If you are like many of us, at some point this week you received a possible unsolicited email from one of the major corporate clubs in soccer. In this solicitation for players, it was the standard email of soliciting players who will one day have that great possibility of playing professional soccer one day. In fact, they "offer the opportunity for any young soccer player from the region to become a part of US Academy with a clearly defined player pathway from recreation level soccer all the way to the professional game."
Wow; now that is impressive!
However, what does it
cost take to get there? How does one start playing recreational soccer, and one day have the pathway to being a professional soccer player? Am I saying it isn't possible? No, that's not what I am saying. Much like getting your college degree, how much are you willing to pay to get that next promotion should they require additional education? Is the promotion based on merit, effort, skill, etc., or is it just being based off of your degree. Is the opportunity to play at a high level coming at the high cost of developing youth soccer players across the state, region and nation? What percentage of players that are playing in the "corporate clubs" are actually being picked up by true "professional teams"?
Our coaches, all licensed by US Soccer and the United Soccer Coaches have vested interest in their players. They aren't looked at as just a number or a dollar sign. We aren't taking over the next youth soccer club to turn a profit, and we certainly aren't just maintaining where we were. Each year, as set goals as a coaching staff and organization. Our commitment as a club remains the same; PLAYERS FIRST.
We need to recognize that the pathway to success for a young athlete to truly love their sport has to be clear. It has to be clear for that specific player. Our coaches are taught to develop the players to their next level. We need to recognize that all players are different and develop differently, and that is ok. Until now, only our coaches have seen our Player Pyramid. We understand that our first opportunity in reaching players comes from the "Sports Enthusiast", and then they work up from there. As we can see by our defined pyramid, the player pool and opportunities get smaller and smaller.
While keeping the sport of soccer fun, exciting and engaging, we will all find the players that will naturally come out of these pools and identify those who will be going to the next level. Is a player that pays $750 make him or her better than a player that only pays $150? The answer is no. There are many great soccer players that remain untapped across the state in cities where they just simply cannot afford to play or be looked at by higher level clubs. I can guarantee you that they have the drive, passion and talent to compete just like any other.
Soccer (futbol) is a game for everyone. It is a game that brings people together. It is a game that can be played basically anywhere. But most importantly; it's a GAME! Enjoy it, learn from it, and grow with it. Have fun!
Revolution United FC