I saw this posted on Yahoo and had to copy it as I think it is so spot on. The writer is right that there are way to many clubs in Arizona and the ECNL teams fighting over players as that is revenue instead of doing hat is best for Arizona soccer and only having one team. Both of those teams mentioned below (I think) are watered down and should be one team, without a roster of 25 and only have the best players represent Arizona. This goes for the boys and girls teams, limit how many teams one club can have, maybe a total of 10-12 boys and girls teams through state level competition maximum. There are players on one of the ECNL teams who were marginal players on my kids club team the last few years. Heck one player who made the ODP team was a “last 3 on one of my kids teams, but if you want to pay the fees and do all of that travel to play 10 minutes so you can boast your kid plays on that team, more power to you. It isn’t all about talent, it is about handing over that check.
“If they want to make an impact in player development they need to cap the club teams based on population of players. In Arizona club teams have popped up everywhere for one purpose, making $$$. Thus players go to different teams as they perceive starting on a clubs top team is better than being a bench player on another team so what has happened is there is so much parody in general that all teams have similar records, no real standout teams are present and development stalls. Year to year these parents switch what teams their kid is on in the “grass is greener” mindset,then discover it is the desert- and they switch again.
There are 2 ECNL teams for the under 16 girls age group, they both lose or tie to state level teams and struggle out of state-thus the top talent is not on those teams. Consolidate these teams to half of what is out there and then they can compete against the California, Texas and Eastern teams.
If coached correctly headers are minimal impact to the head, players aren’t ready to head a ball coming in at 70+ miles per hour, shouldn’t be at that level.”
Headers, yeah good coaching can help that.