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38 players called in for U-17 USMNT July camp

U17 MNT vs Brazil

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Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams is giving a large number of players a look ahead of two youth international tournaments in July and August.

Williams has called in 38 players to a training camp from July 5-12 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif., including four players based abroad; Monterrey FC pair Joe Gallardo and Jonathan Gonzalez, Fiorentina forward Josh Perez, and a first call-up for dual-national (Netherlands) Kai Koreniuk of Vitesse Arnhem.

The training camp roster includes 22 players who are currently in U.S. Soccer Residency including Christian and Will Pulisic, Alexix Valela, Pierre Da Silva, and Alejandro Zendejas. The majority of the roster is in the 1998 class but six players were born in 1999, including U-17 regular Edwin Lara.

Williams and his staff will use the training camp to determine their squads for the the 2014 Nordic Open Cup Tournament in Kolding, Denmark, which runs from July 24-Aug. 3, and a concurrent tournament, the third annual Copa Do Mexico in Mexico City from July 30-Aug. 11.

Here’s a look at the 38-man training camp squad:


GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (12): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Edwin Lara (De Anza Force; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), AJ Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake Academy; Point Reyes, Calif.), Mattias Tomasino (Kendall; Miami, Fla.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (12): George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Francisco Contreras (Bethesda-Olney; Fredrick, Md.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey FC; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Alejandro Lopez (Santa Cruz Breakers; Watsonville, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)

FORWARDS (11): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL; Durham, N.C.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore), Kai Koreniuk (Vitesse; Ormond Beach, Fla.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (ACF Fiorentina; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas)


What do you think of this roster? Do you believe the U.S. can challenge at these competitions? Which players do you expect to be standouts? Excited to see Koreniuk in a U.S. jersey?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. This is the age group that will be in their prime in 2026

    We are no longer looking to just qualify, win a group stage game or sneek into the group stage!

  2. Pro/Rel is never going to happen and should never happen in the US. It is a completely ludicrous to even try to implement it here. Nothing more mediocre then when a teams sole purpose for a season is to not get relegated. No investor is going to put $ into US soccer when their franchise could be relegated and with a high probability it will fade into the abyss. Fan support and TV revenue in the lower divisions will be close to zero especially in a country where there are so many other sports available.

    Minor leagues are exactly that, minor. It is and always will be a place for youth development and journeymen to catch MLS scouts eyes, nothing more. US soccer should keep doing what its doing with integrating USL into a MLB type minor league system for MLS. Giving players in the 18-22 age range a chance at minutes in a competitive environment (Playoffs, Crowned Champion, etc). In addition to MLS owned entities, the USL should have independently owned teams where players who want to A) go pro and start earning money right away B) don’t live near an MLS team C) feel they have fallen through the cracks (I personally believe this group is over stated) have a chance to compete against the best in their age group. These teams will showcase these players to MLS and foreign scouts while receiving compensation for players sold and the cycle will continue. Try teams in impoverished areas like El Paso and see if they’re really diamonds in the rough being overlooked or not.

    • I beg to differ. I agree with futbolisimo.

      You say “no investor …………..” You got the subject right but the rest wrong. There is nothing an investor wants more than NOT having more investors. Especially those who would have MORE money and backing than them. Of course no present investors (owners) in MLS would ever consider any changes that may attract other investors. It is the American way, the way of capitalism.

      But, that doesn’t argue against what futbolisimo is saying. Make those changes that will make MLS better, more fun and give soccer a better chance in the USA then for sure, those watching on the side-lines, with more $$$$ will step in.

      However, I can understand many would argue on the other side. Capitalism is our number 1 so on any yahoo news article there are so very many supporting their elected leaders when those leaders enact laws which hurt those very vocal supporters.

      • Sorry expat, nothing in your anti-capitalism rant made any sense. The best way for MLS to grow going forward is having a strong nucleus of teams free from the worry of going down a division and never returning. MLS tv ratings are already abysmal and you expect enough people to watch minor league games? I should probably trust you though because Julian Green as a false 9 happened right?

