Youth Soccer Training: 10 Month Academy?

Is a 10 Month Academy Season the Right Move?

The following article is based on my personal opinion on an article written by You can read the article at the link below.

At debate is the controversial topic of the US Academy Leagues going to 10 month seasons, which would preclude all Academy players from playing High School Soccer. This is an absolutely wonderful and terrible idea.

US Soccer is the red-headed step child to the rest of the world. We are definitely not on par with the rest of the world with our talent and techniques for training.
I agree that we need to have our best youth players playing against each other at the highest level. However, what do you do when the “highest level” is satisfactory compared to the rest of the world? For example, Juninho is a Brazilian born soccer player that plays for the LA Galaxy in the United States. Juninho is just an average to below average player in Brazil, so he settles for the confines of the MLS. Meanwhile, numerous world-class Brazilians including Robinho, Pato, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves Hulk and countless others are all playing in the top leagues in Europe. In the United States, we create top youth players of Juninho like skill.
So what we have is a bunch of 16 to 18 year olds in our Developmental League that in reality, are playing against mediocre talent–each other–as compared to the world stage. So do I believe that we need to play more and go to a 10 month system? Absolutely! However, do I believe that we need to do it today? Absolutely not.

You see, the Academy Leagues are forgetting something very important. You reap what you sow. If the US Soccer System continues to ignore our babies, then everything else is for sub-optimal at best. Think about this! What if we took the millions of dollars that we spend yearly on the Academy Leagues and Residency Programs, and put it into the development of youth ages 6 to 12, creating a rock solid fundamental foundation? At that point our youth could really benefit from setup of a 10-month Academy League. To simply think that we can ignore the root of the problem–early youth development–and replace it by implementing systems for post pubescent kids is a fallacy.

We need to stop making changes from the top down and start making a difference from the bottom up. Until then all of the programs and systems that are currently put into place are really just lackluster attempts at raising the level of play in this country.

What are your thoughts?  Please leave your comments below.  Be respectful of myself and others as our views are just opinions held by us and aren’t meant to offend others in any way.

Until next time,

Coach Randle

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