I agree me and the little one enjoyed ithttp://www.theandersonmonarchs.com
Congrats to NEFC today, their U14 girls beat Legends 2-0 in OT to win Nationals. Way to represent Region 1.
Boycott quatar world cup 2022
6:03 Forget 2022 - how about 2018 - unless things change Russia is not looking very good when it comes to public relations these days.2015 - Copa America2018 - World Cup.Now wouldn't that be great, to have both those on our turf.
Don't get your hopes up, FIFA is not switching locations.
The only thing worse than Russia's Public Relations is FIFA's PR. I don't think they care, the voting committee received their bribes, so all is good.
1:23 so you do know how it works.All it takes is the UN placing an embargo on Russia and FIFA has to follow.This happened when Yugoslavia started their break up. Serbia backed the Serbian Nationals in other states and Bam they were isolated from the world. Russia will be a little tricky since love them or hate them they are a super power that can push back.I still think playing the World Cup in Winter will never fly. But only time will tell.
6:12 I do know how a UN embargo would work and will never happen against Russia. Russia is one of 5 Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and any one of those members can veto a UN resolution regardless of how much the World wants it. China is also a member of the security council and would likely block any sanctions against Russia because of the energy demands in China and Russia being a major energy supplier to China. France is also a member of the security council and also has important trading relations with Russia which would likely mean that they would at least abstain from and sanctions agains Russia.The civics lesson aside, it is very unlikely that FIFA would get involved in disputes and take a position, that becomes a very tricky game. FIFA just this weekend said stated its opposition to moving the World Cup from Russia. Once they go down this path it becomes a tricky path when other countries do something that part or all of the world is opposed to. Qatar is a different situation because it was corruption that brought the Olympics to Qatar and everyone knows it, however, FIFA wants to conquer the world and getting Gulf money into FIFA and supporting global soccer is important priority for them. Every day that passes means that it becomes more difficult to pull the world cup because the amount of investment that goes into preparing. How does FIFA compensate a country that has built stadiums and resourced for the cup? Time will tell, but I believe there still a small chance on Qatar because there is a strong case to be made based on corruption.. On Russia, there is a 0% chance. Pulling the world cup makes for good headlines in the US, England, and Germany there will be zero will for FIFA to take any action.
10:22 Good stuff - I want to continue with this but I think we would drift away for u14 soon to be u15 girls soccer.
"That is why, as chairman of the Division I men’s coaches committee, he has joined forces with NCAA leaders, Major League Soccer officials and the U.S. Soccer Federation to radically change the landscape of the college game.They have proposed turning Division I men’s soccer into a full academic-year sport, one that would kick off in mid-September and culminate in late-May. If approved by the NCAA, the new calendar would begin as early as 2016-17.“We have to change the game and do it justice,” Cirovski said. “College soccer has been relevant, but it can become much more relevant. It is doing a good job; it can do a great job.”"This is great for soccer and player development, let's hope the girl' game has this look as well.
Why is PDA Shore Breakers a top 20 Gotsoccer team? Aren't they brand new?
They have mostly NJSA Bulldogs filling out their roster, so they came with points.
Interesting read. Enjoy.http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer-articles/ecnl-year-5-brings-more-successes-lessons_aid33298?utm_source=All&utm_campaign=general_7_30_14&utm_medium=email
Nice article but Top Drawer Soccer is a shill for US Club Soccer.
Maybe, but facts are facts and there is no denying the impact that the league has had on girls' soccer in this country.
So PDA just went out and purchased a number 1 team.They did not develop anything I don't get why the Bull dogs would do that apparently the didn't need PDA I don't get it
I get the attraction of a PDA or other ECNL club if you make the ECNL team because whether you like it or not, ECNL kids will get the exposure, I don't get the attraction of being on one of the lower level teams because the ECNL club will likely not promote from within because that would be happening much more, they will try to attract the best from outside of their club. Why not go to a club where your team for that age group is the club's number one focus? Whether PDA or anywhere, if you are looking at post club soccer, playing weak competition, low levels in tournaments, or local tournaments will not create any real enthusiasm by college coaches.
It is in PDA's best interest to develop both th ecnl and NPL.Making the NPL players just as attractive to D! schools , ultimately means more money in PDA's pocket."follow the money"So that b team at the older ages u15 and above will also be a priority in that it will keep the girls coming into the program. need proof, just look at the college s the older "B" team players will play at.
11:36 You really believe everything you read and are told by PDA. They are marketing to you. You might want to check whether PDA has listed the colleges the "B" team girls have been accepted to compared to the schools that girls committed to play soccer at. You keep convincing yourself!!If you actually read the PDA News story on their website, the headline is "National Signing Day...." then on the list it says "Listed below are all the various colleges and universities that the entire PDA girls' teams will attend." Here's a simple piece of homework for you, ask the DOC if all of those girls committed to play soccer at those colleges, when you see a little dance you'll know. I'm certain that if you scratch the surface just a little bit the PDA sales job stinks.You keep eating that line of horse manure that you are told. I still believe the ECNL is a great opportunity for kids, beyond that it's like a Greyhound trying to catch the rabbit.
How can PDA make the NPL team more attractive to coached when the cannot compete at a high level? Will coaches simply show up because PdA is attached to the name?
@1130, that's what the coaches tell pride and athletica parents....pay us and we will get college coaches to come.
Since we are talking about PDA - I will list the NJ Clubs at the USYSA - 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPSu13G - noneu14G - noneu15G - noneu16G - noneu17G - noneu18G - (NJ) Match Fit Beatu19G - noneI will list the NJ Clubs at the US Club National Cup XIII Finals (Super Group Only)u13G - FC Copa Romau14G - Freehold Celticu15G - FC Copa Celesteu16G - noneu17G - noneOkay not bad NJ had 4 teams from 3 clubs not PDA playing for a National Title two from FC Copa. Not bad.PDA had 7 teams playing for a NATIONAL TITLEu14G ECNLu15G ECNLu15G NPL FINALS u16G ECNLu17G ECNLu17G NPL FINALSu18G ECNLYou can play that A and B card all you want.5 "A" teams playing for a National Title2 "B" teams playing for a national title vs other CLub "A" teams.Call it what you will - numbers speak for themselves, nop need for anyone to try and sell a thing.
You might want to add PDA U13G pre-ecnl to your US Club nationals list since they won NJ Cup in spring but did not attend nationals in Greensboro even though they qualified.
Soccer Plus from Ct. gets kicked out of ECNL for being non-competitive in all age groups, replaced by FSA.
I don't think anyone is arguing PDA at the ECNL level, but if you are going to use the NPL league in the Northeast as the barometer, that league at every age group is a joke. The U-15 NPL team is average at best. We all see the NPL for what it is, and today it is not a very good group of B teams of ECNL Clubs. In every NPL league, it was FC Stars and PDA and then a bunch of also rans. Talk to the teams playing in the NPL they know there is little competition. It's also a rigged system. You play in a poorly competitive league and then you play a tournament to in that league to see who goes to the finals. And as this is a U-14 blog, the PDA B team has struggled to find success losing to a town team in the NJ Cup and not getting out of a tournament with Mercer Magic, SAC Premier, and Hershey. The U-15 team outside of the poorly competitive NPL league, has struggled to find success as well. So today, posters are trying to justify how good the B program is quoting where PDA players are going to college rather than where they committed to play soccer and then by referencing the NPL League. If you can, do me a favor and check how those great PDA NPL teams did at the Jefferson Cup being placed in the lower brackets, and that will give you true insight into the B team competitiveness.
9:27 I think you are missing the point with the NE Girls NPL and all the other NPL leagues. Every game in this league is important as it used to determine a champion. That champions will advance and play other champions from 18 other leagues from across the country. To the NPL teams those league games are most important. They use Jefferson and those other events for quality warmups. They don't control where they are flighted. Are you saying a National event is a waste of time and that Jefferson cup is more important than a National title? These teams carry a deep roster and If I was the coach I would use these events as warmups and as an opportunity to give some of the girls on a roster some playing time to see what they have and how they do outside of training.I'm with you on the playoffs to determine who goes to the finals. It should be a balanced schedule with the 1st place teams after all games being played crowned as the champion.I think for your kid's team these events are important so she can add another medal to her case or be seen by a college scout. I would rather my kid battle every week with her team for playing time and then use that playing time to fight for a bid at a National event. I wouldn't care (although it would be nice) if they played in an event and lost. But that's just my opinion.
No, my point was that the person was bragging about making through the NPL league as a major accomplishment. The competition in the NPL this year in all age groups was fairly weak with maybe 2 competitive teams in every age group, so it is not surprising the PDA had 2 teams get to the finals. yet when those teams were pitched at the 3rd level of the Jefferson Cup, they were not highly competitive. I think the Jeff Cup is a better assessment of how good the PDA B teams are than a league with weak competition.
It also speaks to the problem with closed leagues. So you go to a final and teams that have rarely been competitive at high quality regional tournaments are now standouts because you make it to the NPL finals. The finals of what, have any of those teams at the NPL finals in and out of the Northeast been that competitive. Maybe 1 or 2, but you are fooling yourself if you think the NPL offers the best competition after the ECNL. To answer your question, I think I'd rather see kids playing week in and week out in competitive games than to play 10 poorly competitive games so I can go to "National Championship"
We'll said, 10:06. Northeast NPL is a huge step down from ECNL. Those parents are either delusional or just blind.
If you can not get into an ECNL team, then the best option is to get into a competitive NPL team. Some of them like COPA , NJ Rush and PDA, Matchift are competitive. I would stay away from the others since they only want your money. EDP has some high level teams as well but i would stay away from the town teams since the parents run it and their child have to play 70+ minutes otherwise they complain to coach who is a paid coach by parents. PDA has the best training even if its a B team
11:48 8 agreed with the majority of your post although there are a handful of great town programs that would match any of the clubs you mention. Your last point is questionable, the PDA NPL team is loaded with talent and has underachieved. They could be a dominant team, the reality of the development of that team hasn't matched the perception. Anyone one of the clubs you mention offer the same as the PDA NPL team, then it comes down to the importance of the 3 letters.
You are correct. Pride is loaded with talent. So what is the problem??? If I were a parent, I would be wondering. Is it lack of Moral, in-fighting, parents with blinders?Regardless of the reasons, sorry to say, any of the above would come down to leadership. It is what it is. You may have been the best player in the world, does not mean you can be a leader, or a good coach. Obviously, the girls and the parents are happy the way things are, so kudos for them. They are happy, the girls are playing at a decent level. Not everyone cares about college and college placement. Playing for those 3 letters is good enough, i guess. At this point where else would they play? None of them will go back to a town travel team, not for bragging rights, but because most of the town travel teams left in SJ at this age are just not good.
@109 there was one town team good enough to beat PDA. There are probably more but PDA stays in their safe little NPL bubble. Yes, I am sure the parents are thrilled with this set up.
People choice a club for a variety of reasons cost, proximity, not wanting to travel, etc. Thiat is wy it is funny when people criticize here an individual choice to choose a club. But most people choose a club to get good training and leadership. What is amazing is that people come on here and with blinders believe that the 3 letters means better training and leadership. The PDA B teams are a prime example of that. Sure you my not have the same talent on some of the other NJ clubs, but to think that PDA has better training because of their name is ridiculous. When you consitently lose to teams with less talent it comes down to leadership and training. I will take any of the bets that the PDA B team does not play in any NJ Cups in the Spring because it will keep exposing the little cacoon that they are living in.
Where does the PDA Atletica or PDA north NPL falls into all this. They do not seem to move up in the rankings even though they are also a PDA team. Where does everyone see this team in comparison with the other PDA team? My child has played at the highest level and i should say that when we play PDA A B C team they seem to have great technical skills.
PDA has four teams in this age group ECNLNPL SouthNPL NOrthPDA Shore- Where is this team playing?
