There is a ton of information and many important updates in this week's newsletter, so please make sure you read through this and pass on important information to your team parents.
~MYSL Annual General Meeting will be held on September 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm. We will send more information about this meeting (including agenda) in a separate email, BUT, Coaches - please mark this date in your calendar as attendance will be mandatory for all credentialed adults on your team. In other words, anyone who will be receiving an adult pass for the 2011/2012 seaon will be required to attend this meeting.
Special Congratulations to the U19 Girls Chivas 92 who won 5-1 over Chivas America in their final
Special Congratulations to the U16 Girls Courage who won 3-0 over the Jamestown Girls
~Championship GamesScheduled for 8/13 (If you are not participating, come out and support the finals!)
9:00 am U12 Boys Green 98 vs. White 98
11:00 am U16 Boys Gims vs. Jamestown
1:00 pm U19 Boys Horizons vs. Alianza
3:15 pm U14 Boys United Sporting vs. Chivas Falcons
CYSA Manuals are ready for pick up at MYSL Office.
IMPORTANT – Any player that is playing college ball is NOT ELIGIBLE TO PLAY CLUB BALL – Coaches, please check with your players that are starting college in the fall to make sure they are eligible.
~Soccer By The Bay – we have previously sent information about this tournament. Please note the following advice received from our State CYSA Office about this tournament… Currently CYSA teams playing in non CYSA or US Youth Soccer events are not sanctioned and therefore their insurance coverage is not in effect. Also, until our BOD approves a change, they are in violation of the grievance settlement that indicated teams cannot use US Youth Soccer credentials at non US Youth Soccer events. I believe our BOD will discuss changing this for next season but the current rules do not permit a CYSA team to use passes at a US Club tournament.
~Dolores Park Update
Another reminder that MYSL families are encouraged to attend. Coaches, please make sure you let your families know.
Public Workshop #3
Thursday, August 4, 6:30 pm
Everett Middle School Cafeteria
450 Church Street
Enter on 17th Street, through the parking lot.
~New US National Team Coach discusses the Future of Soccer
Klinsmann needs to overhaul U.S. soccer's grassroots development
Just moments after he was officially announced as the new head coach of the U.S. men's national team this week, Jurgen Klinsmann told a lie.
When asked how he would fix the American team, he answered:
"I don't think there's anything wrong with the team. They lost a Gold Cup final against a very, very good Mexico team that over the last couple of years became one of the top 10 teams in the world."
You'll have to forgive Klinsmann for being disingenuous. If there wasn't something wrong with the U.S. team he wouldn't have been sitting at the Nike store in midtown Manhattan answering questions.
And his answer to that particular question was proof and declaration of what's wrong with the U.S. team. While Mexico -- a team that could reasonably be called the United States' equal a few years back -- has quickly evolved into one of the globe's top teams, the Americans have become stagnant. The Mexican resurgence has been fueled by dazzling young players.
In contrast, the best player on the national team is the same guy who was the best player on the national team a decade ago: Landon Donovan. (Or, if you want to argue for Clint Dempsey, change the phrasing to one of the two best players on the national team. Either way it's unacceptable.)
Where are the top American prospects? Are there any? While fired coach Bob Bradley did little too inspire anyone with his style or demeanor, he also had precious little to work with in terms of promising young players.
So it isn't just the coach that needed changing. It's the American system and approach -- a process that isn't developing enough top prospects, either quickly or creatively.
The heart of the problem is an American system that relies too heavily on well-to-do upper middle class kids whose families can afford to pay exorbitant fees to play for club soccer and travel teams -- amounting to several thousand dollars a year. Those club programs get their players on paths into the Olympic Development Program and youth national teams and into top regional tournaments. There they are exposed to collegiate coaches and then continue their track into the ACC or the Pac-10, which aren't exactly like the FC Barcelona youth system.
You can argue -- as many have -- that the best American athletes are never going to play soccer. That might be partially true, but not sports dogma. Our population has changed too rapidly to make such 20th century assumptions hold fast, while soccer continues to grow in visibility and resources in this country.
The problem is less a question of what sport an athlete chooses than providing access to an underserved, under-recruited, unnoticed group of athletes. An invisible group that isn't being tapped.
Klinsmann, who lives in Southern California, obviously has spent a lot of time thinking about the issue. And his answers about what the youth programs of America should be were more forthcoming than his assessment of the current state of the U.S. team.
"The youth teams should reflect again the mixture of cultures. It should reflect what's going on in this country," Klinsmann said. "There's so much influence from the Latin environment over the last 15-20 years, that also has to be reflected in the U.S. national team."
