Comments for SportsMyriad More sports than are dreamed of in your philosophy Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:16:37 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on U.S. women’s national team: What are they doing? by Jamie Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:16:37 +0000 I think O’Hara is better than Kling. Note that O’Hara played right back instead of her normal left back, this may be the first time O’Hara has spent any real time at right back? If the battle is between O’Hara and Kling for left back I’d chose O’Hara because I think she contributes more to the attack, she is quicker, she plays tougher, and despite being the same age she has far more top international experience than Kling. Kling scored an incredible goal but one goal from a defender against Haiti does not mean much. Against Haiti, Guatemala, etc. its easy to look good but against stronger competition Kling has failed to impress me where as O’Hara seems to step it up in big games and against better teams.
For some reason Ellis has barely given O’Hara time at left back which baffles me because until Ellis’ appointment when healthy O’Hara was the de facto starting left back for Sermanni and for Sundhage since 2012. I don’t see what O’Hara did to lose favor nor do I see what Kling has done to gain favor. I predict that the upcoming tournament in Brazil and the Algarve Cup will show O’Hara to be the superior option, hopefully Ellis sees this as well.
I do think Kling is still talented and deserves a spot in the squad for sure, but I think she would be better as the sub with O’Hara and Krieger starting as the outside backs.

Comment on Single-Digit Soccer: Why play travel? What you think is wrong by Dave Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:37:04 +0000 Travel programs often leave rec programs with fewer coaches especially if a child has to choose between one or the other. Rec programs often have to reach out and become travel programs themselves just to keep a league going. The cost of a travel program leaves parents with less money to spend on other things. It creates a pay to play system. Travel programs require more time of a child and parent and taking away time for families to do other things. Traveling to soccer games causes auto wear and tear and more pollution. Travel programs may not be as invested in the local community spending more money on coaches than local fields. If there is no long term reason to invest in a travel program for many parents, one wonders why there is such a large need in the first place.

Comment on MLS academies, the next Messi and single-entity fixation by Beau Dure Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:49:24 +0000 Good points, Landon — several things I hadn’t considered there.

I’m a little confused over the references to the Academy’s “demosphere.” We all know that’s just a company that produces sites to help soccer leagues track scores, standings and registrations, right?

See the bottom of these pages:

Here’s their site:

Comment on MLS academies, the next Messi and single-entity fixation by Landon Moore Wed, 08 Oct 2014 01:57:52 +0000 Gavin – I still disagree strongly about any correlation between the set up of a league and the success of the academies in that league. You say that there are no incentives for producing players in MLS. There is in fact huge incentive since there are major salary cap hit implications for players who are home grown vs. not home grown. On the other hand, I could see how a team threatened with relegation would actually not be able to afford the patience to rely of players produced in house because they would not have the time to wait for them to develop. They would be more inclined to rely on experienced players who could keep them up. They might desire to produce players in order to sell them, but I would hardly call it a good system when the clubs who put a premium on developing players do so in order to sell them because they know that the very system will not allow them to keep them (look at poor Southampton). On the other hand, a team like New England can take some lumps playing young developing talent without the fear of being relegated.

Mr. Townsend says that “MLS has and will continue to benefit from the external development of its players.” So? Most other leagues do the exact same. However, this does not mean that MLS is not producing talent from late “bloomers” like Zusi and Besler (and Dempsey) all the way down to teenagers like Gil and Fagundez. The trend has seen more and more young stars in league who began their careers in MLS. Compare the number of good young players now to when the MLS DAs first started, and now we have a little bit of perspective.

And that is the other point — the time is not right to be judging these academies. They have only just started with the infrastructure that they need in terms of facilities, coaches, community roots, etc. A look at Philadelphia’s academy shows an organization that is taking player development VERY seriously. Do some research on what the Union is doing and then tell me that their development system is not up to par with at least the top 10% of European academies. (Yes, I have studied and been to European academies, the vast majority of which do not even own their own facilities or pay a decent salary to even the director much less their coaches). Other MLS academies will follow suit, but to expect 10 or 20 world class academies to pop up over night and producing players within a couple of years is not realistic. The process is a very long one.

In a kind of round about way, Mr. Townsend tries to make a point about Brek Shea’s struggles at Stoke — that they come down to cultural differences. Differences that the author implies could have been remedied with a better youth experience. To that, I will say that academies don’t create cultures; rather cultures create academies. Which is to say that it is silly to demean MLS in its early days for not being completely devoted to developing players. They were trying to create a culture that would actually give players a chance to develop. That chance is secure now, but it would have been misguided to spend significant money and resources on player development when there is no healthy league for those players to play in. We can look at the emphasis on player development as a major factor in the MLS 1.0, 2.0., 3.0, … progressions.

Finally, in my opinion, Mr. Townsend completely misses the mark on the popularity of the game in the US. For him to not recognize a major jump in MLS as a product over the course of the last several years suggests that he has not been paying attention to the league. For him to not see promise in the direction that the league is going — both in terms of first team product and in terms of youth development — seems to be ignoring a lot of promising signs. That does not mean that there is not a long way to go, but speaking relatively, the US player development systems are producing talent that far surpasses what it has historically produced.

Comment on MLS academies, the next Messi and single-entity fixation by Gavin Blythe Tue, 07 Oct 2014 20:35:53 +0000 Yeah. that’s the point jon made. before DAs MLS used imported talent and colleges. in fact it still does, Landon. that’s what the point jon made was. How many more generations of players should be cast aside? I think the point about the demosphere is huge too.

Yedlin and Zardes went to college. Yes lets give it another 5-10 years…we need to but it has a lot to do with how the league is set up. if a club is not at risk of being relegated, not made to compensate a non-MLS DA or even another club that happens to produce a player, and has little to no domestic competition driving it forward….youth development is compromised. So yes, being a closed league and being single entity means something. Players cant make decisions on their futures. clubs dont control player contracts. MLS decides to let a blind draw dictate a man’s professional future….the list goes on and one.

wake up dude.

Comment on MLS academies, the next Messi and single-entity fixation by Landon Moore Tue, 07 Oct 2014 15:48:13 +0000 I fall mostly on Beau’s side of this.

“Developing” a player is a long term project that takes about 10 years. Of course MLS DAs are not churning out talent yet. They are only a few years old. Thus the reason Zardes and Yedlin are considered “home grown.” We really have to give it another 5-10 years before we look for decent crops of players to come through to first teams.

It has nothing to do with how the league is set up and everything to do with what sort of coaching and playing environments the player is in from a young age.