My best guessECNL - PDA GUNNERSNPL North - PDA ATLETICANPL South - PDA PRIDERegion 1 Premier/National League?? - PDA SHORE BREAKERS
At PDA or any organization, it is truly is the coach, In general that determines the type of training one gets at PDA. The top coaches at PDA are the ECNL coaches.And they all play in different styles and value different things in the players that they evaluateSome of the coaches play a technical forward rockem sockem english style with a big forward and some play a more possession style, creating little triangles of support up and down the field.They have a bunch young coaches that are good but are in the learning process. For one stop shopping for the parent( who may not know what to look for) that wants a reasonable assurance that their kid is getting at least adequate training-PDA indeeds satisfy's this criteria.But if you are a more knowledgeable parent and understand the differences in training then PDA in the early years of development, may not be the right place for your child. Unless of course you get one of the better coaches that they have to offer.PDA parent not drinking the kool-aid but glad to be there.
How much development are you looking for at u15? By know the kids that want to play in college know all the basics. SO the only thing left in regards to development is to find a club that make them work all the the time, they must use what they have learned and learn to process the game quicker and faster every time they step on field (pitch) practice or games and the only place that can do that is these Academy type clubs. Yes, I know you will have a PA Strikers and those types of teams and I'm sure they are great for the kids on those teams.AM I wrong?
Yes by U15, kid should be technically sound, however, technical ability can, and should continue to grow all of the time. Coaches may not work on it, but a kid wanting to perfect their touch, can always improve their ability by working with the ball on their own. It can continue through college. Any high level player will tell you so, if not, than why all of the Rutgers indoor sessions in the winter ? Teams breakdown with a poor first touch. Hell, i see poor touch in MLS. How about the U11 - U14 years? My test would be that my player developed technically each year. Also her tactical understanding, and awareness of the game had better improved! Movement off the ball, anticipation, and yes, speed of play. Speed of play is huge, and there is a huge disparity in teams as well as leagues, and some people just don't understand that until they see some of the better teams pace. Yes some NPL teams are as good, and, or, better than some ECNL teams, and because they can't gain admittance into the ECNL, do not always see that pace, which is a shame. You need to always be playing fast paced teams to improve, the Northeast NPL, did not provide that for these teams. If your kid's development and growth stopped prior to u15, it stinks. It takes being honest with yourself to admit that there may have been very little growth, and that they are the same player that they were at U11 or U12 even though you paid big $$.Honestly, what town team now would any of them want to go back to? Sadly, there are not many options in SJ, and that is one of the problems for those talented kids.
At U-15 you are looking for quite a bit of development, yes, kids must have a base, but the technical development as an individual and as a team continues. This is also an important age where kids start to really read the game or not, and learn to think as one unit not as individuals. The one on 3 stuff even for the exceptional kid won't work anymore. It's beaten up on this blog, but you compare the North and South teams at PDA and talent isn't what separates them. The Gunners team is exceptional as a team and all of the kids are on the same page and because of that, they can compete against anyone in the country.
The Business Development Academy, I'm sorry, PDA, will do just fine.A fresh batch of talent has been recruited so the rest of the team can 'develop'. Or however they explain this to all of the parents that have been on the roster for years watching new players come in and being shown the red carpet.Anything to keep the 3, I mean now 4 team bank accounts full of checks.
I'm curious 4:37, are the new players that are "shown the red carpet" better or worse than the players that have been there for years. Why bring in players that are worse? Inquiring minds want to know...
I hate to say this because i think it stinks, but, it seems like PDA Shore is the new B team. Sorry, Athletica and Pride. You could not produce as expected, and they went and converted one of the best non ECNL teams at this age division in NJ, to a PDA team. Take the points, add a few better players, and wullah, you have a top NPL team. So now, who will be getting pulled up to gunners? All clubs want a strong "B" team to continue to attract very good players, that are technically unable or logistically unable to break into the ECNL lineup. What better way than to take an already established team? The coach recommends and goes, of course, the players follow. Now, if some Pride players combined with some NJSA Bulldog players, that would be quite a team, but, again, logistically for the Pride players, who is going to travel to TR 2 or 3 x per week for a very similar ability and ranked team, when they can stay close to home? If the top players on all of those 3 PDA teams decided to go to Matchfit? Matchfit would be a better ECNL team, but it won't happen because of those letters. I would rather my kid play on an ECNL team that could compete against and see the same type of competition as the Gunners, than play in the Northeast NPL, EDP or whatever other league is the league de jour. But again other than Matchfit, there are not many options for other talented kids below exit 7. When there is, PDA seems to snatch them up under their club name. GENIUS.
You guys will never get it.PDA is one it's a club. For every girl at this age u15 their goal should be to play ECNL. Guess what they can only roster a certain amount of girls so no matter how good you are you need to be better than the girls on ECNL team to play ECNL. They merged with Toms River an added a 4th team to their age groups. Do you really think they merged with Toms River for just this age group? Please say you don't because it read like you do.The rest of the teams are Reserve teams - B teams if a player does good from any of the 4 and is better than any new player trying out they have a shot to take a spot from an ECNL player.PDA and MF are like ODP they got NJ covered (this is how it should be). So instead of having NJ ODP at the top of the Pyramid you have two clubs PDA and MF fighting for the same type of players.I don't get all this hate. These clubs don't care about the other clubs why should they. Their goal is to put the best collection of players they can on a team and make those players believe in team to further develop their skills and play for National Titles and spots on a College Roster. Why parents from other clubs try to compare themselves to PDA and MF is beyond me. Have your club meet the standards ECNL and NPL want and apply if you want to be part of ECNL and NPL so bad. If not go he USYSA Region1/National League Avenue.What PDA and MF are doing in NJ is great they are giving roster spots to the best players in NJ/NY/PA that believe what they are doing is the right thing and that ECNL is the right league for this type of development.Just my 2 cents
Hi does anybody know for sure where AP who used to coach world class is landing . What club? Can anybody say for sure?
I have no problem qith PDA being a business or trying to make as much money as possible. The do this by attracting the best players. However, the way PDA sells itself, it is like McDonalds calling itself a health food restaurant. They attract people because of a name, and at every age group, not just U-15, these kids are pawns being used while they work to develop the NPL and ECNL. The competition at NPL and for a good part of the ECNL is pretty awful. And they are wholly unprepared when they face any real competition. I get that PDA has a long term-vision to see the ECNL and NPL to become the 2 best leagues in the country. Unfortunately the current crop of kids are not going to reap the benefits.
So if the competition at ecnl is bad as you say, where should these talented girls play to face tough competition in your learned opinion?
9:43 Where they should go was not the point of my post. US Club is in an active process of trying to build the NPL and ECNL and that process will take time if they are successful. There are many teams in this age group and there are many clubs that are by a long shot not Elite teams. PDA and FC Stars are the exception not the rule for Northeast ECNL. Parents are from those clubs are free to comment but the competion in those leagues has not been very good. In direct answer to your question, I have no clue where individuals should decide to play, that's their choice. If you look at NJ, after the Gunners, there really is not any team that has really emerged as that much better than next, but even the Gunners have to play a lot of awful teams (some that lose to NPL and lower clubs in tournaments). IMO, driving 5 hours to play a 4-0 non-competitive game offers the kids little value.You are blind if you think that PDA isn't aware that they are sacrificing competition today for their long term future which most of our kids will not be around to see. The PDA NPL team is the poster child for this as they play in their low-competitive bubble, and then can win outside of that bubble.
So NEFC? Won USYS nationals and is not in national league next year?
"there are not many options for other talented kids below exit 7"Such crazy talk.I watched 3 PDA matches (various ages groups) within the last month. YES some teams, strong athletes and some skilled players. NO, not even close to Elite and remarkably a tremendous amount of joy-sticking from the coaches which should be verboten in such a program. My guess is that the teams I watched (I will not name), may beat a team 4-0 but it will not be because they are greatly skilled. THERE I said it. I actually saw one PDA team lose to a Summer Select group. That is laughable when you think about it and how they market themselves.As far as my verdict on PDA, MF and the like. They are in it for themselves. Just like so many parents. So in that way it is all very fitting. Maybe the kids will be considered one day. I mean future Olympians and Pros. ;)DCShore
The competition in the ECNL is much stronger than people give it credit for at this age group. World Class, PDA, and STARS were obviously the best 3 but Penn Fusion and FC Bucks were also good teams. FC Bucks split with PDA last year and lost 2 close games to World Class. Penn Fusion beat STARS and Tied PDA. I think any team that has to play PDA , World Class, STARS, FC Bucks and Penn Fusion twice per year is in a strong league. NEFC is a very good team but will lose players to ECNL for next year as it is hard to deny that exposure to college coaches will be better through the ECNL and they will be guaranteed games against the teams mentioned above.
1.37 NEFC is listing as a team for the National league
DC shore - You appear to know about (or be present at) every bad game that a PDA team has. Why is it laughable that a PDA team lost to a summer team? (in a scrimmage I presume). At every level of soccer from the World Cup to youth level tournaments there are upset results. I haven't heard PDA promise anyone that they will never lose to a lower level team. Has your daughter's team never lost to a so called weaker team? Was it laughable? It would be great if you could spend some time mentioning some of the good performances of PDA teams (and other local teams) instead of trying to be negative. You should try being a bit more objective about what PDA offers some players from a positive point of view. There are obviously negatives but I bet you if you mentioned what team your daughter plays on it would be easy to provide a few negatives. NJ soccer offers a level of play for all players. From ECNL to town teams. In sports it is easy to be negative about the most successful teams, you have taken this easy route with PDA.
3:26 You appear to only read/respond to the negative that is written about PDA. Including from me. I was responding directly to the comments I quoted.OF COURSE every team is capable of losing. Having faults, etc. That was exactly my point.The irony of your comments towards me is lost on you because you are too busy defending PDA.To say there are no quality teams besides PDA and MF (or south of Exit 7) is crazy talk. BTW, can that quote be attributed to you?And no, the PDA loss was during a tournament. Not that it really matters because every team there are a lot of matches that can go either way depending on circumstances.They are not all blowouts like some like to portray it to be. Again, is that someone like you I quoted? or just another PDA parent?jWhich all leads to many of our points. Clubs/Academies are beginning to insulate themselves from competition because it is best for business. Not because they are bored with the competition. They fear it.DCShore
DC Shore - I did not make the statement about there being no good teams south of exit 7. I am not knowledgeable enough about all local teams south of 7 to make that comment. I comment on what I am knowledgeable about. I know about ECNL, some town teams and some rec level programs. I am not one to just defend PDA, my daughter doesn't play there. I so know the positives and negatives of PDA very well though.The ECNL teams are not fearing the competition, many of the region 1 ECNL teams are still entering the more competitive tournaments. I agree that they are creating an environment that is closing out other programs, this is not b/c of fear it is because they want the focus to be on girls who are playing ECNL. A statement from a legitimate website indicates that 19 out of the 20 players on the u20 national team are from ECNL programs so what ever plan they have appears to be working.(Yes this is wrong). From the few posts I have read from you I am guessing your daughter plays for a non ECNL / NPL team.(There is nothing wrong with that) Your points and/or arguments appear to be based on presumptions. To make it easier for you to respond - I am not a PDA parent. I did not make a statement about route being no other good teams south of exit 7. I also recently discovered this blog so do not know the history of your position. You will find from my posts that I am a pretty objective person who sees the positives of playing soccer at all levels. ECNL, NPL, Travel, rec is all fine with me. I see the positives and negatives in all leagues and levels. It appeared from your last comment that you are a PDA Hater! (How dare they try and monopolize youth soccer in NJ!!!!). As you are more knowledgeable on the local travel teams it would help if you supported your answers as well for non ECNL/NPL parents who are looking to play for a competitive team in that area. What teams can you suggest they look to play for if they have aspirations of college soccer? What tournaments / leagues will these teams play in that will generate high exposure to college coaches. This kind of input would be positive and productive thanks.
My understanding is that all NEFC teams(along with most of the other strong clubs in Mass) will be playing exclusively in US Club Soccer leagues going forward. They are listed as an automatic qualifier for the National League next year, but my guess is they will not participate.
