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Thursday, July 19, 2018, 6:28 a.m.

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WALLY HALL: U.S. Soccer might try the youth movement

By Wally Hall

This article was published July 10, 2018 at 5:30 a.m.

As of this morning, futbol has its final four and much of the world will be tuning in when France and Belgium face off today at 1 p.m. CST.

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Print Headline: U.S. Soccer might try the youth movement

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 total comments

Whippersnapper says... July 10, 2018 at 8:33 a.m.

Wally,
The problem with U.S. soccer is that it has been an elitist sport for so long that the youth system is fundamentally broken due to the financial system built up around it. Starting at 8 or 9 years old, players' families are expected to pay $1,000 or more per year for the right to play on a team where they can develop their skills. Sure, kids can play in a rec league for $100-$200 per year, but the rec leagues tend to be all volunteer coaches, many of whom have no licensure or knowledge of the game.
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When you price a sport at $1,000+ per year, you price 80-90% of the kids who might otherwise play out of the sport. This is why there are phenomenal participation rates until they hit the U9/10 age and then drop off at U11+ (which is where Classic soccer really takes off). 80-90% of the kids who might be really really good are forced out, and to keep the numbers (and money) up, the coaches recruit kids who ought not be playing elite soccer and simply take up time and energy from their teammates and coaches.
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What's the solution? Burn it all down and start from scratch. How can you effectively do that? No clue, because our free market and free society have created this.

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Messidona says... July 10, 2018 at 11:51 p.m.

Wally, I sincerely appreciate your column on the worlds game today. However, it is riddled with inaccuracies. England, was in no way a favorite to win this tournament. Not one person on the planet would have had that opinion. Team USA did not hire Ernie Stewart to manage the team. The US soccer federation hired him to be the GM of US soccer.

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