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Thursday, September 25, 2014

U15G - U15 Girls Youth Soccer

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

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

Stay tuned.

478 comments:

1 – 200 of 478   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

My problem with HS is that it is not positive for the development of the game and the development of US soccer. So I cannot assign it any real value from that perspective.

I completely understand why most kids want to play HS soccer though. And for the most part I cannot blame them. Ultimately I am happy that my daughter is happy but she knows that the high school will be getting knocked out of her by her club coach once it is over.

I pray HS coaches begin to let those talented players on their roster play and have the other learn to play 'more' of a beautiful game. Maybe even get some current coaching/training credentials. Most still do not know THE GAME. Sorry, but kick & run does not work. At some point it will be abolished, why not now?

DCShore

Anonymous said...

DC Shore, not everything is for the development of the game. HS soccer is the same game that the majority of the kids playing soccer already play. Of the 400+ soccer clubs in NJ, how many play soccer that is good for the dvelopment of the game. This blog is driven by people on the top 20 or so clubs where people pay a lot of money for coaching and development. HS soccer is a great place for the rest of the kids to keep their enjoyment of the game. A HS coach can only work with the kids that tryout. I don't think HS soccer has any relevance to the development of the game. If you want the development of the game, then the quality of the game has to be improved throughout the entire club system, local clubs included, by the time kids get to HS it's too late. HS soccer isn't going anywhere and whether the soccer snobs like it or not the kids enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Our team is populated by kids who play all kinds of club ball. And if you dont think that these games mean anything then you are not paying attention. The tears , the commitment ,the intensity are all there. And the fact that they are now playing against team mates and friends from all over just heightens the fun and desire to do well. It matters to these kids! And in the end isnt that what really matters. So get off your high horses and just love every game they play. Because in a few years this is all history.

Anonymous said...

@9:11

"not everything is for the development of the game." --->obviously...but that's not the way it should be...development, fun and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive...unless organized that way by the coach or team management. you would think 'High School', emphasis on school, of all places would be a place to facilitate learning in all area...unfortunately when it comes to sports there is too much emphasis on results (winning) and money (paid coaches)

"HS soccer is the same game that the majority of the kids playing soccer already play."
---> painfully true...but it does not have to be that way on either side

"Of the 400+ soccer clubs in NJ, how many play soccer that is good for the dvelopment of the game."
---> not nearly enough

"This blog is driven by people on the top 20 or so clubs where people pay a lot of money for coaching and development."
---> I'd say closer to 5-6 based on my impression. And one thing I have pointed out is that MONEY does not always buy you DEVELOPMENT, let alone is it required. There are enough existing options and when parents start demanding more (than just promises) from organizations and take a step back not the 'self absorption' level we may begin to see it grow.

" HS soccer is a great place for the rest of the kids to keep their enjoyment of the game."
---> careful with such blanket statements. I know plenty of players/parents who were or currently are very disenfranchised with what goes on in High School soccer well beyond the game itself

"A HS coach can only work with the kids that tryout. I don't think HS soccer has any relevance to the development of the game."
--->Agree with the first sentence. COMPLETELY disagree wight the second. At the very least the coach should allow THE GAME to be played because more and more the players know a heck of a lot more than the coaches. It is rare for a High School coach to be up on his credentials, qualifications and training methods. At least with what I know.

" HS soccer isn't going anywhere and whether the soccer snobs like it or not the kids enjoy it."
--> again, careful with blanket statements. I'm not sure what you mean by "going anywhere"...but the "going" I am referring to is a change from direct, mindless soccer where physicality is 90% of the game, to higher IQ soccer where players are making decisions (good & bad) and the play resembles more of what you might see in La Liga or the Bundesliga as opposed to what many of us use to play 20-30 years ago. I already see an increased effort at the younger ages which is really wonderful to watch. Unfortunately a lot of self-absorbed dummies are also still coaching and managing teams.

DCShore






Anonymous said...

The going anywhere I refer to was in response to your statement of it being abolished, I think it is here to stay.

I think there are some pretty good HS coaches (some bad ones too), but a varsity coach who has the kids for the months is not going to teach the kids the game, they have to build a team around what they have and unfortunately a lot of what they have is kick and run players.

I agree that HS Soccer is not perfect and not everyone is happy for the game. There ar so many athletic and eudcational after school choices, no one is forced to play. There are bad decsions made no doubt, some schools have no cut policies for seniors creating bloated varsity teams, some teams won't play freshman on varsity some will, parents complain if their senior is getting less time to a freshman or sophomore. That's the system and I think the kids and parents that go in with eyes wide open can have fun with it. For my part, I have enjoyed seeing my kid play without the constant pressure that you see at a high level club, I think it has created a nice atmosphere to just play and yes, try things that she would get crucified by her club coach.

Anonymous said...

9:59

Nothing further :)

DCShore

Anonymous said...

HS soccer is in the mist of changes. Northern Highlands is the number #1 team in NJ and also in the country in many polls. They are currently on a 70 game unbeaten streak. Why? Because the coach has harnessed the talent of all the top quality club and academy players and plays the game as we all like to see. Another point, they have no freshman soccer team. Top freshman go to varsity, others are cut, like club soccer. HS and club can exist together but it comes down to coaching.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that Northern Highlands is indicative of changes in HS. Clubs can develop because they can draw and recruit from wide areas. I am in South Jersey and you always have Cherokee and Lenape as top programs. A lot of this is dependent on the size of the population you draw from. Mt. Laurel and Marlton have large populations with a variety of club programs that a kid can go to to develop. By-and-large, kids do not pick the high school that they go to, so the program is as good as the kids who tryout. I would guess that Northern Highlands is similar with large populations and accesible youth clubs. The coach may be doing some very special things with his team, but schools can only field teams with the people that enter. Without knowing Northern Regional, I would guess that you have a suburban population a higher than average income and tax base where the family resources allow for more kids to play club soccer in a decent development environment.

Anonymous said...

HS soccer is also very dependent on a school districts policies on coaches. Do they hire outside coaches that are really coaches, or do they hire teachers as coaches? Our area has maybe one decent coach in the entire region. At our school in particular, the coaches are almost all teachers and seem to change almost every year. That makes it very difficult to develop any sort of a decent team regardless of who's on it.

Anonymous said...

I would think any high school coach would be thrilled to have these high level academy players on their teams.

Anonymous said...

Someone is eating too many homemade brownies...PDA one big happy family. Yup they are.... U8-U18 in Zarephath.

The rest are good teams, you can get the same at any other club, with less lies, more integrity, and a coach and or DOC, that actually cares about all of the girls, not just the "Chosen".

You are happy there, as, I assume, all of the top 1-8 players. Your daughter obviously is very talented, because, if she wasn't, and you were on a blog continuously engaging people and posting 8 paragraph ramblings, I believe your kid would be replaceable, so kudos on having a talented daughter. For f&@k's sake, though, stop with the Kumbaya, It ain't there in all your outposts.

Your kid is a starter and full gamer, so why do they ask her to play on a lesser team, comradery, leadership, showing the other girls what is needed to break the ECNL line up? It can't be because her talent has slipped,and you just want to get her minutes, if so, you would not be on here singing "We Are Family"


Anonymous said...

I don't know who is worst, the blue eyed liar DOC of PDA south or the lemmings, oops, I mean parents that blindly follow him ?!?

Anonymous said...

Sept, 26 11:57....Aren’t most brownies homemade……Yes I believe PDA is one big happy family U8 thru U18 the location doesn’t matter we are one. You are right you can get the same at a lot of the local club around I would agree totally. Well I would say the rest of what you said in that paragraph is very debatable and your opinion which I would agree to disagree.
Yes my kids are happy where they are at PDA. Are they in the top 8………..probably not but I am not concern with that. They are happy and they have another season to continue to develop and get better. Its about growth and certainly in sports there will be growth. Some more than others but it will be growth. Yes my daughter is talented but so is the rest of New Jersey. I am not blinded by anything dude this is sports and sure I will say that my kids are talented but I will also say that I haven’t seen one kid from either her team or any other team that is not just as talented or more. Talent is based on OPINION in my OPINION….how many times have you watched professional sports and asked yourself why a coach plays a player over another when maybe in your opinion he has a better choice of player in someone you deemed more talented. I engaged folks with my long paragraphs that may or may not make sense because I say what I feel and I say it as my opinion in the way I choose to say it. Does it all make sense………NOPE but I am okay with that because probably 80% of the stuff I read on here doesn’t make sense in my opinion. Is my kid replaceable……sure she is and I know that and so does she. That’s the beauty of sports and I love it because in my opinion sports teaches us LIFE LESSONS. Things are not always fair and believe it or not today could be her last day if she doesn’t go and work hard. Sorry I will never stop cheering or defending PDA. I just can’t. I believe in what they do and I believe that everyone should be a part of that place. Okay I am bias but I can admit that. In truth is it for everyone……..NOPE but neither are IVY league school but it doesn’t mean the IVY league school or horrible places. My kid is not a starter and she is not a full gamer. I think it goes game by game and whatever the coach feels he needs for that game then it will be that. My kid has never played for a lesser team or anything like that. She has only played on age and now U15. In my opinion I feel you are bitter about something. What that is I have no clue but if you ask me the state of NJ has so many talented kids at this age of U15 how could you call a team LESSER. You seen what a so called LESSER team as in Freehold did this past year. They took all the punches you guys could diss out and guess what they took their “LESSER” so called soccer players and did what no one thought they could do ON PAPER and won the whole dag on thing. My daughter has been asked to play with other teams in her age group at PDA as in PRIDE, Atletica and I hope she get a call from PDA Shore to play with them also. Some of you frown on that and turn your nose up to that but I say you have no idea what sports is about and never mind the camaraderie, but the exposure to different styles of play and different coaches philosophies and strategies and guess what I am still here yelling WE ARE FAMILY and WE ARE ONE.

Anonymous said...

For some reason This image comes to mind...

Anonymous said...

This Blog needs to limit its posts like Twitter. Enough already

Anonymous said...