NEFC was an automatic qualifer, but they are not participating.list of teams
4:13 PMBeing critical does not make one a hater. I can be and have been just as critical of other teams/programs/clubs. For whatever reason though, everyday club parents don't seem as determined to come on forums and talk about how great their teams are and how bad other teams are. Or probably more accurately, there is just not the same frequency."The ECNL teams are not fearing the competition" --->they are fearing the competition for players. The goal is to be one of the few options available to players looking to get to the 'next level'. They are doing what they can to monopolize the audience (college coaches), and monopolize on the players as in"you have to join us if you want to be seen by college coaches)"."From the few posts I have read from you I am guessing your daughter plays for a non ECNL / NPL team."---> this is true and I have been very clear about this. But none of this is about 'my daughter'. I am in close contact with several ECNL and NPL coaches. In truth, all good people with good-very good understandings of the game. Unfortunately far too many decisions are made so they can pay their mortgage and pad their resume's. I argue, even to them, their definition of success has to change. They tell me they can't afford to change the definition because parents will stop paying. You tell me (since you know PDA, and all of these teams, and leagues) are they right?"As you are more knowledgeable on the local travel teams "----> Am I? I may just be the only person willing to talk about what I see. Even at the local travel team level. I have only stated in the past their are diamonds out there. But it is up to the parents to look/research. I have always encouraged watching teams play. Watching the game they play. How the coaches behave/act. How the parents behave/act. How did the team respond after a win? Loss? Do they play jungle ball? or THE GAME?I do not advocate FOR or AGAINST any team. I will give honest assessments when I can. When appropriate.What teams can you suggest they look to play for if they have aspirations of college soccer?----> if the goal is to 'play' college soccer. There are more possibilities than many of this board will admit. Or, more likely, they are not willing to do a little research and take the Academy marketing too much to heart. As I have previously stated, if it is 'D1 scholarship or bust'...well yeah then your options become slightly more limited for many of the reason you and others have mentioned but also because their is so much disinformation given to parents.Two links that touch on these subjects and others I have previously mentioned:1) http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-college-solution/2010/06/22/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-sports-scholarships2)https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=VXw0XGOVQvw&app=desktop(features a video from Div 1 coach John O'Sullivan...A MUST watch)Sadly those who should read this article and watch this video and get something from it won't.PLEASE watch the video. Take me as a 'hater' if you mustDCShore
They said parents will stop paying - that is the best one yet. If you or the people you haven't spoken to you yet Parents will never stop paying if they feel their kid has a future in the sport. SIMPLE.So ECNL is closed. If all the best players go to ECNL how is it a bad thing? We have a league in place that will help the top players so instead of helping it we try to take it down.Back in the days ODP was the rage, but they didn't train a lot together was the knock wish there was more training people said. Along comes ECNL a league for the Elite players (ODP Players) to put them all in the same place to make life easier for them and the college coaches. SO know its a closed league - no it's a league for the elite like ODP is for the elite. The problem DC my man is people are trying to compare their town teams to ODP teams and trying to talk their ODP type players from trying out for a team in the league that is more a problem than ECNL being a closed league.We finally have a league for the elite players so instead of encouraging these players to all go play in the same place we have teams trying to hold on to them for personal gain and help get those results to keep the cash coming in.Our Country needs a league for the Elite Soccer players the boys have DA the girls have nothing. SO US Club soccer is trying to provide that for the girls - but yet we hate and say they are closed. No disrespect but it should be closed. It's a league for players to join not teams.Just my 2 cents
8:29 The problem with your post is that the ECNL is not for Elite players, it is for "Elite" clubs, and who selects what Elite Clubs get into the ECNL, the Elite Clubs themselves. Yes a Board with no independent representation or independent selection process. If you are in the ECNL then you know that there are quite a few teams and players who do not reach the level of Elite but play in the ECNL.So if you live in NJ, you have 2 ECNL Choices 50 or so kid, on ECNL team has work out well the other is one that probably doesn't deserve the Elite title. I don't start to believe that the best 50 kids from NJ are on those 2 teams, yet in that closed system there the ECNL is essentially seeking to have no other place for thos kids after the top 50 to go to.Everybody argues from their soccer experience but everytime this argument comes up on this board, people seem to ignore all of the arguments made by experts including the Coach of the Men's national team that two of the biggest risks to soccer development is the lack of a soccer pyramid and the pay-to-play system. SInce you mention the DAs on the men's side, they are moving to eliminate the pay-to-play system, why because they are affiliated with US Soccer and aligning goals.
DC Shore - You put a lot of thought into your response. Some of which I agree with, some of which I don't. There are a number of ECNL coaches who enjoy the salary that comes with coaching a team. The decisions they make from a player and team perspective do not relate to money. Most coaches at the ECNL level could make a lot more money training teams in the area at an hourly rate than what they make in salary coaching a team. If you ask most of your ECNL coach contacts they will probably get the same salary if they have a roster of 16 or a roster of 22. The majority of coaches I know who became involved with the ECNL love the game and want the players to reach their goals of playing college soccer. I do not think it is wrong for these coaches to be paid. They travel around the country and put a lot of time into what they do. Anyone who has coached at a competitive level can understand how much time is spent with "off the field" team management. (parents!! , tournament planning, etc). Have you seen how many players PDA have at practice sessions and on the bench at games? They will never stop paying. If they feel they are being offered a good service and their daughter is happy they will pay!.ECNL clubs have a goal of ensuring players move onto the college level. It is easy for this to happen as the best players are continually moving to ECNL programs. When I speak to parents with daughters on ECNL teams they love the ECNL. It is a high quality league that has standards for fileds , tournaments, amount of games players can play etc. Those in the ECNL love it! Those out the ECNL hate it!ANyway, I get bored of the same old ECNL and PDA discussions. Here is a question on a slightly different topic: Are teams who are ranked at the top of the gotsoccer rankings playing too many games/tournaments? If so, is this high quantity of play placing players in danger of injury and burn out?
Here's a link to the ECNL Board of Directors, please tell mewhich repesentative on this board doesn't have a vested interested to protect the their clubs interests rather than to do what is best for Soccer.The Northeast Board Memebr is from FC Stars and PDA gets an At-Large Board seats. Thos are the people providing Northeast insight and representation into ECNL decsions. It is the fox guarding the hen house.http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/overview/493452.html
Pay to play - I don't think people want to ignore this issue, they just don't have a solution.I would love for my daughter to receive great free coaching year around without me paying for it.The problem with this is that it is unrealistic. Good coaches who plan, further educate themselves about the game, and spend a lot of time with what they do probably deserve pay. Are we asking that these coaches do it for free? If we agree they should get pay who should pay?It is easy for Jurgen to say that pay to play is a problem (and it probably is) but what he didn't do was offer a solution as to how our youth players can receive quality coaching in quality playing surfaces without having to pay. Does anyone have a solution to this?Also - I know many people on this blog will have a daughter entering high school ball. I wish you all an enjoyable injury free season! FIFA put out an ACL prevention slideshow that demonstrates a warm up and strengthening exercises that are said to reduce risk of ACL injury. I can't find the link but it can be found,Moving forward - There are many issues with youth soccer in the area. $ , coaches, getting to the college level etc. More comments could be based on providing support and information to each other about good training experiences , team experiences etc. Who knows, maybe we could start to post without being anonymous.
9:38am - The ECNL board members are doing what's best for the ECNL. That's what they are supposed to do. They are not the savior of youth soccer nor do they have any responsibility to be. They are board members of the ECNL so their decisions are supposed to be based on what is best for the ECNL. The ECNL is just a league that allowed clubs to apply to be part of it. It does not control soccer, it has produced a good product. College coaches are not dragged to games, they can choose to go and watch players from any league. It was a gamble for some clubs to join the original ECNL. Many of the bigger local clubs didn't apply as they didn't want to give up any control to the ECNL. (Yes , your non ECNL clubs have control freak board members on them too!!) And guess what - the board members of your clubs do what is best for YOUR club, not what is best for soccer as a whole because that is their job.
There is a difference between a board of a club and a board of a league. People tend talk about the DAs on the boys side when it suits them and ignore it when they don't. But the DAs have a strong alignment with US Soccer, and yes many DAs have figured out how to offer their programs with no fees and those clubs are not aligned with MLS Clubs.10:07 The arguments tend to change supporting the ECNL argument depending the the argument at the time. On the one hand we've heard that the ECNL puts the Elite kids together to develop kids that are in the best interests of soccer on the other hand, we've heard that the ECNL is self-serving organization that has no obligation to anything but what is in their best interest.
10:34 - These clubs and DA's who have found a way to offer the program for free, how are they doing it? I am presuming that there are paid staff at these clubs. Money has to come from somewhere. Play for free sounds great. I want a good coach to coach my daughter 3 times a week for free also. I want her to play in games for free also. We all want a good service for free. I would also like my lawn service for free. The money from the top down is not available in girls/womens soccer. Trying to align the girls development setup to the boys is not viable. If pay to play can be implemented into girls soccer without reducing quality of play and conditions I am all for it. I hear people complain about pay to play all of the time, yet no one comes up with a solution.
9:29 Who cares which clubs are in ECNl besides the people at the club. As a parent of a soccer prodigy all that you ask is that there is a league where all the best kids can play against each other in. All you can do is if a league that promotes itself as is do your part - bring your kid and hope that every other parent with a prodigy does the same so they can train together and play against each other - regardless of what the club's name or brand is.In your example for NJ it would be the best 50 if they all went there to play against the best 50 from other states - can't get better than that. But to your point it's not the best 50. The league is in place for the prodigy kids to play in - why they don't - just read this board and you'll see many posts about closed leagues - pay to play - and everything else wrong with US soccer. The league is there more and more prodigy kids are moving to these clubs and as it should be for these kids - not every kid the prodigy kids. The kids that can play D1 and beyond.9:35 I agree - When you play 20 league games over the course of a season plus 5 events at 3 games an event that's 35 games. US Soccer Fed said 3:1 ratio practice to games is good. So if you practice twice per week x 52 = 104 practices right on pace with 35. Anything more is overkill and against what the US Soccer federation is saying they want. 9;38 I agree with 10:07 the board members of the ECNL are going to be club members to do what's in the best interest of the league9:56 There are ways to do this we just haven't seen it yet but I think we will in a few years. And it think the NPL ECNL relationship is the key. Clubs should offer a Free ride to their ECNL teams for players being promoted through their system. Parents pay for the NPL participation (regardless of league) - but when your kid gets an invite to ECNL roster then they play for free is just one way.11;21 I hate to say this but you need to add more teams or charge a little more for the non DA teams.Just my 2 cents
My situation expresses why I dislike what US Club Soccer is doing and PDA as an important driver of their actions. I think the quest monopolize girls in US Club Soccer is bad for girls and girls development. My daughter played for an ECNL team and ranged from player 16-22 on the team. She wanted to play more and will be moving to and decent academy program in the Fall. The idea of separating into an ECNL is fine and having an elite league is fine. I understand why it is not fair and that's fine, my kid felt she was better and left. Her club is signed up to go to Disney. This is historically a decent showcase especially for kids who are not Elite and do not get the exposure this process affords. So US Club Soccer with PDA at the helm and being held at PDA fields in Florida are holding an NPL College showcase in direct competition with Disney. So you come to the accept that a coach doesn't believe your daughter is ECNL stating quality and you look for other opportunities soccer affords. You can call it what you want, this is out and out predatory trying to not only create an Elite level but now also at the next level down trying to monopolize play. If you truly are in it for the soccer, to create a competition for college coaches time is ridiculous and I for one hope it fails. What is the purpose, if you at all believe that soccer should afford development at levels and there is no useful purpose to head on put a competitive college showcase if not to try to force kids into your world.
I have an honest question, slightly off the current topic...I assume D3 schools do not give scholarships for soccer. But I see D3 coaches on the list of coaches attending at many of the mid size to bigger tournaments. Are they there to recruit? How can they recruit over D1 and D2 schools who can offer full/partial scholarships?
