This U.S. loss to Mexico for U-17 Concacaf crown 'stings'

The USA qualified for the 2017 U-17 World Cup on Friday with a 6-2 win over Cuba, but on Sunday Mexico denied Coach John Hackworth’s team the icing on the cake, beating the USA in Concacaf U-17 Championship final in a penalty-kick shootout after a 1-1 tie in Panama City.

The USA, which had beaten Mexico, 4-3, in first-round group play, took the lead in the final in the 62nd minute when Andrew Carleton hit a volley on the turn from 18 yards that bounced past Cesar Lopez at the far post.

The Americans had two good chances to extend their lead. Lopez blocked a close-range Josh Sargent shot from a tight angle in the 81st minute and Chris Goslin hit the post from 18 yards in the 90th minute.

Halfway into the four minutes of stoppage time added by referee Hector Martinez, Daniel Lopez chipped in a cross that Carlos Robles headed low into the right corner of the U.S. goal.

With overtime not used at this competition, the teams headed straight into the shootout. Every player converted except the USA’s fourth shooter, Akil Watts, an 86th-minute sub, who shot high.

”It stings,” said Hackworth. “There’s no way to take that kind of result … That said, I’m proud of these young men. I’m proud of my staff. I’m proud of the way we performed in the tournament. So we need to walk out of here with our heads held high and understand that we have some more work to do in order to win championships in the future."

The win gave Mexico’s its third straight U-17 Concacaf title and a record seventh overall.

May 7 in Panama City
Mexico 1 USA 1 (PKs: 5-4)
Goals: Robles (Lopez) 92+; Carleton (Weah) 62.
Spot kicks:
USA — Sargent (goal), Weah (goal), Goslin (goal), Watts (missed), Sands (goal).
Mexico — Lopez (goal), Robles (goal), Torres (goal), Gutierrez (goal), De La Rosa (goal).
Mexico — Lopez; Vazquez, Robles, Olivas, Sandoval (Catalan, 7); Torres, Ruiz (Huerta, 23), Gutierrez, Perez (Alvarado, 53); De La Rosa, Lopez.
USA — Garces; Lindsey, Sands, Vasquez, Gloster; Ferri (Reynolds, 80), Durkin, Goslin, Akinola (Weah, 56), Sargent, Carleton (Watts, 86).
Referee: Hector Martinez (Honduras).
Att.: 233.

Stats: Mexico/USA
Possession: 57%/43%
Shots: 19/12
Shots on target: 4/4
Saves: 3/3
Corner Kicks: 8/1
Fouls: 16/19
Offside: 4/0
Yellow card: USA - Tim Weah (83)

Asia: India (host), Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea.
Concacaf: Mexico, USA, Honduras, Costa Rica.
Oceania: New Zealand, New Caledonia.
South America: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia.
Africa: 4 to be determined May 14-28
Europe: 5 to be determined May 3-19

• India hosted the U-17 World Cup Oct. 6-28.
• The draw takes place July 7 in Mumbai.

96 comments about "This U.S. loss to Mexico for U-17 Concacaf crown 'stings' ".
  1. Quarterback TD, May 7, 2017 at 8:46 p.m.

    Very unlucky for the US but the best is yet to come. I said before on any given day Mexico could win against the US and vice verse. The only thing I will like to see US do better is finishing but that comes with experience and practice to make persistence. Good job and looking forward to seeing you raise that trophy in India.

  2. frank schoon, May 7, 2017 at 10:05 p.m.

    At this stage of development of these young players the winning or losing part is not important but how the teams play, the style exhibited and how the players develop with in that style of play, for that is the most important aspect that should be taking from this game, nothing else. Those who think a win is a notch in the improvement of player development tend to miss the bigger picture. As far as style goes in helping develop the players Mexico comes out on top, just like they did when they lost 4-3. In both games Mexico kept to their style and poise, passing the ball around , employing TRIANGLES off the ball, one player comes to the player with the ball and another positions a little further away from the ball. They tend play more in trios where the US played more in unsophisticated duos. The Mexicans can't out run us, and they can't win in the air from us and this is why Mexico plays a smart passing game that requires very little one on one duels, but instead lots of ball movement. The problem with the Mexicans is they tend to come over a little too lackadaisical and as result create some stupid mistakes in the passing department, just like their goalie almost lost the ball to a US player in front of the goal. The US needs to create a style of play like the Mexicans have,for if you noticed after the Mexicans lost two starters within the first 15min. of the game, nothing changed in their style of play,they kept their poise, like nothing happened and continued their style of play. And all I can say for that is Kudos to the Mexican developmental program. The playing style is like a watch, the inner workings remain the same, even though the casing might change. The Mexicans continued building up from the back even while under pressure, even after making a previous stupid mistake in the back , they continued as had nothing happened, which takes discipline and poise. Did you notice the Mexican throw ins were more aimed to the feet as compared to the US throw ins which tend to be more on the bounce and therefore more difficult to control. The throw ins should be to the feet which aids in faster and more direct play. This is elementary stuff that should have been taught to the US players.
    This is why I say at this stage it is not about winning or losing but how you play within the style as related to the player's development.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, May 7, 2017 at 11:32 p.m.

    Thanks Frank. I appreciate your explanation. I note that all of your points are about tactics and style rather than technical ability. This is of course because everyone realizes that the players have to have technical skills, so no need to mention them.

  4. R2 Dad replied, May 8, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

    Frank, you just have to say the word Triangles to these DA folks and their heads explode. They have Rondo and there are scrimmages-- DA coaches don't know how to teach Triangles, train it or play it. To be fair, I've only seen a couple of teams here, ever, play that way (though interestingly one was a local BU10).

  5. frank schoon replied, May 8, 2017 at 12:06 p.m.

    R2, Exactly...these DA coaches just parrot what is popular and have no clue,they don't know anything... they just think because they are licensed and go to all latest soccer seminars for idiots that they know something.
    They have a type of mentality of, Oh, Barcelona is playing "rondo', oh we better do that to" . I love to debate one of these idiots on why he employs the flat back defense and let them explain the real pros and cons....

  6. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 12:31 p.m.

    Frank - Rondos are a great way to introduce the concept of angles and triangular positioning. That doesn't guarantee that coaches are using them that way, but there are great formats or rondo that can be used to introduce those ideas. You appear to have a lot of knowledge, experience, and passion for the game. You also bemoan the system and coaches/teams that you see so please tell us what you are currently contributing to the landscape of youth development in the US. The culture is still developing and has a long way to go so all the help are providing is greatly appreciated.

