Compensating youth clubs: 'The ball moves forward'

By Mike Woitalla

American youth clubs' quest to get paid for their former players who go pro -- standard throughout the world under FIFA regulations -- led to a meeting on Oct. 16 hosted by U.S. Soccer.

“In a nutshell, they kind of moved the ball forward,” said attorney Lance Reich, who attended the meeting and represents youth clubs, including Crossfire Premier, Dallas Texans SC, Sockers FC Chicago and Real Colorado. "The meeting was in a positive direction. I think it was somewhat productive.

“U.S. Soccer said that in 30 days they’d give us something on how we can move forward. U.S. Soccer said they’d get us something on a possible way forward on domestic training compensation and solidarity fees.”

Others at the meeting in Chicago included U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer outside counsel, and representatives from MLS, the MLS Players Union, NASL, USL, youth clubs and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

U.S. youth clubs have long lamented being shut out of FIFA's so-called “solidarity mechanism” to reward successful player development. But the ball really got rolling earlier this year when Crossfire began its fight for a percentage of DeAndre Yedlin’s transfer fee when he was sold from the Seattle Sounders to Tottenham Hotspurs for a reported $4 million.

Crossfire claims it is entitled to $60,000. But Tottenham followed MLS’s instructions to send the full transfer fee to MLS. After U.S. Soccer failed to intervene, Crossfire filed a complaint with the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber. Also filing complaints to collect solidarity payments were Texans SC (Clint Dempsey) and Sockers Chicago (Michael Bradley).

The combined sum sought by the three clubs is a combined $480,500.

FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) stipulate that youth clubs are entitled to a transfer fee percentage (so-called solidarity payments) and require pro clubs to pay training compensation to players’ former youth clubs -- reimbursing “costs that would have been incurred by the new club if it had trained the player itself,” according to FIFA.

U.S. Soccer told Crossfire’s representatives that the 1997 court order from the Fraser v. MLS antitrust lawsuit, in which the U.S. Soccer Federation was a defendant, prevented it from enforcing RSTP, according to a June 29 article by’s Liviu Bird.

At the Oct. 16 meeting, according to Reich: “U.S. Soccer said, right off the bat, that they're in the middle of this and sick of being in the middle of this. They want the parties to work through this. They said they will ultimately take some action here if they have to. But they want all of us on the same page with respect to the issue, hence the reason for the meeting.

“My first response was, you, USSF, are the parents. We all sit in front of you as children. You are in the middle of this. It’s like the ref saying ‘I’m going to stop blowing the whistle and you work it out amongst yourselves.’”

On Fraser v. MLS, Reich said: “Antitrust is one thing for MLS and one different thing for U.S. Soccer. The only way U.S. Soccer gets roped into antitrust is if they’re doing something they shouldn’t be."

Still, Reich came away from the meeting believing that American youth clubs are on course to getting compensation.

“There were some peaceful positions going back and forth,” Reich said. “What if we have training fees for domestic player signings? Where does the money come from? How much are we talking about?”

Reich also said that he was pleased to hear U.S. Soccer indicate it would not interfere with American youth clubs receiving payments (private transactions) from foreign clubs that they partner with for players they sign from the American clubs. And that attendees at the meeting were receptive to the youth clubs’ need for compensation to alleviate costs to players.

“Basically, most people in the room agreed that the current state of U.S. youth soccer is poor and the youth clubs need help to get away from pay-to-play model,” Reich said. “The youth clubs were very clear to articulate they view the world $2,000 at a time for money coming into the club, because every found $2,000 is giving some young kid a fee scholarship at the bottom level of the club. Getting someone in who otherwise can’t play. That’s the way we view things.

“U.S. Soccer wants us to move away from pay-to-play, an unfair model which our clubs don’t particularly care for. But all of us are non-profit. How do you want us to move away from pay-to-play? Millions of dollars of training compensation and solidarity fees could do that and change the game in the United States.”

A U.S. Soccer spokesman said, “It was a productive meeting and we look forward to continuing discussions.”

An MLS spokesman, via e-mail, confirmed that MLS representatives "attended the meeting with U.S. Soccer last week and learned more about the issues.”

64 comments about "Compensating youth clubs: 'The ball moves forward'".
  1. BJ Genovese, October 23, 2015 at 9:21 a.m.

    For the sake of US soccer, it can be nothing else short of 10 percent of the transfer fee for the rest of the players career.

