How does this work. Do these ecnl clubs serve the impact players whether they need financial assistance or not and so are not exusionary?Or is it..they better not be using any of my money to help another player and they should serve the impact players that can pay?
The impact players don't pay
Some of the dues collected from the players on the B and C teams are used to scholarship impact players to aid in recruiting them.Sort of like a Ponzi scheme.
They are not exclusionary, any kid who requests a scholarship gets one. It's an open system for anyone who wants it.That would be great wouldn't it. The reality is it remains exclusionary. Very few kids get scholarships and even fewer if any will get all fees paid for. Parents also have to show financial need. These scholarships almost always do not include travel, uniforms, gas driving to games and practice. If there are scholarships for sure they are being subsidized by the other players or the forced fundraising. If you are thinking that half of the kids on a team are getting scholarships, think again. If it is fees for 1-3 kids on a roster of 25 then you'd be closer. The clubs also do not promote this and this pretty good PR for the club but mostly inconsequential in terms of numbers.You seem to want to find a contradiction in what people are saying, but it doesn't exist. These scholarships are not open to 25 impact player and the clubs remain exclusionary.
You guys are hilarious! Clearly you didn't "self select" your daughter onto an ECNL team... Otherwise you would know that "scholarships" are based on financial need. If your daughter "self selected" herself onto an ECNL team and you could not cover the cost of (dues), after providing the appropriate documents, than dues are waved. Many of the parents who also have "self selected" kids on the team usually help out financially with travel cost and reach into their own pockets and help the less fortunate player out. If you were part of the ECNL experience you would realize that the players and families are always trying to field the best team possible. It will only help with showcasing our "self selected" kids to be seen by colleges if that's the route they pursue. Plus who wants to do all this travel and lose a bunch of games?I got to go now and "self select" my daughter to UVA...
2:24 Clearly you didn't actually read my post, I don't think I said that kids were self selected onto an ECNL team. What I said is that they are self-selecting into the tryout process. Most kids are not recruited to attend tryouts, this is what I said "So at the youth level we have a self-selected group of best athletes now trying for ECNL Clubs." It is the broader point of who goes into Elite soccer, it's the kids who dominate at the young ages who are big, fast, and strong and are constantly told that they are the best soccer players and therefore tryout for high level clubs.I doubt that the parent coaches at age 9-12 are watching a kid that has exceptional technical skills and says well kid you should be going to the next level.The broader point which you are clearly missing, is that our Elite system is failing to produce kids that are competitive at the highest levels. The current make-up of the USWNT and the performance of the U-17 and U-20 national teams are starting to prove the point that technically we are not developing the best soccer players have to offer. I believe this is because we have a system that rewards speed, size, and strength at the early ages These are the kids that get picked to go to the next level whether they select themselves to tryout or whether they are recruited to tryout.The NWSL is not fun soccer to watch, the USWNT U-20 was not great to watch, and I think three is a direct correlation between a pay-to-play elitist youth system that is getting more so. The first products of the ECNL are there for the world to watch.
I was being slightly facetious but understand your point. Frankly I don't believe any youth soccer player needs to be recruited most if not all know where to go for the most competitive experience in their geographic region. I also agree that US soccer overemphasis (speed) and to some degree size over technical ability but the reality is at the U15 level and higher most impact players are pretty technical. I don't blame the system the way it is currently set up, I blame the coaches that can't teach a possession style game, and a country that frankly doesn't understand soccer. I believe the current roster on the U20 team (or at least most) could play that style if a coach forced it on them. They play to speed and are direct. Not players fault its the coaches.
I read an article on the U-20 wake up call. In the comments, I read this quote and it couldn't be more true, "US Soccer sold out the youth for their friends in the game."Yep, it is happening right in front of us.
You can absolutely teach the possession game to anyone. Heck, I was was in my late 20's when I learned to actually play it. I always knew the right way THE GAME was played but I never had coach or team strive for it. WINNING was too important.You can teach THE GAME but you have to have patience and you CANNOT focus on having to win. So there goes 90% of the teams (clubs and academy).When it comes to Youth Soccer you are either about development or winning. It cannot be about both.Don't confuse this with meaning that you can't win if you are a development team. It simply means you will not put results in front of development. How many teams train one way but play/are coached different on game day? Answer: TOO MANYDCShore
The theory is right, but I have a few reasons why it won't work, kids (and parents like to win), winning is seen as a recruiting tool and I think team record would make a difference of a kid deciding to join a club, and in the world of everyone striving for a D-1 scholarship getting showcase exposure matters and losing clubs wouldn't get it the exposure. I don't think winning and development are mutually exclusive. Keeping a team together and teaching them to play over a longer period of time would be the ideal. I also think that once we put the term "professional" in front of the word coach and everyone assumes that they are competent.
I think it can be about both. If you develop top talent the winning will take care of itself. the problem with our NTs can go many different ways. I think all the focus on D1 schools is the problem. I think we need a league for the top talent (DA) and these players should be developed to play at the highest levels (and guess what this will cost money - even if your tuition is free someone has to pay for all that travel and overnight stays - nothing is for free everyone has choices and sacrifices to make). D1 will be the prize for these kids because all the D1 schools will want them.The we can have whatever for all the other kids fighting for scholarship money.
The question about FCV. 22 are on the USYS roster. 8 from last year's team are only on the ECNL roster. So the top Premiere players will play ECNL. Most of the lower Premiere players will not get much ECNL experience. This is fine, until you have a USYS/ECNL conflict or injuries. Both teams had many injuries last year and with lack of recovery time - they might have large cross sections of the team injured during the season. Rumor is they already have injuries.
The original FCV plan was two teams (ECNL and USYS) with a pool of 40 sharing 4-8 players between teams. But Gus had to give his entire roster ECNL patches to keep his crazy parents (like the former manager and the annoying German lawyer that all the parents and coaches can't stand) from causing more drama than they already cause.
Due to Ecnl rules you can't be sharing 4-8 players. Only 2
Are you sure ? I thought within the same club that kids could be rostered to both. If the team is a fcv team taking over abcg stats I thought discovery rules didn't apply
2:17 - the 6-8 were going to be dual rostered on two FCV teams (USYS and USClub) in the original plan.Instead, they went with a pool of 31 (one rostered on 16s) with 22 on the USYS and ECNL roster and 8 only on ECNL roster and a requirement to play State Cup, National League, Region 1 Premiere League, ECNL, NPL, and Super Y National Championships plus a crazy tournament schedule with everything from Dallas to PDA to Jeff Cup (breaking into two teams of 15) and a full slate of all ECNL showcases.
A couple of the Annandale parents are very insecure about how their daughters stack up against their former teammates who went to Mclean. Many of the current starters were reserves when the two teams were combined. Others were on a PWSI team that would invite Annandale to a tournament and for the honor of losing 6-0 each year so they could get easy GotSoccer points. So the former reserve parents and the PWSI parents have pushed for a schedule with very little recovery time between games in an attempt to win a National Championship (USYS, ECNL, NPL, Super Y). The coach doesn't care because he makes money. All I will say is, I would hate to be on FCV if they lose to Mclean or CASL. It will make Dance Moms look like watching PBS.
I'm not sure we are properly identifying or developing soccer talent in this country. Look at the U20 woman's team. Some of the comments remarked about the lack of technical skills, innovation, or ability to control the flow of play. Most of these girls played ECNL. I realize the ECNL Technical Directors and Coaches promote they are developing the best players. But that is subjective. This is not football where if you have consistent 100 yard rushing games, a coach cannot ignore your talent. Same with basketball where if you score 40 a game, but your shot isn't right or you are a bit smaller, coaches have a hard time saying this person isn't "league" ready. In soccer, there is alot of comment about being ECNL ready players. It is all subjective. Some coaches might think one is ECNL ready, while another doesn't. If you live in an area where the coach likes A' players and your daughter is an A* player then you are SOL. Doesn't mean your A* player isn't good or ECNL ready. She may not be a good fit for the local ECNL club. Look at college recruiting. Does every D1 school offer every single ECNL player. No. Sometimes they offer players which might not even be perceived by the parent, technical director, or parents as impact players. The problem with subjective it is too subjective. The problem with the US game is we are trying to build systems instead of developing players. It isn't working.
I have a daughter on an ECNL team and you are right. Talent evaluations are always subjective and often times when one coach sees one thing, another sees something different. I'm very familiar with the ECNL teams from Mass to North Carolina, and west to Indiana. Here's what most of those teams consist of. On (average) they each have 3-5 D1 players, and some of those more than likely go to small D1 school. The rest of the team is made up of nice D2/3 and some probably just finish out high school / ECNL and don't go on to play. Some of the better ECNL teams probably have 6-9 legit D1's and maybe 2 or 3 of those are real impact players. The difference between a really good town team and an average ECNL team is very small, and the town team could be better. The best thing about ECNL is that it seems to a magnet for good players, so league play is getting better every year. For our team when we were younger U11 / U12 it did not matter what league we played in the competition was horrible. ECNL has by in large solved that. But to 3:20's point I'm not implying ECNL is producing better national team players or that ECNL is the best model for that. Just saying it's been the most competitive league to date my daughter has played in, and as a whole has a majority of best players in it when you compare it to other leagues. As far as evaluations go I would encourage serious players (someone who wants to play in college) to be seen by as many coaches as possible. You have no idea how good (or not good) your daughter is by listening to one coach. Go to college camps, TopDrawer combines, local camps etc. The more college coaches that see you the better understanding you will have when it comes to areas that need improvement and what type of school they might expect to play for.
9:03 You are probably right about what you are say. The competition in the ECNL may be better, but I'm not sure that this system is creating better soccer players. Fast, big, and strong against fast, big, and strong will make for good competition. Our model is for fast big and strong because when the big clubs bring new kids in they need to win to keep their reputation in tact and do not have the patience for continued development of a player. D1 soccer is often not that pretty to watch either. We've set it up a some sort of standard, but D1 does not yet meet a great standard and overemphasizes size, strength, and speed. Lindsay Horan is probably the true future of top level soccer where D1 soccer is bypassed and right into a super high level of International competition.
10:09 - you are forgetting one thing about ECNL - it's been around for 5 years. So the kids that started with a ECNL club at u9 are just starting to play.Right now the norm has been for parents to keep their kids out and get better or equal training + ODP and then bring their kids over. I think those days are numbered as the soccer specific athletes are starting younger with the ECNl clubs and there will be no way they lose a spot to an athletic non-soccer specific kid in the future don't care what sports they played.I think we are going the right way and I think people get hung up on this D1 thing. AND I agree 100% with you Lindsay Horan signed a huge money deal to skip school and play pro in UEFA. While this is great news for our girls as they will be able to follow their dreams and play the sport they love and get paid for it - it's horrible news for the NWSL since they can't pay because we don't have the demand for Womens Soccer in the states.As of today and I'm talking NT level players only - ECNL is the best option - ODP is a waste of time and Money - but that's just my opinion. However, if you are hunting for a D1 scholarship many different avenues for that.
9:29 I think your post makes the opposite point. The kids that standout at young ages are either the very fast kids or the very strong kids. Those are the kids that are told and think they are the best soccer players and then will start going to the ECNL clubs. Just because you take a fast, big, and strong kid and put them in an ECNL club doesn't mean they will learn to see the field, will develop good foot work, will play well under pressure, etc. I have also seen enough "hotshot" kids even playing at ECNL clubs are unwilling to distribute the ball because it takes away from them being the center of attention. I am still amazed when I watch high level clubs and I see kid consistently trying to take the ball the whole field or take on 2-3 defenders.
10:16 I agree with you about what you are saying. Selfish players don't know team ball and that's fine, maybe they had to carry the load and it's tough learning to trust another player if you couldn't do it before. These same players I bet you hate to lose. They will learn or they will go as far as their type of play and skill level will take them.You are missing my point.We have Athletic Soccer players that have vision and skill plus soccer IQ. Then we have Athletic players that have size and strength and play multiple sports (jack of all trades master of none).I am saying that athletic soccer players will be searching for the ECNL clubs more and more and some of them will have size and strength. These players will develop into the stars of tomorrow at the NT, UEFA or NWSL levels. Can you imagine if you get these kids at u9 and surround them from the beginning with players that want to play and get better instead of wasting their time with ODP and playing for teams looking for results at the early ages.