        There is a reason the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are able to pay their players in decent money. They are soundly run businesses and thats the way it should be. Implementing pro/rel would be a huge business mistake for US Soccer. It promotes nothing more than overreaching and overpaying. Nothing is exciting about watching the same teams cycle back and forth between 1st and 2nd divisions

        Having teams panic buying players just to stay in the first division, like QPR, is beneficial to no one. Ill take a team thats out of the playoff picture but is still able play younger players and help build and mold the squad for next year without the threat of relegation any day. England’s over reliance on stop gap players with the team hoping they get first division money so they can afford all their players is one of the reasons their player development is so bad

      • Chris, I would love to see these two ‘geniuses’ go in front of NASL, USSF, and MLS and provide this insight. They would be laughed out of the building.

      • Chris, you are aware that they have pro/rel in countries besides England right? How have Spain, Germany, Holland, France, whoever you want to name, managed to develop great players with pro/rel?

    • I think pro/rel is a good idea and can happen here at some point in the future. However, we don’t have to have pro/rel in order to have an effective youth development system.

      • You are right Slow, it is a good idea.

        What I think we need is a U.S. Soccer governing body that is independent of the investors (owners). A body that will take decisions based only on what is good for U.S. Soccer.

        What we have now is very close to what other American sports have, a league commissioner. A body which works for the investors (owners). Until that happens it will be a rocky road. Although I don’t like it, I accept it. We are getting better, soccer is gaining in popularity. In a way, I kind of like the fight.

      • Please list reasons why its a good idea. Nothing more than a need to copy the “european” way

      • The main reason I think it’s a good idea is because I think long-term there are more cities that can support a professional team than you could realistically have in one league. 20 years from now you could have 2 20 team divisions with pro/rel. I don’t see why that’s unworkable.

        That said, if we don’t have that, there’s still no reason why we can’t have an effective youth development system. These things aren’t really closely related.

      • Youth Development will happen slowly, only because of who is “developing” the eventual player. If it’s USSF then it will be at a faster pace than if it’s the clubs (MLS)

        Pro/Reg will not happen because of the $ involved, and the concept (expressed many times by Slowleftarm) that no one will watch, or care about any 2nd division team, playing in a college stadium, not in the city/town they represent. All MLS has to do is plop down a team in any “new” market (see Atl) and get paid to do it. A 40 team league? Why not? On the field results don’t matter when it comes to expansion.

      • Agreed. Its not the end all be all but it is a tremendously better system than we have currently. What we have now is a great foothold but not a long term system.

        Currently we have a pro system were individuals can move up but teams can not, opportunities are limited because there is little incentive for lower division teams to produce players or even exist …

        People keep looking to MLS to figure it out but its gotta happen at the lower divisions first. I would start at the lowest pro level and build up. Once there is something significant to promote from and relegate to MLS could be integrated.

        I could see NASL and USSF making this happen if USL changed their business model.

      • Well said: “What we have now is a great foothold but not a long term system.”

        I think, right now, that’s about it, all we got.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb and venture a guess that you have no experience playing or working inside a pro soccer team.

      • I actually have spent plenty of time in the US soccer system. I know the actual logistics of what you want to implement and have talked to foreigners hired by US soccer that share the same sentiments as me. I even had one scout brought over from Spain with Perez explain to me why he thinks college soccer is a great asset to this country. It is blatantly obvious you are and have never been involved with anything soccer related in this country but continue to throw out ideas that you believe will work while every other sign says it won’t

      • I think the college system has it’s merits, but with profound limitations. If it’s seen in that light, I don’t necessarily see the harm. Have no illusion, however: it cannot really carry the burden of developing pro talent (say true 2nd division-level or better). Boys playing with boys will never feel the immense and acute pressure of men whose livelihoods are on the line day in and day out.

