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Why the US Can't Produce a World Class Soccer Player

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  • There are a lot of good points in it. It does miss the biggest weakness in player development here though.

    Soccer in the US is over organized, if that's possible. All aspects of a players game are structured from the second they start playing. What soccer lacks in this country is the gifted player more than the poorly coached player (plenty of that as well). The country does not encourage free play, street ball that we associate with other parts of the world. More so, you only need to look at basketball for the difference. Gifted players crafted in their backyards and parks more than gyms under watchful eyes of coaches.

    When those very few players are identified they are streamlined into a complicated, convoluted ed and contrasting system of development that's as spread out as it is disorganized. Wins and losses trump development as clubs try and use team success as recruitment. Focusing on results over individual development is an extremely American philosophy, and it's readily apparent on both sidelines. In reading a brief essay of Ferguson on Uniteds development program one thing was essential: kids played small sides. No positions. Coaching went over a session and not in spite of one. And they didn't keep score. All the way through 16s. A quick review of Americas system illustrates the complete contrast to that ideal. This leaves clubs and full systems competing with each other instead of cooperating with. Working for a large club with ties to a DA and an MLS club, it feels light years away to find a cooperating system that challenges the player to grow without the weight of results.

    One thing the U.S. does have is motivation. Soccer is massive here right now. The investment is real, deep and long term. But until kids just play soccer on their iwn for hours as they do basketball, or soccer in other countries, I fear we will never find Americas first Messi
    Uncle Si
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