Changing Landscapes - Chicagoland

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

  1. Formation Change

    Formation Change New Member

    Chicago Fire
    Nigeria
    Dec 18, 2019
    I am not sure how to multi-comment (please feel free to drop me a DM with how that is done) so I bolded my thoughts in your message.
     
  2. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
  3. Formation Change

    Formation Change New Member

    Chicago Fire
    Nigeria
    Dec 18, 2019
    I thought it was just the boys that can play both?

    Hopefully clubs and high school coaches are working together to make sure the players get to participate in each respective season as much as possible.
     
  4. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    I'm assuming that you aren't blaming them for this. I've been trying to figure out this landscape for some years and more time than I'd rather. As you know, I'm approaching this on the young end (my son is 2011). I'm doing my best to put in the time to understand the landscape, but I would be surprised if many others are doing as much as I am to figure it out. And reading this chain is both educational and frustrating. The list of acronyms is exhausting. The completely NW suburban approach makes it feel like y'all are in a different state. But I also recognize that if there were more people involved in the city itself, then those people might be on this thread and contributing opinions. So it's no slight against you all that post when I say that I'm frustrated. Rather, I wish that some city folks would be involved.

    I've heard coaches say YSSL is better than NISL. My son's former club only played in NISL, so I don't know. I've heard that NISL is owned by the folks who own Sockers. My experience with NISL is that from a parent side the platform is a bit easier to use than what I've seen of YSSL. Looking ahead to the next stage and MLS Next, Super Y, ODP (does it exist anymore), and other opportunities that I can't remember, it's just dizzying.
     
  5. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    No I am not. I believe there should be an expectation of trust that clubs and leagues maintain. That does not excuse parents from seeking a better education on the sport in so much as value vs cost and what their player(s) are getting out of the overall experience.

    I think I have it right in my post but their are plenty of good posters who can correct me if I am wrong. It can get very frustrating for sure. In the end we all want our children to grow in a positive - development based environment. Much of that requires clubs, coaches and so on to progress and stop treating members as a $$$. Some get it right - some get it wrong and often most have a good coach on certain teams and that's it. But again - I bet other youth sports are no different. We need a clear path of relegation and continuity IMO.

    I am not following you on this one - sorry.

    Not sure it it has changed but the NISL at the top end requires a good deal of travel - simply because teams at that caliber are further away. That has led a good deal of clubs to stick with the YSSL. I feel that the NISL offers more resources for teams and clubs frankly - especially for those who want to play above GOLD/A/1 divisions.

    I thought Sockers sold off their ownership of the NISL last year or the year prior - not sure if that is true but perhaps another member can jump in on that one. Same for MLS, MDL etc...

    Looks like Super Y is sinking in Illinois. Many of the clubs that were involved when we were playing are no longer participating or able to get numbers - Crystal Lake Force for example had to merge with Lake County SC to get enough numbers recently. I think in Reg II, Liverpool is the strongest effort in Super Y and they win a lot - by alot!

    ODP seems to be on the up but lets face it - top ECNL and GA players are not wasting their time with ODP so it will likely never be at a level where it was before 2009. Right now I hear a lot of parents saying that they are using it as extra practice for their players. Hell often, players miss big games because their club is off at a tourney and ODP has to call up the second ranked players to fill in.
     
