How many MLS Teams are necessary to have their developmental teams adequately cover the vast US?

Discussion in 'MLS: Youth & Development' started by 4mybroRRT, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. 4mybroRRT

    4mybroRRT Member

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    But you failed to mention what Sigi said how some youth coaches coach to win, not necessarily to develop the talented youth properly for the sake of money or jobs. That can compromise and choke the development. Also several foreign players and coaches have mention Americans over- coach their youth and not just let them play free-style enough.

    Back to my original question...I still think 30-36 team MLS will adequately cover scouting, youth development programs, etc. for US.


  2. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member+

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    If you want to stick with Sigi he mentioned that there are a several hundred college programs with $1M budgets that should be better utilized. Below that there are several thousand High School programs with facilities that many academy programs would love to have that should be better utilized. That said, the critical ages are even younger than that. Adding 5 or 20 MLS team isn't going to produce the results you are looking for, even if you could magically expand to 30-36 teams.
  3. 4mybroRRT

    4mybroRRT Member

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    I remember Garber stating once the league gets to 20 teams, the league would focus more on making the league better by addressing needs like the Reserve League, putting more league?-wide mandates for developmental programs, more grassroot iniatives, along with, improving the product on the pitch.
    I really believe once the league addresses the Reserve League and Developmental Programs, then MLS will resume expansion to adequately cover geographic regions that don't have a dominate/direct access MLS presence, more than what academies provide.
    That's why I say 30-36 teams. I list the 10 and 16 following cities/markets that could cover the US adequately (not including NY second team assuming that is #20), no particular expansion order:

    1) St. Louis
    2) Phoenix
    3) Miami
    4) either Tampa Bay or Orlando
    5) San Antonio
    6) Charlotte
    7) Atlanta
    8) San Diego
    9) Minneapolis
    10) Detroit
    _______________

    11) Las Vegas
    12) Cleveland
    13) Baltimore - I think stadium issues will get resolved in DC for United
    14) Nashville
    15) New Orleans or Indianapolis
    16) Ottawa or 2nd team in Chicago or Pittsburg or Green Bay or Buffalo
  4. Otergod

    Otergod Member

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    Gulley is from Mississippi, but he's also spent time playing with Chicago's academy team prior to signing. And then he had to spend the 2nd half of the season ineligible to play with the first team in a league match. I'm pretty sure this was him finishing his required year before he play as a HG.

    Chicago's affiliate teams in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Michigan and Indiana are setups for scouting top talent and will be ripe for the picking once Chicago gets their residency up and running.

    But much like any HG signing, the player has to spend a year either at the club itself (or on an affiliate within 75 mile radius) OR at a designated geographical location that had been assigned by the league to smaller markets like RSL, Columbus, etc...


  5. Otergod

    Otergod Member

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    a dieing city. Give it to Indy instead. ;)
  6. Peretz48

    Peretz48 Member+

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    I find it hard to believe that so many don't get that it all starts at the beginning. The developmental phases in soccer parallel human development in general. Try teaching someone algebra when they never mastered arithmetic. I love some of these posts where people will seriously argue that if only we had (name the pro athlete) playing soccer instead of football or basketball, we'd be one of the best soccer nations. No, what you'd have, assuming the same rec coaches were there, is great athletes with pedestrian skill sets, just like now. I'm oversimplifying, of course, but Rongen is exactly right- until and unless we have better coaches at the youngest ages we'll only be able to produce competent, but not great, players.
  7. bettermirror

    bettermirror Member

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    The number of MLS teams is about right. Going up to 22 makes about the best sense in re: to maximizing talent available to keep the league highly competitive. You can't expand the league so they are developing more youth players. Folks won't go watch, and the league will die.

    It can only be expanded if the talent is there. If Vancouver, Port, and Montreal flounder for a bunch of years how can they justify expanding even further and adding more cannon fodder??

    MLS should allow clubs to have up to 3 residency programs, all playing in USSDA. This would allow for growth and regionalization of a MLS-only USSDA, which is being discussed. Where would teams be allowed to put residency programs? Tough to say. Maybe the Canadian teams divide Canada up as they see fit. Clubs that are close such as the north East American teams may need to look at putting a residency in Louisiana, or Nebraska, or Buffalo etc....various places. North Carolina, etc.

    Maybe it is that MLS teams buy current USSDA teams and put them under their banner and create residency programs in existing USSDA communities.

    As for the responsibility of development not being solely on MLS. Absolutely spot on. FC Edmonton, an NASL team, is starting a u18 residency program for 12 players this year, adding an active reserve team, and are starting their own academy for u10 and will drow it each year by adding a u10 team and moving the incumbent up an age. In this way they aren't "stealing" players from current clubs to create their own u16 team etc.

    Canadians are very excited about this! Especially with Ottawa and Hamilton on the way, and hopes for Winnipeg and Victoria (and the current Division 2 study underway).

