What would you pay?

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by VolklP19, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    What would you pay and how far would you drive?

    Your kid is a low level player on an MLS Boys Academy team (or what ever the hell they are calling it these days). Or your daughter - a low level player on a top ECNL team.

    What is that worth in terms of cost annually? What are your expectations in terms of what your player should get for that?

    How much drive time (weekly) are you willing to spend for all that fun soccer?

    Finally - what is your break point? Is it cash/expense or is it coaching/resources or time on the ball?
  2. SoccerPop314

    SoccerPop314 Member

    United States
    Apr 24, 2020
    I'm not sure what the consensus is but if my kid really loved her teammates and was totally into soccer even if she didn't play I will likely still pony up the money (We are fortunate that we are able to say that). However, if she was frustrated I would absolutely move her to a different lower team.. whether within club or a different club. It's all still pay to play and honestly, if you are on a higher team and your child isn't getting a lot of playing time.. I don't see the purpose of continuing. Being on the field and contributing is always more fun than driving and sitting on the bench.
  3. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    I don't have to think about it yet but it would probably depend on what my kid's top out potential is. If he is going for a college scholar ship I might be willing to spend more (a couple grand more per year perhaps). And it depends on if you enjoy the lifestyle (watching games, etc).
    For me personally if my kid were really into it and had talent then I would spend say 3-5k / yr. And find a club within a 30 min drive.
    I wouldn't spend that much though if my kid isn't getting good training and high minutes of game time. I would go to a lower club where he can play more. And then tell him to play lots of pickup games and I'd help him train or come up with a good training plan that he can do on his own (or with my nudging).
  4. Neko975

    Neko975 Member

    Red Star
    Jul 4, 2018
    I am not sure what "low level" really is but I guess my kid fits this bill. He is 07 that played 06 for MLS Boys academy team and he was the worst performer on the pitch.
    In practice and games.
    Somehow did not do well with 06 kids. On the other side, he loves playing for 07.
    Thankfully he is back with them since March.
    Money wise I can't complain since is almost free. Driving is a different story, I work 12 hours rotating shifts so a lot of planning is involved to get him to practice. Car pooling with other 06 parent, sometimes they have same time practices and we have to have a new plan every week. One hour drive during the rush hour used to be terrible for me but I got used to it. I did not think much about where would I take him if he gets cut at the end of the year
    CornfieldSoccer repped this.
  5. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    So no college scholarship - walk on yes but no money for soccer in college - that is the line. Where do you go from there? This is a general question for the majority of players (who are not getting college $$$).
  6. Malarkey

    Malarkey Member

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Mar 4, 2020
    In that scenario, I would pay $$ but we would not spend our lives in the car. And it would be predicated upon my kid developing and enjoying it in a big picture sense.

    At the end of the day, being rostered on one of these top teams does two things for you that are hard to replicate. Puts you in a training environment consistently full of top players and exposes you to high(er) level competition. Of course it’s possible to find pockets of this elsewhere. But your best bet is these teams/leagues, so this is why you drive and pay the money.

    Breaking point for me would be anything more than 45 min to practice. But we have the luxury of living in a huge metro area so plenty of options in that radius.
  7. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Great question. The quick answer is too much, a line we crossed a long time ago.

    I used to good-naturedly grumble about driving across town to practice. Now we do a 3-hour round trip two to three times a week (carpools made this possible initially, but since the pandemic started, we've been out of the carpool). The club is sort of ala carte, so you pay for each thing your player is part of -- which can be a good deal, but can also add up.

    His team is good, but it's not academy level, so there is zero chance of any scholarship. And as of this season my son's a bench player (half hour or so a game). Reality may be trying to tell him and us that his ceiling is in sight -- maybe we find out in the next round of tryouts this summer.

    The how-much line was probably around $1,200 a year, all in, at U10-U13 or so. But it's continued to push higher as opportunities presented themselves and his interest level grew or at least maintained.
  8. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Are we just talking registration fees, or registration + uniform + assessments + travel?

    As far as time, 90 minutes would be about the extreme and it would have to be an AWESOME experience. My wife and I work 40 hours a week, we don't really have time to drive for three hours (RT) and sit through a 90 minute practice on a regular basis.

    One year I tried to track everything spent on soccer. This included camps, hotels, assessments, etc. For my daughter, the total was <$1500. For my son, it was over $9k, but that also included his ODP trip to Germany.
  9. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    My $1,200 all in above at U10 and those ages, with travel, was probably more like $1,500-$1,600. We're way beyond that now, though I intentionally haven't done the math lately.

    I'd prefer to not do 90 minutes to get to practice, then the wait while they practice, but we don't live in a major metro and the nearby clubs don't draw the same caliber of player (the club is regional). I work in my car while I wait a lot of nights or, over the winter, watched a little basketball on the phone. But it's far from ideal.

    One of my son's past coaches grew up in a pretty remote spot in the Southwest and played with a friend on a club that was five or so hours away. Carpooling, sleeping in the car while a parent drove, I assume some overnights and missed school days for practices, ... What we do is nuts and past several lines we used to swear we'd never cross, but I still like to think that's waaaay beyond what I'd do.
  10. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Seems it would be a personal decision based on what you can afford.
    The kid could also try to play at a community college to start. The tuition is usually very affordable.
  11. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Never, ever, ever count on a college scholarship or let that factor into your judgement. I don't care if you child appears to be the next Messi or Morgan, there are WAY too many things that will change over time.

    MANY clubs will claim "this is the path to college". IGNORE that. Join a club because you like the coaching, you like the location, you like the competition, you like the cost, child likes the teammates, just about anything else. Do NOT look at the cost as an "investment in college". If that's what you think it is, you're going to be better off putting the money in a 529 plan and paying for college that way.

    I strongly believe most athletes will be able to play their sport SOMEWHERE. It may not be at the top schools, but they'll be playing.
    CornfieldSoccer and kinznk repped this.
  12. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    100 percent this. There just aren't that many available -- 9.9 max per DI men's team, 14 on the women's side, if the school fully funds the sport. Many don't, and I'd suspect in the current climate the number of those that do will drop.

    I went to a seminar last year with my son put on by two area coaches, including a DI women's coach who said, while his team is fully funded, a lot of coaches he knows have more like four or five scholarships to offer. Most players pay for the privilege (or get academic scholarships that help).

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