One big happy family.....dysfunctional but happy.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I read one of his posts, I can't help remember my HS English teacher discussing Shakespeare and the quote, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

It may be lost on the PDA guy, but the significance of this quote as taught to me in HS is that when denies something so insistently, the person loses credibility and people are lead to believe what they are denying is actually true.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the PDA guy on twitter in 140 characters - I'll give it a go:

#SisterSledge #Noanonymousposts #lifelessons #pdaballers #zaraphath=CampNouWest #gunnerque #PDAohana #fact=opinion #dogsbarking #ALLCAPS

Anonymous said...

You are so right I could never see myself on Twitter…….thats for kids I guess. I would never use Twitter………..really what for……LOL I bet you follow all these kids on twitter to see what they are doing. I will say this that My English teacher was perfect and you are right I would never know what you are talking about but same goes for you if I referenced the likes of the SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS….but hummm you right you would understand but its shows. We ever you ready to come out and play let me know. Eric Harris.

Anonymous said...

It's probably time for you to take a blog break. Your posts are become utterly incomprehensible and repetitive.

Anonymous said...

It's probably time for you to take a blog break. Your posts are become utterly incomprehensible and repetitive.

Anonymous said...

Can we please get back to a relevant conversation? Both the PDA/Eric bashers & Eric himself sound equally immature.

Anyone have some type of intimate knowledge of the college recruiting process, been through it with an older daughter or someone else close to you? I know my daughter is starting showcases for the first time & I for one have no idea of the what, why, how & what if’s. Should she contact 50 colleges that she considers at her level or just 5? Can her coaches write letters on her behalf? Although money is not really an issue, we’ll be spending time & money traveling around the country doing this. How do we get our best bang for the buck?

Personally I’m not that concerned if she even plays in college but, for now at least, she has her heart set on it. This is what she wants to do.

Anonymous said...

My kid playes for PDA, the college coaches are already knocking on my door.

Anonymous said...

Everything you want to know about the college recruitment process.

6 years worth of material The most comprehensive material and forum on the matter.

http://www.backofthenet.com/62rd/ubbthreads.php/topics/570724/College,_Coaches,_Recruitment_#Post570724.


This forum should start a blog to help others like yourself

Anonymous said...

Thanks 8:47 & that would be a good idea. We should not have to go to another forum for this info. I just quickly checked a couple of the posts & it seems like an educated forum with detailed info.

Anonymous said...

Oct 1, 8:22am...aside from you silly comment about me I would assume your child is either a freshman or soph. If I were you have her pick the top 10 schools that she is interested in for both academics and soccer related and have her hand write the head coach and let the coach know that she is interested in their program. I had my daughter do this back in January this year ending of her 8th grade year. I also made a profile and cover letter for her and sent that out to over 65 colleges by the time she graduated 8th grade this June. Making a profile sheet is simple and I have passed on the one I did for my daughter to several of people as a templete because unless you have been in the situation you might not know what to do or how to do it. I would say that most if not all colleges would recieve your letters or hers with open arms. Just think about it its impossible for even the top colleges to see everybody but if they can have kids fall right into their lap basically that makes their jobs that much easier. I could further help you if you really need. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

IMO, at our kids' age, the most important thing to do is get on a coaches recruiting list. Unless you have a superstar and while many of us may think we have one of those, very few of us do, colleges won't start seriously looking at our kids for another 1+ years. You can contact coaches but they can't contact you until after your Junior year. There are no official visits untill after your Junior year and the Coach cannot talk to you off-campus, ie at a showcase. So the most important thing is to know the schools you are interested in and make sure the coach knows you are interested. Hopefully, you can encourage a coach to see you at a showcase and follow-up with the coach after the showcase to keep your interest and get an idea if you would potentially be a good fit for the school. Check out this recruiting calendar as it will help in planning your activities.

http://www.rejavascript:void(0)cruitlook.com/index.php?do=/public/ncaaRules#soc

Anonymous said...

6:52 Good point but they could not find any more additional NPL teams who are interested in playing. Since PDA only has 3 NPL teams they were stuck. I'm sure PDA lobbied for putting in more teams but other clubs balked. The Northeast NPL Classic played in Florida, hosted by PDA. Don't worry your money is safe with us.

Anonymous said...

5:33 Are you saying with almost 3 months left until the showcase that they have stopped accepting teams or they have contacted all NPL teams nationwide & no other teams will come?

Anonymous said...

Tournament is closed per the website. Accepted teams are listed. Just 18 from U15.
13 from Northeast NPL or PDA.
Not questioning the team abilities but long way to go for league games.

Anonymous said...

At Oct2 5:14pm....Assuming we are all back to work and ready for another full day of blogging. In my opinion I am not sure what you are saying but I never said that the best teams were playing in the NPL showcase if that is what you were getting at. My post which I forget to add my name but then somehow posted it 3 times in a row. The list that I gave from the Disney Showcase I feel its a win win situation. Nevermind the whole Disney aspect. I doubt any of those teams are going for MICKEY....they are going to play soccer and really thats its. The showcase just so happens to be at Disney which in my opinion is very expensive but totally has nothing to do with soccer. That is great group of teams in that age bracket and its going to be interested in how they group them. I am cheering for all the Northeast teams to do well. I have some favorites but I am hoping that they all go down there and enjoy the experience and get the exposure of the SOCCER environment. I don't think I will be at Disney during that time and as of now we have not been invited to join any of the teams going to NPL showcase but if we are invited I would love the chase to get my child the exposure in that environment and to represent her club. I really don't mind your wise jobs about the limo and all that its all good I can take jokes because I am a jokster at heart. I would agree that the NPL showcase is pretty light when you look at the Disney Showcase. I assume a lot of those teams committed to Disney before the NPL showcase was announced. Eitherway like I said that Disney Showcase is going to be a tough draw for anyone. I think sometimes JEFF CUP is a hike to play local teams in your area but thats just my opinion. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

Nice to to see you finally concede some points! You must have been tired when you posted. Jeff Cup will at least have the numbers to allow for some variation for bracket set up. Do you feel NPL Showcase was set up to benefit PDA?
Thoughts on NEWSS tournament as it appears we may Gunners will attend. With this be the ECNL team or some variation?

Anonymous said...

I didn’t see anything about it being closed although it did state that applications are due Sept 30th. I’m guessing they will extend that deadline if they want more teams. There are 18 teams entered. Only 9 are Northeast NPL although a couple of non NENPL teams are still from the Northeast, but I get the point. My point is that they will most likely pick up a few more teams and the teams from the NE won’t be playing each other. There are many valid arguments against the showcase, I don’t think NE teams playing each other is one of them.
http://www.nationalpremierleagues.com/NPLShowcase/

Anonymous said...

They also have not published any coaches that are attending the NPL tournament. Does any one know from any one attending the NPL showcase if they have a lot of coaches coming. I struggle to think that considering the number of teams at Disney that many coaches will want to be at the NPL Showcase. It is also interesting to see that NEFC which has been the best NPL team in our region chose to go to Disney rather the NPL showcase.

Anonymous said...

DC
Your respect for the National program is admirable but the money issue is a reality in every country. Do you think players from the slums of Brazil only have the dreams of playing for country? No they look for a way out of poverty. How many World Cup players do not play professional soccer? Very few I would believe. Soccer is tied to money everywhere so blaming it on money and costs is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

I think PDA has a bit of a "if you build it they will come mentality." I'll probably be told that it is just an opinion, but list year, PDA scheduled a Columbus day tournament, but due to the lack of interest, they cancelled it. I think that is probably part of what has happened with the NPL tournament. 4 teams from PDA an a bunch of others from the NE where PDA probably was on the phone quite a bit encouraging clubs to attend.

Anonymous said...

9:34 Sure players from every country may see soccer as a way out of poverty, but I don't believe that there are many countries in the world that have a paid youth program and certainly not at the level you see in the US. In most other countries, if you are a top, you are pulled into a National Program ECNL level player your costs and expenses are paid.

Anonymous said...

Eric, just catching up on the posts from yesterday, you said you don't pay $2500 for your fee, what do you pay?

Anonymous said...

No I don't feel that the NPL Showcase was set up for PDA. I believe that it was set up to create more opportunities for teams or clubs. Sure right now it may seem that more teams are at Disney but the NPL is not doing this for the short term or just to make a buck. They are trying to create an environment that CLUBS within there league can come and compete on a stage where exposure for all the clubs can be seen and more centralized in a group setting as a Showcase. No different what Disney is doing but people are mad or upset because PDA is in it. In my opinion along with the MATCHFITS, FC COPA's NJSA's FREEHOLD'S etc of the world these clubs are trying to better WOMEN'S Soccer believe it or not. They are slowly but surely trying to put these young girls in the lime light right along side of the mens programs and academys. Thats just my opinion and I don't fault PDA for it but I more or less I ENCOURAGE IT because although I was a male athelete I do now have female children who I would like experience the same if not more than I have in whatever they do. I could careless if Matchfit was doing it I would say HECK YEAH way to go and lets do more. I think most of you get all caught up in the PDA stuff because most of you have been at PDA and didn't experience the same that I have for my kid and I understand that but by no means do we need to condem them for their efforts for wanting to share their brand which most of us in the soccer community maybe envy or respect what they have and accomplish as a club. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

I would assume I pay the same that you do which is not $2500 so we are both under that if I am correct unless you are at that club that charges $2850 and thats a fact because I asked lol lol just to make sure.......I'm SMH at that. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, if your paying 2200, 2500 or 2850 does it really make a difference if your happy with the training? We all know the travel and other extras are the real sticking point. It is crazy money but most of us are not in it for scholarships. We pay the money because we want our kids to be happy and advance in the game. I pay just as much for theatre, dance and tutors for my other kids. We all have the right to say no. I respect anyone who says they can't afford but to say no on principle is foolish. Kids are the ultimate thing as a parent. I will never feel bad for offering them the best I can.

Anonymous said...

When many kids do not make the ECNL team after having been a "A" team player, they decide to drop out of the club rather than play on an expensive time consuming B team. Some have even chosen to play on a USYSA team's "B" team rather than NPL. Why? Because why pay the money and spend the time to travel regionally at least when you have enough insight to realize that your child is not at the D1 or even probably D2 level? She enjoys soccer and may play club or D3 in college, but it not worth the > $2000 price tag plus travel to play on the b team. The ECNL clubs try and tell you that the club is looking for the top 36 kids in the region to have 2 solid teams, but the reality is that most people with the exception of those who have not yet conceded that their kid will never make the "A" ECNL team, go elsewhere. Either their kid plays on a non ECNL relatively competitive "A" team (mostly those on the bubble of an ECNL roster) or they drop even lower.

Anonymous said...

I will have to say AMEN.....you said it all so true and me just mentioning the $2850 was to just make a stab at a buddy of mine that reads this blog and probably pokes me from time to time although he won't admit it but I just wanted to give him a smile while he reads. Anyway what you said is so true. It doesn't matter what the cost is. If the cost was $10,000 I would pay it and not even bat an eye if I thought it was the best thing for my kid. Its kinda like shoes these days. I cry foul when I have to pay for shoes for myself over $50 or $60....now sneakers hey thats different if it ain't NIKE it ain't right lol lol sorry I am a NIKE fan. But serious I never put a cost on my children's happiness or place of peace. Never will I do it. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

Eric,

Actually, I am with PDA and I was handed a letter at this year's tryouts that fees once again went up $100 from $2,400 to $2,500. I've paid my 2014/15 fees and it is indeed $2500. You post just raised the question to me as to whether players are paying different amounts? It's not a complaint, just a question as to whether PDA as a different payment for different players.

Anonymous said...

Why not make choices based on principal? Isn't this what we want our kids to do?.

Everything has costs but the money in youth sports has gotten our of hand. It is tuning a childhood pleasure into an exclusionary luxury all over this county.

We can have out limits and reject insane travel to participate in youth sports. The rest of the globe does not indulge such insanity and they seem to produce top notch players.

To me it is in some ways an extension of watching 10 year olds run around in $75 cleats. Don't Nike and the rest of them have us and our kids right there they want us? I for one love it when a kid in her brother's old school hand-me-down cleats dominates the pitch.

At the end of the day, a lot comes down to the player and not the cleat or the club or the league. A good teacher is critical but no one can learn the game for you.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't make sense to me because if you were handed a letter then how come you are asking what I pay......lol lol Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

Do you actually even read people's posts or do you comment on what you want to answer. The PDA fee is $2500, yesterday you posted that you do not pay $2500. If I go into a store and buy a Coke for $1.80 and you go into the same store and buy a Coke for $1.50 it wouldn't make me happy. Unless PDA is charging you less than their official fee you should be paying $2,500. It has nothing to do with the money, it is a simple question of whether you have paid the PDA fee of $2500. I wasn't aware that PDA discounted fees for people except for those in need, which clearly you are not because you would pay $10,000.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame nike or addidas as they make cleats at various price points. I see ones from 30.00 to 200.00 in every store. My son wears his sisters older cleats. Fortunately my daughter has boat sized feet, he will be good for a number of years going forward. Lol
2500.00 alot? Yes. Take the fee and divide by hours of training, what is the hourly rate? Add game hours and other hours and it is lower than you think. JMO

Anonymous said...

I don't blame Nike...they are masters at the business of convincing us we will play better, run faster, be more successful etc with more expensive shoes on our feet. We are the idiots that indulge it.

Anonymous said...

@9:34

I disagree. 9:44 has it exactly right.

I have respect for the game. Both in spirit and in actual play. I look at our natural team (men and women) in lacking the final quality that is so desperately needs and has long been overdue. Having 'closed' systems that are financially driven and tax heavy on families in resources (financial and otherwise) is the shame of it all.

You don't have to take my word for it. PDA's (and the like) main selling point is "we'll get you looked at by colleges, we'll get you looked at by National Teams, we'll get you in top leagues", etc. Why can they say that? Because they have all but fully set it up that way.

95% of players don't get to play with or against each other. Mostly for financial and greedy reasons.

It makes great water cooler fodder for parents but hurts the development of the game. We are well down a path of only the halves, having the ability to get involved. Soccer, which had a history of being the most inexpensive of sports. A shame, tragedy and face all in one.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

I think we have to accept that there are very few soccer activities around the world that are done out of any benevolent objective except for local town clubs where parent egos my be the driving force, but even when you see some of the local clubs merging with big clubs you see the desire for some grandiose objective even out of town clubs. The reality is that in the US the financial incentive is getting more kids through your model and for the bigger clubs it is to expand your model outside of a core local area. The US financial objective is to sell college recruiting and exposure to National programs and a we do it best marketing. In other countries, the big clubs and even smaller clubs build a feeder club of youth programs. It is even harsher that the US system because they cant afford to keep dead weight so while it is limited costs the bar is very high and kids will be discarded much faster out of the programs. There are a ton of kids waiting to take a spot if a kid doesn't cut it in the rest of the world. The development of these programs on the woman's side means that these spots are becoming more competitive there. Lastly, I think the proliferation and quality growth of Women's leagues (France and Sweden immediately come to mind) I think will present a difficult choice for some of the D-1 players of the future. Lindsey Horan of the U-WNT U-20s is the most notable to go this route.

Anonymous said...

1:15

Can you bullet point the above?

I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

- Every one is for money
- The US it is about growth of the Academy model getting more kids in and/or expanding geography, ie PDA, Match Fit and other clubs with multiple teams and multiple geographies.
- Globally, the financial interest is building their pipeline of players to their professional leagues
- Globally, the selection process is more brutal than that in the US because they are trying build a pipeline for their professional programs. The Academies are often associated with the professional clubs.
- Lastly, with good European professional leagues that pay more than the NWSL will likely start to recruit the top players into their pro leagues Like Lindsey Horan. This could change the dynamic for top kids wanting to go D-1 as they have another very viable option.

Anonymous said...

Crazy talk. In the US for almost all kids it is about enjoying playing soccer.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't talking about the kids, I was talking about the power structure.

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is, no one will pay top dollar for season tickets to watch Sky Blue (I did, because it was cheap). Nike or Adidas is not going to give Abby a $10 million dollar contract. Hence, the likes of Heather O'Reilly and Tobin Heath (both PDA alumni) will never make the kind of $$$ Leo Messi and CR7 does. Never. So, even if we win the Women's World Cup and Olympics, these women still have to have a day job. Getting your daughter to play D1/D2or D3 is awesome, but unless there is real money at the Pro level, we can all have this pointless argument and it wouldn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Can always play in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Well good morning everyone and welcome back from the weekend....Oct 2, 11:59am to answer your question, yes I do read each post but I only respond to what I feel applies to me. Now if I feel it doesn't apply to me or I feel has any substance to it I usually just ready it and go right over it. Sometimes I feel people sit on here and try to bait folks or lead them down a road where they want to ambush them. Well I'm well seasoned and I know what roads to take and what roads not to take. Kinda like having some street smarts. There are some posts I will entertain to see where the person is going but once I see what they are up to I drop it and let them go on their own basically. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

Disney will remain a viable event until NPL and US Club start using strong arm tactics in the future. This will happen over time, you can bank on it.

Anonymous said...

US Club Soccer vs. Disney Corp? What does US Club soccer think they can do?

Anonymous said...

I think US Club trying to dominate the landscape way to fast and it could come back to haunt them if USYS can get their act together. A total revamp of ODP would be a good start, perhaps with a recommendation rather the silly tryouts they hold. They need meaningful identification of talent.

The opening exists because things like the NPL tournament of average talent will brand the NPL as the ugly step-sister of the ECNL clubs. I have watched a few NPL games and there is a lot of Average teams mixed in with a few very good teams. Coaches are not stupid and they will see this.

The responsibility lies with USYS to provide viable alternatives which they haven't as US Club Soccer has followed a much more aggressive model. If they don't respond with a credible alternative , then USYS will be relegated to local team and local tournaments, with State, Regional, and National tournaments that do not represent the best of soccer.

Anonymous said...

USYS Region 1 is under new 'management'. The previous director has been forced out and they have rapidly started changing things, at least on the regional competition level with a year round tiered league structure with promotion & relegation. Don't know if this will trickle up to the national level, but hopefully things will change for the better.

Anonymous said...

ODP needs an overhaul as well. The ECNL/NPL has done a good job of marginalizing ODP in the last few years.

Anonymous said...

The ECNL teams in PA support ODP. The '99 birthyear coach is the Penn Fusion u16 coach. Lots of kids from all 3 PA ECNL teams participating in EPYSA ODP at the '00 and '99 levels. Definitely not dead in PA. Last year not dead in NJ either. PDA sent at least a couple of kids to Region 1 camp. Interestingly while a couple made the pool, none appear to be on the "A" Boca roster.

Anonymous said...

USYS in 2011 saw they had a big issue and US Club pounced on it. Creating the NPL and the ECNL has as well marginalized ODP. There may be a few clubs that send kids. PDA may have kids in ODP but on the ECNL and NPL teams, ODP is not prevented by coaches but it is also not encouraged because they feel there are more benefits to playing in ECNL and NPL than on ODP. The issue remains that in high level US Club teams kids are recommended to go to ID camps and if teams send rubbish then their recommendations won't be accepted in the future. IMO, the problem with ODP is you get a ton of kids at tryouts and a few evaluators have to judge kids over an hour and half which leads to a lot of what has been debated on this board, which is the faster bigger kids selected. I found this USYS presentation which in 2011, USYA was recognizing that US Club was winning the battle for the Elite player and over the last 3 years, the gap has gotten worse. In this presentation, they state that US Youth Soccer values soccer as the “The Game for All Kids”
We are in danger of becoming “The Game for All but the Best Kids” This reality is pushing more and more kids to USYS and will marginalize the State, regional, and National Cups, ODP, and perhaps tournaments like Disney.

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/assets/1/1/EliteSoccerOverhaul_Turner.pdf

Anonymous said...

The high level US Clubs are in danger of creating on the girls side, "the game for all but the middle and lower income kids".

