Turning Pro at 13

I think it's pretty clear -- If you have Youth National Team aspirations- You need to play DA.
The chances of making a YNT are pretty slim. As stated above, there are probably a few hundred girls in each age group that can play at that level. Selecting the best 20-30 is not easy. Politics, luck, etc will have a lot to do with who gets picked.
No proof here, but here's a likely example:
2 players play the same position. Both are excellent players. 1 of them has been in the DA for 2 years. Her coach is a loyal US Soccer supporter. The other played ECNL last year and just joined the DA this year. Her coach is a known a-hole. And her club gives US Soccer a hard time all the time.
Who do you think they are going to select?
How is a kid from Valley Center whose family can't even afford team fees and expenses (all provided by a neighbor teammate's parents who paid for everything, including tournament travel) and who was the best youth GK I ever saw going to get a connection to DA? Further note - in HS his coach usually had him playing center mid.

DA has limited vision.
 
I think it's pretty clear -- If you have Youth National Team aspirations- You need to play DA.
The chances of making a YNT are pretty slim. As stated above, there are probably a few hundred girls in each age group that can play at that level. Selecting the best 20-30 is not easy. Politics, luck, etc will have a lot to do with who gets picked.
No proof here, but here's a likely example:
2 players play the same position. Both are excellent players. 1 of them has been in the DA for 2 years. Her coach is a loyal US Soccer supporter. The other played ECNL last year and just joined the DA this year. Her coach is a known a-hole. And her club gives US Soccer a hard time all the time.
Who do you think they are going to select?
The DA player.
 
Here are some very recent American teenagers going from DA to Europe...

Sebastian Soto - Surf/Real to Hanover
Timothy Weah - Red Bulls to PSG/Celtic
Alex Mendez - Galaxy to Freiburg
Uly llanez - Galaxy to Wolfsburg
Richie Ledezma - Real to PSV Einhoven
Tyler Adams - Red Bulls to RB Leipzig
Josh Sargent - IMG to Weder Bremen
Weston McKennie - FC Dallas to Schalke
Chris Richards - FC Dallas to Bayern
 
I don't think it is politics as much as strategy.

Girls DA was presumably set up with the same objectives in mind. A league like ECNL, while really successful and the home to lots of top girls, acts counter to that objective. ECNL makes identifying the top girls more difficult, not less difficult. Why would US Soccer want to support ECNL if it acts counter to it's mission?

Sure, ECNL has at least a bunch of girls who would rank among the top players today. But by offering those players spots US Soccer is essentially sanctioning ECNL as a top league and creating a less efficient ID mechanism for itself.
ALL OF THIS IS POLITICS!!


If DA is successful, and it appears it will be, there will be fewer and fewer top players in ECNL over the next 5 years and there will be much less debate about why US Soccer select only DA players for the national teams, just like there is very little debate on the boys side.
And if my aunt had a package she’d be my uncle!
 
Here are some very recent American teenagers going from DA to Europe...

Sebastian Soto - Surf/Real to Hanover
Timothy Weah - Red Bulls to PSG/Celtic
Alex Mendez - Galaxy to Freiburg
Uly llanez - Galaxy to Wolfsburg
Richie Ledezma - Real to PSV Einhoven
Tyler Adams - Red Bulls to RB Leipzig
Josh Sargent - IMG to Weder Bremen
Weston McKennie - FC Dallas to Schalke
Chris Richards - FC Dallas to Bayern
Would any of them have gone to Europe without DA's help? Whatever that is?
 
ALL OF THIS IS POLITICS!!




And if my aunt had a package she’d be my uncle!
Maybe it makes you feel better to call it politics. I don't really care what you want to call it.

I'm pointing out that US Soccer's "politics" make sense strategically if they want over the long term to create a talent pyramid where they can develop and identify the top kids - that is what DA is, whether you like it or not. It would be counterproductive for them to promote an alternative to the strategy they have created and are executing, no?

I get that it may be frustrating for ECNL, but hasn't this sort of been obvious ever since girls DA was launched?

It aint going to change.

And just like on the boys side, DA will be where 90% of the highest quality girls end up. Just give it a few years.
 
