Yedlin case reignites compensation controversy

By Mike Woitalla

Clint Dempsey's professional career has taken him from MLS's New England Revolution to Fulham to Tottenham Hotspur to his present team, the Seattle Sounders.

More than $20 million in transfer fees exchanged hands during Dempsey’s moves. None of it went to Dallas Texans, the club he played for from age 10 until he went to college and played three seasons at Furman.

In other countries, Dempsey’s youth clubs would have received “training compensation” according to FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, which include a small percentage of transfer fees.

U.S. youth clubs have long lamented being shut out of FIFA's so-called “solidarity mechanism” to reward successful player development.

The situation has become even more frustrating for non-MLS youth clubs with the advent of MLS youth programs. For example, a club has a player in its ranks from age 13 to 16. The player moves to an MLS club’s academy team and is signed as a homegrown player. If the MLS club sells the player to a foreign club, the MLS club and MLS receive the transfer fee. The player’s non-MLS youth club receives nothing, even though it played a significant role in that player's development.

Such a case is described in detail by Liviu Bird in his article, “Yedlin's youth club takes grievance vs. MLS, USSF over compensation to FIFA.”

Yedlin, reports Bird, played for Crossfire Premier for four years (2006-2010) before joining the Sounders’ academy team. The Sounders signed Yedlin as a homegrown player after he played two seasons (2011-12) of college ball at Akron.

After Yedlin appeared for the USA at the 2014 World Cup, he signed with Tottenham Hotspur on a transfer fee reportedly between $3.5 million and $4 million.

During its attempts to receive compensation from Tottenham, Bird reports that: “Spurs told Crossfire it made all payments regarding Yedlin’s transfer directly to MLS at the league’s instruction, including the 5% of the transfer fee normally designated for solidarity contributions.”

Tottenham director of football operations Rebecca Caplehorn wrote to Crossfire on May 15: “We have been advised by MLS to remit payment of the full transfer fee directly to MLS in accordance with the transfer agreement and that MLS will ensure the appropriate treatment of any and all onward payments.”

Bird included in his article an excerpt from Crossfire’s letter to FIFA:

"USSF and MLS appear to behave in a conspiratorial manner, acting side-by-side to deny U.S. youth soccer clubs any training compensation and solidarity fees because they are afraid that the dam will burst and MLS will have to pay training compensation. Although not specifically relevant to the relief that Crossfire and the U.S. youth soccer clubs are seeking here, the Executive Committee may wish to explore the seemingly improper relationship between USSF and MLS shown here. The facts are clear that the two are closely aligned in an anticompetitive manner in the U.S."

American youth clubs are right to feel short-changed because they’re not compensated for players who end up generating cash for the pro club. But they only have a legitimate beef if those players weren’t paying to play at their clubs.

Bird told me that to his knowledge Yedlin played cost-free at Crossfire.

Hassan Nazari, the founder and executive director Dallas Texans, said Dempsey, and other future Texans who sent pro, such as Omar Gonzalez and Alejandro Moreno did not pay to play with the Texans and the Texans’ Development Academy teams are cost-free to the players.

“We understand the USSF's position on transfer and training fees,” Nazari said, “and think that perhaps the best solution is for the USSF to come up with its own system for compensating the youth clubs that develop players who play in the MLS and on the national teams. This would meet FIFA's objectives, incentivize the youth clubs to do a good job, give them more resources, and provide a fairer result.”

43 comments about "Yedlin case reignites compensation controversy".
  1. Peter Orona, June 30, 2015 at 7:48 p.m.

    If the youth player is paying fees to belong to a club, such as training fees, travel fees, room and board, uniforms, meals, then the club is being compensated. No fees should be awarded to clubs who are have charged one penny to the player to participate.

  2. Eric Shinn, June 30, 2015 at 7:55 p.m.

    Signed in to say what Peter just did. Absolutely ridiculous that a club that HE PAID is now claiming they want "compensation". BIG difference between this situation and foreign youth clubs that pay the players rather than the other way around.

