USMNT Falling

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U.S. Soccer terminates youth academy amid virus USSF ends academy; MLS announces youth league

Here ya go. Youth academy is finished.

Also saw an article on how MLS will likely not be returning anytime soon. Playing behind closed doors does not benefit them as most revenue is from ticket sales and concessions. It was not a very positive sounding article but it did start with saying that many owners had invested too much to fold. However, I found it interesting that the article started this way....I think that MLS is on shakier ground then they are saying. This shut down couldn't come at a worse time for them. Human implications aside, the league was really growing with attendance and talent. This halt and the reality that they may not start again until a vaccine is found, is going to really set them back years. I wouldn't be surprised to see many clubs fold, mostly expansion.
Reading between the lines, MLS has been pushing for this for a while now and the pandemic provided cover an an opportunity to speed-up the schedule.

Personally, I believe USSF needs to be completely separated from MLS leadership. MLS owners want to make money and they can maximize their profits by spending as little as possible on development, i.e. overhead. It's the NFL business model which basically uses NCAA as no to low cost development system. Of course, this should be no surprise as there are quite a few NFL owners who are also MLS owners. USSF need to be focused on youth development and the national teams, which is a long-term business strategy that does not lead to crazy profits.
 
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Reading between the lines, MLS has been pushing for this for a while now and the pandemic provided cover an an opportunity to speed-up the schedule.

Personally, I believe USSF needs to be completely separated from MLS leadership. MLS owners want to make money and they can maximizr their profist by spending as little as possible on development, i.e. overhead. It's the NFL business model which basically uses NCAA as no to low cost development system. Of course, this should be no surprise as there are quite a few NFL owners who are also MLS owners. USSF need to be focused on youth development and the national teams, which is a long-term business strategy that does not lead to crazy profits.
Totally agree here. Word from our club this morning is that the former DA clubs are looking at forming their own league in order to keep the same practices going.

The problem is that the annual $10m subsidy for the 90 clubs in the DA went a long way to defray the cost of top training. The UEFA pro coach I know was earning $26k to coach two teams as a side job. I'm not saying that $$ came from US Soccer but it allowed the club enough flexibility to hire coaches over and above the usual $7k they get at our club. Oof, our club also just built a million+ state of the art facility.

When USSF characterizes he decision as one made "with profound disappointment" you have to know they believe this is very bad for the future of US Soccer.

I look forward to the Reyna, Sargent, Pulisic, Dest, Weah, etc. generation, and the next 10 years of soccer for the USMNT. I'm guessing that things will look very bleak after that.
 
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Some more thoughts as I read a good analytical SI article on this mess. One quote from that article critiqued the DA: "It isn’t clear whether the men’s U.S. national teams ever benefited." It's laying the World Cup fiasco at the feet of the DA and development.

I find this to be unfair.

Look at the young players above who went through the DA. They are just coming into their own. Outside of Yedlin, Arriola, Morris and Pulisic, none of those players on the 2016 roster went through the DA. And only Arriola and Pulisic went through the DA start to finish (12 years old to 17).

You can't blame that on the DA.

Here's where I am concerned. The MLS clubs are starting a new league, but they don't like the costs of the current one? If you're investing less, isn't the quality going to suffer?

The strength of the DA is that there were 90 clubs, throughout the US geographically.

The MLS clubs and scouts are NOT so sharp that they will recruit the best talent to play for them. Many top players have developed outside the MLS academies. I spoke with an NCAA D1 AD about the MLS academies and he told me the soccer team landed 3 recruits from 2 different academies, and in all 3 cases, the players never saw the field. Now, this may sound like a critique of the academies, but it is actually more the fact that even our best scouts can't tell the future when it comes to signing 13 year olds.

The MLS clubs are likely going to be where the the top players develop BUT we are now fishing with a smaller net. Talent will go unwatched. We're back to traveling to tourney showcases to scout players, which is absurd. My kid's team is coached by a D1 head coach who always schedules our tourneys so that he can recruit. That is the extent of his recruiting. one weekend--on the fly, he only gets glimpses of players, and he readily admits that this is the only way it can be done.

Worse than that. Not only will some players not be seen, but kids with the potential will not be developed as well.
 
