Thursday, April 30, 2015

Academy Soccer

Reader Request:

This page will be designated for questions, comments and sharing information related to youth soccer academies.

All age groups and boy / girls will be included here.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is going on with PDA U15/16 academy team?

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

PDA u-16 has talented players though Philly Union took two of the team's better 99 defenders and they have coaches who have won multiple national championships so it's mostly a matter of getting the chemistry right and putting out a team that share the ball and play for each other rather that trying to force kids onto the national team.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to NJCSA u16 team who beat Philly Union 1-0. NJCSA has plenty of potential this season.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a few local academies have hired teenage marketing trolls to post on blogs rah rah rah.

Anonymous said...

The debut season of the NYCFC u14 team is doing great so far.

Sepp Blabber said...

Ah jaaaaa, dis iz very interesting blog about youth football in America. In Europe we have many of the same problems... sehr interesant! I will read this with great interest while I am awaiting news about my destiny from FIFA.

Anonymous said...

Don't quit your day job.

Anonymous said...

A good read for all those that are so caught up in Academy records

http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2015/09/how-teams-stack-up-wins-and-ignore-their-academies/

Anonymous said...

Wow people here are talking how bad njcsa is. They should take a look at PDA. What a disaster especially the u16 boys. Haven't seen a team that bad in a while. Club seems as if can't pull in the strong players anymore. And my opinion is that they should stop putting the same 5 kids on a pedestal and focus more on the players they lost because of favoritism and poor decisions. Definitely need to replace the board members. Need new ideas and fresh starts.

Anonymous said...

Its a family business at this point. Nothing will change until the family moves on...

Anonymous said...

PDA 18 - their top age team has outperformed all the MLS Academies at playoff time....2 years removed from a National Champion and advanced to California last year. A hiccup last week in an ultra competitive division.

Anonymous said...

Local MLS Academies that is

Anonymous said...

When PDA u16's become u18's will they suddenly improve?

Anonymous said...

Not sure - look in your crystal ball. NJSA never qualifies for the playoffs at any level correct

Anonymous said...

PDA no longer has the St. Benedict Prep residency association which helped with their success at the 18s. They'll still be good but the MLS Academies are quickly changing the competitive landscape throughout the age groups.

Anonymous said...

Wrong - NJSA made the Academy playoffs the year before last. And the U16s should make it again unless the team implodes, which it might. Word is that coach has his favorites (or maybe one specific favorite) and it's causing a lot of dissension. Will be interesting to watch this soap opera. Those guys that run that Academy can't get out of their own way. They finally have a decent team and the coach is going to blow it.

Anonymous said...

How can a coach having one favorite cause a team to implode? Plenty of room for the other kids to get adequate time.

Anonymous said...

One favorite player that talks too much crap, talks down at other players on his team, and spews negativity can cause a team to implode if the coach allows it.

Anonymous said...

It only takes one parent who is a self appointed expert who has the coaches ear and will create such a negative environment. The demanding parents feed off each other trying to build up their own children while tearing others down. I saw it happen to my child so it can happen to anybody.

Anonymous said...

If it's the same kid, he yells at all of his teammates while the coach lets him do what he wants. Against us he had the dirtiest cleats up tackle I have seen in Academy play and we heard the soccer federation disciplined him for it. But then I see him at market training this week and there are much better players on that team. So he yells and screams on the field and embarrasses the club by being disciplined but the coach rewards him with market training? Yes I think that team will implode. Maybe tab better take a look at what's really going on there.

Anonymous said...

The coach maybe is being told by management that this boy can do whatever he wants. Maybe his father is a big shot who is throwing his weight around. This type of thing shouldn't happen. It's why academies in Europe have child welfare officers.

Anonymous said...

If the coach or management won't straighten this kid out, is there another way to go about this? Can USSDA step in and do something?

Anonymous said...

As we all know next year the USSDA teams will start academy programs down to the U12 age group. Does anyone know how the local programs will handle this initiative? Will all NJ academies field U12 sides? Thanks....

Anonymous said...

What do Academy teams typically do during winter break? Indoor practices? Futsal? Fitness training?

Anonymous said...

they fake all of the above.

Anonymous said...

So true!

