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USA baffles in 2-1 win over Haiti
by Paul Kennedy, February 18th, 2013 6:29PM

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TAGS:  college men, under-20 world cup

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[CONCACAF UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA opened play at the Concacaf Under-20 Championship with a 2-1 win over Haiti. Baffling is the only word to describe the performance of Tab Ramos' team that did not lack for preparation -- he had his players at eight camps in the past year -- but performed like it had never played together before. Luis Gil and Daniel Cuevas scored to put the Americans ahead 2-0 after 25 minutes, but they struggled for much of the evening in Puebla and were very lucky to escape with a win.

With the exception of Cuevas, who was taken down for a penalty on the first goal, scored with a blast to the far post for the second goal and should have been awarded a second penalty, and to a lesser extent Cody Cropper in goal, the Americans were very, very disappointing.

The backline was disorganized and spent much of the game chasing the Grenadiers. The midfielders didn't help out, turning the ball over time and again. And except for Cuevas, the frontline was largely invisible.

Players playing out of position and key absences could be used as excuses, but that it is a reality all teams face at the U-20 level.

But Ramos will have a lot to think about before Friday's final group match against Costa Rica.

With all his best center backs unavailable because of commitments abroad (John Anthony Brooks) or injuries (Walker Zimmerman and Will Packwood), Ramos went with Caleb Stanko and Shane O'Neill, both better suited to play in midfield, as his center backs, and went with Boyd Okwuonu and Javan Torre, both center backs in college, on the outside with disastrous results.

Ramos went with the 4-3-3 formation national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been preaching for all national teams, but it left the Americans badly exposed as they failed to hold on to the ball in midfield and showed absolutely no attacking spark except for what Cuevas provided.

The all-Latino front five -- a first for a national team in a competitive match -- was, on this night, a bust.

Wilberne Augusmat pulled a goal back in the 49th minute, burning Okwuonu badly, and Haiti pressed for the equalizer. It finished with a 12-7 edge in shots and 10-4 edge in corner kicks and was the better team throughout.

Feb. 18 in Puebla
USA 2 Haiti 0. Goal: Gil (pen.) 3, Cuevas 25; Augusmat 49.
USA -- Cropper; Okwuonu, Stanko, O'Neill, Torre; Trapp, Joya, Gil (Kiesewetter 77); Villarreal (Lopez 63), Rodriguez (Ocegueda 86), Cuevas.
Haiti -- Elusma; Saint-Louis, Voltaire, Charles, Saint-Jean (Nazon 59), Chery, Amicy, Horat, Augusmat (Metellus 61), Maurice, Estama (Fede 79).
Yellow cards: USA -- Kiesewetter 89, Lopez 90; Haiti -- Amicy 28, Charles 90.
Referee: Jafeth Perea (Panama).



62 comments
  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: February 18, 2013 at 8:43 p.m.
    Are we serious? Is this what we are producing?

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: February 18, 2013 at 9:20 p.m.
    Everyone, I mean EVERYONE involved in Soccer in the United States at the Youth and College levels should take responsibility for this travesty! The entire "US Soccer System" needs not only re-evaluation but basically to be "torn down!" My goodness!

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: February 18, 2013 at 9:56 p.m.
    The good news is, it's not enough just to win any more. It will be another 20 years before there is actual pressure on US soccer management to do something, and Sunil will be gone by then.

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: February 18, 2013 at 10:06 p.m.
    That's strange. I thought that as soon as the US team is predominantly Hispanic, it will have no difficulty in beating anyone.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: February 18, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.
    Cute DM! First time in the history of US Soccer that we field a predominantly Latin roster for a major tournament, they win, but win ugly and we immediately get cheap shots from the peanut gallery!! That said, this was an awful display from players that have been touted as future stars -- Luis Gil and Villareal particularly. Maybe it's the MLS connection that has caused the problem since the only player that actually performed was Cuevas and he plays inMexico. Ramos said they would be playing a possession game -- hard to do when the central mid couldn't complete a pass and the back line was limited to squre passes or launches. Chicken or egg, the back line never got the ball to the midfield or the midfield neveer held possession???? Ramos better turn it around with Costa Rica or DM will be joined by a chorus of "boo birds".

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:30 a.m.
    R2 I don't think just winning has ever been enough when playing Haiti. David, could it be that we are only scouting Academy, basically and hardly anywhere else? International players are a given. Its simple and logical. If Mexico national teams invest in recruiting USA players that only means that our scouting system is subpar. We shouldn't be losing ANYBODY to any of these countries.

  1. Robert Williams
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 9:14 a.m.
    Are you guys aware that Harvard (a mediocre college soccer wise)beat the main Haiti national team 1-0 on 2012 and this US U20 "National team" was outplayed by Haiti U20 national team?? What good moments Tab??? please tell us?? The fact that you underestimated a nation of 10 million people only which only 500K play soccer and you started the game with a 4-3-3 formation and ended up with a 4-5-1 to defend a goal lead against Haiti??? What about next time bring a high school team (I know, you are one of those that thinks that high school soccer is bad for development...) like Gonzaga to represent the US with more dignity??? What about to stop selecting players only because they are fast and big??? What about a real national selection process were you scout not only mediocre academy players but real soccer players??? EMBARRASSING TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!