@9:29"The problem with your post is that the ECNL is not for Elite players, it is for "Elite" clubs, and who selects what Elite Clubs get into the ECNL, the Elite Clubs themselves. "---->BINGO!"Everybody argues from their soccer experience but everytime this argument comes up on this board, people seem to ignore all of the arguments made by experts including the Coach of the Men's national team that two of the biggest risks to soccer development is the lack of a soccer pyramid and the pay-to-play system."------> BINGO again! But just like my video. Those that 'should' get something out of what these experts are saying will not. Either too self-consumed and unwilling and/or motivated by the $'s.For all of those that have contended no alternate solutions are being offered you REALLY are not doing any research. Sorry. Especially with the one post questioning Klinsmann and his inability to offer a solution. Do I really need to research and post all the links in which Klinsmann talks about the problems with U.S. soccer culture and what we need to do to get away from it.But I'll make it simply for everyone. #1 it starts focus on development and NOT winning until the players are 15, 16 and 17. EVERY expert will tell you that.Lastly just take a look at both of our National teams. How is all of this working out for us?As exciting as the World Cup was any real 'expert' will tell you that the U.S. is lagging FAR behind the World.DCShore
@9:35"Are teams who are ranked at the top of the gotsoccer rankings playing too many games/tournaments? If so, is this high quantity of play placing players in danger of injury and burn out?"----> sometimes yes, sometimes know. Any expert will tell you that the US focus on games (read as results) is too much and that the training to game ratios in places in Europe are completely opposite of ours. But what do experts know.I also find it ironic when those associated with Academies like to point out that the ranking do not mean much (because orbs like PDA tend teams play less tournaments but are a bit mores selective). Unfortunately PDA's own org looks at Got Soccer when determining which teams are accepted in their tournament. A MATTER OF SHERE FACT.Got Soccer has simultaneously become a Tournament Director and Parents Dream come true, albeit for slightly different reasons. It has become the worse nightmare for Orgs/Coaches/Teams trying to focus on development and trying to keep the cost of soccer down.That is why I respect any Tournament that puts more consideration into their team selections as opposed to just Got Soccer. That is why you sometimes get the opportunity to see a very skilled town team take on an Academy and you can begging to really judge who has what going on. That is why you sometimes see a team ranked in the 50's or 60's handle a 'top' ranked team if not defeat them. That is exciting stuff and GOOD for the sport. Just bad for some trying to make livings off youth sports.DCShore
1:12 Against what you might believe, more D2 and D3 coaches attend showcases than D1. D1 coaches especially the high level D1s are a lot more focused and know their. D3 whether with money or not still are active in recruiting and if they want a kid, then the school will work with you to try to achieve academic money. Frankly, I will try to guide my daugther to D3 if she wants to play soccer in college. It's probably her last 4 years of competitive soccer and if you think the club competition is bad, mix 4 age groups, a 30+ roster, and a full academic schedule and the challenges for a college student at D-1 is immense. My view is for college have fun playing soccer but not at the expense of the schooling.
Nobody ever wants to deal with the facts. The facts are on the Women's side that Germany as been the most dominant women's team in the last 10-15 years. The US technically outplayed by Japan. The USWNT currently has 3 women 25 or under on the starting team (I believe the USMNT has 5). The dominant US Mens team had over 50% of their roster, I think 18 aged 25 or younger. That has to be telling you something. The USWNT has an overweight of reliance on women 28-35. Our elite programs should be dilivering kids every year that can crack the USWNT roster. I happen to think there is a correlation with how our youth system is evolving. I hope the new USWNT coach brings in more youth to get International experience at the next world cup, but as of right now there has not been a lot of seeds planted.
@1:55PM"I hope the new USWNT coach brings in more youth to get International experience at the next world cup, but as of right now there has not been a lot of seeds planted."--->yeah, well that progressive thinking got the last Women's coach sacked unfortunately. U.S. Soccer is pretty bad from top on down. Sad, but true.Saddest part, so many pieces (people) involved know it. But again it is the $'s, resume's and in rarer cases egos getting in the way.BTW, SO TRUE about the Olympic level play. The U.S. is holding on by a thread if you ask me. You only have to look at our professional league to see how bad it is. I don't care how many Olympians are playing not the team....Kick & Run is ugly by every standard and does not get you ANYWHERE on the world stage/standard.DCShore
For the ECNL lover and Elite soccer, what do you make of this?http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/teams/62561624/38337394-62562500/TEAM.html
I've got some time this afternoon so I'll pose another question that is close to my heart and involves town teams, bigger clubs and Academies equally.That is the use of guest players.I witnessed three (3) teams in the past 2 weeks utilize guest players (ringers) for tournament play. Besides showing how deficient Got Soccer is in accounting for this (unfairly awarding points to a team that is...well not a team) what is everyone's thoughts on guest play etiquette. Remarkably 2 of the 3 teams I saw, with confirmed guest players, actually started the guest players over their teams regular bench. Why? Development purposes? My guess is to achieve results. Would any of you accept this? Have any of your players been victims? Benefitted from this?Shame, Shame, Shame Coaches. Shame, Shame, Shame Clubs for allowing this. Shame, Shame, Shame U.S. Soccer.And before the question is asked. Each team had rosters of 17 and 18 players respectively. It was not a matter of having enough players. Not even close. DCShore
I attended numerous Women's professional league games this past 2 years. The top players continue to be those in the 25-30 year range. Is it not possible that the maturity of a top player does not occur till a slightly older age? I think it speaks volumes regarding how poorly our women are prepared at the younger ages. Maybe college soccer is actually the reason for the slower maturity. ECNL and college may be a good match but the college years may actually be the culprit. The college game is not in the picture for most other countries.
Fair comment, it is a good point the the College game may be doing more harm than good for soccer development. On the Men's side, the NCAA is considering a Fall and Spring season. I just check the Japan women's team and the German Women's team, 13 and 11 players under 25.
Yes, College Soccer is wonderful for the social-interaction part (like in High School) but a quality development league for professional and national players it is not. Again, the focus is on results (winning) and not developing players.ONLY in the U.S. do you see 8, 9, 10 - 16 year olds being written off as finished (developmentally speaking) and dropped from programs.DCShore
DC - Guest players is a great debate. My son's younger team uses them frequently, if they didn't they wouldn't have enough players for many tournaments. Some teams do use guest players to improve the quality of the team for that day, this hurts the girls who usually represent that team. They do this to win and get points. What do you think of the following proposal for 11 v 11 tournament play? - Any team that has 15 or more players ob their roster for any given tournament can not use guest players.
2:03 - not sure if I am the ECNL lover, but I will comment anyway. That side of the ECNL league was terrible last year. STARS had no competition. I will post a link to the other side of the ECNL North East Bracket which shows that 4 out of the 6 clubs were very close and competitive.I think the ECNL is addresing this and some other things will make it more competitive. I am not sure but here is what I have heard:1 - Soccerplus removed from ECNL for not being competive.2 - Group of World Class players and coach moving to Albertson which wil improve albertson.3 - Other New England team picked up some strong players. Possibly from NEFC.That side of the bracket was weak last year and STARS had a nice easy ride to nationals. I think that it will be more competitive next year. I am not a total ECNL lover, I am just trying to point out some of the positives. If you look at the other side of the northeast bracket you will see a bit more balance. The GD is still high BC the teams beat up on the other side of north east bracket.http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/teams/62561624/38338070-62562500/TEAM.htmlECNL are starting to address the issue of clubs who are not competitve (such as soccerplus) , this will provide opportunities for other clubs who are stronger to apply for ECNL. I also hear another 1 or 2 clubs from region 1 are going to be put on probation by the ECNL unless they improve.I agree that it was a very poor league on that side. If you look , at least STARS had 8 competitive games when they played the top four on the other side of the north east in cross over games (WC, PDA, BUCKS, PENN FUSION).Also, when the teams who did bad in ECNL league play go to the regional events and nationals they play other teams who did poorly and teams who did well play other teams who did well. They are matched up. Which games do you think the majority of college coaches are at!! That raises another good question, if your faughter is on a weak ECNL team is the exposure at regionals events still good!.You people raise some good points, I am not a total ECNL lover. I agree with many of your points regarding the ECNL. There are positive and negatives to all levels and leagues. Maybe you ECNL haters can find it within to admit that there are a few positives to having a daughter play ECNL!!.
3:36 You've made the point that the ECNL is not yet Elite. Even in the Northeast Conference. You know that the Northeast Conference was competitive with the bottom 4 teams. You know that PDA and WC were rarely threatened by other teams in their league. There is a big gap in Eliteness between WC and PDA and the rest of that group. It certainly supports that teams in the ECNL live in their bubble and are limiting exposure outside the ECNL. IMO, the current age groups are being used by the ECNL to build things while they get things right.
Soccer plus merged with FSA - Virginia Rush got outed.
@ 1:43. Thanks for the response..I agree. D3 schools must do something to get girls to sign up. Some D3 programs are fiercely competitive. If your daughter is really good she could start most games.
ECNL will never be fre like the boys academies. The parents don't want it free, they want it "elitist" so there is less competition for the kids. Bad for US Soccer, but good for the current members. The puzzling question is why so many families are flocking to be on the B, C and D teams. Those teams are not high level and I can't imagine the players will get scholarships. Someone mentioned D3 schools in an earlier post - already checked out some of these schools clinics and yes, kids on ecnl teams from around the country are flying to the top northeast academic schools to attend ID clinics. It's pretty much ecnl, odp, and kids on top NPL teams that are being offers roster spots.
You guys, watching our u20's vs Germany? 1st game of the World Cup up in Canada.Germany plays much better possession.GO USA!!!
What a crazy start to the 2nd half Horan is good.still 0-0
4:03 - I think that the point you make about WC and PDA shows how strong that league was. PDA and world class are Elite. If you look at the results PDA lost 1-0 to the 3rd place team (FC Bucks) and won over them 1-0 in the second game. This hardly shows that they were not challenged by the teams in that league. They also did not beat Penn Fusion twice. The reults in the WC, PDA conference demonstrate a competitive conference as both the top 2 teams (PDA and WC) were challenged by the 3rd and 4th place team. PDA did not finish many points above 3rd and 4th. On the other hand, you are correct about the other conference, STARS were not challenged. This is me solely looking at results as I did not witness these games.
4:35 - Thanks for the clarification on the ECNL changes. Do you know if the VA team got ousted for not being competitive?
I do not blame U.S Soccer for the guest player rule. The guest player rule is in place so teams can ensure they have the resources to enter tournaments and so players and teams can get the experience and game time they need. The guest player rule was put in place for this good reason.It is the coaches that should be ashamed of how they use this rule to improve their team and have permanent players sitting on the bench. The rule was put in place to serve a good purpose, many coaches abuse it. Do not blame the organizations for providing us with rules and regulations that allow us to help players and clubs. Too many coaches bend the rules and are more about winning over helping their rostered players develop.
The US was thoroughly outplayed by Germany last night in the U-20 world cup. Hopefully, the US picks it up in the next game against Brazil. It may be time to start to listen to Jurgen Klinsmann because the Germans are doing something right at the youth level.
On the Syracuse Development Academy website (I know this is out in left field, but I'm close by there) they mention they are close to gaining acceptance into the ECNL...In your experience is this something that could happen. At this moment alot of their teams are only so-so quality wise. Thanks....
Yes, I am an ECNL hater, not for the kids that are in it, because it is great for them, but I am a hater because I believe it is bad for US soccer. I have been writing for some time on this blog that narrowing the selection pool early in a closed system will weaken us in the long term. This is essentially the first group of players coming out of the ECNL process. Someopne was on this blog recently speaking of how many US Youth national teams were made up of ECNL players. It's very early and one game doesn't define a team, but anyone who watched that game would have seen a pathetic display of women's soccer and is not a great sign for the future. The team could not string together more than 2-3 passes consecutively,and played a lot of long ball. It seems like the team has made the same decisions you see often even at the high level academy level. The team is stacked with big and fast girls and they played against a technically superior team and crumbled.