Klinsmann said he wants to tap into America's "melting pot" and find a style that reflects the culture of this country. He's learned a lot during his years of living in the U.S.: about the push for college, about the rigid youth system, about the lack of pickup soccer or hours of kicking a ball around outside of an organized practice.
"It doesn't matter how he plays, with his dad or with his buddies in the street, this will show later on with his technical abilities, with his passing, with his instinct on the field," Klinsmann said of his hypothetical player. "I think that's certainly an area where a lot of work is ahead of us."
Our athletes play in organized, regimented club systems that give them a certain amount of technical ability but little creativity or fluidity and our soccer style reflects that.
While there have been strides in youth development it still remains an entrenched pay-to-play system run by youth coaches that are making a decent living. Can you turn back the clock to a simpler system of banging the ball around the neighborhood, where nobody is getting paid to supervise?
Klinsmann has his work cut out for him. How much authority U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati cedes to Klinsmann remains to be seen. Gulati called the issue of a control "a bit of a red herring."
But what isn't a red herring is the fact that something needs to be fixed. That waiting a decade to discover the next best American is too long. That the U.S. is a second tier soccer country.
"We have a ways to go still to break into the top 10 in the world," Klinsmann said. "We need to be realistic that we are not belonging there right now. Not yet."
Now that is the truth.
~Claudio Reyna: 'Coaches should sit down'
By Mike Woitalla
For many reasons, Claudio Reyna was the perfect choice to be named U.S. Soccer’s Youth Technical Director one year ago.
The New Jersey product, who captained the USA at two of his four World Cups, played American youth club, high school and college ball before embarking on a career in Europe that saw him captain teams in Germany, Scotland and the English Premier League. After finishing his playing career with MLS’s New York Red Bulls, which he also captained, Reyna traveled the world to observe the most successful youth programs – including FC Barcelona.
Reyna’s research, and his own experiences, culminated in the Federation’s new curriculum for youth coaches (available for download at USSoccer.com).
Upon the unveiling of "U.S. Soccer Curriculum," Reyna spoke to us about what had impressed him about the youth programs that he found worth emulating.
“The coaches were guiding the training,” he said. “They were not controlling. They weren’t on top of the kids. They were not stopping the play for every mistake.
“None of them yelled. The only time they barked was when kids were screwing around. That’s when they said, ‘Hey, cut it out!’ And boom, the intensity went back up.”
It’s important, Reyna says, to avoid the temptation to focus on mistakes:
“When you first start coaching young players, you see so many things, because, yes, they make mistakes, and if you see a lot of mistakes you want to correct a lot of mistakes. But these coaches were really letting the kids learn the game.”
In the United States, youth soccer struggles to stifle the influence of traditional American sports.
“In our country, we feel we have to do things because of our other sports, which are very much dominated by calling a timeout, writing up a play, 'do this, do that,'” he says. “There is more of an influence from the coach in those sports to solve a situation for the players.”
Another trait of the youth coaches at clubs that succeed at producing top-level players was that they “were very organized, professional, very prepared.
“You could see that they knew what they were doing from one exercise to the next.”
Reyna was struck by the humility of the youth coaches at the pro clubs:
“Very humble. Devoted to their jobs. I got to speak to so many coaches and it was almost when I asked them things they were embarrassed to talk about it. They’d say things like, ‘We’re a part of something else. The kids are students. We’re their teachers. We have to do this job, then we pass them on to the next coach and he does his job, and I get the next group in.’
“And it was very, very powerful to see these guys who were working behind the scenes. They don’t get any credit, no one knows who they are, and for me they were fantastic coaches.”
During games, Reyna observed that “at the best places the youth coaches are sitting down. And if they get up to give instructions, they sit right back down again.
“When the game is going on, all the coaches should just sit down. I think if you ask any player at the youth level, if the coach is on the sidelines standing, it brings tension. You can sense it.”
Coaches at the foreign pro clubs Reyna observed are judged by how many players end up reaching the highest level. And that’s what Reyna says should be the measure for American youth coaches.
“For me, it’s irrelevant if coaches win state cups, regional cups, national cups,” he says. “We get a lot of resumes -- I don’t mean people shouldn’t put that in their resumes – but how many trophies they have in their cabinet isn’t important to me. It’s about the kids, it’s not about you.
“We care about how many players you develop rather than how many trophies you win.
“What is the plan you have? What is your style of play? What’s your philosophy? What do you teach them? What do you do with your staff? If you don’t address that, then what are you doing? Going from week-to-week trying to win games?”
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