  1. Aaron Murray
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.
    It's pretty clear that the Haitian streets are a better youth development system than our highly touted suburban-promoting pay-to-play youth system, for which parents shell out thousands and drive hundreds of unnecessary miles to play games. If we continue to rely so heavily on this pay-to-play demographic we'll never be better than mediocre. Imagine basketball and football drawing only from such a white-bread demographic! You can't imagine it . . . unless, maybe, you think back to the time of segregated athletics. Now, in 2013, just as with basketball and football we need the kids who can't pay but who CAN really play. If the MLS does more for youth development to feed its first teams, then this will gradually start to happen. But we can't lose the college years -- players must begin on pro reserve teams at 16, 17, and 18 as they do in all soccer countries. Haiti is a soccer culture and although Jozy Altidore was born in the U.S. and learned to play here you can be sure it was Haitian heritage and soccer culture more than pay-to-play academies that made him the player he is. He's broken through already in the Eredivisie and he's due for a breakthrough in national play. He needs better service and more opportunities and better support, like he gets in Holland.

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.
    Big picture, both the U20 and MNT are trying to play out of the back, to demonstrate to our players how it should be done and how far we have to go. This is a necessary step forward since there are thousands of clueless youth coaches out there still programming our defensive-minded kids to only play kick-and-run and thus ruining any chance of development. Midfield/attacking chemistry isn't something that happens in one camp, so I don't think we should be overly worried about that just yet. Quality players will figure out how to break down defenders/formations. Kudos to Tab for taking risks and making proper adjustments during the game to secure the win. Am curious now to see how the team fares against bigger guns. Is there a link to replays of the entire match against Haiti? Are future matches online or only on Fox?

  1. Nut Meg
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
    I will just copy & paste my answer because it is the same old. "It does not matter if you have Jurgen Klinsmann, Pep Guardiola, Tab Ramos or Sir Alex Ferguson as our National team coach, the issue is how we are raised playing soccer. Jurgen can only do so much with what he has and what he has is pre-programmed robot's playing soccer. Yes, they might be fast robots but this is a special game, if you do not have the skill, composure and creativity to go with it then we will not be able compete consistently with the rest of the world. "

  1. Tom Crossett
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.
    Once again, aren't we glad this Academy system is working. Yep, can't play high school to play this high level program and these are the results. Hmm, makes one wonder. Maybe we can get more input from foreign sources who don't have a clue to our heritage. Oh well. Onward.

  1. Paul Lorinczi
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.
    Chris.., as a friend of mine says, "You can't make donkeys into stallions." That being said, we are going through growing pains. We are transitioning from the last 30 year model into a new 30 year model - an amateur to professional model. At the same time, the competition in the region is getting stronger too. (except for the poor Canadians). It's not time to freak out. Just because we implemented a new academy system does not mean the old ways are not still being taught. You can also question whether the best talent is participating, or the best talent that can pay are participating. I think we have another 5 years before we start seeing the changes start coming to fruition. Give these kids a chance.

  1. Nut Meg
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.
    We do not have the players - we have fit college players. Once again forget about tactics. You are way off. Its like trying to teach rec players how to play out of the back when they have no basic skills yet. Walk before you run with the real soccer teams. We need a mentality change from U10 players and up. Our national team players have been brain washed for too many years and have no ability to beat players. It is is simply amazing to me. We should be producing great field players not just great goal keepers. Our skill level is yearssss behind the rest of the worlds and that is what separates real players/teams from us. Can anyone say megs. Our skill ability is absolutely horrendous.

  1. C Remund
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
    And as we write this the club structure is forming U8, U9, U10 etc.,competitive teams.

  1. Michael Murphy
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.
    Time is not the issue. Choose soccer players at the younger ages, not a bunch of athletes. Most of our national team players lack the technical level to compete outside this region.

  1. Michael Murphy
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:40 p.m.
    Nothing new. It comes down to poor player development and identifying the wrong kids and pay to play. 80% or more of the boys and girls “identified” when they are 10 or 11 are usually the larger/faster athletic kids that dominate competitively. Winning at U11-U18 is very important. That is where all the money is for soccer in this country. Until the MLS and Women Professional teams are raking in the dough, the youth families of America are funding the competitive club system and nothing will change.

  1. Nut Meg
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:42 p.m.
    Again, this is not rocket science. We have college players on except for a few and sometimes these college players can pull off an ugly win depending on the day. The problem is we only produce great goal keepers and not great players. The reason is we are still more focused on speed, power, athletic ability and the physical. The problem is simple in this country but will be very hard to fix. It needs to be totally overhauled. The mentality is all wrong & has been for yearsssssss. I would rather have my U10 player try to meg someone, loose the ball & get scored on. I can go on & on fellows. This is a beautiful game for a reason, not because of just power.