Would any of them have gone to Europe without DA's help? Whatever that is?
Hard to say. Certainly they are all really talented kids. I would suspect that, despite its many imperfections, DA contributed very meaningfully to their development, progress and success. And I would also guess that this trend is growing and accelerating.
 

outside!

PREMIER
Has she developed? I can tell you that Fleming is a better player now than she was 3 years ago post World Cup and Olympics. Your daughter could have scored against Thailand there striker wasn’t even a regular starter at Cal. She is only on the team because of marketing. How many NWSL goals has she scored? Have you ever asked yourself why she really is on the team? Look at her stats after two full seasons (and part of a third). The actual numbers will mess with your head.

Hell what has Alex Morgan done recently in the pros. The US has the advantage that the talent pool is so deep that getting the best players doesn’t matter as long as you get most of them right.
I am just saying that for a player who's ambition is to be a professional soccer player, taking the chance when it is there will provide a better environment to develop than the current US college game. How much they develop is up to the player. College will still be there when the body won't allow soccer anymore. I do agree that Pugh has not quite lived up to the hype, but she is a good player.

I also agree that my daughter could have scored against Thailand, but so could most decent college players. I think Thailand would have a hard time against many D1 teams.
 
Maybe it makes you feel better to call it politics. I don't really care what you want to call it.

I'm pointing out that US Soccer's "politics" make sense strategically if they want over the long term to create a talent pyramid where they can develop and identify the top kids - that is what DA is, whether you like it or not. It would be counterproductive for them to promote an alternative to the strategy they have created and are executing, no?

I get that it may be frustrating for ECNL, but hasn't this sort of been obvious ever since girls DA was launched?

It aint going to change.

And just like on the boys side, DA will be where 90% of the highest quality girls end up. Just give it a few years.
DA is too narrow and the local clubs who could be their potential feeders for diamonds in the rough don't trust a program which will just take their best players without compensation or recognition.
 
DA is too narrow and the local clubs who could be their potential feeders for diamonds in the rough don't trust a program which will just take their best players without compensation or recognition.
Not sure what you mean by too narrow, but I agree it is imperfect. Ideally there are more clearly defined pathways up the pyramid so smaller programs with fewer resources can move their best players up the ladder. Seems like we are headed in that direction with solidarity and transfer payment changes. Still a long way to go, but the US in challenging as we are so spread out geographically.
 
Maybe it makes you feel better to call it politics. I don't really care what you want to call it.

I'm pointing out that US Soccer's "politics" make sense strategically if they want over the long term to create a talent pyramid where they can develop and identify the top kids - that is what DA is, whether you like it or not. It would be counterproductive for them to promote an alternative to the strategy they have created and are executing, no?

I get that it may be frustrating for ECNL, but hasn't this sort of been obvious ever since girls DA was launched?

It aint going to change.

And just like on the boys side, DA will be where 90% of the highest quality girls end up. Just give it a few years.
No it’s not about making me feel better, it’s just what it is plain and simple. I don’t have a problem of any kind whatsoever over what strategy they choose to go after their competitor and what you say about their strategy makes total sense. Shoot, if I were DA I’d do the same thing.

In fact, I know how they can put the dagger in ECNL. You pick those 100 top girls and put them in training camps during the high school season and let the rest play high school. That way, if you are going to miss high school, at least you know you are on a path to the national team.

I disagree with your 90% figure based on the current landscape. It seems more DA clubs are going ECNL than vice versa, at least for now.
 
Not sure what you mean by too narrow, but I agree it is imperfect. Ideally there are more clearly defined pathways up the pyramid so smaller programs with fewer resources can move their best players up the ladder. Seems like we are headed in that direction with solidarity and transfer payment changes. Still a long way to go, but the US in challenging as we are so spread out geographically.
No MLS team in SD to support a free DA program is one place to start. We can probably add a dozen other cities with credible youth soccer history and no easy access to DA before the day is out.
 
No it’s not about making me feel better, it’s just what it is plain and simple. I don’t have a problem of any kind whatsoever over what strategy they choose to go after their competitor and what you say about their strategy makes total sense. Shoot, if I were DA I’d do the same thing.

In fact, I know how they can put the dagger in ECNL. You pick those 100 top girls and put them in training camps during the high school season and let the rest play high school. That way, if you are going to miss high school, at least you know you are on a path to the national team.