Anonymous said...

When Academy players move on to college, is there any more player development? It seems like winning games is the only purpose to college programs. How is this helping US Soccer? Every college team has 8 or more international players on the roster. How is this helping US Soccer? I think academies need to add higher age groups for serious players who aren't interested in academics. College soccer isn't preparing players for professional play.

Anonymous said...

USL and NASL
Pay attention and do some homework...

Anonymous said...

Pay attention? To what?

Anonymous said...

USL and NASL are leagues where the goal is to win. The USSDA's goal is player development. When a player reaches 18, there are important development years left.

Anonymous said...

so you are looking for a program where 18-22 year olds can dribble around orange cones all day?

Anonymous said...

Since players master that skill by 12, I hope there's more to player development than that. The rest of the world seems top do a lot better at producing world class players.

Anonymous said...

and they do it buy having plenty of leagues with plenty of divisions.
the academy system with semi-pro USL and NASL and then the MLS is supposed to be replicating those models.
whether it is working or not, up to management. also, it will take many years to catch up.

Anonymous said...

We're a country of soccer morons. -those in charge all the way through to USSDA coaches. Coaches being paid to play make believe. This system isn't going to allow change, it might have to start understanding and developing actual talent rather than doing favors for friends and babbling nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Some great thoughts from the article referenced above, although focused on MLS it has some very good points for we parents who are maybe looking at college, rather than professional play as the 'next level' for our sons.

http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/2015/09/how-teams-stack-up-wins-and-ignore-their-academies/
October 18, 2015 at 11:55 AM

"How many games a U16 team wins only matters insofar as its players use that experience to better themselves at later age groups. Eventually, you hope, that ends with them on the senior team. But don’t make the mistake of becoming unbalanced and unhinged. If the scoreline is an indicator of the team’s quality – and you can tie the two together – then acknowledge as much. A team can impress tactically in a 1-0 win and be extremely disappointing in a 3-0 win. Use your discerning faculties. Take everything into account so you can discard what doesn’t matter."

the usual comments in this blog about win/loss records, preferential treatment and criticism of individual coaches and players only confirm that American soccer still has a long way to go. Did a player "use that experience to better themselves at later age groups. Eventually, you hope, that ends with them on the senior team.?" -or college for others -

Individual work on foot skills, speed and agility, stamina and objective,honest review of performances (at practices and games) should be what we parents emphasize. A hard work ethic and determination to succeed DESPITE apparent unfairness used to be an American trait - wish there was more of that shown on this board.

Anonymous said...

We are not parents that complained petty things like demanding play time or get into any soccer politics because the norm, is it's really everywhere, the only thing that bother us parents, is when coache's son, assistant coach son including manager's son has to play all game and just gave other kids 10 min or not play at all ,this surely bring up morale of every kid 8n the team, developmental soccer academy is called developmental but because it crushes kids it does not develop them., My son was not given any boost in self esteem,that he didn't have to play at all,oh yes I forgot he was given 10 min because we were there in his support paying thousands of dollars to watch him sit down, one word of advise this particular academy thinks their practice can produce good soccer players to play internationally well they are wrong , that's why we can't be ready to compete to Europe and Latin country because coaches with their mediocre in talent sons as priority has to end,but who monitors them? coaches with sons in the team and yet they can't spot talent, because they're focused on their sons that they think they see .Coaches from schools and universities, commented the ones playing got committed already in college the ones on the benches are not but can't show because of this particular soccer academy mismanagement and delusion that their sons will become Messi or Ronaldo who don't have exceptional skills at all, may God punish these ugly people.

Anonymous said...

It's so impartial to have whole entourage of coaches, asst. coaches, directors, managers whose sons are almost half of the team, don't you think so??? Might as well call it a club not a sport team, should known better!!!

Anonymous said...

If your'e a coach , your son is in his team, he's for your eyes most only!!!

Anonymous said...

Of course , I am a coach I see my son as Messi or ronaldo,it can be delusional but I like the feeling.

Anonymous said...

Who cares who has skills or not as long as our defense are good, my boy in forward and my friend son is a midfield , we can goal , we care only of winning not talent that's different from ordinary, but we see if can win with friendly game against Brazil , turkey or france, can USA do that, seriously in near future please???

