Kinney over at DCenters took some time to assess the DC United implications of various topics in the recent MLS State of the League address. One area that Don Garber talked about was youth development which had Kinney asking for more:
The Children are the Future – Garber announced that the league was close to announcing a plan to allow teams to retain the rights to players they develop in their academies. This would be huge for the league and the development of US Soccer. I don’t like this close to announcement announcement however, as this would have been a great place to make a huge announcement that could change the face of US Soccer. It probably means that they are not as close as they had hoped, I am thinking that this doesn’t get resolved until the off-season. DC United Implications – Let me just preface this with the disclosure that I know almost nothing about youth soccer. If anyone with more knowledge than I about youth soccer would like to blog on the implications of this I would be more than grateful as I am interested in this. Soccer Dad perhaps?
I accept the mission! Did a bunch of research last night (I gotta start getting to sleep before 2AM!) and hopefully by this weekend I’ll have my thoughts on this up. In the meantime, check out this rather lengthy but informative thread over at BigSoccer talking about this very issue. Lets just say that the main impediment to MLS Youth Development is not only money. Can you guess what else is?
UPDATE: Added link to MLSNet coverage of the State of the League Address (HT daryl @ The Soccer Weblog) Note to MLS webmaster – I searched for 15 minutes trying to find this article using phrases like ‘State of the League’ and even ‘Don Garber’ and couldn’t find it. PLEASE get your search indexes updated more often and for the love of all things webish – allow sorting of search results by date!
UPDATE #2: I’ve finally finished my post on youth development in the MLS. It’s a bit long so grab some coffee first! Enjoy!