1:18 I tend to doubt it for the 2014-2015 season as the schedules for next season are already in place.
@2:16PMExactly the point so many of us make (not try to make). Big, Strong, Fast, may win you games, points and tournaments at the youth level but at the professional level (non-domestic leagues) it gets you no place.I'm glad that so many of the ECNL leagues have the best athletes. How about showing them actually how to play THE GAME vs the 'win any way we can' mentality. Again, ECNL is a money-maker for a few groups. It is NOT what it should be for U.S. Soccer development. Some yesterday had posted that we cannot hold these groups accountable because they are "looking out for themselves"...ok, fair point. Just stop marketing yourself as something else. ESPECIALLY a "development" program.Jungle Ball with pace does not count.DCShore
Rose Lavelle is a bright spot on the u20s. She is strong on the ball, creative and overall high soccer iq. However there was no one except Horan in front of her who could play her game. She was not on the ball enough to make a difference in the game. The backs were hoofing it forward. I cannot believe that there are not more skillful soccer intelligent kids out there from which to choose. The outside backs especially were one dimensional turnover machines. Sad really. I think the coach picked the wrong kids. I can think of 4 or five better that weren't there. Sorry but the 16 year old Mallory Pugh was pretty bad save one decent cross/pass from the endline to the 6 played slightly behind Moran very early in the game then very disappointing. Moran as a professional should never miss an open net header like she did. Though she had some decent moments.
I watched the game also, and agree with the comments. It's sad when you can't make an accurate pass when there's no one pressuring you. I was surprised at the lack of accuracy when passing, and also by the lack of tactics. I believe one of the announcers accurately mentioned that the US was bypassing their midfielders for most of the game.I watched one of the NWSL the other night (Portland vs Houston I think) and it was even worse. When no one was pressuring, Houston could not put two passes together.I saw better skill and tactics on display at the USYS National Championships a few weeks ago at the U14 level.
Want to watch THE GAME? Watch Bayern Munich vs the MLS All StarS tonight.Even when they pull their 1st line players (if they play at all) you will even see their youth players execute properly (though certainly not as sharp or fast).On a somewhat related note, what did everyone think about those recent comments from Thierry Henry praising Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery in front of players like Messi and Ronaldo were appropriate? Basically condemning the focus on flashy goal scorers vs those who play the game properly?DCShore
What????Messi and Ronanldo, the two most recent FIFA golden ball winners, don't play "the game" "properly"? Henry did not say that, its your interpretation of his comments.
Thierry Henry said:"If I had a son right now playing I’d say look at [Franck] Ribery and look at [Thomas] Muller," Henry told media at a Monday press conference. "What Ronaldo does and [Lionel] Messi they are just freaks. It’s true. Don’t try to copy those guys because they’re just freaks and that doesn’t happen often. But you can copy Franck Ribery and you can copy Thomas Muller."Further he said""Nowadays I find it to be annoying sometimes that people don’t give a lot of credit to guys that are unselfish," Henry said about his former teammate on the international level with France. "For me Franck represents that. He’s very unselfish on the field and tries to play for his team. Whenever he can pass the ball even when he can score he’ll try to pass it."----> I don't think this is left to interpretation. They are 'freaks' meaning they get away with not playing "The Game"----->And Henry offers a rebuttal to your "FIFA gold ball winners" argument in saying:"Last year, for me, [Ribery] should’ve won the Golden Ball, basically because he won everything with Bayern and he was dominant," he continued. "He’s a team player and most of the time in our game we reward guys who are individual and that guy is not."DCShore
MLS played a VERY GOOD game. I thought Bayern's played allowed for it (as I expected) but it was nice to see the MLS try and play THE GAME as opposed to kick ball. The MLS definitely represented well overall. I am purposely ignoring the foul controversy and focusing on the actual play Bravo!DCShore
I will also add that I've always like Caleb Porter, admittedly what little I have ever known about him...but he handled his presser like a pro. I especially loved when he said "I'm not out to kill the game". I like this guy for future National team consideration.DCShore
He said that Ronaldo and Messi are at another level that doesn't come along often that hardly translates into they don't play the game. Messi is very unselfish and often leads Barcelona in assists. Henry knew he was going to be playing batten Munich and saying nice things about their players was also a courtesy.
Two things Henry called Ronaldo and Messi FreaksFreaks = Man Child (Once in a lifetime players).Very hard to copy these types of special players - that's why he mentioned players that play the game at the same level of many others but they have I high soccer IQ and great skill to give them the advantage. To the ECNL hater, you don't think ODP is bad for US soccer? Because of this great ID process that was open to all we have lost generations of soccer players because the coaches pushed "the wrong type of players". You can see they still love the same type of players - just watch the U20 team play.I am a fan of the closed league. The ECNL is closed to clubs and Teams trying to enter NOT the players. They want clubs that have the same philosophy in regards to development and other things. How can you not see this? It's OPEN for all high level players if they want to play.The league is 5 years old, give it another 5 years when we can say the next u20 WC - ECNL will have players from their u9 ranks eligible. The ones that stick with the club will benefit greatly as they were able to stick around as top players joined the club. Also as the ECNL grows parents will bring the better kids sooner. We need a league for all the top players to play in. We have that but we have o many posters like you trying to poo poo the league. Blame ODP and their great selectors for the way our NTs play.
Largely agree that the problem with the u20s was selecting for size and or speed over soccer IQ and . Amack the right back was horrific but 5'10" tall need I say more.However, I was shocked to see a bit of a difference in the regional pools currently posted on the region 1 website. Seemed more interested in skills over size with a couple notable head scratcher misses and inclusions. But doesn't that always happen in large tryout situations?
The ECNL is improving every year as the better kids are moving from the USYSA programming to ECNL. Precisely because there is an open system. Happening everywhere that an ECNL club is within 2 hour drive. When speaking about closed versus open systems, the issue is open to Players not clubs. Same model in the rest of the world. Near the top of the pyramid are the professional clubs' youth teams. They play in a league. A player is free to tryout wherever he/she wishes. Now id2 is not open because a player has to be recommended and cant decide to tryout. ODP is open because any player can tryout. That is why many ECNL players still do ODP. Another avenue for identification, albeit expensive.South Jersey and many other clubs will weaken as the best kids move to ECNL. Already happening.
8:40 I am no fan of ODP either, it is more of a money grub than the ECNL and they will openly tell you at the younger ages that they get their selections wrong because they get tons of kids out to tryouts with very few assessors. This drives selection based on things other than size skill (size and strength). It also becomes highly political. I believe there should be some sort coach's recommendation process. I am weary of any process that charges you to tryout, it is also a pay-to-play system where you get the honor of trying out.I am glad you are a fan of a closed system. I think the only people that I can find supporting the idea of a closed system are people on this blog or people attached to the league and US Club Soccer. There have been numerous articles posted on this blog that quote people in youth soccer and professional coaches and numerous other ones out in the public domain that says that closed are bad for soccer development. The main issue I see with the ECNL is if that becomes the top of the funnel, we will be narrowing down the top of the funnel and the talent pool and doing it at age 14 or even earlier. I believe that is really bad for soccer development.One of the reasons Lionel Messi is great because of how he can move around in tight spaces and how he creates small openings to take shots or make passes. I wonder based on selection criteria for ODP or ECNL and the narrowing of the talent pool whether a Lionel Messi could even succeed in our youth system. Based on size alone he probably would have been rejected at the 1 hour and half tryout in place of a bigger faster kid. There are probably a lot of those type of kids missed by our system that emphasizes kick in run at a young age and rewards those kids because of their size and strength.
9:51 Right, so what you are saying is that if a child wants to play at an "Elite level" and compete against an "Elite Team" they must be on an "Elite Team." The definition of an open an closed system which exists everywhere else in the world is that if a team proves their merit, then they can advance and if they don't do well they det pushed down. The world uses this for professional soccer and youth soccer. There is no protective bubble."South Jersey and many other clubs will weaken as the best kids move to ECNL. Already happening." Yes that is exactly the point, if you take NJ we are forcing kids into a funnel and parents and clubs are starting to do this at younger and younger ages. In NJ the funnel is 2 clubs. So as more and more kids move to the "Elite" programs at younger and younger ages where skill hasn't formed yet, the broad soccer pool is being diminished. Time will tell, I do find it funny though that a week ago someone was bragging about all the ECNL players on the National Teams, and today someone blames the National team on ODP. Truly having your cake and eating it too.
Funnel = Pyramideverywhere that is good.You are confusing the adult relegation/promotion with the youth programming. The youth play in leagues based on the clubs reputation for producing top players. Not on the success of the adult professional team. Example: Espanyol in Spain is known to produce top youth players, but they are not the best La Liga team. If they are relegated to League 1 their youth team will remain in the top league. This selection is based on the production of top youth players; largely how the ECNL clubs were chosen.
10:32 I agree - The youth system needs to be closed for Clubs that promote youth soccer across all ages.Keep in mind just because it remains closed it's very open to the players. Why would anyone want pro/rel at the youth level. That's the problem with our youth system to much on results. However, MLS and NWSL should have pro/rel. But that will never happen because these leagues charge a franchise fee and unless they plan on returning millions of dollars or find a way to get money back to the owners, well we just won't see that any time soon.
10:32 I am not confusing anything, there is nothing wrong with a funnel or pyramid (one issue I have is how young we are pushing kids into the funnel), the difference between the world and the US, is that if the teams that play at the top of the Pyramid do not develop players and do not play well, then they will not remain at the top of the Pyramid based on objective measures. (performance on the field). In the US it's based on a divine right as decided by a selection committee. One is based on merit, the other is not.
I reviewed my statements and i will soften my stance on Henry's comments towards Messi and Ronaldo. Unfair for me to try and read into his mind and DO AGREE they may not be as critical as i originall interpreted yhen.DCShore
10:48 when you teams at the top are not developing talent, well i disagree with you and I think you need to look at your comment again.What makes you say they are not developing talent? They can only work with the players that sign up for their program to develop. There is a level for every child and a limit they can advance to.We all know lot's of parents hold their kids back because of the fees and wait to get them in later. So why is this held against the clubs at the top of the pyramid? If all the top players came to these clubs earlier we would be in a better place when it comes to soccer. Because we will have superior athletes that are soccer players and we would dominate the the globe with the player pool we have.But that's not the case - because we have to many hands in, the USSF is to blame for this for letting youth soccer become what it has a MONEY machine.
11:44 Did you actually read my comment? I did not say that US Clubs are not developing talent. I was responding to the previous poster's point that in Spain they have a Pyramid, but the Pyramid is based on merit. And what I said is that if they do not continue to develop players and do not play well at the top of the Pyramid, then the Spanish Club will not remain at the top of the pyramid very long. I made no judgement as to whether we develop kids at the top of the pyramid in the US. My point with the US model is that we are diminishing our player pool very early. It is so easy, for people to say well it is open tryouts and anyone can go to an ECNL tryout, true but there are more than 50 highly skilled players in NJ as an example and the avenues for the group after 50 are getting reduced. Say for example Freehold develops a Nationally Competitive team by U-13 and PDA has a U-13 team that is moving into the ECNl. The answer I'm hearing on this blog is break-up a team that is nationally competitive so the kids can tryout for ECNL where few spots are probably available so that they can play for an ECNL team. Is that really what we want out of soccer. A team that emerges as highly competitive should have avenues and rather than opening up those avenues, we are closing them down. On the other hand if the U-14 team at PDA goes 0-14 and are not competitive they still remain at the elite level with little consequence.