Anonymous said...

You can say it's the American way to keep trying and never give up but if you.re a 12 yr old boy and the coach refuses to play you because he has his favorites, what do you think is going to happen? This boy put so much into this sport, wanted a chance so badly. but was kept down so he would not be a threat to other players who were deemed more important due to sleazy deals made with the owners. Shame on all those involved. System motivated by greed and favoritism, not talent development.

Anonymous said...

Dear ussf academy Directors, this concern of ours parents is yours to answer, can you be kind enough to tell us, why in a particular academy of a team allow the coaches sons ,asst coaches sons,directors sons managers sons ,parents of those heads has to monopolize the whole entire showcase and every game there is, what's the chance of good players to show themselves if they are not being showcased at all, is it all about winning? I guarantee you theses sons of these greedy famed hungry delusional parents coaches, you put their kids in another team they can't function , nothing is special in their talents , nothing , no skills no exceprional technique whatsoever .... coaches from other colleges and universities commented that,just sharing with you....

Anonymous said...

Is this so called academy located in Somerset, because there are quite a few academies that play by this rule. In New Jersey their are 3 in particular!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but talking to other parents, this kind of throw children under the bus behavior is common at all area academies. If for any reason they decide to start ignoring a child, they feel that's acceptable.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that there are much better players on those squads and they get ignored when it comes to being selected to any of the US scouting events.

Anonymous said...

Dear ussf academy Directors, this concern of ours parents is yours to answer, can you be kind enough to tell us, why in a particular academy of a team allow the coaches sons ,asst coaches sons,directors sons managers sons ,parents of those heads has to monopolize the whole entire showcase and every game there is, what's the chance of good players to show themselves if they are not being showcased at all, is it all about winning? I guarantee you theses sons of these greedy famed hungry delusional parents coaches, you put their kids in another team they can't function , nothing is special in their talents , nothing , no skills no exceptional technique whatsoever .... coaches from other colleges and universities commented that, just sharing with you.... how you care.

Anonymous said...

Us coaches should be good trainers , both, not only one or the other. Some coaches don't know how to train you can't be a good coach if you don't know how to train.,that means you font know your job, can't spot good talent, shame on them ,,,,, lazy.

Anonymous said...

My dear parents welcome to our support group ,if there's one, hope there is but we don't need support group only to comment but a group to be heard in which none from the president of USSF academy does care at all, we need action ,U.S coaches need to be trained,to look for talented players not their sons are only preference, train everyone the same, we need American players to be competetive like Europeans and latinos,our us coaches need to be crosstrained abroad, so we have world class players. why US National team got German coach because most not all US coaches are not trained to coach, most of their priority are their sons and sons friends ,you know next door neighbor players, nada talent. IF Parents spend SO MUCH MONEY IN PAYiNG COACHES, TRAVEL , HOTEL EZ PASS TOLLS, CAR RENTALS , uniform fees, and subject our sons to bias treatment and favoritism, these coaches or so called trainers need to spend same amount of expenses to be trained by someone with expertise abroad,so they know how to coach kids and respect kids morally especially those kids that they bench who are also talented and never have a chance because they are not sons of coaches. ,

Anonymous said...

It's about time we hear more of this on this board. But who else is to hear any of it. The system is so broken. The wasted talent, effort and dreams of players. The wasted money, effort and time of parents. There are plenty of players in this country with the ability, desire, drive and work ethic to become professional players but are completely crippled by the system that is supposed to be developing them. Nothing's going to change so long as incompetence, laziness and nepotism are the key ingredients at all levels.

Anonymous said...


US COACHES NEED TO BE CROSS TRAINED IN EUROPE AND LATIN COUNTRIES , AND INVEST THEIR MONEY IN THESE FIELD AS A CAREER,just like parents invest their money to their kids to get good college and possibly as future professionals to represent America, because right now US is behind , let coaches Learn soccer first before they coach ,while Europeans and latino coaches are training success, most not all of our coaches are still swinging in the trees.

Anonymous said...

USSDA is adding u12 academy teams. How is this different from u12 pre-academy teams? Seems like the same teams, just different label.

Anonymous said...