  3. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 8:09 p.m.

    Both you guys are missing the point completely and are incorrect. Training Compensation is paid to clubs wether they charge a fee directly to player or not. In other countries the only players that are not charged pay to play are the Academy players. All of these clubs have plenty of satelite clubs (affiliates), schools, etc. that do charge a fee directly to the player. That said, a player that goes to an AC Milan school/affiliate and pays for it from age 12-16 and then makes AC Milan Academy for 1-2 years, can be claimed by AC Milan for compensation for all 6 years. Training Compensation was designed to compensate the "good clubs" so they can keep identifying and developing the "right" players. And alslo to weed out the bad ones. Even if the Texans charged Dempsey and others why not want them to collect? They obviously did something right and it is obvious Dempesey saw the value of being there for that long. This payment will only motivate a good club like that to do a better job and consequently charge less or make it free. What is truly dispicable is MLS collecting on Yedlin for full compensation years and ignoring a club like Crossfire completely. I wonder why you 2 are not appalled by that behavior?

  4. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 8:23 p.m.

    ALso, Compensation is for the overall program he came out of. Not just to compensate his costs exclusevily. Thats why its 5%. Do you guys know what 5% of 4 million is? Why compensate a clib or a league where he was only involved for 1-2 years? That makes sense?? The entire purpose of that compensation is to secure that a club like Crossfire continue to exist to hopefully get more players like Yedlin. Its a dominoe efect. If Crossfire is compensated they will be encouraged to scholarship more players and most importantly scout the very best. The very best will look ata club like Crossfire in a better way. MLS wil have to do a better job all together. Competition. We should at the very least now see an overall domination of MLS USSDA over non USSDA clubs. By this I mean, we should see an MLS U15 dominate a U16 non MLS Acadeny. We dont. Why is that? IS it enough that it is free? obviously not. WHat do we see in other countries? Most, if not all, MLS Academies have affiliates and charge a membership fee. The Chicago Fire have a blossoming "Fire Jr.s program" that charges $50 per player per year plus $300+ obligatory uniform fees. So if Crossfire or Texans dont deserve compensation why would MLS?

  5. Lou vulovich, June 30, 2015 at 8:39 p.m.

    No pay to play club is entitled to a fee just because they happen to have an exceptional player play for their youth club team. It will create
    a disaster for talented young players if youth clubs
    with no professional team are due compensation.
    Dallas should have signed Dempsey not let him
    go to college. Yedlin should compensate the crossfire himself if they did so much for his development. Seattle and the MLS put him in a situation to be bought by clubs. What about players who go to college for four years.?
    The only compensation should be if a player is under contract. Not pay to train and play clubs.

  6. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 8:49 p.m.

    Lou, all clubs are pay to play. And 95% or more happen to have some players that dont pay to play. MLS clubs are pay to play. Do you disagree? So compensation goes to Seattle simply for putting him in a situation to be bought? Really? What situation was that? Didnt Crossfire put him in a situation to be noticed by Seattle? Training Compensation goes only to the ones that can provide a situation? Really?

  7. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 8:57 p.m.

    Tottenham, seems to disagree with you guys. They acknowledged that Crossfire deserved some or most of that 5%. MLS said they would distribute accordingly. This isnt a matter of what you guys or anyone thinks is right. Its a FIFA rule. If MLS or USSF doesnt like it they shouldnt be operating under FIFA.

  8. Lou vulovich, June 30, 2015 at 9:02 p.m.

    Haha. I never thought I would disagree with you. Seattle and the MLS are only due compensation in my opinion because he was under contract to both. I think that most clubs do as good a job or
    better then most academies. I am simply saying it
    will be difficult to establish some form of payment for youth clubs who do not have a professional team for the youth player to go to. Most clubs in
    Europe pay a fee to youth clubs for players they sign to keep the doors open and as a good gesture. I think it would be Great if Seattle or the MLS gave the crossfire 50-100K.

