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U.S. Soccer drills down
by Paul Kennedy, August 31st, 2012 3:40AM

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TAGS:  development academy

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[DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY] U.S. Soccer will add a U-13/14 division to its Development Academy program in the fall of 2013, further drilling down in the world of youth soccer.

The U-13/14 division will consist of current Development Academy clubs and possibly add clubs from outside the current Academy structure to help meet the regionalized format with less emphasis on travel.

The U-13/14 clubs increase training to four times a week and play fewer but more meaningful matches.

The Development Academy's ban on players playing high school soccer means that freshmen entering high school will never get a chance to play high school soccer. And the long season means these players will probably have to choose soccer as their only sport at a younger age than they previously did.

"We started the Development Academy to improve player development on all levels, and adding a competitive structure to the U-13/14 age group is an important next step in this long-term process," said Development Academy Director of Scouting Tony Lepore in a statement. "The U-13/14 age group is at a very crucial stage in their development. Applying the overall philosophy of the Academy to the U-13/14 age group will allow us to continue to shift the focus of the young elite player to meaningful training and competition."

The application process, format of the schedule and other matters will be announced later.

The Development Academy kicks off its sixth season the weekend of Sept. 8-9 with 80 teams among three conferences and seven divisions at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 levels.



10 comments
  1. Dan Donovan
    commented on: August 31, 2012 at 9:43 a.m.
    What I would like to understand is what metrics US Soccer is using to prove that the program has been successful. If they just institute these changes with no measure of outcome by which to be judged, they will always tell us how great it is, with no accountability. For me, the measures should include: How many of these 13-14 year olds continue through the Acadmey to, 15, 16 17 and 18? I would want to measure how many 17 and 18s sign with professional clubs here and overseas, not how many go to college as has been noted in recent press releases, b/c the latter won't improve our National standing. There are also other "negative" measures that US Soccer may want to look at like how many kids burn out and drop soccer all together, how many leave soccer for another sport, etc. US Soccer should seek to be completely transparent about these things if they are going to convince me that the Academy program is the best thing for US soccer.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: August 31, 2012 at 9:54 a.m.
    Exactly, why not rank clubs on players developed by clubs with numbers of years in that club? I am positive that 90% of all pro players have developed in snall non ranked teams for most of their youth.

  1. Joseph Pratt
    commented on: August 31, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
    Dan's comment is right on the mark. There should be a clear accounting of the results after 5 years in operation. And where does this effort by US Soccer end? U11/12? U9/10?

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: August 31, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.
    Please don't bite on Luis' continued attempts to racially and ethnically divide our soccer community. He will race-bait you and call you a racist if you disagree with anything he says AND absolutely in no way EVER trust anything he writes - it is a proven fact that he lies about everything so his comment about 90% of pro players coming from small non-ranked clubs is total BS from a pathological liar that, oh by the way, coaches at a small non-ranked club.......he never played the game and thinks simply by his ethnicity that he is far superior to anything and anyone in the US soccer coaching community.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: August 31, 2012 at 10:46 p.m.
    Psycho. Do you know how to post anything else that has nothing to do with me? Are you that obsessed with me? You need a picture of me you homo? Whats wrong with you? Are you suicidal?

