Changing Landscapes - Chicagoland

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

  1. RandomSoccerFan

    United States
    Sep 11, 2022
    Can't speak for all of them, but know soccer and basketball pretty well from personal experience running around the country with both of them. Hard to believe, but basketball is about 2x the cost of soccer. Less kids on each team, and indoor decent facilities for basketball are more expensive than soccer fields. Everything else, from coaching to travel to administrative to profit to whatever, can be within the same ranges for both sports. As fragmented as soccer is, it is much more connected regionally and nationally than basketball. It's easy to see what soccer teams are doing, and the leagues - while there are many of them - are relatively understandable. In basketball, everything is tournament-based, and it is hard to tell which players will be on the opposing team until you get on the court. Standout players rotate among quite a few teams, hopefully not within the same tournament, but absolutely within the same weekend, and certainly within the same season. There is no "player card" that would slow this down from happening, so it does. And even if they have "exclusive membership" to what would be considered ECNL level play on that side, those same kids also play for local teams all the time to get additional court time. And with all of the money seen at the end of the road in the NBA, the craziness of an 8-year-old's parents who curate the Instagram life of their kid star is at a much different level than in soccer. Of course it is there too - but the sheer volume of it is different on the basketball side.
     
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  2. WI Soccer Dad

    WI Soccer Dad Member

    May 2, 2022
    What is the 2 choice rule?
     
  3. RandomSoccerFan

    United States
    Sep 11, 2022
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  4. illinisoccer

    illinisoccer Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    A player is only allowed to play for 2 clubs during their career. Let’s assume like soccer that most kids start at their local club. They are only allowed to move to another club 1 more time. The AAA level is exempt from that rule. That is the ECNL/GA/MLS Next level. There at 5 AAA boys clubs and 4 girls in Illinois. Otherwise most clubs are considered Tier 2.
     
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  5. SoccerLife5

    SoccerLife5 New Member

    France
    United States
    Jul 26, 2023
    Eclipse, Rockford, Wave and Galaxy still has good representation at the USYNT camps. FCU GKs just seem to be what they are looking for.
     
  6. illinisoccer

    illinisoccer Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Not many field players participating in tournaments recently
     
  7. RedsSupporterNWA

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Feb 9, 2022

    To be fair, over the years there have been a ton of really good kids from the Chicagoland area that haven't made the national pool either. It is next to impossible for a kid to make the national pool.
    Maybe playing outside year round is a factor in selection. Or do kids develop faster playing outside year round?
     
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  8. SoccerNet101

    SoccerNet101 Member

    Feb 9, 2022
    Exactly, what I was going to say. FCU had a defender on the girls side who made the national team a couple years ago, and they have sent several keepers. Now the Galaxy keeper looks to be next up. But for field players, the climate I think makes a difference. Training outdoor all year makes a difference. It's not that they are playing more games, some of these clubs in IL play an insane amount of games that do more harm that good. Rather it's the open air training. Outside training with wind, different conditions, and non-turf fields make a big difference. Plus in CA and TX you will see soccer having a larger cultural importance than the midwest. Top athletes are more likely to stay in soccer there, where around here other sports attract the better athletes.
     
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  9. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member+

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Sounds like F1 testing in Bahrain this week. Thos engineers hate that!
     
  10. shoplifter

    shoplifter Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Too many clubs, too many closed leagues, too much incentive for letter league clubs to just poach the top players rather than develop their own. I very strongly believe that if USSF would actually do it's job rather than pawning it off to a bunch of competing organizations, things would improve, but cat's out of the bag at this point.
     
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  11. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member+

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    You win the internet today!
     
  12. TinyClub

    TinyClub Member

    Jul 11, 2019
    I think this is why ECNL or GA should offer badges to MORE Chicago teams.

    Galaxy developed a heck of a 2008 team.

    Give consumers/parents the opportunity to bring their kids to the place that develops the best. That will lead to a better player pool.

    Eclipse was a textbook example of what happens with a monopoly. Bad coaches. Bad investment in facilities. Bad treatment of players. Bad communication. Bad treatment of parents. Bad development. But, this talent aggregator (and to a certain degree, this was true of FCU), was the "only game in town" and so they got away with it.

    With teams that will compete based upon talent development, quality coaching, good communication, and customer service, the market will direct kids to the BEST place instead of the ONLY place. You can already see the impact of the open market on the old school clubs.
     
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  13. shoplifter

    shoplifter Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Will fully admit that everything I know about the Chicago landscape is from this thread and from our boys drawing with the Galaxy 08s last June. The market here is such that I'm 99% positive that no other club will get full ECNL (boys or girls) because it would cripple a specific club's market advantage in their ability to poach the top players at every age group.

    I will say that I've heard a few rumors that an existing ECNL club from outside the city is going to take over a current local RL club and that club is getting a full badge. The issue there is that the RL club's teams at every age group have essentially fallen apart and are getting killed in RL, let alone what would happen in NL. Their only hope would be that players would move just because of the badge, which just exacerbates the problem with the closed league structure.
     