  9. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 9:11 p.m.

    Lou, there are alot of organizations world wide that dont own a pro team that exclusively are designed to develop players and collect training compensation. Some top players have come out of that system. It would be great for MLS to aknowledge these youth clubs but they never will until lawsuits force them. But to call it a disaster? I would argue that compensating the few youth clubs that these players emerge from would help get rid of all the garbage youth clubs around. Would also force MLS to up their game development wise. Quite opposite from a disaster my friend. I would rather go to a club that is known for developing than a club just because of it being MLS or affiliate if I am a player. Just join the MLS USSDA at 16-17. MLS seems to be fine with that. Take the easy money away and that will change.

  10. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 9:14 p.m.

    What actually happens now is that some incompetent MLS Academies poach all the top players from good clubs that probably were doing a better job development wise with those players than them and force them to fold or turn it into a business instead. And MLS USSSDA deserves training compensation for this?

  11. Doug Andreassen, June 30, 2015 at 9:24 p.m.

    Lets call this what it is, Greed. When words are used like poach, incompetent,force and job development, just to name a few, something is wrong with this ask. Crossfire is all about Crossfire and not the community. MlS Academies are the legitimate organizations that develop players today, let the clubs feed into the academies, for a better overall system. Lets not divide up the talent any more than it is. In today's soccer economy,time for MLS to take the development over and for clubs to supply the players.

  12. Soccer Madness, June 30, 2015 at 10:17 p.m.

    Wether it is greed or not is besides the point. What makes MLS legit, if I may ask? What incentive do clubs have into feeding into MLS Academies? What track record of development do MLS Academies have for good hearted youth clubs to send their players to them? Its been time for MLS to take development over. IF MLS are legit why arent they dominating non MLS clubs?? I would say lets compensate the true development clubs whoever they may be!

  13. Ric Fonseca, June 30, 2015 at 11:14 p.m.

    Yo, guys, come, come. now!!! The two comments above are spot on, so when clubs can and do charge outrageous fees to has been players with a British or Argentine accent, or are even US born and trained via college or USSF/NSCAA school, somewhere in the neighborhood of between $15-30K a year, multiplied by the number of "paying" customers, who do you think gets a good chunk of the fees? The club head coach with a fancy title, and the various age coaches. Been there, but I am proud to say, never done that!!!

  14. Ric Fonseca, June 30, 2015 at 11:17 p.m.

    Oh, and BTW, sometime ago, maybe five-ten years ago I heard through a cery positive grapevine, that a head coach of a San Diego Club, that's been around for quite several years, was making anywhere in the range of $50,000 - 75,000+/year. How many of you out there can make that in a regular paying job?

  15. Lou vulovich, June 30, 2015 at 11:41 p.m.

    You bring up some great points. I am not a big fan of Academies anywhere in the world I think
    they professionalized youth training and by doing that they took the joy and creativity away from players way too young. You can see the results all over the world, every country produces the same player. With that said the best coaches are a bunch of unselfish dads with some soccer knowledge and show the kids how to have a great time. After 13-14 club coaches. Academies should be U19-U21, until graduation players should stay with their local clubs, have fun and great memories. You always have great comments. Respect

  16. Lou vulovich, June 30, 2015 at 11:52 p.m.

    I have nothing against coaches making a living, you have some great ones and they deserve to get payed, but most coaches as Marco Van Basten said.( one or two helped most did not make a difference and others made me worse)
    It is the passion and love of the game usually forged by a parent, sometimes a coach that makes a player special. Not the Academy or Club

  17. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 12:20 a.m.

    Lou, I fully agree with you about Academies everywhere. The way we should look at it is soccer is no different than basketball in the development proccess. The personalities, flare, uniqueness, moves, skill, go to moves and confidence to do is mostly developed on the playground. Academies are there to take that and make the most of it. Thats why those special players will always come out of those environments, no matter what. Those will always be the ones we pay to see over the robots. Brazilians overall are leaving younger and younger to Europe and everybody is surprised that Brazil is not playing ike the Brazil we all want to see?