  1. John Lowry
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 1:50 p.m.
    I am totally disappointed in their performance, as well! I expected a lot more. However, for folks to keep bringing up that we must pull athletes that traditionally gravitate to basketball and American football in order to be successful is getting old and is way off target. Yes, you need players that are athletic, as in any sport. However, it is much deeper and complicated than just saying we need inner city athletes. Spain, the best national team for at least the last five years, has NO athletes like the ones AM claims we so desperately need. Italy, the team that won the 2006 WC, had NO such players, as well. It would take too long to go in to the reasons why we our MNTs fail to impress on the international stage, but the main reason is not because we are not pulling the right athletes into the youth system.

  1. Robert Williams
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.
    Tom you are so right! how great the academy system is working in developing those "great players" now that they are not allowed to play high school soccer. Was light night performance a result of that great protocol of of training the soccer academies follow in the US??? How funny... I made my son watched the whole game last night and we came to the conclussion that his little U15 club team is much more technically sound that those 20 years old national team players...

  1. Soccer Truth
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
    Some of the players weren't bad individually, but the team concept was non-existent. Too many touches, soft passes, no ball circulation, no skipping players... Someone mentioned that US National teams are trying to build up, but they sent every goal kick long and Cropper punted a lot. The academy setup doesn't make sense for county of our size. The leagues need to be more regional so players can train 4 times a week and have a game on the weekend, like all leagues around the world. Does it make sense in the West to spend $25,000 to fly to Vancouver for one game? If we took all of the money spent on travel then clubs could invest in facilities and proper training methods. Also the Academies play games in bunches with breaks in between. Do you think that Arsenal, Barca, Chivas, Boca Jr's, Milan.. would risk injury to their assets (youth players) by playing them 3 full games in 3 days? We need someone with some vision to head up US Soccer and restructure the whole country. It seems that it would make sense to copy what every other country is doing with regards to proper leagues and the USA must be treated as a continent, not a country. Too big to be flying teams all over the place. Too expensive for some players and all of the best players aren't playing in academy programs, but US Soccer is picking mostly academy players for National teams to justify the academy program.

  1. Michael Murphy
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:08 p.m.
    The real problem is we need the Harvard men's college coach heading up the US U20 MNT. If he can perform at the same level with a bunch of brainiacs, we dump the US U20 MNT coach and team, and buy the Harvard team another kit, saving literally millions of dollars from those 70 academies around the country! :) Problem solved!

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
    Kennedy's statement that the "All Latino front five was, on this night, a bust (sic)" is uncalled for because it wasn't just them that were the cause for the mediocre play of the entire team, it was every single one of the players that took the field, PLUS the coaching staff and the ones on the bench! A team loses and wins collectively, so why just focus on this "group" of players, Kennedy? Whether they were college players (defenders) or midfielders from the touted "academy pay-for-play" teams, THE WHOLE TEAM STANK TO HIGH HEAVEN AND "WAS, ON THIS NIGHT, A BUST (sic)!!!"

  1. John Lowry
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:29 p.m.
    Don't be fooled if you think pace and athleticism are not required. I agree we need more technically gifted players, but you still need athleticism. Messi is the best player in the world not only because of his skills and intelligence, but he has tremendous pace. Without that pace, he could never score so many goals. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both have amazing pace and are great athletes, as well; however, they are also very technically sound. The answer is not to dismiss the need to have players with pace and athleticism. Again, there is no easy solution.

  1. Eric Dibella
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.
    Outside of a couple players, namely Cuevas, it seemed like there was not much heart out there. The play seemed too casual.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
    Please note that Luis Arreola and Ric Fonseca are simply biased and blinded by their ethnicity and racial divide, both never played the game, and are victims continually crying racism in player selection (even when the team is majority hispanic) and racism when anyone ever criticizes or now even mentions hispanics.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.
    I agreed with a lot of the comments but there was one issue that wasn't addressed in the article nor in the submissions --- why would Ramos have made the statement about his intention to play a possession game just before the tournament if he didn't intend to play that way and didn't feel his team could execute that style? It seems crazy to make such a promise and then fail so miserably? The back line was admittedly awful defensively (even though only one goal was scored). But, is it possible that this make-shift back line was also part of the offensive problem -- notably their inability to initiate anything out of the back, nothing but long balls and square passes?