  2. Oma Hawkeye replied, October 23, 2015 at 1:34 p.m.

    I don't think this is a matter of club greed at all (most if not all clubs are non-profit) but how do they carry talented youth in the program whose parents can't pay? Right now they can't, or the few who get scholarships are subsidized by fees that middle and upper class families can pay. We are leaving a lot of kids behind in the sport who are the more talented but can't afford it. Realistically though, solidarity payments will not solve this problem anytime soon in the U.S., and the number of clubs who may benefit will be few, and the ones that do will not likely lower the cost across the board for all players, but use it for more scholarships (which means more league titles and trophies).

  3. Oma Hawkeye replied, October 23, 2015 at 1:36 p.m.

    The solidarity mechanism payment is calculated, not set by anyone: "In the case of subsequent transfers, training compensation is calculated based on the training costs of the new club multiplied by the number of years of training with the former club."

  4. Soccer Madness, October 23, 2015 at 10:15 a.m.

    What is there to think about MLS? Stop being so God Damn greedy and do whats right. Where is the $$ going to come from for domestic signings? Is that a serious question? How about from all the money you dump on hasbeens? That would be a start. Or how about all the $$ MLS teams make off of local parnteship's registration fees for rights to market with MLS club name? USSF is sick of being in the middle of it?? Not exactly the response that one would expect from what should be our leaders that are looking for the best ineterests of soccer in USA, now is it.

  5. Johnny Nardone, October 23, 2015 at 11:42 a.m.

    Youth clubs want parents to pay them $1,000's to train their kids AND they want to get paid a 2nd time when the kid goes pro!! Talk about GREED!! If a youth club/academy provides free training (like most counties), then sure they should benefit if their 'product' goes pro. Fair incentive to focus on player development. If the training requires parents to pay, then that's the biz model and they shouldn't expect to get paid on the back end, too! Sounds like clubs/academies in USA want to make $ off of parents and if they happen to have future pros training with them, then they want to claim some sort of investment and entitlement to a return. Most clubs/academies don't make an investment it talent, they make $ of the parents, period!

  6. Soccer Madness replied, October 23, 2015 at 12:18 p.m.

    Could it also be that youth clubs want to compensated so they can lower costs to parents and better yet chnage development model from catering to the pay to play parents to developing the next top player they can cash in on? How can your argument be "Well, since they charge us already why should they get the money that every pro club is obligated to give?" The point is that the business model will undoubtably chnage once training compensation is paid in USA. Some if not most clubs will offer free play and focus 100% on developing players. Therefore, pay to play clubs will not be able compete with them and as a consequence will have to charge less or disappear as they will have to chnage their business model to juts pay to play without winning or achieveing National Rankings based on wins. There is no doubt training compensation brings change. How do you not get that? Just look outside of USA. Thats what they do and you dont see players paying to be on a top team.

  7. mike renshaw replied, October 25, 2015 at 12:17 a.m.

    Johnny Nardone you nailed it in your earlier response....

  8. Ric Fonseca, October 23, 2015 at 4:20 p.m.

    To Johnny Nardone: Your comment is SPOT ON and thank you!!! To Soccer Madness: To say that "Some if not most clubs will offer free play and focus 100% on developing players...(sic)" WOW! Where exactly do you live so I can send some needy, yet very skillful players? And that "There is no doubt training compensation brings change...(sic)" Again, WOW, the only change it will bring is more money for greedy coaches!

  9. Soccer Madness replied, October 23, 2015 at 5:49 p.m.

    Ric, I run a club for low budget players. If I recieved a payment on a player I would offer free play for many players and I am sure that clubs that compete with me for players would do the same and change their entire look on competing and developing. Tournaments and rankings all of a sudden wont be as important. Of course there will still be clubs that charge but now the people that pay know that they will not be catered for or mixed in with the top players, therefore not the same interest. Therefore, why pay $3000 a year and give donations to these clubs? I am not saying coaches and clubs will stop being greedy. What i am saying it brings a different kind of competition for players and their overall outcome. The best part of whole thing is "greddy" clubs will want to actually "develop" those investments.

  10. Soccer Madness, October 23, 2015 at 6:02 p.m.

    If our club has a repuation of developing pro players no matter how small or big it is, and we can offer more or all players free play because of a payout then why would they want to go to a club that charges them only because they have a better shot at winning State Cup? Or why would they go to a big club that has no record of "developing" pro players? If I am a top player I am going to where the odds are better of me developing into the best player I can be and at no cost to me. I want that club to cash in on me because that means they will work hard on me to become a pro. I will compare pro player to total club player ratios and how many years a pro player spent with a club to see if they in fact developed them.

  11. Lou vulovich, October 23, 2015 at 8:19 p.m.

    SM. I think compensation should only be made to clubs which charge nothing at all or a minimum for registration and uniforms. Clubs that charge for professional training should not be entitled to any fees. How about that money goes to the parents or player.

