Pay to Play Model in Girls DA - Thing of the past?

Discussion in 'Girls Development Academy' started by Soccer, May 2, 2018.

?

Pay to Play model - Is it a thing of the past?

  1. Yes - Clubs that do not adapt this model will not be as successful in a few years.

  2. No - It will always be here, and smaller clubs will still be successful.

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  1. Soccer

    Soccer Bronze

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    As the first DA Season is just about complete, I wonder if the Pay to Play model will soon be dead. On the boys side the fully funded/ partially funded clubs appear to have more success, I could be wrong.

    Let's look at the landscape now (please correct me if I am wrong):

    Pat's = Fully Funded
    LA Galaxy = Fully Funded
    LAFC Slammers = Partially Funded
    West Coast (OC Surf) = Pay to Play
    Blues = Pay to Play
    Eagles = Pay to Play
    LAPFC = Pay to Play
    Albion = Pay to Play
    Surf = Pay to Play
    Beach = Pay to Play
    Legends = Pay to Play
    LA Galaxy SD = Pay to Play
    Real So Cal = Pay to Play


    Let's look at how things might soon change:
    Pat's = Fully Funded (Remains)
    LA Galaxy = Fully Funded (Remains)
    LAFC Slammers = Rumor has it they will be fully funded next year, if not next year then soon.
    OC Surf = Changed from West Coast FC to OC Surf with goal in mind to be fully funded within a few years,
    Blues = Pay to Play - Can they ever change this model, too small?
    Eagles = Pay to Play - Can they ever change this model, too small?
    LAPFC = Pay to Play - Are there plans to change?
    Albion = Pay to Play - Are the boys fully funded? If yes, I can see them trying to with girls.
    Surf = Pay to Play - Working on fully funded. It will happen within a few years.
    Beach = Pay to Play. I could see them obtaining fully funded status. Large club.
    Legends = Pay to Play. Definetly see them achieving fully funded one day.
    LA Galaxy SD = Pay to Play. Can they achieve it? Possibly. Are they going to try.
    Real So Cal = Are boys fully funded. I can see them going for it.

    What are your thoughts, if Slammers and Pats are fully funded, that will be a huge draw for top talent. Pats only needs a group of smart parents to say our 5 or 6 girls could make the XX team really strong. let's got heir for free.

    How are small clubs going to compete. Doesn't Strikers on the boys side struggle a bit? Not sure could be wrong.

    What are your thoughts, let's get some dialogue going. My last daughter in club soccer soon ages out, so we will never see this. But I can see the landscape changing for sure. Can you?
     
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  2. Simisoccerfan

    Simisoccerfan Silver

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    I think things are not so simple as fully funded attracting the best talent. The two fully funded programs are currently in the bottom 1/3 of the standings at all levels. From my perspective traffic has a far greater impact on what clubs are options for kids than cost. Then it's coaching and teammates.
     
  3. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    @Soccer,

    There are significant market factors that are different between the boys and girls side. A genuine financial benefit (albeit small) exists for MLS clubs to fund boys academies because of the "home grown player" exemption that exits. The MLS is on a financially viable path, when considering MLS and SUM revenues. The NWSL and the girls DA's are not economically sustainable on their own and will require massive subsidization for decades, thus, if you don't have a very large pyramid of pay-to-play teams to support/subsidize the elite tier (Pats), then you have to have an altruistic parent (MLS/LA Galaxy).

    The real problem is that with the lack of training and solidarity payments, the youth clubs simply have no incentive to eliminate pay-to-play and this is on both the boys and girls side. FIFA's article 19 also stands in the way to the extent the "real money" is outside of the US in the European and Latin America leagues.

    So the premise of your post missed the economic reality of soccer in the US as to the girls side.
     
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  4. timbuck

    timbuck

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    Unless you have a funding source, I don't see how pay-to-play goes away. Possible funding sources: MLS team; US Soccer Stipend; Using Money from non-DA teams; Generous Benefactor.
    1. There are only so many MLS Teams out there. And NONE of them seem to care about the girls side.
    2. The NWSL teams don't make enough money to pay their players much money. So I doubt they are going to fund a youth clubs expenses.
    3. US Soccer should invest in the National Team - scouts, coaches, fields, per-diem expenses for travelling players. Not sure they should be funding a youth clubs expenses.
    4. I don't see solidarity or training payments happening within the amount of time that any of us with kids currently playing will be around for.
    5. I suppose someone could chose to donate money to a club to fund this. It would not be an "investment" because it would be impossible for any type of financial return.

    6. This leaves us with taking money from within the program (IE - Non-DA teams that parents pay for).
    -How does Pats cover their costs today? They had a rough year this year, but I think we'll see a turnaround for them next year. I have heard of several 05 girls leaving their "pre-academy" team and moving to Pats due to cost and having a coach that is a US National team scout.
    -West Coast/OC Surf- I'm guessing that part of their deal with Surf includes them reaping some return from adding in the "other" Surf teams within OC into their mix.
    -Blues and Eagles - Those will be tough to find a way to fully fund. Too small to take from other teams. And at Blues - you join Blues to be on the top team in the are and win games. Not many people would be happy playing on a B or C team at Blues.

