Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
U.S. Soccer Development Academy: The Impetus
by Mike Woitalla, June 5th, 2007 7:01AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  youth boys

MOST COMMENTED

Shortly after being elected U.S. Soccer President in March of 2006, Sunil Gulati launched a complete review of all the Federation's technical areas. The Technical Committee, headed by Kevin Payne, concluded that on the youth player development front, at ages 13 to 17, elite players needed an increase in the quality and quantity of training; an increase in the number of quality games, but a reduction in the overall amount of games. Between the myriad state, regional and national competitions, showcase tournaments and ODP events, a typical young American elite player was "stretched too thin." Said U.S. U-15 boys national team coach Jim Barlow, "It was never more clear to me that things in our youth soccer structure needed to change than at our first U-15 camp last summer when about half of the players, on the very first day of national team camp, told their coaches that they were tired of soccer. Too many games, too many leagues, too many tournaments and camps, too much structured soccer had already taken its toll on this group of talented young players." And thus came the launch of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

"I applaud U.S. Soccer for taking some bold steps to change directions and to make its top priority the players," said Barlow.

Bob Jenkins, U.S. Soccer Director of Youth Development, found that the club coaches whose teams participate in an excessive amount of competitions - placing an emphasis on results over player development - often agreed that their players were asked to play too many games. But they go along with it because the parents who pay them judge them on their teams' trophy-collecting ability and believe that if the children miss a showcase event they may miss a chance to be discovered by college or national team coaches.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy will incorporate the elite clubs and their coaches but limit the number of games and travel while ensuring that the players will be seen by U.S. Soccer staff coaches and college coaches.

"For the good of the game, this is a welcome and long overdue concept," says Sasho Cirovski, University of Maryland coach and chair of the NSCAA Division I Coaches. "Youth soccer has become obsessed with winning and learning through games at the expense of development of fundamental techniques.

"The emphasis on training, combined with a periodization schedule that will allow players to train and play games mentally and physically at 100 percent, is exciting.

"It has become increasingly frustrating for all of my colleagues to watch 'tired' players, knowing that they are being paced in practices so that they can survive in the games. College coaches will be able to evaluate players in a consistent high quality competitive environment. In the long run, I believe that this will make our recruiting less costly and more efficient. This is something that all of us in college soccer welcome with open arms."

Says U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, "We need to shift the focus of our young elite players from an 'overburdened, game emphasis' model to a 'meaningful training and competition' model. This will ultimately lead to more success and will allow players to develop to their full potential."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Closeup: Galaxy gives 'Made in LA' new meaning    
The LA Galaxy was the first MLS team to sign a Homegrown player and first MLS ...
MLS: NYCFC makes Sands its first Homegrown player    
James Sands became the seventh member of the U.S. under-17 national team to turn pro when ...
Confederations Cup: Germany relishes Chile showdown    
Germany, the 2014 World Cup champion, and Chile, the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa Centenario ...
U.S. Abroad: European season starts early    
The new European season starts early for three Americans who will be competing in the Europa ...
MLS Closeup: Vieira aims to change NYC Derby fortunes    
New York City FC is above the Red Bulls in the standings this season but decidedly ...
MLS Today: Orlando City earns point on last touch of game    
Scott Sutter's first MLS goal on the last touch of the game gave Orlando City a ...
What They're Saying: Tyler Adams    
"Having the opportunity to walk across that stage with all the friends that I started elementary ...
What They're Saying: Juan Carlos Osorio    
"Evidently I went too far, specifically with one of their assistants. We always understood and respected ...
Video Pick: Portugal's Bruma booms a brilliant volley    
Portugal struck only once in its 3-1 loss to Spain at the U-21 European Championship but ...
MLS Today: Hansen sidelined after hernia surgery    
Columbus rookie midfielder Niko Hansen underwent hernia surgery and is expected to be sidelined for Crew ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives