Written by Will Parchman

ntcdc

We’ve been hearing rumblings and rumors and half-confirmed truths and confirmed rumors and half-rumored truths about the new Training Death Star about to open in Kansas City. We know more than that now.

On Sunday, U.S. Soccer and Sporting KC (alongside Children’s Mercy, a hospital group that sponsors SKC’s stadium) jointly announced the groundbreaking of a palatial seven-field complex featuring an 80,000-square foot building to ultimately become ground zero for U.S. Soccer’s sporting operations in this country. It’ll open in 2017 and immediately become the training touchstone of American national team soccer.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman

ecnl

The second U.S. Soccer officially announced a girls Development Academy earlier this year, you could almost see the soft battle lines forming.

When the boys version was started in 2007, it was dropped into a soccer landscape desperately pleading for a single, unified national league. The men’s game needed a quality underpinning it patently did not have, and the DA was an answer to a market that actively asked for its help.

The girls DA has basically gone about establishing itself in the same way, which is problematic for some clubs. The ECNL, the national league of record and the girls DA’s immediate competition, can claim it’s doing the hard work of producing quality national teamers already. Around 90 percent of almost every YNT camp over the last few years has been made up of ECNL players, including Mallory Pugh, who moonlighted for the full USWNT while still being a part of Real Colorado’s U18 side.

There’s an argument to be made that the girls DA will be better than the ECNL, but will the margin be large enough to justify an all-out split among the nation’s best clubs? And will all of them even join?

On June 30, U.S. Soccer unveiled the first 25 clubs who came forward to join the new league. Among the entrants, PDA and So Cal Blues led an impressive contingent fringed with the surprise inclusion of 60 percent of the NWSL. It was an impressive haul and confirmed that U.S. Soccer’s resources will simply not allow the league to fail or even falter. Whatever it looks like, it’ll succeed in some measure.

A day later, Cincinnati-based club Ohio Elite offered its response. It is not joining the new girls DA.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
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.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman

2718255_full-lnd

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.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
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.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
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.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
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.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
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.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
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.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman

USMNTBS081011205

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.

Tags:  | Leave a comment