (not try to make). Big, Strong, Fast, may win you games, points and tournaments at the youth level but at the professional level (non-domestic leagues) it gets you no place.

I'm glad that so many of the ECNL leagues have the best athletes. How about showing them actually how to play THE GAME vs the 'win any way we can' mentality. Again, ECNL is a money-maker for a few groups. It is NOT what it should be for U.S. Soccer development. Some yesterday had posted that we cannot hold these groups accountable because they are "looking out for themselves"...ok, fair point. Just stop marketing yourself as something else. ESPECIALLY a "development" program.

Jungle Ball with pace does not count.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Rose Lavelle is a bright spot on the u20s. She is strong on the ball, creative and overall high soccer iq. However there was no one except Horan in front of her who could play her game. She was not on the ball enough to make a difference in the game. The backs were hoofing it forward. I cannot believe that there are not more skillful soccer intelligent kids out there from which to choose. The outside backs especially were one dimensional turnover machines. Sad really. I think the coach picked the wrong kids. I can think of 4 or five better that weren't there. Sorry but the 16 year old Mallory Pugh was pretty bad save one decent cross/pass from the endline to the 6 played slightly behind Moran very early in the game then very disappointing. Moran as a professional should never miss an open net header like she did. Though she had some decent moments.

Anonymous said...

I watched the game also, and agree with the comments. It's sad when you can't make an accurate pass when there's no one pressuring you. I was surprised at the lack of accuracy when passing, and also by the lack of tactics. I believe one of the announcers accurately mentioned that the US was bypassing their midfielders for most of the game.

I watched one of the NWSL the other night (Portland vs Houston I think) and it was even worse. When no one was pressuring, Houston could not put two passes together.

I saw better skill and tactics on display at the USYS National Championships a few weeks ago at the U14 level.

Anonymous said...

Want to watch THE GAME? Watch Bayern Munich vs the MLS All StarS tonight.

Even when they pull their 1st line players (if they play at all) you will even see their youth players execute properly (though certainly not as sharp or fast).

On a somewhat related note, what did everyone think about those recent comments from Thierry Henry praising Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery in front of players like Messi and Ronaldo were appropriate? Basically condemning the focus on flashy goal scorers vs those who play the game properly?

DCShore

Anonymous said...

What????
Messi and Ronanldo, the two most recent FIFA golden ball winners, don't play "the game" "properly"? Henry did not say that, its your interpretation of his comments.

Anonymous said...

Thierry Henry said:
"If I had a son right now playing I’d say look at [Franck] Ribery and look at [Thomas] Muller," Henry told media at a Monday press conference. "What Ronaldo does and [Lionel] Messi they are just freaks. It’s true. Don’t try to copy those guys because they’re just freaks and that doesn’t happen often. But you can copy Franck Ribery and you can copy Thomas Muller."


Further he said
""Nowadays I find it to be annoying sometimes that people don’t give a lot of credit to guys that are unselfish," Henry said about his former teammate on the international level with France. "For me Franck represents that. He’s very unselfish on the field and tries to play for his team. Whenever he can pass the ball even when he can score he’ll try to pass it."


----> I don't think this is left to interpretation. They are 'freaks' meaning they get away with not playing "The Game"

----->And Henry offers a rebuttal to your "FIFA gold ball winners" argument in saying:

"Last year, for me, [Ribery] should’ve won the Golden Ball, basically because he won everything with Bayern and he was dominant," he continued. "He’s a team player and most of the time in our game we reward guys who are individual and that guy is not."

DCShore

Anonymous said...

MLS played a VERY GOOD game. I thought Bayern's played allowed for it (as I expected) but it was nice to see the MLS try and play THE GAME as opposed to kick ball. The MLS definitely represented well overall. I am purposely ignoring the foul controversy and focusing on the actual play Bravo!


DCShore

Anonymous said...

I will also add that I've always like Caleb Porter, admittedly what little I have ever known about him...but he handled his presser like a pro. I especially loved when he said "I'm not out to kill the game". I like this guy for future National team consideration.


DCShore

Anonymous said...

He said that Ronaldo and Messi are at another level that doesn't come along often that hardly translates into they don't play the game. Messi is very unselfish and often leads Barcelona in assists. Henry knew he was going to be playing batten Munich and saying nice things about their players was also a courtesy.

Anonymous said...

Two things Henry called Ronaldo and Messi Freaks
Freaks = Man Child (Once in a lifetime players).
Very hard to copy these types of special players - that's why he mentioned players that play the game at the same level of many others but they have I high soccer IQ and great skill to give them the advantage.

To the ECNL hater, you don't think ODP is bad for US soccer? Because of this great ID process that was open to all we have lost generations of soccer players because the coaches pushed "the wrong type of players". You can see they still love the same type of players - just watch the U20 team play.

I am a fan of the closed league. The ECNL is closed to clubs and Teams trying to enter NOT the players. They want clubs that have the same philosophy in regards to development and other things. How can you not see this? It's OPEN for all high level players if they want to play.


The league is 5 years old, give it another 5 years when we can say the next u20 WC - ECNL will have players from their u9 ranks eligible. The ones that stick with the club will benefit greatly as they were able to stick around as top players joined the club. Also as the ECNL grows parents will bring the better kids sooner. We need a league for all the top players to play in. We have that but we have o many posters like you trying to poo poo the league. Blame ODP and their great selectors for the way our NTs play.

Anonymous said...

Largely agree that the problem with the u20s was selecting for size and or speed over soccer IQ and . Amack the right back was horrific but 5'10" tall need I say more.
However, I was shocked to see a bit of a difference in the regional pools currently posted on the region 1 website. Seemed more interested in skills over size with a couple notable head scratcher misses and inclusions. But doesn't that always happen in large tryout situations?

Anonymous said...

The ECNL is improving every year as the better kids are moving from the USYSA programming to ECNL. Precisely because there is an open system. Happening everywhere that an ECNL club is within 2 hour drive. When speaking about closed versus open systems, the issue is open to Players not clubs. Same model in the rest of the world. Near the top of the pyramid are the professional clubs' youth teams. They play in a league. A player is free to tryout wherever he/she wishes.

Now id2 is not open because a player has to be recommended and cant decide to tryout. ODP is open because any player can tryout. That is why many ECNL players still do ODP. Another avenue for identification, albeit expensive.