  12. Soccer Madness replied, October 23, 2015 at 10:20 p.m.

    In a perfect world, yes that $$ should go to the parents that pay. But that said, why not try it? Is our current system better without paying Training Compensation? The real $4 is in Solidarity payments which basically rewards a team for developing the player "pay" or " No pay to play".

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, October 25, 2015 at 12:38 a.m.

    I wonder if you set up a Club and Give the Paying Parent's a Stock Share in the Youth Club...Then when the "Scholarship" Players "Makes Tranfer Money"...Then the Parent's Can get some of their Investment back

  14. Chris Kovalcik, October 23, 2015 at 9:30 p.m.

    I can understand at some level the thought of either receiving compensation or the total pay-for-play model. It does seem a little like having your cake and eating eat too. For the compensation only model proponents, I would think developing a pro player in the U.S. capable of providing significant sums to the club would be sort of like winning the lottery. The infrastructure and coaching are not there yet to churn out players that would allow clubs to abandon the pay-for-play model. It seems to me that both are needed for another decade or so and then the choose either the compensation only or pay-for-play model can be enacted.

  15. Ric Fonseca, October 23, 2015 at 10:08 p.m.

    Hola again folks! Mulling this over and over, all I can think of is that the entire concept stinks of high heaven, and is nothing but a huge can of worms. Greedy coaches/clubs will get greedier and richer, while the clubs that must scrape and squeeze enough funds for entry fees, reg fees, uniforms, ref and field fees, will be left out for wanting.

  16. Chris Kovalcik replied, October 24, 2015 at 2:34 p.m.

    Ric, I think there is a lot of truth in what you are saying though isn't this the type of stratification we see in many corners of our society - the big try to get bigger through greed, etc? There has got to be a better development structure other than the recreational and club level ball spectrum that exists now. Maybe a third-way will develop that will truly provide higher level development with a focus on individual player development. At least, the clubs will have a chance to compete on actual player development instead of the silly concept they are selling in the marketplace right now, which is trophy collectors and other silly dreams (to the ignorance of the untrained eye).

  17. Soccer Madness, October 23, 2015 at 10:22 p.m.

    You all are assuming that compoensating clubs will not change the system for the better. How about we try it? We cant really assurer what will happen. We know how messsed are current system is. I say anything is better than what we have. by the way, USA lost 4-1 to Chile today and are out in the first round.

  18. Chris Kovalcik replied, October 24, 2015 at 2:38 p.m.

    I would be curious if there is an opportunity to mandate how some of the compensating funds would be used by clubs. Maybe no other body, including U.S. Youth Soccer, has any jurisdiction but would be curious if it is otherwise.

  19. R2 Dad, October 23, 2015 at 11:45 p.m.

    Training players so they are ready for the next level has to out-weigh the immediate incentive to win--which is all we have right now. In a city stuffed full of clubs, I can't find one that will teach my kid, as a defender, how to play out of the back. Not one coach has the incentive, dictate or patience to coach that. Just look up the chain all the way to the USMNT--lame defending because coaches won't build a back line. And we harp about attacking players, but our huge national weakness it poor defending. Maybe the solidarity payments will change this, but doing what we've been doing for the past 30 years is insanity.

  20. Soccer Madness, October 24, 2015 at 12:12 p.m.

    The biggest problem we have are so many bogus clubs claiming development, cashing in on it from dumb parents and not developing at all. You all seem to be ok with that or used to it because that's just how it's been and is. Why does it bother you all so much that a few clubs that are at least doing a better job developing will get a bonus? If you were really against clubs profiting then why don't you stop paying them $3000-$5000 a year? Or do you think they deserve that much? Mls Academies make $$ on local club partnerships through player registrations and uniform sales. Do they deserve training compensation only because their academy side is free?

  21. Ric Fonseca, October 24, 2015 at 2:36 p.m.

    SM, you're assuming that there is a helluva lot of pay-for-play clubs out there, where in fact there aren't that many. Yes, some charge what you say 3-5K, and here in SoCal I can name several right in my own back yard, one that I was instrumental in keeping alive that by now literally runs on a year-round basis, and believe me when I tell you this that the players parents are well off, enough to even get the club's hierarchy, "head coach" and other minions meet regularly at the Beverly Hills Golf Club. They can then in turn boast that they've placed many of their aged-out players in many private colleges/universities, from Claremont to Brown, but they do not say if those former club players are members of the varsity or even jv teams (assumption is that they aren't but use the PR for their own benefit, their bottom line and their own pockets.) There MAY be some merit to this madness, but all I see it as yet another means to milk the cash cow, benefiting the clubs coaches and of course the CEO of the "club." As for training compensation, I have a bridge in Arizona and some beach front property for sale.

