Changing Landscapes - Chicagoland

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by VolklP19, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. lncolnpk

    lncolnpk Member+

    Mar 5, 2012
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I love that about pool play.

    Clubs without pool play and multiple teams of the same age group have an issue where a coach of the lower team won’t let a girl move up. I know specifically of an girl who should be playing high MRL/ECNL but the parents are not informed enough about soccer politics and the coach keeps the parents dazzled by saying how great she is.
     
  2. MarkM

    MarkM New Member

    Liverpool FC
    Belgium
    Sep 18, 2019
    Some interesting posts over the last few days. A few of them briefly mentioned pay-to-play as a problem. I would contend that pay-to-play is THE problem.

    As long as parents are paying for their sons and daughters to play for the top clubs, whether DA or ECNL, there are going to be misgivings ("rumblings") about the process of roster formation and playing time. Unfortunately, there are no simple solutions to this systemic problem.

    Yes, parents don't do themselves or their kids any favors by endlessly whining. They should be more realistic about their kid's soccer ability. They should have more perspective in general. But how do they gain perspective? Not every soccer parent can be as well-informed as Ryan.

    Clubs should recognize that unlike many of their global counterparts that provide tuition-free development and playing opportunities, they have paying customers, i.e., parents. As Volk said in a previous post, clubs should do all of the basics in terms of timely communication and administration. Just get things right. Be professionals.

    In addition, providing players and parents with more feedback in formal player evaluations would be helpful. If this is done right, it's going to be time-consuming for coaches. However, it may spur good conversations with players and parents. I believe this approach leads to more transparency and less rumbling. At a minimum, it can forge an agreement to disagree. I know FC United has done a pretty good job of this over the years, although it is uneven from coach to coach, as can be anticipated.
     
  3. smontrose

    smontrose Member

    Real Madrid
    Italy
    Aug 30, 2017
    Illinois, NW Suburb
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In addition, providing players and parents with more feedback in formal player evaluations would be helpful. If this is done right, it's going to be time-consuming for coaches. However, it may spur good conversations with players and parents. I believe this approach leads to more transparency and less rumbling. At a minimum, it can forge an agreement to disagree. I know FC United has done a pretty good job of this over the years, although it is uneven from coach to coach, as can be anticipated.[/QUOTE]

    Totally agree with this. Any club that would do this would create a positive environment and would be able to effectively manage it to maintain good relationships with parent base and eliminate alot of what parents see as politics, etc. Even if both sides agree to disagree it becomes a known and fair process.
    I tend to side with the coaches since I know other parents that are just blinded by their bias... Very few parents consistently attend practices in our pool at Sockers.
    Our 04 boys pool is loaded with continual waves of different players each fall/winter. DA1 pretty much locked down but at that level you want consistency and as much of a close knit team as possible. plus other factors like who has extra $$$$ for this?
    But from DA2 down to PA3 there is constant movement. ALways being evaluated. I think parents dont understand that or cant deal with it.
     
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  4. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Lots of "crazy parents" comments here. I consider myself a realist when it comes to my kids. I desire to embed with them a sense of honesty that I want them to have with their kids. I also believe in accountablity.

    So as far as the crazy parents comments - that's not at all where I am coming from. I think there are many out there - but I think it's not too difficult for a coach or DOC to identify them. Unfortunately there are so many - that most clubs just turn their backs on all parents these days - and that's a lazy cop-out IMO.

    At Sockers - I never complained - my kid was at every practice and every additional training plus 2.5 years of keeper training. Since we were 55 minutes away, I was at everything as well. I know exactly where my kid was as well as others.

    In our last year my daughter was problably the 10th best player on the team. No issue with that. But when 3 parents went in to Soccer City to complain about why their player was not playing NPL games, my daughter found herself out and they were in. All of them were at best C level players. Two quit and the other is on the 3rd team which is essentially a C team that failed to win a single game.

    That's just simple bullshit that should have been handled much differently.

    Plenty more examples out there that many of us can share - I am sure. But my overall point is that many clubs just do nothing to manage this end of the house. It's not a hard job - it just takes honesty and communication.
     
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  5. Regista

    Regista Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Feb 22, 2019
    Honest appraisal for your player has to come from both parent and coach. Good coaches will identify weaknesses and provide an improvement plan.

    If your kid is in rapid improvement phase and takes advice from parent and coach, they should see a return on investment = playing time.

    If that doesn't happen and politics are involved, why would anyone stay? The crazy parents are often times the ones with the gifted kids who haven't been given a fair shot. That's a painful situation for any pool player and shows the pool should be dynamic up and down. That should include all players including returnees with skin in the game.

