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Virginia Soccer Board


Joined: 03/11/2015 Posts: 250
Likes: 159

Klinsman's contribution was peripheral at best

Growing the academy system and identifying young talent to shop to Europe is something that has been building for a while. It takes time - really a generation.

Think about this: any kids now 16 to 20 years old have always been able to see soccer as a viable career path. I am not sure you can say that of Reyna and Donovan's generation. Then it really was personal connections and the occasional kid with incredible will.

I think the 2002 WC and the steps and initiatives that were put in place (or at least tried) by USSF, MLS and many youth clubs and organizations are paying off. Some worked, some didn't but what was undeniable was the emphasis placed on developing talent and keeping the really talented kids in the professional pipeline. Even guys who played college ball, were no longer just let go, but scouted and when they were ready, signed, given visibility in MLS or overseas.

What I think has really changed over the last few years is a few key major clubs have been willing to gamble on American talent - Thank you BVB Dortmund! Their early success piqued the interest of others. The interesting thing to me is that it is the BIG clubs willing to gamble, but smaller/less affluent clubs are more wary. It does make sense, though. If Weston doesn't work out for Juve, no big deal, they have plenty of talent and even more cash to go buy more talent. That, of course has to be paired with real talent, something the clubs and academies HAVE been improving despite them being the whipping-boys of internet critics.

What will be interesting is if the willingness to bring in American talent starts extending further down the tables. If that occurs, then the talent will begin really growing like gangbusters because of the trickle-down demand.

(In response to this post by Blah)

Posted: 12/09/2020 at 2:37PM


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