  22. Soccer Madness replied, October 24, 2015 at 8:43 p.m.

    Again Ric, we know what we have with the system we have. We do not know what will happen if we pay clubs that develop. Are you saying that only most clubs that dont really develop but claim they do will cash in on training compensation? That seems a little unrealistic. Maybe 1-2 situations will happen that way but I think most clubs that do work the right way will be the ones to benefit from TC and SOlidarity payments. All you ahve to do is go out and see how the rest of the world does it. Why do argue against a proven system? Its like Mexico thinking they can develop better basketball players than USA with a pay to play system. Makes no sense.

  23. Lou vulovich, October 24, 2015 at 3:45 p.m.

    I can only assure you of one thing if they pass some sort rule for training compensation for American youth players, it will be the end of American boys getting opportunities in Europe.
    At least the majority as for MLS clubs they will just ignore a talent not already in their system. This will only hurt young players who are not developed yet.

  24. Santiago 1314 replied, October 24, 2015 at 4:48 p.m.

    The days of Young Boys going to Europe is Already Over...Ask Barca and Ledesma...We need to Develop our own players... And those Clubs that come in and "Raid" "Recruit" players off of other Teams need to Pay Up.!!!..."We are such a Great DA.!!!".."Look how many Players we sent Pro"..and they only had them for One or Two years. ..

  25. Soccer Madness replied, October 24, 2015 at 8:46 p.m.

    Wow. Do you guys not follow World Soccer?? By your argument, then no country would send their best players to the best leagues. Why would Barcelona bring in a messi then from Argentina? MLS would pay local clubs training compensation for a player they can potentially cash in on a bigger scale by seeling htem to Europe. What you will see less and less is MLS sending players to Europe with current system because there is not a clear path to the pros. Actually, we are already seeing that!!

  26. Lou vulovich, October 24, 2015 at 6:24 p.m.

    This country is already one of the worst scouted soccer countries in the world. Most players who don't play for big clubs are ignored as it is. Now if you add compensation for young players it will only ensure their opportunities are reduced. Mexican clubs will stop scouting in the US players will not have opportunities in Europe and the MLS will ignore young players not in their system until college.

  27. Santiago 1314 replied, October 24, 2015 at 6:58 p.m.

    I think it will be the Reverse...Just like in the Rest of the World...Feeder clubs will be more willing to "Push" Up players, Knowing that they will get a "Piece of the Pie"...Clubs will be more willing to "Cater" to "Special" Individualistic Players knowing they will get Compensated on a PAY-FOR-PLAYER PRODUCED; rather than a Pay-for-Play Trophy Hunting Team...

  28. Soccer Madness replied, October 24, 2015 at 8:52 p.m.

    Lou, why do you suppose this? Mexican clubs will not stop scouting. You think Mexican parents dont negotiate their asses off for their kids?? Come on, dude!! I know of a few cases already. Mexicna clubs will in fact, stop just inviting randomly. Alot of players come back devastated because they were cut the first 2-4 weeks. Why? because it didnt cost the MX clubs anything to get them there!! Now if you get scouted and invited you are worth the investment and therefore seen in a different spectrum. Why would you want to go to an MLS or MX club if you really dont know where your value stands anyway?? For all we know, MLS is just using DA to make you think they are developing Homegrown talent but in reality its just a marketing scheme!! Alianza?? Same thing!!

  29. BJ Genovese replied, October 26, 2015 at 12:58 a.m.

    Unfortunately the only players that go overseas are the ones that are fortunate enough to have a EU passport or dual citizenship. The funny thing is that if any kid from the US goes overseas they are hailed as the next big thing when really many other kids would be scooped up however they do not have an EU passport. So im not sure that it would be a huge impact on overseas opportunities for young developing players. If anything maybe it will force scouts to look a little harder within instead of relying on the hype of a 13 year old going to a youth academy overseas. When clubs get paid for top players they will work hard to start developing players.

  30. Lou vulovich, October 24, 2015 at 7:19 p.m.

    I hope you are right and I am wrong Santiago and SM

  31. Santiago 1314 replied, October 24, 2015 at 7:49 p.m.

    We shall see...Seems to work that way in the Rest of the World... "The Cream Rises to the Top" and every one gets to have "Their Cake and Eat it too"...Man, all this Discussion of Deserts.!?!?... I'm gonna go have some Pumpkin Pie.!!!

  32. Santiago 1314 replied, October 24, 2015 at 8:14 p.m.

    p.s...Of Course the Real Question is ...Do we have ANY Coaches that can Produce "Creamy" Players!!!

  33. Soccer Madness, October 24, 2015 at 8:53 p.m.

    Santiago, why is it just you and me that see this?? Holy cow!!

