European Traveling Youth Team

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by Eleven Bravo, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So, since US Soccer closed Bradenton residency camp; I can’t help but notice there is a void left behind and an opportunity missed to prepare young Americans for a career in Europe. On this point, I recommend a European traveling residency program:

    *Schedule games across the calendar year to play youth teams around Europe.

    *Help bridge the gap for youth age groups to prepare them for a contract abroad.

    *4 seasons... Winter (Nov-Feb), Spring (Feb-May), Summer (June, July), Fall (August-Nov). Allowing for opportunities for MLS club academy players to participate for a season and maintain eligibility for MLS club.

    *Regarding MLS clubs > They would loan a player to the US traveling team for a season.

    *Ideally, 23 players would be selected for a season. (This number can flex).

    *Teach German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch. > Based on where the team is playing for that season.

    *For instance, the traveling team might pick to play in Germany for a “winter season”. During that winter season, the player would learn German.

    *A hypothetical schedule for summer...
    destination: Germany
    week 1-2: Borussia Dortmund
    Week 3-4: Bayern Munich
    Week 5-6: RB Leipzig
    Week 7-8: TSG Hoffenheim

    *From an education standpoint, team stands as a travel abroad course.

    *A part of; but a different function from the US U-17 team.
     
    David Kerr, tippco333, Luksarus and 3 others repped this.
  2. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    The easier answer is to bring back Bradenton. I’ve yet to see a good reason for why it went away.
     
  3. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    it would be easier, and I want to see it returned too, but I think we need to go a step further. We need to help the players without Euro passports find clubs abroad.
     
  4. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Are we sure the coaching and game opportunities we'd get for a program like this would be substantially, rather than incrementally, better than what we currently have? I could see this being a tough sell to top coaches, and it seems like the matches would be all exhibitions/tournaments, and thus of comparatively little importance to the teams we'd play. Or is that immaterial, and this is really just meant to be a shop window program?
     
  5. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’d say it’s more of a shop window program and a chance to familiarize players to the European atmosphere, learn the language, speak with coaches overseas, and so forth.

    I think of the Haji Wright’s of the world, who cannot go abroad until they’re 18. This gives them an opportunity to get in that environment.

    More so, I think of it on the personal level as a parent... which, I might not be okay with my kid moving abroad in the first place. But I may be more appeased if it’s a brief travel abroad experience and after a few months, they’ll be back home.

    At the club level, I think of it similar to when senior players go to train in the offseason with European teams. They gain extra experience and with exposure to increase both their performance and their market value.

    On the schedule, I would imagine it’s a whole lot less difficult to get European youth teams to agree to play this traveling team. So, although the team would not be playing for a competition, they would be playing for their reputation and a chance to showcase their talents.

    Overall, the purpose is to improve the quality and quantity of youth players overseas.
     
    TimB4Last repped this.
  6. Brotheryoungbuck

    Jan 24, 2015
    parts unknown
    To me this sounds like such a 1970s movie kind of solution. At this point, like the rest of the world, our own domestic leagues should be developing our players. Otherwise players can trial overseas. Maybe do a Bryang Kayo thing, and honestly if your abroad team won’t pay the stipend to the USL or MLS team for your training compensation maybe you’re better off not going abroad.
     
  7. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    fair point.

    but are our clubs at that level yet?
     
  8. Brotheryoungbuck

    Jan 24, 2015
    parts unknown
    Some are some aren’t. None don’t have the capacity to do so.
     
  9. asoc

    asoc Member+

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tacoma
    Did Bradenton actually do anything besides provide cherry picked players a place to train at a decent level at a time there were no other options?

    Bradenton got lucky on its first crop of players.

    We have multiple professional academies that are better than Bradenton at this point.
     
    Brotheryoungbuck repped this.
  10. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    That’s missing the point, but thats exactly what all the proponents of closing Bradenton say. They try to brag about it, while they unknowingly ignore the ramifications at the same time.