The Germans (article link below) understand that small size often is associated with the best technique. There are exceptions Zinadine Zidane stands out in that regard as a good example of soze speed technique and tactics. Though intuitively I agree big strong fast AND technically phenomenal is the holy grail, that is exceedingly rare as a complete package. What I think we are seeing is that we don't have enough technically and tactically gifted players, midfielders especially, in the game to raise the level. That is because they are often being ignored by the selectors whether "elite" youth coaches or U20 WNThttp://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/may/23/germany-bust-boom-talent
2:12 I agree - Most of the time is coaches pushing kids from their club if not that are the big fast and strong. We are great coaches and we can mold them.This has been our philosophy for years. In the past it didn't matter because no one played the game now we can't get out of concacaf if we are u17 and can't beat North Korea if we are U20.How do you fix that? Do nothing business as usual win our games go to the national league and get our D1 scholarships and just point out the facts or do you give the ECNL a chance and maybe if more people promoted it as the place to be for elite talent instead of holding them back for what ever the reason maybe we change that and let these kids push each other.I agree it's expensive, but nothing is for free in life there is always a cost.
Selectors changing a bit? Look at the ODP regional teams' rosters for '99 and '00. Certainly not as many kids as there once were at the camps and some of the best choose not to participate, but seems that some of our mid altantic small technical kids are being chosen.http://www.region1.com/clubsite/?p=5800 A small technical kid from PA chosen to the U14 GNT camp. Are we starting to understand that the other nation's are catching up and we might actually need to put forward soccer players rather than just great athletes to succeed at the world's game?
I think it's a big leap to think that the ECNL will eventually develop the talent for the US to succeed on the global level. You need the ECNL clubs to commit to a development philosophy and that's difficult. ECNL clubs want to recruit the "best" players. How do they do that? By winning. This puts an emphasis on winning rather than development which runs counter to the development philosophy. Also, in our area, the girls that end up on the ECNL teams do not rise up through the same club and get developed. They are mostly from other surrounding clubs so this results in the teams being "All Star"-like teams. Assuming little turnover, it may take time for any team structured like this to gel, even if they all play a similar posession oriented game. Even if the kids did develop and rise up through the ECNL club, they would almost need to start at the U9 or U10 level. Who knows at this age if the kid is going to succeed or not?If you want the ECNL to be a showcase for college identification, then that's possible with today's clubs. If you want the ECNL to be the training ground for the USWNT, then the structure and emphasis needs to change. I suspect that many of the players (or at least their parents) are more concerned with playing in college than making the USWNT, so there's no push to change the system.
To those who say that it's only 5 years give the ECNL time, I would argue that on the National Level we do not have time. If some of us are right about the ECNL being bad for US Soccer development then our country will be so far behind in identifying national talent that we will be too far behind to quickly catch up. The only incentive big clubs have is to win, play in big events, and get as many kids into college as possible because without that they wouldn't have their marketing tool.The other major problem we have is that the US has no soccer philosophy. Whatever we have at the US Soccer level is not pushed down through the clubs. Even within clubs, there is a major inconsistency with coaches.My daughter is a pretty good soccer player, and she is constantly frustrated by her "professional coach" who coaches one thing in practice and then is critical of the same actions in games or coaches a style of play but let's some kids consistently deviate from a style of play whereas as other kids are berated for deviating.I don't believe US Soccer at the youth or highest levels is in great shape. When we get knowcked out of the U20 World Cup by North Korea who then loses to Nigeria 6-2, something is seriously wrong. Is there a correlation with this being the first crop of kids coming out of the ECNL Someone was on this blog a few months back about how the US Youth National teams are populated almost entirely by ECNL kids.
5:18 - you are unhappy with your paid coach. Your daughter is unhappy with her paid coach. Why do you pay so much money for your daughter to play on a team that you believe has a bad coach? Are you sure he works on one thing at practice and expects something else in a game? I can only think of 3 scenarios here:1) you are willing to pay a lot of money for a bad coach for the ECNL patch.2) Your daughter is not understanding what the coach wants in a game (maybe he uses different terminology or is foreign?)3)Lack of playing time is leading to frustration.
9:59 The point of the post is about the quality of coaches and about the lack of soccer philosophy that exists across all of US Soccer. Be judgmental if you must, of course everyone chooses a club for their own reason. My daughter plays for an NPL club and we've chosen it because of proximity and quality of the overall club. The coach is actually decent guy but I believe he's a poor communicator and lacks consistency in what he wants from the kids. That's my opinion and others may view it differently. Broadly, I don't think we have a lot of quality control over coaches in our system. I think it's a big part of the development issue and I don't know that at the youth level that there is a lot of teaching going on.
Coaches are a commodity traded in a market. You have kept the demand up for weak coaches by buying weak coaching. You have done that for "proximity" and "quality" of the club. First off why care about the quality of the club if the quality of the the specific team which is based largely on the quality of the coach is lacking? The proximity factor is family dependent, but I think you have little room to complain if you aren't willing to broaden the market by traveling some. Carpools often make the travel more feasible. Recruit some local kids to a better situation with your child and you may make the travel possible. While there is not yet a critical mass of great coaching present in the US, there are islands of great coaches out there and you may have one within acceptable commuting distance if you make a concerted effort to find him/her. 2 years ago when my child, who was a late puberty technical kid and does not fit in with a direct style of play, was unhappy with her position and playtime with the "local" team ( which had just changed coaches after 5 years) We went shopping for soccer teams. Ultimately she specifically chose a team based on the coaching and the style of play. Yes we must commute a significant distance and it is a challenge that we have accepted. The team plays the same style in practice and in games and the style is dictated by the DOC. All teams in the club play the same style. It is a fairly successful team but by playing out of the back (unlike the u20s the goalie rarely punts / drop kicks) they do lose some games. There is a very competitive environment for playtime and there were significant cuts/ adds at tryout this spring. Some might find the team's philosophy stressful. We couldn't be happier with the choice our child/ family has made.
I agree coaches are key - but with so many registered players not that many soccer specific people available to coach. So you take moms and dads who love other sports and are successful in other sports trying to translate what works in those sports to soccer = Big, Fast, Athletic, Aggressive kids will win games when they are young and will enjoy winning and traveling to tournaments makes everybody happy.I think US Club soccer is trying to change that - by setting up standards like the DA's for clubs to follow. They accept clubs that meet these standards. Are all the coaches great, probably for some kids and probably not for some others at least they are holding clubs accountable. It's not the wild wild west where teams do what they want, the club advances love the the patch not the team. I't not every day you come across a PA strikers situation. For every PA strikers you have 10 hacks.
USYSA is committing elite programming suicide. It scheduled the ODP interregional to overlap the first national league event at CASL. This affects many regions and teams. ABGC, Tophat, Legends, PV storm, Cleveland FC etc all have several players representing the region at ODP interregional and are in the national league. USYSA touts these events as opportunities for recruitment and youth national team exposure, yet superimposes them. Brilliant...I am personally considering seeing if my kid can be successful in the ECNL to get away from this mess.
So now that ABGC Premier isn't around to suckle off of, it seems that PWSI Red has turned to McLean ECNL for their points teat. Invite them to their tournament, barely beat two younger U14 teams by a goal each, and lose twice to McLean without scoring a goal, but will probably still get about 700 points. A true illustration of all that is wrong with GS. How can you justify earning any points without ever winning a single game against a team in your own age bracket?
We all know got soccer's limitations. It is however immensely useful as a database for results. As in who has beaten whom and at what venue.what is much more interesting is what will happen with the national league and ECNL at ABGC/FC VA? Dose anyone know? How are they working the rosters for specific events?
1:33 That is not interesting to me, lay it out and make it interesting to an ousider like me.
The FC VA team has a giant ECNL roster listed. This isn't terribly uncommon in ECNL land as often many B team (NPL) level kids are rostered so that they can play ECNL occasionally. However, this giant roster has a mix of last years' ECNL kids and just about the whole ABGC national league team. By USYSA rules they have to have some roster continuity (50%?) for national league so many of the ECNL kids will have to play in, I think, 2 national league events. CASL and one other?. Will the top (largely ABGC) kids predominantly play both ECNL and the 2 national league events. Will they also play region 1. Or will the top kids play ECNL and just enough to keep roster continuity of the bottom of the old ABGC roster play national league and region 1? The answer speaks to the overall viability of USYSA programming versus ECNL. If the top kids are playing both next spring, there will be a question of overuse. Will they schedule their events around each other as best they can to keep the top team playing everything or will there essentially be 2 teams, one that plays ECNL and one USYSA? How is this balance going to work with team chemistry and overall team satisfaction?
OK....why is this so interesting? A team needs to figure out who will play where in what games. Every team has to sort that out.
yeah everyteam with 30 kids on the roster...
Maybe not so interesting to you, but to others, is what happens to the kids that have had the carrot dangled in front of them and end up not playing much or at all, and how soon will the others burn out or get unnecessarily exposed to injury because of their coach's ego.
Also will be interesting to see whether the "A" roster plays ECNL or Usysa when there is a conflict.
Ecnl rule " NO more than 2 players coming from a different team/roster"If you are an Ecnl team you can't have on your roster 3,4... players playing usysa only 2.
How are your girls handling the riggers of HS? Went to my daughters first (varsity)scrimmage the other day and I must tell you I'm marking off the days when it's over. The product is beyond bad. The coach told my daughter (plays holder) never pass back to our defense - its a dangerous ball.. Said he understood that in "club" that is how you play but here the girls don't have the talent to handle it. The coach said if no one is available in front of you just kick it away. Packs 8 in the box and prays for a windy day because our 2 strikers have no chance to ever score.The saddest part to me though is the fact that many of these girls have and are still playing club soccer somewhere. Many of them have been playing for years like my daughter. I have no idea what they are teaching them but their level of understanding (soccer IQ), technical ability is on par with what you would expect out of a rec player. I've invested in 5 rolls of duck tape that I will use to cover my mouth so no one can hear me mumbling "what the..." Might have to put some over my ears as well because if I have to listen to parents scream "great ball" as it was just kicked out of bounds or "nice try" when a girl just took a 40 yard shot (that stopped in the goalies box)... I might not make it through the season. Good luck to all.
Since just about every u15g is going into their freshman year, does anyone want to talk about HS Soccer? This sport is supposed to be about having fun. I hope most of the girls and parents are excited about playing for their school.
256 you are talking about the discovery player rule. Within the club you can roster up to 30 players as ecnl players as ABGC did. Each ECNL game requires that the team submits a game day roster with up to 18 players named from the 30 eligible. If for example ABGC named 16 of the 30 for a Saturday ECNL game and then had a USYSA game scheduled for Sunday, all 16 kids could play in a usysa event on sunday. If there was a conflicting ecnl game on that sunday 14 of the remaining 30 could play in the ecnl event. Similarly any combination of the 30 players could play in either event on that Sunday regardless of the Saturday's game roster.From the ECNL handbook (pg 11):"Dual-Rostered Player•If a player in your club is invited to play just for one weekend with your ECNL specific team, you must roster her on yourECNLSeasonRoster. She is permitted to go back and play with heroriginalteam. This is called “Dual-Rostered.”•Example: Pool of players within an ECNL club, if a player is pulled up to play with the ECNL team for a game, she will be added to the seasonroster for the remainder of the year. She will be allowed to go back and play for her original team; again this is called a “Dual Rostered” player. •If a player within yourECNL Club is pulled up from a non ECNL team and/or invited to play for the ECNL team (even for one game), the player must be added to the ECNL season roster for the remainder of the year. Yes, the player will count The discovery players are specifically players outside of the ECNL clubECNL Handbook page 23:"A Discovery Player is a player that is not a member of an ECNL Member Club in any capacity. A Discovery Player is allowed to participate in ECNL U14, U15, U16, U17 ECNL teams may each have two (2) Discovery Players, total"Thus ABGC can indeed have the 30 players rostered run between ECNL and USYSA competition freely exchanging players for any specific event. Link to the handbook if anyone is interested:https://www.dropbox.com/s/gaujadlox979d29/2014%20-%202015%20ECNL%20Member%20Club%20Handbook%20.pdf.%%%%%%%%%%%%2014 -2015 ECNL Member Club Handbook .docx12of 378/12/14ECNL®towards the ECNL Season roster maximum (30 players in all age groups). In saying that, the player is permitted to go back and play with her other team (non ECNL team) during the season. •In other words, there is a pool of players within an ECNL club. If a player is pulled up to play with the ECNL team for a game, she will be added to the ECNL season roster for the remainder of the year. She will be allowed to go back and play forher original non-ECNL team. "the 2 "discovery player" limit applies to kids who are primarily rostered on teams outside of the ECNL club.