  7. Quarterback TD replied, May 8, 2017 at 2:08 p.m.

    Don, the USDA training is pure Bull Sh!t what more you need to know? Frank is 100% right not one of these coaches know how to coach a transitional game and winning is highly dependent on teams recruiting the cream of the crop. Triangles and Diamonds need to be practice but before any team does it every player need to be able to trap and pass effectively and that takes years. However everyone should know the concept of overlapping in its most basic touch and go format. Now triangles and diamonds are not immune as very fast defenders covering the players can make it ineffective. That being said the US U17 defense may be a suspect of weakness and defenders may need to look at closing down players and forcing the offense to pass to break the transition plays.

  8. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 2:45 p.m.

    QB - Your comment, which seems to be addressed to me, doesn't relate to my comment at all.

  9. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 4:38 p.m.

    Insignificant comments on a blog (all of our comments here are insignificant, let's face it) are more significant than the hours and hours that coaches are spending teaching and mentoring players on a daily basis. Did you see the quote from Sargent that Fire posted about how much influence his DA coaches have had on his development? There are MANY other coaches out there in the DA and MLS academies who are doing excellent work as evidenced by the development of other players on this team, players on other youth teams, and recent performances of MLS academies. You clearly don't want this to be true so you simply deny it even though you have extremely little to base that opinion on.

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, May 8, 2017 at 4:40 p.m.

    I have an excellent sense for spatial relationships and plane geometry and have a lifetime of athletic experience including multiple sports, but I really don't get the reference to "triangles." Taken literally, "triangle" is meaningless, as any three points determine a triangle. So the word "triangle" does not tell anyone which of the infinite number of places on a field they should be. Therefore "triangle" is meant figuratively, not literally. Why teach tactics using an abstract concept that nobody can explain to me? It leads to people drawing diagrams of "formations" to show all the possible "triangles" you can form, as if soccer where a static passing game like hitting the croquet ball through wickets. Tactics is about space (creating, using, denying), not spots on the field connected into imaginary triangles. Sorry for the rant.

  11. Quarterback TD replied, May 8, 2017 at 5:11 p.m.

    Bob, Triangles involve 3 or more players. First rule there is nothing faster than the ball on the field. Second rule players must be moving at all times 3. Third rule players must know how to trap and pass with efficiency being done in one trap/pass motion if possible. The advantages are to move the ball very efficiently in a controlled space where by you can split the defenders very easily because generally 2 defenders are most likely marking 2 people in the triangle so passing to the other point in the triangle splits the defense and splitting defense is the fastest way to break down opponents. The 4th person can be used to form a new triangle if a third defender is engaging or if there is a better option to move the ball up. Today most teams don't defend against triangles but instead use a compact defense in their 18 yard space. Compact defense works well it has been used effectively by Juventus to shut down players like Messi and will also shut down Ronaldo in the finals. I have not seen any of the European championship games but I have seen Juventus play in the Italian league.

  12. frank schoon replied, May 8, 2017 at 5:37 p.m.

    Bob, triangles means that a player who has the ball should have at least 2 passing options, one on the left and one on the right side in front of the passer. If passer A is the #6 or the defensive midfielder than the most simplest triangle would be the two outside midfielders just ahead of him. Now let's suppose he passes to the right midfielder than the new triangle would be the right wing, the right midfielder and #9, for example. If #9 receives the ball then new triangle would be ,for example the left midfielder ,#9, and the left wing . If a player has the ball ,he should have someone ahead of him and to the side, so to speak, again that is also a triangle. The triangle can get much more interesting and more of value when triangle BAC in which A is the vertex and passes to C and which B making a run and receives on the run from C; Bin that case is called the 3rd man off the ball. We did not see any 3rd man off the ball runs from the Mexicans and of course from the American side but that should be their next step in their development for the Mexicans. The perfect 3rd man off the ball is when he runs from the blind side. In other words , the triangle right midfielder who has the ball, the #9 the center forward and the left midfielder. Since the right midfielder has the ball the opponent's attention is on their left side. As the ball is passed to #9, the left midfielder can make the blindside run and receives the one-touch pass from #9. The beauty of the 3rd man off the ball could also have been the leftwing, instead of the left midfielder.

  13. frank schoon replied, May 8, 2017 at 5:52 p.m.

    Bob , this is why the Dutch/Cruyff have always been so fond of the 4-3-3 system for it is all triangles. And furthermore the 4-3-3 system is so that in any quadrant you outnumber the opponent 4v2, that is also the beauty of the 4-3-3. That is why I wish the USSF academy would stress this system for it is the best attacking system.

  14. Quarterback TD replied, May 8, 2017 at 6:08 p.m.

    Frank, thanks that's exactly what I meant

  15. frank schoon replied, May 8, 2017 at 6:17 p.m.

    TD, funny as I was ready to post my comment on triangles I saw yours. I thought Bob now has the availability of reading one explanation, mine, in lousy english grammar and one in good grammar

  16. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 8:26 p.m.

    J - You last comment got buried under another debate. You question whether or not the DA is producing pros after the best two players (Sargent and Garces) on the 17s that you just watched came from DA clubs. Add to them Andrew Carleton, who is already a pro, but came up in the DA since ATL UTD wasn't around yet, and your comment about the DA not being able to produce pros like in other countries is really puzzling. It's just more blustery negativity without any actual substance from you.

  17. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 10:14 p.m.

    Fact: We have more teenagers on professional contracts or deep in an academy in Europe than we ever have. The clubs they are at include Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Schalke, and many others. Fact: We have more teenagers who are getting minutes in MLS than ever before. This goes beyond just simply naming a couple of names. We are talking about many many more youth players who are pros or very close to becoming pros; an unprecedented number. That is a fact. What else do you want to see?

  18. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 10:17 p.m.

    J - I'm going to flip the tables on you. Since I have named lots of names and told you many times the fact about how we have many more teens in MLS and abroad who are pros or very close, and you keep denying it, why don't you tell me about a time when we have had this plethora of talent in MLS and abroad. You keep denying the progress by saying that I can't PROVE that it's true with data. Well, why don't you prove that it's NOT true by using data? We have simply never had anywhere near the number of teenagers in MLS or abroad on or near pro contracts. Prove that's not the case.

  19. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 12:31 a.m.

    #s now > #s ever before. If you are so obtuse that you need exact numbers then you can just keep up with your ignorance.

  20. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 12:36 a.m.

    That is a fact. What facts are you presenting to show otherwise?

  21. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:03 a.m.

    There are more homegrowns than ever before and the homegrowns are playing more minutes than ever before. That's a fact. Just because I don't have the exact data doesn't mean it's not factual. Lol

  22. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:06 a.m.

    And there are more teenagers on or near pro contracts than ever before in Europe. That is a fact and just because I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head does not mean it's not a fact. And the youth teams have been getting better results than ever before as evidenced by the U20 and U17s recent results against Mexico. You can deny these things if you want because you don't have the exact numbers, but that is ignorance.

  23. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:41 a.m.