  1. Douglas Wood
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
    I don't pretend to have all the answers to the United States' soccer woes but I think the lack of spontaneous play combined with over-organization at the younger levels contributes to the problem. You hardly ever see kids playing pickup soccer -- it's all organized. And I think at the U9-U12 Academy level, too much emphasis is put on winning games and tournaments and not on player development. I don't think they should even keep score at these levels and shouldn't play in tournaments until they are U13's. It's too costly and puts up barriers to those who can't afford club play. I think there are a ton of talented kids out there who never get exposed to soccer or get involved in other sports, a problem most of our opponents don't have since they don't really play baseball, football, hockey or basketball.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 3:55 p.m.
    Pretty strong statements Gordon!, Not being Hispanic I don't have the emotional investment that Ric and Luis may have but I'm afraid that what has existed in US Soccer can't be called anything other than racism, even though it may in some cases have been unintentional. The reality is that the pay-to-play structure kept out anyone who couldn't pay which meant that the ethnic group most interested in soccer was excluded, not just from playing locally, but also from the entire process for inclusion in the national teams structure! This meant little to the great majority of African-Americans for whom soccer was as foreign as for white Americans, but for Hispanic Americans it had to be a bitter pill. To make things worse, the primary spokesmen for USSoccer, the national team coaches, had next to nothing to say about this issue --- until Klinsmann! Klinsmann understands that generally the great athletes come from the under-privileged , for whom sports and entertainment have always been a way up. Tab Ramos's team is heavily Hispanic so it's successes and/or failures will be closely watched and debated. Hopefully the future of Hispanic players will not be tied to the success or failure of this one team! Hispanic players have an important part to play in the future of US Soccer. Their inclusion must grow!

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 5:06 p.m.
    Mr. Froelich: Vielen danke, merci, obrigado, thank you and muchas gracias for your keen and insightful comments.

  1. James Madison
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
    Maybe the U20s simply were trying to copy the senior team's play vs. Honduras.

  1. Robert Williams
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.
    Gordon, I think that you missed the point that Fonseca and Arreola tried to bring across. It is not about race, is about giving the chance to all players disregard if play academy soccer or USYSA soccer to be scouted to represent the US at the highest level. It is about US soccer trying to justify their failing academy system only selecting players that are playing academy soccer and leaving all others without a real chance to be scouted. Is about giving equal opportunities to all, disregarding club, academy, race and so on. We have thousands and thousands of kids playing the game of soccer and are you telling me that those players were the best available at the U20 age group? Midfielders that can not hold the ball for more than 3 seconds without turning the ball over? Defenders that are unable to bring the ball from the back? strikers that can not play with their backs to the opposite goal? Midfielders that continuously play the ball back into pressure and unable to make a turn?? Is this what is teach to academy players? is this level of technicality what you get for paying $3000.00 per year to play academy soccer??? Do we have any great talent playing National League, regional leagues, state cups and so on...?

  1. F B
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.
    Sorry, Mr. Hayes. Have to agree w/ Mr's Jouan, & Froehlich on calling you out on your comments. I've seen your knee-jerk, repetitive indictments of Mr's Fonseca and Arreola in the past. You invariably focus on attacking them, rather than the logic of their statements/arguments. Sounds like a modern political campaign. Furthermore, if anyone is race-baiting here, it's Mr. Kennedy. His bringing race into the critique of the team's front line is about as out of place as someone making a crack about the Boston Celtics had they lost their first few outings after they ceased to be a predominantly white team back in the day (nevermind, of course, that the boys actually WON their match against Haiti!). Kennedy's dribble is rubbish which panders to those out there who refuse to see the reality that many, like Mr. Froehlich, have observed. Several on this string have already mentioned the problems with the exponential growth of pay-to-play in this country, and the tendency of US soccer to see this system as the be all end all in producing the players who will represent our country. This system has all the money, publicity, and of late, influence, as it is more and more successful in inserting itself between the players it attracts and any other venue for participation in the sport. In many cases, players will be forced to make the decision between playing for a club, or representing their high school, instead of being allowed the opportunity to do both. Many have questioned the justification for this "all or nothing" approach by club soccer. Meanwhile, kids with more love for the game than money will continue to scratch away at any opportunity to break into the undeservedly lofty heights of US soccer. It was interesting reading the comments about Harvard soccer and their coach. One writer even suggested putting a different uniform on the "bunch of brainiacs" and their coach and have them be the new USMNT! I doubt he has actually ever met a Harvard student-athlete; they are quite human, regular kids, I assure you. Nevertheless, Coach Junot may be available, as he resigned from the Harvard boss' slot last month after a difficult, less-than-stellar 3 years. Coach Junot was, indeed, a standout player, appropriately enough for this discussion, from the high school system, not club soccer, so perhaps he could be a refreshing change to US soccer. Veritas, y'all.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 8:15 p.m.
    James F & FB & Gonzalo - fine comments and some good points but unfortunately it is about race with Ric and Luis and they have lost their way - making things more affordable for everyone is a legitimate point but I have made it a task of mine to warn fellow posters about Ric and Luis - they both never played the game and ALL their comments are solely based on racism and ethnicity and it creates an ugly divide in our soccer culture and I believe that fact is as serious of a problem as is affordability and I just want to make sure posters know these two are race-baiters that have no clue about the game - their only 'expertise' is based on their ethnicity........In point, Luis feels "Very few in USA know much about soccer" and "Hey, if Usa wont appreciate us then lets keep going to our nother countries. It will be funny to watch this jeep blowing up in teir face." and when the US beat Mexico at Azteca classless Ric wrote "Mexico did not field his top players, and I sincerely doubt that had Bradley and whats-his-name, played the result would have been the same." - these guys love it when the US loses and they are coaches and influencers of American soccer - sorry guys I wish I was wrong. I wish I could just pull for the US and see ratings by journalists and not concern myself with ethnicity or race, I wish Chivas would not put together a ethnically-segregated team (which Luis and Ric love) but they are, I wish Luis would not have founded a ethnically-segregated club but he did - it is a problem, sorry guys.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 8:58 p.m.
    Senor Hayes: Sorry but your comments are empty. Unless you have walked in my or Luis's shoes I seriously doubt you will ever understand us.