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Forgive me in advance for being so scattered but I really have conflicted thoughts on all of this. I am coming from a perspective of having my oldest be u-10 in southern CT and some one who grew up playing when premier soccer started to gain momentum in the early 90s. To be perfectly blunt, there are no answers. Without question, this comes at the expense our talent pool. That said, does it really matter? I have seen first hand the deterioration of many participating DA non-mls academy soccer clubs in my area. 10 years ago these clubs were at the height of youth soccer and development. Today, they are as guilty as anyone in the pay for play model, often taking kids who have paid more in camps, private coaching, etc than are actually talented. You see the results of that clearly in the u-15 table. I would guess the gap in talent even widens as you get younger. There isn't a single kid in the tri-state area u-12 or under that would choose a local club over the two MLS academies. There is a reason for that. The academies know this as well. I am certain they view the DA as a lifeline for these other clubs to remain relevant (and profitable) and has little to do with overall development. My guess is this week marks the slow death of the pay for play model. This news, coupled with Cincinnati eliminating mens soccer, makes these clubs who charge ridiculous fees grasping for air and sustainability. Before they sold the false premise of playing against the top competition with the lure of a D-1 scholarship. Quickly, neither will exist. So now what? Who knows. The future of US youth soccer appears bleak. Sadly, this weeks news might have only brought to the forefront what was already present. A bleak future.
 
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Forgive me in advance for being so scattered but I really have conflicted thoughts on all of this. I am coming from a perspective of having my oldest be u-10 in southern CT and some one who grew up playing when premier soccer started to gain momentum in the early 90s. To be perfectly blunt, there are no answers. Without question, this comes at the expense our talent pool. That said, does it really matter? I have seen first hand the deterioration of many participating DA non-mls academy soccer clubs in my area. 10 years ago these clubs were at the height of youth soccer and development. Today, they are as guilty as anyone in the pay for play model, often taking kids who have paid more in camps, private coaching, etc than are actually talented. You see the results of that clearly in the u-15 table. I would guess the gap in talent even widens as you get younger. There isn't a single kid in the tri-state area u-12 or under that would choose a local club over the two MLS academies. There is a reason for that. The academies know this as well. I am certain they view the DA as a lifeline for these other clubs to remain relevant (and profitable) and has little to do with overall development. My guess is this week marks the slow death of the pay for play model. This news, coupled with Cincinnati eliminating mens soccer, makes these clubs who charge ridiculous fees grasping for air and sustainability. Before they sold the false premise of playing against the top competition with the lure of a D-1 scholarship. Quickly, neither will exist. So now what? Who knows. The future of US youth soccer appears bleak. Sadly, this weeks news might have only brought to the forefront what was already present. A bleak future.
The subsidization of the DA actually reduced pay-for-play. It gave clubs the opportunity to give free scholarships. Many clubs were no fee at all.

And for those that were fee based for most players, like ours, they were considerably cheaper than the alternative, since all travel-hotel-meals were paid for. Parents did not have to travel. Players were chaperoned and took long luxury bus rides with mandatory study halls. One night of hotel, 3 teams traveling together as all games at different age levels are scheduled for the same 2 days. Consider, for the same price point, you could play premier, but with parent travel, the cost of premier (not to mention the extra tourney fees and coaching fees) easily doubled the tuition. Whereas the DA had no extra travel $$, no extra costs for coaches, and was considerably cheaper than Premier.

Efficiency, economy, savings.

This was possible because of the $10m subsidy from US Soccer.

As for the quality of play, I posted the standings here earlier in the thread. Yes, there are some non-MLS DA clubs at the bottom. But there are many non-MLS clubs ahead of the MLS academies as well. The head of Crossfire Premier mentioned that the local MLS club complained about his club and got them demoted. The complaint though was weird because Crossfire consistently beat the MLS clubs, and thus recruited the best players.

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. More than half of the U23 team come from non-MLS DA clubs. Our DA club has put 6 players in MLS, 1 of them on the national team.

The only bad part of the DA was the time commitment. 5 days of soccer per week is extreme. But this is what was demanded to train for the highest level.

Getting rid of the DA means a movement TOWARD a pay-for-play model, not away from.
 
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The subsidization of the DA actually reduced pay-for-play. It gave clubs the opportunity to give free scholarships. Many clubs were no fee at all.

And for those that were fee based for most players, like ours, they were considerably cheaper than the alternative, since all travel-hotel-meals were paid for. Parents did not have to travel. Players were chaperoned and took long luxury bus rides with mandatory study halls. One night of hotel, 3 teams traveling together as all games at different age levels are scheduled for the same 2 days. Consider, for the same price point, you could play premier, but with parent travel, the cost of premier (not to mention the extra tourney fees and coaching fees) easily doubled the tuition. Whereas the DA had no extra travel $$, no extra costs for coaches, and was considerably cheaper than Premier.

Efficiency, economy, savings.

This was possible because of the $10m subsidy from US Soccer.