        Re you, well… I guess I made my point; you have zero pro experience as a player training and earning a living through the former A-league, USL, NASL, MLS or a 3rd division or higher club in Europe, Mexico, or South America…

  3. Ives,

    I am not familiar with a lot of these youngsters, but from what you know is the #10 we so desperately need among any of these young men? I see a lot of hispanic names here. Do you think we will see a lot of Hispanic influence the next cycle?

    • It’s wayyy to early to anoint any of these kids as “the next #10” for the national team. So much can change from the time a kid is 16. We’ve had kids in the past who are talented in youth teams and we’re so desperate to make them stars that we get way too ahead of ourselves. Even the best countries in the world have talented 16 year olds who don’t amount to much. Let’s just let these kids develop first (especially get some first team club minutes) before saying they can be our #10.

      • He looks very good in age group play, based on having seen several games in friendly tournaments. Hopefully he keeps on getting better.

    • I’m not sure using an old school #10 is going to happen. But it’s way too early to project any of these guys. Probably no more than a handful of these kids will ever earn a USMNT cap.

  4. Latest rumor is Yedlin to Roma a done deal and that Yedlin will stay with the Sounders another year before going over.

      • Better than Roma?!?! Do you really think that immediately jumping to a bigger club would offer him anything other than benchwarmer?

      • Roma is one step away for the elite clubs. If a young player has success there then the elites will come calling.

      • I DONT CARE ABOUT WHERE HE PLAYS, as long as he plays. If MB90 wasnt getting playing time there, something tells me Yedlin will though I’ll admit I’m not familiar with their RB situation. I’d rather be go to Holland with a guarantee of playing time or stay in Seattle.

      • RB situations is Maicon for one more year and then????? Sounds like they are trying to fill that with Yedlin. Plus the fact that it probably is till the end of this MLS season and the schedules have been forgotten about by the press in Italy. Thus he will go this winter and learn from Maicon and the soon to be signed Ashley Cole. Sounds like a promising situation for Yedlin. Plus the Sounders get 750K allocation money + millions to invest in their academy or transfers of future players. They have a strong academy for such a young academy. Soon to be additions from their academy are probably Darwin Jones and Jordan Morris to go along with Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar who were signed this year and are with the team now. Many more on the way. Its good to see especially since there a few academies that could be considered stronger in MLS already. Plus the Sounders will have a “B” team in USL PRO next year like Galaxy 2

      • Better than Roma? (Is there an echo in the room?)

        But seriously, the only level better than that is Man Utd/Chelsea/etc.

      • Yep. Being reported by a lot of folks now. No details b/c nothing is official. Wow though…Yedlin to Roma would be huge. I was thinking more along the lines of lower tier team from EPL/SerieA/Bundesliga, but this is good news. I just hope he has a spot to play and doesn’t get benched. If he doesn’t play it’s worthless.

  5. Kai was born and raised in Central Florida so I would imagine he identifies more with the US…has done pretty well for Vitesse.

  6. Time for USSOCCER to end the residency program and figure out how to use that money to better support the federated development system we need.

    • It’s a good point. I think, really, monies need to go into the pro system (meaning funds for youth development ranks through them). It’d be nice if the USSF just dumped their money into grants for the pro teams in this vein. Oh, and for god’s sake, can the pro leagues (MLS, NASL, USL, PDL…) get in a room together and come old holding hands with an agreed promotion and relegation system like the rest of the planet – aka, the football pyramid?

      • I’d hazard a guess that most American investors would balk at investing in a team whose value could drop so dramatically so quickly.

        What exactly would MLS Division 2 look like?

      • Oh… I’m note sure I agree with you. As an investor, I’d be licking my chops at the American market. Almost unequivocally, the way to go is up in the States when it comes to football.

      • Really?! You think the sheik would drop $100 million on a the rights to a franchise when there’s a possibility that you could be playing in USLpro2 in 4 years? Yeah , don’t think so.

      • Or if he or any of the MLS owners would want the game changed where he could have bought a USL team, dumped the franchise fees into players and promoted/taken the back door into MLS.