ODP and ID leave out the significant number of talented players that can not finance ODP or the costs associated with the type of clubs that participate in ID.

I am not sure how to finance inclusion of those players. But if that issue is not addressed, these organizations will not truly find or develop all the best talent this country can produce, only the best talent that can pay for access to these programs.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it was on this post or not, but someone suggested adding a small fee to the USYS fee, ie $3-5, that could fund camps, recruiters that could scout players at big and lesser known local tournaments. Their website says there are 3,000,000 kids between 5-19 registered with USYS. That would go a long way in funding a much better identification program.

Anonymous said...

In US soccer elite refers to both the player's skill and bank account.

Anonymous said...

yes Elite=Money in today's environment, but I think there is enough frustration that feel that they are forced to go down a path, that if USYS had a viable elite alternative then I think people would go to those clubs , or stay with their current club that is treating them well. I look at a team like NEFC that loses their best players to the ECNL. If a kid felt there was a different route to being identified in todays world outside of the ECNL, the decision process would be different. But the reality is, if you are not in the ECNL/NPL today you have a much harder chance of being seen/identified. ODP is a shadow of what it once was with increasing numbers at tryouts, not filtering until those tryouts, a totally player funded model.

Anonymous said...

ODP is moving away from the size is everything mantra- at least at the regional level. Some of the very smallest technical players made the region 1 pool and even the Boca roster. Two of the smallest in NYE and PAE are on the Boca roster. They are also 2 of the most technically advanced kids in the east. The larger kids were chosen as center backs and dmids. There were several clear R1 mistakes including one kid on the national team being excluded, but the trend has been toward choosing smaller more technical players. Doesn't seem to have reached the national level yet as evidenced by the poor robotic clunky soccer played by the U20s.

Anonymous said...

Odp is exclusionary by income. They can only select from those that can finance it. That said..for those can participate, maybe they are improving their Id criteria.

Anonymous said...

Us club Id program seems to make sense in theory. Youth coaches know who the best players are from seeing them play every week over the years and in many different situations. They are the obvious first step in the id chain. But because this program seems so heavily club based, it is more of a carrot dangled to attract players to certain clubs than a true talent I'd program.

Anonymous said...

Us club Id program seems to make sense in theory. Youth coaches know who the best players are from seeing them play every week over the years and in many different situations. They are the obvious first step in the id chain. But because this program seems so heavily club based, it is more of a carrot dangled to attract players to certain clubs than a true talent I'd program.

Anonymous said...

Girls soccer will not get free top training like boys academy. Girl programs need to find top players with money to fund the operation and boys have pro team to fund program and need to find best players period.

Anonymous said...

@8:07
There truly is no 'free' top training. Somebody is paying for it. Just remember that. I agree for the girls though this will be a bigger challenge but probably not nearly as big as once thought.

I think it is important we distinguish between what 'monies' are involved int he sport as well.

The money most organizations are focused on is that money that is focused on the 'brand'.

It is important for certain academies/clubs to participate in closed league's/systems in order to protect their brand.

This financial motivation/engine is driving the closed systems that are not propagating. As I have always maintained it's great business that certainly produces for some individuals (players and staff) but over-promises and under delivers for most.

Also bad for the development of U.S. soccer/the U.S. game/mentality. Simply put, there are too many of the better/best players not playing at all levels, not playing enough, not playing at all.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

There are many revenue streams for boys academies that stem from having a first team playing MLS. Ticket sales,sponsorships, training, media rights, etc. Not an expert in the business of MLS but it seems the success of the franchise relies heavily on having superstar players.

Clearly girls "academies" have no access to this kind of cash. The revenue stream on the girls side is form the families of the players. It is a fundamentally different system. Finding and developing great female players is not enough...they must be able to finance their own development.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any thoughts on this weekend's Wags tournament. Some quality tri-state teams attending? Hard to predict as teams have changed rosters.

Anonymous said...

With these types of tournaments the questions are who is injured from school ball? Who is "guesting"- the ringer factor.
But in genereal
ABGC in bracket 1 assuming they bring the "A" team
Manhattan or Sting in the second bracket. Will choose the region 1 team.
FC PA will have to get past Piedmont Triad- not easy so that one is a toss up but I will choose the local favorite (or favorite to beat up on)to get through
Assuming there wasn't a run to the ECNL in GA will pick UFA in the last.

Final FC PA versus ABGC
ABGC wins it

Anonymous said...

My final four for WAGS:

ABGC vs UFA

STING vs TRIAD

Anonymous said...

Some great soccer out at the WAGS tournament today. ABGC FCV is rolling and looks like they should advance. Herndon may be a surprise to some, already clinching their spot in the semis after two victories. FC Penn can advance with at least a draw against East Islip.

Anonymous said...

Predictions are always easy when you already know the result. The games were anything but predictable for the two teams that advanced. FCV struggled to beat a scrappy Loudoun team and FC Penn needed a controversial goal to put them up in the second half. With Herndon pushing extra bodies forward for an equalizer the Strikers capitalized and got a late insurance goal.

Before the games one might have predicted lopsisded scores for FCV and FC Penn but that's not how it played out.

Anonymous said...

Uh yeah...I predicted the final on the 9th. So as predicted was properly applied.
Also your assessment of the game is absurd. The "controversy" was the linesman waving flag as goal was scored. Center ref went over after goal to ask the linesman why flag was raised. Linesman said he was indicating a foul committed by Herndon. Goal stands. Refs called one foul the entire game- Against FC Penn. Herndon parents screaming on sidelines about repeated no calls. Herndon coach was an unvelievable gentleman. Calls across the field, " he's letting them play it's going both ways!" Shut them right up. Herndon didn't even have a real chance all game. No saves or shot recorded. The Herndon kids were playing unbelievably hard but simply were outmatched. Sorry obvious to anyone watching...except, apparently, a Herndon parent.

Anonymous said...

RE: the FC Penn v. Herndon game - FC Penn was clearly the superior team. They hustled to every ball and everything they touched seemed to find its mark. It was amazing to watch. That being said, I think the game was much closer than some would have expected. Both teams played extremely hard.

Good luck in the finals.

- A Herndon parent

Anonymous said...

FC Penn wins final over ABGC in PK's. 0-0 after regulation. 3-0 in PK's

Anonymous said...

2 excellent teams. Was the fc Va team the ecnl team?

Anonymous said...

My sense of the Herndon v. Strikers game. Strikers outplayed United from start to finish. Clearly. United kept it tied for about 50 of the 70 minutes mostly on grit and hustle and some great keeper play. The better side on the day won. Parents from BOTH groups had their moments with non-calls. And when the Herndon parents got too loud with it, the coach shut them down as described. Ref let 'em play throughout, and did not impact the result in any significant way. United is newer to this level of competition and has some adjustments to make to get used to the speed and skill of the top teams. Looking forward to future matchups with Strikers and other elite teams.

- Another Herndon parent

Anonymous said...

ABGC/FCVA vs FC PA game was interesting. FCVA came out really strongly and had much the better run of play for the first 15 minutes or so. Then the game changed to more of a back and forth until the last 15 where FC PA was much more threatening. At that point there was a couple of no calls and one foul called that were a bit controversial (one in the box could have resulted in a FC PA PK)

Very fast paced somewhat frantic game. The pace was largely dictated by the high pressure FC VA team. Neither team had many if any long strings of possession. FC VA passing might have been a bit better but the FC PA team wins 50-50s like no other. Both teams have some absolutley phenomenal players. Shout outs to attacking mids and forwards on FC VA and defensive mid and several backs on FC PA. Of course big saves by both GKs, but the FC PA keeper made several great ones during regulation and a key PK save. Probably 2 of the top teams in the country. Love to see them play PDA, Michigan Hawks, Top Hat etc

Anonymous said...

It appears that PA Strikers really hit the Continental ECNL team hard taking a couple of their key players. An already weak team made even weaker. I think they were 1-1 against ABGC before these players arrived. Yesterday apparently they tied. Do the new players make a difference? Did the ABGC/FCVA team strengthen with any existing players? Where is the best place for an "unclaimed" kid playing top of the roster on a lesser team? Probably time to make a decision.

Is this switch a statement that the ECNL doesn't trump national league and free? IS FCVA living the best of both worlds? Or are they asking too much of their top players? It looks like their top players are playing in all of the ECNL games. Lesser players switching in and out of NPL/ECNL rosters. Did the top 18 play yesterday?

Any other movement from-to ECNL teams likely? Are others looking at options now or is it too late?

Anonymous said...

I think FCVA got what it wanted -- the ability to play ECNL and USYS. I can't imagine the travel, financial and physical demands on that group of kids. Very talented pool of players, but how many sacrifices is any child to make for soccer.

Anonymous said...

30 X 2500 = FCV

Anonymous said...

Not sure I agree with the statement that the Strikers hit the Continental ECNL team hard. One of the girls had been playing up a year. So really only one player moved over. Begs the question...Is it better to play on a bad ECNL team or a top US Youth Soccer team that plays National League. I think the correct decision was made. To answer the question as to whether or not ABGC/FCVA has gotten stronger? Well there was no such team last year. They were two separate teams that merged. I would say in most cases when you merge two teams, the overall talent will be much greater. It might take some time for it all to gel. However, I do see where they have played several ECNL games together this fall already. Strikers were playing their first games in two months due to high school which makes their win even that much more impressive.

Anonymous said...

I agree that PA Strikers win was excellent considering most of the teams from up north are battling HS vs Club at this point. I'm sure many teams were playing with few if any practices as a team. Still happy to see some better soccer after 6 painful weeks of HS soccer. Looking forward to CASL and NEWSS, Disney also.

Anonymous said...

My DD makes an interesting point. there are twins on the region1 '00 team. 1 plays ECNL and the other plays in the National league. Beyond their reasons to separate them, it is interesting that they didn't choose one league over the other for their kids. At least one family thinks that both are viable alternatives.

cc12 said...

So Virgina State Cup semi-finals are set - Beach v FCV/fka Annandale and Vienna v Herndon. While a betting person would put their money on FCV, Beach has beaten them the last two times they played. Vienna has given Herndon a run for its money but Herndon should power through.