    NASL and USL Pro might not have money for residency on a league-wide basis, but individual teams prob can. Additionally, MLS could use these leagues by making some of them feeder teams (similar to what USL Pro 40 used to be??) or more actively loaning out bright youngsters to these teams to ensure they are getting games. How many second round draft picks simply aren't ready for MLS and get cut but could 2-3 years down the road with solid NASL experience move back to their parent MLS club? Probably a lot.
  8. 4mybroRRT

    4mybroRRT Member

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    Are you suggesting the NASL and USL leagues being used like how MLB has AAA- and
    AA- baseball leagues with teams that feed into specific MLS teams? Will players go back and forth like they do in MLB baseball?

    I can see that happening, if they don't expand past 26 MLS teams.
  9. bettermirror

    bettermirror Member

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    Not sure if it should be like baseball AAA. Actually I see it more like hockey's AHL to the NHL. AHL teams have agreements with NHL teams. The NHL teams usually pick the coach, and of course send their draft picks and whatnot there. BUT, the NHL team doesn't own the AHL team. And the AHL team has other players on its squad NOT affiliated with the NHL team. Also there are AHL teams that have NO affiliation whatsoever with an NHL team.

    So basically you'd see the Whitecaps partner with a logical city - such as Calgary or Victoria, partner with a team there, float some cash that way and of course a regular stream of players but you might then also have this new team in Florida run out of England that has no MLS affiliation in the same league as the Whitecaps affiliate. win-win for all....
  10. Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood Member+

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    I found this article interesting relative to our discussion of "covering the vast US." I find it part of an ongoing discussion of "where's the talent, so that we can do a better job cultivating it."

    It details NCAA 2012 recruits. It doesn't tell the whole story, but a lot of the story regarding where we really need to have MLS and Development academy teams.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/high-school...4656/soccer-recruiting-signing-is-no-rush-job

    1) The top 10 NCAA Division I-producing states (California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia and Florida in that order) account for 62 percent of all Division I commitments this year!!!

    [Every one of those states has multiple academy teams. In fact California and Texas have their own DA divisions. If you cross reference that with the map of the development academy clubs........you'll see great overlap. The people running the DA aren't dummies.]

    2) Two states on the move this year are Iowa and Minnesota. Last year, Iowa produced five Division I players, but the Class of 2012 has already hit 10. In Minnesota, eight members of last year’s senior class went to Division I programs, this year that number has swelled to 14.

    [We have two DA teams in Minnesotta-Shattuck's Saint Mary's and Minnesota Thunder.......but none in Iowa. I believe the Chicago Fire have an affiliate in Iowa.]

    Stats like this just go to show that the overwhelming number of elite soccer prospects in this country are clustered in certain parts of the country. We don't have to worry that we don't have a development academy team in Louisiana. Only one NCAA division player in the 2012 class comes from Louisiana. The Chicago Fire used to have an affiliate there, but I don't know if they still do. Right now if there's a great prospect in a state like Louisiana he'll have to go to Bradenton or a residential MLS academy like RSL.
  11. eneste

    eneste Member

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    That number is not that surprising. According to the Census, 58.1% of the US population between the ages of 15-19 live in those 10 states. Considering other factors such as that soccer is probably more popular in those states than the national average and that those are states with large population centers which makes it easier to scout players, I would say 62% sounds about right.
  12. ionprovisioner

    ionprovisioner Member

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    A.) Dying, not dieing.

    B.) Some people are doing grassroots football at the grassroots. Crazy, I know. Ahem.

    I agree that Indy has the advantage from a 'save us from ourselves, philanthropist billionaires' perspective. I just disagree about the effectiveness of that solution.
  13. asoc

    asoc Member+

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    Or those markets are in need of improvement and should be focused on?
    I would think we need to worry just as much about where players are not developing as much as where they are currently clustered.
    Fanatical Monk repped this.
  14. Fanatical Monk

    Fanatical Monk Member+

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    Absolutely. There are good players everywhere. We need to make sure they are getting the competition, coaching, and culture they need from u12-u16. To me, that is the wheelhouse age bracket that needs to be tended.
  15. THOMA GOL

    THOMA GOL OH...................

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  16. radmonkey

    radmonkey Member

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    OK, devils advocate.
    Setting aside the fact that Texas and California are the size of decent sized countries on their own terms and that NY and Illinois are no slouches in that department.

    Is it that kids outside of those states all suck or is it that they're not given the same opportunities to play in advanced development programs with superior coaching and then furthermore play in front of the right people, once they're older.

    Personally, I think they're diamonds in the rough that were not even close to tapping. NCAA soccer programs are not like football programs when it comes to scouting and budgets for scouting. They follow the obvious talent in the obvious places.
  17. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

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    Similarly, RSL signed Donny Toia from its Arizona academy.

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