  18. Lou vulovich, July 1, 2015 at 12:36 a.m.

    I had promised myself, that I was done. Just want to say great comments. SM

  19. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 12:37 a.m.

    Yes you are right. My opinions exactly. In a perfect world MLS Academies would aknowledge publicly and economicaly good youth club"s work, would further develop the players they get from them and give them an opportunity to shine ata young age on first team. But how do we ever expect this to happen if MLS show us very cearly they are more and more interested in paying the big money to bring in has beens at top $$$ and offering homegrowns the least possible ?? I say very few clubs and very few coaches help make a player special or even help an already special player shine. No doubt. Thats world wide. But any other system is better than what we currently have in USA. ALl we do is follow the next rave. SPain won - we do nothing else than 1-2 passes in practice. Parents love it. Kids dont know how to dribble or attack in final 1/3. Dont create if defense is good. Play side to side. Posession. Boring. No moves. No risks.

  20. # 12, July 1, 2015 at 8:36 a.m.

    The last few comments above from Lou and SM are spot on with youth development. I always use that analogy SM with basketball in the US and soccer in US. How many parents knock the ball around with their kids as opposed to shooting hoops in the driveway or at the playground down the street? I played street ball growing up when I was a kid- basketball and soccer. This is were kids will learn to take risks and do crazy stuff that they wouldn't dare do in a structured club environment in fear of a coach or parent yelling " pass the ball!" A Messi would never come to fruition in the current environment. As far as pay for play club soccer complete waste of money unless you want to create a robot. Save your money, your kids confidence, kids creativity, and have your kid play town soccer. Also, volunteer to coach like I do for my son's team and encourage them to take risks and if they make a mistake encourage them to keep taking guys on in the final 1/3 and not yell "get rid of the ball!" Less coaching and more free play.

  21. Gus Keri, July 1, 2015 at 9:36 a.m.

    MLS and US Soccer should compensate the youth clubs regardless. The youth clubs will use the extra money to get better and this will do good to soccer in this country overall. also, the youth clubs that charge fee will reconsider its policy with the influx of money and might consider reducing the fee or removing it completely. It's better for the future of the sport.

  22. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 11:07 a.m.

    Gus, simple and to the point. Nobody can successfully or logically argue with anything you just said.

  23. Peter Skouras, July 1, 2015 at 11:09 a.m.

    I think Yedlin's (e?) transfer fee created a bit of awareness. For that matter, MLS, NASL (Ibarra, Leon, SEVEN FIGURES) raises concern. Our leadership is inexperienced or corrupt for this matter. An executive order needs to be passed!

  24. Peter Skouras, July 1, 2015 at 11:27 a.m.

    Soccer on...for the most part! Let me bring this to your attention though...the "good clubs" that you mention pay for so many expenses with a "good transfer or training compensation)"...that's how they survive! FYI, transfers and most recently training compensation is a major part of the "World Soccer Economic Structure...there are regulations...I brought this up about 2.5 years ago when Villareal was "looted" by the LA Galaxy from the South Bay Force who are "fundraising" by washing cars... and claimed Home Grown (another issue)? Now, most recently Miguel Ibarra was transferred from Minnesota of the NASL for a reported 7 figures. I ask, "what are they doing with the cash?" And Ibarra's previous 2 clubs as a Youth player? FYI, Miguel was dynamite in the PDL as a 16 year old...and his youth club? Come on...this is scandlous! Now we have the issue of the NCAA...

  25. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 11:48 a.m.

    Tottenham contacted akron over trainibg compensation. Whats thatvabout Peter?

