I have to say that this is a tough issue that I have witnessed first hand. My son has experienced both positives and negatives from it. In the club system of August birthdate cut off Lucas was absolutley dominant against any player he faced in the country and that included the semi finals last year of Region 4 against a very good Nuesport team. I have even seen him play against many of the players down at Bradenton who are on the u-17 National team and Lucas in my humble view was just as good if not better in those games. In fact I had the assistant coach of the u-17 national team last year walk on the field after the semi final and invite Lucas to come down and told him that he was one of the best he had seen. Then he looked at his player card and said "damn your 6 weeks to old". That is the down side that Lucas has to be better than guys like Ben Spencer and Jordan Allen to make the National Team and like it or not that 6 to ten months of age difference does matter. On the flip side Lucas has been playing on a U-16 team full of older 95s that pushed him everyday of training. He played ODP Region 4 with a squad full of old 95s and was able to be an MVP of a game in Costa Rica. So I guess there had to be an age cut off and Lucas has missed some great opportunities becuase of it but then again he might not be the player he is if he were born six weeks later because he would not have been pushed so hard. I have always thought that since the one year age difference does matter so much that until the 18 age group the national team should have an A and B age group and divide the year up into 6 month segments. You really think a late born 97 will have much a chance making the next u-17 team when those old 96s will be two years older than him?