Eddie Johnson on the state of youth soccer

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by upper left, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. upper left

    upper left Member

    Crystal Palace
    Uruguay
    Jan 27, 2018
    I don't interpret this as an ENCA v. DA argument, rather on the state of youth soccer... but what can be done as I think college ball is similar. It is what it is... for many reasons.

    upload_2020-1-13_10-30-11.png
     
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  2. bustos21

    bustos21 Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    NJ
    Club:
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    His tweets are spot on....
     
  3. TheKraken

    TheKraken Member

    United States
    Jun 21, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well that is exactly how college soccer is played, so maybe that is what the coaches are looking for at the "college showcase".
     
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  4. CoachP365

    CoachP365 Member

    Business Metrics SC
    Apr 26, 2012
    This tells me Eddie doesn't watch much college soccer...
     
  5. GotSoccerIsDumb

    Fire
    United States
    May 30, 2019
    It's a broad statement. He could've been watching two bottom tier teams play because in the showcases teams are matched up based on their record. Regardless he's just another keyboard warrior who can point out the problem but offer no solution.

    My response to Eddie: Step up, son. Put your money-making individual training program that hosts many ECNL players aside and get into real coaching.

    Let's not forget this is the same guy: https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/8/12/5995883/eddie-johnson-apology
     
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  6. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    THIS! It's like people complain about "pay to play". OK, fine. It would be great if it didn't cost anything. But what's your solution for:
    * Paying coaches
    * Paying referees
    * Field Upkeep
    * Uniforms
    * Training equipment
    * Finding other comparable teams to play (there's a total of 8 teams in our state open league in DS' age group... maybe three of them competitive)

    <crickets>
     
  7. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Even if you could strip out the uniform costs (play in T-shirts, ...), even if you had reasonably qualified parents willing and able to take on all the coaching, even if you somehow convinced referees to work without pay (best of luck with that, and who blames them given what they put up with), ..., land just isn't free and donors who want to give you space for fields are exceedingly rare. A lot of people who haven't had a hand in running a club fail to consider this.

    And if you don't live in a major metro, those quality opponents are even harder to find without hitting the road.

    I have plenty of complaints about the state of youth soccer, but the solutions are harder to come by than a lot folks think.
     
  8. GotSoccerIsDumb

    Fire
    United States
    May 30, 2019
    All soccer played with a ball in a uniform with shoes on a field with goals and a referee is "pay to play". The only variable is who's paying. Whether its local tax money given to park districts, membership dues, donations, wherever it comes from.
     
  9. CoachP365

    CoachP365 Member

    Business Metrics SC
    Apr 26, 2012
    Yeah with 66 teams there you gotta figure, there's some variance in "Elite".

    But even if he spun up a club, he can't earn his way into the ECNL. Apparently he's in Bunnel, so maybe if the USSDA bags OC or FL Krush in Oviedo to fill int hat huge triangle between Jax/MIA/Tampa, the ECNL would backfill with something close to him.

    He could just take a team and climb the USYS side but again, it's rare for the USYS clubs and ECNL teams to meet. You start dropping games to teams that are in a "lesser" league, parents start to ask questions, nobody wants that....
     
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  10. CoachP365

    CoachP365 Member

    Business Metrics SC
    Apr 26, 2012
    True. I think the issues with pay to play are taht for professional development, the model should be more like the rest of the world. Clubs with senior first teams arrayed in leagues that fit their ambition developing players that will either join their senior first teams, or be sold to other clubs to get on their ladder to join the senior first team, with solidarity and training payments being made appropriately.

    Sure, if you're just trying to get into college, pay a club to train you, if you're just icking about with friends in the high school off season, pay a club to get you shirts/fields/refs, etc.

    The problem is, there's a lot of paying for the first (aspiring "professionals") for people who are suited for the third (community based during scholastic offseason).

    But hey, someone has to keep midlevel hotels and pizza uno in business....
     
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  11. CoachP365

    CoachP365 Member

    Business Metrics SC
    Apr 26, 2012
    Insert "so that training is "free" to the player/parent, since it's part of the club business model to have a pipeline of players for the 1st team and/or revenue from players sold to other teams." after that first paragraph.
     