  26. Raymond Weigand, July 1, 2015 at 12:10 p.m.

    A full reading of the SI article is quite interesting. I am probably missing the point - it seems that the legal issue is that the Hotspur designated a payment directly to the club - and this payment was diverted by the MLS / USSF shared leadership. The MLS seems to be getting what they want (in this case) and the USSF is enforcing them under cover of a previous court opinion related to the one ownership decision. Probably this will be settled before it ever reaches a court as the MLS / USSF shared management would not want a P.R. disaster running concurrently with the FIFA investigation.

  27. Sean Loranger, July 1, 2015 at 1:56 p.m.

    USSF could solve this immediately if they wanted to and create a ton of goodwill with their membership. Every club that is registered would be eligible to receive a cut of the 5% fee. The could set it up pay out based on a % for what development year the player played with that club. Everyone shares in it with the bigger portion being paid to the older ages.

    For instance 5% fee on $4 Million is $200,000 that would be split by all clubs from u11 to u18. I

    u11 - 2% or $4,000
    u12 - 3% or $6,000
    u13 - 5% or $10,000
    u14 - 10% or $20,000
    u15 - 10% or $20,000
    u16 - 20% or $40,000
    u17 - 25% or $50,000
    u18 - 25% or $50,000

    USSF passes a bylaw saying if you want to be part of US Soccer you will agree to this.

  28. Doug Andreassen, July 1, 2015 at 2:24 p.m.

    USSF will never solve this issue.As MLS develops its academies, soon the ussf development system will soon be under the MLS jurisdiction, the change is happening and youth clubs need to understand the hierarchy of youth soccer in the usa. No longer will youth clubs harbor players and then hold them for ransom to the MLS or USSF. The pay to play system in the usa is changing, let' promote the game and the development and not the youth coaches and clubs building their bank accounts for the sake of fiefdom's.

  29. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 2:34 p.m.

    Sean, good idea, although i would price differently. 5% U11 & U12, 10% U13 U14, 15% U15 U16, 20% U17/18. Development wise younger years are most important. Easy to pick tgebbest batch at U15. Not as easy to scout u11 u12 and determine who is that much better. Also takes special skills to scout true talent and to develop according tobskill set at hand. What we currently have is top clubs sticking to one style, often ugly, and therefore picking one type of player Development,usually with zero personality/robots.

  30. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 2:37 p.m.

    Doug, so Mls Academies aren't currently buildingbupbtheir bank accounts through youth pay to play soccer? You are either not well informed or work in an Academy to make that statement. In many cities Mls is banking the most of any youth clubs.

  31. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 5:29 p.m.

    For some of you guys against training compensation for Crossfire, now that there are several Euro top clubs established in USA (many more to come), established as pay to play, do you think they will stop collecting on that 5% fee plus transfer fee % mandated by FIFA for their developed pros? LOL.

  32. Peter Skouras, July 1, 2015 at 9:11 p.m.

    Soccer Madness...I have no idea what Spurs are doing...simply, they don't know what the American system is about..."chaos!" I'll tell you one thing...and not to discourage American youth players from going abroad...IF YOU ARE NOT AN EU CITIZEN go to college. One has no chance immigration wise. Now, how many naturally born Americans of Youth or National Team status are in Europe and/or Latin America? 10, 15...We need to develop our own and the Academy is simply "high level" rec. Want to professionalize youth soccer in America? Need to compensate Youth Clubs and Amateur Clubs "the good clubs":) fairly...but then we have the NCAA to worry, let's get to work!

  33. Soccer Madness, July 1, 2015 at 10:39 p.m.

    Peter,agreed. I still don't get what the difference is with ussda system than what we used to have other than calender year change and having a national champ. Meanwhile in other countries, academies are required to give a certain amount of playing time to players 2 years younger than actual age group. This secures that top players in each age group are developed and not used just to win that age group. At the very least you would think that Mls clubs would do this, right? Wrong. They struggle to beat local non Mls competition!!