    The coach can can alleviate all the craziness if they don't make promises to any players and provide honest feedback to ones that aren't going to make it.

    That won't happen with all the money involved. No one wants to lose player 15-18. There is as much value for these clubs in those players and B teams as top tier players. Promises are made that can't be kept.
     
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  6. lncolnpk

    lncolnpk Member+

    Mar 5, 2012
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The complete opposite of what I experienced with our ex coach. Said he won’t cut my daughter and then cut her. And said she will never play above IWSL A where she was and put her on C team.

    let’s just say she held her own this fall against MRL teams and a couple ECNL teams.
     
  7. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Perhaps not only a proper pyramid in terms of league but also in terms of club - based on the former would help clarify the youth soccer landscape. Players can try out where ever they wish but parents - based on selection will know exactly where there player stands and thusly what their player needs to do to reach the next level. Clubs can BS all they want, but with a proper league pyramid, parents can easily determine which club is best suitable.

    Setting realistic expectations based on clear data and an absolute pyramid is a good start towards parents understanding where their player(s) stand. Expectations can start from there.
     
  8. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    From our discussions I would put you in the realistic camp as well. This was a shitty coach for sure.
     
  9. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    So your daughter played in the NPL team until 3 parents complained about their kids not being on that team and as a result of their complaining your daughter (and others I presume) were taken off?

    sounds BEYOND crazy if I’m understanding correctly and the antithesis of everything I’ve seen from Sockers on the boys side (which I know were are still different animals but they’re working fairly diligently to bring both in line with one another).

    I don’t understand your pyramid idea at all. To me either you buy into a clubs methodology or you don’t and there’s really VERY FEW that have a proper and proven development methodology.
    Most parents feel great if they see a winning record in an “A” league. Just like many of those parents are fooled by things like ODP as being “elite”. Those pyramids are absolute mirages IMO
     
  10. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I don't think it sounds crazy and I certainly do not think that's limited to just Sockers. There was much deeper issues there which led me to leave. And as a parent of a Non-DA/ECNL kid I'd say it was a great decision. If anything - I know when to leave a club :D

    That being said, I used this particular example because I think it happens nearly everywhere as a result of crazy parents. It's an example of NOT wanting to deal with parents. So in this case to avoid it - just move the loud mouth parents in and the quiet ones out. I get that no one wants to deal with crazy parents but IMO some of this is a result of boxing parents out completely and making them feel totally un-wanted.
     
    smontrose and illinisoccer repped this.
  11. RealChicago

    RealChicago New Member

    Real Madrid
    United States
    May 21, 2018
    Agreed brother 100%
     
  12. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    right. Such a bummer.
     
  13. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018
    I see a lot of Socker parents here. What is your opinion on Fire academy?
     
  14. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    Pros: it’s free if you make it

    2nd best boys youth club in Chicagoland imho

    Cons; nothing is free in life -they own you

    Bridgeview not easy to get to

    fire and most mls academies do not promote young talent (hopefully this is changing with all great young talent fleeing to europe)

    If you have a superstar that is scouted by European clubs far better to be at Sockers. Same visibility as Fire - no contract headaches.
    Things can change but that’s how it’s most certainly been and is at present.

    Again my humble opinion and as I see it right now.
     
  15. GotSoccerIsDumb

    Fire
    United States
    May 30, 2019
    Accurate. Fact: one Fire player went to Sockers this year because they wanted more freedom to pursue non-MLS pathways. Mind you this player is a U17 Poland YNT player.

    Most importantly for me is a coaching perspective. My opinion is Fire don't have the best staff in Chicago. Lets have a coaching Fantasy Draft:

    U13: AG at Sockers, SM at FCU, RB at Fire. Who do you take?
    U14: AG at Sockers, GS at FCU, MB at Fire. Who do you take?
    U15: TK at Sockers, CT at FCU, ST at Fire. Who do you take?
    U17: DR at Sockers, GS at FCU, JD at Fire. Who do you take?
    U19: DR at Sockers, SM at FCU, (none) at Fire. Who do you take?

    I can't help but take Sockers across the board based on history and from personal experience when I used to coach. CT and GS at FCU would be next. RB at Fire would be the only coach worth investing in as a young guy with hunger. The top of MB's resume is NSA and JD is GLSA. ST came from Empire United, historically one of the worst DA's in the league. Not even a close comparison.