  34. Soccer Madness, October 24, 2015 at 8:56 p.m.

    Santiago, we wont neeed to wonder if we have the coaches that can produce!! You know why?? Because they will be looking for work doing something else!! There is no stopping bringing MX great coaches in to USA along with Brazilian and Argentinina coaches!! I can gaurantee you that we will see South America and even Mexico take over the Youth Coaching ranks in USA if those rules come into effect. Euro training is just a marketing power point. Not hard to see where the better players come from = South America and who is outshining us in the youth department = Mexico.

  35. Santiago 1314 replied, October 24, 2015 at 10:03 p.m.

    Can someone like Cony, now set up a Tahuichi Type Program in the USA.???.. That is the kind of players we would like to see in the USA...I think Shattuck has something, but I imagine that's Pay-for-Development..

  36. Scott Johnson replied, October 25, 2015 at 2:40 a.m.

    As a parent in Cony's club, I'm wondering when FC Ultrecht is gonna pay up for Rubio Rubin.... :)

  37. Bob Ashpole, October 24, 2015 at 11:37 p.m.

    Compensation for clubs is not a new rule. It is an existing practice, except that MLS takes all the money for the players that it transfers and keeps it. That would be okay if MLS had provided all the training, but it hasn't.

  38. mike renshaw, October 25, 2015 at 12:03 a.m.

    To say that the youth clubs in the USA are 'non profit' is a total joke as is most of their training and coaching. The majority of their 'coaches' are in it for one thing...the money...and the whole thing is one big money grab. To say I am NOT a fan of club soccer would be an understatement.

    Many of these kids are NOT having any fun playing the game. The negative, verbally and mentally abusive sideline behavior, the sarcasm and belittling comments from many of these so called 'coaches' is a total joke.

  39. Soccer Madness replied, October 25, 2015 at 12:14 a.m.

    SO what your ppoint regardig Training Compensation? Keep it the same pay to play? Or try to make a change?

  40. Santiago 1314 replied, October 25, 2015 at 12:33 a.m.

    Mike, Do you think Youth Clubs in other Countries are "Non-Profit"...What does Profit or Non-Profit have to do with Producing Players..???...Doesn't seem to matter in other countries

  41. Scott Johnson replied, October 25, 2015 at 2:43 a.m.

    Quite a few of 'em are nonprofit, or at least, nobody's getting rich off them. Yes, coaches get paid--but any professional should be. But coaching youth soccer is not the ticket to the big time.

  42. Soccer Madness replied, October 26, 2015 at 9:58 p.m.

    Who is talking about ticket to the big time? 5% for a pro player is not big time once its spread out in an organization. Its a bonus for good work.

  43. Scott Johnson replied, October 27, 2015 at 3:06 a.m.

    SM--I think we mostly agree; I'm responding to the suggestion that many club operators are getting rich. Perhaps some are, I don't know. The clubs I'm familiar with--particularly Westside Timbers (Cony's club; which counts Rubin and U14 national player Adrian Villegas as alumni, along with a good handful of pros of less recent vintage), are largely low-budget, non-profit affairs. WT doesn't have its own training grounds--it rents space wherever it can find it in schoolyards and parks and gymnasiums all over Beaverton. (Gynnasiums as this is Cony, after all, so everyone plays futsal in winter. Given the Oregon weather, there's not really any other option as grass fields are utterly unplayable between November and March). It does benefit from a good relationship with the Portland Timbers and Thorns (being one of seven youth clubs associated with Peregrine Sports), as well as a good relationship with one of the best park-and-rec districts in the country. But WT, like many nonprofit youth clubs, has to watch every penny. Clubs tailored to children of the rich (with fees and facilities to match) do exist, of course, but many youth clubs--even at the classic level (to say nothing of rec)--are bare bones operations.

  44. Scott Johnson replied, October 27, 2015 at 3:08 a.m.

    Of course, one of the best things about WT is that it's an Adidas club located smack dab in Nike's backyard. :)

  45. Santiago 1314 replied, October 27, 2015 at 11:02 a.m.

    Yeah, NIKE Sucks too, Fire them, when we Fire JK...Clean Sweep...Get some Uniforms with some Style.!!!...Plain Jane and Green Socks.!?!?!?...Please, Gag me with a Wooden Spoon.!!!...RED, WHITE and BLUE...AND Lots of IT.!!!

