U.S. Soccer is a for profit business harming the diversity of the sport & holding the national team

Discussion in 'WNT/MNT/World Cup/Int'l Soccer' started by younothat, May 18, 2018.

  1. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    Which is why I wrote "We have a tremendous number of American national players with Latin American roots that are not in the US Soccer structure because of a variety of reasons that range from depressed socioeconomic status to avoidance of the system for legal reasons." There isn't just one reason the US Soccer is not successful in getting these players into Federation affiliated programs (the point of the article the OP posted).

    My comments come from conversations with Cal South specifically regarding challenges Cal South faces in getting the approximately 100,000+ players and coaches in the SoCal Mexican Leagues into Cal South/US Youth Soccer and from personal experiences sponsoring the children of immigrant families. The challenges are not singular, but many. Cost is a challenge for many. Undocumented status is a challenge for some (about 10%). The vast majority of undocumented immigrants are hard working and law abiding people (except for that immigration problem).

    Last fall I arranged for 5 Hispanic youth players to play in a local recreational league (cost was $85/kid). I watched these kids all play soccer every day after school at a nearby field. They ranged in ages from 6 to 12 (brothers, cousins, friends). After watching these kids playing almost everyday for about a month while taking my kid to club practices, I approached and asked if they were going to sign up for the local recreational league and all but one said they couldn't. "Why?" "My parents can't afford it." Next day I made arrangements with the recreational league and handed each one the "US Youth Soccer" application and told them it they had a scholarship to play for free, but that I needed the applications back before the end of the week as registration was closing. I got back 3. When I asked about the other 2, I was told by one of the kids that they were brothers and the parents would not sign the papers because they (parents and kids) were not here legally. We (5 kids) and I walked to the "brothers" trailer (nearby trailer park) and thus began my negotiation. Long story short, through my 12 year old interpreter , I successfully got the 2 brothers registered by having the mom sign the application and listing address for the parent/guardian as the 12 year old's address/trailer. If I didn't game the application/system, these 2 kids would not have played the fall.

    Now, my anecdotal evidence may be just an exception and I found the only 2 undocumented kids in SoCal with parents that refused to sign up their kids because Cal South requires a written application with their names and address. I doubt it because I have been told by Cal South that my personal experience is not unique. In addition, my work with youth recreational clubs and leagues over the years has told me that there are many families with illegal parents that distrust the system and avoid signing up their kids in youth sports.

    Bottom line, there are many challenges bringing Hispanic youth soccer players into US Soccer affiliated programs. Undocumented status is just 1 of those challenges, so is, cost, travel, working burdens, etc.
     
  2. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    100,000 thousand hispanic kids in the Los Angeles area, in the un-sanctioned " Mexican Leagues" is a huge untapped pool of players. There seems to be a lack of interest on both, the parents of talented, passionate hispanic players and the USSF to connect with each other. I am wondering how talented inner city black kids become successful in sports like basketball and football?
     
  3. younothat

    younothat Silver

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    That number is on the low end, if you consider all of LA county I heard the number of kids playing in Latin leagues be it at a school, park, warehouse or industrial artificial grass pitches, gyms, etc is closer to 1,000,000 youths from ages U8-U16

    When I was walking around at Man City Cup I thought there is real divide, not trying to judge a book but its cover but socioeconomic status seems to be a dividing line and we need to do a better job of integration of all, we want soccer to unite not divide.
     
  4. InTheValley

    InTheValley Bronze

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    Why does anything need to change? Most Americans are perfectly ok that we’re mediocre at men’s soccer but great at basketball, football, baseball, swimming, track and field, lacrosse, wrestling, and a bunch of other things. We suck at cricket, and what makes soccer more important than cricket?

    Trying to improve the MNT is a waste of time and money. If our free market doesn’t produce great soccer players, great soccer players aren’t worth producing here.
     
  5. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    I guess you have care about soccer, to care about the mediocrity of our International team.

     
  6. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    Fundamentally I agree. Soccer is more important than cricket from a pure "free market economy" standpoint. There is lots and lots of money in soccer (Billions) and not so much in cricket. The job of our Federation is 3 fold: Field the National Teams for international competition; provide oversight as the USOC National Governing Body for the sport; and promote professional and recreational youth and adult soccer. In short, grow the sport.

    I look at this differently. The USMNT and USWNT provide the lion's share of the revenue to the federation. Losing the group stage of the World Cup is worth about $8 million dollars and every team going gets $1.5M to prepare for group. So, the failure of the MNT was about a $9.5M hit, which would have gone to the Federation.

    The thing is, the USMNT pay very little towards training these players. Training is effectively left to the pro leagues, so really all the MNT needs to do is pick players that represent the best American products and if done right every 4 years, we should make tens of millions of dollars.

    Trying to fix the MLS is not the job of US Soccer.
    Trying to protect the MLS (a for profit league) is not the job of US Soccer.
    Picking the best US National players from the top leagues is the job. It failed miserably because is cozied up to the substandard MLS.
     
