Proud member of US Club Soccer, a national organization and member of U.S. Soccer fostering the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.
To develop players by guiding them towards actually understanding the game’s mechanics rather than hindering their growth through repetitive and arbitrary exercises imposed by the traditional soccer academy setting.
The terms methodology, training models, curricula, benchmarks, and learning cycles have plagued the American soccer academy world in an effort to standardize what players should be learning throughout a season-perhaps to also justify to paying parents what those hours of practice are being spent on. Yet, the country has consistently failed at producing world-class players, as evidenced by its national team stars who leave the country at a very young age to learn the sport how it should truly be learned: naturally.
We, as a nation, have failed to acknowledge the simple truth that soccer is simple. The sport is 11 versus 11 with one ball for 90 minutes-the rest is just theory. The precise possession-based tiki-taka of the Spaniards is obliterated by teams with fast transitions and quick build-ups; the total soccer popularized by Cryuff’s Clockwork Orange never won an international title (the Netherlands has only won one European Championship in 1988) despite leading a global revolution in how the sport was played; the cold, calculated World Cup-winning football of the Germans has also been kicked out of a World Cup in the first rounds; the dominating jogo bonito of the Brazilians has been stopped by the fiercely disciplined catenaccio of the Italians. These systems of play are all great when looked in a vacuum, as evidenced by some of the incredible titles earned, yet they have also lost to each other countless times. This means that there is not one absolute system of play that guarantees success, so why are Academies in the United States fixated on standardizing how players should play the game?