2007 DA

watfly

PREMIER
Standings and results appear to have much more focus under MLS Next. The downside of this is that I expect we will see a change in the style and quality of soccer being played without the DA focus on development. The DA wasn't perfect, but at least it provided some structure to reduce the hyper focus on standings and results. The MLS next has none of the restrictions and has also further emphasized results with the qualification for the year end competition. I suppose if we don't care about the style of soccer our youth and college players are playing, the future of professional soccer in the US or the growth of soccer as a national sport, it doesn't really matter.
I'm curious as to what restrictions that were employed by DA promoted development vs. MLS Next (my memory sucks)? My son has played both. IMHO I don't see any material difference in terms of focus on winning, I felt the "development" angle was more marketing then substance for the DA. To me the development vs winning (not mutually exclusive) is more of a function of the Club than the league. My son played DA for a different club than MLS Next. His MLS Next club is significantly more focused on development than winning, at least in the short term.
 

BIGD

SILVER ELITE
I'm curious as to what restrictions that were employed by DA promoted development vs. MLS Next (my memory sucks)? My son has played both. IMHO I don't see any material difference in terms of focus on winning, I felt the "development" angle was more marketing then substance for the DA. To me the development vs winning (not mutually exclusive) is more of a function of the Club than the league. My son played DA for a different club than MLS Next. His MLS Next club is significantly more focused on development than winning, at least in the short term.
Besides it being a cultural foundation and focus of the program, no public scores for the younger age groups, I don't recall standings being displayed at any of the ages but do remember a forum parent was tracking and posting standings, 50% starting rule, no year end qualification and all the tournaments ( or most?) were showcases for DA teams.
 

BIGD

SILVER ELITE
His MLS Next club is significantly more focused on development than winning, at least in the short term.
I mostly see a lot of turnover for various reasons at this age and focus on recruitment (versus developing existing or promoting from within) and the big fast strong players getting the majority of playing time. The DA model seemed to reduce some of the pressure on coaches and clubs to win at all cost.
 

watfly

PREMIER
I mostly see a lot of turnover for various reasons at this age and focus on recruitment (versus developing existing or promoting from within) and the big fast strong players getting the majority of playing time. The DA model seemed to reduce some of the pressure on coaches and clubs to win at all cost.
No question that happens a lot. But I haven't seen that any more than when it was DA. What I do see more in MLS Next are non-MLS Next and ECNL teams actively promoting players for placement on MLS Academy teams. San Diego lost over a half dozen players moving into U15 to out-of-state MLS academies. Now to some extent, that's probably a function of the MLS's push for their clubs to develop their academy teams.

DA was intended to be more YNT/MNT focused whereas MLS Next is clearly MLS focused. Which system is better for developing players? Probably neither, we do know that DA didn't have much of an impact, if any, on the success of our MNT.

My son is a U15. The turnover has been significant for many clubs between U14 and U15. Some of that is MLS academies taking players, but a larger portion is kids just not wanting to make that big of a commitment to soccer due to high school, other interests and burnout.
 

footylove

BRONZE
Developing kids is more of a club thing..even coach ..most are interested in just wins while very few are interested in development and if wins dont come then the parents get restless
 

watfly

PREMIER
Developing kids is more of a club thing..even coach ..most are interested in just wins while very few are interested in development and if wins dont come then the parents get restless
The best though is when the parents complain that they're not winning and need better players. Then a better player shows up and puts their kid on the bench and the parent complains about that how their kid has been on the team for X amount of time and how the new kid hasn't "earned" their kids spot.
 

BIGD

SILVER ELITE
The best though is when the parents complain that they're not winning and need better players. Then a better player shows up and puts their kid on the bench and the parent complains about that how their kid has been on the team for X amount of time and how the new kid hasn't "earned" their kids spot.
I get that, although if their club is selling them on “development”, it’s not exactly keeping their word by recruiting and replacing.
 