I doubt this article will be read but it is very well researched hits on all the key points discussed on this blog regarding soccer development.http://theshinguardian.com/2011/09/19/a-treatise-the-state-of-american-youth-soccer/It touches on 6 key points- The lack of a soccer culture- No uniform identifiable style of play- Pay-for-play- Focus on winning over player development- The ability for self-actualization: meaning the ability for each player to play at their appropriate level- Too much red tape in a flawed system with this direct quote: "The US Club Soccer model that is starting to take hold in other states incorporates playing league games for promotion and relegation, just like Europe. We would play less games but they would be more meaningful."http://theshinguardian.com/2011/09/19/a-treatise-the-state-of-american-youth-soccer/
What Henry was saying about Messi and ronaldo is that you shouldn't try and copy them because you will never have the ability to do what they do. There foot skills and dribbling can not be replicated regardless of how much you try. They are freaks, unbelievable athletes. They can not be replicated. You should look at Mueller because of his movement, decision making, etc. That can be replicated.
12:36 you have the gift of the gab - great job.
Perhaps the best written article on the power of open systems, and yes open systems do exist in Europe. http://www.pugetsoundpremierleague.com/home/503479.html
Open systems do operate in some parts of Europe but they do not produce the players. An example. In England the better players get recruited to play in the academies of Man Utd, City, Chelsea, etc at a very young age. If you are not in one of these academies by u-16 you have a very slim chance of making ot to the next level. It is open as all players can play at any level they want yet they have a goal of playing for the club academies as that is the best way to reach the goal of playing pro ball. Staying at the top of the pyramid in most European leagues has nothing to do with player development. It is all about money. How many youth team players/aacdemy players do you think are playing for the big teamsin the EPL? Not many because they buy players instead of developing. Clubs do not get penalized for not developing players at all. The smaller clubs get rewarded for developing players as they then sell them on for a hefty transfer fee. The leagues across Europe are so different in terms of finance, style of play, level of play. When people refer to "in Europe" it is difficult to gain a full understanding of what they are referencing or using as an example.
3:17 You are correct, but the governing bodies in Europe have a system to move teams that aren't ab;e to compete. This is certainly true in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. They have an objective system of moving clubs up and down even the mighty clubs and then it comes down to reputation and abitlity to attract and develop players to keep you competitive. What happens in the US would not happen in the US.There is an ECNL Club in Las Vegas that 2 years ago had 2 temas with greater than 100 point goal differentials. The same club this year won 9 games across 5 teams with 6 won by 2 teams and their goal differentials this year were -48, -60, -50, -53, and -82. That is -333 goals over 5 teams.How is that good for the club, the teams they play against, or the ECNL. But that is what you get when you run a closed system. You would never see that happen 2 years in a row in a European Youth League. Absolutely not. And that Las Vegas team takes away opportunities from more worthy teams and clubs. There are northeast examples of this, maybe not as extreme though. And if were the Bayern Academy producing these results then they would not be at the highest levels either. That's what an open system produces, then it's based on merit.
3:56 - The relegation / promotion system couldn't work in the USA. It is too corporate. The MLS has an ownership of the league and clubs. In Europe the clubs operate independently from a financial perspective. Being able to move up and down isn't the main premise of an open system. In general, the amount of money you have dictates whether you can realistically earn promotion to the next level. It is not about leagues or clubs, it is about the player. Any player can try out for any club, it is open. The best players can play on the best team they are capable of joining. People are complaining because things are closed to their club or team. It is not about promoting teams or clubs. We have great teams and clubs in the area and every player is open to tryout for them. Not every team gets accepted into WAGS, Jeff Cup, national league, region 1. They are as CLOSED as the ECNL. $ is a different story but isn't relevant with this argument, both of the competitive teams in my area coast as much as the ECNL team.You are fortunate to have many options for Soccer in region 1 , be grateful your daughter has these options. There are other parts of the country that do not have the resources and opportunities.
3:56 - The ECNL program you are talking about is Las Vegas Pemiere? They lost their DOC who moved with all of the teams shortly before the season started. They had to play out the season with players who were not ready to complete at the ECNL level. The club has been put on probation and given the chance to re-develop. It would have been wrong to punish the entire club by removing the ECNL status because of that one season. Giving LV Premiere a probation period to demonstrate improvement was the correct action.This was not good for competing teams as LV Premiere were obviously not competitve, bit removing them shortyly before the season started would not have been helpful either.
5:46 The Las Vegas Program has had multiple seasons with very weak teams it was not 1 season.
5:29 The promotion relegation system is not just about the MLS, the promotion relegation system exists around the world at the youth level, you can read the articles to see that it is a merit based sytem in the yout program. I'm sure that you didn't even read the link I posted because the Past UEFA President that identifies the open system as a major dirver for the success of the Champions league. He actually made the statement word for word that "we must protect against elitist Closed leagues." But I do value your opinion more than his.No doubt the tryout system is open, but your solution for a highly successful non-ECNL team that is nationally competitive would be to break up and have kids pursue rather than to stay together and try to continue to build something. I have seen a ton of opinions, but have seen anyone post anything from a soccer expert that advocates for a closed sytem.
5:29 - You are correct that not every team gets accepted into WAGS, JeffCup, etc, but the difference is that all teams are eligible to apply. In closed systems like the ECNL teams aren't allowed to apply. It's great if you are close enough to a member club, but there are plenty of talented kids (and teams for that matter) that aren't able to try out for one reason or another.
8:38pm - All clubs are eligible to apply for the ECNL. Whatever club your daughter plays in has the option of applying to the ECNL league. There is a link on the website for the process. Just like the Jeff , WAGS, etc you may not get accepted. You are also missing the big point that ECNL is set up for elite players. Elite players can tryout and play ECNL - it is open to all players. It is not ECNL responsibility to develop and promote teams. (That is the gotsoccer approach - team points team points team points).It is difficult for players who are not close to a member club but you cant have a national league with 20 clubs in each state. ECNL is as OPEN to all players who want to tryout to play in it as any other league.
8:31 - my opinion is not to have the team break up. They just have to make a choice. Do they want to stay together and compete in the available tournaments , showcases and leagues or do they want to individually try out for an ECNL team. What did teams do before ECNL? Or maybe the club can review the standards for the ECNL and apply in an attempt to become a member.Again, the ECNL is closed for teams. It is not closed for players. You are obviously happy with the team your daughter is on and the path that her soccer is taking. If not you would have considered a move. Are people who are against the closed ECNL implying that their daughters team should be able to gain entry to the ECNL(and the ECNL should ditch its club approach to keep you happy)
9:31 - There's a big difference between being open to clubs vs teams. There are numerous clubs that can't field competitive teams at every age group and they will never be allowed entrance to the ECNL. The ECNL has many good qualities, but it has some flaws as well. I'm not proposing they change their rules to allow teams entrance. People just need to realize that there's elite teams and players that don't play in the ECNL. Granted the majority of them are in the ECNL, but not all. Sometimes there's an elitist attitude about member clubs. Even non-ECNL tournaments seem to accept under performing ECNL teams over more deserving non-ECNL teams.
Yes, we understand there are other Elite teams. But, they are getting less and less at this age group, no?? It is unfortunate but many teams have folded, and the remaining teams are ECNL, NPL, or have been absorbed by PDA. Have you not seen the drop off of talented teams, in some of the best non ECNL tournaments, as we have progressed through this age? The ECNL is not for everyone, and not everyone can make it, but beyond U15, the very good non ECNL/ npl teams are very few. It was a different story 4 or 5 years ago, you could play on a state cup winner, or region 1 premier team, and they were elite. There was a drop off at this age, but, I do not think, as dramatically. Love or hate the ECNL it seems to be were the best kids are going. Some did not see it 2 or 3 years ago and did not make the move in time. I am sure there will be another league in another time, but for right now... There's a place for everyone to play, but you are kidding yourself if you think the ECNL is not considered the best league for the top female players. Not all ECNL clubs have the best teams, but when 70 + girls are at tryouts for an ECNL team, obviously others are catching on, and they will start drawing girls at younger ages. When you try out late, you better be an immediate impact player, or you may not break the top 11 or 12., and that's not good either.
Virginia Rush has always been at or near the bottom of the ECNL standings. Most of their teams were at the bottom of the Mid-Atlantic. They were really not competitive in a single age group. I believe they attempted to merge with the other strong club in Hampton Roads (Beach FC) to form a Hampton Roads United (similiar to Richmond United FC which merged the Kickers and Strikers). Beach FC has some teams like 99 that would do OK in ECNL. Rumor was the PWSI was going to take Rush's place but PWSI lost their strong 98 team to NVSC and the 99 team left for Annandale. So ECNL won't bring on a club without a strong team in every age group which would be a challenge for most clubs in NOVA since BYRC and Loudoun have weak 99 teams (Loudoun 99 was Colonial League but they lost some key players over the summer)
The strongest Northern Virginia 99 teams Vienna, Herndon, and Chantilly (which picked up players from Harkes, FC Virginia, Loudoun. Reston United 98/WAGS Champion). Lee Mount Vernon imploded. Loudoun lost key players. Mclean's second team is improved. That age group is very thin to get another NOVA club in ECNL without movement. Virginia Premier League looks weak with FC Virginia and FCV AUFC appearing to be the two strongest teams. CCL is weakend with ABGC Premiere gone and Loudoun's attrition.
I agree, there are strong teams outside of the ECNL. As we move through the age groups teams will merge and competition at the tournaments will start to be less. This always happened in girls soccer at about the u-15 age level.I do understand the flaws of the ECNL, but the positives are many. In the ECNL my daughter gets good coaching, plays at good events/games versus other good teams and players. SHe is protected from playing 3 games a day. During this process she will receive college coach exposure so if she is good enough she should play decent college ball. My advice would be , if you have a daughter who is certain she wants to play college soccer and is a strong player , make the sacrifice of drive time etc and take her to an ECNL program for a tryout . If you are already playing competitive travel the costs for the region 1 ECNL clubs (besides maybe 2) will not be much different. Remember, it is not closed to players. If you email your closest ECNL teams head coaches I am sure they will get back to you willing to give a tryout.
Look at NJ. Freehold won the State Cup after losing 2 or 3 girls to an ECNL club. If it’s truly a great TEAM, then losing 1 or 2 of your top players won’t hurt that much. TR Everton allegedly lost a top player to an ECNL club recently. I don’t think we’ll see a major drop off from them because they have a great TEAM. Point is if your have a great TEAM & Club, when you lose top players to a different program, your team & Club will still be fine. Everyone one wants an elite level league, well here it is. Give it a chance or start letting in teams and clubs like JAGS, EDP and other leagues have done?
8:11 think you may have missed the point of what they were trying to get across in the posts above. and the trying to establish a set of standards across a club and ability to field teams in all age brackets. the team mentality also seems to fall apart to a certain extent at the higher levels and ages and turns more to an individual thing, rightly or wrongly. but yes if you're daughter is on a TEAM and is happy with it and is getting descent training and it suits your needs by all means stay there. the ECNL and the demands there are not for everyone nor should they be. its simple stay or find the best fit for your daughters situation and stay there and see it through and if it no longer fits try on something new and don't take it personal when someone else does the same.
8:11 Isn't that the point of the discussion. If a high quality team stays together they have no chance very little if any chances to compete against the "Elite" teams and ECNL clubs are less and less exposing themselves to competition outside the ECNL. The major tournaments are also the problem because they are often tun by ECNL clubs that shut out those teams from the top tier. So Freehold was able to prove that they can beat a mediocre PDA team but they have no further chances to play against the best PDA team or other top teams in the region.There is no doubt that the ECNL leadership wants to avoid exposure of ECNL clubs outside of ECNL events because it would point out that the bottom half of the ECNL is very good, sometimes not so good, but not at all Elite.
What separates a good team from a "great" team at this age is usually only a few players. The rest are competent role players. Hence if those teams mentioned lost their key players they will not be "great" (arguably they were not anyway- only PDA, NEFC and WC were really great last year) Most "great" teams have a dominant striker and or a great goal creating/scoring attacking midfielder, and a great ball winning excellent quick distributer with both feet defensive midfielder. If the others are competent role players, the team is "great" Lose the core and "great"-> "good". There are many examples of good teams that are missing one or more of these ingredients. ingredient.