Anonymous said...

FCV wins it all. Their strikers will dominate. But did they lose to beach twice?

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

Any value to the college recruiting process with these camps or similar camps run by other organization?
http://exactsports.com/soccer/

Anonymous said...

I think what you will find is the schools with the better programs send assistant coaches. I think the camps are valuable if a coach from a school that you are interested is there, you let the coach know you will be there and request that they take some time to see you specifically. If you are just going in the hopes that a coach will see you and you will walk away on their recruiting list than the vale is marginal. Like everything in soccer, the proliferation of ID camps as a money maker has hurt their value and diminished their quality. As they compare, I think the Excat camps are decent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 1:49. Please let me know if you know of any other quality camps like these. My daughter may be interested, depending on the colleges participating.

Anonymous said...

Probably best off to target a camp at a college for which your child has expressed an interest.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have an idea of when NEWSS, NPL Showcase and Disney post brackets?

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

No I am not a "SPOKESPERSON" or the "MOUTHPIECE" for PDA but what I am is a proud parent of two lovely young ladies that do play soccer up at PDA. That I am. Oh....and my kids just love the place and I support that atmosphere that they have created and creating that my kids play in. Eric Harris

Anonymous said...

Ed this is a real question. what is the philosophy behind so many of the PDA kids' being rostered on more than one team within the club. I know its totally legal, I just wondered is it predominantly to bolster weak rosters, development or something else? For example, some of the current u15s were rostered on the year older (then u15) NPL team last year. I find it hard to believe that event helps their development and likely only exposes them to overuse injuries or even injuries as a result of being targeted for their abilities by opposing defenders. It might help with the development of some of the older kids, but also takes away play time so it may be an overall developmental wash.
Other kids have been rostered from lower PDA teams to ECNL. Is that as a reward to the top kids? Seeing if they are of the level to make the jump up?

Do the kids train with these other teams to which they are rostered? Just wondering if there is a philosophy to it or a team-by-team decision?
Frankly I wouldn't let my kid play up on a lower level team. ECNL or "A" older team of course, but the risk reward seems off the other way. Aren't there PDA "C" teams from which to pull kids if necessary to the B team? Are the C team parents aware that they are bringing up younger "A" kids rather than the best C team kids? I know Penn Fusion brought a mix of younger and B team kids up in the spring when the roster was thin due to injuries, red cards, etc. It appears their philosophy was to put the best kids available up on the ECNL for any given game. That seems reasonable for ECNL but the NPL philosophy should, in my opinion, lean more toward development than results.

Anonymous said...

Alignments for U15G EDP. Some very good teams and competition.

Why are newly formed teams in the top brackets?


http://events.gotsport.com/events/results.aspx?EventID=38983&Gender=Girls&Age=15

Anonymous said...

My daughter plays for the original PDA B team Pride.you ask why do we do it, well where else in south NJ should she play for? She did not get picked up by SJEB which is the closest to the Pride so where do I go? The North coach keeps promising a " pull up" tp Gunners so we are holding out hope!. Plus, she is scoring like crazy on her HS team so they have to notice that, our coach comes to all her home games so he will notice how well she is doing as a forward.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:29 Although I think this post is from someone looking to disparage PDA, I’ll bite because it brings up some worthy talking points. PDA Pride is imo a top 5 team in NJ. Where else would you go if you live in that region of the state? If someone says Pride is not top 5, please name your 5 teams that are. If my kids coach liked my daughter enough to attend all her HS games & the team is a top 5 type team, why would I want my daughter playing anywhere else, especially if it involved a long commute? The question that only your kid should answer. Would you rather be top third of B team playing the entire game or bottom third of A team, sometimes not even playing on game day?
On scoring goals in HS, it depends on the quality of the HS’s they’re playing. If they’re scoring a lot vs quality Group 4 schools that is impressive. If they are scoring vs mediocre Group 2 & 3, not so much.

Anonymous said...

12:29 cannot be a real post, but I will bite too, there are a lot of girls that are scoring a lot in HS School that never score in club soccer. A mediocre NPL or ECNL player is still in the top 5% of HS players.

Anonymous said...

My child is on a highly ranked FAB50 top 25 team. Most of the teams' defenses that they play are basically traffic cones. Many >5-0 games. Over 100 goals scored in the short season. Half the team are "scoring goals like crazy"- means nothing. I wish it would end. The games are unbelievably boring and bad, but of course it won't for another couple of weeks.
I don't really have an understanding of your daughters' level from your description of her high school experience. Does she score like crazy in the top tournaments against decent competition. The NPL northeast is very weak.

Anonymous said...

^^^ Soccer snob

Anonymous said...

High school soccer is meaningless . The inconsistency of the games and quality of competition means that performance cannot be trusted. Scoring goals in high school is nothing compared to scoring many goals against top ECNL . Now that would be impressive and mean something

Anonymous said...

^^^ Soccer snob.
Thousands upon thousands of kids loving playing HS Soccer and it means the world to them. But soccer snobs only care about themselves. Someone should tell the girls that celebrate winning & get upset about losing HS games that it’s meaningless. My heart goes out to the girls that never make Varsity although they love the game but don't have the athletic talent.

Anonymous said...

I may think HS soccer is not great soccer, but my daughter has loved the whole experience and has gotten to know and bond with upper-classmen which is sometimes hard for freshman.

Anonymous said...

HS soccer is great for weaker club players like yours...
I was commenting on the poster who said kid was tearing it up in HS as evidence that she should be at gunners level. My point is not necessarily

Anonymous said...

That's just the type of soccer snobbery that makes this blog so distasteful at times. So I say that my daughter has had a great experience in High School and it help her to socialize into High School. You have to go off and say well she must be a weaker player. What in my post gives you the indication that you should disparage a kid you don't know. My daughter is a pretty good NPL player. ECNL level, probably maybe but probably not. She has had fun with HS soccer what high level or not, what more can you expect from the experience.

Anonymous said...

Stand by the position as you yourself have supported, HS soccer is great for weaker club players. Not so great an idea to put the top players at risk for injury with poor risk-reward ratio. No real development when your kid is dribbling through defenses like they were traffic cones and the coach is a gym teacher who played football, or maybe if you are lucky, d3 college soccer. Further his training session usually are mostly conditioning exercises like the "suicides" he did in basketball when a student himself. This because "his team isn't going to lose any games because they aren't as fit as the next team"! Now your kids are conditioning 3 days a week and playing 80 minute games another 3. No surprise over all of the injuries in evidence. But hey your kid gets her name in the local paper and the school cheers her name over the morning announcements. Indeed that's a lot of return for the vast majority of the kids, but for the top 2% its not worth it. Yes most of the starting Gunners fall into this percentile.
And of course the USSF agrees with me.

Anonymous said...

The uSSF agrees with you for boys not yet for girls and many ECNL girls if not most are playing so you may not like but the kids enjoy it even if the soccer snobs don't.

Anonymous said...

Not for long

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

What nonsense is continually written on this blog. How about I make everyone happy.

If you are reading this post now I want you to know that YOUR daughter is an elite level player playing on an elite level team. Time to buy yourself a Porsche because she is SURELY going to get a full ride to a top D1 school, unless of course there is a conflict with the Olympic team. The only caveat is that you have to shut up about it and not talk about it on message boards. I promise you this. I have watched your daughter play and she is one of the top prospects in the nation.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Huh DC? I thought your daughter played on a lower level town team. How is it that you are seeing my daughter play?

Anonymous said...

Not sure why my post was deleted. I just expressed how it is so funny that so many people of the "high level" parents come on here and complain about the level of high school play and complain about the risk of injury, but very few of you stand up and stop your kids from playing it so they must be getting type of benefit from it. What are you waiting for the USSF to make what should be your parental decision.

Anonymous said...

@8:12AM

:)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, some of us do have kids who chose not to play. However, in our world there were excellent training options for her that far surpassed that which she could have gotten through school. Look for more of the high end clubs to offer more robust year long programming as an alternative to schoolball. Some kids play for the school because they don't have much of an alternative for keeping in form during the fall months.

Anonymous said...

Nearly all of the ECNL kids are playing HS Soccer. I know for that at PDA the DOC in the North does not discourage and does not want to restrict the girls from playing HS Soccer. It would be very easy for them to do if they wanted to yet they choose not to. It ridiculous to think that when you hear all of the bashing that goes on about HS Soccer and the dangers to injuries that people would choose HS soccer as there only alternative to keep in form. People choose HS soccer because the girls have fun playing it
and they get to do it without the constant looking over their shoulder. I will take the punches on this next statement, but yes, I believe that many but not all of the Elite kids would be happier with HS Soccer and lower level club soccer if not for the pressure to perform for their parents, it's a main reason why you see a high attrition of athletes in high school and college because the kids realize it's a lot more work than fun.

Anonymous said...

How many of the PDA kids are going to private schools on soccer scholarships?

Anonymous said...

Not as many as you think.

Anonymous said...

But a significant number of players is implied by your response. Thus it is likely that that number precludes a robust fall program for the others. So without another option they play schoolball. Even the USSF recognizes that the private school soccer scholarship is an exclusion to the no high school rule.

Anonymous said...

There are kids that go to provide school but I'm not sure how much of it is scholarship, but the number is not large enough that it would preclude Fall training for the rest and their is an NPL team up North that could ensure robust training for all. Anybody at PDA is welcome to talk to their DOC, you wll find that he is no hurry to change the current HS dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great how people can twist anything to support their position. I hate HS Soccer, it's horrible dangerous, and creates bad soccer. It's a place where the weaker kids should be playing, but I let my daughter play because there for many kids it's the only alternative for girls to keep their form. By the argument, HS soccer probably destroys more form than keeps it.

8:12 I can't speak for DC Shore, but I didn't take from DC Shore that he literally has seen every Elite player play, but maybe based on his posts he has. But I think his broader point is that parents look at their kids through different lenses than how they look at other players, and parents at whatever level have an over-inflated view of how good their child really is and hold on to the dream because that's the way parents see their kids.

