U.S. Youth National Teams

Ramos discusses improvements to U.S. Soccer youth development

Tab Ramos

  • EQeki

    Hopefully Tab Ramos discusses improvements to his U-20 roster selections.

    Epic fail on trying to make us look like the mexican national team on the last U-20 World Cup


    • ChrisTheLSUTiger

      Go away troll. That team moved the ball better than the senior USMNT.


      • futbolisimo

        +1000, exactly, thank you. Can American fans get an effin’ clue about how the game is played?


      • EQeki


        When you go with those type of players you are no threat on set pieces, corners, no shots beyond the box, or 50/50 challenges…. all of our strengths.

        You don t know #$%^ about American soccer


  • TomG

    match was supposed to be live streamed on ussoccer dot com but i’ll be danged if I can find it. Anyone find it?


  • P

    Still huge challenges for US Development Academy. Organizations with pro team at top of pyramid have no way to protect their investment in players, as they either have to offer homegrown contracts or full pro contracts while foreign academies can step in with youth training contracts or an equivalent. Organizations without pro team in their pyramid are even worse off. Youth development is improving, and the quality of play in the Development Academy is on average the best. However, until their is a true way to play your way into the top flight (pro/rel) and the federation is able to use litigation or legislation to provide meaningful professional status for youth players we will continue to be fighting with one arm behind our back.


    • chris

      Im going to have to disagree. From personal experience, VSI tried this in Florida, not many kids are going to sign professional contracts to lower division teams for little money when that means giving up college eligibility. Whether you like it or not, College has put more players in a position to succeed (Dempsey, Yedlin, Zardes, just to name a few) than signing young to lower division teams where competition and facilities aren’t often worse than D1 programs.

      To touch on your incentive theory, I’m going to have to disagree once again. The idea that pro/rel somehow improves youth development is a myth. Many academies that don’t have a pro franchise have been around for decades and are only getting better. Developing players and having them become pros attracts more younger talent which in return improves team performances which in return attracts better sponsors. Using that sponsor money gives better coaching, equipment, facilities, scholarships, etc. Non mls academies seem to be doing just fine with this so called “lack of incentive” to point where they are actually pumping out, arguably, more talent than MLS academies (Flores, Pelosi, Pulisic, Moore, Arriola and Mendiola were developed at Arsenal FC and spent little time with the galaxy).


      • P

        Chris, you knocked down a couple straw men very effectively. I never said anything about the current college model, which has clearly produced professional players (how well compared to the global standard is debatable), and I never claimed that non-academy teams were unable to produce talented youth.

        My first point is that clubs and organizations in our country have no means of guaranteeing a return on investment (ROI) when it comes to youth development. Case in point the Columbus CREW. They have a youth national team player in their system, Ben Swanson, who would be the perfect replacement for Will Trapp in 1-2 years. Ideal situation would be to let Trapp continue showing his stuff, get some run in the upcoming WC qualifying cycle and then sell him for a nice chuck of change that can be reinvested into the organization.

        However, this can’t happen unless you lock up Swanson and provide him a situation to continue developing while things play out with the first team. Sadly, the CREW can only offer a homegrown contract that offers little upside for Swanson compared to opportunities abroad (remains in USDA and trains up with 1st team) or sign him to a full pro contract while he is still a couple years off from starting in the MLS. In the latter he languishes on the bench or maybe plays for the Dutch Lions to get matches…not ideal. Most likely scenario is he continues performing well and gets snatched up by a foreign club, and the CREW get ZERO compensation for 8+ years of time, effort, and money.

        As I said the situation is even more grim for a non-pro affiliated USDA club (actually a club that is independent and organic not an franchise in a closed league), as they have no homegrown contracts and no pro-contracts to offer. However, if you had an open pyramid things get interesting. Lets do another case study. Say the PA Classics, Vardar, or your example of Arsenal FC could play their way into 1st division soccer in the US Federation (full-blown promotion and relegation). All these clubs have been producing NCAA D1 and pro players consistently, so it’s not a stretch that they could put together good rosters given the right environment. Now the gloves come off. These clubs can seek investors to improve staff, facilities, travel, etc. etc., and their excellence in player development is now rewarded by the opportunity to field a pro team of their own without doing all the work and having the kids pulled out from underneath them.

        You’ve actually undermined your own argument. These truly original clubs that have been around and healthy for years, and in many cases doing a better job than pro-affiliated academies, have arbitrarily been told they have no path to fielding a division 1 pro team in the US Soccer Federation. The question is by who, and the answer is Don Garber and Co. and whoever in the Federation (Gulati) is agreeing to their monopoly. Why basically comes down to $ and power.

        With minimal incentive there are some pretty impressive accomplishments in youth development happening around the US. Imagine if that incentive was maximized by attaching truly professional player development (in line with the global standard we got such a good look at over the last month) to financial and sporting rewards. Wow are we missing the boat!


  • Fire Klinsman Ban Jr

    Always love these interviews. And, so glad to hear what we who follow the league always knew – the dividends that the US team is seeing now is due to the tireless work of people for the past decades, the work of Major League Soccer, and the recent developments from the Academies – not Klinsmann.


    • chris

      Im not on the fire Klinsmann bandwagon but yes his impact on youth soccer is greatly overstated





  • Tim F.

    Didn’t the German National Team have an approach to developing talent. Seemed to work fairly well for them; how closely are we following a similar plan? How does the US Soccer development approach differ compared to the one followed in Germany?


    • Lorenzo

      They are the largest developed country in the world that cares a lot about soccer. We need to pick things that we see other nations doing that will work for us, not try to be a clone.


  • The Garrincha

    EQ, Futbolistico, Chris, can I be FRANK?(just playing),
    You all seem correct to many degrees,
    debate and discussion is nice.
    Certainly a good mix and fusion of the
    tried and true American approach to soccer/athletics,
    along with an upgrade and refurbishing of style, control,
    training, conditioning, technique, tactics, and sport psychology etc.

    The US, model has been very successful in just about all sports in general.
    The German approach has been successful in many areas as well,
    however in soccer, their consistency and excellence is second to none.
    Soccer in the United States is well on an upward trajectory and still rising, how far it will go?,
    depends on everyone’s continued commitment and solidarity to see it through.
    The growth and potential is undeniable, a next phase is finding a balance with international
    player scouting and development to grow in line with national scouting and development.
    comprehensive, thorough, and equitable.

    Some may have noticed that the regional representation for the national team is more or less
    the same as it was back in the 80’s and 90’s.
    The traditional hotbeds being represented ie. CA, Tri-State, and Maryland/Virginia/D.C. and Florida (Bradenton,) some what by default.
    this is changing but remembering how it was over the past two, three decades.
    the inroads, still have a long way to go.


  • pitch invasion

    I think a fusion of the two models (traditional American college and professional/acadamy) would work well in the US as long as the powers that be at US Soccer do not favor one over the other. The players could then make the choice about how they want their development to go. It does seem to work for baseball.


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