Written by Will Parchman

US-Soccer-Development-Academy-Flag-on-GoalNation

When the newfound girls Development Academy was officially set in stone earlier this year, there was a thin, barely concealed line scrawled in the sand.

U.S. Soccer entered into a club space with an already operational girls club league, the ECNL, and clubs suddenly had a decision to make. Some are big enough to have offerings in multiple leagues – PDA, for example, has 41 different girls teams, and obviously not all of them play in the ECNL – but some smaller clubs would have to choose between the two leagues outright.

The lines, it would appear, have begun to form.

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Written by Will Parchman

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By the time the American U20s had released the full measure of their pent up frustration on Aruba, it was already far too late.

The U.S. began its 2015 U20 World Cup qualifying odyssey with a clunk and a thud. A ripping 90th minute equalizer from Andy Ruiz, an FC Dallas academy player deep in the bowels of its youth system, doomed the U.S. to a 1-1 draw with a poor Guatemala side. The U.S. then lost to a superior Panama team and that was the group. The U.S. did not even have a chance to play in the final for the CONCACAF crown. It finished a distant second. Behind Panama.

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Written by Travis Clark

KlinsmannTime is running out for Jurgen Klinsmann to make his selections for this summer’s Copa America Centenario.

It’s a unique tournament, that viewed through a cynic’s lens, could be seen as little more than a cash grab for federations in North and South America.

That aside, there is plenty that Jurgen Klinsmann could get out of the tournament.

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Written by Will Parchman

Germany Soccer Dortmund Pulisic

I am about to offer you an opinion of indeterminate heat and without value determination. It is neither god nor devil, but the fact that we have been driven here – or more to the point that I have been driven here – says something. I’m not quite sure what yet.

Jurgen Klinsmann may well need to start 17-year-old Christian Pulisic on Tuesday against Guatemala.

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Written by Will Parchman

gianni-infantino

One of the beautiful things about Sepp Blatter’s lengthy, controversial fiefdom over FIFA from a federation’s perspective is the lack of general culpability. You can’t be truly guilty of hitching your wagon to the wrong horse if everyone was guilty.

So in that sense, the fact that the USSF voted for Blatter in the past – before finally taking a stance against him at the contentious 2015 election Blatter “won” – tells us more about the direction of the prevailing wind than it does about the way U.S. Soccer was directing its gusts. For years, the U.S., like dozens of other federations, did not want to risk the ire of the Blatter-run FIFA that would accompany a turned vote. So vote it did.

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Written by Will Parchman

free

This week we’ve been publishing a three-part, in-depth interview with new U19 coach Brad Friedel (you can find part one here and part two here). Now, finally, we come to the end.

The third part of this chat is probably the most prosaic. The Messi question found its way in (OH NO), in addition to concerns about Hispanic inclusion in U.S. Soccer, playing style, our reliance on English soccer coaches and more.

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Written by Will Parchman

freed

After beginning our serialized chat with Brad Friedel on Wednesday, we continue with a new raft of topics today. From performance analysis to coaching to grassroots soccer, we’re navigating the waters again today.

Since Friedel spoke at considerable length, I’ve broken this into three parts to give each its due, which we’ll run in three installments over the next three days. What follows is the second part. Here’s the first.

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Written by Will Parchman

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On Monday night, U.S. Soccer unleashed its newest twin initiatives: an eligibility calendar switch and new small-sided standards for U6-U12 players. While the latter is interesting in its own right, the most talking point-rich of the two is most certainly the former.

Here’s the biggest talking point from U.S. Soccer’s release.

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Written by Will Parchman

scout

The sun poured out its vehemence on Tulsa like a reckless hose and I wandered under it, between sidelines and around team huddles and through encampments of jittery parents. I’d drive my camping chair into the ground just back from the chalk, pull out my notebook and wait. And then I’d move on, to another field, like a minstrel or a merchant. It was solitary in its way, but shared experiences are their own kind of community.

The US Youth Soccer National Championships is not the biggest club event on the calendar, but it isn’t so far off. U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy playoffs has siphoned the prestige role into its own tank, framing the discussion like Jupiter framed the orbits of its planetary neighbors in those primordial days. The biggest planet with the most gravity always determines the trajectories of the bodies around it.

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Written by Travis Clark

While Tuesday’s result against Belgium wasn’t what the U.S. national team wanted, it did catch the attention of President Obama. The Commander-in-Chief dialed up Tim Howard and U.S. captain Clint Dempsey from the White House to express his pride at the team’s play in Brazil.

Thanks Obama!

 

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