ECNL vs. DA turf war has created a 'toxic environment'

Discussion in 'Girls Development Academy' started by VegasParent, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Dubs

    Dubs Bronze

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    On multiple occasions leading up to the launch of the DA, ECNL tried to broker conversations with DA folks in an effort to collaborate on one top league (this is not just me talking...there is record of this). DA said thanks but no thanks...we are doing our own thing and by the way, we are going to take you down cause our product is going to be so amazing. All your players are going to come to our league because it is best. Because WE know best. Is this what happened? NO!! We are now split in two "top" leagues and have both experienced a massive watering down of the talent pool as we all know. However, I would say based on the things that have happened after the second DA season, the scales have definitely turned towards ECNL because of the HS soccer issue and the fact that ECNL is 100% on being a platform for girls playing soccer in college. If DA got their head out of their ass, they would allow HS soccer and just like that, most top players would move over. It's really as simple as that. Did I miss any details folks... please correct me if I am.
     
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  2. MarkM

    MarkM Bronze

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    Why do you think the scales have turned toward ECNL? I'm not disputing it, but I'm curious why that is so definitive. It seems like a mixed bag and I don't see a lot of clubs dropping DA if they don't do it by this year. I thought Blues and Real Colorado would have dropped, but that didn't happen. Especially if you live in SoCal, I don't really see it. The clubs at the bottom of both leagues aren't great. And the only good ECNL club pre-DA was Slammers. Eagles is back, but they were a disaster before DA when their most prominent coach was arrested. At least the top clubs in DA SoCal conference are legit.
     
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  3. Justafan

    Justafan Silver

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    For 99.9% of the girls the soccer journey will be over after 4 years of college. That is right around the corner. It’s a shame and really sad that all these girls will miss out on a super fun experience. And it’s not about the quality of soccer, it’s about the social experience. All our girls have been busting their butts for a long time, so let them play and enjoy soccer on their own terms for three months. If you are going to max out with college ball, then let them have these theee months a year. And for the 1% of the 1%’s it’s ok that they miss HS ball because they probably have a bigger payout down the road.
     
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  4. Real Deal

    Real Deal

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    So what I wonder is-- if DA allowed high school tomorrow-- would y'all be happy?
     
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  5. Dos Equis

    Dos Equis Silver

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    I disagree. Surf and Blues were pretty legit clubs, and RSC, Arsenal and even Strikers had some legit teams. The only non-ECNL "legit" clubs pre-ECNL in Socal were Legends and Beach, and I would not put them in the same class as the top ECNL clubs of that time. There were other good teams ... wouldn't it be interesting to have a league were they all earned the ability to compete against each other based on results and merit ... but i digress.

    Everything has been re-shuffled, and with player and coach movement, almost none of the clubs are the same as they they were even 4 years ago. But the third party judgment of college recruiting is still a decent measuring stick of the quality of coach and team.
     
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  6. Josep

    Josep Bronze

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    Nah. HS is a shit show. My kid has seen it and doesn’t want near it.
     
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  7. dk_b

    dk_b Bronze

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    But that’s your choice - or should be.
     
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  8. Justafan

    Justafan Silver

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    Absolutely, the girls deserve it. And that would also be the end of ECNL.
     
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  9. Soccerfan2

    Soccerfan2 Bronze

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    Along the lines of college recruiting I did some checking. Using TopDrawer as a source, the 2022 class has 102 players committed so far. I expected that there would be more ECNL players committed since there are more ECNL teams, but that isn’t the case. The results:
    55 play for DA
    37 play for ECNL
    10 play for neither/other

    Of those, the following % are committed to NCAA top 15 ranked programs:
    DA 45%
    ECNL 32%
    Neither/other 10%

    This is early data and a small sample as only 102 2022’s committed prior to the May 1 rule change, but it does confirm what I see through my lens. The talent is split between DA and ECNL but tilted towards DA for U15/U16. It will be interesting to check again in a couple years and see if the ratio holds.
     
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  10. oh canada

    oh canada Silver

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    my angle is a bit broader -- ECNL superior because it allows for more freedom, leaving more power to the player and families. Organized practice 3x/week instead of 4 (those wanting more are free to do so on their own). Opportunity to play HS soccer if you like. If you don't want to play HS, then your player can fully participate in another winter sport (SoCal) without having to worry about missing club soccer practice; OR have a few months away from soccer to focus on academics, music/arts, or other activities. No ban on futsal throughout the year (I've heard some DA clubs are frowning/banning futsal).

    This flexibility/freedom should translate into healthier/happier players both now and in the future.--college, pro, etc.

    And last, ECNL defers the identifying of "talent" to the appropriate ages of 15+ by college coaches over the course of a couple years, not a US Scout (usually one local guy watching a few videos) prematurely at 13yrs.

