Isn't this just an article that supports the theory of bio-banding? It doesn't say anything about the inability to determine future success at early ages. It just says that coaches in the particular pool studied tend to focus on the wrong factors (physical maturity). Bio-banding would eliminate that natural bias.Sure...in separate posts...first, I think what's most relevant to this original post is that US Soccer may finally (hopefully) be recognizing that early maturers -- ie, the big/fast boys and girls at the younger ages -- don't = success on the field. The relative age effect was first documented in Canadian Junior Hockey. But more detailed research demonstrates that while the older/more mature kids do have a temporary edge in endurance and speed, that doesn't carry over into winning. And if US Soccer is concerned with finding players to help them win games (as they should), they should id and develop the players with better skill. The original poster seems to be relaying this in his story--a player that was fast and physical but not as skilled. Here's a recent study that goes into a lot of detail (probably more than you need), so excerpts below.
Combining a database of birth month and year with the season ending records provided a look at whether that assumption actually resulted in a better record. From Table 3, it is obvious that simply having a team populated with players born earlier in the birth year is no guarantee of having a successful season as evidenced by the lack of a correlation between average team birth date vs. winning percentages and scoring. The lack of any discernable pattern would seem to indicate there is no systematic benefit of having a team of early maturing players.
If the best solution is awareness of the problem, showing coaches that selecting players based on maturation within a particular birth year has no impact on seasonal outcome might be sufficient to convince coaches to focus more on each player's soccer performance and less on each player's size.