I got a few things wrong when in a 2007 article I predicted what American youth soccer would look like by now.
There is still no Under-2 National Championship and Prenatal Soccer Camps have yet to launch.
But the youth soccer industrial complex forges full speed ahead. There are businesses out there offering soccer classes to 18-month-olds and private coaches charging $100 a session. We’ve got State Cups for 8-year-olds, and tournament organizers boast about their events making “economic impacts” in the tens of millions of dollars.
I had forecast with tongue in cheek the extinction of the volunteer coach by quoting the director of the Super Star Soccer Factory for Infants & Toddlers: "Parents have finally comprehended the fact that it's foolish to trust their children's soccer development to someone they're not paying lots of money."
So I found refreshing a CBSNewYork article earlier this week that some Long Island parents weren’t convinced that they should accept a registration fee increase for 5-year-olds from $130 to $320 because the club claimed that the youngsters needed “professional trainers.”
“They can wait a few more years till they spend the big bucks on the trainers, I feel,” said Megan Schaming of Lindenhurst.
The article reported that it couldn’t “find anyone at all who supported the new fees” and that even the club’s former president scoffed at the notion of professional training for 5-year-olds.
It’s a good sign indeed when parents recognize that expensive coaching isn’t necessary to give little children a chance to fall in love with soccer.
U.S. U-17 girls trounce Jamaica, 8-1
The USA began its qualifying campaign for the 2016 U-17 World Cup with an 8-1 victory over Jamaica in which PDA's Frankie Tagliaferri scored four goals after entering as a 70th minute sub.
The Colorado Rush's Civana Kuhlmann opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Floridian Shayla Smart equalized for the Reggae Girlz in the 32nd minute but Ashley Sanchez (SoCal Blues) scored two minutes later. Kuhlmann added her second four minutes into the second half. Sanchez struck in the 56th minute before Tagliaferri hit the net four times.
The USA faces Mexico, a 4-2 victor over Costa Rica, on Sunday in its second Group B game.March 4 in St. George’s, Grenada
2016 Concacaf U-17 Women's
USA Group B Schedule
USA 8 Jamaica 1
USA vs. Mexico 2:30 pm ET
USA vs. Costa Rica noon ET
(TV: FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Soccer 2Go)
Games can be viewed free of charge on foxsoccer2go.com by entering the promo code “U17WNT” on the registration page. The promo code can be activated though March 13.