    And many of them have already trained or played with the full first team. Many more are currently in that position than ever have been before. Based on your logic, you would deny that there are more grains of sand on the beach than there are grains of sugar in this jar because I would not be able to give you the exact number of grains as data.

  24. Bob Ashpole replied, May 9, 2017 at 10:52 a.m.

    I find that definition of "triangles" to be a woeful, stifling tactical theory. My personal rule of thumb has always been that there should be 3-5 passing options, not 2, and the first off-the- ball run adds width and the second adds depth. The reason for the "3" is that there is always fewer options playing near the touch line than in the center. I think it is much better to just tell players to support on a diagonal rather than directly in front, in back, or along side. It the diagonal passing option that is important. Defenses have a much harder time adjusting to passes moving along 2 axes. Talking about "triangles" is a very obtuse way of encouraging diagonal passing.

  25. frank schoon replied, May 9, 2017 at 11:28 a.m.

    Bob, Triangles , as I stated begins with the most basic and simplest concept that starts with 2. As an attacker when you face a defender there is only 2 ways you can go past him via his left side or right side...there is no other way unless you dig a tunnel underneath the defender and come out behind him. Now the other way if you don't want yourself to go by him but use a pass to beat him than you have to employ 2 players , one on either side of him ,and I guess that is why they call it forming a triangle. It the most basic form and simplest of beating an opponent for the defender can't cover 2 players at once. This to me is the simplest and easiest concept for children to understand. From this point on you can add different concepts to it but the genesis of it all comes simply down to the triangle. So I see a player with a ball, I don't look for a nice triangle he can make with other player. I look at the number of passing options, not triangles, he has. He has to have at least a "minimum" of 2 passing options, the more better of course, but I look for 2 passing options first....

  26. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 11:35 a.m.

    Frank, As Bob implies, talking about triangles is too simplistic. Angles, yes, but just relying on the terminology of triangles to teach the game is never going to lead to teams playing brilliant possession football. There is so much more that goes into the movement, technical skill, and decision making than just teaching players to create triangles.

  27. Bob Ashpole, May 7, 2017 at 11:36 p.m.

    I think it is great to see the tough competition at the youth level. Higher quality of play by other nations is a good thing, because it makes everyone better in the long term. MLS is helping CONCACAF in this fashion. I know Cuba lost to the USA by 4 goals eventually, but I was impressed with their play.

  28. Miguel Dedo, May 8, 2017 at 9:09 a.m.

    As to quality of play, this was perhaps the worst for both the US and the Mexican team. Playing every second day for two weeks takes away from both the mind and the body. If however the US had managed even to get a foot on three easy chances in the first half, the game might have been a run-away for the US.

  29. K Michael, May 8, 2017 at 9:22 a.m.

    J Kumar,
    You do realize that you are the go-to "Debbie-Downer" on this board, and every time the USA stumbles it is incumbent that you log-in ASAP with as many disparaging remarks as possible. High expectations, dude! But so far you are doing great. Keep up the shallow, insecure, bitter work. One man against the flood tide...the sound and the fury, signifying nothing...

  30. Goal Goal, May 8, 2017 at 9:40 a.m.

    I thought it was a poor game for Mexico and unfortunate for the US. I said it at the start of this tourney this is not the type of team you would expect to see from Mexico. Errant passing, giving up the ball to easily. US had plenty chances to put it away but stuff happens. 1 minute left in regular time and we have a 3 on 1 breakaway and couldn't make it happen. I am curious why we played the long ball. We could have left the midfield on the bench. I believe we will be more competitive at the World Cup than Mexico. We have a good team they just need better advice when the dynamics of game change. I don't think they got it in this game.

  31. frank schoon, May 8, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

    Leaving the Mexico win aside which is meaningless to me. But I question what the US players are really learning from these so-called soccer Academies. I've now seen the U17, and U20 play and both squads don't know how to make a decent throw-in, it similar to what I see in a U10 games. They either make throw ins on the bounce or they throw into a big crowd of people waiting for the ball downfield, instead of back upfield where there is a back WIDE OPEN. DUH!! Realize these are the best players of our player pool representing America and of course they are suppose have the best training and coaching(REALLY). #7 Akinola, doesn't have a clue how to receive the ball, shield or what is most efficient to carry out. #2 the right back has never been taught that you don't pass directly to #7down the line for it forces the wing to receive with his back facing downfield, which places the wing in a terrible position, field view wise attacking wise and tempo wise. Back in the 60's and70's, in the Ajax program from youth to pros there they would bench you automatically for making a pass like that. It is just a worthless pass, for most of the time the wing ends up passing it back again thus stopping the offense. But in today's soccer this pass is so common that coaches have no idea and have never been taught this at the coaching academy getting their license...this tells you the lack of real soccer knowledge that is being taught at the Soccer Academies or coaching school for it is nothing but programmed garbage that misses the real inside details of the game and the reason for that "missing knowledge" is you have to look at who teaches this programmed garbage. You will find that those who teach at the soccer academy or USSF Coaching School are all "A" licensed coaches whose playing experience has been for "Pizza Hut United', "college ball' or have some MLS experience. And you wonder why these kids can't make a decent thrown in or making passes that should never be made. This is why I support having players who have played at the highest level come and teach the "real insights " the "real meat ' of the game and not this programmed , professorial, class room garbage. For Example TOTTI of AS Roma is retiring this year , I hope USSF will approach him ,for he was not only a great player but also has great knowledgeable and experience and knows more about the game than these idiots we have teaching here. Valderrama should have been approached, 'bout Schweinsteig when he retires...there are so many great players who have or are near retirement that should be approached to help the US program.

  32. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 8, 2017 at 11:49 a.m.

    Maybe the game has changed in the last 50 years.

  33. Quarterback TD replied, May 8, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Fire, again your comments are like dog sh!t all one can do is scrape it up and throw it away. The academy training is total nonsense. This is easily seen when compare with what foreign academies do. The problem is not the academies as they have world class facilities the problem is the coaches.. the are YouTube trainees and paper coaches. What the academy does well besides spending money on a bunch of useless overseas tournaments and that is by concept is have a good selection of players play with and against each other so one will see certain aspect like physical play, speed and agility developed but not the technical aspect.

  34. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 8, 2017 at 2:47 p.m.

    Well we know all these kids should just be studying and taking AP exams anyway. They'd be better off not playing sports or doing anything else fun, amirite?

  35. Bob Ashpole replied, May 9, 2017 at 11:19 a.m.

    Frank, I don't think coaching education is quite as bad as you make out. The problem I see is one of content. USSF license courses focus on coaching soccer, not playing soccer. Two different things and that is some of the problem. Once again the trend is to require youth coaches to have a C license to coach premier teams. The problem is that C licenses are too exclusive for this to be practical. I heard a good suggestion last night from a very experienced youth coach as to how to make the C course more accessible: Teach the C license course as a 1-semester community college evening course across the country.