@ 8:28 & 8:33 My daughters HS school experience has been different. The level of play on the varsity team is higher then her club team. The few girls playing at the varsity level that have not been trained properly are getting educated by the high level club players on the team. The coaching seems ok. It's worth mentioning that my daughter goes to a large school with a lot of soccer players to choose from. It should be fun to watch.
I have to say my daughter is finding the HS experience less then pleasurable. HS varsity coach has inside info from gym teacher/ middle school coach who shared info on her top incoming freshman. Girls play low level local soccer and middle school while best incoming where at top clubs and skipped middle school soccer. Varsity coach blind to new players and takes the word of gym teacher. Coach will eventually see the better players but since freshman are separated the process will take time. Hard to explain to your daughter that HS soccer is very different and HS coaches have very little familiarity with the skills that recent freshmen now arrive with.
157 have the same experience. She's hoping for a move up at least before playoffs. But when the coach is a teacher and not a fulltime soccer guy...trying to just let it be the social experience it really is without an injury
It also helps the HS experience when mommy runs the booster club and daddy has been stalking the HS coach since little Mia was in sixth grade!
In our area most of the talented players bypasses HS soccer. It only exposes the kids to unnecessary injuries and constant frustration. The HS has revolving coaches who don't understand tactics or training, and the games are hard to watch. There's also no benefit from playing, other than earning a varsity letter.
5:19 Sadly you are right. Knew it would be bad but not this bad. I pray the "fun" factor kicks in.
5:19 I disagree - there is always a benefit to playing. Every expert points out that we don't have pick up games in the states. Of course not, why would high level soccer players play with their friends who know nothing about the team unless of course there are 10 kids that play soccer on the same block.Come on man - is it great soccer? Depends on your definition of great. Is it good soccer? Depends on your definition of good. At least they are playing or would you prefer they don't touch a ball and play some other sport?For the kids that love the game play and enjoy - Injuries will happen regardless of the level of play at this age I don't think kids are picking up bad habits but then again I wouldn't know.
From what I have seen so far, my child would welcome the ECNL following in the USSF mandate for its DA players: no high school ball. Of course I would expect year round ECNL programming then
Anybody else embarrassed by the fact that Sky Blue had the worst attendance in the NWSL by a long shot? The attendance is at least half of most of the other NWSL clubs. 13,362 Portland (+0.3%)4,650 Houston (-)3,666 Seattle (+57%)3,335 Washington (-9%)3,177 Western NY (-29%)2,949 *Chicago (+72%)2,437 Boston (+0.4%)2,018 FC Kansas City (-57%)1,640 Sky Blue FC (-2%)
maybe because the team is not that good.
12:38 - Don't even compare playing pickup games to HS soccer. If there was any benefit, then most of the club coaches wouldn't have such an issue with it. It's far from pickup soccer. Pickup soccer is much better than what they pass off as HS soccer around here.What's the point of sending your kid to mandatory daily HS practice for an hour and a half, then off to club practice for another hour and a half? They get no benefit from it, besides wearing them out. Most decent top-level club teams are practicing 3 days a week, with scrimmages and/or games on the weekend. You want to throw in another 7 1/2 hours plus 2-3 games a week in addition to that? That's roughly 12 hours of practice and 4-5 games a week.Sorry, but I don't see the benefit. I'd rather have my kid in the yard juggling or passing with a friend than go to HS soccer. A large part of that is based on the quality of the HS coaches here, and the level of play & practice. It's absolutely pointless.
Perhaps, but there's so much talk on this blog about the development of women's soccer, yet so few people expose their kids to professional soccer? The league can't develop if people don't support it whether winning or losing.
My kid is having fun with the bonding and representing her school, but, crikeys it is ugly. She is playing varsity at a consistant top 10 high school team. We have some very good girls playing club soccer, but, the competition for scrimmages has not been pretty. I did not think it would be this bad, hopefully, teams in our conference will not be as bad as the scrimmages. I cringe every day, waiting for the injury phone call. If it isn't lower level players at other schools, I worry about upper classmen who she may be displacing, and are none too happy about it. Play fast and smart, always aware, and get rid of the ball, if you see someone charging at you, MOVE OUT THE WAY ! I pray every night to her guardian angel. So far it has worked, but we have a long season, and usually go deep into the fall.
ABGC/FCV roster is also playing NPL (as FCV's team - FCV has another NPL team they gave to ABGC as a replacement for Premiere), State Cup (in the Fall), and R1 Premiere League (in the Spring). Plus tournaments. All ECNL showcases. Plus Super Y finals in Florida. The second NPL team at FCV (which is on loan to ABGC) contains players from last year's State Cup runner/Colonial League member LMVSC and a couple players from last year's ECNL team.
2:32 - FCV has another team (Coached by CC) that's supposedly their NPL team, made up of the ex-FCV ECNL players, a few of the ABGC girls that didn't make the cut, a couple from the now-defunct LMVS, and some others they picked up.
Ooos. I wrote that last post after reading 2:31, and didn't see 2:32.
@ 5:59 You say “Sorry, but I don't see the benefit. I'd rather have my kid in the yard juggling or passing with a friend than go to HS soccer”A part of me thinks the same thing, then I remind myself that it’s about the girls having great times & memories in H.S. What has all this development been about if she can’t use that development in H.S. and be a dominant player & leader while representing her town and school? I believe there are plenty of benefits that have very little to do with her soccer development.
9:01 - She'll get plenty of opportunity for that in other sports and activities. We know club kids who play HS soccer and they are told not to do the things that good teams do ("don't ever play it back"). It's hard to be a dominant player when you are instructed to kick it up the field as soon as you can, or kick it out of bounds if you are being pressured. She will get much more out of, and get much further by focusing on her club team.Aside from hanging out with some friends, there is zero benefit from HS soccer in this area. There are no colleges scouting HS games (at least not around here). Unless they get a coach that knows the game and is interested in putting together a team that plays "THE GAME" (to coin a phrase from DCShore) the risks outweigh the benefits, and that's the way my kid feels, not just me.
9:01 hit it on the head. HS sports for girls is much more social than it is about the competition. High School can be daunting for a Freshman and to have a social group in place that can be supportive may be more important than the relationships they have with their club team. For many club teams, kids come from different towns and only see the girls during practices or games. This is a time that many girls drop out of playing soccer at the club level, forcing them to play with their club in the fall might be another reason why girls will drop out at this age.
It seems that many club are following on the foot steps of PDA and Matchfit and forming A, B, C team. NJ Stallions, FC Copa, NJ Rush have A and B teams that play NPL and EDP. How competitive are those B and C teams. For what i understand, they pay the same as the top teams.
7:41 CC's team is not FCV's NPL. That is FCV AUFC's NPL team (AUFC is ABGC's new name for travel soccer). The ECNL team is FCV's NPL team.the AUFC NPL team is composed of 3 players, plus 1 goalie from the old ECNL team, 2 field players and 1 goalie from ABGC Premiere and the rest mostly from LMVSC - but they didn't get the impact players (scorers from LMVSC). Solid team. They got a bad draw in State Cup. If they win first round, they play Premiere in second roundSo CC might be coaching against GD is second round of state cup
So bottom line- Are the best kids from abgc the ecnl kids and the ecnl first choices? Will they be playing schedules this spring that will promote overuse injuries while over a third of the ecnl roster sits or plays NPL ( the ecnl b team league version of it)?
@ 9:55 you say “She will get much more out of, and get much further by focusing on her club team.
Aside from hanging out with some friends, there is zero benefit from HS soccer in this area.” I respect your position & her school may be just that bad. What I’m trying to say is that when you say “get much further”, how “much further” is there to get? There is college after H.S. then that is it. If your kid is D1 material, I don’t think playing HS ball will change that. There may be 2 or 3 people in each state that have a CHANCE at USWNT. Not 2 or 3 in each age group but 2 or 3 in each state. Let the kids enjoy H.S. Soccer, imo. It might just be one of the best memories of her HS years.
2:27 - The FCV ECNL team can't be the NPL team. The NPL and ECNL schedules conflict. The ex-LMVS girls that are on CC's team have been told they are playing VA NPL.Besides, between ECNL, National League, State Cup, and Super Y Nationals, I think the 30 girls on the ECNL roster will be pretty wiped out. To add NPL to that schedule would be disastrous.
@4:46 - My kid certainly has no aspirations for the USWNT. I think she's realistic about her abilities and limitations. If she plays in college, that's a just an added bonus. Is she D1 material? Hard to tell, but who knows. There's a lot of time between now and college. If that's something she wants and works towards that, then that's fine. But if that is her goal, playing HS here will do nothing to further that. She will get plenty of social interaction and HS team spirit from other sports and activities that she'll do that won't interfere or jeopardize her playing soccer.I'm not saying that all HS soccer is worthless, just that I know ours is. There are some programs around here that have a tradition of good teams and by all means, kids in that area should do it if that's something they are interested in. But usually the better kids are on the better club teams, and like DA's, those and some ECNL programs frown (if not prohibit) on HS involvement.
Our DOC plainly states he wishes our girls would not play HS ball but many of our parents are so impressed when their freshman makes varsity that they don't listen. Oh Btw one girl on our team has already torn her AcL at HS ball.
9:24 - who is going to be the AUFC NPL team - the Annandale team that is WAGS D2?
HS soccer is brutal.And most coaches, some who even coach High School, will tell you that it is a completely 'different' game. I mainly blame this on the fact that it is at the APEX of having to win.Few HS coaches will take the time to actually farm 'like' talent (kids who know THE GAME) and let them play. Instead they reinvent the wheel, usually with the intent of putting 'scoring threats' up tops and big strong, physical defenders in the back. As many have mentioned NO concept of a passing game. No acknowledgement that the game can (should) be slowed down and played with some actual intelligence. MOST IMPORTANTLY no value in having the players make individual decisions.It is the ultimate shark tank where if a player makes a mistake (give up a goal, or be involved in a play that gives up a goal) they are riding the bench.That said, I agree there is value in the social interaction (and a danger). If you player plays a High IQ game in club you will certainly need to adjust your expectations as far as what you see from the HS team and your player. And/Or be prepared to see your player loser her knees, ankles, collarbones, get a couple of concussions, etc. You will also find that you will need ear plugs and/or a strong will to bite your tongue as dummy parents openly make comments about player mistakes and will have no problem calling out a player when a goal is given up...or a scoring opportunity is missed. WORST PART the joy-sticking they will do as they coach from the sideline. Enjoy!DCShore
Agreed HS Soccer is a different game, it's a social thing and the girls should enjoy it, but if your saying that the dummy parents and sideline coaching doesn't happen At high level travel games, I reLly need to know what planet your on. I've seen some of the best teams around over the past few years and one thing never changes no matter what level it is. the biggest problem with the whole youth sports experience is parents who haven't played a sport in their life or at a very low level at best with ridiculous expectations for their kid. That's in high school and travel no matter what sport your kid is playing. If fact some of the parents of high level kids can be the worst because they want everyone to live up to their child's standards.