  6. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    What I'm trying to express is that I've read a lot of posts by people talking about clubs that are nowhere near me. That's fine, that's their world, and I'm glad that they have clubs in common to discuss. Sockers, Magic, Crystal Lake and others are a long way from Chicago's south side. Sure, I know one kid who is with FC United and another with Chicago Blast and while I can't remember where exactly they're based, I know they aren't in the city proper. Why are there no teams in the city that are at the same level as Sockers or FC United? Surely it can't be from a lack of demand. And it shouldn't be from a lack of parkland, either, as I can think of turf fields up north (Clark Park, Lincoln Park, Humboldt Park) and a number of "grass" fields like Montrose, Foster, Winnemac, Union, and Smith. To the south there are turf fields at Lions for Hope (btwn Western and California south of the Eisenhower), Douglas Park, Dunbar Park, de la Salle, Hales Franciscan, Jackson Park, and even more grass fields all the way down to Calumet Park and in West Pullman. I'll grant that Chicago Fire Academy I would assume to be at the level of Sockers, but I don't see posts about it here. So I'm just blowing some steam that I'm not seeing city folks talking about their local clubs and trying to get their clubs up the ladder. If city folks were posting about their clubs, I would be able to learn about a wider swath of the soccer in the area. All of that said, I guess I should just be glad that this thread, which apparently started as a Sockers vs Magic thread, has broadened to now be a Chicagoland thread.

    Oh, and if anyone wants to fill me in on Chicago Blues and how it spun off of Magic, I'd love to learn. I imagine it's a good yarn.
     
  7. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Gotcha... The one club I know that had some decent teams that played on those fields (some of them) was/is Northwind. Magic at one point had a City location and then there was the developement of Lincoln Yards that - damn, maybe it was FCU that was in on? Of course that effort failed.

    Are you - at all, on about under-served kids in the city as well? Those who have skill but not the financial support to go at it - at one of these big clubs?

    Chicago Blues? I'd like to hear about that as well.
     
  8. illinisoccer

    illinisoccer Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Chicago City has some good teams. Fire Juniors City are usually good. Some of the factors why the city clubs have not been great include money (suburban clubs pay more and attract top coaches) facilities (Not many big complexes to host several teams at a time for a couple days a week) and location ( a lot easier for 1-2 city players to drive to the suburbs then for people to move around or come to the city)

    The Chicago Blues director was a director at the Magic for awhile before Magic died.
     
  9. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I forgot about Chicago City and Fire Jrs City - thanks!

    Who was the DOC at the Blues and was that club pre-Magic/Sports Club?
     
  10. smontrose

    smontrose Member

    Real Madrid
    Italy
    Aug 30, 2017
    Illinois, NW Suburb
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sockers asked parents to decide between club and h.s. too many training days leads to injuries is the reason.
    They have scheduled tournament specifically for when h.s. players return.
    I dont really care...kid still doesnt want to play h.s. and I dont think h.s. coaches would play clubbers who cannot attend all practices.
    Nisl vs. Yssl ? Come on!
    Last thing. I dont understand why these supplemental programs like super y, odp. And nisl select dont have higher level participation. My boy is 04. The 04 pool in this region is stacked. The difference in his club pool of DA to non DA is not that clear.
    Why aren't more players just below that level not flooding these other program opportunities???
    I question the players commitment and desire for the sport...
    Would love others thoughts.
     
  11. illinisoccer

    illinisoccer Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Chicago, IL
  12. Kroad

    Kroad New Member

    Apr 17, 2020
    Couple thoughts on those supplemental programs you note:

    - I've talked to my player about Super Y thinking it would be of interest to her, but she raised some valid points. First and foremost it's summer and playing 11v11 games in the heat vs. going swimming or doing something "else" on the weekend seems a little daunting. Secondly, while it is with different players, her perspective is that its kind of the same thing she is doing all year, and she'd rather do some week long "fun" soccer camps or 3v3 tourneys to enjoy the sport in a different way. I found her arguments to be pretty compelling so we are going to continue to sit this one out.

    - ODP - we did the trainings last year and as an observer I thought they seemed both helpful and fun and with "higher level" participants than most of her team at the time. But the session times for our age were either inconveniently early/ late on the weekend and/ or conflicted with regular team activities. Given that it wasn't free and she wasn't that into it, we did not do it this year. For those who are looking to put their player in a somewhat more competitive environment than their regular IWSL team or just wanting to try something new outside the club, I think this is a good place to get a flavor for that (even if you don't actually make the team). I've recommended it to a few folks, and both enjoyed it.