  36. frank schoon replied, May 9, 2017 at 1:17 p.m.

    Bob, there is always improvement for licenses in how they teach for example read what Jay Wall states about his Brazilian experience,near the end of the comment section. I think if you want to take those courses and you think you're getting something out of it then go for it. I've come to the understanding that soccer has to do more with "seeing". In other words you can see a game and not see the game. Arie Haan, who played with Cruyff stated once many years ago that soccer is "seeing" the game. In other words you can take all the coaching courses and you and read all the books about soccer but that doesn't mean you "see' the game. Cruyff once stated that it wasn't until he was near 30 years old that he finally "saw' the game but up until that time he played using his instincts. He said, 'all of sudden, I saw it". Cruyff's analysis about a game that I watched as well would "see' and notice things about the game that I didn't see although I saw the game . I would again watch the whole game and then finally see what he was saying . I realize then what I needed to do was to learn how to "see" the game. That "seeing" is not taught at a coaching course for even those teaching there really "see" the me it was blind leading the blind. It taken me over 30 years the process leading to seeing the game,although it is only a mere smudge of what Cruyff sees for he obviously tuned a certain conscious "stream' of knowledge.

  37. frank schoon, May 8, 2017 at 11:23 a.m.

    Did anyone notice that when #7 Akinola on the right flank receives the ball with his back facing downfield, he turns into the defender dribbling with his right foot on the ball. That could be instant ball loss for he can't shield the ball. And not only that by dribbling with his right foot he loses field view over his right shoulder ,thus he not only has difficulty seeing his immediate opponent over his right shoulder but also he can't shield the ball. This should have been immediately explained by his coach (IF HE KNEW) that it is a golden rule in soccer that your field view over the same shoulder of your dribble leg is minimized. That is why a defender who is chasing an attacker from behind should come from the same side as the attacker's dribble foot. This is basic soccer 101. These Soccer Academies have no clue about soccer details and I really wonder what you're really getting for the money you pay this Academies. Did you notice that all the US midfielders, unlike the Mexicans, have their back facing downfield during the build up..why? , for it is so inefficient. The Mexican positioned off the ball facing downfield or have their body stance ready for downfield play. There are so many details that I noticed in the game that go wrong and that should not happen at this level if these players had good coaching.

  38. Ginger Peeler, May 8, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.

    I'll admit I've only seen this USA team play 3 times; 1-1/2 games on my iPhone with these old eyes and progressive lenses...the screen was so small, I couldn't see the ball half the time! I switched to my laptop halfway through the Cuba game. From what I saw, Akinola trailed off over those 3 games. He was obviously struggling against Mexico. As you or someone else pointed out, a game every couple days can cause both physical and mental fatigue. Akinola strikes me as an opportunistic player, one who tends to be in the right place at the right time. But yesterday, he was half a step behind over and over again. I don't think that's how he usually plays. I was even wondering if he'd be subbed at halftime. On throw-ins: my daughter's traveling team was taught a technique back in the 80s that I've never seen employed by any other teams. As one of our girls started to take the throw-in, another of our players would station herself several yards downfield (within throwing distance) standing at a slight angle with back to goal and touchline. If an opposing player tried to get to the ball first, they'd end up kicking the ball out at least 90% of the time for another throw-in for us. If no one challenged the girl waiting for the ball, she could just turn with it and head on downfield toward the goal. We would often march down the field with 3 or 4 throw-ins in a row. I noticed several times in the last World Cup, bad throw-ins were not called. I was pleased to see at least one referee call a bad throw-in in the U17 Honduras vs USA game. Nice to see somebody was paying attention to something so basic, it tends to be ignored.

  39. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 4:40 p.m.

    J - The cost and the content of coaching licensure is certainly a legitimate gripe.

  40. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.

    My point is that I agree that there are some issues with the "system" in the US. You like to pretend that I am a cheerleader because you think that dismisses the points that I make, but that is not the case -- it's just a lazy defense by you that actually holds no water.

  41. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 8, 2017 at 6:24 p.m.

    Kumar has no substantive arguments and when he tries to provide support for his claims, the sources he provides often show the opposite of what he's arguing. Therefore, it's easier to just dismiss anyone who disagrees as a cheerleader. The reality is there's plenty to fix in our development system but also plenty of progress worth noting. Kumar has an agenda which prevents him from acknowledging this. Or he's just a pure troll.

  42. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.

    J - I question everything. Certainly the coaching education process. And I have been critical of the DAs in our conversation, calling them glorified travel clubs. But I can see that changing rapidly. I still believe that we would be much better off with regional setups that focus more on independent producing players instead of filling out teams until the age of 12 when regional leagues similar to the DA should take over. All of those regional teams should be linked to a pro team whether USL1, USL2, or MLS so that players can play in a professional environment at around 15 years old. This obviously isn't possible until the lower tiers work themselves out. Which is exactly the point with all of this: expecting things to be perfect right now is ludicrous and lacks any sense of how far we've actually come and how long building this sort of complex system takes. Your idea that things should be operating optimally now when even five years ago, there was basically NOTHING is insane. You keep saying that you don't see the progress, and we keep showing you clear evidence, and you keep denying the evidence even though it is undeniable. Sometimes you don't actually deny the evidence (because there is clearly no way not to see it) but just ignore it and continue with this crap about how the US has not made any progress at all in youth development. Comments like "most of the American youth products were developed abroad" are patently false, yet they are consistent with the type of arguments you make.

  43. don Lamb replied, May 8, 2017 at 10:27 p.m.

    I never said it's perfect, but if you don't think it's think it's miles better than what we used to have, then you haven't been around long. Until not too long ago ODP was our main "development" tool. In reality, ODP has very little to do with development and much more to do with player identification. The DA is much better because it imposed professional standards on clubs. The results are clear: the youth teams are better than they've ever been -- see the U20 and U17 teams successes. In a slightly different category are the MLS academies, which are certainly a humongous step up from what we used to have as they are tied to a professional first team. The significance of that cannot be understated. The future? Once the USL and USL2 are built out, we need those clubs to have strong academy programs so that nearly the entire country will be able to offer professional soccer to teenagers. The progress is clear as day as evidenced by unprecedented success of the US youth teams. in the success of MLS academies in player development, and in the number of teenagers who are abroad at BIG clubs. How can you deny the progress in these three areas when it is are factually true (results of the US youth teams are based on facts, the number of homegrown signings and minutes played by homegrowns are facts, and the number of teens in foreign pro setups is a fact)?!

  44. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 12:34 a.m.

    So are you saying that our talent production has not improved?

  45. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:11 a.m.

    I don't need to prove it because I and many many others know it for a fact. Can you prove that it hasn't improved? You are being ignorant. There is data even though I don't know the exact numbers. Youth players in MLS, abroad, and the youth national teams all provide factual evidence that this improvement is occurring. Denial of this progress is straight up ignorance. Show me the data that proves that there aren't more teens in MLS, abroad, and that the youth national teams aren't getting better results than ever before.

