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Bruce’s statement just proves that he doesn’t get it. If these are his honest thoughts and he REALLY does think that we are going in the right direction with development then he was fired 11 months too late. It’s time to examine every aspect of development in the US, make relegation a real thing, let there be consequences and accountability. Let the best players play, not just the richest. Address the NCAA’s terrible limitations on play. And start pushing the academies.

 

It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country’s National Team, and as I leave that role today I am honored and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career.

When I took the job last November, I knew there was a great challenge ahead, probably more than most people could appreciate. Everyone involved in the program gave everything they had for the last 11 months and, in the end, we came up short. No excuses. We didn’t get the job done, and I accept responsibility.

This certainly is a major setback for the senior Men’s National Team program, and questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve. No doubt this process already has started and will continue so that U.S. Soccer can progress. Having said that, it also is important to recognize the tremendous growth and accomplishments we have achieved over the past two decades in all areas, including player development, coaching education and a stable domestic professional league. This work is ongoing and despite the result in Trinidad, the sport is on the right path.  By working together, I am confident soccer in this country will continue to grow in the years and decades ahead. 

Obviously the biggest disappointment is for our fans. As a person involved in the sport for more than 40 years, to see how support for soccer in the United States has grown is incredibly gratifying. I believe I speak for everyone involved in the game in thanking all of you for your passion and commitment, and I hope you maintain your steadfast support of U.S. Soccer.

While this is a difficult time, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction. I believe in the American player and the American coach, and with our combined efforts the future remains bright. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I can say this from the bottom of my heart: from the high of reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup to the low of a few days ago; I have appreciated every minute of being a part of this program.

 
 
 
 
 

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A few days after the elimination, one of my gut feelings remains as it has for some time: The entitlement of U.S. Soccer is unacceptable, the arrogance embarrassing. Qualifying for a World Cup had become a birthright. Unbridled power, as we heard today, bristling at any question with even the slightest hint of displeasure with “the way things are done.” A few scholarships given from a youth club to a family doesn’t mean you rest your crossed arms and shrug when the Americans lose multiple home qualifiers to players who would nearly kill to qualify for a World Cup.

 

As long as the Bruce Arenas and Sunil Gulatis of this world are content with the process and, you could say, content in their positions, nothing big is going to change. Maybe there will more World Cup groups like 2002, when a lone win over a down Portugal and a knockout round date with Mexico will bring it to the precipice of the semis.

 

Should that happen, will we crown that group forever and lean on their accolades? It feels like U.S. Soccer supporters, coaches, and players don’t want a part of that. But there’s a certain group who sees it as safe and able to be lauded magnificent.

 

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Not a fan of Bruce or Sunil, but the reality is that they have very little impact on player development where the US is falling short. Under Klinsmann, they started requiring the most basic coaching license F-license, it's a few hours online. Our players lack technical proficiency and that is cemented at around age 14. The Development academies don't allow their players to play high school, another good step the federation took. But everyone went up in arms. Lots of people argued that that's a better way forward  (allowing high school play) in this very thread. I've said it before—at the age our players enter high school, their counterparts enter a professional environment. High school is basically lots of games and that's not where players get better. Plus, the training is focused on preparing for games, not improving the individual players. Then the "best" move to college where they have a 4-month season and contact with coaches. At the time they need to be getting more and better training—they get worse and less training. Few believe it, but many of our top kids have the technical ability to match up with counterparts in europe and S. America, but as I mentioned above their soccer education hits a wall. 

 

About 8 years ago, there was a U10 team from California that went to Barca and beat Barca's academy team. One player, the slight Jewish kid (Ben Lederman) and not the many hispanics on the team was signed into their academy—eventually being given the #10 shirt. That's a huge deal. And he's from an affluent family. He is a special player but not the only one in America. His teammates are now with LA Galaxy academy and I believe they beat Man City's academy a few years ago. 

 

Sunil, Bruce, or Klinsmann have nothing to do with Ben Lederman and his teammates. Their coaches are Argentine (ex-pros) who do not adhere to USSF models of development. Klinsmann made an impact because USSF licensing is now way more rigorous in the past (although far from perfect). Sunil and Co. probably had a hand in the DAs which is a step in the right direction. 

 

The sad truth is that Sunil is not power hungry but, in fact, powerless. If tomorrow, he said all youth teams had to play a 4-3-3 (or age appropriate variant) and play possession soccer and train fundamentals till age 14 and stop keeping score—No one would listen, or more accurately he has no way of enforcing it to the youth system. 

 

Look at Iceland: 330,000 people and they found 25 that can play. We have that many registered players in DC/MD/VA. Talking players only, not inhabitants. Iceland doesn't have an inner city population or Latino population that they use as an excuse for not being better. They took what they had and developed it. It's been true for the Netherlands and you could find 25 players from Rosario, Argentina alone that could crush the USMNT. 

 

The leadership is problematic, the structure of the federation is problematic but they're really not the reason. No national team coach is the reason (senior or U-XX), they have the players for about 2 months a year. "Soft reasons" like culture or unfound inner city/latino are merely excuses. It's about developing better players from the get go. Start with more, accessible, inexpensive, good coaching education. Then de-emphasize the winning at the young ages and bull**** tournaments. But it's hypocritical at times, lots of parents are probably chirping on online message boards about not having better players, but they're the same ones that yank their kids to a new team if the team isn't winning. 

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The question is about leadership and the ability to call together the various groups who are hands on in development. Sunil has proven that he’s unwilling or unable to do it. And his quote about paying to play absolutely insures that pay-to-play soccer is here to stay under his leadership.

 

What a disaster.