    These are my own opinions but I'd be curious what others thought.
     
  16. MarkM

    MarkM New Member

    Liverpool FC
    Belgium
    Sep 18, 2019
    MB at Fire is very good. He coached both boys and girls during his community club stops. Did wonders taking marginally talented teams and making them much better. Many coaches at the top clubs flat out cannot do that. In his short time with Fire DA his teams have done very well. He can be harsh, but much less of an issue with academy boys versus mid-level community club girls.
     
  17. smontrose

    smontrose Member

    Real Madrid
    Italy
    Aug 30, 2017
    Illinois, NW Suburb
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Would like to hear why you think AG is so great...
    Is BH going to be on girls side only come Spring?
     
  18. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    #2543 VolklP19, Dec 16, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    AG is heavy when it comes to playing favorites. And if you kid is the second coming of christ and plays his kids position - your kid will be benched all day long.

    I know parents who left because of his nonsense.

    TH and BH - Now there are two coaches who do not do that and I would take them over AG any day.

    Sockers need BH on the girls side and they need to fix the issues. Kids on the 3rd 05 team are leaving mid season this year. Just speaking with one of the dads and they did not even know that 1.5 years ago you got 3 sessions and S&A in the winter and in the Fall/Spring they played in IWSL on top of NPL games. Now they get just crappy NPL games and 2 practices per week during the winter. At $3000.00 that's less training then the so called "Best of the Rest" clubs.

    After speaking with two of these parents I realized it's actually much worse then I thought over there for Pre-Academy teams. All of us had nothing but good things too say about JJR in Naperville - some of the parents from Campton even had him as a coach before and liked him. Why Sockers is trying to build Naperville with a good coach like him instead of putting in charge of the overall girls program out of Palatine is just indicative of the inability to run a buisiness.

    Serioulsy - you want to build out Naperville for girls - competing against Galaxy, TC, Inter, CSA, BVB and more??? The satelite Sockers will never have the weight of Palatine. Those players who are the best will always move to Palatine. So why not fix that location first? The entire priority should be to develop a good pool - which any coach from Sockers will freely admit here that the pool is very week (In fact one already did admit that on these boards).

    If your not - or cannot fix the pool of players then you will have to resort to recruitng - which thus far they have. Bringing BH over will help but it's likely he will be on DA. Sockers needs good coaches from u8 up. I would suggest female coaches as well - preferably those who have had kids and understand how to coach girls/kids.
     
  19. GotSoccerIsDumb

    Fire
    United States
    May 30, 2019
    I'm talking about AGs ability to maintain huge player pools that have good teams down to the 3rd team AND the fact that his DA sides are almost always the best in Chicagoland. My former club played Sockers U14 3rd team in a tournament last year and got smacked by like 8 goals. We were State Cup quarterfinalists. I don't know of any other club that has 3rd teams that are that strong. I'll definitely admit that I don't know his methods tho. Just speaking from the perspective of consistently producing quality players and teams.

    You might be the first person I've ever heard say something nice about MB. In fairness you could be right. I'm just saying that if we had to choose between him and the U14 coaches at the other two DA's in Chicago he'd still probably be #3. Totally my own opinion tho and you could see something in him that suits your ideals. No disrespect.
     
  20. GotSoccerIsDumb

    Fire
    United States
    May 30, 2019
    This is a good point. But they might want to have this footprint just so they can continue to get the top kids from their Naperville program into their DA? It's worked pretty well for both their boys and girls. A bunch of players at U13B were in Naperville last year. Many of the U17/19G were Naperville kids. Having a leader in this area might grow the pipeline and/or the location itself. Good business decision to me.


    JR might be a good coach in some circles but he also lost all of the top girls at U9-U12 before he left Campton. The current 05 and 04 teams at both Eclipse and Sockers are littered with former Campton kids. Maybe the decision to put him in Naperville was because of this?
     
  21. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    On the boys side - for sure! But like Eclipse 10 years ago, they (Sockers boys) are really the only game in town and most people realize this. So when all the top boys go there - you should have good teams - down to the 4th in many occasions. When we left most agoups had 3-4 teams. I think they've grown even more on that end of the house.
     
  22. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    Re: AG in some age groups the strong teams go four deep with him. I’ve heard he’s won several Nat’l Championships with Sockers and he was a player in the Egyptian Nat’l team. All I’ve ever heard is great things about him.