    The reason why Bradenton is more helpful is that a lot of these players are in a middle ground at that age. They are stars in their own age groups in the DA. By the end of the U-17 cycle, they are all too good for the DA. Some of them are already too good when the cycle starts. MLS teams don’t always have a good place to put them. Some MLS teams don’t even have a USL affiliate. Some have USL League One affiliates, which is an extremely low level.

    There are also some of the best U-17’s who don’t come from a DA club with a professional affiliate. Sargent is a good example of this. What would’ve been your solution for him? Is it to let him play for another two years in the DA against inferior players?

    This cycle Axel Alejandre was a good example of a player with nowhere to play professionally. FC United has no pro affiliate. He was a big part of the team all cycle, yet lost his spot at the end. It was probably exactly because there was no Bradenton. The other players were playing professional games, and he was playing U-19 DA games.

    You can say that’s a good thing that merit with professional advancement was taken into consideration with leaving him off the team, but the problem to begin with is that players such as Alejandre don’t have the equal opportunity to develop, unless they play at one of 25 footballing programs in the country. This is a big country. You can’t contain all the best players in 25 locations.

    What if the Chicago Fire dropped their U-19 team the season prior, and the years worked out such that Las was an ‘01, the U-17 cycle was for 01’s, and he had nowhere to play? Do you want your best players in that age group having nowhere to play? You can say it’s all hypothetical, but these hypotheticals are going to be what happens eventually without Bradenton. There were good players effected by what the Fire did.

    This is also all moot because there’s not been a requirement the last few cycles of Bradenton that the best players stay all cycle. If you have a better development path, which includes a high level European academy or a consistent role in MLS, that player doesn’t need to be part of Bradenton. They can be added for the big tournaments, and players such as Pulisic and Weah took that path in recent cycles of Bradenton.

    I also wouldn’t discount that players benefit from higher level competition playing with and against the best in their own age group. They play more games in front of European scouts, and they end up having more familiarity with their teammates. I don’t see why there can’t be a lot of turnover during a season. Last cycle, there was barely any turnover without Bradenton, so this part of it that people mention didn’t get any better last cycle without Bradenton.
     
  11. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    Can you please specify whom exactly Bradenton produced after the first class which isn't Bradenton.
     
  12. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Bradenton is not meant to produce players. These players are too old to be produced at 15-17. Bradenton gives the best talents a chance to better develop their game.
     
  13. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    Who became a good player based on that chance? Or you agree that 18 years and 600 top prospects were just wasted? And how many more quit after being rated a second class citizens?
     
  14. asoc

    asoc Member+

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tacoma
    WTF does Bradenton have?

    Who was Bradenton playing and how much was he actually playing with them?


    What did Bradenton have that was so special as to be better than a decent USSDA team?

    There was a reason why they stopped the program.
     
  15. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    They stopped the program because it was costly, and the MLS teams got upset and thought they were being undermined. I've explained why it was a good thing. You've yet to explain why it was a bad thing.
     
  16. bpet15

    bpet15 Member

    Oct 4, 2016
    We currently have something close to this. I would tell you to go research The TalentProjekt which is centered in Düsseldorf.

    I’ve learned about this from a friend of mine in Dallas. Apparently it is connected to a great school as well. There is a decent cost but rumor has it that there are some serious investment dollars behind it.

    I don’t recognize many of the players (current crop is 2004), but this is the first year of their existence.

    According to their Instagram, they are able to register in a league (lower division), play friendlies against most of the big clubs and have had kids invited to bigs clubs for training stints.

    It sounds very similar to what you want, except it’s not USSF funded and they don’t yet have the top tier talent. Still, it’s a very interesting concept and something that could possibly take off if a pathway to getting signed by a European club is clear and common.

    Website is not that great, but they do give results of all the matches they play.
     
    Eleven Bravo and TimB4Last repped this.
  17. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What I didn't like about Bradenton at the end was a seeming promise to play players who practice there over players who were already with superior MLS academy's. Had they not favored those players I would have been OK with it but I think the only way to get commitments was that promise.
     
  18. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Wicky did the same thing with this cycle's team, and there was no Bradenton. He played inferior players because they had been on the team all cycle.
     