As for the quality of play, I posted the standings here earlier in the thread. Yes, there are some non-MLS DA clubs at the bottom. But there are many non-MLS clubs ahead of the MLS academies as well. The head of Crossfire Premier mentioned that the local MLS club complained about his club and got them demoted. The complaint though was weird because Crossfire consistently beat the MLS clubs, and thus recruited the best players.

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. More than half of the U23 team come from non-MLS DA clubs. Our DA club has put 6 players in MLS, 1 of them on the national team.

The only bad part of the DA was the time commitment. 5 days of soccer per week is extreme. But this is what was demanded to train for the highest level.

Getting rid of the DA means a movement TOWARD a pay-for-play model, not away from.
You are comparing apples to oranges. The soccer landscape has changed drastically the last few years beginning with the investment into youth academies. Surely , when today’s youth u-15 and younger play at u-23, most if not all will be from mls academies. The standings you posted prove that. The U17/18 had few mls academies participating or at the top. The u-15 divisions had all mls academies on top. That’s because just a few years back, atleast in this area, all top talent left their club teams to play for Nycfc or the Red Bulls.
It’s possible that geography may skew our opinions here. This area has multiple academies whereas where you live may not. I am sure what you wrote is true but I assure you that’s not what I see here.
Take Gio Reyna for example. He left a local club for NYCFC for a reason.
 
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You are comparing apples to oranges. The soccer landscape has changed drastically the last few years beginning with the investment into youth academies. Surely , when today’s youth u-15 and younger play at u-23, most if not all will be from mls academies. The standings you posted prove that. The U17/18 had few mls academies participating or at the top. The u-15 divisions had all mls academies on top. That’s because just a few years back, atleast in this area, all top talent left their club teams to play for Nycfc or the Red Bulls.
It’s possible that geography may skew our opinions here. This area has multiple academies whereas where you live may not. I am sure what you wrote is true but I assure you that’s not what I see here.
Take Gio Reyna for example. He left a local club for NYCFC for a reason.
U17/18? Do you mean U18/19? That is when most kids in the US leave for either college or the pros. A lot of the MLS clubs take their top DA kids and place them in the lower leagues like USL by the time they hit U18. The key divisions are the 15/16/17. When I see the U18/19 teams, I sometimes think they couldn't beat the U16s.

I posted above the standings precisely to show that the non-MLS clubs are holding their own. In fact, more top players come out of the non-MLS clubs than the MLS clubs. So, I'm not understanding this comment: "Surely , when today’s youth u-15 and younger play at u-23, most if not all will be from mls academies."

In the past, this hasn't been true. A lot of the non-MLS have produced a lot of pros. EVen on the USMNT it's not true.

But now the point is moot. DA is dead. So we can't even talk about non-MLS DA clubs anymore because they don't exist. We can only talk about what they did in the past with the current 20 year olds. Most of those guys are from non-MLS.

I am a big doubter in the idea that the MLS clubs will produce a vibrant soccer culture in the US. For the last 12 years, it hasn't been the case exclusively for them. I think the net they cast is too small and 12-13 year old boys are really too young for them to scout. By the time they notice someone at age 16, it's too late.

Here's the standings again: U.S. Soccer Development Academy

In the 16/17 northeast division, it's...
1. MLS
2. Non-MLS
3. Non-MLS
4. Non-MLS
5. MLS
6. Non-MLS
7. Non-MLS
8. Non-MLS
9. MLS
10. Non-MLS
11. Non-MLS

The 2 bottom clubs are non-MLS and they are non-competitive. The couple clubs above them have at worst a goal differential of -1.

Then look at the Mid-Atlantic division:

1. Non-MLS
2. Non-MLS
3. MLS
4. MLS
5. Non-MLS
6. Non-MLS
7. Non-MLS
8. MLS
9. MLS
10. Non-MLS

Again, bottom 2 teams are not competitive.

If they had decided to shear off the bottom 2 teams they would have been competitive top to bottom.
 
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U17/18? Do you mean U18/19? That is when most kids in the US leave for either college or the pros. A lot of the MLS clubs take their top DA kids and place them in the lower leagues like USL by the time they hit U18. The key divisions are the 15/16/17. When I see the U18/19 teams, I sometimes think they couldn't beat the U16s.

I posted above the standings precisely to show that the non-MLS clubs are holding their own. In fact, more top players come out of the non-MLS clubs than the MLS clubs. So, I'm not understanding this comment: "Surely , when today’s youth u-15 and younger play at u-23, most if not all will be from mls academies."

In the past, this hasn't been true. A lot of the non-MLS have produced a lot of pros. EVen on the USMNT it's not true.