    - NISL Select - you and I had some correspondence on this program in the fall which I greatly appreciated, and after the tryout she was invited to participate with the girls pool. She was excited to try it and the Sunday night timing would have been ideal, but the COVID restrictions shut it down and the second session did not work for us. I think she'd be open to trying it if we can fit it in and suspect the trainings would be pretty similar to ODP (but there are no games for this program).

    Overall though I would say as a parent I really had to discover all of these programs on my own (mainly seeing them mentioned in this thread somewhere). I suspect your average parent has no idea that these even exist, and that certainly hurts the participation rate. I was surprised that our club coaches never mentioned a single one to us as part of our "development plan". It just goes to show as a parent (and player) you have to take some ownership. The opportunities aren't always going to just come to you.
     
  13. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Woops - thought Blues came first.

    I see JORGE VALLE is the coach we are refering to. He was the City coach for Magic so am I to assume he created Blues with left over Magic "City" players?
     
  14. s0cc3rdad011

    s0cc3rdad011 New Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Aug 4, 2020
    Took my kid to 2 tryouts and she liked them both.

    I only got to see one. It looked ok. I don't know anything about coaching soccer so it's hard to judge. I'm not going to reference where it was. I don't want it to sound like I'm speaking negatively about them because I'm grateful for the opportunity but based on the conversations with the coach I haven't been very impressed. Pretty short and simple not a lot of depth in anything in regards to my kid and her tryout. Felt like a sales pitch on their club and league and college players. It's like if I went into a parent teacher conference and talked only about our school and its district and graduates but not the actual student?

    Been impressed with my short conversations with a coach at Sockers. Didn't get to see my daughter tryout there but the conversation with the coach was pretty detailed in what they saw in my kid and also what their plan would be. Was up front on where she could start and I appreciate that even though it wasn't in their top team. He also coaches both the top team and the second team so it would be great that she gets to work with a top coach.

    Its my kids decision in the end. She's now realizing that she's going to have to leave some of her friends on her current team and having a tough time with that. Whatever she wants to do I'll support.
     
    Ryan7852 repped this.
  15. Kroad

    Kroad New Member

    Apr 17, 2020
    #4740 Kroad, Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
    Hey that's great! Thanks for the update.

    You could certainly ask to go back to either/ both for another session or two. We did a few before making up our mind. As the consumer you have some leverage, at least for now. Also was not clear if you are trying to move right now in time for spring or for fall. Could (and should) certainly take in some games if you are willing to wait, although a spring transfer gives you a nice short window to check it out assuming you can work the fee and release situation to your satisfaction. You can get some interesting insights talking to or just being a fly on the wall listening to the parents on the sidelines either way.

    But it sounds like you are both thinking about it the right way which is great.
     
  16. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I would ALWAYS be sure to go and watch the 2nd team. Depending on the age - a second u15 and up team can be a complete disaster. Sure the training may be good but at this age, games become equally important. I know a close friend that was lured on to a northshore second team thinking her daughter would get a ton of keeper time because they simply lacked a keeper. They were fed a line of BS from the DOC and the coach and are for sure leaving at the end of the season.

    You have to be careful at these ages because second teams are basically rec soccer in MANY cases. Much of this comes from the overall pool being depleted as players leave for other activities that high school offers, boyfriends and so on.

    Sockers 2nd team - which I am guessing you're talking about, has a good coach who does both GA and that 2nd team. I am not sure of the rules for GA but with DA, part-time players could play in other leagues so when those players are scattered on the 2nd team - they should be pretty good. Sockers training is pretty good as well - but requires a huge commitment.
     
    Ryan7852 repped this.
  17. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018
    I disagree with you.
    Fire is better option for the boys.
    Talent pool, especially from 2006 down is equal if not better at Fire. This is the first year (2006) that new management made their selection.
    Fire is better organized than Sockers when it comes to having complete development of the player.
    Most important is presence of medical personnel at every practice/game.
    I am sure my son would've played thru his injury if he played for any other club.
    Nutricionist, video analizing sessions, mental development coach and academic tutoring classes available adds to it.
    Not to mention the cost of the program
     
  18. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018
    To higliht some advantages of Sockers I would say outdoor facility is better (Village is building two more turf fields in Bridgeview and resurfacing the old one which was awful).
    I like bigger pool of players, I wish Fire would've more teams to compete for the top.
     