        Sure it would be fun as a fan but get real. It is not going to happen. Ever.

      • Again, way too concrete. Be a little more imaginative. Por exemplo, think of MLS selling tiered franchises – 1st, 2nd, 3rd division, etc. Each with a different value of course. The investor weighs his risks, etc.

        Do any of you kids make any real money?

      • “Again, way too concrete. Be a little more imaginative.”

        Why? Why not do the exact same thing done everywhere else? After all, it worked. I mean, you can’t argue with Germany, Argentina, Brazil.

      • Ahh, I think you misinterpreted my comment. I’m the guy saying what you’re saying… I was just saying in the case of MLS, maybe a quicker way to create the “football pyramid” (without using the NASL, USL, PDL, etc.) would be to simply start selling 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. tiers.

      • I was actually joking–I agree much more with others thinking that pro/rel isn’t an iron law in this day and age.

        I just couldn’t find the “sarcasm” tag in html.

      • Ugh… what a waste of time, so boring. Have any of you knuckleheads every played or even trained in a pro club in Europe (3rd division or higher)? Why do you think so many of our young players still head over there as soon as it’s possible?

      • Not quite as boring as the appeal to authority fallacy. Tell me, do you really think that you should take advice on structural business decisions from such luminaries as Connor Casey, Kenny Cooper, Clint Mathis? Maybe Jozy Altidore? He’s had experience in three different European nations! Maurice Edu has two plus trials.

        Better yet, Charlie Davies?

        The strength of your argument is that tradition is best. You fail to address any of the concerns reasonably, addressing questions on real significant differences of circumstance with a bullsh|t reply essentially saying “Well, MLS shouldn’t exist, maybe.”

        Dig deeper, futbolismo. Explain why the HUGE DIFFERENCES in historical circumstance can so easily be elided.

      • By no means is my argument “tradition is best.”

        In no way have I ever stated that. The football pyramid works for innumerable reasons, too vast to detail in a comments thread. That said, one of the most important reasons the pyramid works (with a genuine “academy” system incorporated at the bottom of it) is is that it provides for a structure and competition-level that bears fruit of profoundly skilled footballers (and I’m not just talking foot skills). In recent history, Spain is of course the best example of this. Presently, it looks like Holland is about to bear fruit from this.

        Re internationals in the twilight of their careers, I never implied those guys should be saddled with the operations of the soccer business as some kind of naive business operations/personal model. Based on my long and prosperous experience as an entrepreneur, business is a tricky and surprising thing. I’ve best been served by simply keeping my eyes open for talent. You find the most wonderful people often in the most unexpected places with the most varied backgrounds.

        Good job a trying to put words in my mouth. My hunch is that you’re probably a sleazy, manipulative lawyer.

      • No, you did not imply that–the list is to illustrate something else: you keep coming back with the bs involving “I bet you’ve never played in a 3rd division or higher team” and the like. The point is this: that kind of experience is neither necessary nor sufficient to evaluate incentive structures or business realities.

      • You are 100%, totally correct Futbolisimo. All the top soccer leagues & countries drool at the thought.

      • Your sarcasm masks and only serves to inculcate your ignorance.

        Man City has snatched up the rights to the N.Y. City MLS franchise. Notice the summer tours in the States of the big boys? You think this is for fun? It’s called marketing and recon, holmes.

        Every major European club is looking for an inroad into the American market. You think if MLS started selling franchises for additional 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier teams in a football pyramid system, the big boys wouldn’t bite?

        Be a man and start figuring out how the world works, kid. Your country’s futbol might benefit from it.

      • Didn’t you get this all out of your system yesterday El Camino? We have to go through this thing with you and “Fast Eddie” now?

      • Stop talking down to people. No investor that is sitting on a club worth 200 million from the 20-75 million they originally invested is gonna agree to a relegation system. Not gonna happen. You wouldnt either if you are such a sound businessman. Why increase your risk for a negligible reward. I say negligible because there is no proof that it will work in America. We arent Europe and we arent wired the same way. Just the way it is.

