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The toughest of decisions: play for high school, or an academy?

Matthew Conyers takes an in-depth look at Connecticut youth soccer in the wake of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's move in 2012 to a 10-month season that prevents Academy players from taking part in scholastic ball. "I'm not anti-academy," said Staples High coach Dan Woog. "The training is solid, the competition is strong. I am, however, anti-academy my-way-or-the-highway. I don't think 2 1/2 months of high school soccer will prevent the U.S. from winning the World Cup. … " Rick Derella of Oakwood SC, one of the state's two Academy clubs, said: "It is a different model, which is much more healthy. It used to be that our kids would play three games a week for 10 weeks in high school and then come to us and we were playing catch up. ... [The academy approach] is much better for development." Conyers also profiles two players who took separate routes when forced to decide between school or academy.

Read the whole story at The Hartford Courant »

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