South Jersey and many other clubs will weaken as the best kids move to ECNL. Already happening.

Anonymous said...

8:40 I am no fan of ODP either, it is more of a money grub than the ECNL and they will openly tell you at the younger ages that they get their selections wrong because they get tons of kids out to tryouts with very few assessors. This drives selection based on things other than size skill (size and strength). It also becomes highly political. I believe there should be some sort coach's recommendation process. I am weary of any process that charges you to tryout, it is also a pay-to-play system where you get the honor of trying out.

I am glad you are a fan of a closed system. I think the only people that I can find supporting the idea of a closed system are people on this blog or people attached to the league and US Club Soccer. There have been numerous articles posted on this blog that quote people in youth soccer and professional coaches and numerous other ones out in the public domain that says that closed are bad for soccer development.

The main issue I see with the ECNL is if that becomes the top of the funnel, we will be narrowing down the top of the funnel and the talent pool and doing it at age 14 or even earlier. I believe that is really bad for soccer development.

One of the reasons Lionel Messi is great because of how he can move around in tight spaces and how he creates small openings to take shots or make passes. I wonder based on selection criteria for ODP or ECNL and the narrowing of the talent pool whether a Lionel Messi could even succeed in our youth system. Based on size alone he probably would have been rejected at the 1 hour and half tryout in place of a bigger faster kid. There are probably a lot of those type of kids missed by our system that emphasizes kick in run at a young age and rewards those kids because of their size and strength.

Anonymous said...

9:51 Right, so what you are saying is that if a child wants to play at an "Elite level" and compete against an "Elite Team" they must be on an "Elite Team." The definition of an open an closed system which exists everywhere else in the world is that if a team proves their merit, then they can advance and if they don't do well they det pushed down. The world uses this for professional soccer and youth soccer. There is no protective bubble.

"South Jersey and many other clubs will weaken as the best kids move to ECNL. Already happening." Yes that is exactly the point, if you take NJ we are forcing kids into a funnel and parents and clubs are starting to do this at younger and younger ages. In NJ the funnel is 2 clubs. So as more and more kids move to the "Elite" programs at younger and younger ages where skill hasn't formed yet, the broad soccer pool is being diminished. Time will tell, I do find it funny though that a week ago someone was bragging about all the ECNL players on the National Teams, and today someone blames the National team on ODP. Truly having your cake and eating it too.

Anonymous said...

Funnel = Pyramid
everywhere that is good.
You are confusing the adult relegation/promotion with the youth programming. The youth play in leagues based on the clubs reputation for producing top players. Not on the success of the adult professional team. Example: Espanyol in Spain is known to produce top youth players, but they are not the best La Liga team. If they are relegated to League 1 their youth team will remain in the top league. This selection is based on the production of top youth players; largely how the ECNL clubs were chosen.

Anonymous said...

10:32 I agree - The youth system needs to be closed for Clubs that promote youth soccer across all ages.

Keep in mind just because it remains closed it's very open to the players.

Why would anyone want pro/rel at the youth level. That's the problem with our youth system to much on results.

However, MLS and NWSL should have pro/rel. But that will never happen because these leagues charge a franchise fee and unless they plan on returning millions of dollars or find a way to get money back to the owners, well we just won't see that any time soon.

Anonymous said...

10:32 I am not confusing anything, there is nothing wrong with a funnel or pyramid (one issue I have is how young we are pushing kids into the funnel), the difference between the world and the US, is that if the teams that play at the top of the Pyramid do not develop players and do not play well, then they will not remain at the top of the Pyramid based on objective measures. (performance on the field). In the US it's based on a divine right as decided by a selection committee. One is based on merit, the other is not.

Anonymous said...

I reviewed my statements and i will soften my stance on Henry's comments towards Messi and Ronaldo. Unfair for me to try and read into his mind and DO AGREE they may not be as critical as i originall interpreted yhen.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

10:48 when you teams at the top are not developing talent, well i disagree with you and I think you need to look at your comment again.

What makes you say they are not developing talent? They can only work with the players that sign up for their program to develop. There is a level for every child and a limit they can advance to.

We all know lot's of parents hold their kids back because of the fees and wait to get them in later. So why is this held against the clubs at the top of the pyramid?

If all the top players came to these clubs earlier we would be in a better place when it comes to soccer. Because we will have superior athletes that are soccer players and we would dominate the the globe with the player pool we have.

But that's not the case - because we have to many hands in, the USSF is to blame for this for letting youth soccer become what it has a MONEY machine.

Anonymous said...

11:44 Did you actually read my comment? I did not say that US Clubs are not developing talent. I was responding to the previous poster's point that in Spain they have a Pyramid, but the Pyramid is based on merit. And what I said is that if they do not continue to develop players and do not play well at the top of the Pyramid, then the Spanish Club will not remain at the top of the pyramid very long. I made no judgement as to whether we develop kids at the top of the pyramid in the US. My point with the US model is that we are diminishing our player pool very early. It is so easy, for people to say well it is open tryouts and anyone can go to an ECNL tryout, true but there are more than 50 highly skilled players in NJ as an example and the avenues for the group after 50 are getting reduced. Say for example Freehold develops a Nationally Competitive team by U-13 and PDA has a U-13 team that is moving into the ECNl. The answer I'm hearing on this blog is break-up a team that is nationally competitive so the kids can tryout for ECNL where few spots are probably available so that they can play for an ECNL team. Is that really what we want out of soccer. A team that emerges as highly competitive should have avenues and rather than opening up those avenues, we are closing them down. On the other hand if the U-14 team at PDA goes 0-14 and are not competitive they still remain at the elite level with little consequence.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this article will be read but it is very well researched hits on all the key points discussed on this blog regarding soccer development.

http://theshinguardian.com/2011/09/19/a-treatise-the-state-of-american-youth-soccer/

It touches on 6 key points

- The lack of a soccer culture
- No uniform identifiable style of play
- Pay-for-play
- Focus on winning over player development
- The ability for self-actualization: meaning the ability for each player to play at their appropriate level
- Too much red tape in a flawed system with this direct quote: "The US Club Soccer model that is starting to take hold in other states incorporates playing league games for promotion and relegation, just like Europe. We would play less games but they would be more meaningful."


http://theshinguardian.com/2011/09/19/a-treatise-the-state-of-american-youth-soccer/

Anonymous said...

What Henry was saying about Messi and ronaldo is that you shouldn't try and copy them because you will never have the ability to do what they do. There foot skills and dribbling can not be replicated regardless of how much you try. They are freaks, unbelievable athletes. They can not be replicated. You should look at Mueller because of his movement, decision making, etc. That can be replicated.

Anonymous said...

12:36 you have the gift of the gab - great job.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the best written article on the power of open systems, and yes open systems do exist in Europe.

http://www.pugetsoundpremierleague.com/home/503479.html

Anonymous said...

Open systems do operate in some parts of Europe but they do not produce the players. An example. In England the better players get recruited to play in the academies of Man Utd, City, Chelsea, etc at a very young age. If you are not in one of these academies by u-16 you have a very slim chance of making ot to the next level. It is open as all players can play at any level they want yet they have a goal of playing for the club academies as that is the best way to reach the goal of playing pro ball.
Staying at the top of the pyramid in most European leagues has nothing to do with player development. It is all about money. How many youth team players/aacdemy players do you think are playing for the big teamsin the EPL? Not many because they buy players instead of developing. Clubs do not get penalized for not developing players at all. The smaller clubs get rewarded for developing players as they then sell them on for a hefty transfer fee. The leagues across Europe are so different in terms of finance, style of play, level of play. When people refer to "in Europe" it is difficult to gain a full understanding of what they are referencing or using as an example.

Anonymous said...

3:17 You are correct, but the governing bodies in Europe have a system to move teams that aren't ab;e to compete. This is certainly true in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. They have an objective system of moving clubs up and down even the mighty clubs and then it comes down to reputation and abitlity to attract and develop players to keep you competitive. What happens in the US would not happen in the US.

There is an ECNL Club in Las Vegas that 2 years ago had 2 temas with greater than 100 point goal differentials. The same club this year won 9 games across 5 teams with 6 won by 2 teams and their goal differentials this year were -48, -60, -50, -53, and -82. That is -333 goals over 5 teams.

How is that good for the club, the teams they play against, or the ECNL. But that is what you get when you run a closed system. You would never see that happen 2 years in a row in a European Youth League. Absolutely not. And that Las Vegas team takes away opportunities from more worthy teams and clubs. There are northeast examples of this, maybe not as extreme though. And if were the Bayern Academy producing these results then they would not be at the highest levels either. That's what an open system produces, then it's based on merit.

Anonymous said...

3:56 - The relegation / promotion system couldn't work in the USA. It is too corporate. The MLS has an ownership of the league and clubs. In Europe the clubs operate independently from a financial perspective. Being able to move up and down isn't the main premise of an open system. In general, the amount of money you have dictates whether you can realistically earn promotion to the next level. It is not about leagues or clubs, it is about the player. Any player can try out for any club, it is open. The best players can play on the best team they are capable of joining. People are complaining because things are closed to their club or team. It is not about promoting teams or clubs. We have great teams and clubs in the area and every player is open to tryout for them. Not every team gets accepted into WAGS, Jeff Cup, national league, region 1. They are as CLOSED as the ECNL.
$ is a different story but isn't relevant with this argument, both of the competitive teams in my area coast as much as the ECNL team.
You are fortunate to have many options for Soccer in region 1 , be grateful your daughter has these options. There are other parts of the country that do not have the resources and opportunities.

Anonymous said...

3:56 - The ECNL program you are talking about is Las Vegas Pemiere? They lost their DOC who moved with all of the teams shortly before the season started. They had to play out the season with players who were not ready to complete at the ECNL level.
The club has been put on probation and given the chance to re-develop. It would have been wrong to punish the entire club by removing the ECNL status because of that one season. Giving LV Premiere a probation period to demonstrate improvement was the correct action.
This was not good for competing teams as LV Premiere were obviously not competitve, bit removing them shortyly before the season started would not have been helpful either.

Anonymous said...

5:46 The Las Vegas Program has had multiple seasons with very weak teams it was not 1 season.

Anonymous said...

5:29 The promotion relegation system is not just about the MLS, the promotion relegation system exists around the world at the youth level, you can read the articles to see that it is a merit based sytem in the yout program.

I'm sure that you didn't even read the link I posted because the Past UEFA President that identifies the open system as a major dirver for the success of the Champions league. He actually made the statement word for word that "we must protect against elitist Closed leagues." But I do value your opinion more than his.

No doubt the tryout system is open, but your solution for a highly successful non-ECNL team that is nationally competitive would be to break up and have kids pursue rather than to stay together and try to continue to build something. I have seen a ton of opinions, but have seen anyone post anything from a soccer expert that advocates for a closed sytem.

Anonymous said...

5:29 - You are correct that not every team gets accepted into WAGS, JeffCup, etc, but the difference is that all teams are eligible to apply. In closed systems like the ECNL teams aren't allowed to apply. It's great if you are close enough to a member club, but there are plenty of talented kids (and teams for that matter) that aren't able to try out for one reason or another.

Anonymous said...

8:38pm - All clubs are eligible to apply for the ECNL. Whatever club your daughter plays in has the option of applying to the ECNL league. There is a link on the website for the process. Just like the Jeff , WAGS, etc you may not get accepted. You are also missing the big point that ECNL is set up for elite players. Elite players can tryout and play ECNL - it is open to all players. It is not ECNL responsibility to develop and promote teams. (That is the gotsoccer approach - team points team points team points).

It is difficult for players who are not close to a member club but you cant have a national league with 20 clubs in each state. ECNL is as OPEN to all players who want to tryout to play in it as any other league.

Anonymous said...

8:31 - my opinion is not to have the team break up. They just have to make a choice. Do they want to stay together and compete in the available tournaments , showcases and leagues or do they want to individually try out for an ECNL team. What did teams do before ECNL?
Or maybe the club can review the standards for the ECNL and apply in an attempt to become a member.

Again, the ECNL is closed for teams. It is not closed for players. You are obviously happy with the team your daughter is on and the path that her soccer is taking. If not you would have considered a move.

Are people who are against the closed ECNL implying that their daughters team should be able to gain entry to the ECNL(and the ECNL should ditch its club approach to keep you happy)



Anonymous said...

9:31 - There's a big difference between being open to clubs vs teams. There are numerous clubs that can't field competitive teams at every age group and they will never be allowed entrance to the ECNL.