  19. Evos

    Evos Member

    Liverpool
    Poland
    Apr 15, 2020
    you mention 2006 group
    Sockers 2006 beat Fire the last 2 games they played each other , granted that was 2019 (no games played against each other in 2020).
    Since Fire can choose who ever they want they should easily beat Sockers but they can’t.

    is it coaching or terrible scouting ? I don’t know but the score line does not add up
     
  20. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018
    The last two games at home Sockers 06 did win and also lost their away game before that vs Fire.
    My kid is 07 and we won vs Sockers but I won't say that we are better because of that.
    He and 3 others 07 played for 06 the game we won but did not impact the game (especially him, did not help his team much)
    Sockers like their big, dominating kids ans they do make a difference up to u15 or 16.
    Are they more talented? I don't think so.
    At this point Fire looks to develop specific players not necessarily to win games.
    I hate saying that since no coach likes to lose for sure.
     
  21. bluechicago

    bluechicago Member

    Nov 2, 2010
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Until Fire can show that they can produce the high level/professional players that Sockers has a record of producing, they will always be behind. It is going to take years until people believe Fire have passed Sockers.
     
  22. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    So I am too far away from Sockers - boys as well, but I would be surprised if the pool at Fire was better.

    That's said - we have a Fire vs Sockers conversation - something I have not seen in years!

    Have at it.
     
  23. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Yeah this is where I am at. Since my youngest is a 05 I don't know any ulittles in either program - nor any of the teams as a whole. Maybe in a few years Fire will produce better players but for now, clearly Sockers has that market dominated and by quite a bit.
     
  24. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    Speaking exclusively to reputation, Sockers does have a sterling reputation in the Chicagoland area. I know of families who are so sure that Sockers is the ticket that they commute from the City's lakefront to wherever it is that Sockers practice. As someone who watched MLS from 1998 on while living in Chicago, I often took note of players that came out of here, and noted that a lot of them came through either Sockers or Magic. IIRC, Mike Magee and Brad Guzan used to enjoy ribbing each other about victories of those two clubs as they came through those two club rivals.

    But there are certainly other clubs that have produced professional soccer players. Eric Lichaj came out of Downers Grove Roadrunners, then Chicago Fire, then UNC and Chicago Fire Premier, according to Wikipedia. Djordje Mihailovic came out of Chicago Blast, then joined the Chicago Fire academy, before going professional. The Chicago Fire academy has produced a number of homegrowns, though how they will work out has yet to be seen.

    My observations include the following:
    - It seems like a lot of professional players, e.g. Mihailovic, Pulisic, Reyna, Marvell Wynne Jr., have parents who were professional athletes. Having a trailblazer in the family seems to help navigate the waters.
    - There is often a difference in the clubs that give players the early formation, i.e. birth to about age 12, and those that give training at puberty and beyond and their academies. Huge clubs aren't necessarily needed or the best for the early formational years.
    - Having a top club requires hitting a sweet spot of a sustainable number of good coaches, enough kids to create healthy competition, administrative leadership to keep everyone organized, and having facilities sufficient to support the coaches and the kids. I'm sure that I'm missing other important elements, but if a club hits all of these, I bet it has a good foundation.

    So reputation-wise, and speaking of the puberty and beyond age programs, I agree that Sockers has the best reputation. But I'm hearing parents being fine with sending their kids to FC United and to the Fire academy. I've heard that Chicago City, Chicago Blues, Chicago Blast are all on the up-and-coming, so it will be good to track those clubs and see if they are able to also produce top players.
     
  25. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Serbia
    Jul 4, 2018

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