        If that means you cant get behind such things then so be it. Personally I could care less if someone as condescending as yourself is a fan.

        Like I said the investors that already exist dont want to split their pie more than the already agreed amount with the league. The lack of available franchises means that the value shoots up. Whether or not there are 30 more franchise opportunities or not, they could care less about the outsider. The second they care about the rich outside investor is not when that investor wants to create a club for a nominal fee but when he wants to buy their club that they own. Think about it, split a franchise fee with 30 other owners (lets 150 million for a franchise). So 5 million an owner without MLS office taking their portion. Or that guy who started SKC sells his club for 3 times that much (400-500 million down the line).

        Tell me which one that initial investor is gonna want to do? Make the 5 million (at most right now) or the 350 million off his 20 million put up in 2002?

        MLS clubs can sell for a lot right now because its a fast growing league and the easiest to get into out of the big American sports. Plus teams (for the most part) arent sacked with debt like so many Euro clubs.

        I understand where you are coming from and the merits of such a system. The problem is the people with the power arent gonna risk their investments at this point. Or any point in the next 10 years, Will that hold us back, sure it could…or maybe the growth happens within the country and it wont matter.

      • MLS is a single entity, which has anti-market, anti-competitive structure. Its top team in financial terms within this single entity structure is LA Galaxy with annual revenue of $36 million and operating income of $4 million. This is not a picture of successful business model, particularly when you compare it to smaller European leagues. Take Holland, for example, AFC Ajax has revenue of $81 million and operating income of $23.2 million and 0% debt to equity ratio. They are not afraid of relegation because they are a well run club. And we can learn from them a thing or two about player development.

      • Practically speaking I just don’t think it matters at all to the health of a naton’s footballing prospects if pro/rel is a feature of their system. It seems mostly to be a feature of competitions that evolved in the absence of another really dominant professional sport.

        The incentives that it provides can mostly be captured with other mechanisms.

        The key thing is that big-time sports are big-time businesses. You have to align the incentives–the federated development system is partially going to come from MLS and the other lower leagues, and partly from USSF.

      • I can’t help but feel, on one level, your point is indicative of how intellect-deficient the fandom of U.S. soccer is.

        The entire planet effectively develops talent through this system, staring with “the” academy – and it works. The proof is in the pudding of the play and the hardware. I marvel at the fact that I have to map this out – Italy, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, etc., etc…

        But yet, here, in writing, you as (I assume) an American, think we can ignore this kind of training. Really, is that all you have to offer?

      • Hey, those are legacy infrastructure, futbolismo. We’re trying to build now what evolved there over a century.

        No need to be snide.

      • Hey, you put your schlong on the choppin’ block when you say something like, “I just don’t think it matters at all to the health of a naton’s footballing prospects if pro/rel is a feature of their system.”

        A footballer from any of the countries I mentioned reads something like that, he just quietly chuckles and rolls his eyes…

      • Their systems evolved when they did, and most definitely NOT in the presence of sports juggernauts like the NFL, NBA, and MLB sucking all the oxygen out of the room.

        If we could go back in time, sure. But we can’t. We are in a nearly fully build environment, and one that features entertainment competition like no time or place in history.

        And you are convinced by the traditionalist chuckles and eyerolls from abroad? Speaking of intellectually limited.

      • It’s hard to create a startup league and follow the model of promotion/relegation. What would you have said to the original MLS owners when they say-wait so you are telling me I could lose my investment if my team finishes in last place? Yet at the same time I’m restricted by a salary cap? Nonsense.

      • So, then, maybe, in all honesty, a “start-up” league shouldn’t have been started? Maybe it would have been best to develop from the bottom up, with the teams that were already in place?