  46. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:50 a.m.

    Have you noticed overwhelming evidence that aliens exist? Because I have witnessed that overwhelming evidence that our development is getting better. Miazga, Pulisic, Wright, Olosunde, Gaines, McKenie, De la Torre, Carleton, Ferreria, Sargent, Hyndman, Perez, Davies, Pomykal, Reyna, and many others. It is a fact that these young players are further along than the generations that came before them. Not all of them are going to make it, but we have more players in position to become legitimate players on the global scale than ever before. That list is a fraction of the factual data. Can you present evidence that disproves this or are you just going to deny it by being ignorant?

  47. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:54 a.m.

    And the very definition of ignorant: You, yourself, presented data that shows a dramatic rise in homegrown signings as an undeniable trend. Then you deny that data which shows raw numbers have risen dramatically. If you say that is only because we have more teams, well then that is denying another sign of progress that is supported by data. And that argument doesn't hold water anyway because more teams =/= automatic homegrown signings.

  48. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.

    Wright left the Gals in search of first team minutes with Cosmos, which is where he was for a matter of months before signing with Schalke. What does that have to do with anything? Do you have any proof that your opinion the Donovan's era was better than the current one? Pulisic is at least as good as Donovan, and this current crop is much much much much much much much deeper than the number of players that we developed 15-20 years ago. And just because there are more MLS teams does not automatically mean that there are more young players that are good enough to play in the league. There are more jobs, but those players have to develop somewhere, and they still have to beat out other pros (which have been getting better and better by the season). And the very fact that we have more academies to produce these players is another humongous sign of progress. That is why the Donovan era was so limited in the number of players produced -- all of them had to come through IMG, and you can only produce but so many players that way. The fact that we have professional academies all over the country now is evidence of progress supported by data that you cannot ignore.

  49. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 11:43 a.m.

    Your statement that homegrown signings have not improved in the last five years puts your poor comprehension/reasoning skills on full display. Over the course of the first five years of the league there were 20-something homegrown signings. The 3.5 years after that produced 60-something. So less time produced almost three times as many. 2017 is on pace to smash the previous record of homegrown signings as we have seen 17 so far and we are not even to summer yet.

  50. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 11:50 p.m.

    Yes, but you can't logically make the jump to say that more MLS teams equals more homegrown players. First, those new teams have to establish academies (which is a huge project and a huge bit of the infrastructure that is driving this progress and growth), and then players have to come through those academies (it is not a guarantee that players are going to excel to the point that they merit a professional contract just because they come through the system -- they have to earn it). The raw numbers are what matter here -- not the per team numbers -- and there have been dramatic increases in the raw numbers of homegrown players over the last three years.

  51. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 9:23 a.m.

    Ummm, they ARE producing more talent. The raw numbers show that clearly. And before your say that this is only because there are more academies, well that in itself is a HUGE sign of progress, and still, the raw number of prospects is what matters. I never said that a player needs to be with MLS at 10-12, I said that should start around 15. Players should be in some program that helps them develop at 10-12 but that doesn't have to be MLS at that point.

  52. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

    I have a nine year old who has been playing pickup after school every day for the last three years. His technique is horrible and he is clueless when it comes to game intelligence.

  53. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 1:42 p.m.

    You don't think game intelligence is important at 9 years old? You think a herd of kids following the ball around the field is good for development? IF they get the ball, the kid kicks it out of the herd and runs after it. This is where only the athletes excel and absolutely no technique or creativity is developed. It's a horrible environment to "learn" the game in. The alternative to this style of pickup game is them standing around a goal taking one shot every two minutes. No juggling, no knocking the ball around with a friend, no dribbling or experimenting with the ball... Most kids in this country have to be taught a little bit before they can actually set up a legit pickup game. Brazil is different, obviously. It is okay to learn the game in different ways. In fact, cultural differences necessitate this. I fully acknowledge the important of playing outside of practice (so stop assuming incorrectly that I don't want my players to), but it has to be a special environment for kids to get what you are talking about out of a pickup game. Those environments do not exist around me. They certainly do in Brazil, but that's not common here.

  54. Ric Fonseca, May 8, 2017 at 6:20 p.m.

    Oh boy, oh boy, HO BOY!!! 42 comments and only one, Ginger's above, mentioned other important factor such as the physicality of having to play ever 48,hrs plus, which in turn taxes the mental sharpness. Golly willikers, and gosh, it doesn't take much to really figure things out that in addition to getting sufficient rest in between games, the grey matter between the ears must also recover. So what, some of you will say, these are kids, what 16, 17 years old, so they should be ok from a physical fitness point of view. Yeah, ok, it is also applicable to the other teams, HOWEVER, and BUT, one aspect no one seems to have mentioned is the m-e-n-t-a-l attitude and approach to the game, I mean golly-gee, we really beat the likes of Cuba and others, by large margins, right? OK, so here's my point: for some reason, just because we had won over Mexico 4-3 in a previous game and then schooled Cuba, it IMHO that our team went into the Mexico game with big heads on their shoulders, and thus thought they would walk all over Mexico. In other words, while they MAY have been prepared tactically and perhaps physically, the mental aspect of the game got away from them. What, this the US team think Mexico would have forgotten their earlier loss? Again, IMHO, the coaching staff dropped the mental preparation ball, and didn't adequately prepare them, and I'd sure as tootin's would like to know how - or IF they prepped them sufficiently. Even back in my coaching days, I made sure my teams did NOT go to a game with big heads screwed on, i.e. lackadaisical play and lack of mental preparation is a perfect the team mate for the opponents. I believe this IS covered in the US Soccer and NSCAA coaching courses.... any how, just sayin'!

  55. Kevin Offhaus, May 9, 2017 at 12:57 a.m.

    Hey J, can you share you CV with us related to your soccer experience, whether coaching or playing?