I wrote the original post mentioning what a shock and horror show HS soccer was (8/27, 8:28am). I have read the post that have followed and there is a bit of truth in every post that followed. As a point of reference my daughter plays on an ECNL team and I can tell you all 18 girls rostered to her ECNL team are playing HS soccer. All made varsity and all are starters. I'm not here to say ECNL players are great or anything like that just using it as a point of reference for what I'm going to say.Everyone knows what HS is as far as soccer is concerned. It's not high level club, yes there is increased chance for injuries and no there's not much you will learn or gain technically from it. You will learn how to bang and grind more (not a great selling point for sure) but I do believe it will make you a physically tougher player. That said HS soccer (and everything that it is and isn't ) provides a break for most girls who play serious club soccer. The last 2 years our ECNL schedule was full year we never stopped, there was no off season. For those wishing that ECNL adopts some rule that prohibits playing both (I believe its happening in a couple of states already) be careful what you wish for. ECNL "only" will prohibit your daughter form playing any HS sport not just soccer. My older daughter played 3 varsity sports in HS (no club) and had an absolute blast. All of her "buds" were from those teams, it is without a doubt a huge social experience and all kids love competing for their HS, on the big stage in front of a screaming student body. I spoke to a number of coaches in our club both female and male and they all came to the same conclusion. Not great soccer but as a social tool it will in many ways shape their friendships and experience during their HS years.My daughter is already talking about how fun the bus trips are to and from games, plus all the locker room banter before practice. Trust me our ECNL team (girls) for the most part really like and care for each other but HS friendships are on a different level. Don't you still have HS friends?
11:11AMNo doubt. And that is very important too.But "MY EYES!!!" while watching a HS game :)DCShore
Tragedy in south jersey today when four girls headed to charity tournament were hit by another car who drifted over the centerline. One girl very critical and not a very good prognosis. Keep your perspective people. This is a time we should all enjoy our children playing a game they love.
They are U15 girlshttp://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Route-40-Crash-Teens-Hurt-273315991.html#ixzz3Bwe8cSuz
10:12Agreed and sending positive thoughts.DCShore
Can anybody give me your thoughts on NJ Stallions. How is the training, the teams, coaches and training facilities?How does it compare to other academies around? Thanks,
The Emperor has no Clothes?FCV (I mean Annandale) loses to Beach FC 3-1 in Greensboro. Could it be that we find out what everyone in NOVA already knows. That GD is good at winning in early age groups, but is not successful against elite teams once you reach age 15. Or could maybe everyone realizes that Annandale was a small cadre of 1 really strong player, 3-4 strong players, and a bunch of role players when asked to play without the Top 4 players is not better than a Top 10 team in VA.FCV let GD pick this team. Once TF and CC realizes that he has gotten rid of strong technical players in favor of players who are really good at direct style of play, that should be a good source of conversation between the coachesAfter all, really good coaches like Hank Leung or Dave Edwards didn't last long at FCV. How is someone like GC going to last playing his games under the watchful eye of TF.
where did the "strong technical players" go to play?
2 losses. Yikes. The parents are probably going to blame TF and CC for the losses. GD is going to deflect criticism saying "You guis won before coming to FCV". In NOVA, we are taking odds on how long this marriage lasts. Team Harkes left FCV midseason due a dispute with TF. So what does FCV do, bring in a bigger bunch of power hungry parents, What until there is a conflict between USYS and ECNL and TF/CC want to send the top cadre to ECNL and GD and the Premiere parents want them to go to National League or State Cup. Then the fireworks are going to explode on this little science experiment.
9:08. A couple are with the ECNL team. many got put on the FCV AUFC NPL team (which by the coaches own admissions, the former players assigned to the "B' team were ECNL worthy players), and a handful got feed up and went to other local teams.GD already got one of the strongest technical players in NOVA who was with the Springfield team that was pretty good. He benched her. Ruined her confidence. She is a shell of her former self because of the doubts of playing the Spring under Gus' system.I think everyone saw that and went, don't want my daughter playing for GD.
Aug 29th 10:50. ACL... Our DOC does not want the girls to play high school. I kind of feel the same. That being said, we also had a recent ACL injury. It had nothing to do with being High school ball. It was a non contact injury, which, is often the case in female ACL tears. It was due to the plant and cut. If it was going to happen, it does not matter if it was on a club pitch or on a high school pitch. There is nothing you can do when it is non contact except injury prevention. Implement the FIFA 11+. I are my kid to do them at home, and also get her to practice early enough to do them on her own, but at 14, she does not want to look "weird".You can't just go through the motions, someone needs to monitor that the knees are not bucking, and or turning in or out. We need to educate our girls how to minimize this horrible injury. How to land, and how to stay on the balls of their feet. The heel, and full foot plant is a killer. The coaches don't have the time to do the warm up and recommended excericises, but I think we all can agree that, if this can cut an ACL injury by even 10%, we would make time for that extra 15 minutes. My kid plays ECNL, With all of the training and her love of the game, how do you say that she can't represent her high school? I don't have the heart, fully knowing the implications. We have quite a few very good players, but opposing schools, not so much. Scary for a small, young, technical freshman, to step on the field with bigger, more mature physical players, whom sometimes resort to over the top, physicality. Injuries happen but ACL's are often non contact. Other senseless injuries can be prevented by having knowledgable refs, who not only knows the game, but who also recognizes when physical play crosses the line due to frustration or ugliness. It is their job to protect our kids and they should know it. They should be held accountable just the same as a coach would.
I just got back from watching several top teams in Virginia. I will just say, I think Virginia State Cup may be unpredictable. Besides Herndon, who kept their core in tact - the rest of the ranked team have alot of questions. Vienna which is seeded #3 had troubles generating a quality attack against Herndon or Bethesda. #4 seeded Loudoun Red looked like a shell of their former self. The #7 seed FASA was outplayed by unseeded Chantilly before getting a favorable bounce that lead to a late goal. No extra time. Right to PKs where FASA won. Everyone was surprised FASA won. Chantilly was the beneficiary of all the turnover in NOVA. They got players from Harkes, FCV, Reston team that won WAGS U16, and the best players from several D2 teams. Once they learn how to play with their new teammates, that team has excellent technical midfielders who are strong possession players. Beach FC beat FCV United. Without their top 3-4 players, they could face any of the top 5-6 teams in VA could upset them.
Any thoughts by anyone about skipping HS JV or Frosh game for good quality Showcase tournament,WAGS? Daughter prefers to attend the tournament but knows their will be some backlash. HS politics are taking even the fun out of playing. Frosh and JV level is lacking and Varsity is loaded with top older players.
My kid quit school ball for club program. Level was horrific. Not particularly fun. training terrible. School is all about the football team. Not much upside
@ 9:35. I’m guessing only the top third of the top ECNL and teams of that level will be offered anything in their freshman year. If that is the case, then maybe she should focus on her H.S. experience. I admittedly don’t know much about showcases. My daughter’s team is doing a few this year. I’m thinking it’s a waste of time and money. Someone who has an older kid, please tell me. Do academy type bottom half of team and B team players get offers in freshman year?While we’re on the subject, my daughter is happy so far with HS ball. Her only concern is her speed and level of play falling off a bit due to H.S level of play, but for her, the positives far out way the negatives.
What i find strange in NJ HS soccer is this 2 referee system. Never seen a stranger setup with 2 refs running the sidelines and no center judge. Seeing numerous fouls ignored in middle and more concern for out balls. Is this about money savings or ref availability? Rather have a single in the middle who can see the critical parts of the game. Is this a NJ system or do other states use?
@8:55 - According to NCAA recruiting bylaws, coaches are not allowed to contact student athletes until July (June for DII) after their junior year. Athletes may initiate contact, but I think it's rare that underclassmen will be offered anything. I think for the underclassmen, it's more of an opportunity to get on their radar for when the real recruitment begins.Here's an interesting paper about early recruitment, and the steps that the NCAA has been taking to curb it.
Most of the kids with freshman offers are playing up and have been to national camp. A few top ECNL players from Sanford etc, all star regional players from Boca Raton and id2 standouts may get some freshman attention.Kid not at that level hope for interest by junior year
Unless you have a breakthrough prospect that is well beyond everyone else, very few Freshman will receive offers. Anything before the official Letter of Intent Signing means that neither the school nor the kid is committed. An injury, change of heart, new coach can change the verbal offer. Coaches most often recruit on need unless they have the special one and making selections on a HS Freshman means that coaches are not making determinations based on what the expectations of the team will be.On the HS Side, there are a lot of benefits, the big downside is the kid that breaks a leg, tears and ACL, suffers a few concussions and limits their future prospects. Injuries can happen anywhere, but for some, it is a shame to see there long term future determined by something that occurred in something that is often worse than a pick-up game, with coaches who are History teachers, track, and lacrosse coaches as well.
So, what good if any can come from doing showcases in their freshman year? Theoretically speaking, a child is a really good player but not national team type. We’ll say for arguments sake she she shows potential to play at a mid-level D1 or anything below. Do college coaches actually care about looking at these types of players while they are freshman?
@12:08 - You get exposed to a higher caliber of competition (in theory), and the kids get used to the format - 1 game a day. It's more of a resume builder than anything else. Unless your kid really stands out, in which case they will probably get noticed.
12:08 This will sound cynical, but I think the idea of college showcases for Freshman are to support the Academy's reason for being. Hey, you are going to a college showcase, you are college quality, and we are going to even get your kid seen at 15, the 12, 13, and 14 year old parents see this and say why isn't my precious going to go to a showcase next year, hmmm, I must be at the wrong club. The very high majority of kids even ant the "best" programs will not get recruited until their Junior year. The best thing to do his to have your plan of your list of colleges by the summer before your Junior year and make sure those coaches know who you are then.There is a major push to market certain clubs as the only place to be and attending college showcases supports this. There are enough places to get high level competition, especially if you are an ECNL Club because you are already playing the "elite" clubs without the need for a showcase.This is the Golden Age of Youth Soccer. The pendulum may someday swing back. Every college now has an ID camp at $600 to make you think you have a chance of getting into those schools, Clubs tell you we are the best place to be for your soccer future, "Sports Performance Facilities" are selling that they can give you that little extra advantage, everyone who played college soccer is an expert 1 on 1 trainer.
Just play for PDA, full rides promised to A. B, C, oh and now D teams.
I think the question was whether to stay home for a low level Freshman or JV High School game or play a club game against better competition. It is not about the Showcase but rather the quality of play. Is staying for the HS game worth it or does club get the nod in this situation?
@3:07 Let your kid decide?
With our club, it is not an either/or situation. Our club is playing a tournament in November and a Showcase in December without a HS conflict. Personally, as my daughter is a freshman, I am siding with the positive socialization into HS rather than a conflicting showcase. HS can be difficult and this is a time that many girls quit soccer because of the social pressures. New to a large school, she walks the school in the first few days with upper classmen accepting her saying high in the hallway, etc. HS can crush the self-esteem of girls and the summer training and games in HS has helped my daughter tremendously.
May I ask a question. Why do so many people think it is wrong when we schedule a parent's meeting after losing 3 games in the first weekend. Especially for a team that is accustomed to winning. Shouldn't we be able to hold the coach and the new club accountable when they take over the team and we don't perform up to our standard. After all we are paying for a winner. If the new club doesn't deliver one, should we have the right to demand one or take the team to a new club?
Sometimes things don't go your way and I would agree with people to think that it is overreacting to have a parent meeting after one weekend. I also think the attitude is what is wrong with youth soccer. Development doesn't always come from winning, but character and development are also built from picking yourself up and learning from defeat. That's the thing about sports, there is someone on the other side of the field that wants to beat you as much as you want to beat them.
and what u-15 club is playing right now, I thought this blog was moving to the merits or problems with HS Soccer for the next few months?
@4:26 Every U15 Club in Virginia and Georgia is playing right now
All ECNL clubs are also staring play. A couple played last weekend, and most teams around the country start their season this weekend.
The NE ECNL doesn't start until December.
@419 did you all really think it would be better? Shame on you all !!!
Sounds like a case of SELF ABSORBED PARENTS. I know this offends many but when your focus is on 'winning' and not your child, their development and the sport of soccer itself aka THE GAME, I have very little sympathy. DCShore
4:19 you better win a few games before you start talking about moving to another club...
