College soccer

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by Neko975, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018
    Just imagine:
    College soccer get's same attention as college basketball.
    Let's see;
    Stadiums are there allready, don't you worry about the crowd; they would come. Young people can't wait to show their support.
    How many of us knows who won last year in college soccer? Boys or girls.
    I don't even know what format do they play!?
    I know about D1,2,3 and NAIA but that is all.
    MLS can have the best farm system in the world! Potential for the best u23 league.
    Before anything can be done, college soccer season and training should mimic the proffesional league settings. Players should not feel they are losing on training and competition if they play college soccer.
    Top 40 NCAA pay well above 1 milion for coaches. I think soccer should be able to come close with advertising and TV deal.
     
  2. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Your last sentence is where it fails. I know the SEC Network shows soccer as does the PAC12 Network. But I think it's more because of the deal the networks have in order to show the "money" games (ie: basketball & football).

    While it would be nice, I don't know that the viewers are there for college televised soccer. No (or low) viewers = no (or low) ad money/TV deal.

    I do wish college fed more into the MLS like football and basketball did, but it doesn't.
     
  3. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018
    It is all about marketing.
     
  4. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agreed to all the above.

    Big Ten Network shows a lot of college soccer, too. ESPNU shows a fair share.

    The TV coverage is there. The ratings largely aren't.
     
  5. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Until US Soccer buys into the idea of a bona fided collegiate-based development path, soccer in the US will never reach its full potential. And even then, it won’t be easy. But this is largely a dead horse….US Soccer has zero interest in pursuing such a path…
     
  6. TheKraken

    TheKraken Member

    United States
    Jun 21, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    College soccer has a lot of things holding it back from being a legitimate farm system for US players.

    1. Does not adhere to FIFA rules
    2. Very short season
    3. Best players don't play college soccer
    4. Not a possession based game
    5. Rosters contain a lot of foreign players
    6. Limited scholarships
    7. Competition is low compared to pro U19-U23 teams

    I don't think it's a realistic option for developing players at the highest level.
     
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  7. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Regarding #1, aside from clock management, what other significant differences are there in the rules?

    Regarding #3, would that change if MLS did use the college system as a training/trial ground?

    #5 I don't understand how that would prevent utilizing college as a farm system. The foreign players in college in theory could go to MLS.

    #6 is going to be hard to battle. Not only lack of money, but Title IX.
     
  8. TheKraken

    TheKraken Member

    United States
    Jun 21, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Substitutions would be the biggest difference. The higher amount of subs in college and the fact you can re-enter the game once. This puts an emphasis on playing more physical and less skill / possession based. You can run your kids ragged, give them a rest, then send them back out to do it again. That is not an option with the FIFA 3 sub rule.

    The amount of foreign players just hold back the number of US players that get playing time. They could go into the MLS and do. The foreign players in US colleges just weren't good enough to play pro soccer in Europe. So they end up here and get a free ride to boot. Then try to get into MLS. Not a bad way to go for them, but it isn't helping our kids any.
     
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  9. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Good point on the subs. But, if you lower the amount of allowed substitutions, do you lower the amount of team members? Youth soccer has the "no re-entry in the same half" and only 7 subs allowed each half. They're allowed 18 dressed for a game. So would college cut players, or still keep a roster of 25+ and only have 18 dress for a given game, which still cuts down on playing time.
     
  10. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is huge, IMHO.

    It's a remarkable phenomenon.



    I'll also add that my son played two years of Jr. College soccer--on an athletic scholarship, even--but he doesn't care about the college game at all. Doesn't go to games, doesn't follow it. And even when he was playing he didn't think much of the level of play. He'd be the first to agree that the college game doesn't foster good soccer.
     
  11. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I agree there are challenges and structural changes that need to be addressed…your 1# and 2# are prime examples. College Baseball, at one point, was considered an unrealistic option for pro development, yet today it’s a realistic and alternative option…

    A partnership, or least dialogues, between US Soccer and the NCAA would be the first step in making these needed structural changes….IMHO, US Soccer should be leading the charge/actively pressing for such changes…
     
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  12. TheKraken

    TheKraken Member

    United States
    Jun 21, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, your son is right. I go to a few D1 games a year here locally. Watched a top 10 and top 20 team come to town this year. The games were terrible to watch. They rarely strung together more than 3 passes in a row. Lots of fouling and long ball. These are supposedly some of the best teams too. They've got big, fast players though and plenty of them. Many look more like football players than soccer. It's the state of the game.
     
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  13. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When my son was in HS his club team picked up a coach who was well-known for getting kids recruited by colleges. That was the selling point, and man did parents buy in.

    My wife and I weren't sold but we were already at the club and the original coach--who stayed on as an assistant--vouched for this guy and said this would be great for all the kids on the team.

    Well, it absolutely wasn't. Bit by bit, the kids who were shorter, smaller, and more technical than athletic were weeded out or pushed aside as the coach began recruiting taller, more athletic boys. I've often said that most "successful" youth coaches in our screwed-up system are just recruiters, and this guy absolutely fit the bill.

    So yeah, we left that club after a year, but later my son told me some stories. I guess this coach would tell them things like "always run--never stop running. Even when there's no reason to run, because college coaches are looking for effort not positioning."

    He was probably right, but it tells you something about what's wrong with our system. College soccer is seen as the destination not part of a development process. And so much of our youth soccer system is geared towards getting into college soccer...and nothing beyond that.
     
  14. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I hate to say this because I watch a decent amount of college soccer, have a 2005 son who hopes to play on some level, and like a lot about the game in terms of representing your school, traditions, ..., but I'm afraid that among the factors limiting any sort of broad appeal is the quality.