  1. Robert Williams
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 9:07 p.m.
    Gentleman, we all love soccer, we all are passionate about this awesome game disregard backgrounds, races and so on... We all choose to live in this awesome country and we are thankful for all the opportunities given to us, we all want soccer to grow and get better in the US, not for us, but for our kids and the following generations. Personally, I would like to see some changes before my time comes... I want to see more opportunities, better training, better competition and eventually a free of charge across the line true academy soccer programs like other countries in the world. Bother way, did anybody saw Jamaica beating Panama and how far that country came along??? A Brazilian coach that is in charge of the Senior, U 20 and U17 national team and oversees the U15.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
    We are in America so the proper terminology is Mister......All I need to know is that when my country beat your country you wrote "...I sincerely doubt that had Bradley and whats-his-name, played the result would have been the same." I don't need to walk in your shoes to know what you are all about - you defined that for everyone quite clearly.

  1. Mark Coppess
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 10:06 p.m.
    I have been involved in coaching all levels of youth soccer for 13 years. My philosophy has been winning takes a back seat to fundamentals at U-14 and below. Only the players who really want to learn the game come back the next season the rest go to another team where they play send it ball where they win more often. Every year I recruit new players to fill the roster. Unfortunately we live in a age of instant satisfaction, if we don't get the result we want then we push restart until we do. I have seen first hand at the ODP district level kids with very good technical ability and good field vision never make it to the state level because there not as fast and as physical as others. I have also heard stories from the new coach licensing courses of people getting national licenses over state because they played college or coach at a big club whether they are ready or not for the national license. I think what they are trying to do is a path in the right direction but they need to stick to it. There are a lot of good coaches at the high school or club level teaching the beautiful game but a lot of those players never get a chance after high school whether it be cost or just life. I've heard quite a few kids say ill never be able to play college or professional so I need to focus on my career. It's a shame that its this way if you do not know somebody, play for a big club or school your chances are slim to non no matter how good you are.

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: February 19, 2013 at 11:09 p.m.
    Have you all seen Curacao? Although beaten in their first match 3-0 by Mexico, "this is a good side..." And the majority play in Holland!

  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 1:56 a.m.
    Since everyone else is getting into "race" more than class, let me say that so long as our Professional Teams have at best a tangential connection to actually finding, signing and developing what we perceive as our "Best" soccer prospects, we will continue to see things dominated by the primarily upper middle class suburban college track pay-for-play system which certainly includes the ODP scouting and selection process. A fact of life here is that a professional club has far less invested in what "race" someone is than in whether or not that kid is a good bet to make them some MONEY, either as their future player or as someone they can SELL on to a larger side. Until our "Single Entity" MLS changes to allow the Professional Teams to help develop Professional Caliber players, well we will continue to see the bulk of our young players reach their mid teens and... Stagnate. Even the very best College programs simply do not play enough competitive matches, or matches of any level to truly challenge and develop a young player. The sad fact is that we are set up to produce College players and few of them can make the leap to the next level and play at a true Professional level. Having "Academies" in and of themselves does little to change this fact, they have a dearth of sides nearby to challenge them so either they must travel and play too often over a short time, or train and then not be able to really put that training into much use. Blaming the Club/High School choice misses the point that if a kid truly is good enough to turn Professional, then they should be TRAINING WITH PROFESSIONALS, just as it is done nearly everywhere else in the World... this is where MLS needs to be directly involved in this process because they need to start finding 17 year old rookies, rather than aging 22 year old Rookies, it's long term directly in THEIR own self interest to do so, and would very likely mean a rise in the number of truly Professional Level players to select from. ... (ICE)