But now the point is moot. DA is dead. So we can't even talk about non-MLS DA clubs anymore because they don't exist. We can only talk about what they did in the past with the current 20 year olds. Most of those guys are from non-MLS.

I am a big doubter in the idea that the MLS clubs will produce a vibrant soccer culture in the US. For the last 12 years, it hasn't been the case exclusively for them. I think the net they cast is too small and 12-13 year old boys are really too young for them to scout. By the time they notice someone at age 16, it's too late.

Here's the standings again: U.S. Soccer Development Academy

In the 16/17 northeast division, it's...
1. MLS
2. Non-MLS
3. Non-MLS
4. Non-MLS
5. MLS
6. Non-MLS
7. Non-MLS
8. Non-MLS
9. MLS
10. Non-MLS
11. Non-MLS

The 2 bottom clubs are non-MLS and they are non-competitive. The couple clubs above them have at worst a goal differential of -1.

Then look at the Mid-Atlantic division:

1. Non-MLS
2. Non-MLS
3. MLS
4. MLS
5. Non-MLS
6. Non-MLS
7. Non-MLS
8. MLS
9. MLS
10. Non-MLS

Again, bottom 2 teams are not competitive.

If they had decided to shear off the bottom 2 teams they would have been competitive top to bottom.
Yes, I meant 18/19.

Did you conveniently leave out the u15 standings? Because you start to see a dramatic shift towards MLS academies on top. My whole argument is that this is the first age group when you saw a shift in landscape. Going forward, from that age group and younger, you would see more of this where the academies will be on top and the non-mls clubs becoming less competitive. Of course the past will support your argument, some of the mls academies didnt even exist. I am more concerned about the future. By the time this age group moves up the ranks, my prediction is that almost the entire roster will come from mls academies. I also will argue that some of these other clubs won't even exist. It no longer will make any sense for those who do pay full fee at these clubs to even participate.

For the record, I totally agree with your points on the future of youth development. I am just reporting what I see locally at the younger levels and the emphasis on the MLS academies vs the other clubs is already enormous. In fact, if you saw some of the decisions these clubs have made the past few years with league participation and fielding more teams, its easy to argue the writing for all of this was on the wall.
 
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Yes, I meant 18/19.

Did you conveniently leave out the u15 standings? Because you start to see a dramatic shift towards MLS academies on top. My whole argument is that this is the first age group when you saw a shift in landscape. Going forward, from that age group and younger, you would see more of this where the academies will be on top and the non-mls clubs becoming less competitive. Of course the past will support your argument, some of the mls academies didnt even exist. I am more concerned about the future. By the time this age group moves up the ranks, my prediction is that almost the entire roster will come from mls academies. I also will argue that some of these other clubs won't even exist. It no longer will make any sense for those who do pay full fee at these clubs to even participate.

For the record, I totally agree with your points on the future of youth development. I am just reporting what I see locally at the younger levels and the emphasis on the MLS academies vs the other clubs is already enormous. In fact, if you saw some of the decisions these clubs have made the past few years with league participation and fielding more teams, its easy to argue the writing for all of this was on the wall.
I never disagreed that the MLS academies draw players away from other clubs, DA and non-DA. The MLS clubs are totally free tuition, as far as I know. That will draw players. And yet some kids preferred to stay at their DA, like Crossfire, rather than travel crosstown to play for the MLS Sounders.

My argument is that when you have a smaller pond, then the MLS DA's misses are going to become all the more glaring.

Players being drawn to MLS clubs is already happening, but I still see the non-MLS clubs holding their own.

Also, I don't see the radical shift you mentioned at U15. I still see a lot of non-MLS clubs holding their own.

I can't link the SI article, but in it the Crossfire Premier coach mentioned that US Soccer deliberately downgraded Crossfire in order to boost the Sounders, precisely because Crossfire had been beating them with better players. Maybe this is what caused the rift, for MLS clubs to be losing to non-MLS clubs, and now US Soccer is tipping the scales in favor of MLS, which is sending the best players from clubs like Crossfire to the Sounders. I don't think this is good in the long run.
 
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I never disagreed that the MLS academies draw players away from other clubs, DA and non-DA. The MLS clubs are totally free tuition, as far as I know. That will draw players. And yet some kids preferred to stay at their DA, like Crossfire, rather than travel crosstown to play for the MLS Sounders.

My argument is that when you have a smaller pond, then the MLS DA's misses are going to become all the more glaring.

Players being drawn to MLS clubs is already happening, but I still see the non-MLS clubs holding their own.

Also, I don't see the radical shift you mentioned at U15. I still see a lot of non-MLS clubs holding their own.

