Should U.S. Soccer switch to Europe-like sports clubs for kids? | The Tylt

Should U.S. Soccer switch to Europe-like sports clubs for kids?

Men's soccer in the United States has always lagged behind other sports in terms of popularity and dominance on a global scale. Fans of the sport would love to see the country more competitive at the world level, but some feel the America's system for developing talent doesn't work. There are fans who believe the United States should adopt European-style development, where talented children would be put in clubs full time. Others feel that is extremely limiting. What do you think? ⚽

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Should U.S. Soccer switch to Europe-like sports clubs for kids?
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The men of United States soccer can cry all they want about not making the World Cup, or failing internationally. It shouldn't be that surprising. The development of players lags behind Europe in every respect.

If the United States wants to get serious about competing at an international level, it needs to adopt the club system. Players in Europe get evaluated for talent as a child and brought in through the ranks with a club. The seasons go 10 months out of the year, all with the same team. In the United States, soccer doesn't run as long and players who want to play more have to sign up with club teams where competition is inconsistent. 

Being in European-style clubs makes soccer players better so they can get top-tier coaching while still getting an education. Until the United States adopt this, it will always be mediocre at best.

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Without the club system, the United States has done just fine in international soccer. The country has gone 8-6-19 at the World Cup. It's not that there's a problem with development, it's just the U.S. has not found a true international superstar player who can thrive on the world stage. Completely switching to a club academy system is not the answer.

No one likes to be forced into a career, even if they like what they're doing. Soccer academies groom their participants, but what are they doing other than that? They still get an education, but a majority of the time spent is towards the sport. Here is Oli Templeton, a former Huddersfield club member who left the team to go to school in America, with his experience:

In England, you kind of have to make a decision of whether you want to go down the school or the athletic route. There's two separate routes – not really one that works with the other. In America, it's the best of both worlds – you can live the life of a student but the life of an athlete as well.
That was biggest pull factor – I could do both instead of putting all my eggs in one basket.
FINAL RESULTS
Sports
Should U.S. Soccer switch to Europe-like sports clubs for kids?
#FullTimeSoccerFTW
A festive crown for the winner
#BalanceMatters