  56. Jay Wall, May 9, 2017 at 8:25 a.m.

    In the early 2000's there was a knock at the door and a young man introduced himself saying "I'm here for the band practice". On entered he saw a bag of futsal balls and his eyes lit up as he explained he was an exchange student and his father was President of the State Coaches Association of professional coaches from over 100 professional clubs in his state in Brazil, including several dozen well known clubs that develop players who go on to play around the world. >> His father visited, we had dinner and his father sent a coach who had worked with professional clubs and national associations to work with experienced American travel coaches. >> He brought an English translation of 100's of pages of a coaching text he co-authored with him. After several weeks most of the USSF licensed coaches who were almost all former players, including some who had played in and coached teams in regionals and beyond, asked where all the practice plans and exercises were. >> Many missed the point, because they were not spoon fed politically correct solutions from a national association. They were being taught what I came to call the fragments of coaching . . . the what, when, where, who and how of soccer so they could teach creative play, game savvy and develop players to play their best. The pages he brought taught small insights, aspects of the game and fragments of movement in the run of play so that the coach and their players could learn to be creative by piecing together what works best against each opponent, when each piece should be used, where on the field which piece was most effective, why each piece worked, how each piece was best done and who in what roles on the field should do what. It was a week on developing players, not winning games for the near term. >> So instead of a course on canned pre-packaged solutions and scripted plays, it was a clinic on many of the small pieces, fragments and insights that need to come together to craft a creative team solution to the game, in the run of play and under match pressure no matter what players are on the field, who is coaching that day and who the opponent is. >>> Sherlock Holmes should have been describing almost all American coaches when he said "you see but do not observe". The only posts in this thread that addressed the question of "What did our U-17's do to help Mexico play better"? are from Frank and until the American coaches responsible for our players develop the eyes to see the game and not the result our players will never have the coaching they need to play at the highest level.

  57. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:44 a.m.

    Jay - I observed some damn good individual players. The results are a bi-product of good players are some intelligent play. It could have been better at time, sure, but many of these 16 and 17 years old are on the right track.

  58. Fire Paul Gardner Now, May 9, 2017 at 2:40 p.m.

    Real Madrid have just agreed to pay 45 million Euros for a 16 year old Brazilian player, Vinicus Junior from Flamengo. No doubt this kid just played in the street and became this good this young right? Oh wait, no, it turns out he's been at Flamengo since he was 5.

  59. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 4:13 p.m.

    What do you know, Fire. That dude featured on the Brazil team that the 17s thrashed in November. Or, according to kumar, that was a C team.

  60. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 9, 2017 at 4:48 p.m.

    Yeah but Brazil's method of only playing in the street (preferably with a tennis ball or rolled up newspaper) produces so many awesome players that guys worth 45 million euros at age 16 can't even get in their U17 national team.

  61. Goal Goal, May 9, 2017 at 3:13 p.m.

    Nothing unusual about that but maybe the price. Seems a little high but it is what it is. Barcelona has a kid there since 5 or 6 that is supposed to be the new Messi product coming from their academy. Now I aint going to say we don't have the potential to have that type of talent at our hands but the problem is that if we do they do not get the proper coaching both in club and above. Several clubs across the country have gone over board in trying to provide the best coaching at the younger age groups. The club in Maryland outstanding at producing quality young players, FC Dallas coaching staff is outstanding and look what is happening there. Go to the West coast at Deanza. Last year they brought on board the past director of the Barcelona Youth Academy. So there are some clubs and I am sure I have missed some who are trying to take the next step forward to get out of the vacuum we are in. It will come if we get the right engine running it.

  62. Jay Wall replied, May 9, 2017 at 5:48 p.m.

    Some observations from an article in Portuguese in in which coaches and family talked about Vinicius roots and hard work to survive ... "He would come here, train at his senior's schedule, then train at his schedule ... If he left, he would train at all hours." "The hunger for the ball was so great that, in 2007 (at age 7), Vinicius began to reconcile soccer training in the school of Flamingo in São Gonçalo with futsal classes in Canto do Rio, a famous futsal club located in the center of Niterói. There, he remained until 2010." "And in August 2010 (at age 10), Vinicius took the field test for soccer for Flamingo and passed." "The Mutuá neighborhood (his home) is no less than SEVEN KILOMETERS (a 5 hour bus ride) away from the Urubu's Nest, Flamengo's training center." He then moved in with a cousin to be closer and then "Whenever he return from tournaments, he would visit the school where he started, show the trophies and medals, take pictures and sign autographs for the children." >> The articles from Brasil about the orgins of, sacrifices by and obsession to become successful through hard work, by the children of families who are so poor that many of them can't even care for their own children until they become adults, is a reminder that professional sports are often a way out for those who have no other way because there is no safety net, no welfare, no government programs to keep them alive. In that respect. children in poor nation's often have a greater incentive to work hard and achieve, while those whose families have much more don't.

  63. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

    Maybe although 7 KM is only 4 miles so those are some slow buses!

  64. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 8:11 p.m.

    Good find, Jay. No doubt poor kids sometimes have a drive that wealthier kids don't, but that also shows that he was in a very structured environment from a very young age, even as a poor kid.

  65. Jay Wall replied, May 9, 2017 at 9:10 p.m.

    Don, From the translations "It all started in 2006, when Vinicius's father took him to one of the 125 branch offices of Flamengo in Brazil, near his home, in the Mutuá neighborhood of São Gonçalo." There is no club in America with 125 local locations where a parent can take their child to learn the basics of futebol and futsal, to prepare them for open tryouts with the parent club for either futebol and/or futsal at age 10. And yet professional clubs around the world have affiliates who act as local feeder training sites to prepare players to learn and tryout for the major professional clubs. >> In comparison MLS are minor league professional teams who don't have over a 100 farm teams recruiting and training for them in local neighborhoods in their name in both soccer and futsal. >> And you can't discount futsal in many nations, where players get 600% more touches in a minute and learn to exchange positions with teammates in every attack. In 4 v 4 soccer and futsal in the U.S. the defenders play against the same opponents as long as that opponent is on the court because players rarely exchange positions or rotate. In the futsal playing world attackers constantly rotate and exchange positions with each other forcing defenders to defend against 24 dynamically changing attacking player exchanges and rotations in a game (72 if the keeper joins the attack as a CD, LD or RD). Most defenders are ill prepared to have to constantly make error free decisions about who to defend when the attackers are constantly changing positions. And some of the better futsal teams can vary the system they play between a 3-1, 2-2 and the 4-0. And the animations of the player exchanges and rotations in each system give defenders a different look and a different set of decisions to make. >>> Also of interest are most universities in Brasil have schools of sport with futebol departments that offer not only Bachelors but also Masters and PHD degrees in football in specialties former professional players don't have like periodization in player development, GPS and Video tracking and analysis of players in games, vision training, etc. >>> And like many other nations many thesis are published in the local languages and are available on the Internet. There are also libraries with thousands of research studies on published articles on all aspects of the game.

  66. don Lamb replied, May 9, 2017 at 9:44 p.m.

    Yep. HUGE cultural differences. Futsal is VERY serious in Brazil. It's not just a developmental tool. It's a separate sport unto itself and extremely popular. Not surprised at all about the depth of pro clubs there either. Thanks for sharing. That is the result of an entire culture that is fully entrenched in the game. These two facts regarding the culture of futsal and the reach of pro clubs pretty much put to rest the idea that J Kumar is always pushing that the kids in Brazil just develop in the streets without any structure. That might be a part of it, but futsal is highly structured and competitive in Brazil and the pro clubs get the vast majority of the best talent.

  67. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 10, 2017 at 9:58 a.m.

