In a system that's far better at identifying the best payers than finding the best players, the pipeline of talent gets choked out by costly tournament and team fees. "Players must constantly pay to be noticed and reach the next level" (Eckstein). Because of this not many players can afford to keep playing the sport. "Forty percent of youth soccer players will leave the sport between ages 13 and 18.Many leave for financial reasons. Kids interested in playing soccer must increasingly pay for apparel, equipment, team fees, coaches, trainers, tournament travel and field space. It’s not unusual for families to spend over $10,000 per child per year to play organized youth soccer. " (Eckstein). The U.S. will continue to suffer at the international level until a better way of finding talent is proposed and accepted. *** Eckstein, Rick. “Until Youth Soccer Is Fixed, US Men's National Team Is Destined to Fail.” The Conversation, 2 May 2018, theconversation.com/until-youth-soccer-is-fixed-us-mens-national-team-is-destined-to-fail-85585.
"The longest, most arduous journey for a U.S. national soccer team in a generation was stopped just short of the finish line Tuesday, with Trinidad and Tobago dealing the Americans a crushing 2-1 upset just minutes before both Panama and Honduras won their final qualifiers." (Baxter). This loss means the united states has officially been denied a spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This will be the first time the United States will not be sending a team to the world cup in 40 years. Can the United States really call itself a soccer super power if they are not in the world cup, and even worse are denied a world cup appearance by a nation with less the half the population of the U.S.? *** Baxter, Kevin. “U.S. Men's Soccer Team Fails to Qualify for World Cup with Stunning Loss to Trinidad and Tobago.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2017, www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-us-trinidad-tobago-20171010-story.html.
The U.S. Soccer Federation has issued new guidelines banning children 10 and under from heading the ball in practice or games. "This action was taken after a class action lawsuit was filed against U.S. soccer for negligence for not address the issues of concussions" (stump). There has been mixed feelings about this rule change. Some believe it is yet another reason our nation will continue to fall behind other nations on the international level. While "some experts claim the ban on heading could result in more talented players in the coming years because they are forced to become more skilled with their feet." (Stump). Only time will tell if this was the right move for soccer development in the U.S. *** Stump, Scott. “No More Heading: US Soccer out with New Guidelines for Youth Soccer.” TODAY.com, TODAY, 11 Nov. 2015, www.today.com/parents/no-more-heading-us-soccer-out-new-guidelines-youth-soccer-t54971.
Getting minutes on the filed for young domestic talent is key to developing a strong national team. "The U.S. lags behind European countries in providing playing time to young domestic players. " (Wiggins). If more young European players see more playing time then U.S. players they will continue to dominate at the international level. "The MLS seems to be diverging from U.S. soccer" (Wiggins). If the MLS does not start to work with the US soccer federation developing talent to consistently compete with the powerhouses of Europe will become increasingly harder. *** Wiggins, Brandon. “As the US Men's Soccer Team Has Struggled on the Field, the Number of American Players in MLS Has Declined.” Business Insider, Business Insider India, 2 Mar. 2018, www.businessinsider.in/as-the-us-mens-soccer-team-has-struggled-on-the-field-the-number-of-american-players-in-mls-has-declined/articleshow/63140748.cms.
Title Nine had a significant effect on the development on men players, and it was not for the better. "In 1996 there were 197 men’s soccer teams in Division I and about 190 women’s teams. In 2009 there were still 197 men’s teams—even though the NCAA had added 27 new member schools—but the number of women’s teams had soared to 310. Some 93 percent of Division I athletic programs offer women’s soccer, compared with only 59 percent of Division I programs offering men’s soccer." (Allen). With the number of division one schools dropping for male youth the talent pool becomes smaller and smaller. "Male D1 teams are only allowed 9.9 scholarships while women D1 programs are allowed 14" (Allen). This huge gap in the number of scholarships allowed also has a negative effect on the development of mens soccer. *** Allen, Charlotte. “Why U.S. Men's Soccer Will Now Decline.” Minding The Campus, 21 June 2010, www.mindingthecampus.org/2010/06/why_us_mens_soccer_will_now_de/.
Many believe that the United States men soccer program is on the decline and falling behind other nations when it comes to producing talent. This article present a separate viewpoint on the topic. "Small-sided soccer is the fastest growing sport in the United Kingdom, and is preferred for teaching children the basics of soccer" (Kardys). How can our nation be falling behind others if we are using the same system to develop out youth as a nation seen as successful in the international community. Small-sided soccer allows for the children to see more touches on the ball and as a result they develop their skills at a much faster rate. *** Kardys, Jack. “The National Recreation and Parks Association.” Small-Sided Soccer - A Leap of Faith | People for Parks | National Recreation and Park Association, 1 Nov. 2015, www.nrpa.org/parks-recreation-magazine/2015/november/small-sided-soccer-a-leap-of-faith/.