Anonymous said...

One of the functions of the national pools, regional ODP teams, and id2 is to give the parents of kids who are not included a reality check. Oh but let the bashing begin on poor selections, I a know a kid who was included who...

Anonymous said...

Pride not a top 5 team. Gunners, Milan, Stallions, NJSA/PDA shore, Freehold are Top 5. Has Pride ever beaten any of those teams? Then throw in Toms River and SjEB.

Anonymous said...

Gunners are very far ahead of the others. Not even close between these second tier teams and or the best PA/VA/MD teams. Gunners have been very successful at sucking up best players in NJ or they go to PA ECNL (bucks and penn fusion) or NY ECNL (WC and Albertson) or other top NYE teams. NJ U15 non ECNL weak. NYE and PA have much stronger non ECNL offerings.

Anonymous said...

12:27 Thanks for the insight no one has been made aware that the Gunners are the best team in NJ on this site before.

Anonymous said...

pointing out that it isn't even close. The gap is larger than would be expected when comparing sates with ECNL versus non ECNL. Point is NJ non ECNL teams are pretty behind the surrounding non ECNL teams

Anonymous said...

@ 3:41 In response to your questions, yes Pride has beaten some of those teams. In their most recent gotsoccer tournament games vs NJSA/PDA Shore, Toms River & SJEB, they won those games. I disagree with your opinion. Imo, they are top 5 although I would not use wins & losses to quantify why they are better. I’ve watched enough of 6 out of the 7 teams you mentioned to know that the only teams of that group that is without question a superior Soccer team is the Gunners.

Anonymous said...

Yup that's what I said gunners on a different level. All other NJ teams well below. the delta is much bigger than would e expected. is it just a poor year for NJ or are the impact players too spread out amongst too many teams or are they going to NYE/PA

Anonymous said...

my daughter has in the past played for PDA Atletica, Matchfit NPL & Copa Leon (some of you guys will know who I am).

when she was in middle school the HS Varsity coach (in the high school she ended up in) was the Disciplinarian in her school and watched her play middle school soccer with the boys. He scouted her early on, made friends with me. So in a sense, my daughter felt obligated to play to contribute her skills. She also enjoys the camaraderie, being with a bunch of soph/juniors/seniors who give her respect and treat her as an equal.

for her, it was both a sense of duty and wanting to play HS ball for the fun and social/status aspect of it. She's on the Varsity team as a freshman and scoring a lot of goals and making a lot of assists. The team plays Rec level so in a sense it's very frustrating for her and myself.

I felt like she really didn't have much choice with everyone knowing she would be the most skillful player and can contribute and elevate the team to not play. There isn't a lot of girls in this school who have 20k worth of training/experince.

Anyone else have the same experience?

Anonymous said...

I would not single out PDA with regards to kids being happier. Which is exactly the fact I have been trying to drive home for some time now.

NOT ENOUGH places for kids to just play the game. And YES just have fun. So in that regard, HS is very popular amongst the athletes. I can't blame most of them.

I realize that this is mostly the wrong crowd for this kind of preaching. But I'll say it anyway.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

WHAT DOES EVERYONE THINK OF THESE BRACKETS FOR EDP


Girls U15 1st Division North



Team MP W D L GF GA Pts

N/A: ALLEYCATS 99/00
N/A: EAST ISLIP SC RED STORM
N/A: FC COPA ACADEMY MILAN
N/A: HBC BUZZ
N/A: JERSEY UNITED SOCCER SPARTANS 99/00G ASL
N/A: MASSAPEQUA SC STRIKERS NPL '99
N/A: SMITHTOWN KICKERS SC FIREBIRDS
N/A: STA MORRIS UNITED NPL 99
N/A: VALKYRIES FC 99/00G


Girls U15 1st Division Central



Team MP W D L GF GA Pts

N/A: FC COPA ACADEMY LEON
N/A: FREEHOLD SL CELTIC
N/A: LEHIGH VALLEY UNITED LVU '99
N/A: NJ STALLIONS ACADEMY NJ STALLIONS STORM
N/A: NJCSA BULLDOGS GREY
N/A: PLAYERS DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY SHORE BREAKERS
N/A: SCOTCH PLAINS FANWOOD SA SPF EAGLES
N/A: SDFC PANTHERA
N/A: TOMS RIVER FC EVERTON


Girls U15 1st Division South



Team MP W D L GF GA Pts

N/A: FC EUROPA HOTSPURS 99/00
N/A: HFC READY '99
N/A: HUNTINGDON VALLEY AA FREEDOM
N/A: JERSEY PREMIER SOCCER JPS '00
N/A: MERCER FC MAGIC
N/A: NEW JERSEY RUSH 99 GIRLS NPL
N/A: NJ WILDCATS TROUTMAN
N/A: SOUTH JERSEY ELITE BARONS '99

Anonymous said...

I think they look really weak. The best Non ECNL teams are playing region1: YMS, strikers and Santos. Other former powerhouses PDA Gunners, FC Bucks and World Class are ECNL so these are the leftover D2 flight.

Anonymous said...

We understand ECNL PDA and your child are the best. However, I was wondering in term of flights are they grouped correctly?

Anonymous said...

Other than to qualify for state cup play or to advance nationally(champions league or national league, why does a u15 team even play in a league like this when they should be focusing on showcases? is it cheaper games for developmental purposes?

Anonymous said...

Wow, PDA Breakers must be so happy to pay 2500 plus dollars to pay in the EDP league. AND they are A much better team than Pride and Atletica. Embarrassing!

Anonymous said...

I agree, they were playing NPL as the Bulldogs and now as a PDA they are playing EDP. Seems like a step backwards. Can any breaker parent explain the logic to this ?

Anonymous said...

I disagree they are not better than pride .
Don't forget how easily freehold celtics beat them in state cup.

Anonymous said...

Competition in the EDP league is actually better than the NY NPL League, beside Rowdies,NEFC and ISA. As far as who is better between different teams, let the games be played. Season hasn't even started and you have these parents hiding behind the name anonymous come on here and bash 13-14 yr old girls soccer teams.. REALLY! Results don't lie at the end of the season and during tournaments, let it all play out!

YOLO

Anonymous said...

You express your ignorance when you include NEFC in NY NPL which they are no longer. Additional you neglected to mention Manhattan Santos and Quickstrike.
Guess you failed to realize that good soccer is played in places outside your little world.
Best teams outside PDA gunners in Tri-state area are
PA Strikers
YMS
Stallions
Manhattan Santos
Quickstrike
Rowdies
ISA
In no particular order. NJ is pretty weak in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I was actually speaking of last season in which NEFC was in the league,Manhattan was not and either was QuickStrike.. fact! Not even sure what teams are in the league now as I don't concern myself if I doesn't pertain to me. No ignorance here my friend but I do realize I struck a nerve with you. Lol! Your response says it all.

Anonymous said...

11:08 Please share with us you rational as to why EDP is better than NY NPL.

Anonymous said...

I said the competition is better and I'm comparing last season to this EDP season coming up.. teams like Oakwood,HBC,NY Rush,Brentwood etc are no where near as good as several EDP teams. No disrespect to those teams but that's a fact, not saying EDP is better as a league but do your research, winner of EDP will compete at NPL National Championship Tournament at the end of the season, EDP has good Gotsoccer Points for those concerned with that.. at the end of the day it really doesn't mtater what league you play in as long as girls are developing and showing well at showcase tournaments. College coachest don't care who you lost to, what the score of the game was etc.. fact! Good competition is great, EDP 1st Division North and Central have some pretty good teams.

Anonymous said...

"EDP has good gotsoccer points" says it all. Maybe a local community college will come to see a player at an EDP game. Now the one aspect of EDP that is useful potentially to your player that you seem to have missed is the preferred acceptances to some significant tournaments like Jeff cup.

Anonymous said...

@1108 who beat who in state cup?

Anonymous said...

Didn't bother to mention the preferred acceptance to some significant tournaments like Jeff Cup because for the top 5-6 teams in EDP or any competitive league that are worthy of being there are going to be there regardless of preferred acceptance. FYI.. have been thru this process before my friend, only stating facts and experiences I have witnessed with older girls. Besides ECNL, I can assure you that you will not see a college coach at any EDP or NPL league games unless they are coaching a team playing, ECNL may get a few on occasions but not like you appear to think. As for Gotsoccer Points, I said for those who are concerned about them, you know as well as I do that some teams chase them and need them to get in tournaments, quality teams don't necessarily need them and will get accepted because of their history..fact! In this discussion I'm not talking about just one team or a particular child so keep the thread civil and not childish, maybe we can all learn something from each other. Still a long road ahead for most in this age group, ignorance will get you nowhere.. RELAX!

Anonymous said...

Actually, despite your protestations to the contrary, the preferred acceptances made a significant difference last year, "my friend". For example, HMMS should never have even seen the tournament but for their EDP placement- and to be placed in the 3rd flight was a gift. Of course they didn't win a game...
The NJ teams in EDP are very weak, as has been pointed out by several, there is a much bigger gap between the PDA ECNL team and all other NJ teams. Much bigger gap (if any really even exists) than exists between the PA ECNL teams and the Strikers and YMS. In VA the ECNL teams were clearly weaker last year than the USYSA teams, but now they are one and the same. So again now in VA are there any USYSA teams that are not masquerading ECNL teams that come close to FC VA (ABGC) and McLean (Chantilly)?
Does PDA just have all the best kids or could there be consolidation of the NJ teams to put together 2 teams that could compete with PDA?

Anonymous said...

11:08 Are you aware that all NPL leagues including NY get to send a team to NPL finals? EDP is not the same as the NPL, only certain clubs in EDP are part of the NPL. By the way your EDP NPL representative the NJ Stallions last year did not win a single game at the NPL finals last year. NY NPL has the following teams this year in the U15 bracket
ISA
Rowdies
Quickstrike
Manhattan Santos
Massapequa
STA
Brentwood
NYSC
NJ Crush
The first 4 can compete with pretty anyone and have beaten the EDP pretty regularly.

Anonymous said...