    Jay - no one would argue that our soccer culture is anywhere near as deeply ingrained as it is in Brazil. They've had quite a head start. That's why a club like Flamengo has 125 branches around Brazil. Hopefully we will catch up at some point.

  68. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 11, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.

    Obviously it takes time to develop a soccer culture. Some people want perfection immediately but that's not realistic. Your view is that an MLS team should immediately upon founding set up 125 offices around its local area? I'm sure that's not how Flamengo did it. I'm sure the system in place now developed over time.

    I don't know why there are so many black players in the NBA other than that perhaps the game is more popular in those communities than in white ones. Just like how there are more southern players in the NFL because football is more popular in that part of the country than in others (though it is still popular nationwide just like basketball).

  69. don Lamb replied, May 11, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.

    J - your logic with the soccer/basketball comparison is breathtakingly shallow.

  70. don Lamb, May 9, 2017 at 9:47 p.m.

    J Kumar - Are you just going to sit the rest of this one out? Probably for the best...

  71. Jay Wall, May 10, 2017 at 9:19 a.m.

    Dr. Emilo Miranda, Technical Director, Futebol Department, School of Sport, Universidad de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brasil observed "No time plus no space equals better skills. Futsal is our (Brazil's) national laboratory for soccer improvisation." and "Journalists fly to Brasil, go to the beach, they take pictures and write stories. But great players don't come from the beach. They come from the Futsal court." >> In 1930 there was so much rain in Uruguay a coach from Argentina created "Futbol Sala" (room football in Spanish) by creating game rules and taking players into the YMCA gym to play. At roughly the same time players in Brasil started playing on courts between buildings in crowded cities like Sao Paulo creating "Futebol Saleo" (room football in Portuguese) >> Both floiurished throughout Latin Ameria and in 1989 FIFA adopted Futsal as an offical FIFA sports saying "Futsal's role in fostering imagination and creativity to be used in the outdoor game is still crucial." >> FIFA also observed that "With a lesser number of players, a smaller field and a weighted ball, futsal demanded the emergence of new strategies. Quick feet and a quick mind were imperative, as was the use of the toes and the bottom of the foot." >> Futsal has become both a high level professional sport, with professional leagues and a Futsal World Cup; and a small sided game played around the world with a ball, a small space and whatever is available for goals. >> In court size, rules and movement patterns it's like basketball in the United States, Bandy (an ice hockey game without walls) in northern Europe, Netball, Handball, etc. >> All have broad appeal and have high level leagues and play, but can also be played as pickup games. >>> And Futsal is not only a Latin American game. In the video from the Netherlands below move the slide to the 10:00 mark for game start and hit right arrow to start game, then everytime an FC Eindhoven player gets the ball hit the || pause buttom, look and decide who moves where and who will get the ball. Click right arrow again to re-start game. Repeat process and you'll quickly see movement is fluid, players freely exchange positions and opponents are forced to defend different attacking players throughout the game. Video is at

  72. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 9:24 a.m.

    Enlightening. Thanks for sharing Jay. There goes Kumar's theory...

  73. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 10:59 a.m.

    I was exaggerating when I downplayed the amount of street soccer in Brazil, but the overwhelming evidence shows that professional players develop in organized futsal and professional clubs from a young age in Brazil. Not saying that street soccer is not a big part of the overall culture but it's uncommon for a kid to only play in the street and reach a high level in Brazil or anywhere else in the world.

  74. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 1:27 p.m.

    I have continually said that they are both important. Fully agree that kids need to be on the ball outside of training. But that time alone without any guidance will not produce a top player except for maybe one freak every generation or so.

  75. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 10, 2017 at 3:06 p.m.

    I'm so bored by Kumar. Just makes the same faulty arguments over and over and then sets up straw man arguments that no one is making so he can knock them down. Try something new Kumar!

  76. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, May 10, 2017 at 4:05 p.m.


  77. Bob Ashpole replied, May 11, 2017 at 3:15 p.m.

    J, have you ever played a match with an adult who has only played pickup soccer up to then? I have several times. They are typically good on the ball, but have no vision and no clue as to how to play on a team. However I agree with what you said much earlier, that as a U14 coach I would rather teach tactics to a dedicated street soccer player than try to teach a club player, who didn't have enough love for the game to play any pickup games, how to be creative.

  78. Goal Goal, May 10, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

    J this is typical club soccer where the kid likes to play but really doesn't have the passion needed to excel. Parents drop the kids off at practice three times a week and play a game on the weekends. Only time the kid touches the ball is at practice or game. Parents expect the club to develop a star.

    The kid with passion is touching the ball everyday. Taking passes off the garage wall, throwing the ball on the roof and trapping it as it comes down. Taking shots at the smallest upright thing you can think of. Dribbling around cones, trees, fence posts whatever is available. Juggling till it hurts. Has the ball at hand 7 days a week at least juggling it. Playing pick-up games with other passionate kids. This is how you get better. There has to be some type of structure but flexible. Then the coaches have to let the kid take chances, take risks, in both practice and games without coming down on them when they make a mistake or lose the ball. Ask Clint Dempsey. His success story is a good one. I am sure if you ask all the other successful US players they will tell you it ain't gonna happen on three days a week practice.

  79. Jay Wall, May 10, 2017 at 3:38 p.m.

    An insight overlooked in most of the posts on this thread is that players who play on their own usually are playing with players of mixed ages including many who are older, have more experience, know more and by example teach more. Returning to Vinicius, he not only made Flamengo but when he can he returns to his first teams befor going to to Flamingo at age 10, shows medals, trophies, pictures and encourages all the young players that they too can become good if they work at it. He gives back to the game and even plays Futsal with the kids so they see first hand what they can learn to do. >> It's this mixed age things that had exceptional benefits. In the 1990's I coaches multiple sequential aged Division I or II teams and every summer we mowed small futal courts on full size fields, painted a few lines and played Futsal with every Futsal team made ip of randomly drawn players from all the teams. And we would play multiple halfs against different opponents for serveral hours every Saturday and Sunday through out the summer. After the second summer the two youngest teams were both state cup semi-finalist multiple years in a row, because of what they learned from the older players. >> Beckenbauer said "practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect". That's why when we played Futsal in the summers we taped every game and looked for body and skill tweaks to teach players in season at practices. We never took the fun out of the summer games by teaching, we watched and let the players teach each other. >>> Clubs doing pick-up Futsal on small outdoor fields with players of all ages mixed, enough teams and games for all to play at the same time and shuffling players from team to team is cheap, effective and fun for players over the summer when many lose their touch and interest otherwise.

  80. Goal Goal, May 10, 2017 at 4:33 p.m.

    Jay, great point with the mix of age. Makes you smart and tough.

  81. frank schoon replied, May 10, 2017 at 5:56 p.m.