The ECNL has many good qualities, but it has some flaws as well. I'm not proposing they change their rules to allow teams entrance. People just need to realize that there's elite teams and players that don't play in the ECNL. Granted the majority of them are in the ECNL, but not all. Sometimes there's an elitist attitude about member clubs. Even non-ECNL tournaments seem to accept under performing ECNL teams over more deserving non-ECNL teams.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we understand there are other Elite teams. But, they are getting less and less at this age group, no?? It is unfortunate but many teams have folded, and the remaining teams are ECNL, NPL, or have been absorbed by PDA.

Have you not seen the drop off of talented teams, in some of the best non ECNL tournaments, as we have progressed through this age?

The ECNL is not for everyone, and not everyone can make it, but beyond U15, the very good non ECNL/ npl teams are very few.

It was a different story 4 or 5 years ago, you could play on a state cup winner, or region 1 premier team, and they were elite. There was a drop off at this age, but, I do not think, as dramatically. Love or hate the ECNL it seems to be were the best kids are going. Some did not see it 2 or 3 years ago and did not make the move in time. I am sure there will be another league in another time, but for right now...

There's a place for everyone to play, but you are kidding yourself if you think the ECNL is not considered the best league for the top female players. Not all ECNL clubs have the best teams, but when 70 + girls are at tryouts for an ECNL team, obviously others are catching on, and they will start drawing girls at younger ages. When you try out late, you better be an immediate impact player, or you may not break the top 11 or 12., and that's not good either.

Anonymous said...

Virginia Rush has always been at or near the bottom of the ECNL standings. Most of their teams were at the bottom of the Mid-Atlantic. They were really not competitive in a single age group. I believe they attempted to merge with the other strong club in Hampton Roads (Beach FC) to form a Hampton Roads United (similiar to Richmond United FC which merged the Kickers and Strikers). Beach FC has some teams like 99 that would do OK in ECNL.

Rumor was the PWSI was going to take Rush's place but PWSI lost their strong 98 team to NVSC and the 99 team left for Annandale. So ECNL won't bring on a club without a strong team in every age group which would be a challenge for most clubs in NOVA since BYRC and Loudoun have weak 99 teams (Loudoun 99 was Colonial League but they lost some key players over the summer)

Anonymous said...

The strongest Northern Virginia 99 teams Vienna, Herndon, and Chantilly (which picked up players from Harkes, FC Virginia, Loudoun. Reston United 98/WAGS Champion). Lee Mount Vernon imploded. Loudoun lost key players. Mclean's second team is improved. That age group is very thin to get another NOVA club in ECNL without movement. Virginia Premier League looks weak with FC Virginia and FCV AUFC appearing to be the two strongest teams. CCL is weakend with ABGC Premiere gone and Loudoun's attrition.

Anonymous said...

I agree, there are strong teams outside of the ECNL. As we move through the age groups teams will merge and competition at the tournaments will start to be less. This always happened in girls soccer at about the u-15 age level.
I do understand the flaws of the ECNL, but the positives are many. In the ECNL my daughter gets good coaching, plays at good events/games versus other good teams and players. SHe is protected from playing 3 games a day. During this process she will receive college coach exposure so if she is good enough she should play decent college ball. My advice would be , if you have a daughter who is certain she wants to play college soccer and is a strong player , make the sacrifice of drive time etc and take her to an ECNL program for a tryout . If you are already playing competitive travel the costs for the region 1 ECNL clubs (besides maybe 2) will not be much different. Remember, it is not closed to players. If you email your closest ECNL teams head coaches I am sure they will get back to you willing to give a tryout.

Anonymous said...

Look at NJ. Freehold won the State Cup after losing 2 or 3 girls to an ECNL club. If it’s truly a great TEAM, then losing 1 or 2 of your top players won’t hurt that much. TR Everton allegedly lost a top player to an ECNL club recently. I don’t think we’ll see a major drop off from them because they have a great TEAM. Point is if your have a great TEAM & Club, when you lose top players to a different program, your team & Club will still be fine.
Everyone one wants an elite level league, well here it is. Give it a chance or start letting in teams and clubs like JAGS, EDP and other leagues have done?

Anonymous said...

8:11 think you may have missed the point of what they were trying to get across in the posts above. and the trying to establish a set of standards across a club and ability to field teams in all age brackets. the team mentality also seems to fall apart to a certain extent at the higher levels and ages and turns more to an individual thing, rightly or wrongly. but yes if you're daughter is on a TEAM and is happy with it and is getting descent training and it suits your needs by all means stay there. the ECNL and the demands there are not for everyone nor should they be. its simple stay or find the best fit for your daughters situation and stay there and see it through and if it no longer fits try on something new and don't take it personal when someone else does the same.

Anonymous said...

8:11 Isn't that the point of the discussion. If a high quality team stays together they have no chance very little if any chances to compete against the "Elite" teams and ECNL clubs are less and less exposing themselves to competition outside the ECNL. The major tournaments are also the problem because they are often tun by ECNL clubs that shut out those teams from the top tier. So Freehold was able to prove that they can beat a mediocre PDA team but they have no further chances to play against the best PDA team or other top teams in the region.

There is no doubt that the ECNL leadership wants to avoid exposure of ECNL clubs outside of ECNL events because it would point out that the bottom half of the ECNL is very good, sometimes not so good, but not at all Elite.

Anonymous said...

What separates a good team from a "great" team at this age is usually only a few players. The rest are competent role players. Hence if those teams mentioned lost their key players they will not be "great" (arguably they were not anyway- only PDA, NEFC and WC were really great last year) Most "great" teams have a dominant striker and or a great goal creating/scoring attacking midfielder, and a great ball winning excellent quick distributer with both feet defensive midfielder. If the others are competent role players, the team is "great" Lose the core and "great"-> "good". There are many examples of good teams that are missing one or more of these ingredients. ingredient.

Anonymous said...

NEFC is the poster child for what is wrong with the ECNL. I agree with the last poster but I would also put FC Stars in the mix. The NEFC players are faced with a choice, leave a team that could compete with any ECNL team on any day or stay with their team where they will not face the same competition and get exposure,

Anonymous said...

This is rather interesting. VYSA must be trying to stem the tide of losing players: link to article. Funny they don't mention all of the advantages of playing for US Club Soccer.

Anonymous said...