There a lot of D1-D3 coaches that also coach at clubs. What are the recruiting rules with respect to club players interacting with coaches with respect to discussing college potential.
I think this article covers that.
For those having feelings of loss about this blog and the lack of communication due to HS, but it is quite fun to read the U-14, U-13 blogs.
Sorry to break into another age group, but my 2000 birthday kid was at ODP tryouts yesterday and said that there were not many U15/ 2000 kids there. Is high school taking up too much time and energy? Does ODP drop off because of the conflicts? Just curious. Thanks
Hi my daughter is on the PDA D team. No promises were made everyone just believe that PDA was better equipped at exposing our kids to colleges.We were not invited to Jeff cup even though we were 4 th in the state at the time and NjSa really didn't help out.This winter and spring we will be attending showcases and what I seen so far from PDA is quality coaching at the clinics and sound advice and eagerness to expose our girls to the upcoming college recruitment process.So far it has not cost me anymore than any academy. No one forces me to attend anything extra and even though admittedly I was a PDA basher things are way better than some people on this blog would have you believe.
I am a PDA discipleI have been programmed to respond like thid
@5:03 - Some girls get tired of the politics (e.g. coaches with 'home club' bias) and in some cases ODP is just a waste of money. Some kids just don't have the time as they are now in HS with added workloads, and some club schedules get busier (more showcases, state cup, etc) among other things. It all depends on what your kid expects from it, who the coaches are, and if she has the time to do it.
6:49I will take everything you wrote at face value.That said, what is your expectation for being 'exposed' to college coaches?D1 Full Ride?D1 no scholarship?D2, D3?No doubt PDA can (and often does) get your player in front of more college coaches on a formal level. But do you have any idea what that actually gets your player? Especially fit hey are not a stand out 'A' team player?Lots of D2 and D3 rosters are full of Academy and traditional Club players on their rosters playing side by side. MOST do not get any money.As I have always maintained, the value of the fee can only be determined by the consumer. So whether PDA cost the same or a lot more it is no concern of mine. I am just curious as to what your expectation on the return is.DCShore
6:49 From the sound of your post, it sounds like you just started with PDA. I think it is a little premature to judge since the U-15 season really hasn't even started yet. In the winter you are probably attending the NPL Showcase in Florida being driven by PDA If that is the winter showcase, you really don't know if it is a good or a bad thing. It's a bunch of B and C teams of ECNL clubs and it is happening the same time as DIsney. Funny that the tournament is being held in Florida but the enrolled teams are almost entirely from the Northeast. Imagine that, you travel to Florida to play the B team of East Meadow, World Class, and Penn Fusion - check their history to see the quality. They do not list if/what coaches are attending so who knows if this is a good thing. Play at least a season and get back to us.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - I just joined PDA but everything they have told me has been true.........so far.
Over 70+ players at 2000 u15 EPYSA ODP tryouts. I thought the numbers were pretty good, talent not so good.
Why try out for the Olympic Development Program (ODP)? Is your daughter good enough to possibly make the Olympic team? Or even second team Olympic level player? 70+ players at tryouts?
I want to throw out a topic that I believe has been discussed in the past, but I am curious to see current opinions. It seems that GotSoccer points are used in almost every tourney these days for bracketing. In some cases, it appears to be the only criteria used, especially in the top brackets. My questions - how accurate is GS these days? Are 7 of the top ten teams in the country really from R1? Is there any good way for GS to augment the rankings with some quality over quantity data? It seems like we are set up for period here where high GS point teams in the northeast just find ways to play each other over and over (playing frequent events) and keep their status by giving points back in forth. I would love for GS to find a way to more accurately evaluate teams from the midwest, southwest, etc.Any thoughts? Do you like GS? Dislike? Have ideas to improve it? I wonder if ECNL migration toward mostly closed tournament brackets is hurting the data quality by not promoting play among ECNL and high GS point non-ECNL teams, not to mention the other pitfalls of a closed system that have been discussed here recently.
Was the talent at EPYSA ODP down because the regional players weren't there or like has been already mentioned that the older high school age kids are opting out? Out of the 70+ kids do you think 18 will make a competitive team if the other states haven't seen the same changes (big if).
@8:24 - I can go on forever bout the flaws of GS, but probably the only area in which it can give a reasonably accurate view is for the state rankings. Assuming most teams in a given area all have access to the same tournaments and leagues and play each other occasionally, it can give a decent picture of the teams within the state. However, with the ECNL teams starting to diverge in terms of the events they participate in, those teams are usually misrepresented (at least the ones I've seen should usually be ranked higher than they are). It's also very regional. There are a lot of GD tournaments in Region 1, so many of the teams can get points simply by playing in a lot of tournaments (they don't necessarily have to win much). Go down to NS, and they use Soccer in College almost exclusively,I personally do not like many aspects of how teams can 'artificially' accumulate points, but it is one of those things that is a necessary evil. Like you mentioned, if you want to gain acceptance into top tournaments, and into the top flights, you need points.Recently, our team has started playing teams that we have not faced in the past and looking at GS points/rankings to determine the strength of the team has proved to be pointless. You can get some idea by comparing similar opponents, but that's about it.
That should read "There are a lot of GS tournaments" and "Go down to NC"...
Got Soccer is a necessary evil because it is the only "objective" tool. We know the problem of teams chasing points so the correlation between ranking state, regionally, or nationally is suspect. For individuals, you love it if you have them because you can say that look at us we are ranked so high. And for those that don't have points say, we don't chase points so it's not reflective of reality.Clearly, the ECNL situation means that those clubs are not part of the GS dialogue anymore. I doubt anyone really thinks Match Fit ECNL is 33 or the Gunners are #4.
For people who called me a spoiled parent for talking about leaving the club after 2 losses. The problem with certain leagues is that it is club centered. So only a small number of clubs in our area provide access to a specific league. The clubs get way too much power. In our case, they are trying to force a coach and players. Last year we won, we don't need new players. Why should we take players who wouldn't make the team unless the club was forcing them upon us. All the club does is provide fields In this case, the club is trying to fix things that weren't broken.
5:16 No argument that some clubs are club focused, some clubs are winning focused, and some are very political. You come on this blog and complain about your situation after 1 week. Teams develop, coaches have a plan, and parents are either on board or not. I have had issues with coaches and you do your homework. Then if the situation is not a fit you leave. That's what my daughter did not for lack of winning, but she had a different view than the coach. But complaining about a team that seems to be newly formed in the first few weeks makes you come across as a bit of a whiner.
5:16 what league do they currently play in?
Anybody have an idea what PDA is trying to accomplish with the Bridgewater partnership. The cynical side of me says it's another attempt to dangle a carrot and say your kid too can make the ECNL. Does this mean that PDA will be looking to set up a bunch of mini-PDA to feed the larger beast?Bridgewater Soccer Association (BSA) is excited to announce that it has entered into a strategic alliance with PDA (Players Development Academy), the leading youth soccer training organization in New Jersey, and one of the leading youth soccer organizations in the country. This initiative will provide the chance for BSA to recommend its top players for evaluation by PDA and will create opportunities for all BSA players to attend certain training sessions with PDA professional trainers. BSA believes that through this new affiliation with PDA, BSA will continue its mission to offer a truly outstanding soccer experience for local youth players in Bridgewater and Somerset County, one that is focused entirely on development and growth of the youth soccer player. BSA is thrilled about this opportunity to work with PDA to build the best development platform for its youth soccer programs. Dan Adams (BSA Coaching Director) stated, "The BSA-PDA affiliation will allow our club the chance to identify talent and give players the opportunity to excel toward the very highest level of youth soccer both in the USDA Boys academy system and in the ECNL for the girls. The BSA board is committed to enriching and building the complete soccer experience for its players. This is a relationship that is being made for purely soccer reasons and to build a healthy soccer network in our local area." Sam Nellins (PDA Director of Operations and Boys Academy Director) Stated "It is with great excitement that we partner with BSA and Dan Adams. Having a club right on our doorstep which exercises the same thoughts and ideas in and around player development will allow for a thriving partnership. We look forward to the day when the very best BSA boys and girls make valuable contributions to our ENCL girl's teams and our Boys Academy Program. We look forward to hosting BSA players and coaches to our PDA training sessions and sharing ideas. Being so local excites us and we look forward to working with BSA to enhance player development in Somerset County"
I suspect PDA will gain free use of BSA fields close to their home base. PDA needs the fields. Pretty sure the next PDA tournament will see BSA fields in use.
"Does this mean that PDA will be looking to set up a bunch of mini-PDA to feed the larger beast?"Um, no it doesn't, PDA has three non ECNL teams and all they promise joint practices with the ECNL team in hopes of girls moving up. Well only one girl was called up and she still plays for the South. Money, people!! This new E team will also have deep pockets.
9:08 Are there girls at PDA south that are good enough to pay on the ECNL team? Wearing the 3 letters alone doesn't make you ECNL ready. Looking at the history of the South team, its history has been mixed at best rarely beating top competition and losing to a lot of weaker teams. Isn't this the team where PDA often feels the need to bring in ECNL players to help them win. The real question may be why PDA doesn't bring more kids from the C & D teams to the B team.
The ECNL rosters reveal many US club affiliations of the kid in question over time. Just click on the name and the profile comes up. I think there are quite a few kids on the current PDA u15 ECNL roster who were on the pride and even the "B" NPL team. How much playtime they get, I don't know.
There have only been 2 girls rostered to the ECNL team. The one last year was a disaster. She was promised a lot, she was rostered but rarely played. She felt she was an ECNL player and the plug was pulled on it mid year. This year is one rostered to the ECNL club. We will see whether the second trial work, I think the player will mainly be a Pride player but time will tell. There have been a lot of promises on this and very little delivered on PDA side. It is a source of contention and been devisive for the team becuase more players feel that they should be getting an ECNL shot.
@1038 why does everyone stay then? Parents have been made these promises for three years now and it annoys everyone but come tryout time, you are all in JJ's ear about your daughters.
1:03 Everyone is different, but there are a few reasons.1: Ego (more parents than kids) - people will put up with a lot to wear the letters2: Lack of available clubs in the area - If you live South of Westhampton, where are you going to go and then you have to break into a new club3: People have hope: More and better college showcases, coaches will listen to the PDA name and look at your daughter and of course the ECNL hope.Funny though that there is a core of kids that stay and get in the coaches ear like you say, but year after year, we fail to attract new kids. It's a reality although probably not what PDA wants, but if you you play on the Pride, your place on the team is pretty safe. Everyone knows there are a lot of empty promises, but the hope remains. Who wouldn't want to travel up and down the Northeast to play B and C teams.
Does PDA even have an E team anymore? (Athletica). It's the only team without a roster on ecnl site. Maybe PDA finally cut the cord and put the team out of it's misery.
Only 1 team per age group is listed as ECNL site. PDA's ECNL teams are all listed. Why would Athletica be listed on ECNL site?All the same old comments regarding PDA. Why stay? They promised? why pay? It's all about wearing 3 letters? on and on and on. Here are the facts mom and dad, if Suzie Q is good enough to be on ECNL team she will be, if not well they will put her on a team that best fits her ability. Here's another thing - if you have been with the club since the beginning it does not entitle Suzie Q to anything. If a girl walks right off the street and she is better than an ECNL player she will be on the team. What surprises me is that B,C,D,E parents / players don't understand this, regardless of what PDA promises. I'm not a PDA parent but trust me its the same at every ECNL club.
A, B, C, D, or E, for a lot of people it is about those 3 letters. The promises come down to opportunity. The kids at the other sites don't ever get looked at. I can't even remember a single time the the DoC of the North or the Coach of the Gunners ever watched the Pride play. So in this case you are left with a single coach who is making these decisions trying to protect his own team. If he were to lose 2-3 of his better players that team would be average at best. I is naive to think that PDA doesn't restrict movement of kids between teams to make sure that their teams remain competitive. The Pride can't have too many state cup losses like last year before the whole thing just becomes one big embarrassment for PDA.
Disney Showcase accepted team list posted
The DOC of the south is a pawn in the parents hands. He is too easily swayed by certain parents.
for you envious PDA haters, it's Atletica, not Athletica OK?