BIGD

SILVER ELITE
No question that happens a lot. But I haven't seen that any more than when it was DA. What I do see more in MLS Next are non-MLS Next and ECNL teams actively promoting players for placement on MLS Academy teams. San Diego lost over a half dozen players moving into U15 to out-of-state MLS academies. Now to some extent, that's probably a function of the MLS's push for their clubs to develop their academy teams.

DA was intended to be more YNT/MNT focused whereas MLS Next is clearly MLS focused. Which system is better for developing players? Probably neither, we do know that DA didn't have much of an impact, if any, on the success of our MNT.

My son is a U15. The turnover has been significant for many clubs between U14 and U15. Some of that is MLS academies taking players, but a larger portion is kids just not wanting to make that big of a commitment to soccer due to high school, other interests and burnout.
Let’s see over the course of the season and the next few years. It’s too early to see the impact but I can’t see how these changes are for the betterment of the kids or the sport long term. It would have been great to see the MLS take the best of the DA and build on it rather than revert to just another league that mostly benefits the adults profiting from it.
 

watfly

PREMIER
I get that, although if their club is selling them on “development”, it’s not exactly keeping their word by recruiting and replacing.
Let’s see over the course of the season and the next few years. It’s too early to see the impact but I can’t see how these changes are for the betterment of the kids or the sport long term. It would have been great to see the MLS take the best of the DA and build on it rather than revert to just another league that mostly benefits the adults profiting from it.
From my experience, I see zero difference between DA and MLS Next in terms of advantages for development. In fact, I in some ways there was more pressure on winning with DA clubs, in particular, with those DA clubs that didn't have a full complement of age groups. There was this concept in DA of "meaningful games" which was an euphemism for winning. The DA club my son was at only had 2 age groups, Year after year they tried to add older age groups, but were told that their DA teams didn't have enough "meaningful games", aka not enough wins to warrant adding age groups.

Clubs define development, not leagues. Development in most cases means development of teams and not players. Not saying its right but a player in ECNL and MLS Next (and formerly DA) is one new player away from being benched. Words like development and pathway are just marketing.

MLS Next is just another league like DA. Nothing particularly special about either, other than its the moniker for the top league which tends to attract some of the best talent.
 
I like the MLS Next structure better. Particularly the "Pro+ Pathway," meaning how the MLS academies play each other in regions. Non-MLS teams get more games against each other but still able to play their local MLS academy. MLS teams get to play more games against other MLS academies but not overwhelm the travel by still pulling in local opponents. Seems like the best for everyone.
 

BIGD

SILVER ELITE
I like the MLS Next structure better. Particularly the "Pro+ Pathway," meaning how the MLS academies play each other in regions. Non-MLS teams get more games against each other but still able to play their local MLS academy. MLS teams get to play more games against other MLS academies but not overwhelm the travel by still pulling in local opponents. Seems like the best for everyone.
The DA was moving to a similar model with the red/blue tiers before it folded.
 

BIGD

SILVER ELITE
Year after year they tried to add older age groups, but were told that their DA teams didn't have enough "meaningful games", aka not enough wins to warrant adding age groups.
This could be happening with clubs trying to access MLS Next and we just don’t hear about it. They must have some criteria for entry otherwise it just becomes watered down league, no? Or perhaps they should just give access to any club that asks?
 

Dargle

GOLD
I like the MLS Next structure better. Particularly the "Pro+ Pathway," meaning how the MLS academies play each other in regions. Non-MLS teams get more games against each other but still able to play their local MLS academy. MLS teams get to play more games against other MLS academies but not overwhelm the travel by still pulling in local opponents. Seems like the best for everyone.
Not just local MLS academies. At least in the first MLS Next Cup in Frisco, the non-MLS teams definitely played MLS Academies from other regions in both the playoffs and the showcase.
 