Red Bulls already have 2 u12 teams. Maybe they'll start a u11 team.

Anonymous said...

you only have to look at how bradley and now klinsman push their own sons ahead to see how the system plays out below.
then you only have to look at klinsman's #2 and how he runs his local NJ academy to know the rest.

Anonymous said...

3:37

That doesn't just happens here, it is in every country. Your dad has to be somebody or you need to know somebody if you want to get ahead in soccer. Look at all the good players you see playing everyday and they get no where.

Anonymous said...

Other countries have academies which are real development academies. Every player on the team is treated with respect and given every opportunity to develop fully. Every player is encouraged and given equal playing time in games. There are child welfare officers to make sure all children are treated right. The US system fails in comparison.

Anonymous said...

3:48 PM
Things are not as you portray overseas. I will say that the training is better overseas and that is because they train 5 days a week and everything evolves around the kids playing soccer. The training is also more intense, 2 or 3 out of the 5 days you don't even touch a soccer ball, it is all strength and stamina training. The last days of the week is its tactical training and preparation for the upcoming weekend opponent.

But as per equal playing time, that is not true. For starters when a team trains, it is always the starters vs the bench. Number 2, there are only 5 substitutions and you are rostering 18 on a team that may have over 30 players. Also there is no 25% start rule. As I mentioned above, there is a starting team, so for most of the games the starters will play most minutes. Just like here, there are also coaches' favorites and those guys get special treatment.

Anonymous said...

That's not what
youth academy coaches in Europe say. We're talking about real youth academies, not club teams. If a child is in Barcelona youth academy, playing time is part of his development. Wins are not viewed as the most important thing at the youth level, These players are being developed for the future. Children are chosen to be in academies for a reason. True development takes time. The US just wants immediate wins.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Europe, but that is how it is in South America.

Anonymous said...

The US will never have a national team that team that can challenge the best European teams until they change their youth development system.

Anonymous said...

We have youth players now that can compete with European or Latin or African teams but the wrong people are selecting the pool of players to develop. And to take it a step further the wrong players are being selected to represent the US in these friendlies and international tournaments. That was evident when the US 2000's played in Florida earlier this month. Any of the academy teams there for the showcase would have put on a better performance than the same cast of players they continue to suit up. And enough with the favors and nepotism to be selected to go to these camps. We could give the world a challenge with our youth coming up, who have been trained in the European model that is being taught in the MLS academies, we just need to weed out the favors and star players at u12 that aren't cutting the mustard at u15-u18. How many Union kids or PDA players do I need to point out to make my case? How about the players that go to IMG and play against no one all year but are in the national team coaches faces and get the cap. Didn't work out very well in Florida. I'm not sure our training system is broken rather our selection of these players is broken. I'll say it again. Take any of the MLS academy teams ranked in the top 5-10 in the nation and they would have made US Soccer proud at the Nike International instead of the sorry excuse of a team they fielded as the best of youth soccer.

Anonymous said...

Finally it is said.

Anonymous said...

So until you change the coaches nothing is going to happen. They are the ones selecting these players. If you look at the regional/US training center players pool, 60% of the players are coming from MLS academies. We have 80/100 academies in the league and you mean to tell me that most of these players have to come from MLS Academies. That is not right!!!

Anonymous said...

C'mon. Face it.
The MLS academies have the best players and will continue to get even more in the future.
Unfortunately, they follow the favorites philosophy as well.

Anonymous said...

It's more than 60% from MLS. It should be more like 90% since they get the best players. Let's face it, there is absolutely no reason why a player that could make an MLS academy team selects NOT to join them unless they have a back door deal with the DOC of the club.

Anonymous said...

So what you guys are saying that the only good players are in the MLS Academies. Come on!!! You are all drinking the Kool aid just like the national team coaches!!!

Anonymous said...