NEFC is the poster child for what is wrong with the ECNL. I agree with the last poster but I would also put FC Stars in the mix. The NEFC players are faced with a choice, leave a team that could compete with any ECNL team on any day or stay with their team where they will not face the same competition and get exposure,
This is rather interesting. VYSA must be trying to stem the tide of losing players: link to article. Funny they don't mention all of the advantages of playing for US Club Soccer.
9:34 has hit the nail on the head. Look at ABGC. They have a single dominant player. They have a cadre of strong players. And alot of role players. Look what they are trying to do, play in three leagues (ECNL, National League, and NPL). What are they going to do the weekend when they have 4 games. The team without the dominant player isn't going to be the "elite" team most people recognize when they face ABGC. Provided they aren't facing tough competition, that might work. But what happens when the National League is in Wilson, NC and ABGC has two ECNL games against OP and Carmel in NOVA. Or the WAGS tournament, when there is an ECNL game at CASL in Raleigh and WAGS tournament games (assuming ABGC is top bracket) in NOVA.What are they going to do with the dominant player who drives that team. What about the cadre of 4-5 other players. What does ABGC's second team look like when it is essentially last year's ECNL team plus a few of the low end ABGC players who normally don't see much playing time when the whole team is present.
I agree with 10:11, I would include FC Stars in that list.
After hearing ECNL bashing on here about lack a of quality ECNL teams, it sounds like NEFC is playing just as many elite opponents as FC Stars. I would also GUESS (because I don’t know either team) that FC Stars does not have much room for many NEFC players. They might only take 1 or 2. That should not decimate NEFC if they are as good as they appear. If an NEFC type team is being CARRIED by 1 or 2 players, would it not be in those players best interest to move to a team where they are surrounded by significantly higher level role players?
12:55 Well I think you have hit the nail on the head. NEFC has been the best non-ECNL team in the region. They have won everything put in front of them in Region 1 and NPL. They are undoubtedly better than many ECNL teams. In all of their 2014 they have face 1 or 2 ECNL opponents. They lost in a very competitive game against the Gunners 2-1 at the Jefferson Cup. Not that is just it, NEFC is a top 4 team in the region, but they are not afforded really any ability to play against what is considered the top competition in the country.You provided the same ridiculous answer that others have. You are on a top 4 regional team that would competitive with any one of those teams, and the answer is well those kids should just leave. Why is it in the best interest of players to break up teams. Wouldn't be better for US Soccer which governs the NPL and ECNL to provide a team like NEFC the opportunity compete against ECNL teams (maybe invite a team like them to an ECNL Showcase). They have pretty much beat or dominated every every NPL opponent put in front of them.
Their 2 most dominant field players are leaving to go to Boston Breakers (Scorpions). At least the mother of one of them was saying this at regional camp (by the way they both attended '99 regional ODP camp. MK made the 99 regional team and TK is placed back on the '00 interregional. I think the keeper possibly also going. There goes the "core"...NEFC back to good. Breakers might be great if my premise holds true and there are enough competent role players to support them. Yes I forgot FC Stars- my bad.
If NEFC are truly a great TEAM, then losing 1 or 2 top players won’t change that. They will probably recruit 1 or 2 top players from some other nearby team to replace the 1 or 2 leaving. Maybe a bit of a drop off or perhaps maybe, someone gets a greater opportunity to produce and steps up their game. We talk about development. Should we not give a high level league time to develop, or should we rip it apart after 3 or 4 years because a few things might need some adjustments in some people’s opinions? I would bet over time, ECNL will make some adjustments as they move along.
8:11 Winning a state cup in NJ at u-14 or above does not make you a great team anymore. Look at the competition. I can tell you that freehold are not the best team in NJ and are not a great team. TR are not a great team. They are good teams. They won't even get accepted in the top flight of the major tournaments. Losing your best 3 players is enough to really hurt any team. The scorpions ECNL team will move from a below average ECNL team to a very competitive ECNL team, this can be done with the addition of 3 very good players.
If not an internet blog where else should we discuss these items. The ECNL is great for the kids that are init and has enormous benefits. I personally think it is horrible for the future of US Soccer to narrow player pools early. Time will tell. At least in California and Texas which are other very strong soccer states there are more representative ECNL options. NJ has 9 million people, Texas has about 27, and California 38. texas has 9 ECNL ClubS concentrated around 2 cities, California has 14 ECNL Clubs. Using those numbers, NJ should have 4-6 ECNL Clubs. As good as the ECNL, this narrowing of the player pool in NJ cannot be good long term. And this is not likely to change where the Head of PDA is very well intertwined into the ECNL Power structure and I doubt you will see any time soon.It's simple math, California has about 4X the population but assuming 24 person roster sizes has 7.5X the roster spots. I doubt people would be bashing as much if they didn't see it is detrimental to soccer. Cards non the table, my daughter played for an ECNL club and left because playing was more important than having a roster spot on an ECNL club. Bitter yes, more because my daughter is good enough to be on an ECNL Club, in another circumstance may or may not be a starter, but we have limited the options for players like my daughter and I do not think at 14/15 that that is good.
9:44 Have you ever been over seas? You can read all the articles you want and try to rationalize it any way that you want. I't simple in other country soccer is life. When kids are young they play soccer, they don't play stickball, kick the can, johnny on the pony (for my Brooklyn brothers), softball, hardball, basketball and football when they are young. We switch sports as the season switches. Summer was Baseball, Fall was football. In other countries it's soccer all the time, they don't need to go to training to play soccer they have pick up games all the time. We will never be there, so our training has to be super and I hate saying this but you don't get that training unless you use pure soccer minds Forget Football, Baseball, basketball and any other sport you want to throw in. You need a pure soccer mind to teach the kids to think that same way and to love that sport the same way.That's what I see as the main issue then you sprinkle all this other stuff in.Just my 2 cents - I hope it's an easy read.
PS. This was no knock on multiple sport athletes. We are talking soccer at the highest levels, so you need to be all in or we are where we are in the world when it comes to soccer.
Yes Holland with my collegiate team. Lived with players' families - set up by 2 exchange student athletes who played with us the year before and from whom I got a years worth of international information. We attended and played with and against 4 different clubs in 4 different cities. Was one of the highlights of my life (so far). But whatever...I never said I was a youth soccer expert.
8:11 Freehold lost to the Wildcats in their last EDP game so Freehold is just another town team trying to compete!!
Anyone watching the U-20 game? We can't posses the ball. Great athletes but all the backs do is kick the ball to opponent, and the forwards go 1-on-3. What gives? If this is ecnl soccer, I am not buying it.
Summer Green was the star, Lavelle was also strong, and the PDA girl Racioppi was pretty good/ Aside from that it was another poor showing. I thought Horan looked slow and tired. The also played a very weak team who were not nearly on par with the USA team and yet the USA struggled. Next Tuesday will not be easy as China put in 5 goals against Germany.Women's soccer could be in for a tough run with aging women on the USWNT and a pool of talent below that need a lot of work. Definitely looked like the type of game where there was too much individual and not enough team play.
9:30 PM We can smell your elitism coming right through. I'm not going to judge a team based on how they they are playing in August, but in any event, if you don't think that what Freehold accomplished this year was something great, then you don't know soccer. A team that lost quite a few good players still held it together and won some very big games. I think the point people make about Freehold is that they are a disciplined well trained bunch that success even if they don't have the pool of talent that other clubs have.
There were discussions about pay to play on the recently. The ECNL Commish has recently made points that sponsorship is a very viable option and all clubs may be requested to be free to play. (link at end of post). If this happens what competition will the ECNL have? Playing for free in the ECNL would be a no brainer, but what happens if your daughter cannot get on one of the few local ECNL teams? Free to play will make it even more competitive for a roster spot as you would expect that every top player in the area would want this and would be willing to drive a bit further. I think free to play ECNL would benefit the ECNL and its players/parents but really hurt the other leagues. http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer-articles/ecnl-year-5-brings-more-successes-lessons_aid33298
@930 so freehold lost, both teams could still beat the PDA B team. It is a disgrace that these closed systems are taking away the competitive nature of good soccer. These strong town teams are being desecrated to the pay to play system and truly no one wins.
If we are looking to be truly honest, why not listen to the DOC of PDA south when he preaches of all the college coaches he "personally" knows. I feel so sorry for your girls and the lines they are being fed.
@9:30I laugh at such clearly ignorant comments. EVERY team should be out there trying to complete. Where is the shame in that? Everyone needs competition.I'll give Freehold the credit I have given them in the past. EXCELLENT coaching philosophy. EXCELLENT training. Girls who can play THE GAME as well as anyone. SO WHAT if they lose girls to Academy marketing pitches? SO WHAT if their current girls might be a step slower that the 'top' team?I give the Freehold coach, and many other town coaches ALL of the credit in the world for developing fine young players (of various levels) season in and season out for the LOVE of the game. They are doing more for U.S. Soccer and receive not nearly enough credit. Except by the parents and players who have worked with them. EVEN those who may move on to other programs.DCShore
DC Shore - Your point about freehold and giving credit to the coaches and organization is right on the mark. Programs like Freehold deserve a lot of credit. I was involved with a similar program for a long time but did move on. It is OK to move onto the next level but every credit should be given to the coaches of the travel teams who field good teams year after year. My daughter is involved with the ECNL now but there are many of the girls on her team who speak highly of their previous travel coaches and still keep in touch. My daughters travel coach was all about the players. No one sat, everyone worked hard, and he actually recommended my daughter take the next step and move club. The good travel team coaches are the backbone of youth soccer. I would love to give credit to the coach who worked with my daughter for 8 years but he would kill me if i mentioned his name!
The last 2 posts were excellent. It is a great point that someone did a heck of a job developing these kids that get poached by the bigger clubs.
@915You are EXACTLY the kind of parent every coach dreams of. I can tell just by your outlook on things. My guess is your daughter is a genuine success and probably has a great attitude and healthy appreciation for each and every program she is part of.I can tell you that despite mixed feelings when a player leaves, every solid coach is genuinely proud of seeing any player they have worked with continue with the game, whether they move on to bigger/stronger programs or even move down to the rec level. The biggest fear of any coach is to see a player remove themselves from the game. That means the right things were not happening and on multiple levels.Congrats to your girls and I hope I have had the pleasure to watch her and her team play.DCShore
11:21You must not have read what was posted. His daughter was not "poached" by a bigger club. They left on their own free will to pursue bigger and better opportunities, like everyone else who seeks a more competitive challenging environment.
10:15 Noted, the poster didn't say the kid was poached, however, nice of you to acknowledge that lowly clubs like Freehold actually development very good players that could slot into the next level club. It doesn't change the fact that the big clubs do quite a bit of in season recruiting. I'm happy to provide a few examples if you'd like. Coaches have become quite adept of encouraging other team parents to approach them in season so it does not seem that they have done the approaching first.
10:15 My daughter was not poached. The coach of the ECNL team she plays on didn't even know who she was until tryouts. My daughters club coach told her she was good enough to play at that level and to go to tryouts. You managed to turn a positive discussion into a negative. I don't care about your examples, we are not here to name call and make people look bad. It is fine to bring up issues such as players getting poached but you can keep your "examples" to yourself. Calling out people with an anonymous posting is wrong. If you want to provide these examples fine, but have the decency to identify yourself when you do so people can judge whether the examples are from a credible source.
"Poaching is an action by a team or club to induce or attempt to induce a rostered player of any other team to leave the player's present team and play for the team or club during the current seasonal year. Poaching does not apply to inducing players to play for a team in the following seasonal year."
Is it "poaching" if a parent calls another parent with whom he has/had a relationship at some level and says, hey my kid plays on a great team with a great coach and I think Landon/Mia might fit in great here. Are you interested because I could give the coach a call and set up a training session for you and Landon/Mia to take a look? The kid then goes to a training session, loves the situation and the coach offers the kid a spot. The kid joins the team and has the best experience of his soccer life. Seems to me that that is simply helping a kid and his family find the right fit. Yet the coach will be called a "poacher".