Not just local MLS academies. At least in the first MLS Next Cup in Frisco, the non-MLS teams definitely played MLS Academies from other regions in both the playoffs and the showcase.
Yeah, if they make it. But even the teams that don't make the playoffs still get to play their local MLS academy(s).
My point is there's a bit more balance of opponents. For example, LAFC's 2007s haven't lost a game against 2007s in over 3 years. Last year they had a goal differential of around 50 in the southwest. This year, they have two 1-0 victories over RSL and Portland. Sounds like, they're facing more comparable opponents. Granted, I heard they haven't given up a shot on target against either team so that's scary if they start scoring more. lol. I don't know if that stat is true or not...
I want to go watch LAG and LAFC play in like two weeks.

Conversely a team that is perennially near the bottom of the rankings only has to face LAG or LAFC once each rather than twice, getting drilled 8, 10, 12 to 0 multiple times a year. It is a bummer a bit for a team like TFA that can hang and could get some Ws against some MLS academies. But, in theory, if they could, then their option is to win locally and show up in the playoffs... like LA Surf 06s last year.
 

watfly

PREMIER
Yeah, if they make it. But even the teams that don't make the playoffs still get to play their local MLS academy(s).
My point is there's a bit more balance of opponents. For example, LAFC's 2007s haven't lost a game against 2007s in over 3 years. Last year they had a goal differential of around 50 in the southwest. This year, they have two 1-0 victories over RSL and Portland. Sounds like, they're facing more comparable opponents. Granted, I heard they haven't given up a shot on target against either team so that's scary if they start scoring more. lol. I don't know if that stat is true or not...
I want to go watch LAG and LAFC play in like two weeks.

Conversely a team that is perennially near the bottom of the rankings only has to face LAG or LAFC once each rather than twice, getting drilled 8, 10, 12 to 0 multiple times a year. It is a bummer a bit for a team like TFA that can hang and could get some Ws against some MLS academies. But, in theory, if they could, then their option is to win locally and show up in the playoffs... like LA Surf 06s last year.
Early indications are that it could be a wide open battle for the best non-MLS teams in SoCal/AZ. I don't expect to see the blowouts we saw last year, but who knows.
 

Dargle

GOLD
Yeah, if they make it. But even the teams that don't make the playoffs still get to play their local MLS academy(s).
My point is there's a bit more balance of opponents. For example, LAFC's 2007s haven't lost a game against 2007s in over 3 years. Last year they had a goal differential of around 50 in the southwest. This year, they have two 1-0 victories over RSL and Portland. Sounds like, they're facing more comparable opponents. Granted, I heard they haven't given up a shot on target against either team so that's scary if they start scoring more. lol. I don't know if that stat is true or not...
I want to go watch LAG and LAFC play in like two weeks.

Conversely a team that is perennially near the bottom of the rankings only has to face LAG or LAFC once each rather than twice, getting drilled 8, 10, 12 to 0 multiple times a year. It is a bummer a bit for a team like TFA that can hang and could get some Ws against some MLS academies. But, in theory, if they could, then their option is to win locally and show up in the playoffs... like LA Surf 06s last year.
At least last year, anyone in MLS Next could go to the showcases and that included MLS academies that didn't qualify for the playoffs. So, there were lower-level MLS Next teams playing similarly ranked MLS Academies (not all of them are very strong in every age group, especially in certain parts of the country and where they don't recruit nationally). That could change, of course, but that's how it operated last year. This year, with showcases apparently going to take place in the Winter and Spring in addition to the summer playoffs, I expect there will be more, not less, of that, but I could be wrong.
 

lafalafa

PREMIER
MLS-Next and even ECxx has little to offer past U17 unless it's just college exposure.

UPSL is taking off in Socal with LAFC academy, Pats, Golden State and others fielding U19s vs men since MLS-NEXT and ECXx just doesn't have the completion past U17 or any real paths forward unless you just going for college.

Past U17 the the numbers of truly competitive teams have a really big drop off and it's hard for most clubs to develop past that age, MLS-NEXT recognizes this and pretty much has thrown in the towel on playing those ages vs any regular clubs. The new MLS 2 league, USL, and UPSL will be taking over that space for the boys on the top end and these other letter youth league will be 2nd or no choice for them.
 
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