“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.”
- Seth Godin
Youth soccer development for players growing up in the United States and then competing with the national team is at a crossroads in 2014. With seven of the current 23 players on the US World Cup team playing their developmental years (ages 5 to 17) outside of the United States, youth soccer coaches within America must be puzzled as to why 30 percent of the team developed their skills outside of the country they represent. Currently, 2.3 million boys participate in youth soccer activities in the United States. Even with this level of participation and a massive player pool, we were only able to develop 16 players within the United States that can compete at a World Cup level while the other seven participants trained and developed outside of the United States.
As a youth soccer coach who has a goal to get players to high levels and hopefully the opportunity to play on the national team, it is extremely frustrating that we do not have the ability to create 23 or more players within the US youth soccer system that have the ability to participate on our national team. What part of the system is failing our youth players?
- Level and ability of coaches
- Ineffectiveness of USSF and NSCAA coaching schools in dealing with how to teach coaches to develop high level pre-pubescent soccer players
- Greed of soccer organizations, tournaments, and governing organizations
- Number of games versus number of training sessions
- Dedication of players away from training
- United States culture of multi-sport participation
- High School versus club soccer participation
- Parent influence
- Size of country and ineffective ability to find competitive games on a consistent basis
- Ineffective communication between soccer organizations/governing bodies and youth soccer participants
These issues within youth soccer are felt throughout the United States and have an effect on our ability to successfully create soccer players that can perform at an international level. Over the course of the next few posts, each issue within the US youth soccer system will be analyzed featuring possible answers as to how these issues can be solved. I hope you enjoy reading this series on youth soccer within the United States and how youth development is not maximized to its potential.
Current United States national team soccer players that spent the majority of their youth developmental years outside of the United States:
|Players Name||Location of Youth Development|
|John Brooks||Berlin, Germany|
|Timothy Chandler||Frankfurt, Germany|
|Mix Diskerud||Oslo, Norway|
|Fabian Johnson||Munich, Germany|
|Jermaine Jones||Frankfurt, Germany|
|Julien Green||Born in Florida and moved to Germany at the age of 2|
|Aron Johannson||Born in Alabama and moved to Iceland at the age of 3|
Thanks for reading the EducatedCoaches.com blog and I hope you are able to participate in the discussion of this timely topic.