  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 2:12 a.m.
    As to ethnicity, well how many Asians do you see playing on any of these ODP sides? How many Rural Kids? How about Inner City Kids? ... No it is dominated by those coming from the 'Burbs, and while you can see some players coming out of ODP, I would tend to say that more often than not it is the player that improves the ODP side more than the other way around... did ODP make Landon Donovan better or was he already a professional prospect that happened to play for them. I've coached at the College Level and have been Involved with ODP, and I have a rather Jaundiced view of both as a means to produce Professional Players and those able to play at a National Team Level... that's fine if you admit it is College Players you are trying to produce, but if we are saying that this "Elite" level is out to produce something greater, well we are fooling ourselves... to produce Professionals you need to involve Professionals and that means the idea that up until age 19 that the Professionals really are NOT in charge will always result in our at best having to compromise on how and what we are going to develop. The agreement that MLS has recently reached with the D2 league is a good start, but it's only a start... Free Substitution in both High School and College ball trains a young player to look to the bench when things are going poorly, that simply is never going to force a player to find a way to solve their own on field problems, and High School is never going to go to a true FIFA style limit so it's ridiculous to truly expect a High School developed player to be ready to play at the FIFA ruled version of the game. ... (ICE)

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.
    Lowry, yes Messi has great pace but he has one or a few physically athletic qualities that most pro soccer players have which makes them all athletes. Messi had a growth defect that needed an expensive treatment when he was 13. This alone put him at a great disadvantage as far as being a top athlete. In USA I cant think of one pro athlete in any sport that had to overcome something like that. Messi is great because he can keep same pace and accelerate with the ball stuck to his feet at all times. He is great more due to his skill than anything else. Usa teams would not have seen past his hormonal growth defect.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 11:16 a.m.
    Gentlemen, Gordon is so naive that he thinks Hispanics like Ric and me are responsible for "creating an ugly divide in our soccer culture". He must not be in tune with USA history in sports. Gordon, with all of these wishes you have, do you also wish journalists like Paul Kennedy would not make ignorant comments like " this Latino front Line was a BUST" ?? Or are you ok with that ?? As quick as you are to only look out for Ric and me and do you your moronic copy and paste stints, I would think you would react the same with that comment. But this only proves your stance in our "soccer culture" no matter how politically correct you try to be. Youyr true colors always come out.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
    Robert, excellent points that I fully agree with. Free substitution is a tremendous flaw in our development as is unlimited subbing at the club level. This is a clear act of total disregard for development as it serves no purpose to prepare a player for greater things. At the club level it helps you roster more players and offer them all playing time for greater profit. It would make more sense to carry 3 subs with whoever is coming out staying out. Our players do not know how to manage an entire game. Are the academies implementing these rules for all ages?? U8-U18?? There are no such substitution rules in other countries.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
    I can see how the USSF wisshes for the Academy project to work but why is it giving it full credit for something they have not yet achieved?? Why tell everyone "this is the best training available" when they have not proven it yet with results?? Is it the USSF's job to promote & market certain clubs? Or is it to scout and polish the very best talent no matter where they come from in the country?? When I turn on the tv to watch a U15, U17, U20, Senior game I expect to see the best this country has to offer. For this to happen there needs to be zero politics or agendas in selection of players. Many of our USSF scouts/coaches, if not all, end up working asDirectors for these Academies they pick players from. There is no $$ in picking players from smaller clubs and could be a career bust move. How can the Academy ever establish itself as the best place to develop for everyone if it is not held accountable for "only" developing players?? We are not doing that by "only" recruiting in those very same academies. How can it be that our talent pool has greatly diminished since starting this Academy system?? Academies could be a great idea but it is clear it needs to change agendas and it needs to be sent a message of accountability. If there continues to be no $$ in developing a great player then this will continue to fail. A great number of top players can not or will not pay Academy fees or any fees, for that matter. Therefore, Academies sometimes offer them free rides as long as they "win" with him, completely disregarding his development or they wait until he is of age to play Academy to "invest" in him. Whith all of these requiremnets of $$ status, facilities, structure why isnt the USSf demanding it's Academies develop players from U8 and up?? Can't they see that most of the Academy's top players get recruited after they are U14?? Therefore development is non existent in THE VERY PLACES IT SHOULD BE!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.
    The USSF is also actively involved with US Club Soccer which has it's own version of ODP called ID2 that are also sponsred by Nike. ID2 holds tryouts accross the country to select 18 for a "free" trip to Europe to play top clubs over there. ID2 is run by Mr. Mcnown, director for PDA. PDA is the only club to have 2 players selected for this trip this year and the last 3 years!! Is this a huge coincidence?? There were also 2 USSF scouts/coaches there evaluating players for selection. It's either, PDA is great at developing U13 players "every year" or running the ID2 program has it's "2 players a trip perks/incentive". The fact that there are 2 USSF scouts/coaches at these Camps giving their input is what makes me wonder.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.
    Posters - please remember Luis NEVER PLAYED THE GAME and is a daddy coach who racially segregates himself and his players, he has I think a 'D' license (he could be lying about that) and he is a proven pathological liar - in summation his idiocy believes Messi and Xavi are not great athletes, all USSF scouts are racists, he knows better than all USSF scouts and coaches simply because he is hispanic........he is a victim (poor, poor hispanics, poor, poor small clubs), he speaks out of ignorance because he never played, never coached with these US soccer staff people, would never be invited to even talk to a player at an Academy level club and most importantly we have someone in our soccer culture that hates America, hates white people, does not think white people can play soccer and who thinks it is 'funny' when the US loses - do we really want someone in our youth culture like this????