No hate, just stating facts. A bit defensive, aren't you?
9:32 What part of the recent discussion is not true? Is the best answer you have is that someone referred to the team as Athletica. A lot of people are impressed by what the Gunners have accomplished, and they are an impressive team, but there are a lot of wannabee Gunners that will take any line of BS is fed them to where the 3 letters and hope someday that it will be them. What has PDA built in this age group after the Gunners, a few underperforming teams that can't attract the best talent. And if the previous poster is correct, if you have a pawn of a coach that is influenced by parents then you are paying for exactly what you shouldn't be paying for when joining a club like PDA.
Previous poster is correct, coach / DOC is a tool, has a few select parents in his ear all the time. I am waiting now for the email that states " please stay off the blogs" we get one every year. His minions are always ready to rat out the disgruntled.
Tool and pawn. And a liar, but hey, at least he does it with a smile. Amazing anyone still swallows the BS. IF YOUR KID IS GOOD ENOUGH AT ANY AGE, AND HAS HIGHER AMBITIONS, GET AWAY FROM SOUTH AND FIND A WAY TO GET THEM UP NORTH, OR FIND ANOTHER ECNL TEAM! Pride will be a good NPL team, that's it. I only say this if your kid has higher than D3 aspirations. The older south teams placed lots of girls, but they are just about done now, and are graduating soon. These girls went to south before the ECNL really had made an impact. Your kid is not seeing the top competition. When there is only one team in your division, and you have to go all the way to MA to get it, how does your daughter get better?? She will stay the same if not challenged. Better off right now in EDP over Northeast NPL. Great concept but not enough quality players to field competitive ECNL B teams. These clubs rarely promote from within. Why would they? They have your fees on b team, and now see a nice player that would fit in with ECNL, now they have your fees and their fees. The sooner you realize this the less aggravation you will feel. Unless South or Shore finagle a way to break off, and become separate, to gain entrance into ECNL, you are just playing for any other good club team in NPL and there are many of them. If you think your kid is good enough for ECNL, take them to another tryout. If they are good, they will get an offer, if not they will be offered a spot on NPL team. At least that way, you honestly know that they would be good enough, instead of whining about not being called up. Sometimes they are just not good enough in the eyes of who really matters. At this stage they would have to be better than the starting 11 to break into the team. You don't replace subs with like subs.
I asked the following question earlier but nobody took a bite. Here goes again - What is your expectation for being 'exposed' to college coaches?D1 Full Ride?D1 no scholarship?D2, D3?No doubt PDA can (and often does) get your player in front of more college coaches on a formal level. But do you have any idea what that actually gets your player? Especially if they are not a stand out 'A' team player?Lots of D2 and D3 rosters are full of Academy and traditional Club players on their rosters playing side by side. MOST do not get any money.DCShore
What is going on at FC Virginia? The marriage with ABGC Premiere appears to be rocky. FCV tied Richmond ECNL today 2-2. They went 2-3 in Greensboro. This week, several departures of former ECNL players off the NPL team to Mclean. The NPL team is barely able to field a team Rumblings of displeasure within the FCV ECNL team. Every team Gus has coached has switched coaches around U15 over concerns that his style is unable to win against elite teams. This year, Gus appears to have problems winning against elite level teams. The real question is what is Terry Foley thinking. A strong advocate for player development, teaching soccer the right way, and not recruiting teams has gotten in bed with everything he has fought against during his career and the marriage appears to be headed for another Cindi Harkes-style divorce.
11:12 Every believes or hopes that their kid is a D1 prospect. Everyone believes that will get some school money, and people think that magically a PDA coach can take a good player and turn them into a great player. The reality is that on the non-ECNL teams,the coaches take any kids to fill out the roster which is not good for the coach, the team, or the player.
Clubs like PDA exploit the naive parents with all their talk of college coaches. The south DOC will tell you privately he will "build a team around your daughter" and " get her in front of the top college coaches". We will see how many of the current Pride U15 girls get "seen" by D1 coaches AND get offered full or partial rides.
I don't understand the PDA roster listings. last year (U14) many of the kids are listed on more than one roster including the NPL (B team?) Pride (same as NPL?) and even the u15 (NPL) B team. I can think of reasons that this could be OK, but what are they doing? Are they providing the bottom of the bench more play time? Are they trying to improve some of the kids' confidence? Are they trying to win B level games? I doubt its just the bottom of the roster kids though because one of them was sent to ID2 camp. Usually that's a top of roster kid. Will anyone shed light on the situation?
@ DC Shore, from what little I have learned I’ll take a somewhat educated estimate at your question. There are over 300 D1, 200 D2, 400 D3 schools. Top third of the ECNL or teams of equal caliber get accepted to the top 150 D1 schools with 8k – 12k per year. The top third of the top third get full ride top 25 caliber team. The bottom 2 thirds of ECNL & equal caliber smaller academy types, top third of ECNL B teams and very high level town clubs get the lowest 150 D1, top level D2 with 4k – 8k per year.All other avid soccer players who put in the effort to pay in college get lowest D2 & D3 with a possible 2k-6k per year. I make these estimates under the hypothesis that all our u15 girls desire to play at the highest level of college soccer they possibly can. Although, in reality I know this is not the case. I believe most intelligent kids & families are factoring in academic curriculum, financial situations, urban or rural atmosphere, career opportunities after 4years of college, graduate opportunities after soccer, and so forth. That is why highest level D3 can beat lowest level D1.
Please provide a ink as to what roster listings you are talking about. Last year one Pride player was rostered with the Gunners as well and this year the same thing. There hasn't been that much other moving around and those kids have not played with the Gnners very much. I believe they have chosen token players every year to make the point that "you too can become and ECNL player." I do think clubs within the US Club system are free to move kids around, and the Pride Coach has been notorious for Guesting Gunners with the Pride for tournament presumably becasue he was not confident in his own team's ability to win.
9-13 11:24 - FCV made some big logistical errors it seems. They may have overestimated their ability to smoothly field teams in multiple leagues/events and manage all of the parents expectations. For all the PDA criticism o this board, at least they set their teams as rank ordered (I think, from the posts). It appears FCV tried to create several teams and tell everyone that all teams (including teams within teams - meaning their ridiculously large 30-player ECNL group)and tell everyone that all the teams would be elite and not really A,B and C teams.So the parents were unpleasantly surprised to learn that there is actually a pecking order and that some players are considered part of a top group, a group that gets preference for important games/events. The sad truth is that FCV probably could have pulled it off with some more reasonable expectations regarding the logistics and better transparency with the parents. The people looking to leave already might have been more willing to stick it out if they had been given the straight truth about how it would be initially. Great question re: Terry Foley. This all seems to go against what he has stood for in the past. From where I sit, it seems to be mostly about the money and maybe somewhat about the parents of top players pressuring the club to do things a certain way or they walk. FCV was able to convince ~50 families to join up with the understanding that all players would get chances to play with elite teammates and at an elite level. It just wasn't true.
9:20 The original plan at FCV was simple and made alot of sense. Two teams. One team to play ECNL. The other team USYS. 16 girls assigned to each team with an addition pool of 6 to 8 to flat. That would have given FCV a pool of 40 players each have their own dominion and ability to showcase and do well in their respective leagues.The problem was that meant most of the Premiere players would be playing USYS and not ECNL. So the plan changed to please the Premiere parents so the entire team would come as a group. What ultimately happened is the original plan with a much smaller pool of players (30 vs 40)upset feelings because the divisions weren't revealed after the season started.Here is where the plan went off the tracks: THE PARENTS.Premiere was sold they were coming to play ECNL as a teamFCV was sold Premiere is not coming as a team, Christian is the coach.What ended up was a ole school DC style compromise that didn't make sense.The result a new school DC style partisan bickering with the old Premiere parents upset that their team can't play as a team and blaming everyone that they are not winning as much as accustomed. The old FCV parents upset because they can't play USYS and Premiere is taking ECNL opportunities.The end game, your guess is as good as mine - but considering the Harkes fiasco - not looking good.Especially if they go 1-3 or 2-2 in next couple games and the Mid Atlantic conference championship is a long shot and the round of 32 is looking questionableDoes Premiere elect to take all their best players to the National League in an attempt to maximize their results in USYS at the behest of ECNL games.Ultimately it is about stakeholders. Here is how they plan out.Christian/Terry - ECNL is all that mattersPremiere parents - Winning is all that mattersOther parents - Sanity is all that mattersGus - Money is all that matters which means keep the Premiere parents happy
Interesting, but what is the Harkes fiasco?PDA link:http://www.eliteclubsnationalleague.com/teams/68833268/29694695-68833329/TEAM.htmlclick on the players name and then look under player history and see all the teams the player has been rostered to at least within the club
FCV already lost an entire 99 team coached by Cindi Harkes. It happened two years ago right at the start of the Pre-ECNL season.
The Chantilly team hat went to McLean? Why did they pull out of FC VA? How is it working for them at Mclean?
How is the Harkes fiasco from two years connected to the Premiere team?Seems four or five Chantilly players went to the Mclean 15 ecnl and about same to the 16 encl. Looks like around seven from ecnl side are also on the u15 green team roster. This must be the two team plan with the 6 to 8 cross roster that 11:02 AM describes. Seems they did that last year too when they were U14's and sent their better 5 or so to play with the green team and got bounced out in the first round of state cup. Won't have wait long to see if the FCV scheme works out better or worse than the two team scheme of 20+ each with 6 to 8 double carded.Big rosters don't seem uncommon for ecnl teams. Mclean 15 ecnl has 22 rostered. Since a poster said several of the 50 from fcv left for mclean recently, are they being added to the 15 ecnl? Roster going to 25 or 26 like the Mclean ecnl 17, and 18 ecnls? For the clubs, FCV or Mclean or "any club"... is it about the money?
Indirectly about the money. The more teams from rec to ECNL/DA in a club, the more justification there is for higher salaries of the doc and any other coach driven administrative positions, technical director etc. (which should be included in the doc job description in my humble opinion). Justification has to be there to keep the not for profit tax exempt status of the club. Theoretically there is a bod in place to ensure the compliance of the club. However the bod is made up of coaches and also parents hoping for special treatment for their kids. The bottom line is it is in the personal financial interest of the doc and coaches to grow the club as big as possible. That's why the DA and ECNL are important. First it alone requires some administration helping to justify salaries, but also brings the prestige and marketing to the club to ensure maximal growth and sustainability. PA Classics is the perfect example of this phenomenon. Give credit to Steve for recognizing the potential in the DA before most others did. They got their name in early, before they even had teams at each age level! Through their brilliance or some old boys club, to which I am not privy, they were awarded a DA spot. The club exploded in size and I am sure the DOC and coaches salaries with it. Now they are starting to build little kid rec programs as feeders, but again more justification for higher salaries. Not that I think money is the only incentive for growth, I think they get a chest thumping- mine is bigger than yours type charge out of the size of their respective...clubs.
How is the Harkes fiasco from two years connected to the Premiere team?Because FCV already lost a team in this age group. There is a very good chance they might lost another one.If the team goes 0-3 or 1-2 in the next few weeks against Mclean and CASL. Gus and the parents are going to want to send the best players to USYS and Terry/Christian will want them for ECNL games and that is genesis for a major confrontation.The Harkes fiasco started because John was asst coach for a team and Terry didn't feel the team was being developed or winning enough.When Terry made a move against John, Cindi was collateral damage.If Gus is unable to win in ECNL. Terry is eventually going to make a move. And like last time, the parents have more loyality to coach and team and not the club.And Terry believes everyone is club first.
Does Atletica even exist anymore? No roster posted under PDA Club North U15 on ECNL site, where the rest of the PDA B-E teams rosters are posted.
The PDA website still lists Atletica on its site. The ECNL site only lists the ECNL roster and a few of the girls are rostered to other PDA teams as well and the player profiles note this.
The PDA B, C and D teams are all listed under the ECNL website. Keeps all the parents quiet.