  46. Ric Fonseca, October 25, 2015 at 3:25 p.m.

    Hola yet otra vez, senores! Please look up that outfit ALIANZA and its SUENO PROGRAM, and see just how many of those Latino players are signed by Liga MX. Also, some time ago, while attending one of the NSCAA meetings, I sat in a presentation to the Board, put on by UMBRO. They were, of course, making a pitch to have UMBRO (remember this futbol soccer Brit company?) and their spokesperson, a high ranking one, opened up with a very broad and far reaching question to those in attendance, so paraphrasing what he said: "Hello and thank you for your invite. I do want to begin by saying that there is no such animal as a "non-for-profit," 'cause no matter how you slice the cake, there is some profit to be made in a so called 'non-for-profit" corporation, association etc..." Needless to say, we all sat sort of stunned, and some of of just chuckled. They, UMBRO did get a contract. As for "nobody's getting rich off them..." all I ask you to check out some big time clubs, e.g. San Diego Nomads, SD Surf Club, So Cal Blues, and even "non-profit" leagues such as Coast S.L., and the state association Cal Soccer South; and while you're at it check out their state and IRS tax returns, available to the public, 'cause after all, they're a public "not-for-profit" organizations under IRS Code 501(c)(3).

  47. Santiago 1314 replied, October 25, 2015 at 5:33 p.m.

    The only way your Club gets Compensated from another Club in FIFAfia is that the player WAS on a Registered Team, in a Club that Participates in the National Association(USSF)...INDIVIDUALS; Scouts, Private Trainers, Coaches and Agents do not get part of the 5%...501c, Is Strickly an American Tax Code Shelter...Let's Not let our INDIVIDUAL Player Development be Held Hostage to the Tax Code and Anti-Capitalist Notion of "Fair Play"

  48. Soccer Madness, October 25, 2015 at 11:04 p.m.

    It amazes me that so many people argue against paying training compensation mainly because they are miss informed. It seems many here are sour as thye must have been talen by a ride by whatever club their kids played for and are so sour that the idea of that particular club cashing in on a player turns their stomach. In turn they fail to see the bigger picture and therefore also even attempt to get educated on the subject. For get about "non for profit" " for profit terms". ALL CLUBS MAKE MONEY FOR THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE, IN USA AND EVERY WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. EVERY INTERNATIONAL CLUB IN THE WORLD has some sort of "pay to play" setup, satelite clubs around the wrold where they rent out their name so individuals can profit promoting ties to the club. You guys are all arguing against Barcelona making money on players they develop if you argue against USA pay to play clubs doing the same. Its not up to youy. Its the way its been and its what FIFA mandates. USSF and MLS agreed to operate under FIFA rules. Everyone here quick to critiseize a system that works everywhere else that produce much better players than us as well as coaches and scouts. No one here offers a better solution.

  49. Brian McLindsay replied, October 26, 2015 at 8:33 p.m.

    For clubs with pay-to-play in the U.S., any solidarity payments should go to the player, who can then simply pass them on to his great training club(s), set up a scholarship fund with his.her criteria or keep it as a signing bonus.

    What is good for the goose is good for that gander as the old saying goes...why should the clubs be entrusted to do what is right with the funds, let the player decide how or if the funds should be returned (maybe after paying the parents back)?

    I think training fees may be ok, but in the U.S. at pay-for-play clubs, put it in the hands of the player to decide what is right. This will properly incentivize clubs in many ways.

  50. Soccer Madness replied, October 26, 2015 at 10:08 p.m.

    Solidarity payments are not designed to reward a club for just that one player. Its designed to help support their overall work with several 100'2 or 1000's of players hoping 1-2 more will be produced out of another 1000. Ive never seen anyone here blabber so much against pay to play system as much as they do about training compensation, a common practice in the ENTIRE WORLD!! The ENTIRE WORLD produces much better players thatn we do with pennies on what we invest into youth soccer using that very system. In the ENTIRE WORLD the right clubs eventually get compensated for doing the right work. In the ENTIRE WORLD there exists many forms of pay to play that is completely seperated from the truly Elite level players that pay nothing because they are invested in. Germany has pay to play/train and pay alot where players go to catch or thinking they can out do their competition this why mainly because some few parents there have the money. But the best are invested in and the best clubs exist because they constantly can make up for those investments in many players. A club that charges pay to play in Germany can not exist on that alone like they do here in USA even if they once in a while cash in on a player. Why? because they dont get any top level players. Why? because those are all going free to clubs that invest in them and who they pick as best options for them. Who will they pick? the ones better known for developing talent and turining pros. Again people we are way nehind in this so try to sound like experts on this matter and try to reinvent something that is already well established.

  51. Brian McLindsay replied, October 28, 2015 at 1:28 p.m.

    SM, Maybe I was not clear, so in different words...solidarity payment process within the U.S. can and should make the player at p-t-p clubs a decision maker. The player will know exactly how much of the clubs coaching influenced his progression to a processional level. The player may have had a very good club for one or two seasons and for whatever reason had a very poor club for a season (club changes maybe?).

