College soccer and the YNTs - the writing is on the wall and it says "go pro ASAP."

Discussion in 'College & Amateur Soccer' started by Sandon Mibut, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Feb 13, 2001
    If you're an aspiring youth national team player currently playing college soccer and you take a look at the recent call-ups by Caleb Porter (a college coach, no less), it has to be pretty sobering regarding the decision to go pro soon or not.

    Porter called in 31 players yesterday - 20 "U23 only" players born between 89 and 92" and 11 U20 players born in 93 and eligible for both next year's Olympics and the 2013 U20 cycle.

    Of those 31, eight played college soccer and did so for a combined 15 seasons. None played four years and only one played 3.

    Here are the 8 -

    David Bingham - California (3 seasons)
    Joe Corona - San Diego State (1)
    Dilly Duka - Rutgers (2)
    Sean Johnson - Central Florida (2)
    Perry Kitchen - Akron (1)
    Tony Taylor - Jacksonville (2)
    Zarek Valentin - Akron (2)
    Ethan White - Maryland (2)

    And this is without several top players being called in, most of whom didn't play college ball. From the 23 pool, Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Teal Bunbury, Tim Chandler, Bill Hamid, Moises Hernandez, Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney, Ernest Nungaray, Amobi Okugo, Ike Opara, Emilio and Moises Orozco, Adrian Ruelas, Brek Shea, Anthony Wallace and Danny Williams weren't called in but all could compete for a spot on the Olympic qualifying roster or among those who go to London (assuming we qualify).

    Of those, the only ones who played college ball were

    Bunbury - Akron (2 seasons)
    MacMath - Maryland (3)
    Okugo - UCLA (1)
    Opara - Wake Forest (3)
    Wallace - South Florida (1 season)

    There will undoubtedly be current college players called into the current U20 pool. But, besides the 11 called in yesterday, they'll be competing with the likes of Vilyan Bijev, Luis Gil, Fabian Hurzeler, Juan Pabloc Ocegueda, Victor Pineda, Jonathan Top PLUS the 94s from the last Bradenton U17 cycle who are going pro (or have already done-so) like Marc Pelosi, Alejandro Guido, Alfred Korona and Mobi Fehr.

    Bottom line is that these guys who have skipped college soccer are going to make up most of the U20 pool (which in turn will form a large chunk of the 2016 Olympic pool).

    The college players born before 93? Forget it, they have next to no chance at the current U23 pool.

    But the current 20s, the 93s and (for next year) the 94s - they need to look at this and ask how badly they want to make the YNT and how that compares to their desire to go to and (in some cases) finish college and enjoy the college lifestyle.

    Because while guys like DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman, Boyd Okwuonu, Jonathan Trapp, Nat Eggleston, Eric Miller, Andrew Wolverton, Bryan Gallego, Seth Casiple, Tim Parker and Jordan McCrary will get a shot with the 20s, they're going to be at a competitive disadvantage not being in a pro environment and the sooner they change that the better their chances of making future YNTs (and eventually senior teams) becomes.


  2. bisbee

    bisbee Member

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    Absolutely agree. Great points as usual. Problem is for guys,for instance,who would like to play outside of the US and aren't interested in MLS it is almost impossible to get trials.
  3. headerdunce

    headerdunce Member

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    Dec 19, 2005
    Sandon, you make a good point. Hard to argue with those stats.

    Having said that, it is very likely that 3 or 4 or more current college players will get a call up to the men's national team someday. The best current 18 and 19 year old players might be professionals now, because they are immersing themselves in the game 24/7. However, that does not mean they have the best technique, or the best athleticism, the best feel for the game, or the best psychological makeup to become a future member of the men's national team, or a future successful professional at age 25.

    Those things will sort themselves out as these players mature from boys to men over the next 5-7 years.
  4. midfieldmadness

    midfieldmadness Member

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    Great post and great points. One thing that jumped out at me from the players you listed, was that two goalkeepers Bingham and MacMath are the only two who played college ball for 3 years. I watched Bingham play a fair amount at Cal. He's one who I think may have actually benefited from playing in college for 3 years. One year behind Stefan Frei, knowing he'd be the man soon, and two years as the starter. I don't think he was in the YNT mix before he went to Cal and wonder if he'd be in the mix if he was able to go pro earlier and simply ride the pine in the MLS.

    MacMath may not have benefited from staying in college but it didn't seem to hurt his performance with the Philadelphia Union too much. When he stepped in for the injured Mondragon for a critical stretch, he seemed to play pretty well. He also remained the top choice keeper for the U-20s and I'd think he's still in the mix for the U-23s.

    I guess what I'm saying is, for the field players it's clear getting into the pros is the best option, for the goalkeepers its not yet clear to me yet that one course is better than the other. Seems it likely depends on whether they'll get pt as a pro or have other development benefits that outweigh the game situations they'll face in college.


  5. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Feb 13, 2001
    I suspect there will be far more than 3-4 current college players who go on to play for the full national team.

    Of that, I have little doubt. And of that group, there might even be a few who play four seasons of college ball.

    But the vast majority of players for the national team going forward will either be players who didn't play college soccer or did so only for a season or two. Of that, I am also confident.
  6. Fearthetree

    Fearthetree New Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTZdTcSlXkk&feature=email"]Stanford Men's Soccer commercial - The Wall - YouTube[/ame]

    Best commercial in college soccer yet?
  7. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Feb 13, 2001
    I've generally thought this to be the case as well.

    But, it's interesting that more and more goalkeepers are skipping college or leaving early.

    Tim Howard didn't play college soccer. Brad Guzan played two seasons.

    The top U23 goalkeepers are Bill Hamid, who didn't play college soccer, and Sean Johnson, who played 2 seasons.

    Currently with the 20s, the goalkeepers are Cody Cropper (who is supposed to be really good) and Jon Kempin and both skipped college soccer. That said, I suspect there are some current Fr. GKs who will challenge them.

    I think the odds of playing four seasons of GK in college and then making an impact as a pro are better than for field players, but I still think more young goalkeepers will be turning pro early as well.
  8. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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  9. Fearthetree

    Fearthetree New Member

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    May be true. Nonetheless not a bad commercial.
  10. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Feb 13, 2001
    What does it have to do with this thread?
  11. Hararea

    Hararea Member+

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    Going to extremes to prevent the other guy scoring without even looking to score themselves. Yes, that's Stanford soccer in a nutshell. :)
  12. midfieldmadness

    midfieldmadness Member

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    Wholeheartedly agree with you on this. I also think most young goalkeepers won't play four years (especially with the Gen Adidas incentive to leave at least a year early). I expect 4 years of college will be the exception for quality goalkeepers going forward. But, because of the later development timetable and the lack of pro options that will offer good playing opportunities for young keepers, college for at least a few years will probably remain the best option for many of them.

    Either way, the field of talented young keepers seems to be pretty deep with some going to college and some not. The good news is that it seems pretty likely that at least one or two of these young guys will pan out as our next World Class first choice keeper.
  13. Well Duh

    Well Duh Member

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    hmmmmm

    "U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna will direct the U-23s during the camp..... Due to previous scheduling commitments, Porter will remain with the University of Akron men’s soccer team."


    "Porter plans to have additional domestic camps early next year as the U-23 Men prepare for 2012 Olympic qualifying beginning in March. "

    I'm just saying you might not have everyone involved named just yet.....
  14. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Feb 13, 2001
    Without a doubt.

    But it's not like he's going to suddenly start picking a whole lot more guys who played 3-4 years of college soccer.

    And the odds of Porter looking at current college players for the 23s is very, very slim.
  15. TheClockworkOrange

    TheClockworkOrange Member

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    I don't think it should come as a shock that u23's are not college players. Those guys SHOULD all be professional players. If you are one of the best 20-30 players in America and 22 years old, I would hope you are a in a professional environment.
  16. Teletubby

    Teletubby Member

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    Dec 10, 2004
    In an ideal world for US Soccer I think the U17, 18 20 and 23 should all be from professional clubs. You can probably throw in the U15 team as well. With new proposals in the NCAA for reduced Fall seasons and elimination of Spring seasons, the days of college kids at the national level or even future pro levels are happily dwindling.
  17. Vilhelm

    Vilhelm Member

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    I want the best players on these teams. I don't care if they slum it in college or play for a fancy club that spells its name with a diacritic.
  18. headerdunce

    headerdunce Member

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    Exactly. And a player at a good college program might be become a better player than he would have become as a professional. We are too quick to assume that all professional leagues are quality and that sitting on the bench in any foreign league is necessarily better than playing for a top U.S. college. I think many astute U.S. coaches and players would disagree.


