The US Development Academy is our nations highest level of youth soccer. US Soccer makes sure DA standards remain high through a series rules that participant clubs must abide by. While there is a massive gap in talent between many MLS academies and non-MLS academies, the truth is, the quality of youth soccer at the highest level has never been better.
The DA attracts the most talented players and coaches in the country. Most youth national team players come from the DA system and every DA head coach will soon be required to hold a USSF B coaching license.
Oversight and standards seem to be working at the Development Academy level. Can US Soccer establish standards for clubs and players that occupy the lower rungs of the youth soccer hierarchy?
Here is a rough outline of what I think could be done. If anyone wishes to discuss this further, please e-mail me at Jeremiah@whitesportventures.com or contact me on Instagram or linkedin.
Plan for US Soccer
WHAT: Deploy a program for USYS, US Club and ECNL clubs across the country that will:
a. Raise minimum standards for clubs
b. Measure the effectiveness of US Soccer’s coaching education in varying soccer environments
c. Distinguish clubs that are focused on quality
d. Inspire clubs to adopt a growth mindset and buy into US Soccers developmental objectives
WHY: We lose or under-develop potential talent in large numbers because players quit early, parents aren’t educated, coaches aren’t well trained, and clubs don’t deliver value. There is no formalized quality control system that can help raise the minimum standards for clubs. The majority of clubs in our country are private, for-profit organizations that operate without qualitative oversight.
Because of this, we can’t
a. Scale effective player development
b. Measure the effectiveness of US Soccer’s coaching education at scale
c. Collect demographical data and customize learning based on cultural needs
d. Build relationships with clubs at ALL levels
e. Establish feedback loops with players and parents across the country
How: Clubs would have the opportunity to work with US Soccer.
a.Clubs register and pay for the program
b. Club is analyzed for specific metrics
c. Standards for club are set by US Soccer based on analysis
d. Club agrees or disagrees with standard goals
e. Timeframe is set for reaching targets
f. Club meets goals
g. Club is given (soft) US Soccer designation
Value to Club
- Club improves the quality of its coaching staff
- Club gets discounts on bulk education
- Club gets statistical feedback on consumer sentiment
- Club gets US Soccer (soft) designation
- Club has marketing advantage due to relationship with US Soccer and credential
- Club has ongoing relationship with US Soccer
Value to US Soccer
- More participants in US Soccer Education courses
- Player and parent sentiment data at scale
- The ability to track the effectiveness of coach education through the progression of the
- Additional revenue streams
-Making soccer more enjoyable and important to thousands of people
-Helping the voiceless parent and player
- Statistical analysis
- Building a relationships for US Soccer
This is a brief outline of a more involved plan, but please share your thoughts.