Posted on February 9, 2012
By Michael Lewis
High school or the U.S. Soccer Development Academy?
That is the question many talented teenage boys soccer players across the nation will face prior to the fall season.
They will have to choose one way or another. They will have to make a commitment to a full season with their Development Academy club or remain with their high school, according to reliable sources in the U.S. soccer community.
The Development Academy is going to a 10-month schedule that will run from September to June, sources said..
The official announcement is expected to be made on Friday morning.
In past years, Academy players were able to have their cake and eat it, too, bring able to perform for their high school team in the fall, usually from September through November, before joining their Academy side for winter training and a spring season.
Needless to say, the decision will prove to be a controversial one because difficult decisions will have to be made by the players and their parents. Whatever decision that will be made will anger and disappoint the losing party.
High school soccer could be the big loser because the Academy affords players to get the right amount of practice — during the week — and play on the weekends.
“It certainly will be controversial,” one Development Academy club official said. “It’s a hot topic, a hot topic.”
That official thought the year-round Academy system will be beneficial for developing American players.
“I think it’s a monumental situation for the U.S. player for the National Team,” he said. “It’s going to put them into training environment year round. It’s only going to make them stronger.
“It’s only going to be beneficial long-term.”
The official admitted there will be difficult choices made.
“If they think the Academy is something that is better for them, it will have to be a choice they have to make,” he said. “It will separate players who really want to be players and those who don’t.
“When a players plays two or three games a weekend and with some training, what is the chance of him development? At the end of the high school season he goes to the Academy in November and is beat up.”
Categories: North America, U.S.A., Youth
Tags: U.S. Soccer Development Academy