  14. SouthwestSoccer107

    Fire
    United States
    Oct 15, 2023
    Also, I am not sure the local clubs are even training enough. Are the top ECNL or GA clubs even training three days a week 90 minutes year round? To my knowledge, most don’t practice for periods of the summer and have limited winter programs. Many clubs struggle to find ( or don’t want to pay) for sufficient indoor space in the winter to run 1 hour practices. Many kids move towards private training or things like futsal just to get reps.

    Hard to compete against clubs that mandate more structured team based training and can do so year round.
     
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  15. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member+

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    This is so true. My son's clubs each conduct two one hour indoor trainings each week. One supplements with a third indoor training twice a month, but it really does slow things down. And winter is long. Which is why one club isn't enough. And in summer, only the other club has good summer-long programming. But that second club doesn't have the prestigious badging of the first club, though I'm sure that its first team could beat the first teams of all but maybe two teams in the state.
     
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  16. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member+

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    In the girls side Sockers is 3-4 days a week depending on the age with multiple games. IWSL will also be in the NPL so Spring/Fall they are on the field 5-6 days a week.

    Winter is probably 4-5 days a week if you include games, 3v3 and so on.

    Campton was near that - maybe one day less depending on the team.

    CSA was the same as Campton but with far more players per coach.

    Force I think are 3 days a week with serious conditioning 1-2 days. Not sure on the Winter program there.
     
  17. WI Soccer Dad

    WI Soccer Dad Member

    May 2, 2022
    Call me dumb. But I honestly thought all ECNL and GA clubs were pretty much year round at this point.

    My daughters club is the fall is 3 days a week 90 minutes long with the option of a 4th day with the RL girls if it's wanted.

    In winter, it's 3 days a week 75 minutes long with the option of an extra if wanted.

    Mid June to Mid July off, the back half of July is a summer pre-pre- season program, and then August things are right back at it.
     
  18. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member+

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    My post was for teams below ECNL & GA.
     
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  19. SouthwestSoccer107

    Fire
    United States
    Oct 15, 2023
    On the ECNL side in the Chicago area it all comes down to facilities. Fall / Spring is probably close to what you outlined. However, I don’t think many even give a four day option. Winter is based on the club and where they can get indoor space. Eclipse has struggled in that aspect. Inter I think has been ok, but I’m not sure they are training three days a week in the winter (I’m not counting leagues). I’m guessing Rockford is fine with their massive complex.
     
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  20. TinyClub

    TinyClub Member

    Jul 11, 2019
    FC United announced SP is now "senior" director of all girls programs reporting directly to AP. Looks like, at best, CW was either demoted or pushed down a rung.
     
  21. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member+

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    I'll agree that facilities are key. Every club within the city is itinerant as far as I can tell, except for CFYSC. The combination of brand name plus facility makes them the magnet for talent within the city.
     
  22. illinisoccer

    illinisoccer Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Chicago City has a pretty good program for the city.
     
  23. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member+

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    Don't get me wrong, I think the world of Chicago City. I think they're ambitious, thoughtful, and succeed in developing their players. But they’re still itinerant. Once they solve that hurdle then they'll be able to mount a serious challenge to Fire. I have faith that they'll get there.
     
  24. ThisGuyIllinois

    ThisGuyIllinois New Member

    QPR
    United States
    Sep 2, 2019
    I would disagree here. The quality coaches that they bring in who have valuable experience elsewhere tend to get pushed out, according to some convos Iv had. The staff turnover based on their website seems to be rather extreme from year to year.
    Their teams finished near the bottom of NPL2 in Chicagoland last year and are now at the bottom of ecnl rl based on fall games, small sample size though. Seems like they are more perception than reality IMO. But for some I’m sure they are a good fit as leaving the city for soccer can definitely be taxing. Maybe a parent with experience there could speak on it more as they seem like a complex org.
    Running a club in the city can be difficult due to higher rental costs. Unless a club owns facilities I would say the quantity of trainings necessary to compete at the highest levels. would be hard to achieve without pricing people out. Chicagoland is big enough for many decent clubs. Id say it’s pretty capped out though in terms of ecnl national league and GAL clubs. IMO we probably have less girls than ever playing soccer in Chicagoland yet have more national platforms than ever.
     
  25. RandomSoccerFan

    United States
    Sep 11, 2022
    #7225 RandomSoccerFan, Feb 25, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2024
    Chicago City is showing as 37th strongest boys club in IL (out of 58), and 43rd girls club in IL (out of 44). It isn't easy to create and keep strong teams without decent facilities, so if the boys have at least an RL team that appears to be holding its own, it's definitely an achievement. FYI - the girls rating is rather low because they show no rated 2007G and no rated 2008G current teams. If the younger years stay together as they progress (or if existing 2007/2008 teams play enough rated teams to be rated themselves), the rating will certainly improve, even if the existing teams perform similarly.
     

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