There are only two American MLS teams without teams in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy league, and both of those clubs have plans to join the system soon. So with the introduction of professional clubs to a youth structure that had been around for years, would there be backlash? How would the professional teams do against established clubs?
Goal.com's JR Eskilson speaks with the directors of several MLS youth programs, including Brian Crookham, Colorado Rapids, who says, “We are different in that player development is paramount and winning will be a by product of development, not the opposite." Oscar Pareja, FC Dallas’ Director of Player Development, says, “The professional clubs should set the highest standards in soccer here in USA.”
“In order to be able to produce world class players, y ou have to have world class training programs for players to develop,” says D.C. United's John Maessener. "This country is used to being the best, I’m confident if we do the things that we all know need to be done, we will be a world power in the next 10-20 years.”