9:34 has hit the nail on the head. Look at ABGC. They have a single dominant player. They have a cadre of strong players. And alot of role players. Look what they are trying to do, play in three leagues (ECNL, National League, and NPL). What are they going to do the weekend when they have 4 games. The team without the dominant player isn't going to be the "elite" team most people recognize when they face ABGC. Provided they aren't facing tough competition, that might work.

But what happens when the National League is in Wilson, NC and ABGC has two ECNL games against OP and Carmel in NOVA.

Or the WAGS tournament, when there is an ECNL game at CASL in Raleigh and WAGS tournament games (assuming ABGC is top bracket) in NOVA.

What are they going to do with the dominant player who drives that team. What about the cadre of 4-5 other players. What does ABGC's second team look like when it is essentially last year's ECNL team plus a few of the low end ABGC players who normally don't see much playing time when the whole team is present.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:11, I would include FC Stars in that list.

Anonymous said...

After hearing ECNL bashing on here about lack a of quality ECNL teams, it sounds like NEFC is playing just as many elite opponents as FC Stars. I would also GUESS (because I don’t know either team) that FC Stars does not have much room for many NEFC players. They might only take 1 or 2. That should not decimate NEFC if they are as good as they appear.
If an NEFC type team is being CARRIED by 1 or 2 players, would it not be in those players best interest to move to a team where they are surrounded by significantly higher level role players?

Anonymous said...

12:55 Well I think you have hit the nail on the head. NEFC has been the best non-ECNL team in the region. They have won everything put in front of them in Region 1 and NPL. They are undoubtedly better than many ECNL teams. In all of their 2014 they have face 1 or 2 ECNL opponents. They lost in a very competitive game against the Gunners 2-1 at the Jefferson Cup. Not that is just it, NEFC is a top 4 team in the region, but they are not afforded really any ability to play against what is considered the top competition in the country.

You provided the same ridiculous answer that others have. You are on a top 4 regional team that would competitive with any one of those teams, and the answer is well those kids should just leave. Why is it in the best interest of players to break up teams. Wouldn't be better for US Soccer which governs the NPL and ECNL to provide a team like NEFC the opportunity compete against ECNL teams (maybe invite a team like them to an ECNL Showcase). They have pretty much beat or dominated every every NPL opponent put in front of them.

Anonymous said...

Their 2 most dominant field players are leaving to go to Boston Breakers (Scorpions). At least the mother of one of them was saying this at regional camp (by the way they both attended '99 regional ODP camp. MK made the 99 regional team and TK is placed back on the '00 interregional. I think the keeper possibly also going. There goes the "core"...
NEFC back to good. Breakers might be great if my premise holds true and there are enough competent role players to support them. Yes I forgot FC Stars- my bad.

Anonymous said...

If NEFC are truly a great TEAM, then losing 1 or 2 top players won’t change that. They will probably recruit 1 or 2 top players from some other nearby team to replace the 1 or 2 leaving. Maybe a bit of a drop off or perhaps maybe, someone gets a greater opportunity to produce and steps up their game.
We talk about development. Should we not give a high level league time to develop, or should we rip it apart after 3 or 4 years because a few things might need some adjustments in some people’s opinions? I would bet over time, ECNL will make some adjustments as they move along.

Anonymous said...

8:11 Winning a state cup in NJ at u-14 or above does not make you a great team anymore. Look at the competition. I can tell you that freehold are not the best team in NJ and are not a great team. TR are not a great team. They are good teams. They won't even get accepted in the top flight of the major tournaments.
Losing your best 3 players is enough to really hurt any team. The scorpions ECNL team will move from a below average ECNL team to a very competitive ECNL team, this can be done with the addition of 3 very good players.

Anonymous said...

If not an internet blog where else should we discuss these items. The ECNL is great for the kids that are init and has enormous benefits. I personally think it is horrible for the future of US Soccer to narrow player pools early. Time will tell.

At least in California and Texas which are other very strong soccer states there are more representative ECNL options. NJ has 9 million people, Texas has about 27, and California 38. texas has 9 ECNL ClubS concentrated around 2 cities, California has 14 ECNL Clubs. Using those numbers, NJ should have 4-6 ECNL Clubs. As good as the ECNL, this narrowing of the player pool in NJ cannot be good long term. And this is not likely to change where the Head of PDA is very well intertwined into the ECNL Power structure and I doubt you will see any time soon.

It's simple math, California has about 4X the population but assuming 24 person roster sizes has 7.5X the roster spots. I doubt people would be bashing as much if they didn't see it is detrimental to soccer.

Cards non the table, my daughter played for an ECNL club and left because playing was more important than having a roster spot on an ECNL club. Bitter yes, more because my daughter is good enough to be on an ECNL Club, in another circumstance may or may not be a starter, but we have limited the options for players like my daughter and I do not think at 14/15 that that is good.

Anonymous said...

9:44 Have you ever been over seas? You can read all the articles you want and try to rationalize it any way that you want. I't simple in other country soccer is life. When kids are young they play soccer, they don't play stickball, kick the can, johnny on the pony (for my Brooklyn brothers), softball, hardball, basketball and football when they are young. We switch sports as the season switches. Summer was Baseball, Fall was football. In other countries it's soccer all the time, they don't need to go to training to play soccer they have pick up games all the time. We will never be there, so our training has to be super and I hate saying this but you don't get that training unless you use pure soccer minds Forget Football, Baseball, basketball and any other sport you want to throw in. You need a pure soccer mind to teach the kids to think that same way and to love that sport the same way.

That's what I see as the main issue then you sprinkle all this other stuff in.

Just my 2 cents - I hope it's an easy read.

Anonymous said...

PS. This was no knock on multiple sport athletes. We are talking soccer at the highest levels, so you need to be all in or we are where we are in the world when it comes to soccer.

Anonymous said...

Yes Holland with my collegiate team. Lived with players' families - set up by 2 exchange student athletes who played with us the year before and from whom I got a years worth of international information. We attended and played with and against 4 different clubs in 4 different cities. Was one of the highlights of my life (so far). But whatever...I never said I was a youth soccer expert.

Anonymous said...

8:11 Freehold lost to the Wildcats in their last EDP game so Freehold is just another town team trying to compete!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone watching the U-20 game? We can't posses the ball. Great athletes but all the backs do is kick the ball to opponent, and the forwards go 1-on-3. What gives? If this is ecnl soccer, I am not buying it.

Anonymous said...

Summer Green was the star, Lavelle was also strong, and the PDA girl Racioppi was pretty good/ Aside from that it was another poor showing. I thought Horan looked slow and tired. The also played a very weak team who were not nearly on par with the USA team and yet the USA struggled. Next Tuesday will not be easy as China put in 5 goals against Germany.

Women's soccer could be in for a tough run with aging women on the USWNT and a pool of talent below that need a lot of work. Definitely looked like the type of game where there was too much individual and not enough team play.

Anonymous said...

9:30 PM We can smell your elitism coming right through.

I'm not going to judge a team based on how they they are playing in August, but in any event, if you don't think that what Freehold accomplished this year was something great, then you don't know soccer. A team that lost quite a few good players still held it together and won some very big games. I think the point people make about Freehold is that they are a disciplined well trained bunch that success even if they don't have the pool of talent that other clubs have.

Anonymous said...

There were discussions about pay to play on the recently. The ECNL Commish has recently made points that sponsorship is a very viable option and all clubs may be requested to be free to play. (link at end of post). If this happens what competition will the ECNL have? Playing for free in the ECNL would be a no brainer, but what happens if your daughter cannot get on one of the few local ECNL teams? Free to play will make it even more competitive for a roster spot as you would expect that every top player in the area would want this and would be willing to drive a bit further. I think free to play ECNL would benefit the ECNL and its players/parents but really hurt the other leagues. http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer-articles/ecnl-year-5-brings-more-successes-lessons_aid33298

Anonymous said...

@930 so freehold lost, both teams could still beat the PDA B team. It is a disgrace that these closed systems are taking away the competitive nature of good soccer. These strong town teams are being desecrated to the pay to play system and truly no one wins.

Anonymous said...

If we are looking to be truly honest, why not listen to the DOC of PDA south when he preaches of all the college coaches he "personally" knows. I feel so sorry for your girls and the lines they are being fed.

Anonymous said...

@9:30

I laugh at such clearly ignorant comments. EVERY team should be out there trying to complete. Where is the shame in that? Everyone needs competition.
I'll give Freehold the credit I have given them in the past. EXCELLENT coaching philosophy. EXCELLENT training. Girls who can play THE GAME as well as anyone.
SO WHAT if they lose girls to Academy marketing pitches? SO WHAT if their current girls might be a step slower that the 'top' team?

I give the Freehold coach, and many other town coaches ALL of the credit in the world for developing fine young players (of various levels) season in and season out for the LOVE of the game. They are doing more for U.S. Soccer and receive not nearly enough credit. Except by the parents and players who have worked with them. EVEN those who may move on to other programs.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

DC Shore - Your point about freehold and giving credit to the coaches and organization is right on the mark. Programs like Freehold deserve a lot of credit. I was involved with a similar program for a long time but did move on. It is OK to move onto the next level but every credit should be given to the coaches of the travel teams who field good teams year after year. My daughter is involved with the ECNL now but there are many of the girls on her team who speak highly of their previous travel coaches and still keep in touch. My daughters travel coach was all about the players. No one sat, everyone worked hard, and he actually recommended my daughter take the next step and move club. The good travel team coaches are the backbone of youth soccer. I would love to give credit to the coach who worked with my daughter for 8 years but he would kill me if i mentioned his name!

Anonymous said...

The last 2 posts were excellent. It is a great point that someone did a heck of a job developing these kids that get poached by the bigger clubs.

Anonymous said...

@915

You are EXACTLY the kind of parent every coach dreams of. I can tell just by your outlook on things. My guess is your daughter is a genuine success and probably has a great attitude and healthy appreciation for each and every program she is part of.

I can tell you that despite mixed feelings when a player leaves, every solid coach is genuinely proud of seeing any player they have worked with continue with the game, whether they move on to bigger/stronger programs or even move down to the rec level. The biggest fear of any coach is to see a player remove themselves from the game. That means the right things were not happening and on multiple levels.

Congrats to your girls and I hope I have had the pleasure to watch her and her team play.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

11:21

You must not have read what was posted. His daughter was not "poached" by a bigger club. They left on their own free will to pursue bigger and better opportunities, like everyone else who seeks a more competitive challenging environment.

Anonymous said...

10:15 Noted, the poster didn't say the kid was poached, however, nice of you to acknowledge that lowly clubs like Freehold actually development very good players that could slot into the next level club.

It doesn't change the fact that the big clubs do quite a bit of in season recruiting. I'm happy to provide a few examples if you'd like. Coaches have become quite adept of encouraging other team parents to approach them in season so it does not seem that they have done the approaching first.

Anonymous said...

10:15 My daughter was not poached. The coach of the ECNL team she plays on didn't even know who she was until tryouts. My daughters club coach told her she was good enough to play at that level and to go to tryouts. You managed to turn a positive discussion into a negative. I don't care about your examples, we are not here to name call and make people look bad. It is fine to bring up issues such as players getting poached but you can keep your "examples" to yourself. Calling out people with an anonymous posting is wrong. If you want to provide these examples fine, but have the decency to identify yourself when you do so people can judge whether the examples are from a credible source.

Anonymous said...

"Poaching is an action by a team or club to induce or attempt to induce a rostered player of any other team to leave the player's present team and play for the team or club during the current seasonal year. Poaching does not apply to inducing players to play for a team in the following seasonal year."

Anonymous said...

Is it "poaching" if a parent calls another parent with whom he has/had a relationship at some level and says, hey my kid plays on a great team with a great coach and I think Landon/Mia might fit in great here. Are you interested because I could give the coach a call and set up a training session for you and Landon/Mia to take a look?

The kid then goes to a training session, loves the situation and the coach offers the kid a spot. The kid joins the team and has the best experience of his soccer life. Seems to me that that is simply helping a kid and his family find the right fit. Yet the coach will be called a "poacher".

Anonymous said...

10:47 did you read what I said? (I'm 10;15). How did I turn a positive into a negative? I never said one negative comment about your coach or former club? All I did was correct a comment made regarding your daughter, that eluded that she was poached from her former club. You said she left because it was time to "move onto the next level", and "take the next step" (your words) not mine. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "next level" or "take the next step". If it has nothing to do with what I posted, "opportunities and more challenging environment" feel free to elaborate. Maybe you left to have the exact same experience you were having with your small club but want to pay $thousands more for the privilege of having an ECNL patch on her jersey. Please let me know what I missed.