    Point being, by having the player in the decision making process, clubs will be highly incentivised to not only identify the talented, but ensure the development process continues, regardless of club continuity issues.

    There is simply no good argument for not allowing the player to decide how solidarity payments should be made. A well developed (read rounded and balanced), player will be glad to see his best club(s) receive some compensation helping with the next generation players development. It also helps the p-t-p clubs keep focus on players and not on other objectives that seem to creep into club environments.

  52. Soccer Madness, October 25, 2015 at 11:07 p.m.

    FIFA rules do not negate training compensation to pay to play clubs nor does it negate them 5% transfer fee. USSF and MLS should follow FIFA mandates or drop oiut and do its own thing. That would mean no World CUps, Gold Cups, etc for USA. None of you get to say what rules you want to follow.

  53. cony konstin, October 26, 2015 at 3:42 p.m.

    This info is on the FIFA website. Hopefully this makes it very clear what are the rules that FIFA has put in place in regards to Training compensation for the entire world to follow.

    20 Training compensation
    Training compensation shall be paid to a player’s training club(s): (1) when a
    player signs his fi rst contract as a professional, and (2) each time a professional
    is transferred until the end of the season of his 23rd birthday. The obligation
    to pay training compensation arises whether the transfer takes place during
    or at the end of the player’s contract. The provisions concerning training
    compensation are set out in Annexe 4 of these regulations.
    21 Solidarity mechanism
    If a professional is transferred before the expiry of his contract, any club
    that has contributed to his education and training shall receive a proportion
    of the compensation paid to his former club (solidarity contribution). The
    provisions concerning solidarity contributions are set out in Annexe 5 of these

  54. Santiago 1314 replied, October 26, 2015 at 4:48 p.m.

    Bingo... Anyone that wants to argue about it should go to FIFAfia Website and Read the Regs...MLS/USSF are Way Out of Line...Barca was Caught bringing in Kids under 18...And that's why they were Suspended from Transfer Market...And that's Why Ledesema had to come back to USA...Just Read People

  55. Soccer Madness, October 26, 2015 at 10:17 p.m.

    Our argument cant be "well youth clubs make enough already off our dumb asses". When does that stop or how does it stop? Not only are they making money off of what appears to be a whole lot of dumb people but they are doing it by promising you ELITE training and giving you rec training when compaered to the rest of the world. Thats just plain dumb. How do we change that?? Hmmmm. Maybe if we compensate the very very few that actually produce pro players then maybe they compete against each other by offering compleetely free training?? HMMMMM. WHERE WILL ALL THE TOP PLAYERS GO?? To the clubs with the better results pro wise. Hmmmmm. What happens to the rest of the pay to play clubs??? Hmmmm. I dont know but I do know they wont be able to sell themselves the same again without actually developing top players themselves, now can they??

  56. Santiago 1314 replied, October 27, 2015 at 11:19 a.m.

    Most of the Pay-to-Play Clubs will do fine; Because 95% of those Parents are Really Interested in A "COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP", so they can go around the Suburb, Telling all the other Parent's that their Kid got a Scholarship...Even if it is Miniscule...And if Course when Sue or Johnny Quit after Freshman or Sophmore year, these Parents don't even Speak anymore...But unless NCAA does away with Soccer SCHOLARSHIPS; There will always be a Need for Pay-to-Play Clubs and Recruiting Tournaments...OK, all you Brits can Breath Easy Now.!!!

  57. Soccer Madness replied, October 27, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

    Yes. Agreed. But colleges will first go to the clubs that are free because that is where the top talent will be and surely most of them will have no shot at going pro so most of them will opt to take college deal. A to p club that invests in too talent will take a risk on 100 hoping that one will turn pro. The other 99 Will be best options for college. That makes pay to play less valuable to the bragging parents and almost worthless. Pay to play will be forced to remain competitive and drastically reduce their fees. They will st oil exist no doubt just under different competitive market.

  58. Soccer Madness, October 26, 2015 at 10:21 p.m.

    In general we direct our attention in winning because that is all look fwd to. State Cup at U10?? You think thats a coincidence?? $1500 tournaments for 3 60 minute games way the hell on another state that get to turn many more teams down than the ones they register and still charge $10 a day for parking?? You think thats a coincidence? Now with Training compensation the general mass will focus their attention at who is actually developing top players. Thats how it works people. I dont doubt that most of you are smart to figure this out but the general population in USA is not and if you disagree then guess which group you belong to.