There is one U15 PDA team listed on the ECNL site - it has 20 girls on it. None of the other non ECNL PDA teams are on the website. There is a "team web site" tab on it that takes you to the official PDA website? If that's what you call being on the ECNL website you are really reaching.
928 scroll down on the ECNL website to the club teams.
Got it I stand corrected. I
What I can't figure out is why are you all that concern you can't find or don't know where to find a youth soccer teams players roster........ Oh and just for information purposes there is no sure thing as ABCD...EFG teams at PDA. We are just one club and one age group. I just have to SMH sometimes at folks.......Eric Harris
Eric, ABCDEFGH is semantics. There is an ECNL team, that is the "A" team. There is a are 2 NPL teams those are "B" teams, and you know that there is a pecking order within PDA for those 2 teams. I am not sure where the PDA Shore team is playing just yet, but they are not indicated as an NPL team, so they would be the "C". I know you have something special with the ECNL club and that's awesome, but I think sitting on the top of the perch looking down at the rest of the club makes it easy to call it one big happy family. You don't see many Gunners parents coming on to this blog and airing dirty laundry, but you sure do see it from the other teams in this age group.
10:59 Those are very distant B teams as well. While the Gunners are cometitng for National Championships and winning tough tournaments, the other teams haven't yet proven capable of winning 3 or 4th brackets in major tourneys and they inflate by beating up on much lesser teams.
Funny only a Gunner parent refers to PDA as one big happy family...
ROFL. Yes, last summer's Gunners B and Atletica teams were so happy they left en masse and took themselves right over to Matchfit. PDA then somehow got a new crop of Atletica kids willing to pay PDA pricing for JAGS level competition. Am curious to see if this past summer's Atletica roster left as well?
I’ve seen all the PDA teams at this age group. There is the Gunners then everyone else. I look at them as having one A team and three B teams. The level of play on all their B teams is very high. Yes, only the A team is competing nationally but you can make an argument that the three B teams are all in the top 10 in the state of NJ. How Many NYE, PAE or Connecticut teams are competing for national titles? Where we live geographically, it would not make sense for my daughter to play for any of their B teams. There are 1 or 2 teams just as good as their B squads but closer to our home but I would be very proud of my daughter if she was a solid contributor to any of their teams. BTW, there is no such thing as a big happy family. There are kids and parents on every team, from the highest level to the lowest level that are not happy with their situation.
10:59...I disagree with that because I have been up at PDA since U8 and I have never heard of any system of ABCDE...etc NEVER. See I look at it as the ECNL team is a team within the club. Does it make the club.....nope but its a team within the club. PDA treats all of it teams the same and hold them all accountable as being part of the club. In the outside world does the ECNL hold more weigh.....well maybe in some of your clubs but not at PDA. WE ARE ONE.....no in my opinion you dont have to like that or even agree with that I will say I agree to disagree. I will say that my daughter has played games for Atletica, Pride, Gunner and newly Shore if she is asked to. See at PDA I think that is what gets people on the outside annoy or upset. What people need to get a grip on is that we are ONE CLUB and in a club kids should be able to play throughout the club. Heck its their club (meaning the kids). Now the pecking order statement is soooo untrue. Trust me there is no such thing that exsist at PDA. Do coaches have different preferences sure they IDEAS....nope. They all follow the same rule and when it comes to that and that DEVELOP those that come walking through the doors. Why would HAPPY people get on here and air dirty laundry about a place that they like or represent. I dont get your point. Thats like saying why dont people from Matchfit get on here and air their dirty laundry.....noway you would see that happen if they are happy. Only people that are mad or upset get on here and spit venom and try to go off the wall. Its like breaking up with your girlfriend or divorcing a wife I would imagine. Your going say whatever you can to try to keep others from dating or even thinking good about the other. I am okay with that because for eveyone that can come on here and spit fire at PDA there is then me that will come and refute what they say and guess what...........PUT MY FIRST AND LAST name to it as I am daring them to do so many times because they know me and I tell it how it is and I will never hide from anyone. I refused to hide from my club my kids coaches etc. What I say, I say it because its my feelings and my truth and why shouldn't I defend a place my kids call home (PDA). Why wouldn't I defend a place that many of friends who are now at MATCHFIT, FC Copa, FC BUCKS, WORLD CLASS , now Albertson, Freehold, etc. who have left for the best opportunity for their child I still stand here and defend PDA because they are still PDA in my eyes. I tell them all the time when I see them.........NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE STILL PDA....as they smile. We still a happy family and we are still ONE GROUP ONE FAMILY ONE CLUB......11:07....you say very distant B teams....which makes me know that you have never been at the PDA. Do you realize who makes up the GUNNERS, MATCHFIT, FC COPA, PRIDE,.........ATLETICA does and those player on those teams are some of the top players in the country. So B team......I laugh at you cause it lets me know you have no clue. See PDA is a system and a true and close to an ACADEMY system on the girls side as it can be. My kid has played some games for Atletica, Pride and I am sure SHORE if they need her to. She is part of the club and in her age group there are now 4 teams where she can play and not help the team but continue to develop through play and time on the ball in game situation. Hey look at some of these teams as Gunners, Matchfit, COPA, Freehold, FC Bucks, etc. LOOK at how many have Atletica ties. We are ONE CLUB. They are not worried about how many games they can win as a CLUB but more or less how many kids they can develop and turn into fabulous citizens and soccer players. Eric Harris
12:36... I would respond to this but in doing so I would be disrespecting the people I know who are at MATCHFIT and surely as honest as I would be or what I could say about your statement is that the GRASS is not always GREENER on the otherside and that I KNOW FOR A FACT........so if you are really curious about who is happy just ask around your sidelines lol lol lol...Like I said FOR A FACT............12:41...I agree with you but My kid has played some games for Atletica, Pride and I am sure SHORE if they need her to. She is part of the club and in her age group there are now 4 teams where she can play and not help the team but continue to develop through play and time on the ball in game situation. Hey look at some of these teams as Gunners, Matchfit, COPA, Freehold, FC Bucks, etc. LOOK at how many have Atletica ties. We are ONE CLUB. They are not worried about how many games they can win as a CLUB but more or less how many kids they can develop and turn into fabulous citizens and soccer players. Trust me and I know this for a FACT.........All the girls that have come to PDA and decided to leave for a better opportunity elsewhere I will tell you this YOU ARE WELCOMED BACK at PDA and this they know for a fact and PDA would love to have them back because whether you like it or not those kids are PDA kids in my OPINION so whocares if you are GUNNERS, PRIDE, ATLETICA, and now SHORE you and WE ARE PDA and WE ARE ONE.....oh and I know some will be mad but for those who haven't been to PDA yet we are waiting for you to come join our family and we would LOVE TO HAVE YOUR FAMILY JOIN OURS.
Eric, we missed you!! keep posting, I love the amusement
I'm not sure which lie is bigger One big happy family, or we are not worried how many games the club wins.A lot of people put up with PDA because of the perception of what it brings, does it deliver - the jury is still out, I have no doubt it will deliver for the ECNL team - for the rest...that is still an open question.
1:31....Hey I miss myself...what you talking about lol lol lol....Trust me when I say that we are one big happy family thats not a lie. Now is it my OPINION.......yep but I stand by my opinion because its mine. No one puts up with PDA.......and certainly you have some perception that where your family is at is the best place because guess what.........YOU'RE STILL THERE trying to throw darts at PDA where to me I am here BRAGGING about PDA I am BRAGGING about what a great PLACE and ENVIRONMENT IT IS.....what can you say about your childs club..........NOTHING not one word not one little nice thing like hey Eric my club has great coaches also or hey Eric my club is the best thing for my family and better than anyone elses. NOPE instead you are trying to convince everyone or those that will listen that PDA is this place for kids to die or families to be torn apart........CMON SON. When you mention ECNL I look around like what or who is he talking about.....The only one or ones that care about the letters ECNL are those that want to be in it. Listen man trust me if your child or children work their butt off and play this game as they love it and EVERYDAY they wake up and they go out there and work to be a better player......DOES ECNL really matter.......not to the true ballers as myself and many others because let me close the JURY with this......ITS NOT ABOUT THE LETTERS ON YOUR CHEST......NOT ABOUT THE LETTERS of the LEAGUE you play in..........BUT and ONLY the PLAYER that is behind those letters that makes the difference. Ever think about what AAU team Michael Jordan played for the Larry Birds, John Stocktons, Allen Iversons of the world played for also.......THEY JUST WENT OUT AND BALLED and that made the difference.......Eric Harris
I love PDA, it's just like hating the Yankees.
Larry Bird and Allan Iverson are great examples of what is wrong with youth sports. I can assure you they weren't paying thousands to get trained. If those 2 kids were playing Girls Youth Soccer in 2014, they would stand little chance of getting recognized. They would have little outlet to get recognized, and they probably wold have selected a different sport because soccer is today a sport of privilege. Show me how many inner city or rural players have emerged through the soccer system. Nope, clubs like PDA have ensured that those kids have little chance of emerging. Yes, those were true ballers. Our youth soccer has destroyed the idea of having true ballers. The backyard or street game is what ensured that Larry Bird and Iverson could develop, and that's what is hurting the US competitive in global soccer. I write against PDA and I will continue to because I think the ECNL structure and NPL structure and what's being done with US Soccer will ensure that a diamond in the rough from French Lick, Indiana has no shot in Youth Soccer. PDA, yes your DoC has restricted access to more ECNL Clubs in NJ when there is capacity for more - we wouldn't have 2 if he had his way. Yes, it bothers me that US Soccer led by PDA puts a college showcase up the same week as the Disney. For what purpose? They want to be the only place for the Elite or very good soccer player to be seen. How does PDA care about the development of players and then go in direct competition to the major USYS Showcase event. It may help US Club Soccer and PDA, but how does that showing any caring for US soccer as a whole when you are trying make coaches make a choice between NPL and Disney? Who does it hurt, the USYS player. Being on the outside looking may actually give some people a clearer picture.As to my daughter's club, I will comment and defend if it is ever relevant. My daughter plays for a decent club that would be competitive against any PDA NPL team but not competitive against the Gunners. She loves playing for her coach, and we pay about $1500/year plus travel.Her club is not relevant because her club doesn't wield the power to influence the whole NJ or National soccer landscape as your club does.
3:18 - you talk about depth (money for training), but what about reach. I grew up in a small town of 1,000. 2 hours south of DC. No girls soccer. No travel soccer. If we hadn't moved to the "big city" my daughter's natural skills (and she was doing this since U4 when we first put her on the field and she was one of the small kids and is fast, but by no means fastest - she happens to have great footskills and balance provided by her creator before any soccer coach arrived on the scene). How many Larry Bards in Anytown USA are sitting out there without access to the sport because in small town america there is football, baseball, and basketball and many times limited access for girls to sports that don't produce revenue.
12:56 you miss my point. I couldn't care less whether people who left PDA are unhappy today at MF. I was just stating a fact that two entire teams left PDA at end of U13. My curiosity only extends to ask the same question - did another entire team leave PDA this summer?Also whomever is claiming the NPL PDA teams are top in NJ is smoking crack. Other than Gunners, I have yet to hear that Pride or certainly Atletica has beaten any top NJ team. Now maybe some teams have folded or merged over the summer,, leaving space in the top 10, but last year you had real NPL teams like NJSA, Stallions, Copa, Toms River, and strong EDP teams like freehold and SJEB. And also Matchfits ECNL club. Then there's a gap where second teams from each of the aforementioned clubs are competitive at: PDA B-E, Copa B, NJSA B, STA, matchfit B, etc...(in no particular order). Just because PDA creates a second tier bracket in their own tourney and puts their NPL teams in it, does not make them elite teams. Similiarly, just because PDA crested a new NPL sub bracket and puts all their non ECNL teams in it, does not make these teams competitive. They have to EARN a top bracket spot in national tournaments to be respected at that level.#emporersnewclothes
Let's not forget they PDA also helped to rig the Jeff cup so that there are a guaranteed number of spots going to NPL teams. As like a lot we have been discussion here, PDA and similar clubs are actively trying to exclude clubs who are not part of their cabal once again forcing decisions not based on how you play, but who you are.