Your missing the point but... your right! None of your points really matter at the end of the day.. but again.. your right.. feel better now? Just look at results head to head, numbers don't lie. But again.. your right..

Anonymous said...

That's an odd post

Anonymous said...

So what is the point?

Anonymous said...

Guess it is someone unfamiliar with soccer outside of their little world of NJ. Coach must have told them EDP is same as NPL.

Anonymous said...

NJ is simply ahead of the curve. Other states are moving in the same direction. The ECNL is gaining momentum. There is PDA, then a huge gap in quality, then the rest. In the past within many other states the best teams were not ECNL, but now have either been absorbed or dispersed. VA just changed dramatically with the essential disappearance of ABGC and Chantilly. Now they are more akin to NJ with FC VA and Mclean leading the pack followed by the best of the worst. MD is Bethesda then all the rest arent even close including MD united. PA is different with Strikers, but my prediction is that they will take out the ugly stepsister of the U15ECNL Continental FC next year or sooner. Wierd what happened in NY/north Jersey in the WC /AP debacle. Santos is really the only non ECNL quality team. Merger with WC has happened. Are there santos kids who are going to be rostered to WC? ECNL teams are the undisputed best in most states within region 1 to have the ECNL. Strikers stand out as an aberration. If they are soon to follow, the ECNL will have cornered the market on the top level in region 1. Champions league and othr lame efforts to salvage the situation by USYSA are too little and too late.

Anonymous said...

So we can assume that the 20 or so players at PDA are the only quality players in NJ? You are very transparent.

Anonymous said...

Nope, I conceed, some are going to bucks, penn fusion and world class. maybe a few role players scattered among the NJ "academies" and town teams. Does matchfit have anyone notable at u15?

Anonymous said...

9:32AM's observation of one and the same would seem also to apply to teams playing both NPL (US Club)and USYS. Is that a growing trend?

Anonymous said...

Notable exception to the ECNL domination is NEFC who will be left for them to play? Heard their national forward left to play ECNL so they might be going the "dispersion" route.

Anonymous said...

809 probably
Hedging bets at least until the landscape stabilizes a bit. Will the new champions league work and will NPL be unnecessary for u15 and above? Is the national league still competitive enough to draw coaches interest? I think those are important questions. If the answer is no to both ultimately, then it will be the ECNL and then all others several cuts below.

Anonymous said...

7:06
at least 7 of Matchfit U15 ECNL are former Gunners. not sure exactly what that means

Anonymous said...

There is no lack of quality players or talent in NJ, just like it there is not in PA, NY or other states. Where the lacking is is in the number of of clubs that can attract quality kids in every age group. The ECNL has been successful at pulling the best kids away from their clubs leaving the rest of the very good players on teams with a few high quality players and a supporting cast. We've been through this before, but until there is a viable alternative to the ECNL, the best kids will be attracted there. The fact remains that NJ can support another 2 ECNL teams so the best kids are left at PDA, going to PA ECNL Clubs, or Match Fit. I think PDA has proven that it is not PDA that is the attraction but rather the ECNL. They've tried in the South to attract kids to tryouts and grow the club there with little success and the best kids still want to drive 1+ hours even though there is a close PDA alternative. Until there is an ECNL alternative (unlikely in the near term) or additional ECNL teams, after the 50 kids go to ECNL, the rest will be dispersed around the state.

Anonymous said...

Were these 7 Gunners who were told they were moving down to one of the "B" teams prior to their going to Matchfit? I don't even know which one is really the "B" team if there is one. Or were they kids struggling for play time who were looking to get on the field more with a weaker team? were they starters but role players being overlooked for id2 and national recognition looking to move up in status? If so then I guess they wouldn't be "notable". Do any of the 8 top players ever leave Gunners and give up their opportunities to play up/train up/ be nationally showcased etc.? Notable is at least regional level if not national level. are any of the Matchfit players notable?

Anonymous said...

If a player is “notable” they would be playing on an ENCL team AND playing up an age group or 2, imo. PDA does this with their top talent. I’m guessing other top clubs around the nation do as well. So if your kid is a top player on a top team in their age group, still not so impressive. Enjoy it for what it is, the beautiful game.

Anonymous said...

Regarding PDA, the club ECNL teams are all top quality but PDA is a poor representative of the ECNL national approach. To assume that PDA and to a lesser extent Matchfit represent enough of the top players in NJ is wrong. PDA and ECNL are far too closely tied for the NJ players to truly benefit. Monopolies in business are broken up as they tend to benefit a select few and the same applies to soccer. Expect a legal challenge at some. NJ can support at least 2 more ECNL programs.

Anonymous said...

These parent blogs are laughable. There is no way anyone can say there is a huge gap in talent between 20+ girls on gunners and the rest of nj, especially by using pre-puberty win/loss records as the measuring stick. the fun is going to start now that this age group has reached high school. And no, the entire world is not running to PDA to sit their soon to be 27 girl bench. Not everyone wants to play college soccer at Rutgers. Lol.

Anonymous said...

3:13 I agree mostly with your post and that there is a lot of talent in the state, but these girls are U-15, pre-puberty has gone a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

1:22 I don't completely disagree with you but the number one recruit in the 2018 graduating class and a member of the U17 national team plays on age. If you look at the national pool rosters its a mix. Some of the '99 national pool players play up for example at Penn fusion, but some of the '00 national pool players play on age for example fc bucks. For sure though most ECNL players who play up an age (and grade) are indeed notable, but not all kids who play on age are not notable as you say.

Some play on age because they are on the younger side of the age range. Some play on age because they are late puberty kids. Some play on age because the club likes them with that team. There are clearly more reasons too numerous to recount.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:13 "Not everyone wants to play college soccer at Rutgers"

Yeah exactly - you're gonna send your kid to a third rate college (okay, maybe Rutgers is not 3rd rate LOL) so she can play soccer? Shouldn't we be aiming for Princeton or Cornell and hope our daughters play for fun/fitness?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we be stressing academics as opposed to athletics? Isn't their intelligence going to further their future ambitions as opposed to soccer? Maybe the fervent soccer posters do not have girls who can manage honors classes, community service, and a sport. Don't put all your eggs in the" sports" basket.

Anonymous said...

So why are you posting on a soccer forum? Maybe you should find a my-kid-is-going-to-Harvard-without-soccer-helping-the-admission-process-along forum. Sorry our kids are also in the honors programs. But keep hoping otherwise. The top soccer kids might very well go ivy. I bet yours, even with her honors classes, will have much less of a chance. If they want my daughter to play soccer for them, she has a decided advantage over your with her community service.

Anonymous said...

1999 http://www.epysa.org/odp/1999_girls_u16/
2000 http://www.epysa.org/odp/2000_girls_u15/
EPYSA ODP teams posted. For those who say that ECNL players don't need ODP or are discouraged from participating, these rosters would clearly belie that position. There is a huge influence from Penn Fusion and a significant presence from Continental. Less so from Fc Bucks. Many of the repeats from last year are from these clubs. Looks like half the '99 roster is Penn Fusion '98 or '99 players. Coach is the Penn Fusion '98 coach. Looks like Penn Fusion is all in. Will this set a trend? or is it an aberration. Would think that any exposure is good if you can manage it economically and fit it in timewise.

Anonymous said...

In NJ, are the top 5 HS teams better than the top 5 u15g club teams?

Anonymous said...

That is difficult to answer , because the top hs teams have girls from the top clubs. For Example , Ridge H.S , which is supposedly ranked no 5 in the state has 7 Pda girls on it . So how do you separate it , would these girls play for pda or their h.s team ?

Anonymous said...

7 gunners or 7 pda high school aged ECNL kids? If the latter then I think your answer is that the best high school teams beat the best u15 teams by virtue of the fact that there is a significant age difference and the u15s would essentially be playing up.

Anonymous said...

You will find the HS teams in the State are chock full of ECNL and NPL players. With the exception of the top ten state HS teams any top ECNL or high ranking club U15 team would probably win. Most HS coaches are counter productive for soccer development. Play it for fun and school spirit only.

Anonymous said...

the question was top 5; you answered yes

Anonymous said...

To much crap being posted to index.

There is obviously a lot of talent in the 'top' Academy teams. To say there is a 'gap' is just a freaking joke though. It shows me that someone doesn't understand THE GAME and is likely to be a very self absorbed person.

There are plenty of 'notables' on teams outside of ECNL teams. You know the same girls recently brought up from other teams, including, "gasp, lower town teams".

PLENTY of great soccer. At least a lot more than most of the dummies on this board recognize. Not much going on right now in this age group, but come Spring it will be fun to get back out and watch.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

So if there isn't a gap then which NJ teams have competed in the top flight in, at least regional tournaments if not national, tournaments and met with success? PDA has done that. In PA fc Pa has done that. In Mass nefc has done that in Va abgc has done that. Any Nj teams at that level? I think not. Of interest abgc has become fc va ecnl. Nefc is rumored to have list their national striker. Fc pa is rumored to be going to continental. Seems like the gap that already exists in nj is being replicated at least in region1. That is interesting.

Regarding the notable:you said something interesting, "brought up". Brought up to where? Why are they notable? what have they accomplished? Have they improved the level of the team to which they have been "brought up" so that we should look for that team at CASL or Disney or Surf cup or Las Vegas or even Jeff cup? Oh yes EDP has now preferred admission maybe we will see them at Jeff cup top flight? Probably not...

Anonymous said...

A great post of mine REMOVED because I was too accurate in my response to 9:05PM.

SUCH A SHAME

DCShore

Anonymous said...

I'd like someone to step from behind the shadows and tell me why my post was removed? Not 1 single personal reference. I mentioned several teams that are repeatedly mentioned on this site, INCLUDING 9:05's own post.

PLEASE do not tell me that a PDA parent...or worse yet some in the org runs this site.

I accurately detailed how an artificial 'chasm' or gap has been created in youth soccer. Daming to some I guess.

DCShore

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

I am 9:05 and i am sorry that I didnt get a chance to read your response. Can you repost?

Anonymous said...

@9:05 & 6:59AM
It's probably not worth it.