    FAN, that is what street soccer is all about...mixed ages.
    This is why young gets never went 'swarm"stage in the beginning for they played with older players in the streets who don't swarm after a ball. In other the kids were getting structure in an indirect way and they were learning at the same time. So many of the problems in development of the youth can be dispelled with through mixed age training

  82. Jay Wall, May 10, 2017 at 10:20 p.m.

    The comments on Vinicius joining Flamingo at 5 years of age reminds me of my sons first soccer coach, the father of a boy on his first team who grew up playing for Vasco da Gama in Rio de Janeiro, a club founded as a rowing club in 1898 and which started playing soccer Novemner 5, 1915, 102.5 years ago, and which now fields teams in a number of sports and has a community of 20,000,000 supporters. My son's coach, the coach's father and the coaches grandfather all started playing on the Vasco youth teams. Everyone in their neighborhood started playing sports for Vasco as a child, the priest in church scheduled masses and confessions around Vasco's game schedule and the national team game scheduled, and everyweek every one in church prayed for Vasco's success. Worldwide multi-sport clubs, some with over 10,000,000 local supporters propvide basic sports training for the children who almost always play for their "families club". whenever possible. >> Santos FC, founded the day the Titanic sank is another highly respected muti sport club in Brasil with 10,000,000 supporters. San Paulo FC is another multi-sport club with 28,000,000 supporters. Flamingo is the most popular multi-sport club in Brasil with 28,100,000 supporters. << Multi-sport clubs throughout Latin Ameria claim millions of local fans, but there are clubs in Europe that claim even more. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter, Liverpool, Juventus, Zenit St. Petersburg and Moscow all claim between 10,000,000 and some over 30,000,000 supporters. >> Many of the world's most successful soccer clubs are local community clubs with sports and activities for all members of the community they serve; and because they serve 100's of thousands of local members that's where the children first try to play. >>> There is no MLS club that serves entire communities, that offers much more than ticket sales, promotions and player programs to generate revenue for the MLS club. >> Hard to compete on the world stage when clubs in other nations have community centric clubs that serve the player development needs of their local community fan base, because when they sell that rare gem of a player to elite teams they recover the cost they spend trying to develop 1,000's of players in that search for the next elite player. >> MLS needs gate revenue and to sell merchandise to survive. They don't have the resouces or incentive to develop players because they don't get a piece of the action when an elite player goes to an elite professional club. No income, no serving the community. >> U.S. Soccer seems intent on keeping domestically developed players in MLS instead of providing U.S. clubs at all levels with the financial incentive to provide elite players to the best teams in the best leagues in the world.

  83. don Lamb replied, May 10, 2017 at 11:09 p.m.

    Jay - Curious why Brazilian clubs struggle so much with attendance when they have so many millions of local supporters. Do you have any idea why? I disagree with your assessment that MLS clubs have no incentive to produce players, but that is for another discussion.

  84. frank schoon, May 11, 2017 at 10:10 a.m.

    Hey Guys, from now I will leave a Soccer Tip which deals with a lot insights of the game that I have compiled over the years . If you like it ,let me know. #1. WHEN RECEIVING A PASS YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR OPPONENT AND THE BALL AT THE SAME TIME. THEREFORE IT BEHOOVES YOU TO MAKE SURE YOU POSITION YOUR BODY AHEAD OF TIME BEFORE THE PASS.

  85. frank schoon, May 11, 2017 at 12:45 p.m.



  86. Goal Goal, May 11, 2017 at 1:44 p.m.

    Frank #1 should have been.

    Put your shorts on before leaving the locker room.

    Now go ahead with #4 LOL!

  87. frank schoon replied, May 11, 2017 at 2:43 p.m.

    I hope they cover that at the USSF Coaching course....

  88. Goal Goal, May 11, 2017 at 1:58 p.m.

    Frank, I wonder how many folks who watch these games understand that the plays are made off the ball giving the player with the ball options.

  89. frank schoon replied, May 11, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.

    Fan, exactly, it is too bad the TV doesn't give a full field view. But I found certain stadiums, especially in Spain where they place the camera a good view of the although not fully of course. Barcelona gives you a good view of many of the players. I noticed in England the way the stadiums are built you don't get as good a view...I like to see a view of both teams high above one of the goals then I can the movement off the ball. And most folks don't realize as we take your statement further that I mind as well state #4.LOL

  90. Goal Goal, May 11, 2017 at 4:01 p.m.

    With the ball=least important and the easiest to cover. Less cumbersome to move when you don't have the ball which enables you to be more illusive and dangerous.

  91. Bob Ashpole replied, May 11, 2017 at 5:58 p.m.

    Fanfor, what we want to develop are players who are dangerous with the ball. In fact "someone dangerous with the ball" ought to be a definition of a forward. You are correct, of course, that off-the-ball support creates more chances than someone trying to dribble through the opposing team without support. I just don't accept that being dangerous with the ball is not an important part of anyone's style of play.

  92. frank schoon replied, May 11, 2017 at 6:21 p.m.

    Bob, of course, and those types players who are dangerous with the ball should be in last third, but the other two-thirds it is all about ball movement....

  93. Jay Wall, May 11, 2017 at 5:36 p.m.

    Players need to learn that: "The player on your team who should have the ball is not always your teammates with the ball, but your teammate in the best position fo help your team be successful. And it is the responsibility of your teammates who do not have the ball to work to be in the best position to help your team. Sometimes that's to be one of your players who is in the best position, other times it moving to draw the attention of opponents and at the same time create space for your teammates. It's not your teammate yelling they are open, but your teammates that are mvoing to be in the best position who should have the ball."

  94. Ric Fonseca, May 11, 2017 at 6:02 p.m.

    WOW AND HOLY SHMOKES!!!! 190 comments - 191 with this one) and at least 90% of them dominated by a handful of what to the uninitiated would think are soccer geniuses, Kumar, Fan Fr, QB, FPGN, Wall, ad nausaum (sp), and what is the bottom line? The virtues of futsal, street soccer, etc. Just a quick question, y'all guys retired? Maybe y'all ought to put together your own blog! Surprised that SA is being a good sport and allowed for a handful of commentators to write.... freedom of the press/expression. Go for it, byt by all means PLAY ON!!!

  95. Goal Goal, May 11, 2017 at 9:43 p.m.

    Ric the consumer rules. If you don't like it don't buy it.

    Everyone contributes what they feel is important. If you don't like what is going on that is fine. If you want to contribute go for it. No need to criticize.

  96. Ric Fonseca, May 13, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.

    Fan for, don't know where you get that I don't like it, all I am saying is that only a handful of guys have written on this topic. As for not criticizing, sheets man, I do believe I've the right to do so, and as for not wanting to contribute, where do you get this idea from, as for you saying I "don't like it...(sic)" wow brudda, it is what it is, and like I say and have said on numerous occasions, PLAY ON!!!

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