    As stated by a previous poster - The geographic area will also have something to do with whether a teams needs to be fully funded to compete. If you have a few DA clubs within 15 miles, the one that is fully funded would likely wind up with better players.

    In San Diego - Albion, Surf and LAGSD are somewhat near each other. Surf just needs to add a few dollars to the parking cost of their tournaments to cover DA costs. Not sure how Albion or LAGSD will find the money.
     
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  5. futboldad1

    futboldad1 Silver

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    That way of thinking is flawed for a couple of reasons; Firstly, it ignores the fact that just because training costs re fully covered the vast majority of actual cost (travel, hotels etc) is not. Secondly, with the first point in mind, I'd sooner spend a percentage of money on being able to pick a coach that develops my DD not just picking based on the carrot of a not really free ride.
     
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  6. InTheValley

    InTheValley Bronze

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    Yes. Money does not come out of thin air. Maybe 3 or 4 clubs in the country can afford to throw away $600k (conservatively) a year on a GDA, they’re all MLS and I don’t think even they will put up with that kind of loss for long. I don’t know what Pateadores is doing, since their tax forms don’t suggest that they can drop that kind of dough for long, or at all.

    Although I doubt a fully-funded GDA is viable long term even at an MLS club, non-MLS clubs should look long and hard at the boys DA. If they do, they’ll see they can’t compete with MLS clubs in the event GDA does gain traction. They need to torpedo GDA and boost ECNL while they still have the power.

    Pay to play is here to stay because someone needs to pay. If you’re going to complain about it, you may as well bark at the moon.
     
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  7. bruinblue14

    bruinblue14 Bronze

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    It's my understanding that at Galaxy and Pats fully-funded includes travel, not just club fees. At Slammers currently, only fees are covered but not travel.
     
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  8. Soccer

    Soccer Bronze

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    You are correct.
     
  9. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    Let me add that on average, the cost of training, fields and directors, B licensed coaches is around $2.5k $3k for an average DA team, which is what most DA clubs charge. Plus travel, lodging, food, etc., your are looking at another $2k per player. So let's just say its about $5k all-in for every DA player that will travel to showcases, league play, etc. The average composite team carries about 24 players, so 5k x 24 = 120k. You basically have 3 teams in the DA that fall into this category, U15, U16/U17 and U18/19. So a DA program is looking at direct expenses of roughly $360k or more to support 3 H.S. aged DA teams. Add in "residential" and the numbers go way up.

    Clubs like Pats pay for their DA program on the backs of the lower tiers (Flight 1 to Flight 3). At an estimated expense of 120k per team, if you raise the normal price of playing for a team by $50.00 you need 2,400 players. 3 fully funded teams are going to require 7,200 players in the program. The Pats claim 250 teams regionally, and we can assume there is an average of about 16 players per team (u8 to U19), so there should be about 4,000 players in the program. A $50 tax isn't going to cut it, therefore, the Pats likely need to tax the non-DA players somewhere around $100 or force the players to participate in a raffle where each player has to buy/resell raffle tickets (basically a tax).

    In the case of the Pats their published "Fee Agreement" requires teams to sell $1,000 to $1,500 in raffle tickets (or about $100 per player). See, https://bsbproduction.s3.amazonaws.com/portals/904/docs/2016-17/pateadores soccer club player agreement entire club 2017-2018.pdf

    In short, fully-funded DA programs simply increase the financial burden on non-DA teams driving the costs higher for the 99.5% of kids that are not on a DA team.

    The lesson here is to avoid fully-funded "DA" clubs that are not affiliated with the MLS, if your kid is not in the top 1% from a talent perspective or has no aspirations for the DA, unless money doesn't matter.
     
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  10. es_surf

    es_surf Bronze

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    Unless other clubs in the geographic area go fully funded, I think the LA Galaxy GDA program will become a beast in 2-3 years.
    They have a number of fundamental drivers that will get them there:
    1) as younger girls transition to DA, they will get a very good group of core players from LAGSB younger teams. They are already very high level Youngers players that will form the core of winning DA teams.
    2) geographic proximity to a huge genetic pool
    3) and the fully funded aspect will be irresistible to parents.

    Once the youngers transition to DA and LA Galaxy GDA begin to strengthen and win, it will attract the best coaches as well as the best players from farther away given winning record and fully funded.

    I don’t think you will see much change in the olders. The change will come as youngers transition.
     
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  11. Simisoccerfan

    Simisoccerfan Silver

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    The thing you are missing is that the traffic in their area is terrible. The 405 is the kiss of death. You could live 20 miles from Home Depot and it could take you well over 1 hour to get their. Do that 4 times a week for a year and you will go crazy.
     
