Youth soccer in the United States is almost entirely driven by greed of the men who claim to be experts in soccer operations. Who have likely never held a job outside of youth soccer – make well over $300K from a “non-profit”.

Nothing about youth soccer in the USA is organized with any national leadership in a system solely designed to IDENTIFY AND DEVELOP talented youth in any systematic way. ECNL has tried / come closest on the girls side by creating a competitive national platform that at least applies pressure to players to improve and win and in the past few years, we’ve seen the MLS Next attempt to do so on the boys side.

The current approach to youth soccer in the United States is contributing to a decline in participation and enjoyment. Sadly neither US Soccer, US Youth Soccer, AYSO nor any other organization cares as long as the money continues to roll in.

This nation has the talent-pool and the prime economics to field multiple rosters of players that should be favored to win World Cups (both woman and men), and we always will. But our current system of allowing an alphabet soup of national associations, leagues, and talent scouting to simply churn through a disorganized process of natural selection; and then just thinking hiring the right head coach to pick players du jour has always been destined to fail.

U.S. Soccer needs to take control of the youth structure nationally. Not another league like the ill fated Development Academies, but by spending some of that money and playing hard ball with the youth structures in the US.