      • Where is the main incentive for youth players in the U.S. to develop into elite players if there isn’t a well-funded top league? This country doesn’t have the same history of soccer as the rest of the world. It can’t simply build the sport up from a grassroots level when it is a century behind sports like baseball and football. It had to start with the top of the pyramid, and as others have mentioned, it’s difficult to imagine anyone willing to invest bucket loads of money into an already risky proposition like MLS with the possibility of a fledgling team getting relegated to the wild west of lower division soccer.
        And futbolisimo, it is possible to argue a point without being a complete ass.

      • Well, it seems like the U.S. will just have to learn a little patience.

        And foooo, how is it possible, when dealing with philistines like you?

      • Don’t think it matters. I think if we could structure an incentive to the local club teams that develop talent, pro/rel wouldn’t be needed. Instead of championship league 3 you would have local youth teams that have an incentive to produce talent. As it is now, those teams do t have an incentive since they’re not entitled to any type of compensation if one of their players gets picked up by either a domestic or foreign professional team.

      • Sorry bud, but YOU are the intellectually-deficient one here.

        How many times does the notion of promotion/relegation in the USA need to be shot down before people stop bringing it up?

        It’s simple – most of the lower league teams could NEVER compete financially in MLS, no matter what benefits they would receive. No MLS team would ever consent to the chance of being dumped into our lower leagues as they would inevitable suffer dramatically.

        It’s so SIMPLE.

      • More than that, no MLS owners would agree to a system wherein their teams could be relegated to a lower division.

      • Not doomed but taking a different approach. Maybe one day in the distant future there will be a chance for it but not until it is a strong league.
        I know you’re a novice but MLS used to run a different kind of shootout.

      • I agree that pro/rel is a distant concept at best, but I think its possible we are looking at it wrong.

        The underlying assumption in many of these arguments (I’ve made them myself in the past, as well) is that MLS owners have to introduce “accept” the concept. Indeed highly unlikley in this case… it just makes no sense for owners of individual teams to give up a sure thing.

        But what about a different scenario? Seems that the way this is actually most likely to happen would appear to be a “breakaway” league rather than an MLS mandate. What if certain USL/NASL etc. teams are clearly besting the bottom 5-6 MLS teams year-in and year-out in terms of competitive qualty and (more importantly) revenue? Perhaps successful/profitable MLS teams decide to split off with a number of these “lesser” league teams and form a new league that does include a pro/rel concept, if they determine this will maximaize profits for clubs at the top?

        This is obviously a long way off, as well, but it’s important to note that profit-motivated clubs DO perhaps have incentive to adopt pro-rel, just not within the context of the current framework.

      • To elaborate a bit.
        In the recent book “The Sports Gene” the author describes a bit about how some Caribbean nations became sprinting powerhouses–there seems to be a genetic component but also this: they really sift every grain of sand looking for the diamond.

        While the US has a lot of youth players, most are recreational, and even those that are not far too often receive bad coaching.

        So a federated development system with MLS and USSF both pitching in could help a lot

        1) MLS has a natural incentive, but the teams have to balance the resources in and out. They can provide more professional coaching (and again, the incentive exists to make that ratchet up over time). The costs go up significantly with geographical footprint, etc.

        That’s where USSF steps in with

        2) Accrediting USSDA clubs based on quality of coaching and structure of competition for youths. But putting 22 eggs in one basket is folly. You need to take the ops costs there (~$2M/year I recall) and plow that into developing the coaches at the USSDA clubs or other ones seeking admission to USSDA.

        The whole coaching ed line in USSF financial statements is about $2M expenses (they recoup it almost exactly charging tuition).

        Making a player pyramid instead of a a league pyramid might be the only option that will fly in this generation (because the ownership of the teams simply can’t bear the risk).

        That’s why I love the moves MLS has made already with affiliating with USL PRO. Expanding that further, consolidating the lower levels of the existing league “pyramid” and figuring out how to get the NCAA to make some reasonable changes should be the targets–aside from pumping up the quality of coaching in our lower pro and higher amateur levels.

      • Exactly right; we can have a player development pyramid without promotion/relegation. The key is aligning the financial incentives. It is currently much cheaper to import an Eastern European or South American player than to develop an American and the MLS structure actually encourages this.