  34. F B, July 1, 2015 at 11:32 p.m.

    Doug, Ric and Lou I believe are quite right. The football club business in this country is a growing racket. The last thing this "system" needs is a maFI(F)A-managed money injection into it on a large scale. My one comment on the development aspect is that I disagree that ALL clubs are pay-to-play. Many have substantial financial assistance programs that could use the support of "good will" money for having developed a star. The vast majority of clubs, however, are making a tidy profit on training fees as it is for the stars and non-stars alike they train. The concept of "sharing the spoils" is ridiculous, tantamount to a Ohio State or USC "developing" a Heisman Trophy running back who goes on to make millions in the NFL, and money making it back to the school from signing contracts, etc. Does the public high school the kid played for also get in on the gravy train??? The opportunities for graft are endless, as is the likelihood of further submerging the youth game into the clutches of filthy lucre.

  35. Will G, July 2, 2015 at 10:12 a.m.

    I don't think "pay to play" or "play for free" should be entered into the conversation. Whether a family can or can't pay, will or won't pay, that is their decision and one that the parents make as being the best for their situation. Also, you can't compare soccer to any other sport because the "buy-sell" strategy is what is established all over the world. Personally, I think the youth clubs, no matter who they are should be compensated should one of their players demand a high fee in the market. This would make these clubs view players as assets instead of revenue streams and the clubs would be forced to have the players best interest in mind instead of a particular team. What we would see is the real talented kids playing up an age group or two...or three and really developing because in the end the club would be in line to be rewarded for that special player. There are 1,000 different opinions on development but where we (US Youth Soccer) really miss the boat is having our "stars" playing up several age groups like they do everywhere else in the world...this is what makes world class players. Compensating the youth clubs that can accomplish this is the first step in creating them.

  36. Joe Goss, July 2, 2015 at 10:47 a.m.

    It helps to understand that there are two sets of compensation under the FIFA system:

    1) Training compensation paid upon a player's 1st pro contract to all clubs the player was registered with from age 12-23. The amount is FA dependent and based upon the cost to train a player in that level of a club. The FA sets the amount and could possibly offset any pay-to-play costs.

    2) Solidarity payments: paid *any time* a player transfers between feds. 5% of the transfer fee is paid to clubs the player was registered with between ages 12-23. There appears to be no cost component.

    Both types of payment have a way to divvy up the money based on time registered with a club and it's laid out in FIFA rules.

    All the rules:

  37. Peter Skouras, July 2, 2015 at 10:51 a.m.

    ...and there it is Mr. Will G! "Playing up!" Anyway...the Academy system in the US is like I said, "High Level Rec!" But there is nothing wrong in having 5-6 age groups playing...not "competing with fire" but playing! As the the (SPECIAL) 15, 16 and 17 year old's? "Get out of Dodge" and sign with a local Amateur side. No fees!!! In this arena you will be scouted for an NCAA soccer experience and of course a precious education. Professionally? Slowly, slowly, these for the most part MLS, NASL and USL leagues will come have a look...and they will be convinced that the Men's Amateur Level is "the" breeding ground for out "young" special ones. Playing up you say? I'll talk about Coaching on the Academy level on another forum.

  38. Will G, July 2, 2015 at 11:12 a.m.

    Not sure I completely follow what you are saying Peter, but I like where you are going with this. In order for a player to truly be challenged and "develop" they should never be the best player on the field. The problem with this is that the "star" player would be taking a spot away from a player that is "paying to play" and thus costing the club revenue. This is why we don't see this very often. It really is an easy fix. Compensate the club in the way the FA does and the loss of revenue worry goes away. The true sign of a good academy system is the number of players that are playing professionally, not the number of trophies in the trophy cabinet. And I am one that advocates teaching kids "how to win" as I think it is an important trait that all world class players have, but winning against a side your own age while you score 4 goals and control the entire game doesn't do anything for these talented kids. I can't be arsed to go back and look but very rarely do you see a 20 year old in an EPL U21 side make it on a top flight club. If they haven't gained at least some 1st team experience (Cup games, tours, etc) by 18 or 19 then all they really are is placeholders. These players will be let go on a free and end up playing in a lower division...which is fine