  12. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    I've heard this brought up before and I'm not against it, but are there enough clubs in the US with enough sponsors to make this practical? OK, you've got the MLS DA's, but you're leaving a LOT of the country out of that mix.

    Do other leagues around the world have as wide a geographical area to cover as the US (obviously there would need to be multiple leagues, but is the money there)?
     
  13. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    #ProRelForUSA
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    I've Been Everywhere Man
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's always the same from several of these groups and it comes back around nearly every month. But, the two people who are never addressed to fix the situation are: parents and players.

    No one has to keep paying. Players can do more on their own and are smart enough to start figuring things out on how to play and how not to. I talked to a coach this week who is paying $1400 for his 7 year old to play. He knows it's absurd, but continues to do it.

    Parents like the "status" of being with a certain brand. They feel relevant. Players too. There's no glory or bragging rights in grinding on your own. Everyone likes to throw out they are doing their "10,000 hours" but in the end they are doing an "1,800 hours" for their development.

    And, we wonder why US soccer has declined at the NT level? We see numbers from college to MLS or USL aren't strong. It's always someone else's fault the kid isn't good, forget taking ownership in one's own development.
     
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  14. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I sometimes feel like the "system" did my kid a favor by deeming him non-elite rather early on. He was forced to pursue his love of the game outside of the club system. Granted, he was lucky to live in a community with a very strong pickup game culture but I know plenty of other middle-class kids who never took advantage of that "shadow world" and confined all their development to the club system.
     
  15. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Can players train on their own and figure out how to play and how not to? Sure. But where do they put that training to test? Pick up games? Then what happens if they're the best in their area's (and it might actually be a small area) pick up games?

    $1400 for a 7 year old seems a little on the high side. But is that for a full year or just a season? What does it include? Two 90 minute trainings a week and two hour long games on the weekend? Uniforms? Ref fees? A tournament?

    I just looked up our local rec league (where out kids started). A "season" is just fall and spring (you can play in either one or both). Cost is $85/season. That includes one uniform (but not shin guards or cleats), 8-10 games I think and a practice session or two. That's pretty cheap IMO.

    Step up to the Select version of the club (where my DD is playing now). $725/year (U8/9 is $525), does not include uniforms, and there are additional assessments depending on what tournaments they go to.

    It all depends on what the end goal is (for parents & players) and if the cost is "worth it".
     
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  16. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    #ProRelForUSA
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    I've Been Everywhere Man
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Same here, but I never could travel to do club either. It was too far and I did play other sports. But, it's what we did that was so beneficial. We played. All the time. No matter what it was, we continued to play.

    I never played organized football, but I was one of the first to play growing up until I stopped playing with them when I was playing college soccer. Those Turkey Bowls were fun though!

    Create a league. Work with communities to do more for affordability. Don't rely on the "system" to get the job done because it's obviously failing. Competition always happens, it always did. The culture helps create that.

    It was just one season. It's a mess. A major merger/acquisition also happened and made everything so expensive.

    In our area there is one club that does some younger sessions for $60 (six sessions). They basically just run around with a ball and go get drinks. That's it. Maybe try to do some toe touches or in betweens. Then it's over. Everyone leaves.

    We found another that we had no idea about, just around the corner from our house. It's relatively the same price, possibly a little more. But, it's two times a week, a training night and a game day.

    One is a major club. The other is a rec organization. Which one is better? We are moving our kids to the rec organization. They can get socialization much more. They are with kids a whole season (somewhere around 10-12 weeks). They get opportunities twice a week. They train AND play. And, it is closer.
     
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  17. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In fairness, that's not possible in every community. This part of northern Virginia is very diverse; LOTS of first- and second-generation immigrants playing pickup in parks, grassy areas, unused school fields, and indoor facilities.

    We were able to afford club and our son did so pretty much all the way through HS, although by the last couple of years he'd settled for being on an OK-not-"elite" team at the nearest club (the one he'd begun as a rec player in preschool, in the good old days when my wife and I were blessedly ignorant of the realities of club sports!) and wasn't pursuing much of anything beyond playing on weekends; the team wasn't all that ambitious and that frankly kept costs down.

    He did play college--through a connection he made through his HS coach.