    The only reason I can see for playing DA is if ECNL is not offered in the area (not the case in SoCal), or the chance of playing for a youth national team (however remote) is sooo important to a player (more likely the parent) that they are willing to sacrifice all the tangible benefits mentioned above.
     
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  11. Dos Equis

    Dos Equis Silver

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    Keep checking, I agree it will indeed be interesting, but nothing more.

    I did not mention league for a reason -- I said getting a measure of the team and the coach (and a player's effort as well). I have yet to find a top college coach that emphasized league in our conversations.
     
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  12. vegasguy

    vegasguy Bronze

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    Is there a reason you want ECNL to go away?
     
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  13. Ellejustus

    Ellejustus Bronze

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    Of the 102, 80 of th
    The other stat is only 20 of those girls will actually attend the school they committed to in 8th or 9th grade.
     
  14. Josep

    Josep Bronze

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    Who said I want ECNL to go away? There’s so much whining about HS and DA forbidding it. Most girls who play DA don’t care. It’s the parents who have some sort of myopic nostalgia for it.

    For kids who want HS and a high level of soccer, there’s ECNL. It’s actually a pretty good set of choices between the DA and ECNL. If you’re in SoCal you have great options.

    ECNL is a fine program for girls. We have a lot of friends playing ECNL. My kid played ECNL. ECNL kids get into college. If my kid was hell bent on playing HS, they’d stick with ECNL. I don’t want to see it go away.

    But I don’t see the need to change DA. It is what it is for people who want that program. Kids accept no HS and 4 practices a week.

    I’d guess that a majority of the kids in DA don’t care about HS soccer and the the ECNL kids don’t really care about not playing DA.

    You’ve essentially got the AL vs NL. One has DH (HS) and one doesn’t. Otherwise it’s 90 min games on the same size fields with coaches attending both of their bigger events.
     
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  15. dk_b

    dk_b Bronze

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    This is only anecdotal but, in NorCal, I'd guess that if GDA permitted HS play, the GDA clubs would get much stronger OR clubs like Mustang and MVLA would become GDA clubs (at least one of those was on the initial GDA list only to decline in large part b/c HS is so big where it is located). One of the strongest 2017-2018 GDA teams (01 Quakes) lost a number of key players (one becoming National HS POY) at the winter break this past season b/c they wanted to play HS in their senior year. There is nothing to suggest that a majority of the younger players would not do the same if they had that option.

    (and as a NL guy, I'd say that the one with the DH is GDA since that is the one that restricts like the AL restricts pitchers from hitting (yes, I know. The rules allow pitchers to hit and the DH is "optional"))
     
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  16. Soccer43

    Soccer43

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    I agree with much of what you are saying. Except, much of what is reported on this forum is personal opinion and anecdotal experiences. The only way to know for sure that kids in DA don't care about high school would be to do an actual survey. The same for ECNL kids not caring about playing DA. I think the decisions are more complex than this and I do see players feeling pressured and manipulated. I wouldn't say that across the board everyone is happy with the current status and would venture to say that most would prefer one league where the best could play against the best rather than the tired debate of ECNL vs DA.
     
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  17. vegasguy

    vegasguy Bronze

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    Fair.. it just seemed blunt.
    My thought is that high school gives club players the opportunity to play with players who they often play against and to play with a sense of community pride that club in any form really doesn't provide. My player described it as it is my World Cup playing to get to a State Championship since there are older kids and different clubs fighting for the same thing. There is club pride here but not like high school there is a difference. You say it is parent nostalgia and I think the players who play may have a differing opinion. If US Soccer wants to be non-inclusive that is fine it is on them and those that want that because their child may be in the 1% then that is good for them and those that don't will seek other options. It is a silly battle in the long run and won't make US Soccer better.
     
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  18. Josep

    Josep Bronze

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    My kid plays DA and we have friends on DA at every club in OC. They have reported to me, because we talk about our kids’ happiness - I know shocking in the dog eat dog world we all live in - and the sentiment is that the girls are comfortable workouts DA. I have known kids who played HS for a year and left for DA. They made a choice. I do not know a kid who left DA To play Hs. I’m sure it happened.

    Just my experience and conversations.
     
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  19. vegasguy

    vegasguy Bronze

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    It goes both ways. DA kids leave DA to play high school. Boy's Gatorade Player of the Year left Atlanta United to play HS. ECNL players leave because they want to try the pathway to YNT. The thing is both are good leagues (and emphasis on leagues) with quality players and coaches and also poor players and coaches are in those leagues too. US SOCCER is where my issue lies in their opinion from high saying this is the only place national team players are made. That is tunnel visioned at best.
     
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  20. Ellejustus

    Ellejustus Bronze

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    The top league in OC for HS Soccer is the Trinity League. Waivers for DA players so it's a non issue. I will say for the 04' age group in OC very few kids walked away from DA. High school soccer is not super popular at most schools in OC. I know why but I'll leave that to myself....
     
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