I can't link the SI article, but in it the Crossfire Premier coach mentioned that US Soccer deliberately downgraded Crossfire in order to boost the Sounders, precisely because Crossfire had been beating them with better players. Maybe this is what caused the rift, for MLS clubs to be losing to non-MLS clubs, and now US Soccer is tipping the scales in favor of MLS, which is sending the best players from clubs like Crossfire to the Sounders. I don't think this is good in the long run.
Well, I definitely agree with your point that with a smaller pond, the MLS DA's misses are going to become all the more glaring. As I said earlier, I am conflicted. I don't have answers, but I do agree this isn't the right one.
 

ZooCougar

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U.S. Soccer terminates youth academy amid virus USSF ends academy; MLS announces youth league

Here ya go. Youth academy is finished.

Also saw an article on how MLS will likely not be returning anytime soon. Playing behind closed doors does not benefit them as most revenue is from ticket sales and concessions. It was not a very positive sounding article but it did start with saying that many owners had invested too much to fold. However, I found it interesting that the article started this way....I think that MLS is on shakier ground then they are saying. This shut down couldn't come at a worse time for them. Human implications aside, the league was really growing with attendance and talent. This halt and the reality that they may not start again until a vaccine is found, is going to really set them back years. I wouldn't be surprised to see many clubs fold, mostly expansion.
I guess they should have built a product that people actually wanted to watch on TV.
 

ZooCougar

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Food for thought...

I've long said that Julian Green should be a bigger part of things.

If he played in MLS he would be stand out and probably the top American attacking player in the league. The prejudice this guy faces because of the LandyCakes thing is beyond dumb.
 

meyers7

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Yup, I got that one wrong.
I didn't know what they would decide, but I didn't think they had much of a case, pay wise. And I don't think they even included the USSF paying their NWSL salaries.
 
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I didn't know what they would decide, but I didn't think they had much of a case, pay wise. And I don't think they even included the USSF paying their NWSL salaries.
I'm ashamed I didn't realize they had a CBA. You can't vote and agree to a CBA, then argue that you're being discriminated against.
 
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I'm ashamed I didn't realize they had a CBA. You can't vote and agree to a CBA, then argue that you're being discriminated against.
I learned that later as well. The entire thing makes me mad. The USWNT is actually hurting women that are truly being discriminated against.
 
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I learned that later as well. The entire thing makes me mad. The USWNT is actually hurting women that are truly being discriminated against.
Agree. It's one thing to say "we are undervalued and would like to renegotiate for more money". It's another to say "USSF has been taking advantage of us for years and is discriminating against us"
 

meyers7

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I'm ashamed I didn't realize they had a CBA. You can't vote and agree to a CBA, then argue that you're being discriminated against.
Well legally, I guess you can. But yea, it's pretty stupid to do that.

Besides, overall, for most of the players, they have a better deal than the men have, pay wise. Except for FIFA WC payouts. But that's FIFA, not USSF. Although they wanted USSF to take the Men's FIFA money and the Women's FIFA money, combine them and give it out equally to both teams.

Accomadations, and playing on artificial turf, I think they have a case. That should be pretty equal, I would think. I mean, let them fly first class or whatever the men do and give them the same per diem and let them play on grass if that's what they want. I don't see a problem with that.
 
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Well legally, I guess you can. But yea, it's pretty stupid to do that.

Besides, overall, for most of the players, they have a better deal than the men have, pay wise. Except for FIFA WC payouts. But that's FIFA, not USSF. Although they wanted USSF to take the Men's FIFA money and the Women's FIFA money, combine them and give it out equally to both teams.

Accomadations, and playing on artificial turf, I think they have a case. That should be pretty equal, I would think. I mean, let them fly first class or whatever the men do and give them the same per diem and let them play on grass if that's what they want. I don't see a problem with that.
Legally you can sue for anything, i'm sure you understood my point.

I agree on the accommodations etc. I'd love to hear FIFA's excuse as to why the men are almost never allowed to play on turf, while the women are.

And yes, agree that the USSF isn't now, and shouldn't ever be, responsible for FIFA's payouts.
 
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I really have no idea what is happening anymore with youth soccer.


The MLS has created its own youth league.

But heavens to betsy, it is the same 95 DA clubs from the now defunct DA.

So, was it US Soccer throwing in the financial towel and not supporting the DA which killed it?

Because clearly, MLS clubs have no qualms about travel or the level of competition, as was rumored.

If anything, there will be a slight drop in competition with this new MLS league (given the lack of support from US Soccer).

My kid's club is one of the founders, apparently, of this MLS thing, which is no surprise. There were 90+ DA clubs. There are 90+ MLS clubs now.
 

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