Player development thoughts post MIC in Spain

These are the thoughts of two soccer development people I admire on Twitter post MIC in Spain

It is very important to look at player development in the global context if we ever hope to move beyond what already exists in the soccer landscape of the United States. Here are two guys who just witnessed it first hand.

First

Random thoughts after 12-day visit to Spain, in which I got to see FCBEscola (Barcelona) teams & various world-class academies play in MIC:

— Chad McNichol (@Balonfoot) April 17, 2017

1st, our phony pyramid (w MLS franchises perched arbitrarily at top) is single biggest factor killing youth development & shackling the game

— Chad McNichol (@Balonfoot) April 17, 2017

2nd, it’s correct to say we need football culture. However, realize that phony pyramids don’t exactly foster the culture we desperately need

— Chad McNichol (@Balonfoot) April 17, 2017

3rd, US parents very confused on what top global standard is, how to navigate landscape. This consumer confusion is symptom of phony pyramid

— Chad McNichol (@Balonfoot) April 17, 2017

Enjoy watching MLS & cite progress? Doesn’t change fact that lack of real clubs is death sentence to elite US plyrs, severe handicap for all

— Chad McNichol (@Balonfoot) April 17, 2017

And second

I witnessed the same and agree with all – the lack of independent professional clubs in an open pyramid is the #1 problem for US soccer. https://t.co/dcjUXjVPb3

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

Until you come here and see it, hear it, smell it, you can’t really understand the difference between these players and Americans.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

The average player in Catalunya would be an over-hyped superstar in USA. We lost a friendly to the 95th ranked youth club in Catalunya.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

And that’s one region of one European country. I asked our coach how many from the RCDE team that spanked us would be solid pros. He said 1.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

Even if the number ends up being 3-4, it basically means our best player wouldn’t even make the roster of a team where most won’t be pros.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

And if some think MLS is elevating our global status: parent of the Aussie team we crushed said they didn’t expect such quality from Yanks.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

Bottom line: this trip confirmed for me that American soccer cannot improve without an open professional club system with pro/rel. Period.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017

@Softtop67 P2P is a symptom of our lack of open pro pyramid – that symptom doesn’t really exist here. But make no mistake: here winning is PART of dev.

— Kevin Hignett (@KevinHignett) April 18, 2017