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  12. Sheriff Joe

    Sheriff Joe Silver Elite

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    Go? Aren't we all pretty much there?
     
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  13. es_surf

    es_surf Bronze

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    I agree that the traffic in the area is a limiting factor, but only to the extent that all else is equal you would take the shorter commute.
    If DA were fully funded for your DD (including travel), how much longer would u commute for that vs an otherwise equal alternative? 5min? 15 minutes? 30minutes? It’s not zero (at least for me)

    As a real example of what I think will happen in area north of LA Galaxy DA region,...go look at the older RealSoCal DA team rosters. Almost 1/2 of those olders commute from far away because RSC ECNL was only and best game in the area when the youngers transitioned to ECNL. Many of these olders are from Venice, Culver City, Beverley Hills, Pacific Palisades etc. it’s these particular areas where the parents of youngers transitioning to DA will have an almost equal commute, yet LA Galaxy DA is fully funded and what I expect to be competitive teams as well. Maybe not all the kids go to Galaxy, but even if it’s 1/2 the kids it will be a game changer. Because this same thing that’s happening north of Culver City will happen in area south of Culver City, and to the East of Culver City. Every marginal area in the region will be won by Galaxy. And they will gain players even with commutes 5, 10 and 20 minutes further from people who are willing to commute further vs alternative for fully funded and/or a winning team which will only make them stronger still. Will be interesting to see what really plays out, but the deck is definitely stacked in Galaxy favor I think.
     
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  14. StyleOfPlay

    StyleOfPlay Bronze

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    LAGSB youngers will be the future and success of the Galaxy Academy. LAGSB 08’s, 07’s, 06’s, and 05’s are one of the top teams in each age group (stronger than Beach in all 4 age groups which is the Galaxy’s biggest competitor). If you’ve seen any of those younger teams play you’ve seen them play some of the most attractive soccer in their respective age groups. On top of that they are the only truly fully funded academy program (zero cost all year). Consistent training field all year, athletic trainers always on site employed by the Galaxy, access to facilities inside stubhub (gym, strength and condition coach, film and conference rooms, lockers etc.). The future is written across the board. Galaxy is the place to be.
     
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  15. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    Here is the main problems with that.

    1. The smart parents of good female players will pay for good coaching (the keyword is smart).

    2. A majority of the high level female soccer talent in SoCal is in the I.E., OC and SD and it would be a extreme hassle to go to the Southbay during rush hour.
     
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  16. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    I hear this every few years. We will see. We are talking about girls soccer.
     
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  17. Carpediem

    Carpediem Bronze

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    Let’s not forget that Beach FC Long Beach and Beach FC South Bay COMBINE their top players from both teams to form their DA. Individually In those younger years Galaxy May be ahead, slightly, in wins or score. But when those teams get mixed with only top performers from both locations with the already proven and talented Beach DA coaches, it’s a whole new game...it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Free doesn’t seem to have a great track record in america. With anything ....‍♀️
     
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  18. rainbow_unicorn

    rainbow_unicorn Silver

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    You have to give credit to LA Galaxy for going out on a limb and being the first MLS club to make an investment in the girls DA. With no direct return on the investment (i.e. homegrown players on the boys side) the Galaxy did the right thing for the community and the sport.
     
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  19. mbeach

    mbeach Bronze

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    Maybe I should refresh your memory an remind you what happened last year when the top LAGSB and one of the Beach 05 teams were playing at full strength? I can list what both teams won if you want me to. Or maybe ask Beach to play their 06s at full strength? I am surprised that the free ride did not have a larger role in players' movement this year (check the DA results from two weeks ago for the LA Galaxy-Beach head to head, 0-4 in the win/loss column, with a 1-15 goals tally, I rather do not write these things but since you enjoy your boasting ...), but it looks like at the end of the day what matters is positioning your girl for college, and in that respect the Beach parents like what their coaches bring to the table and happily pay the bill.
     
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  20. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    @StyleOfPlay and @mbeach,

    I sincerely hope you two won't let this discussion delve into a pissing contest regarding which pre-pubescent girls team won some meaningless game in order for two anonymous adults on an internet forum to see who can make the other more butt-hurt. Let me remind you two that:
    1. The average age for a girl to start puberty is age 12 (U13 / current 2005).
    2. All 08’s, 07’s, 06’s, and 05’s teams will encounter significant roster changes by the time they hit U15.
    3. College Coaches (especially on the girls side) typically ignore the girls below U14/15 because they know that girls are especially affected by puberty changes (e.g. that super-fast elite 9 year old becomes that petite teenager that can't outrun a single 5'7" striker and gets knocked off the ball everytime."
    4. https://www.socceramerica.com/publi...pains-girls-face-challenge-of-the-commot.html
    Now ... back to the topic, which is ... "Pay to Play Model in Girls DA - Thing of the past?"
     
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