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1 hour ago, Elessar78 said:

It's about developing better players from the get go. Start with more, accessible, inexpensive, good coaching education.

I said it before, but the way this country develops athletes is just not correct. Its magnified in soccer, but what you wrote in your post is true in basketball, baseball, football, track, etc.

 

In the other sports we have shoe companies and more participation which makes up for it, but what you described is what happened to Lebron James at young ages too. US Soccer doesnt have a Lebron James, and in soccer you need WAAAAAY more coaching at a younger age than you do in other sports.

 

Albert Puig now works in Northern California, but was head of La Masia in Barcelona. He said this on FB

 

 

Edited by BenningRoadSkin
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Player development in other sports is largely crap too it just stands out more in soccer because the global competition exists to expose it.  If you want the best pros you develop prospects with that single minded purpose.  You don't send them through amateur leagues with different rules and philosophies.  Does anyone think college gimmick offenses are the ideal way to create NFL QBs?  No.  But those programs aren't paid to make the best pros, they're only looking to win at their level.  If the players can translate to pros, great, but it's not the main goal.  

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Heard Grant Wahl on SiriusXM radio soccer channel earlier this afternoon. One thing he said that stuck with me is, how about implementing an outside commission a la the Steinbrenner Commission for US Olympics some years back, to fact find and make recommendations. The Olympic commission findings led to year round training centers for Olympic athletes with stipend payments. US Olympics has won many more medals since the commission's findings.

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2 hours ago, Long n Left said:

Heard Grant Wahl on SiriusXM radio soccer channel earlier this afternoon. One thing he said that stuck with me is, how about implementing an outside commission a la the Steinbrenner Commission for US Olympics some years back, to fact find and make recommendations. The Olympic commission findings led to year round training centers for Olympic athletes with stipend payments. US Olympics has won many more medals since the commission's findings.

They already did that around Arenas first go around. They hired Carlos Queiroz, Alex Ferguson’s right hand at Man U, paid him a good bit then they buried the report. 

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12 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

They already did that around Arenas first go around. They hired Carlos Queiroz, Alex Ferguson’s right hand at Man U, paid him a good bit then they buried the report. 

He's advocating a commission completely outside of soccer. People with zero preconceived notions about anything soccer.

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Cross posted:

A busy night for the boy! They just played their district championship game. Here’s the set up, this us against their crosstown rival that they beat for the Constitution Cup (bragging rights) earlier in the season. These boys all know each other and about half of them have at one point or another played on club with each other. The first thing trained eyes are going to see is that the keeper distribution was nearly all punts, yes, and it had to be. We’ve had to injuries to our two midfield wings and the guys off the bench would normally be JV players but our bench is short this season. As such their ability to play out of the backfield is limited, and against this team nearly impossible. The match result was not what we wanted, but the highlights it provided are nice and plentiful.

FYI, there is no volume, that is a college coach recommendation.

 

 

Edited by AsburySkinsFan
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I am sitting at home in my PJ's watching Bundesliga Josh Sargent and the U17 USA team in the World Cup. USA is up 3-0 right now! 

 

Why do you all say USA can't develop players when U17 and Sargent and Pulisic and other such stars came through the USA system?

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49 minutes ago, ixcuincle said:

I am sitting at home in my PJ's watching Bundesliga Josh Sargent and the U17 USA team in the World Cup. USA is up 3-0 right now! 

 

Why do you all say USA can't develop players when U17 and Sargent and Pulisic and other such stars came through the USA system?

 It’s not a matter of “can’t develop“ it’s a matter of efficiency of development. We’re talking 350 million people in this country and we truly saying that we can only develop 11 players that can compete on the world stage? If we had the efficiency of development that European and South American countries Enjoy we would be fielding a dozen top national teams. There will be a playoff system for the national team to see who was going to be the national team director is it the country at the World Cup.Enjoy we would be fielding a dozen top national teams. There will be a playoff system for the national team to see who was going to be the national team director is it the country at the World Cup.

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54 minutes ago, ixcuincle said:

I am sitting at home in my PJ's watching Bundesliga Josh Sargent and the U17 USA team in the World Cup. USA is up 3-0 right now! 

 

Why do you all say USA can't develop players when U17 and Sargent and Pulisic and other such stars came through the USA system?

Tim Weah looks the best of the bunch.

 

And we have no idea what Josh Sargent is. He has never played a professional match.

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On 10/13/2017 at 3:56 PM, Elessar78 said:

Not a fan of Bruce or Sunil, but the reality is that they have very little impact on player development where the US is falling short. Under Klinsmann, they started requiring the most basic coaching license F-license, it's a few hours online.

 

I got my F license a few years ago so it might have changed, but at the time it was a 2 day thing (we really did it in  1-1/2 days). 

 

In my experience, that was more than other US youth sports where we excel (I've also coached girls youth softball and basketball for which I didn't have to get any license or do anything, but volunteer and at least in basketball and soccer, I played the sport in high school.  I've never played softball and didn't play baseball beyond Little League.)

 

The problem with men's soccer is the same as it always has been.  At least currently, most boys see other sports as being long term more attractive (in terms of making a living).

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43 minutes ago, PeterMP said:

The problem with men's soccer is the same as it always has been.  At least currently, most boys see other sports as being long term more attractive (in terms of making a living).

I say this every 2 years. We're losing kids built like Messi or Iniesta to baseball/basketball/football? Don't really think so. Our national team, bar Australia, ran more (kms) than any other team in the previous WC. There are a handful or players in MLS (and college) as fast and athletic as Cristiano Ronaldo. Just because everybody in America says it, doesn't make it true. 

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