  1. Luis P. KIFUTSAL
    commented on: September 1, 2012 at 9:17 a.m.
    Did you guys see Brazil 4 (Olympic Team with only three players over 23 years old) x USA 1 (First team)? Those Brazilians players played streetsoccer and Futsal from 5 to 13!!! 11v11 soccer just came into their lives when they turned 14-15!!! We are not born talented soccer players! We are born, exposed, work hard and get RIGHT training then it makes us become very good at anything! There are millions of Futsallers/Soccer players in America, but the same millions doing wrong or started playing too Futsal too old and who is the coach during crucial 5 to 12 years of age? They don't play 24/7 Futsal, they play soccer, they play AYSO soccer, they spend money playing club soccer with Mr. Winning coach Such and Such and sometimes play Futsal inside a 3-10million dollars facility, which now are already charging too much for you to play 1 hour of Futsal with a coach who doesn't even know what Futsal really is and players become even more clueless how they should play this new game themselves on top of the soccer game they are already not doing right!!! I have been coaching and teaching Soccer and Futsal in So Cal for 18 years now!!! I have seen many soccer talented players who from one reason or another did not excel anything nor became anyone big in soccer! Why? This lobby sided system that seems to never get into the right track!!! Who is your true soccer idol? Where did he play when he was 5, 15, 20, 25? Did any European team want to have your American Soccer Idol in their roster? 10, 20, 30 years from now, do you think with all this mess USA soccer will produce any player to play at an elite team in Europe? Do you know how many hours per day Brazilians alone spend thinking, playing and dreaming soccer per day? I've never heard this word 'burn out', "too much soccer" in my entire life until I came to North America!!! Do the American Olympians train too much or too little? How many hours of swimming do you think Phelps put a day? Did he train too much? How can you really get better in any sport? Winning, winning, winning? Or training, training, training? Did he start swimming at the age of 18? The answers are right there in front of your eyes and you seem not to see them??? Good luck USA soccer players! 5-14 streetsoccer and futsal 14-18 soccer, footvolley, beach soccer...all the best players coming together, compete, excel, soccer 24/7 18-22 maybe you will have a chance to go pro!!! Whatever you did from 5 to 18, you will turn 80, and you will still have it all down!!! Making big or not, it will be with you for life!!! www.realfutsal.com

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 1, 2012 at 10:22 p.m.
    Exactly. Its almost like these kids will not play or practice on their own if they are npt paying someone to babysit them. Most clubs frown on players playing extra games on other teams even if there is no confict or its off season. Its all money. The product people are paying for is an English accent that played somewhere and or winning. If they get both the price is probably really high. Nobody really looks into deveoped players by any club. Te best basketball player are made with np pro training. All they need is an available court nearby and others to play, showcase, learn against. The best soccer players come out the sme way. If you drive by a Hispanic neigborhood though, you wil see plenty of pickup games going on. Hmmm.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: September 2, 2012 at 2:45 a.m.
    Again, please don't bite on Luis' race-baiting - as you can clearly see, he thinks no white or black people play soccer on their own and that they are pampered brats that only play soccer when fooled by someone with an English accent (Luis hates whites, blacks, and has a special hate for the English) - this, of course, is another one of his blatant lies.......He thinks 'Very few in the USA know much about soccer' but he never played the game and coaches at a small, racially-segregated club so one can also clearly see he has some jealousy and victimhood towards the bigger clubs in his area.....he actually thinks that a coach, a US staff coach, etc. would not pick a player from his club or a small club simply because of the size or name or reputation of the club - yes, he really is that blinded by racial prejudice and hatred of all things American.....DON'T BUY INTO THE LIES AND DECEIT AND VICTIMHOOD and if you are in the Chicago area do the right thing and try and let his players and parents know they are not being selected for other teams due to a fair assessment of their talent and that has to with the level of training they are receiving and it is NOT a racial bias or club status - unfortunately, this is what Luis is teaching them.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: September 3, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
    What are you babbering about now? Hate is a very strong word that you love to use so loosly. Stay tuned on my website for a big announcement in he next few weeks. Its pretty impressive for someone like e that didnt even play at the college or pro level. And I have to thank people like you Gordon, that fuel the fire that motivates me to prove what Hispanics are capable of in Usa with the outmost class and determination.

  1. Teresa Buffington
    commented on: September 10, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.
    How are all these families affording the Us Development Academy and able to justify the expense? Ours is $10,000/year when it is all said and done...with 2 kid that is a serious expense. Our club draws kids in closer at the U13 age group. It is where the kids start making relationships with their teammates more seriously and connecting as a team more seriously. Then the good ones don't want to go to "academy" because they connected at U13 with their club team and coach...now with the change to Us Development Academy going U13/14 that brings yet another dilemma to community soccer clubs which will ultimately hurt them financially which will ultilmately hurt soccer...also now where are the good kids pushing the ones that want to get there...I know it is only a handful of kids but 18 kids is enough to change the dynamics of a state's club programs...just wait and see..sad. The development of a player comes with a kid that loves soccer and a good program where he is getting training. It is not just the Us Developmnet Academies that are doing that.


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