    A lot of it is just terrible. Bigredfutbol's comment above explains at least part of it -- big and athletic kids rule the rosters, and "just run" appears to be the playing style.

    It doesn't have to be this way, but I think it would take a commitment from coaches to play otherwise. Maybe that's something that changes with the passing of a generation or two? I don't know.
     
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  15. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    Are the foreign players also big and athletic or more on the technical side?
     
  16. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    On my son's team (remember--a Jr. college) there was a kid from a French academy (a Ligue 1 side but I don't remember which one) who was the best--and smartest--player on the squad.

    They also had a few British players who--according to my son--had some talent but weren't outstanding.
     
  17. Backyard Bombardier

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jun 25, 2019
    Hardly anybody kid over the age of 16- and far, far fewer of their parents- think they have a remotely realistic chance of making a living playing athletics in any sport, so it becomes a means to an end.
    That end being, in this country, finding ANY way to finance your way into an obscenely overpriced college degree.

    Its just basic economics...the shape of the ball is irrelevant IMO.
     
  18. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Those scholarships are so few and far between in DI and DII, at least on the boys' side, that people who approach this way are mostly kidding themselves. I guess it gets murkier in DIII, where there are no athletic scholarships but the schools seem to be able to find academic money to at least help (though tuition at the DIII schools always seems to be off the charts).

    I'd be curious to hear more about the juco scholarship BigRed's son received. I've seen a couple of juco teams that I thought could beat a low-level DI team, and the costs (even with no scholarship) have to be more reasonable than most or all four-year schools.
     
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  19. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    The shape of the ball matters…soccer in general is far more a dead-end professionally than our more popular sports that use college as part of their development path…and I would strongly suggest the connection between more popular (and the money that comes with it) and a college development path is NOT coincidental…

    Even if statistical similar, the perception in those other sports that those college athletes actually have a realistic chance of going pro, if for no other reason than still being on the development path; hell, that perception starts in High School actually…I went to HS with several people who went on play in the Pros; I am sure I am not alone….I guarantee my son in HS right now know kids who will one day play in the pros in their respective sports; I also guarantee it won’t be anyone playing soccer…really gifted HS athletes in those other sports actually think they have a semi-realistic chance…a long shoot chance for sure, but a chance none the less to go pro, and for good reason…they do…

    For many in those other sports, playing athletics too is a just means to end, but from almost as many, its continuing chance of going pro with the consolation prize of a college degree…
     
  20. Almost done

    Almost done New Member

    Juventus
    United States
    Oct 4, 2019
    I am sure there are many different answers for this but from experience it was both. My son just finished his last year of college soccer. His team was and still has a very large foreign roster. His Freshman and Sophomore years his coach was from Columbia and most of the roster was made up of Columbia, Argentina and Brazil. These players were not big and strong but very skilled. Junior and Senior year(new coach from Sweden) and the roster totally shifted to a Germany, Sweden, Norway, Scotland feel. These players were definitely bigger and stronger but the skill level dropped. The team did not have a good record all four years my son was there but definitely improved his Junior and Senior year. IMO the soccer was more enjoyable to watch his first two years..
     
  21. Backyard Bombardier

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jun 25, 2019
    Its murky at D1 & 2 as well, at least of the Women's side...partially-shipped college athletes will often find themselves the beneficiary of academic assistance, to supplement the athletic ship. This drives up the numbers, and of course even partial assistance can be invaluable...it can also be a hook for the pricier schools. ;)

    That said, I agree that pursuing the ship is mostly a fool's errand, but in response to the convo above its certainly more realistic a goal than pursuing a professional career. Hence the college-focus on development in many of our youth sports.
     
  22. SuperHyperVenom

    United States
    Jan 7, 2019
    100% agree. There are a lot of talented kids that never reach their potential because their parents chose their team/club based on one that would most attract college coaches rather than quality coaching. However, the system seems to work for the girls. And my guess is that the players who have their sights on the national team are not solely depending on their college coach to continue developing as a player. If they are they shouldn't be!

    It's easier than you think for girls to go pro or semi-pro at 18 yo. There are leagues all over the world that would be a better level than most Div1 schools. You just need a good agent and drive and money to supplement your income and the will to leave the comforts of home. College is the safe path.
     
  23. Backyard Bombardier

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jun 25, 2019
    This makes my point though; you're talking about hiring an agent to find a spot on a foreign team, a team for which one is likely to pay to play on because the salary is insufficient to support oneself. That's simply not realistic for many families...and is quite probably the reason its so easy.

    The college-centric thinking of youth soccer reflects the realities of the market in which youth soccer exists in this country. It may not be ideal for the notion of Greater Soccer, but Greater Soccer isn't a kitchen-table issue for the majority of families in this country. Servicing college debt is.
     
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  24. jvgnj

    jvgnj Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    Not just helping to pay for school, but using the sport to potentially put you over the finish line for a school you may not have been able to get in on grades alone. In this context, how "pretty" the soccer is takes a back seat to the cost and post-graduation job prospects of the school.
     
  25. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    Columbus Crew SC
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    NKY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are some good JUCOs and there are some that I wouldn't send my dog to.

    Financially, of course, they will be more affordable. JUCOs have a great amount of scholarships, if they are fully-funded. But, here's the big kicker, in my experience...JUCOs do a horrible job for the education. There's little-to-no academic advising. Instead of graduating in 4 years (without a transfer at a 4-year school), JUCO transfers often graduate in 5-6. At best, 4.5 years.

    If someone goes the JUCO route, I encourage you do do a lot of the academic work yourself in finding what you need to transfer. Set yourself up. Do not rely on their academic services. Do not rely on the coaches to help you (although some are good, small number). Additionally, the academic standards just aren't going to set a student up for success at a 4-year school.
     

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