    To automatically assume a "professional" 18-22 years of age is better trained than a college amateur is a mistake. The answer is: it depends upon which professional club, which level team at the club (U19, reserve, first etc), which college, and the player's mental and physical attributes. It's case specific.


    There are a lot of college baseball players better than players in the independent leagues and high and low Single A. Not too many American baseball fans would dispute that. But for some reason, when it comes to soccer, many on BS seem to believe the word "professional" carries universal meaning and significance.
  19. juventino3

    juventino3 Member

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    The baseball analogy does not work because its apples to oranges. Clearly we have a system that works for that sport unlike what we currently have for soccer. Face it, we are second rate soccer nation and much of it has to do with our culture of college sports. What makes it worse is that the NCAA does not care about soccer. From the ridiculous americanizations with the clock to the unlimited substitutes, they continue to disrespect the game and make it harder for college soccer players to prepare themselves for the professional ranks.

    Yes there are a few good coaches who actually know what they are doing, but they are few and far between. Most players get poor training and don't get enough games. US soccer will never realize its full potential until either the NCAA wises up and starts actually making an attempt to prepare college soccer players for the pros like they do with other sports or good players just avoid it altogether and go pro. It's current state is dysfunctional at best. Right now the conversation with the NCAA is one way. The current crop of dinosaurs up there just does not care.
  20. Vilhelm

    Vilhelm Member

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    College soccer gets way more credit for the state of US international soccer than it deserves.
  21. whyspotsonball

    whyspotsonball Member

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    When it all said and done doesn't this mean being a "successful" human being. To be a "pro" in the U.S. means aspiring to being a lowly paid professional in an american league. When you are done you are in a low pay scale for worldwide professional soccer and definitely low in life in the US. If you can go to college and get a valuable degree (not phys ed but business etc) you will find the College boys are way ahead at age 40 and had a good soccer career. This country still does not give lucrative contracts to teens and twenties like football and basketball. So is your aspiration to be in american pro league with the vague hope one day you'll be in Europe (how often has this happened) or do you want to go to NCAA and finish with a few years in the MLS and then having a good second career since you have a degree. The other option is you can go "pro" early and have a great american pro career, finish at 35 and spend years trying to remind your barmates that "I was important once". You'll convince me the club/pro system is the right way to go when you show me a comparison of the salaries and lifestyles of NCAA players at 45 compared to the club team guys. Also the NCAA guys have the fun of going to college in the first place.
  22. juventino3

    juventino3 Member

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    Not really sure where to start with this post. The majority of these players you call "lowly" paid professionals still make relatively good money in comparison to the general populace. "Definitely low in life in the US"? Sure they don't make as much money as many of their European counterparts or many American athletes in other sports, but they get to do what they love and travel all over the place on someone else's dime. The money will come eventually as the sport grows and shocker, as guys improve at their craft. That means avoiding most NCAA college soccer programs.

    Take a look at some of the average NFL salaries in the 80s:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2007-10-06-sw-labor-anniversary_N.htm

    Don't forget that the MLS is a 16 year old league. You can go to school anytime. I'm 36 and working on my MBA.
  23. Jossed

    Jossed Member

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    Hasn't this always been considered inevitable? That national team quality players would have to forgo college and turn pro at an early age. The MLS academies were just the start. The next MLS CBA will be very important. Another bump in pay will bring even more players into the league.

    College soccer might start to look like college tennis the past 20 years. Basically no real pro prospects with a bunch of experienced foreign journeymen types dominating.
  24. headerdunce

    headerdunce Member

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    The analogy is appropriate in this sense: just like a college baseball player may be a better player than a professional player in Single A, a college soccer player may be better than a professional in any number of lower level leagues, either in the U.S. or abroad. Moreover, the training and competition might be better as well, particularly if the professional player finds himself competing for playing time in the lower level league.

    Also, college baseball has used metal bats for years, i.e., not "real" baseball. Nevertheless, the baseball scouts and managers understand that, for some, college is a great option.
  25. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member

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    College rules are a problem - no doubt. A kid like Wenger does not need 4 years of college. But MLS isn't so great for young kids. It will be very interesting to see how FC Dallas college players like Woodberry, Okwuono and Colemen do compared to the homegrown players they have signed. You are complaining that college players don't have enough games. Maryland will play about 25 games plus Spring games, plus pre-season games plus PDL games in the off-season. Meanwhile MLS has 10 reserve games.

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