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.
    Gordon, I think everyone here has read the same rant many times from you. What I said or meant to say about Xavi & Messi, is "Physically" they are not the best athletes. What makes them great athletes is their skill and intelligence above any physical attributes. I never said USSF scouts were racist either and that I know better. I do question procedure though as many here do as well. I have spoken to USSF scouts & coaches on more than one occasion. I love everybody, including you and never said white people can't play soccer. Me saying that soccer is a far greater part of our Hispanic culture and a way of life (the same way basketball is in the black community) is not stating white people suck at soccer. That's just how your hateful mind wants to view it. What even more highlights your true hate for the Hispanic opinionated person is the fact that you dont attack anyone else here that agree with most/all of Ric & my comments. Is there a reason ?? Still nothing to say about Kennedy's "Hispanic Front Line Bust" comment, huh?

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 2:23 p.m.
    As you can clearly see, Luis is an idiot who actually thinks skill is the same as athleticism and who thinks a conversation with a USSF scout makes him an expert - maybe that is why the US fails, maybe it is as simple as we have racist uneducated, undisciplined coaches that coach our youth? I think I have found the answer!................................................And never forget Luis is a pathological liar - on his own club website he has the lack of class to write.... "Luckily most of our players see the value in our program and their own individual developement vs club wins first, club wins second mentality of some of these so called "Top Clubs" that completely disregard the individual player's needs and developement constantly rotating new and used talent on their top teams.".......................and he wrote previously.... "It is clear as day that selection is bias and that the Academies are being shoved down our faces as the "only" place to find or develop top talent without it having proved absolutely anything yet or been as of yet held accountable for not producing talent."............................and...."Lets not kid ourselves. There is an antiHispanic politically driven sentiment going on at the moment and it reflects on our national teams. I see it every time a Hispanic team plays a white team. The ignorance of racism is still very much alive.".........................and one of Luis' classics.... "You must admit that white people have not proven to be the most skilled with the the ball in the USA."...............A liar, a racially divisive imbecile and in charge of youth?????? Please someone else tell me we may have found the problem after all - idiots coaching club soccer that think they know everything by one conversation and, of course, their ethnicity!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
    Same Copy/Paste rant. BOOOriiiing. What exactly makes Xavi and Messi great athletes, to you gordon?? Funny how you choose to not attack non hispanic posters here and not show your disgust for Kennedy comment. Everybody here is chossing to ignore you now. I think I will do the same. Until next time, SENOR GORDON!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.
    MISTER GORDON, the proper term in your world is "Get Er Done!!" That ones for you Ric. I love this guy!!

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.
    An obvious response from an uneducated man - criticize the clear factual quoted evidence instead of owning up to it....oh, and more classic stuff....I am, of course, a racist for criticizing Luis - poor, poor Luis - someone get him a tissue.........and another Luis classic - he is going to ignore me....again.....he 'promised' last time.............I have really found the problem - eliminate uneducated, ignorant, racist coaches that never played the game from the youth system!!!!!!! No more from Luis - exciting!! He promised before and now he says he will 'really' do it this time - hooray! Question: At what point does Luis finally start telling the truth? Answer: Never! Please parents and players in the Chicago area - run, run for your lives, take your kids and never let them be influenced by this 'professional' coach (does he know what that means?)......Question: How long until Luis breaks his lie this time? My guess is today but let's see....correct answer gets an all-expenses paid trip to spend a day in the park with 'professional' coach Luis and hear straight from his mouth how he lies and how he hates white people and how to 'take advantage of the system' (which he teaches his players) and how to pull for Mexico against the US......first correct answer wins!

  1. Teresa Buffington
    commented on: February 20, 2013 at 11:07 p.m.
    Gordy and louii...really you are both psychologically ill. u need some haldol for clearer thinking and some ativan to help u relax...and if that doesnt work meet in a back alley...settle it and move on.