  19. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, but he did have a late start and didn't have the team the whole cycle. Kind of seems he just used it to get a MLS gig and didn't want to make waves.
     
  20. BigBirdLenny

    BigBirdLenny New Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    What if USSF subsidized/partly owned the academy and team operations of a USL squad with the ability to assign a certain number of academy seats or roster spots for players who are not committed to MLS academies, etc? Then the Haji Wrights of the world would have a home until they leave for Europe, and other prospects who choose that path could get regular training and decent competition? It seems like this would be cheaper than running Bradenton, but maybe I’m wrong. There are other issues that would have to be addressed: (1) what’s the incentive to play these kids on the Sr squad, (2) do federation coaches play a role, (3) school and relocation, (4) unhappy MLS stakeholders who don’t want academy kids to have even less reason to sign HG deals.

    Personally, I want club teams (MLS, USL, etc) to capture the benefit of developing players, because that’s the only thing that’s going to create sustainable growth in development. Something like this could disrupt that growth.
     
    USSoccerNova repped this.
  21. STANDFAST

    STANDFAST Member

    United States
    Jun 8, 2018
    I know MLS academies like FCD would rather walk on broken glass than put their unsigned players on tour in front of European teams.. But its an intriguing idea.
     
    Eleven Bravo repped this.
  22. asoc

    asoc Member+

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tacoma
    You gave a bunch of reasons that as far as I can tell are pure fiction.

    Hence why I asked you some questions that you chose to ignore.

    What was Bradenton actually providing that the USSDA teams weren't.
    They key part of that is what was Bradenton Providing.
     
  23. gogorath

    gogorath Member+

    None
    United States
    May 12, 2019
    Having the majority of our youth teams at a single location would likely improve youth results.

    But is that the goal? I thought development was? I suppose you could make the argument that playing against the very best as defined by USSF would give these kids a slight developmental edge. And they’d likely be familiar with senior team tactics once that day came.

    But presumably the best of the sounders academy gets to practice with the first team a decent amount. And I’d bet Danny Leyva is learning more having to mark Nico Lodeiro than say, Thomas Roberts in a hypothetical Bradenton.

    I don’t think there’s a definitive answer here. But there’s a lot of pros and cons on each side.

    It’s also worth noting that while Clairefontaine is bright up a lot, it’s actually only one of 12 academies in France and basically covers Paris. That kind of coverage in the US would be crazy expensive.
     
  24. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I answered your question already, but you didn’t like the answer. It’s a misleading question because not all academies are the same. I suppose you are asking it from a Seattle perspective.

    If that’s the perspective, I think it provides the players with better competition on a day to day basis and in games. It also puts them in the shop window for more European teams.

    Compared to a team like FC United, I don’t know what the argument is for FC United. I’ve yet to hear you or anyone make a compelling argument for why we needed to get rid of Bradenton.
     
  25. David Kerr

    David Kerr Member

    Liverpool
    United States
    Oct 18, 2019
    #25 David Kerr, Dec 31, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
    Look at how many brandenton guys actually made it to the USMNT or even the u20’s. The best players who would have been at brandenton now how the ability to train with actual professionals above the level of their fellow u17 players which is better for their development.

    The other problem with brandenton was that if you weren’t in the group then you had little shot of making the national team that cycle (Alex Mendez, Chris Richards, Uly Llanez, Richie Ledezma, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Paxton Pomykal). Brandenton was good when there was no higher level offered for our u17’s now but now if you’re a player of that level you have no excuse to go to a MLS academy where you can train with older and better players or go to a club like Barca academy. Even the 2000’s which was a great cycle ended up having all the non brandenton guys actually jump the guys at residency with exception of Josh Sargent.

    For the 2002’s would guys who emerged later in the cycle even have made the team like Danny Leyva, Kobe Hernandez-Foster, Ricardo Pepi, Bryang Kayo, Griffin Yow, and Nico Carerra? Probably not if you look at past cycles where if you weren’t in “the group” you did not go to the u17 World Cup unless you were a standout international player.
     

Share This Page