PS my daughter left small town team years ago (U11) and plays for a larger ECNL club. I know why people leave and "poaching" is never the reason. Everyone has the free will to make a choice.

Anonymous said...

8:34

Yeah, that's poaching.

An admirable coach would say, "we'll see you next season" or try to work it where the player at least finishes the current year out with their (soon to be) former club.

Anonymous said...

Curious 1:40 where to the parents / player rate in this equation? Is it all on the coach or does any of this fall on the parents and or player to do the right thing?

Anonymous said...

Parents should be respectful of the tryout process, but they will do what they think is in the best interest of their kid. Coaches need to have restraint and respect the tryout process.

Example 1) A coach asks a parent from his team, do you know so and so from x club and said can you call them and ask them to call me about coming to a practice. The kid goes to 2 practices. The kid then comes to tryouts, everyone thought she would make the team, and low and behold, she makes the team. WRONG!!!! If the coach says, can you let so and so know about tryouts without being contacted first, it's probably OKAY.

Example 2) Coach quits a team on his players, parents unhappy contact another coach from a different club. The coach allows several kids to practice mid-season with the team while they are still rostered and playing with their old team. These 2 teams meet in the NJ Cup, the kids are playing the game with their old team while training with their new team. The coach I believe was out of bounds for having kids train with his club while they were still playing with another club, this was not 1 practice but a few months of practice. WRONG!!!!

Example 3) A parent calls a coach and inquires about tryouts. The coach says I'll take a look at your daughter at a practice and I'll let you know if I
think she should tryout. OKAY!!!

A coach should never approach a kid from another team after a game, a coach should always maintain at least an appearance of objectivity, and a coach should respect that he has a current set of players that are members of his team at least until the season ends.

There has always been an unspoken ethic that coaches do not actively recruit mid-season from other teams, and those "special" clubs are often the worst offenders.

Anonymous said...

140 I disagree. I believe that an admirable coach would say its not about "posession" but "progression" as he bids the player good luck with the new team.

But since we all know that no club or team or coach is looking out for your kid, I have no problem moving my kid. If the roster was short nd there was no b team to pull from, I wouold offer to keep her as a secondary until the spot was filled. But if it was that short anyway then I would consider the team a sinking ship anyway.

Anonymous said...

How about when a coach keeps on contacting the player's parents and sees the player one time and decides not to take the child and does not even call back or e-mail to let let the parent know what's going on. WRONG!!!

Anonymous said...

10:15. Sorry, the response was to 5:56. And no, my daughter didn't leave for the exact same experience. She left to play on a stronger team with better players who play soccer year round. I am also confused about the $'s of dollars more for ECNL that people talk about. My daughters previous travel team was about $1500 per year after all the tournaments etc. I can tell you that the ECNL team is far from $1000's more. If it was $1000's more I would not have been in the position for her to play ECNL.

Anonymous said...

ECNL is 2800 plus coaching fees, tournament fees, hotel, food, travel expenses, uniform, extra training, futsal leagues, etc.
About 10,000 for the year. I just went through this so I'm not making it up!!
If your child gets a scholarship you may break even since nobody gets a full ride unless you are super super good!!!

Anonymous said...

I would welcome the addition of a strong player to the roster at anytime during the year on a region 1 or ECNL level team. Town teams I would similarly welcome if the roster was thin as is often the case as the teams seem to disband during high school years.
For her own maximal development, I want my kid playing with and against the best players possible. Those who think that a coach is not honorable for bringing in players should, if introspective enough, realize that most likely they are looking at the situation through a concern for their child's position and playing time on the team. The should be looking at the situation with an eye toward development of their player and the team as a whole. The more competitive the team, the more likely your child will attract a look from the coach she is trying to impress.

Anonymous said...

9:49 AM There is a code of conduct that teams and coaches should be following, and most leagues have pretty strict rules to protect from the broader disruption of teams. The ECNL for example allows for "Discovery" players to play provided they are not rostered to another club. In my view and I believe it is generally the view held by clubs is that there should be limited cases where kids transfer midseason and a coach should not be the one driving the transfer. A coach should not be actively damaging another team in season. It is different if a kid leaves her current team and the coach hands over the card. A kid is tied to a club from August 1-July 31 and it is the current coach's discretion to hand over a card to allow the kid to play at another club. Leagues have protective mechanism because it would be highly disruptive to have kids jumping from club to club midseason. The ECNL is very strict with this that if a kid is registered with a club for a year and can only change clubs if both coaches from the teams agree or if the ECNL commissioner has reviewed the case.

If true, I find what the coach did in the example above to be distasteful at best and unethical at worst. Have a kid come to a practice once and let them know if they can compete and show up to tryouts great, have them train with your club over a season while they are carded and playing for another team and when you are competing against that club is wrong. Coaches dialoguing with parents, making "unofficial" offers to players before the tryout process begins these things are wrong. Coaches talking to kids after games to recruit them as has been rumored with at least one PA club is wrong. Coaches should never be doing in season recruiting. If you want a kid to play or train with your club to seek a higher level opportunity, then the player should talk to their current coach, tell them they are thinking about leaving, ensure that the coach will hand over the card and go and pursue other opportunities.

Anonymous said...

@9:49
I agree with your post but I also want to point out that you fail to address that your whole concept of "playing better competition" is being limited to a smaller pool of teams and clubs.

Many, though certainly not all or most, town teams should be allowed to compete in higher leagues. Many town teams have proven that once speed of play is adjusted (developed) they can compete with many of the stronger programs.

NO KIDDING a team may be 'elite' because they have grabbled all of the strong existing athletes, but we are doing a disservice to soccer development as a whole insulating these players and teams.

So again, agree with your post but also recognize its limited usefulness for soccer as a whole.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Discovery players by definition are rostered to another club. What I think you mean to say is that a player can't play for more than one ecnl club/year without going through a transfer process. Of course the ECNL will protect its own model but encourage movement from other leagues to itself.
That said I do believe the ECNL is really beginning to collect most (clearly not all) of the best players resulting in a much more evenly competitive league. I am not saying its good or bad for soccer because in general I believe that kids should play with and against the best players possible. A model which consolidates talent in a pyramid does that best. The ECNL isn't quite there yet, but has made big strides in that direction this year with soccer plus / FSA, Scorpions/breakers/ NEFC, and the Virginia consolidations. If strikers really does move to Continental as has been postulated in the past, usysa will be dead for the highest level players (if it isn't already)

Anonymous said...