    Re: Girls side pools being weak - they’re DA teams are doing quite well. Just rocked the DA Winter Cup or whatever it’s called in Fla last week. No idea the competitive level of the teams they played but many of the teams won a lot - some undefeated and clean sheets alll the way through.

    for people to leave sockers half way is not uncommon. My bet is most leave because they’re surprised how far in the depth chart their kid really is from what they thought they would be....

    I believe DA is also the same as PA over the winter. Two practices and inter league. But could be wrong.
    Re: JJ Naperville - not sure who said it but the stronger you can make Naperville the stronger Palatine will become. Palatine is fine on its own. If it were my business I’d see Naperville as strategic and core to the business and thus would want someone who could make gains there in that crazy competitive field.
     
  23. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I think it worked well on the boys side because there is not as many good boys clubs in that area. Also don't forget that Napervile Sockers also got a DA which helped to lure players in.

    That's simply not the case for girls - apples and oranges I'd say.

    It's silly really. Why on gods earth would any decent TC/Galaxy/Inter.... player go to Naperville? They are going to Eclipse OB of Sockers Palatine. Naperville would not even be on the map. What they will get are B players - which is what Palatine gets (along with C players) today.

    Again - not a good model to build a decent pool.

    Yes they are but I don't see how that would trump my comments above.

    Again - if your good, your going to Palatine.
     
  24. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    #2549 VolklP19, Dec 16, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    U14 lost to Salvo which is the new Shattuck and are at the bottom.
    U15 Improving for sure but mid-pack
    U16 Are at the bottom - again Shattuck range

    U17/U18 - Never disputed - great team.

    2 of the three I spoke to left because of BC. I guess the players disliked the guy so much they laughed through at training session with my kid because their stories (despite my kid being gone a year prior) were spot on identical. Parents stories were the same as well.

    I disagree - from what I hear Palatine is a mess at the PA girls side - and parents leaving mid season I would argue is less common then you may think - especially when parents are paying $3000.00 and just walking away from 2/3 of what they have paid for - maybe more if you include the cost of uniforms.

    Of the few parents I know who have done this, one or both parents played the game, understand it and are honest about where their kid is. The delusional ones take the crap and stay because it's Sockers or Eclipse and they can't handle the appearance that their kid could not cut it. And/or they think that regardless of where their kid is as far as talent, that the name of the club may help them get into the sport for college - hear a lot about that.

    The one parent lives near Oswego. When their player decided she did not want to play for BC the parents looked at what they were getting from their money and decided it was not worth it. According to them players were not showing upf for training and not showing up for games - something I've never seen. I would say that's a calulative and realistic decision - a good one. I wonder how many of those kids not showing up will bother.

    On the Naperville thing - again, the best players will go to Palatine. Crystal Lake Sockers have found this out - no girls any longer and fewer teams as the competition is to high for teams out there on the boys side.

    CL and Naperville often have to deal with budget cuts and work within a "do more with less" approach. DR and Co. never really understood the culture - especially in CL. It's different and neither are or will be a place where the majority of "best players" go. You may have a one or two but eventually they will be gone as well. Perhaps Richardson is looking to do more in Naperville based on the player pools in that area. But to do so when your own house (PA speaking) is in trouble seems to be putting the cart before the horse IMO.
     
  25. GotSoccerIsDumb

    Fire
    United States
    May 30, 2019
    I think there's an underlying factor here that we're missing: we don't run the Sockers. Guys that have been around for a long time who've reached successes far greater than us are, and while other "great clubs" came and went here they are. Who are we to tell them that they're doing a bad job? Maybe they want their top players to go to Palatine where they have the most resources? Maybe they aren't trying to get the top players from other Naperville clubs to come to Sockers Naperville but they want to use Sockers Naperville to be the starting point for a U7/8 and if they can attract others then that's just an unintended success? Maybe at the moment they aren't focusing on building a massive player pool for the girls but focusing on doing right by their top teams? Many signs point to this. But we aren't in those rooms or a part of those discussions so we'll never know.

    I would disagree that the focus for girls in Naperville is different than the boys. Yes the boys had a DA for a hot second and that brought some players in but they also had a ton of boys and girls come thru Naperville and end in Sockers DA. One girl just got called into her first YNT camp, one boy is currently playing professionally in Denmark, countless are playing in power 5 D1 programs. The current top scorer for their 05 GDA was a Naperville kid. While they have smaller pools down south it's still an area that's producing. Maybe JR can grow that influence?

    In regards to pools size means so little anymore. Look at Rush, IP, even your old CSA have big pools but average as hell teams. For a club like Sockers I think the pools are just a byproduct of their program but not the goal of their program.
     

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