10:47 did you read what I said? (I'm 10;15). How did I turn a positive into a negative? I never said one negative comment about your coach or former club? All I did was correct a comment made regarding your daughter, that eluded that she was poached from her former club. You said she left because it was time to "move onto the next level", and "take the next step" (your words) not mine. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "next level" or "take the next step". If it has nothing to do with what I posted, "opportunities and more challenging environment" feel free to elaborate. Maybe you left to have the exact same experience you were having with your small club but want to pay $thousands more for the privilege of having an ECNL patch on her jersey. Please let me know what I missed. PS my daughter left small town team years ago (U11) and plays for a larger ECNL club. I know why people leave and "poaching" is never the reason. Everyone has the free will to make a choice.
8:34Yeah, that's poaching.An admirable coach would say, "we'll see you next season" or try to work it where the player at least finishes the current year out with their (soon to be) former club.
Curious 1:40 where to the parents / player rate in this equation? Is it all on the coach or does any of this fall on the parents and or player to do the right thing?
Parents should be respectful of the tryout process, but they will do what they think is in the best interest of their kid. Coaches need to have restraint and respect the tryout process.Example 1) A coach asks a parent from his team, do you know so and so from x club and said can you call them and ask them to call me about coming to a practice. The kid goes to 2 practices. The kid then comes to tryouts, everyone thought she would make the team, and low and behold, she makes the team. WRONG!!!! If the coach says, can you let so and so know about tryouts without being contacted first, it's probably OKAY.Example 2) Coach quits a team on his players, parents unhappy contact another coach from a different club. The coach allows several kids to practice mid-season with the team while they are still rostered and playing with their old team. These 2 teams meet in the NJ Cup, the kids are playing the game with their old team while training with their new team. The coach I believe was out of bounds for having kids train with his club while they were still playing with another club, this was not 1 practice but a few months of practice. WRONG!!!!Example 3) A parent calls a coach and inquires about tryouts. The coach says I'll take a look at your daughter at a practice and I'll let you know if I think she should tryout. OKAY!!!A coach should never approach a kid from another team after a game, a coach should always maintain at least an appearance of objectivity, and a coach should respect that he has a current set of players that are members of his team at least until the season ends. There has always been an unspoken ethic that coaches do not actively recruit mid-season from other teams, and those "special" clubs are often the worst offenders.
140 I disagree. I believe that an admirable coach would say its not about "posession" but "progression" as he bids the player good luck with the new team.But since we all know that no club or team or coach is looking out for your kid, I have no problem moving my kid. If the roster was short nd there was no b team to pull from, I wouold offer to keep her as a secondary until the spot was filled. But if it was that short anyway then I would consider the team a sinking ship anyway.
How about when a coach keeps on contacting the player's parents and sees the player one time and decides not to take the child and does not even call back or e-mail to let let the parent know what's going on. WRONG!!!
10:15. Sorry, the response was to 5:56. And no, my daughter didn't leave for the exact same experience. She left to play on a stronger team with better players who play soccer year round. I am also confused about the $'s of dollars more for ECNL that people talk about. My daughters previous travel team was about $1500 per year after all the tournaments etc. I can tell you that the ECNL team is far from $1000's more. If it was $1000's more I would not have been in the position for her to play ECNL.
ECNL is 2800 plus coaching fees, tournament fees, hotel, food, travel expenses, uniform, extra training, futsal leagues, etc. About 10,000 for the year. I just went through this so I'm not making it up!!If your child gets a scholarship you may break even since nobody gets a full ride unless you are super super good!!!
I would welcome the addition of a strong player to the roster at anytime during the year on a region 1 or ECNL level team. Town teams I would similarly welcome if the roster was thin as is often the case as the teams seem to disband during high school years. For her own maximal development, I want my kid playing with and against the best players possible. Those who think that a coach is not honorable for bringing in players should, if introspective enough, realize that most likely they are looking at the situation through a concern for their child's position and playing time on the team. The should be looking at the situation with an eye toward development of their player and the team as a whole. The more competitive the team, the more likely your child will attract a look from the coach she is trying to impress.
9:49 AM There is a code of conduct that teams and coaches should be following, and most leagues have pretty strict rules to protect from the broader disruption of teams. The ECNL for example allows for "Discovery" players to play provided they are not rostered to another club. In my view and I believe it is generally the view held by clubs is that there should be limited cases where kids transfer midseason and a coach should not be the one driving the transfer. A coach should not be actively damaging another team in season. It is different if a kid leaves her current team and the coach hands over the card. A kid is tied to a club from August 1-July 31 and it is the current coach's discretion to hand over a card to allow the kid to play at another club. Leagues have protective mechanism because it would be highly disruptive to have kids jumping from club to club midseason. The ECNL is very strict with this that if a kid is registered with a club for a year and can only change clubs if both coaches from the teams agree or if the ECNL commissioner has reviewed the case. If true, I find what the coach did in the example above to be distasteful at best and unethical at worst. Have a kid come to a practice once and let them know if they can compete and show up to tryouts great, have them train with your club over a season while they are carded and playing for another team and when you are competing against that club is wrong. Coaches dialoguing with parents, making "unofficial" offers to players before the tryout process begins these things are wrong. Coaches talking to kids after games to recruit them as has been rumored with at least one PA club is wrong. Coaches should never be doing in season recruiting. If you want a kid to play or train with your club to seek a higher level opportunity, then the player should talk to their current coach, tell them they are thinking about leaving, ensure that the coach will hand over the card and go and pursue other opportunities.
@9:49I agree with your post but I also want to point out that you fail to address that your whole concept of "playing better competition" is being limited to a smaller pool of teams and clubs.Many, though certainly not all or most, town teams should be allowed to compete in higher leagues. Many town teams have proven that once speed of play is adjusted (developed) they can compete with many of the stronger programs.NO KIDDING a team may be 'elite' because they have grabbled all of the strong existing athletes, but we are doing a disservice to soccer development as a whole insulating these players and teams.So again, agree with your post but also recognize its limited usefulness for soccer as a whole.DCShore
Discovery players by definition are rostered to another club. What I think you mean to say is that a player can't play for more than one ecnl club/year without going through a transfer process. Of course the ECNL will protect its own model but encourage movement from other leagues to itself.That said I do believe the ECNL is really beginning to collect most (clearly not all) of the best players resulting in a much more evenly competitive league. I am not saying its good or bad for soccer because in general I believe that kids should play with and against the best players possible. A model which consolidates talent in a pyramid does that best. The ECNL isn't quite there yet, but has made big strides in that direction this year with soccer plus / FSA, Scorpions/breakers/ NEFC, and the Virginia consolidations. If strikers really does move to Continental as has been postulated in the past, usysa will be dead for the highest level players (if it isn't already)
If your ECNL team is charging you 2800, Plus all off those extras, you better ask for an accounting. Who would pay that much and not request to see a budget? Stop lumping all ECNL clubs in with whomever your club is. Our fee is 2700. per year. We get an annualized budget on a spreadsheet including every fee associated for the year, divided by the number of players. Yes, I know because we just received it, and we only roster 18. Our budget actually lists:Training fees ECNL League feeECNL events and showcases2 additional non ECNL possible eventsField rentalsIndoor rentalsRef feesCoaches travel expenses. ECNL playoffs should we make it. We know exactly how much our coaches cost per player. Refunds are actually given if our administrator over budgeted, and there are monies left at the end of the playing year. The only extras we pay for are for uniforms, just like every other club, and our travel expenses. We will do 2 ECNL events this year, only 1 requires a flight. We also budgeted for 2 non ECNL tournaments, which will not require flights. If you are paying 2800. per year and everything else is extra, something smells. Happy to be part of a professionally run organization, that sends these budgets to each and every team for a full accounting of expenses. Every club should document costs and send a budget. That is how any business is run, why should soccer clubs be any different ?
9:38 - The ECNL is not an expensive league. People lump the ECNL clubs and costs together. Your club is expensive if that is the cost. Many ECNL teams will be less than $2500 including all training fees, coaching fees etc. I can't believe they are realistic costs. Did you review the copy of the team budget?
12:23 Discovery Players cannot be from another US Club unless they are first released from their existing club.http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/resource_center/451485.htmlEither way that should take away from coaches avoiding in season recruiting.
12:48 Your post is a very relative one. For a family earning $65K a year with an exceptionally talented soccer player, $2500, or even $1500 is very expensive. Even if the club offers a scholarship, the travel fees, uniforms, mandatory fundraising, gas the costs are still prohibitive. That is why soccer at the high levels is becoming more of a sport of the well off. But I think the people in the ECNL like it that way because it leaves little Suzie safe.
$65K a year - you better bag cable and Dairy Queen on friday night as well...
1:53 - I agree with you.The cost of soccer is high. The point I am making is that people are blaming the ECNL for high costs. Any strong travel team that competes in 8 decent tournaments a year will have a budget of at least $1500 per year.
Well, when you frame the argument in such away of course you come close to being right. I do not gave the energy to dissect your crazy statenent right now. Obly the energy to say that the high cost of soccer exists because of parents willingness to part with their hard earned money for a product they personally know very little about. Some rec tezms ARE coming close to Acadeny rates as they chase Got Soccer points and water cooler fodder. Soccer IS too expensive, on every level, and it does not have to be. If parents wake up, and come to their senses they will stop paying and you will see costs come down.DCShore
Soccer is not expensive, travel is.
Soccer is not expensive, a ball costs about $20.
If the ECNL were free would all the best players within 2 hour commute play in the league
@4:21 - Not necessarily. There are other factors in addition to the financial one. What about the coach? Are they geared toward developing the players, or just winning? What style do they play? What is the team situation like? Do the girls get along off the field and do they play as a unit on the field? I would rate the cost near the bottom of the list.
Cost has little to do with it, PDA could charge $3,500 and there be people breaking down the door to get in because ECNL clubs are guaranteed exposure at big events that smaller clubs can't offer to people. That is just a fact of life and I don't think people are doing their diligence on the other stuff because National exposure on one of the best teams in the country is sufficient. People have jumped to other ECNL clubs driving 1.5 hrs with little diligence as well. The only thing a free ECNL team would do is ensure that all of the protected kids that made the team because they made the team because they were part of the 28 best kids who come from families with the financial resources. That would change in a hurry if it were free.
So if say Penn Fusion was free the best kids wouldn't leave continental or bucks? Would they leave strikers?Lots of comments about the cost eliminating kids from participation, are they now coming out in droves if PDA or matchfit is free?Which is it: ECNL is too expensive and locking kids out who are plenty good enough to make the team, or we don't care about the cost its the training and exposure we are looking for no matter what the cost?
There is no contradiction, we are locking a lot of people out, the travel cost also locks a lot of people out. However, it doesn't doesn't matter because there is a large people in NY, PA, and NJ with the resources that are willing to pay to get their kids in the ECNL at the top, 2nd, 3rd level of players that they financially they have no reason to open it up at all. They could add a thousand dollars to their costs and there are enough parents who believe"if only my daughter were at the ECNL level, she'd be a star" that would pay.Personally, I think it's a shame because the talent pool is narrowed because of costs, but for the clubs, these are the golden ages.
5:46 I'm not sure what you are confused about, there are people that will pay anything if their kid could play at PDA because they see their little star as the next Mia and then there are people who simply lose interest in high level club soccer because they can't afford it.
ECNL has everyone foaming at the mouth. I can feel the angst as all those poor souls that aren't making a cool $250G's a year feel like their daughters are being left behind. It's as if the ECNL is discriminating against all those unseen D1 full rides playing for local clubs that just can't be seen unless they are on a ECNL team. If your daughter has talent and a love for the sport she will find her way to success, ECNL or not. Keep up the rants though they are funny.
There will always be a market for teams for strong players that do not require the crazy time and money commitment of plane travel, rental cars, etc.. Most families are not doing even if they have a superstar. Some will, but most superstars will have to play closer to home.
10:38 You are naive at best if you think the ECNL is not becoming elitist.
...and it's not just ECNL it's almost all of club soccer.
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