  59. Wesley Hunt, October 28, 2015 at 1:59 p.m.

    When I first started coaching as voluteer and a novice to the game of soccer it was very confusing to figure out how the market of soccer training worked both here in the USA and abroad. Then I met a former scout and youth trainer from a major club in England. He even helped train some of our players on regular basisfor a couple of years. Ours was a small travel team in a rural region and I was a voluteer coach. We scrimmaged a lot of futsal and soccer worked on foot skills and had a lot of fun. Cost for participating was peanuts and if a kid was not into it that was fine they just left. For him it was way different than where he came from. Over there the kids were scouted at around U10 age or younger then invited to train with the academy. Every year they either make the cut or not. Cost was free but the expectations were high. The value in the program was in the end product which is a player who can sign a pro contract at age 16-18 or so and hopefully goes on to bigger and better things. The percentage of players that reach that level is your mark of success. No other metric , youth league titles or tournament victories, really matters. ON a personel level he marked his success in those kids he discovered and trained who went on to be pro. This made sense! The investment was made and hopefully the principle plus interest was realized at the end of the process. What a simple and elegant capitalistic way to put a value on talent education. If you follow the money the answers will come.

  60. Wesley Hunt, October 28, 2015 at 2:13 p.m.

    However, in this country the money is on the front end of the process. It comes in the front door in the form of a parent willing to pay good money to have thier child learn the skills of playing soccer. Much as you would hire say a music teacher these parents want good training for their money. Unfortunatly, many parents mistake club youth trophies as a mark of good training. There is very limited market for kis to turning pro here in the states and are more or less shut out of the European market unless they have a European parent. That leaves the only other measure success as how many play or get scholarships to play college soccer. Their is some value in that but I wonder having watched college soccer how many of those kids have real skill. It seems that every ID camp costs money and every one promises some inside edge to get that scholarship. It is all very marketing orientated and that is because the money is on the front end and what happens after is not so important other than for marketing purposes.

  61. Wesley Hunt, October 28, 2015 at 2:25 p.m.

    Personally I like the European model better. Much more honest to be truthful. The value of the soccer education is much more easily measured. Either a team is willing to pay for that talent or not. Our system with education and athletics all mixed together makes it very hard to keep it simple. Some compensation for clubs who produce professional talent seems fair to me but the money and is still so small compared to everything else. I do not see this changing the status quo very much.

  62. Soccer Madness replied, October 29, 2015 at 11:03 a.m.

    Wesley, it will with time. USA is huge and there are oplenty of clubs that all they want is to develop pros. The problem has been that they lose those players to State Cup teams, Mrl, Academy, etc. Because of exactly what you say. Nothing to look fwd to but winning at "the highest level". Status quo will, without a doubt, change for the better. No different from how hood basketball players make it to the nba. You have alot of neighborhood coaches that help these players get to the top and are usually rewarded by those same players who come into the league making millions and at the very least around $500,000. Mls starts their much publicised "Homegrowns" at $60,000 and usually no playing time. With Training Compensation you will see more Hispanic, Polish, Russian, Salvadorian, etc. USA communities produce the pros. Especially the Hispanic community because like in the black communities College is not even an option most times.

  63. Scott Johnson replied, October 29, 2015 at 6:58 p.m.

    Right now, many MLS teams do have youth academies--the Timbers do--but generally those academies start at the teenage years, and you have to already be an elite or near-elite player to get in. And one downside for such clubs--the travel involved can be problematic for kids also in school. As noted in a prior comment, the Timbers/Thorns have agreements with a whole bunch of independent youth clubs (coming from one of these clubs is NOT a requirement to get into the Timbers' development academy), but those associated clubs are still fee-to-pay, even if they do focus more on player development than on winning tournaments. (Of course, clubs that really focus on player development tend to win tournaments they enter anyway...)

  64. Scott Johnson replied, October 29, 2015 at 7:11 p.m.

    One other comment: One of the Timbers' affiliated youth clubs (Washington Timbers, located across the river in Vancouver, WA) has an interesting fee structure for its classic teams (it also runs two rec clubs which are outside the scope of its discussion). It divides its classic squads into four tiers--1 through 4. Tier 1 is ODP-level elite clubs (which only seem to exist if enough high-level players can be found to staff one), Tier 2 is generally State Cup level; Tier 3 is generally Presidents Cup level; Tier 4 clubs are Founders Cup level clubs (and likely to be beaten by talented rec teams). Pricing for a year's worth of training ranges from about $450 or so for Tier 4, to over $2000/year for Tier 1; the more advanced tiers cost more because players receive far more training opportunities, coaching, and support. Of course, if training compensation comes into play, we might see that fee structure inverted somewhat, as free training is offered to those who have pro potential, but those who want to play competitive soccer but are judged to have no pro/college prospects need to pay their own way if they want to join the club.

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