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  7. JJP

    JJP Silver

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    I applaud you for getting those kids scholarships and into a league, you did a great thing.

    I’ve seen some tremendously talented players come out of Mexican leagues and tear up CRL and academy. Who knows how much more talent is in the various Mexican leagues that could play at a high level? I would bet a lot, there are so many kids in that community that play all the time and watch hi level soccer.
     
  8. outside!

    outside! Silver Elite

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    I would be curious to know how many females play in the Mexican leagues and if they ever transition to club soccer.
     
  9. Justafan

    Justafan Silver

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    Excellent question. My instinct is that it’s not many. Even though there are a lot of boys in Mexican leagues that don’t go club, you still see tons more all Hispanic boys “club” teams than girls. This may be cultural thing in that not as many “girls” of immigrants are even allowed to play. However, even if this is the case, I believe things will change soon. Mexico now has a professional women’s soccer league so perceptions will change. If it ever does come about. it would be very interesting to see if there is any difference in the style of play.
     
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  10. JJP

    JJP Silver

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    Basketball and football “development” is completely unlike soccer. Can’t compare the 3 sports. Learning to control the ball with your feet vs. hands, running for 90 mins. with only 3 subs vs. unlimited subs. People with great measurables dominate football and b-ball, less so in soccer.
     
  11. Ricky Fandango

    Ricky Fandango Silver Elite

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    Both my girls started out in "Mexican leagues" as crumb crunchers, playing with boys the same age.
    They both transitioned to all girl's "club" soccer programs as they got older.
     
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  12. outside!

    outside! Silver Elite

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    Were there many other female players? Were there any girls divisions for the olders?
     
  13. Ricky Fandango

    Ricky Fandango Silver Elite

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    There was usually one or two girls on a team, but sometimes mine were the only ones.
    To be honest, on the girl's side, the competition is much deeper in the higher club leagues like ECNL.
    I think the top players get cherry picked by the big clubs.
    The skill and speed they learned from the boys was very good for their development at a young age, but as they get older the boys just get too fast.
     
  14. outside!

    outside! Silver Elite

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    It would be great to somehow allow the best teams from the "Mexican Leagues" to compete against club teams. It would give some exposure to a lot of male players. It is unfortunate that for all the soccer culture in the Latino communities that it is focused almost solely on the boys. I am sure there are lots of girls that could be great players in those same communities but they do not get much of an opportunity.
     
  15. Real Deal

    Real Deal

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    Yes, the lack of measurables in soccer leaves all positions- besides maybe forward- subjective. This is why it's really hard to identify the best players at young ages-- because the best soccer players may not be the most impactful players at younger ages.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  16. JJP

    JJP Silver

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    Yes, there is a huge mental element in soccer that enables some very unathletic players to be good soccer players. There’s certain physical measurables you MUST have to be successful in American football or basketball. If you can’t jump, you won’t even make a good high school basketball team because top players will isolate you and dunk on you or shoot over you.

    But there are slow, small guys in soccer that can be successful because they are so good at finding pockets of space when defenders are distracted and get off a good shot, or cross or thru ball. And it’s easier to disguise them on defense because there are 11 players on the pitch, and you can use the faster players to cover for the slow player.

    That being said, I’m all in favor of dumping any slow player and replacing him with a faster player ASAP. I’ve never seen a smart, slow player get faster. I’ve seen a lot of stupid fast players get smarter. Why waste time with guys whose ceilings are permanently low? Give the playing time and experience to the athlete who can become a soccer player, not the soccer player who will never be an athlete.
     
  17. timbuck

    timbuck

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    No way Us DA would allow that to happen. The closed league won’t even let academy teams play against other club teams sanctioned by the same federation.
     
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  18. Real Deal

    Real Deal

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    Not sure where you are seeing small, slow guys being successful. The smaller guys have to be fast or they'd get killed. The big guys need agility or they get killed. Athletes are not necessarily big, ask any gymnast. A good soccer player has got to be a good athlete-- small or big-- but they also have to be "smart" at soccer. Really - look at college or pro rosters - they are not really all that "big"

    And I beg to differ-- you cannot make a "stupid" player "smart" You can make a smart athlete better at soccer though-- but it takes a lot of dedication on the part of the athlete. This big=fast and athletic, and small=slow and maybe skilled???, argument is silly and always indicative of why we struggle at this sport.

    It's also indicative of why the lack of measurables makes it harder to ID players, since, obviously, we all have differing views on what makes a player special.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  19. espola

    espola Silver Elite

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    I was surprised the first time I heard a well-known coach describe a player as "athletic" and realized he meant it as a disparagement.
     
  20. reno114

    reno114 Bronze

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    I find it interesting, while watching Peru vs France, that Peru's leftback Luis Advincula is considered the fastest player in the world, yet he was loaned out to "Lobos Buap", from "Tigres", in the Mexican La Liga. Athleticism is a common important quality, but the " it " factor is just as important.
     

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