      • Nice post Tom. I particularly liked “they really sift every grain of sand looking for the diamond.” Clubs that are in the leagues with promotion/relegation system look a lot harder for the diamond than MLS does. They have to balance their budget particularly in smaller feeder leagues (like Holland, Belgium, etc), while fielding a competitive team to avoid relegation. The best way to do it is to develop young talent to either incorporate it into a team or sell it for profit. In contrast, MLS owners don’t have to worry about relegation and can field poor to mediocre quality teams without much downside.

      • Sure, the leagues would *love* to negotiate about pro/rel. The 2nd & 3rd divisions aren’t mature enough to support MLS teams going up & down. You would seriously ruin some decent franchises by forcing the system without enough money in the pyramid yet.

      • I know, I get the facetiousness. It’s a pipe dream, probably. But, I don’t understand what you mean by “mature enough.” In the relegation system, the money that inherently comes from promotion (TV deals, sponsorship, etc.) is what allows the club that, say, gets promoted, in theory, to properly outfit itself to handle the bigger business of being in the next league up.

      • But there’s *not* enough money to do *that* *and* make parachute payments sufficient to offset the risk for existing ownership groups.


        And possibly for a really long time.

      • Yeah, without a balance sheet and profit and loss statement in front of me for each club, I just wouldn’t know.

      • Do you even know what those do? Cuz obviously you need a few other pieces of paper to really see the picture.

      • It’s almost suicide to ask a team that has trouble filling a 4500 seat stadium to suddenly elevate to the next level by expanding their stadium and buying new players for a possible one year visit to a higher level. We don’t have enough fans (and sponsorship dollars) clamoring for soccer to guarantee that a move up will be met with commensurate revenues. NASL is relatively stable right now, but USL PRO (and certainly PDL) aren’t … especially if they had to start paying players more.

      • You guys (almost all of you) are missing the point; you’re way too concrete about the matter. The team with a 5K capacity crowd would not be left in the lurch if it found itself promoted to the fist division. Money would come pouring in.

      • And where does this “magic money” come from? Yes, income would increase, but so would spending … and now you have to build out an infrastructure to attract 20k fans instead of 5k. Can the local market handle it? Will you even be able to get the extra fans and their cars into the expanded facility?

        Too many fans of pro/rel throw out the suggestion that the structure will automatically generate the fans and revenues. If we were a soccer-mad country, sure. But we have lost a *lot* of soccer teams in this country because they bit off more than they could chew.

        I’m just not convinced there are enough owners willing and able to commit the capital needed to run a successful soccer club. Maybe we will get there someday.

        And, I’ll admit that MLS owners aren’t going to be willing to give up their current monopolies on the top (the same would be true of BPL teams if they had the option). Perhaps MLS can create a 2nd division and do internal pro/rel, but it would have to be on that level rather than across the entire pyramid.

      • Oye, vey, nothing personal, but it really feels like you’re out of your depth, BostonRed.

        The dinero comes from sponsorship, investors, TV deals…

        What else? Any other questions?

      • Just adding in pro/rel doesn’t magically create new revenue streams, especially in the US. Teams that drop are also going to lose revenue. It’s great to say that all this money would pour in… but it is a pipe dream in the current environment. Save your insults for others.

      • No, my insults are tenderly reserved for you.

        There’s no magic here. I speaking in very concrete terms. This entire machine of rel/pro is very much driven by advertising dollars.

      • This. Until the 2nd and 3rd tiers can make enough money to fully fund their own academies, it would be a mess. You would have MLS teams with academies being relegated (and being then unable to fund their youth development) and teams getting promoted that would then have to expand academies (while knowing that a highly possible relegation would then mean they could not fund the academy they are setting up).

      • Here’s an how DC United finances its academy program (arguably one of the best in the MLS):

        What are the costs for D.C. United Academy players?