Again, just more nonsense that assumes that these coaches and scouts know what they're doing and know how to see talent. I think at this point we've all heard plenty of these scouts, coaches, etc talk soccer and player development. Let's face it, MLS is more like 90% same old crap from the US, good ol' American size and athleticism with a pinch of what so many true players have who are left OFF the MLS Academies... what the US calls the athletic specimen, what these coaches and scouts put above everything else because they don't understand soccer in the first place. Neither do 90% of the parents. We may as well just go back to the ODP system in the US, nothing has changed, in fact, it may be getting worse with this monster called the Academy. It's taken all the bad coaching and amplified it into thinking it's even more important and intelligent, the egos are even larger than they were before. These guys see a 6' 3" 200 lb monster and drool over him for their MF to create chaos, they fantasize about the entire team being that player, the perfect team. Occasionally they talk about how much better Barcelona would be if only their skilled players had size. Because eventually, if we keep going the way we are in the US, we'll crack that nut... who needs skill and speed when you have the athletes. They don't understand the sport they're teaching to yet another generation of soccer players. Meanwhile real soccer talent slips away. Anyone who assumes MLS Academies magically select those they truly should simply doesn't understand why we've still got it all wrong as a country, doesn't understand the game and why the US still can't play it.

Anonymous said...

I was really surprised when Red Bulls took a player at u14 who had very little skill and experience but was a big, physical player who could easily run onto the ball and score goals. I thought red bulls was interested in taking the player who has demonstrated skill and motivation and want to develop that player. By choosing the big, physical player, it shows that they're main interest is winning at the youth level. That's why serious, young players want to go to Europe for training and development. Disappointing!

Anonymous said...

When we have played MLS academy teams, I've noticed a few things. They have always been organized. Tactically they have been better then us. Shorter connecting passes with great player movement off the ball. They don't park the bus but rather they spread the field and have great ball movement, not sending the ball like other non-MLS teams I watch (including our team.) I've found the players to be incredibly technical. There first touch is always impressive and their footwork is nice to watch. Typically, MLS academy players touch the ball no more than 2 times before passing. Unlike other teams we play, including ours, that have several players that try to dribble thru the field. I don't see that much when we play MLS academies. Yes the players are big, strong and fast. But they have smaller players as well so I don't get it when people they only take size because they have all sizes from what I've seen. In my opinion, the best players are on MLS academy teams. I haven't seen a non-academy player that would start over any of the MLS academy players. Obviously, they must be doing something right in how they pick players. They do make mistakes in selecting players and they get cut or they find a player or 2 they might have missed but those players are usually non-impact players. Look at the freshmen and sophomores at the top 5 college soccer programs and even they agree and only select MLS academy players.

Anonymous said...

I remember going the Dana and Gothia Cup back in 1987 and watching the FC Barcelona youth team play at the 16 year-old age bracket. Unbelievable soccer. They had a player, Antonio Pinilla, who you thought would be a future Barcelona great. Goals galore and the press followed him everywhere at 16.

Needless to say he never made it with the Barcelona first team. No way to know how good a player will eventually be. Picking a player at the youth level is not an exact science. As a country we may be not as good as some, but I would imagine we are also better than some.

Anonymous said...

Looks like DA finally coming to girls side.....

http://www.soccerwire.com/news/clubs/sources-u-s-soccer-set-to-launch-girls-development-academy-in-2017-relegating-ecnl-to-second-tier/

Anonymous said...

Would there be any incentive for MLS academies to have a girls side? I don't think they would invest the money in player development because there aren't any MLS teams for women. I don't know much about the girls side but isn't ECNL academy level soccer for girls?

Anonymous said...

1:31
Yes, ECNL is the academy level soccer for girls, but it is not run by US Soccer, so US Soccer has no CONTROL of it. So this is one of the reasons US Soccer wants to start an Academy for the girls.

David Mosser said...

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Anonymous said...

Topdrawer soccer updated their boys u15 rankings. Philadelphia Union isn't even in the top 25. It does not reflect well on their ability to field a competitive team for next years u16 age group. As an academy you would think they would get top talent and be competitive on a national level. I was surprised to not see them ranked higher.

Anonymous said...

How does someone get selected for the IMG Academy 150 player pool. Do you attend IMG or do you get scouted while playing club?

Any explanation on this would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

It's political! National pool players are selected and we know they can't get those players right but no argument that they should be in the top 150. Then after that its who you know. Each age has errors in the selection. It's supposed to be that players are selected from coaches other than yours.

Anonymous said...

wow...that is discouraging.