If your ECNL team is charging you 2800, Plus all off those extras, you better ask for an accounting. Who would pay that much and not request to see a budget?

Stop lumping all ECNL clubs in with whomever your club is.

Our fee is 2700. per year. We get an annualized budget on a spreadsheet including every fee associated for the year, divided by the number of players. Yes, I know because we just received it, and we only roster 18.

Our budget actually lists:

Training fees
ECNL League fee
ECNL events and showcases
2 additional non ECNL possible events
Field rentals
Indoor rentals
Ref fees
Coaches travel expenses.
ECNL playoffs should we make it.

We know exactly how much our coaches cost per player.

Refunds are actually given if our administrator over budgeted, and there are monies left at the end of the playing year.

The only extras we pay for are for uniforms, just like every other club, and our travel expenses. We will do 2 ECNL events this year, only 1 requires a flight. We also budgeted for 2 non ECNL tournaments, which will not require flights.

If you are paying 2800. per year and everything else is extra, something smells.

Happy to be part of a professionally run organization, that sends these budgets to each and every team for a full accounting of expenses. Every club should document costs and send a budget. That is how any business is run, why should soccer clubs be any different ?

Anonymous said...

9:38 - The ECNL is not an expensive league. People lump the ECNL clubs and costs together. Your club is expensive if that is the cost. Many ECNL teams will be less than $2500 including all training fees, coaching fees etc.

I can't believe they are realistic costs. Did you review the copy of the team budget?

Anonymous said...

12:23 Discovery Players cannot be from another US Club unless they are first released from their existing club.

http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/resource_center/451485.html

Either way that should take away from coaches avoiding in season recruiting.

Anonymous said...

12:23 Discovery Players cannot be from another US Club unless they are first released from their existing club.

http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/resource_center/451485.html

Either way that should take away from coaches avoiding in season recruiting.

Anonymous said...

12:48 Your post is a very relative one. For a family earning $65K a year with an exceptionally talented soccer player, $2500, or even $1500 is very expensive. Even if the club offers a scholarship, the travel fees, uniforms, mandatory fundraising, gas the costs are still prohibitive. That is why soccer at the high levels is becoming more of a sport of the well off. But I think the people in the ECNL like it that way because it leaves little Suzie safe.

Anonymous said...

$65K a year - you better bag cable and Dairy Queen on friday night as well...

Anonymous said...

1:53 - I agree with you.The cost of soccer is high. The point I am making is that people are blaming the ECNL for high costs. Any strong travel team that competes in 8 decent tournaments a year will have a budget of at least $1500 per year.

Anonymous said...

Well, when you frame the argument in such away of course you come close to being right. I do not gave the energy to dissect your crazy statenent right now. Obly the energy to say that the high cost of soccer exists because of parents willingness to part with their hard earned money for a product they personally know very little about. Some rec tezms ARE coming close to Acadeny rates as they chase Got Soccer points and water cooler fodder.
Soccer IS too expensive, on every level, and it does not have to be. If parents wake up, and come to their senses they will stop paying and you will see costs come down.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Soccer is not expensive, travel is.

Anonymous said...

Soccer is not expensive, a ball costs about $20.

Anonymous said...

If the ECNL were free would all the best players within 2 hour commute play in the league

Anonymous said...

@4:21 - Not necessarily. There are other factors in addition to the financial one. What about the coach? Are they geared toward developing the players, or just winning? What style do they play? What is the team situation like? Do the girls get along off the field and do they play as a unit on the field? I would rate the cost near the bottom of the list.

Anonymous said...

Cost has little to do with it, PDA could charge $3,500 and there be people breaking down the door to get in because ECNL clubs are guaranteed exposure at big events that smaller clubs can't offer to people. That is just a fact of life and I don't think people are doing their diligence on the other stuff because National exposure on one of the best teams in the country is sufficient. People have jumped to other ECNL clubs driving 1.5 hrs with little diligence as well.

The only thing a free ECNL team would do is ensure that all of the protected kids that made the team because they made the team because they were part of the 28 best kids who come from families with the financial resources. That would change in a hurry if it were free.

Anonymous said...

So if say Penn Fusion was free the best kids wouldn't leave continental or bucks? Would they leave strikers?
Lots of comments about the cost eliminating kids from participation, are they now coming out in droves if PDA or matchfit is free?
Which is it: ECNL is too expensive and locking kids out who are plenty good enough to make the team, or we don't care about the cost its the training and exposure we are looking for no matter what the cost?

Anonymous said...

There is no contradiction, we are locking a lot of people out, the travel cost also locks a lot of people out. However, it doesn't doesn't matter because there is a large people in NY, PA, and NJ with the resources that are willing to pay to get their kids in the ECNL at the top, 2nd, 3rd level of players that they financially they have no reason to open it up at all. They could add a thousand dollars to their costs and there are enough parents who believe"if only my daughter were at the ECNL level, she'd be a star" that would pay.

Personally, I think it's a shame because the talent pool is narrowed because of costs, but for the clubs, these are the golden ages.

Anonymous said...

5:46 I'm not sure what you are confused about, there are people that will pay anything if their kid could play at PDA because they see their little star as the next Mia and then there are people who simply lose interest in high level club soccer because they can't afford it.

Anonymous said...

ECNL has everyone foaming at the mouth. I can feel the angst as all those poor souls that aren't making a cool $250G's a year feel like their daughters are being left behind. It's as if the ECNL is discriminating against all those unseen D1 full rides playing for local clubs that just can't be seen unless they are on a ECNL team. If your daughter has talent and a love for the sport she will find her way to success, ECNL or not.

Keep up the rants though they are funny.

Anonymous said...

There will always be a market for teams for strong players that do not require the crazy time and money commitment of plane travel, rental cars, etc.. Most families are not doing even if they have a superstar. Some will, but most superstars will have to play closer to home.

Anonymous said...

10:38 You are naive at best if you think the ECNL is not becoming elitist.

Anonymous said...

...and it's not just ECNL it's almost all of club soccer.

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

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