I disagree with your 90% figure based on the current landscape. It seems more DA clubs are going ECNL than vice versa, at least for now.
Got it. My 90% may take a few years, maybe even five years. This landscape changes fast and every single girl currently in DA and ECNL will have aged out in 5 years.
 
No MLS team in SD to support a free DA program is one place to start. We can probably add a dozen other cities with credible youth soccer history and no easy access to DA before the day is out.
No MLS team in SD to support a free DA program is one place to start. We can probably add a dozen other cities with credible youth soccer history and no easy access to DA before the day is out.
Solidarity and transfer payments will eventually provide liquidity to the US youth soccer market (at least on the boys side) and, while it will likely develop in fits and starts, I think it is also likely that it expands ID into new territories, expands free DA programs and facilitates movement up the pyramid for top players.
 
Got it. My 90% may take a few years, maybe even five years. This landscape changes fast and every single girl currently in DA and ECNL will have aged out in 5 years.
Very well could be. I’m telling you If DA let those non-100 girls play high school that would be the end of ECNL. That is the only thing keeping ECNL in the game, especially in areas where high school sports is a community event.
 

Sunil Illuminati

SILVER ELITE
There is irony, in that it's actually the clubs who ultimately have the power on the girl's side. If the big 5 or 6 So Cal Clubs pulled out of DA they could literally sink it overnight. The challenge is 1. Do they want to? 2. Do they have the fortitude?
 

MarkM

SILVER ELITE
Here are some very recent American teenagers going from DA to Europe...

Sebastian Soto - Surf/Real to Hanover
Timothy Weah - Red Bulls to PSG/Celtic
Alex Mendez - Galaxy to Freiburg
Uly llanez - Galaxy to Wolfsburg
Richie Ledezma - Real to PSV Einhoven
Tyler Adams - Red Bulls to RB Leipzig
Josh Sargent - IMG to Weder Bremen
Weston McKennie - FC Dallas to Schalke
Chris Richards - FC Dallas to Bayern
Leaving out Steffen to Man City? Pulsic to Chelsea? Horvath to Club Brugge? The list is so freakin' long . . . https://www.goal.com/en-us/lists/usmnt-top-50-americans-in-the-2022-world-cup-player-pool/461pfr5dkbk11snj50dx47jv5#1h0097eisp8as1lzgu1c65g3x0
 
How is a kid from Valley Center whose family can't even afford team fees and expenses (all provided by a neighbor teammate's parents who paid for everything, including tournament travel) and who was the best youth GK I ever saw going to get a connection to DA? Further note - in HS his coach usually had him playing center mid.

DA has limited vision.
Unfortunately, proximity is also an important factor. There might also be a super talented player in North Dakota. But he/she isn’t gonna get a lot of exposure.
How did 2 siblings from Compton become so dominant at tennis?
 
You're counting this year... which just happened. The first year those girls were grandfathered in.
They were grandfathered in from where? Yes, some were ECNL teams that moved into being DA teams but there were several new clubs that were not ECNL and there was a lot of movement on rosters of the ECNL clubs as there were other options- there were tryouts and there were teams formed and this is the conclusion of the second year of the DA even if you want to ignore that fact
 
Got it. My 90% may take a few years, maybe even five years. This landscape changes fast and every single girl currently in DA and ECNL will have aged out in 5 years.
nah - women don't have a similar upside as men to justify 4x/week practice requirements and US Soccer controlling parent/student decisions re playing high school soccer, playing other sports, playing futsal, and missing significant amounts of class time. Unless in your 5 years the women's pro league has transformed into a profitable operation with a TV deal (they lost their last one), and a base salary of $75K-100K. Or, if girls DA becomes fully funded for many of the girls programs just like on the boys side. I don't see either of those scenarios occurring anytime soon.

And as far as Pugh, you can read interviews with her and it's clear she is not happy and regrets her decision to forego college. She'll never say that outright, but you can read between the lines. Being a pro athlete can be a lonely life, especially for women...especially for 18 year old girls. Everyone always says, oh you can go back to college any time...true, but do you want to be the female Vince Vaughn version in Old School at UCLA or attend when you are the same age as 95 percent of the student body...especially as a female.

now for some Advil and water as my Raptors victory hangover is intense, but oh so worth it!!! ;)
 
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