    I'm not saying club was useless--he learned some basic tactical skills I'm sure, and up until Middle school (when he began making friends in the community through being on the Middle School team) playing club was really the only soccer he could get. His first travel team was "ambitious"--practiced a LOT, entered every tournament they possible could, scheduled scrimmages against teams on weekends off, did indoor over the winter, etc. On paper, probably over-the-top, but they were in grade school and all that running and playing was relatively easy for them, and it did give him a lot of soccer when the street/pickup soccer thing just wasn't an option.
     
  18. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    #ProRelForUSA
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    I've Been Everywhere Man
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What isn't possible in every community?
     
  19. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    We are talking youth ages, right? Who coaches? Who pays the refs? Where do you get the fields?

    Sure, you can MAYBE get parents to volunteer coach. Does that mean they're actually able to teach skills? You want volunteer refs? We can't get folks to volunteer for the concession stands.

    It would be great if it didn't cost anything to put your child in an activity. Is that realistic though?

    Our local select club has costs that are about 1/2 of what my son's club costs. But the local club also has coaches that are in charge of 3-4 teams, my son's club has one coach for every team. And yes, that does make a difference when it comes to scheduling. Just one small example of what more money gets you.
     
  20. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Street soccer/pickup games. In many places there just isn't the critical mass of young people playing unsupervised sports on their own time.
     
  21. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Development does not take place in a vacuum…the reason the overall development of players in the US is lacking, is, in large part, because the overall soccer culture in the US is lacking…soccer is a team sport, team sports require a collective mass of quality players in order to produce better quality players… quality begets quality…

    I don’t know what the specific answers are, and I certainly don’t claim to have them…but we have to figure out a way to grow the domestic popularity of the sport independently of our international competitiveness/recognition... we have to stop comparing ourselves to rest of the world so much, where we fall seriously short, and learn to appreciate soccer on our own terms; and in ways that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the rest of the world….soccer can’t just be an every 4 year craze or flag inspired party…the more popular the sport is, the more the issues and problems will work themselves out…

    I know, easy said than done…more a ramble than anything…
     
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  22. Backyard Bombardier

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jun 25, 2019
    I agree completely, especially with your last sentence. To that end, what sets soccer apart from football, basketball and baseball is that its not popular at the grassroots levels in the United States...high school and college. The former in particular.

    If we get to the point where high school soccer games become community events like football or basketball games are, its popularity will subsequently expand at the college level, and then those beyond. Pride leads to pressure to win, which attracts talent and resources.

    How to get there....IDK. I do not imagine that having many of our best players vanish into DA and the like instead of winning games for Central High is helping. Having Boys high school soccer play in the fall where they compete for attention and athletes with football, is an avoidable hurdle.
     
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  23. upper left

    upper left Member

    Crystal Palace
    Uruguay
    Jan 27, 2018
    DA has killed boys high school soccer in most of the country, and in many metro areas GDA has had a similar effect.

    A big metro area that has two or three DA clubs may only have a couple hundred high school aged players restricted from representing their schools, but that is very significant. Think of the effect it would have on high school basketball if AAU was a year-round league?
     
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  24. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    #ProRelForUSA
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    I've Been Everywhere Man
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are plenty of public spaces all over the country that are largely empty.

    Basketball, football, and baseball have worked out just fine without paid, full-time coaches and staff members. Why hasn't soccer people chosen to do better?

    I know it's an issue. But, this is exactly what I'm talking about...no one is addressing the issue of laziness from soccer parents and soccer people.

    Lazy people just rely on "others" to do everything else. It's easier to pay someone else to coach than take my kid out to kick a ball around. It's easier to pay for a tournament for "college recruiting" than actually do the research and start getting my kid into the college coaching radar.

    Not advocating for 100% free, but no youth sports need to cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to play.[/QUOTE]
     
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  25. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    #ProRelForUSA
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    I've Been Everywhere Man
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Correct, so make it that culture. Start offering those opportunities. Take kids out and do it. Get parents together to sort that out.

    It takes someone to start doing it. Instead of just saying, "well, I'll just pay someone else to make my kid better at THIS sport."

    I'm sorry, but the DA hasn't killed HS soccer wherever I've been and wherever I go. While HS sports participation numbers fell in 2018-19 (first time in 30 years), boys and girls soccer both added participants (2,715 and 3,623, respectively).

    I've seen amazing crowds at some of these events too. The DA just cannot service enough players that it would really "kill HS soccer."
     

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