First long distance youth tournament

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They just set up shop in CT, bought out a struggling club named Shoreline FC.
It's an interesting club. They are dogmatic/systematic about their training regimen. The coaches have tutorials every once in awhile (2 months) from academy people from Munich. If parents are insistent on their kids learning soccer strategy, set pieces, etc., at a young age (10-12), they may get frustrated. Training emphasizes lots of small games of passing and making runs into open spaces. 95% just that. Always a pleasure to watch frustrated parents who didn't sign up for Euro soccer methods. Fun times.
 
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It's an interesting club. They are dogmatic/systematic about their training regimen. The coaches have tutorials every once in awhile (2 months) from academy people from Munich. If parents are insistent on their kids learning soccer strategy, set pieces, etc., at a young age (10-12), they may get frustrated. Training emphasizes lots of small games of passing and making runs into open spaces. 95% just that. Always a pleasure to watch frustrated parents who didn't sign up for Euro soccer methods. Fun times.

Upstater, I think your fees / training sound fair. Fall seems light on competition though. Ours are less (about $1,100 with the uniform kit which thankfully we got two years out of), but we have parent coaches for games (your team's trainer comes to 50% of the games and then you can pay him/her for more), only one tournament (two day fall) included, winter training is extra (cost us $180 this winter for once a week futsal training), and a smaller kit (home/away jersey, one pair shorts, one pair socks). Our fall / spring league gives us 9 or 10 games depending on size of flight and we also joined the leagues cup which we got knocked out of after two games unfortunately (gave up winning goal with 30 seconds left!).

Re the training you mention, that sounds pretty universal nowadays. I personally like a little bit of guidance on set pieces and strategy. Just to put the kids in a position to succeed. I remember the chaos when my U9 girls had an indirect kick near the goal. Our club switched to one training company and a club-wide philosophy to play from the back and to use the sides. It's a bit tough on the small side, especially with some of the less skilled teams, but all of the trainers and MOST of the coaches have bought in. We have a couple coaches that still want to play kick and run, and have their goalies punt up field (both okay in limited and right circumstances). We also have a couple joystick coaches (including my son's coach) left, but I think they may be removed after this year.

It looks to me like the academies are going to continue to consolidate. It reminds me a bit of tech companies. Someone (from an academy) breaks off and starts their own. If they get successful enough, they sell back to one of the academies. Rinse and repeat. The strongest girls program in our local area (and their mid-level boys program) just sold. The trainer for two of the elite girls teams broke off and started his own thing starting next fall.
 
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Upstater, I think your fees / training sound fair. Fall seems light on competition though. Ours are less (about $1,100 with the uniform kit which thankfully we got two years out of), but we have parent coaches for games (your team's trainer comes to 50% of the games and then you can pay him/her for more), only one tournament (two day fall) included, winter training is extra (cost us $180 this winter for once a week futsal training), and a smaller kit (home/away jersey, one pair shorts, one pair socks). Our fall / spring league gives us 9 or 10 games depending on size of flight and we also joined the leagues cup which we got knocked out of after two games unfortunately (gave up winning goal with 30 seconds left!).
The fall is kind of light, but my kid and many of the others on the team play middle school ball.

They have a 10 game school schedule.
 
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My son's team is in 3rd place in their 11 team A flight (out of 12 flights) and are most likely moving to EDP in the fall. I'm a bit torn. From what I'm told, the A flight competition in our league is very similar to second level EDP, but with less travel. The club is talking about taking my daughters team to EDP by the next fall. Here is a blog post about all the leagues and travel. I do think that at the non-elite level, a lot of travel is for ego. Alphabet soup of leagues only increasing youth soccer's travel problem
 

John

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My son's team is in 3rd place in their 11 team A flight (out of 12 flights) and are most likely moving to EDP in the fall. I'm a bit torn. From what I'm told, the A flight competition in our league is very similar to second level EDP, but with less travel. The club is talking about taking my daughters team to EDP by the next fall. Here is a blog post about all the leagues and travel. I do think that at the non-elite level, a lot of travel is for ego. Alphabet soup of leagues only increasing youth soccer's travel problem
the traveling will get old fast. My kid's (boy) club keeps it within CT except for occasional out of state tournaments, but a friend's daughter is on an EDP team and they are constantly traveling down to NY/NJ every single weekend. The parents are sick of it.

edit: great article, thank you for posting it
 
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My son's team is in 3rd place in their 11 team A flight (out of 12 flights) and are most likely moving to EDP in the fall. I'm a bit torn. From what I'm told, the A flight competition in our league is very similar to second level EDP, but with less travel. The club is talking about taking my daughters team to EDP by the next fall. Here is a blog post about all the leagues and travel. I do think that at the non-elite level, a lot of travel is for ego. Alphabet soup of leagues only increasing youth soccer's travel problem
Almost every local/regional league has top teams and bad teams. Unless you are at the very top, I don't see the point of EDP. And, the teams in the regional leagues who compete in the state cups then move onto nationals anyway if they win, so there is plenty of time to travel long distances and compete if your team is good enough.
 
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Have a grand time....

View these travels as a family vacation (they sure will add up in money spent over the years)....the memories will be there forever.

Did much the same when my boy was playing higher level soccer. No regrets as a family...we still talk about the camps, the long practices, tournaments, the games, the state finals, etc. And I am absolutely sure that you will find, a decade or more down the road, that the shared memories will bring smiles.
 
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Have fun and embrace it. I loved traveling with my son and the time flew by.
 

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