  39. Peter Skouras, July 2, 2015 at 12:06 p.m.

    Will...what I'm saying is that OUR VERY BEST Min (15) year old's to 17 should be playing in top men's leagues and/or PDL, NASL, USL,period! Waste of complete time in Youth Soccer especially Academy level. Also, the Domestic Structure in Academy Soccer is wrong. Promotion/Relegation needs to be implemented...! Coaching? I watch the the South West Division of the Western conference pretty much week in and out...not good...all political who has jobs...and the play reflects! Our "special young ones" will gain "immediate" experience while playing senior soccer. In Southern California we have many men's affiliated and non-affiliated men's leagues...and let me tell you all something...major "Transfer" fees exist on these pitches!

  40. Soccer Madness, July 2, 2015 at 4:13 p.m.

    Will, the Star player is taking away the paying to pay player's spot. Thats exactly it. But USSDA and USSF love to say that most or all USSDA is free!! And that they are developing 99% of the USA National Players. SO why dont we see more players being challenged then if this is true? Not one Academy I know is showing to want to develop pros. MLS USSDA are distrubingly similar to non MLS USSDA in the way they operate. In Mexico U17 and U20 Academies are forced to play 735+ minutes to 2 year younger players via LIGA MX Rule or face a fine. They obligate clubs that directly profit from transfers and Compensation to develop!! What are we to expect from all USSDA in USA where compensation is still a "righteous" debate ??

  41. Soccer Madness, July 2, 2015 at 4:21 p.m.

    Well said Peter, thats exactly what I am preaching!!

  42. Will G, July 2, 2015 at 5:46 p.m.

    @ Soccer Madness - you are spot on. However, I don't know that we should be emulating the Mexican Federation as they haven't exactly been setting the world on fire...but your point is correct. To me it is a complete culture shift that has to occur and it must happen in sequence. First, youth academies and youth clubs must view their players as investments - the more they develop them the greater the return. Second, MLS Academies have to pony up to bring in the best players from other clubs...and they have to do it early on (younger ages) while the price is still reasonable. Third, USSF must grade both youth clubs and MLS Academies based on the players they produce, not the style of play and not whether or not they finish top of USSDA league tables. Lastly, USSF needs to be able to separate themselves from MLS and find ways for American kids that don't have a European passport to get to Europe (or other great Academy systems) early on in the development process...even if it has financial implications and until MLS is a proven development ground to develop world class players. Again, there are 1000 things that need to change but at the foundation of the issue is players are not viewed as investments like they are in other countries...until this changes we will not make the big stride we need to.

  43. Peter Skouras, July 2, 2015 at 6:54 p.m.

    Will and Soccer Madness....great to read. Now, Will, 1) I don't know that we should be emulating the Mexican Federation as they haven't exactly been setting the world on fire...a little incorrect...Player Transfers are part of the DNP in Mexico. HUGE! Clubs pay each other in a "lawful" manner...(imagine that!) No but seriously, there is massive regulations in the lowest of leagues
    2) Second, MLS Academies have to pony up to bring in the best players from other clubs...and they have to do it early on (younger ages) while the price is still reasonable. Spot on!
    3) Third, USSF must grade both youth clubs and MLS Academies based on the players they produce, not the style of play and not whether or not they finish top of USSDA league tables. (Rating teams and players can only be done with "COMPETITION!" YOU FINISH LAST YOU GO DOWN AND THE DIVSION LEADERS AND OR 2-3-4 COME UP.So on and so forth.
    4) Again, there are 1000 things that need to change but at the foundation of the issue is players are not viewed as investments like they are in other countries...until this changes we will not make the big stride we need to. It will be many years before American soccer players becomes a true investments...1 is called College!

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