        Costs vary according to age division for the Academy. The U-14s pay $2,500 and the U-16 and U-18s pay $1,500. These fees cover coaches and athletic trainer fees, training and travel gear, transportation, meals and lodging costs for league, regional and national events. Full and partial scholarships are available on an as need basis for any player who applies and provides supporting documents.

      • If I’m the owners of NYCFC and just payed $100M to get an MLS franchise, why in the heillll would I agree to Pro/Rel?

    • Or we make a deal with a club like in Europe Argentina, Brazil or Mexico with excellent youth development academies to jointly host a residency program for the US with the understanding that they get first dibs on potential first teamers.

      • Or maybe we develop a system here instead of fetishizing everything foreign and assuming it’s better. Sure, we should we learn from what’s happening in other countries but we don’t have to do everything the exact same way.

  7. Question for those in the know: why is the Kai Koreniuk situation – a dual-national in a foreign club team’s system being selected to become a U.S. youth international – isn’t more common (assuming it isn’t)? All of the senior USMNT’s dual-nationals (Julian, J.A., Aron, Mix, Terrence, Joe Corona (?), etc.) had to make a switch to join our senior team rather than having been “plucked” early, or didn’t seem to have appeared for either of the countries’ youth teams, like Jose Torres. Why is that?

    • Youth players (and really all NT players) are free agents until they play in a competitive match. Kai has played in friendlies for the Netherlands, but not in a FIFA-approved competition. He can bounce back & forth from fed to fed until he plays in a competition. If he plays in a UEFA or FIFA competition for the Dutch as a youth player, he’d have to file his one-time switch to change to the US.

      Boyd, Diskerud & Corona never had to file a one time switch.

    • Many of the USMNT’s dual-nationals were identified early and have played with US youth teams. They were required to file a switch to the US because they also played for another countries youth teams in official matches, or Sr. team in friendly matches.
      Boyd, Agudelo, were part of US youth teams and didn’t have to file a switch since they never represented another nations youth team.
      It can be difficult to bring duel nationals into youth camps if they are playing abroad. Travel can be difficult, released from the club can be hard to obtain, etc… Most of the time players abroad will only be in a youth camp if 1) It is on a FIFA Date, 2) Their clubs believe the international camp & matches are more beneficial to the players development than staying with their clubs.

      • Question for anybody out there: What’s the best way to get a kid playing abroad noticed by U.S. soccer folks. My son is playing at Slavia Prague, albeit he is only 8. He is considered the best player on what is arguably the best team in the Czech Republic. They also beat Barcelona at a tournament they won in France in June. Thanks.

      • Most of the time, it’s by letting the federation know that he’s eligible for the US. Probably best if the team notifies them, but lots of players and their parents have simply notified the age team coach and sent some film.

      • Congratulations on your son’s achievements. BostonRed above has it right. Hopefully there are bright things in his future, soccer or otherwise.

      • Thanks. European soccer is much more demanding. At an early age they are put through drills, I would have thought earlier were for older players. My son is pretty good, but it’s still early days. I think right now he would match up pretty well with the best in the US. If he’s still at Slavia at 15, I will contact the federation…..

    • The dual-nationals coming into the YNT’s is not common because we don’t identify the kids that young. It seems to me that Most of the time we don’t call them in until they have become 1st team professionals which doesn’t happen very often with 17 – 19 years olds.
      I could be wrong but I just can’t recall many duals ever being called in. It is my recollection than when a 17 y.o. gets called in from a professional set up that he is a US passport holder.

      Maybe that’s why the author highlights that in the closing of the article.

      • We’ve had dual nationals in our youth systems for a while, and they don’t always even end up choosing the US for senior caps. For instance Neven Subotic played for US youth teams.

    • Kai is very much American. He was born in Florida. He has stated numerous times that he wants to play for the US not Holland.

      • From the Orlando Sentinel:

        And while Koreniuk said he is delighted by his opportunity with Holland, he acknowledged he would be very open to an invitation from the U.S.

        “I think for sure [I would accept,]” he said. “I was born and raised in the country.”

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