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: February 21, 2013 at 12:20 a.m.
    Yeah Teresa..."these guys need to settle it all right...! In an alley? You go girl!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 21, 2013 at 5:51 p.m.
    Teresa, if you notice Gordon only posts anything ever in reference to me or Ric. None of my posts start off with Gordon in mind. It is typical of hatefull people like him that we still have in this country. he talks and talks about racial divide and how he so against it but yet has nothing to say about the author's "The all-Latino front five was, on this night, a bust" comment that is nothing else but the very same "racial divide" he so much against but chosses to ignore. Are they not just simply "Americans"? Maybe that isnt as bad in his mind when it is directed towards Latinos. The hipocracy in this country is comical. Gordon is the funniest of them all.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 21, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
    I have no problem meeting him anywhere. I love him. He is live proof that racism & hipocracy are very much alive in US soccer. This guy was an ODP, College, etc. coach. Apparently racism is one sided for him. All his education cant help him hide his true feelings towards Hispanics, no matter how politically correct he tries to be. So Teresa & Peter, I will continue to blog my strong opinions as you do as well Peter, and you will see Gordon suddenly pop up and Copy/Paste the same old same old. He has absolutely nothing to contribute. I think he is scared of putting his foot in his mouth by being honest.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 21, 2013 at 10:22 p.m.
    Luis is back! Not responding to me of course but posting all about me - glad he is back! Teresa and Peter - Luis is a lying sack of race-bating crap - only a true racist would think the 'all-Latino' comment was racist - he is so blinded by his hatred he can't see it - anytime anyone mentions a hispanic he thinks it is racism, his poor son does not get selected for some team and he cries and says 'he doesn't know why' but what he really means is racism - and now he has the lack of integrity to call people out - he lives and breathes for any chance to cry racism, he lives and breathes for the US to lose, he got picked on as a youth by some moron white guy and he never got over it - secludes himself, secludes his son, secludes his youth teams, secludes himself from America.............................He has no problem at all with Chivas having only hispanics on their team but can't stand when a writer writes facts about the ethnic make-up of a front five - my opinion Kennedy was even saying it in a complimentary fashion - Chivas is a racist club and further segregates our country by ethnicity and he now loves Chivas - wonder how Luis would feel if RSL went for all white players? He would cry his poor little eyes out about racist white people...............What did racist Luis say when I pointed out the recent U17's had many hispanic starters and still got crushed by Germany - he wrote it should have been more hispanics - what a hypocrite, what an asshole, what a pathological liar and so you know this is what he feels about you two - "Very few in USA know much about soccer" he hates you and thinks you two are idiots because you are not hispanic BUT never forget poor, poor victim Luis never played the game and is just a daddy coach.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 26, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.
    Can you imagine a commentator saying " On this night the mostly black team was a bust" ?? when refering to a USA basketball National Team?? Or how about " On this night the the all black guards were a bust" ?? Let's see how it sounds in football. "On this night the African American Quarterback was a bust". " On this night the all Black coaching staff were a bust". Now let's see how it sounds in basketball when refering to white people. "On this night the all White low post was a bust". What do you think Gordon? If you don't see anythimng wrong with the "all Hispanic Bust" comment then all of these are ok with you, correct? Let me guess, you will not address this, you will instead rant about my morals.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 28, 2013 at 9:21 a.m.
    So Luis is an idiot and a race-baiter - pointing out the FACT that there were 5 latinos on the front line for the first time ever for a national team (a part of the quote Luis conveniently left out) is news, IT IS NOT RACISM. Luis' pathetic attempt to give similar examples demonstrate his ignorance - those are not the same at all - if an NFL team started a black quarterback for the first time ever - an announcer would be foolish not to point that out - you see this is the point - cries of racism where there is none - oh, sorry, Luis isn't crying racism - he is just crying ignorance (what a joke - he has no courage to say what he really means).

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 28, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.
    The question isnt wether the announcer would point out that a black quarterback started for the first time. The question is would he highlight he was black and a bust on the first night a black quarterback started ?? What college did you attend ?? I know a person just like you who happens to be Greek as well. Is this you??

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: February 28, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
    Or the all-hispanic Chivas team,, which you love, cuts blacks and whites based on their ethnicity - I think you said you now love Chivas and are a big fan.......can poor Luis explain this? Wait, he did, he indicated it was okay because MLS admitted them as a team. So, if I understand Luis' reasoning the SA writer is okay to write what he wants because he was hired by SA - sweet, argument solved!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 4, 2013 at 9:49 a.m.
    The essence of chivas has been to promote Mexican talent in Mexico. The club is Mexican. They develop many players for Mexican National team the king of Concacaf. I would not see anything wrong with an MLS Club coming out and promoting American talent only. That would be exiting for the league. Why would Chivas change it's philosophy or structure just because it plays in the MLS??? If an MLS team like laets say , RSL, had the AMericans only aproach, and joined the Liga MX then why complain about them if the MX Liga is taking them in knowing those facts??? If I had a concern with that I would take it to MX and not to RSL. That's just me. Common sense.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: March 7, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
    From Chivas owner...“Chivas USA tried to imitate the style of play from other MLS teams," he said. "They played more physical, the qualities of the U.S. players and they forgot to use the technical advantage and speed of Hispanic players. We didn’t play like they do in the U.S., or Mexico and the failure of that is in this last season.”....and......"In the beginning, we paid an extra fee to be in Los Angeles and that’s where we remain," he said. "This is where we have our fan base and we’re not moving. We have the advantage in Chivas USA of having many nationalities; we can promote players of other nationalities, which by the way, is already happening." Ethnicity not just Mexican.


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