Ugh. Here we go again...
Eric Harris,I still do not know if that is a real guy. It has to be a player/child acting as a parent. It just has to.Eric, I'll also accept your challenge. I LOVED watching the Freehold Celtic beat PDA in the State Cup. While I genuinely felt bad for the PDA girls who worked their butts off and you could tell REALLY WANTED to win, the Daddy Coach from Freehold who has been spitting out quality players (all extremely well trained) for close to 10 years now still managed to compete despite having his roster repeatedly depleted over a number of years. MANY of his players playing now in places like PDA. So there, that guys is a genuine hero. GOOD for the sport. His players play a great game. Win/Lose/Draw. I love it.Since it's time to ring in this board (yet again) with the PDA banter. I'll throw my annual volley.I would love to see the PDA Gunners play again because it has been two years for me. They played THE GAME last time I saw them...which is easy to imagine because they have grabbled all of the big, tall, fast and previously trained kids all of these years. A VERY GOOD/Great team when I saw them last and I have no reason to believe based on what I have heard/read that they are anything less now.The remaining PDA teams are all teams most of us would be very happy to have our children on but they are from anything stand out especially as compared with a good quality Club Travel coach/program. . I have seen the two other teams (not Sure just yet but that is mostly NJSA parts) them play multiple times this past year alone and they are capable of good/very good play but I also see a lot of kick ball, bad decision making (repeatedly because they are not being asked to think) and a general lack of composure. IN TRUTH that is most teams but this is PDA time.What PDA IS NOT is a Player Development Academy. They are a Business Development program centered around soccer. I applaud their success (genuinely as a business/marketers) but their practices (and other like them) are BAD for US Soccer Development.But again, they can be very good for a select number of players...which at the end of the day is all that most parents genuinely care about. Because they can't even be bothered to watch soccer when it does not directly involve their own child.On a much happier note...thankfully there is soccer being played by other age groups not yet in High School.DCShore
That's the reason behind the BSA press announcent. PDA is having a hard time keeping a static roster across all ages on it's C/D team at Zarepath. neighboring Bridgewater provides a steady stream of kids to fill that roster. That revenue is necessary to continue the boys program. Also provides PDA with more fields for it's tournaments.
FYI. The Gunners are not big at all. They are be ry technical. A relatively fast slightly above average size striker. However their midfield and wide forwards are actually generally small or smallish. They play very nice soccer. Won't argue that many were not developed within, but that is the nature of a pyramid. Haven't some on here been clamoring for a pyramid system? Well it already exists. Like it or not they have become the apex of the pyramid from central pa to NYE to DE and beyond. Their success last year is undeniable. You should actually plan to go see them. No I don't have a kid in the team. But my kid has played them within the last year.
I believe it about the Gunner. Again, I have not seen them in two years. Basing it on previous viewing. At one point they definitely were a 'bigger' team but is probably when they were a bit younger and the first to develop...others have caught up.YES a VERY STRONG technical game is what I saw from them. Not a single thought of kick ball. I loved it.DCShore
@ 4:07 I’m not saying the PDA B teams are elite. There is only 1 elite team in NJ and that is PDA Gunners. I’m saying that the PDA B teams are arguably in the top 10 in NJ after the Gunners. To quote your own words “leaving space in the top 10, but last year you had real NPL teams like NJSA, Stallions, Copa, Toms River, and strong EDP teams like freehold and SJEB. And also Matchfits ECNL club.” You only mentioned 6 non PDA teams, NJSA is now a PDA team. My point is there are the Gunners, maybe 1 or 2 other teams that are clearly better then PDA B teams then the next group of teams that PDA B teams fall into. Last season the Pride beat Breakers ECNL, NJSA A team & SJEB & PDA Atletica beat EMSC ECNL & CFC ECNL just last season. Their B teams can play with just about any team out there.
Sept 17 3:18pm…….I don’t where to start but I will say that fact that you remain anonymous has me scratching my head but I see why. Parents are the problem with YOUTH Sports not the SPORT itself. Soccer has been around for ages and ages. Nothing has changed about it with the exception of some rules maybe. Trust me if the Larry Bird and Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan’s of the world were playing Youth Soccer today in young females body and were BALLERS as they are….they still would make it because BALLERS are always gonna BALL and nothing is going to stop them from getting what they want because they love it for the game and not because mom or dad wants them to. Ballers are those kids that you see dribbling a basketball or tossing a football in the air as they walk to school or getting yelled at in the house for playing ball because they knocking over stuff because they just can’t get enough of it. In my opinion those are what TRUE Ballers do and no matter what those are the kids that will make it no matter what. I agree soccer is too expensive for the real ballers but money doesn’t matter to them because you don’t need the system to make it you just have to be able to except 1000 NO’s before someone says yes. Only in this soccer world does the letter on your chest or league that you play in matter….NONSENSE I say find yourself a place where your kid can flourish and grow as in PDA for me. I am not worried about the letter on my kids chest I worry about the environment that they are in and there is NO BETTER PLACE for my kids then the PDA. I can sit here and listen to people on this board complain and want to burn down the place and burn it down for what……because their kid is not there…..they charge too much for tuition….your kid wasn’t picked……. That only tells me that, that person is not a TRUE BALLER or was never one because I tell you what and since we are all adults here and anyone will tell you this about me. I am as COCKY ARROGRANT SWAGGERLIOUS, (LOL) CONFIDENT, and although I have never played the game of soccer I am a BALLER and if I did play no one could stop me because I am that good and I am going to MAKE IT anyway. The letter on my CHEST would not matter but put me in the environment that I could flourish as a PDA and I would rip it up. Now back to my point is that PARENTS have RUINED that not soccer. PARENTS have and just look or YOUTUBE parents fighting at youth football games. You would be amazed. See PARENTS have ruined youth sports because they get on BLOGS as these as THROW DARTS at little girls or the teams that these girls are on but the justify it as they are only talking about the team. Excuse me …..(not you) but DUMMY who do you think makes up that team…little girls. It’s never amazes me but PARENTS that have it correct and are not the problem would never do that. IT IS THOSE PARENTS that we read on this BLOG week in and week out that try to or think that they are safe and come here to get out frustration. Eric Harris
831 well by your login, Pride should have no problem taking the state cup this spring, unless the coach reconsiders.
Sept 17 3:18pm…….let me continue lol lol I figured I get long winded and I do and guess what…………..I don’t care lol lol if I could write a book on here I would because as much as some will complain guess what……………THEY READING IT………lol lol lol see I told you Im cocky and that’s all I care about is that I say what I want how I want. Okay see although what you wrote is GREAT for conversation and its your opinion and I respect that but its your opinion based on what……………well put it this way I will tell you like I tell my kids and I try to tell them you can tell a lot about a person in how they handle others and what a person is really made of by if they can look you in the eyes and say the words they mean. See I put my name to every post I write because someday my kid will figure out from either a friend or someone random that this site exsist if she hasn’t already and I would want her to know how I feel and what I think and let her know that I am who I say I am. I set the example whether good or bad I set it as well as my wife. Now my point is that you sit here and you point out and you TRY to BLAST our DOC………….I would say shame on you but hey you do that because I will sit here and defend him also. See as you sit here and throw a blank dart at him its you that sits here ANONYMOUS and can’t even put your full name first and last name to what you write or even better what team or club. See that’s whats wrong with SOCCER…….PARENTS as I said and sometimes COACHES that come on here and try to throw darts at other teams ANONYMOUSLY…….WHOAAAAAAAA I almost sunk the ship on that one………I will say this that has always been taught to me and to my parents and for generations. People will only talk about you if you mean something to them….GOOD or BAD…If you are relevant and if you are doing good people will talk about you………The fact that you are talking about PDA and blaming them for EVERYTHING under the sun………….I say JOB WELL DONE………I definitely glad that my kid is at PDA because that means she is at a PLACE in your eyes and opinion CONTROLS all in soccer. HEY EVERYBODY reading this you better hurry up and get over here. THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE I am telling you. Eric Harris
Sept 17 3:18pm…….let me continue you say PDA is not a PLAYER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY……well my kid has been there since U8………..who has developed her then………….I’ll wait…….NOW has PDA Developed the whole state of NJ……………I think not but if given the chance they would and try to make each and every kid better. I do know that. Can they help everyone……….NO that would be foolish to say. That’s like saying every teacher in school EDUCATES every student. THEY TRY and they work hard to do it but some kids are reached by different approaches. Doesn’t mean that, that teacher is bad well maybe bad for that kid but not bad. PDA is great and I will say this is it for everyone NOPE its sure not and I will say this cause I know that its MATCHFIT people that write some of this stuff…..not all but some of it. Listen MATCHFIT is a great place it really is. No matter how much some of you complain and you know who I am talking about because you called me yesterday lol lol hoping that I didn’t put you out there but MATCHFIT is a great place because it is giving your child a place to continue to grow. Now is it a great place for everyone NOPE but is an option that has to be in place. Is it the best option……..YES it is for your kid or any other that is there. I cheer for all those kids because hopefully there is a BALLER there that is going to make it regardless of the letter on her chest and represent the USA someday or maybe even New Jersey in college and on the professional level. That what I feel and that’s my opinion. Certainly I will blame NO ONE for my kids short comings or lack of play. I will hold them and them only accountable because they come from a long line of BALLERS in our family and trust me we don’t play the BLAME game and certainly I don’t have remain ANONYMOUS to voice my opinion. Just imagine if everyone had to register their real name and Club Affiliation………this BLOG would be EMPTY lol lol lol. Listen you said some good things in my opinion but when you take the PDA out of what you said and lets say put in any team or club. Its really can apply to anyone and in my opinion PDA gets blamed for everything that goes wrong with REC soccer in Canada basically lol lol. Once you and other can get the hatred or what we like to say the HATE in your blood, once you can get that out you will just like me and really LOVING and ENJOYING where your kid is playing. and trust me $1500 is still TOOOOOO MUCH to pay for soccer so your club is not off the hook in my eyes. I will bet you that there are people in the area of your club that would love to play for them but can’t afford it. WHY does soccer cost $1500 PER KID can you maybe explain that………..better not don’t lol lol ITS PDA’s fault I got it. Eric Harris Proud Parent of a U15 PDA player and U9 PDA player
PDA must be so proud that Eric is their mouthpiece....
9:23 I can assure you that the Pride will not expose themselves to the type of embarrassment they felt this year in next year's NJ cup.
Throwing darts at your DOC?Fact: PDA actively lobbied against Match Fit gaining ECNL Entry, and NJ Jersey based on the population and kids playing soccer has the capacity to 4-5 ECNL Clubs when looking at other states.Opinion: PDA wants to be the only game in town for ECNL in NJ. Yes it would take time to develop but demand should match the supply of quality players. Because of the lack of supply, we have ECNL level kids playing on NPL Clubs or second team players on ECNL clubs. I beleive PDA wants it that way.Fact: PDA is hosting and was involved in the NPL College showcase planning which is going in direct competition with the Disney Showcase.Opinion: PDA, other clubs like PDA, and US Club Soccer wants to try to push kids into their development model and relegate. There are 52 weeks in the year but the exact dates of Disney was the best week they could find to host their showcase. I believe if US Club soccer and PDA and others really cared about overall Youth Soccer in this country thaey would be happy to see other systems and leagues flourish and then come together at major tournaments and compete.Fact: The Jeff Cup will be guaranteeing spots to NPL teams limiting the spots for teams that play really well but aren't NPL affiliated.Opinion: US Club Soccer driven by powerful clubs like PDA want these tournaments to be closed. I have argued many times that a closed system is bad and now we see the Jeff Cup also moving to a closed system. Tournament spots should be earned not because you play for an NPL club.Those are facts, and I do believe that we have seen the early signs of how our changing system is bad for the development of US Soccer. I don't know how any of the above is good for US soccer, but I am sure Eric will have an explanation.
10:55am........I am not PDA's mouthpiece but I am yours. I was always taught to defend the people that are not strong enough or capable to defend themselves. My mouthpiece is yours and I speak for you and you only. Because you can't and don't have the courage to do so. Eric Harris
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