This site is either up to cater to someone's ego and/or to cater to a particular org.

NO DOUBT the chasm you see now exists. The question is how did it get there. Is it really something that cannot be crossed?
The chasm/gap you see is largely an artificial one.
It is easily demonstrable. And I took the time to do it last night.

I will detail again just not now. I will also save my work so I can copy & paste it each day/night if I have to.

It's just important to recognize that when all 'top' play is pooled in a closed system there is NO WAY that chasm/gap can be crossed. Which is PRECISELY what the 'for profits' want.
Just look at last season's US Cup. Well coached, trained town teams defeating the 'B' and 'C' programs of a well known "Development" academy.
NO DOUBT these 'for profits' want to increase the closed leagues so this sort of chasm crossing does not occur. No doubt this is in large part PRECISELY why the Gunner ONLY play in the closed leagues. Can you imagine them losing to a well coached town team? What would the reaction be?

The PDA Gunner would almost SURELY beat any town team first run. But by the 5th or 6th game you would likely see some parity as the quality town team got use to the speed of play. EVERY coach knows this.

The gap can never be crossed because it has been created. Closed systems do not work for this way. They will only benefit the 'for profits'.

This does not take away form the teams and players today. We are talking about quality programs across the board. But this 'gap' nonsense is ridiculous. It's exactly why you continually see players brought in (or as one org calls it 'developed' in their programs. It keeps them strong and they do a good job of marketing to parents.

More later.

DCShore

Anonymous said...

Spot on DC Shore!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why some posts are being deleted these days, I had a couple deleted that mentioned club names but no people also. My guess is that the administrator has some sort of club affiliation.

To add to your artificial gap comment here are a few issues in NJ that have also created the gap.

- Relative to other states with an ECNL presence, NJ is under represented in the ECNL solely on a population. Does it at all make sense that CT. with half the number of people has an equal number of ENCL teams as NJ, and it had 3.
-What has this underrepresentation caused - it has consolidated talent in few clubs. I do think there is a team gap these days because of this consolidation of talent in a few places. What that means is that there are limited roster spots . There are still a lot of exceptional players who have remained on teams who just do not have talent top to bottom to compete. Are we really believe that there are 50 CNL quality players and 50-100 just aren't good enough. the difference between 50 and 60 may simply come down to a coaches need or a coaches style rather than the quality of an individual kid.

There are a lot of valid points on the closed system as well, when you put yourself in a bubble you start to believe everything that you are told.

Before the hype of ECNL and the top kids on town teams leaving their club there were quite a few top tier teams in NJ that competed well out of NJ. In other states, when those kids left their clubs, they had 3 or 4 ECNL choices to try out for.

Go back and look at the U-12/ and U-13 history of clubs before they started to lose kids; TRE, Freehold, SJEB, Bulldogs, in addition to others already mentioned on this blog were very competitive teams regionally. All of those teams have lost top players to either PDA or Match Fit so it is not unexpected that these teams would decline and their wouldn't be a rise of new ECNL clubs because of the lack of options. Als, look back 2-3 years and it speaks to the point of recruiting rather than developing, the Gunners have reached their level in large part by attracting kids from other teams. They were not nearly as dominant a few years back and look at the history a team like Freehold was very competitive with the Gunners. You wouldn't see the dominance of one team if more options were available like in other states.

Anonymous said...

The closed system of play still has a few loopholes that allow a non- Ecnl clubs to compete against an ECNL team. Currently NEWSS has Gunners and a few other ECNL's competing, will they be bracketed separately? Let's hope not. USYSA needs to be careful also, as it appears they are using some the larger tournaments like CASL and Disney to play their league games, setting up closed brackets at their tournaments is not a good idea. This is setting a bad precedent as open competition is what these tournaments should be about. Tournaments lose their value when brackets become limited not by ability but rather affiliation.

Anonymous said...

The USSF supports a pyramidal (closed) system. However, I support that NJ deserves a third ECNL club. CT has never had more than 2 ECNL clubs. Soccer plus merged with FSA and their ECNL franchise is called FSA now. They didn't drop soccerplus though they may have without the merger. To my knowledge only one club (VA) has ever been dropped and this happened this year.

I think that if a club is not ECNL it falls on the doc or at least the coach to ensure that the team meets adequate competition to advance their abilities. This may mean playing against boys and older teams. I agree when they were younger the town teams were often very competitive and even often beat PDA. Much of young kids soccer success is based on athleticism which often translates into early puberty. Some of the decline in the town teams is a result of many of the kid's catching up physically this year and earlier advantages dissipating without commensurate improvement in soccer skills and IQ>

Much of the improvement of PDA and Matchfit is clearly related to the pyramidal system in action (collection of better players in smaller numbers). Again this practice is in keeping with the USSF philosophy (I know there is no USSF sponsored DA, but there is no doubt the officials are happy that the pyramid is happening without their resources on the girl's side)

The gap will become more pronounced as our children age out of youth soccer. Without a doubt some left behind could have achieved greater individual development and success if they had chosen to move higher up in the pyramid at an earlier age. yes there is some aspect of choice especially earlier before the skill chasm occurs. Now, at U15, it is harder to catch up if a player hasn't been playing with and against high level players.

NJ is contributing no players to the '99 national team that are U15 eligible (One is U16)and 2 to the '00 national pool one of whom of note plays in PA. To my knowledge none of the NJ ODP players will be attending the boca raton odp interregional. This is a relatively poor showing when compare to PAE where there are the same number of national players ( 2 '99) and 1 ('00) but there are several on the boca roster I believe. Not that I think ODP is the end all beat all but number of kids on the A ODP interregional roster is an accepted metric for success.

I know that many if not all of the national players not only played competitive soccer throughout their early childhood, but also sought every opportunity outside of their formal team training to improve. Many of their parents could afford, and chose to support them with, private trainers, many trained with boys' teams, and many attended multiple teams' practices within the same club etc. That type of augmentation can and does occur outside of the ECNL clubs, but most kids who make soccer so important to them so as to devote extra time and often their parents money demand to be moved to the most competitive environment possible and at this time, by U15 it is the ECNL.

I am not saying I agree with all the ECNL philosophy, but it what it is and the gap is growing to the advantage of the ECNL clubs and I am not sure to the advantage of the kids.

Anonymous said...

The reason that I think it is not to the advantage of the kids is that I live 90 miles from the nearest ECNL club. There happens to be a wonderful trainer/coach in my town with whom my children have all trained over the course of the past 10 years. There is also a decently run local club with decent facilities. Yet there are currently 20 or more kids who travel 90 plus (some travel 120 miles) from our area to the ECNL and DA clubs.

At my child's age there are enough traveling along with those who have stayed (who are now unfortunately behind- yes a couple have recently tried out and been turned away) to have formed a region level 1 team if not a national league team. But instead we all travel to play in the ECNL and DA.

In the old days we would have consolidated into one team with the best trainer and our kids would be equally positioned to where they are now with my traveling 90 miles to train and play 2-4 days/week. All of the same coaches - college and national would have seen them in region1 and national competitions along with the big tournaments. They all would have done ODP to augment their exposure and to understand where they ranked. The new ECNL world is not in my kids' best interest, but I am part of the problem because I don't want my kid disadvantaged and I cant change the world with one kid.

Anonymous said...

Let's call it what it is. If you are in the ECNL i's great, if you are not it sucks. Although, I would argue that many kids from spot 15-25 are not all that happy. people are pissed because if you do make it into an ECNL club the level of soccer drops off and it has gotten worse in the last few years with the move away from USYS focused clubs. What makes it worse is that this is a team sport so you are often left with the judgment of one individual deciding your kids soccer future and that coach will come into a tryout process with pre-conceived biases. In an individual sport, you are the best or you are not and the results prove it. In a team sport, you look at your kid and think your kid is as good as any ECNL kid but for various reasons, may not be there, so we are angry that our kids do not get the same opportunities. It is worse in NJ because you get this artificial restriction of the number of ECNL teams. NJ is not based on the supply of ECNL level kids which should be the determining factor . I think people would be far less upset if there were 150-200 ECNL spots. People on this blog will deny it, but there are clubs that have actively prohibited ECNL expansion in NJ and use excuses like quality fields or some other BS. No spots are restricted in NJ because it benefits certain clubs to have limited options.

Anonymous said...

Why does it have to be either or (ECNL/non-ECNL)? I don't think it has to be that way. There are advantages and disadvantages to both for each kid. I know kids that are on the local ECNL teams and are happy. I know some that are not satisfied. I know kids on a local USYS team that are quite happy. Their team is at a level where they can get into all the major showcase tournaments (and are playing against ECNL teams), so they will have access to the college scouts *IF* that is what they want. Not every kid that's a good soccer player wants or expects to play in college or wants to make the USWNT.

To generalize and say that those not on ECNL teams think ECNL sucks is just plain wrong.

Anonymous said...

Well off kids have more opportunity in this society in everything. Soccer is the least of it and pretty unimportant. There is no career path in soccer except for tiny tiny number with truly freakish abity who are all playing up, abroad or with the boys right now.

Anonymous said...

@4:19

Agree overall with your sentiment, but maybe not all the details.

We can and should focus on improving the overall experience. From an enjoyment point of view, from a development point of view and what is good for the game.

You indicate my number one frustration with the sport on a youth level. There is too much MONEY in it. Too much required , too much spent. We are feeding this beast that does not translate well for the game overall. We should have as many numbers playing the sport on the highest levels possible. Instead parents, coaches and organizations alike are in career-builder mode.

How's that working out for our Leagues? National Teams? The American soccer image abroad?

Nothing is absolute and pockets of true brilliance and success do manifest on every level. The sad truth is as much as I could see THE GAME taking a huge leap forward in this country I believe there are equal odds it remains stagnant. Again, how's this all working out for our National teams?

DCShore

Anonymous said...


If we rely exclusively on the ecnl to field our national teams, we may not remain the top international women's soccer power. That remains to be seen. For the vast majority of players that is of no great consequence. Soccer is great sport whether you play in the ecnl or in a lower cost league.

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