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Author Topic: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs  (Read 2239 times)

sounderfan

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Squash

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 06:39:48 PM »

I laughed a little and then realized.....it doesn't matter

ForTheKids

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 06:54:01 PM »

After you go through this and see all the realities, you realize how stupid this is.
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English1

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 08:52:42 AM »

 ::)
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onetouchsoccer

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 11:39:00 AM »

This is a way off article with the rankings of teams they posted
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silverdad

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 11:47:46 AM »

Laughably superficial "analysis", and just plain inaccurate.  And why are they citing the "rankings" of C teams (or any teams) again?
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blacksheep

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 11:08:34 AM »

Crossfire obviously is the best team in the state by leaps and bounds.  Their 07 team just came back from a competition in Amsterdam where they placed 11th among European teams (tied PSG, beat Hamburg etc). http://www.roodwittournament.nl/toernooi/poules/279/  We should all be proud of this team.  We should be fans of beautiful football rather than the usual (boring) pedestrian 'soccer' that is taught at most clubs.  While Seattle United is likely the second best team in the state there is a HUGE gap between the two teams in terms of quality, development and coaching. 

Yes, the 06's beat Crossfire in the State Cup but that kind of 'win' is at the expense of development.  The game was basically entirely in the SU end with Crossfire passing the ball around well and missing the crossbar and post by inches dozens of times.  SU won on the counterattack having a player up high and then 'the early' (= hoofing the ball down the field) and then scoring.  Yes it was a win in the State Cup.  Of course they will celebrate that and tell everyone they are the champs.  But Crossfire was clearly the best team that day and everyday they played against one another.  Sometimes a win is really a loss and vice versa. 

If you need to see the difference in development one needs only to see the eagerness with which SU gobbles up Crossfire players down to their D teams.  If your son or daughter plays for Crossfire and you decide to drive out to an SU tryout, your kid will likely go right to the top at SU indeed at the expense of players developed by SU themselves.  Why?  The best Crossfire players even at the C, D and E level are better than the average Copa and Tango players.  The problem is that these elite C, D and E players generally play with not so good comrades because the talent pool has been spread so thin at the lower levels.  I am sure this is true at other clubs as well.  Crossfire has an over-abundance of fit, skilled players. 

So why are the Crossfire players better?  Hard to narrow it down to just one thing.  Certainly, Crossfire's Coerver program is a difference maker.  The fitness and skill level of Crossfire players is second to none.  They are fitter, better skilled, stronger, faster than everyone else.  Also, one almost gets the feeling that SU with its partnership with Sounders has given up on developing attacking or skilled players and wants to manufacture boys who have a 'reasonable shot' of making the Sounders.  Crossfire's strategy of competing with the Sounders I think leads to the development of all positions on a team not just those that have a reasonable chance of making the Sounders. 

SU's 'realism' may just be that - it may be 'realistic' against the idealism of actually developing kids at every position.  Maybe it is unreasonable to develop American skilled strikers and attacking players.  But Pulisic speaks against that as does the recent Crossfire appearance in Europe. 

I think the years of Crossfire being the dominant team in the region led SU to view itself as the underdog - the 'David' in the fight with 'Goliath.'  All this 'Bernie is so bad' talk that goes on at this forum is silly.  The reality is that Crossfire teams play beautiful soccer.  They have the better, skilled players and now by going alone against the Sounders, Crossfire will eventually position itself as the underdogs or at least the team that isn't relying upon the 'big dog' Sounders.  There are good coaches at every club certainly.  But if your kid has dreams of being an attacking player there is only one team to join - assuming you have the time and energy to make such a choice. 

Again I want to stress these are just my own observations and as I am by no means an accredited 'expert' they should be taken with a grain of salt.  I don't know the strategies of either team nor the Sounders.  They amount to being hunches, observations, musings of a guy happens to have contact with both teams. 
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 11:25:36 AM by blacksheep »
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blacksheep

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 11:28:03 AM »

 :laugh:
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silverdad

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2017, 12:23:44 PM »

Crossfire obviously is the best team in the state by leaps and bounds.  Their 07 team just came back from a competition in Amsterdam where they placed 11th among European teams (tied PSG, beat Hamburg etc). http://www.roodwittournament.nl/toernooi/poules/279/  We should all be proud of this team.  We should be fans of beautiful football rather than the usual (boring) pedestrian 'soccer' that is taught at most clubs.  While Seattle United is likely the second best team in the state there is a HUGE gap between the two teams in terms of quality, development and coaching. 

Yes, the 06's beat Crossfire in the State Cup but that kind of 'win' is at the expense of development.  The game was basically entirely in the SU end with Crossfire passing the ball around well and missing the crossbar and post by inches dozens of times.  SU won on the counterattack having a player up high and then 'the early' (= hoofing the ball down the field) and then scoring.  Yes it was a win in the State Cup.  Of course they will celebrate that and tell everyone they are the champs.  But Crossfire was clearly the best team that day and everyday they played against one another.  Sometimes a win is really a loss and vice versa. 

If you need to see the difference in development one needs only to see the eagerness with which SU gobbles up Crossfire players down to their D teams.  If your son or daughter plays for Crossfire and you decide to drive out to an SU tryout, your kid will likely go right to the top at SU indeed at the expense of players developed by SU themselves.  Why?  The best Crossfire players even at the C, D and E level are better than the average Copa and Tango players.  The problem is that these elite C, D and E players generally play with not so good comrades because the talent pool has been spread so thin at the lower levels.  I am sure this is true at other clubs as well.  Crossfire has an over-abundance of fit, skilled players. 

So why are the Crossfire players better?  Hard to narrow it down to just one thing.  Certainly, Crossfire's Coerver program is a difference maker.  The fitness and skill level of Crossfire players is second to none.  They are fitter, better skilled, stronger, faster than everyone else.  Also, one almost gets the feeling that SU with its partnership with Sounders has given up on developing attacking or skilled players and wants to manufacture boys who have a 'reasonable shot' of making the Sounders.  Crossfire's strategy of competing with the Sounders I think leads to the development of all positions on a team not just those that have a reasonable chance of making the Sounders. 

SU's 'realism' may just be that - it may be 'realistic' against the idealism of actually developing kids at every position.  Maybe it is unreasonable to develop American skilled strikers and attacking players.  But Pulisic speaks against that as does the recent Crossfire appearance in Europe. 

I think the years of Crossfire being the dominant team in the region led SU to view itself as the underdog - the 'David' in the fight with 'Goliath.'  All this 'Bernie is so bad' talk that goes on at this forum is silly.  The reality is that Crossfire teams play beautiful soccer.  They have the better, skilled players and now by going alone against the Sounders, Crossfire will eventually position itself as the underdogs or at least the team that isn't relying upon the 'big dog' Sounders.  There are good coaches at every club certainly.  But if your kid has dreams of being an attacking player there is only one team to join - assuming you have the time and energy to make such a choice. 

Again I want to stress these are just my own observations and as I am by no means an accredited 'expert' they should be taken with a grain of salt.  I don't know the strategies of either team nor the Sounders.  They amount to being hunches, observations, musings of a guy happens to have contact with both teams.

Crossfire has the best teams in the state at certain age groups and genders.  I agree with you that the 07 and 06 boys would qualify as examples.  At other age groups and genders, that is not accurate.  Overall, when you factor in Crossfire's DA and ECNL teams, they are the best overall club in the state when it comes to winning games.

Does that mean that they are the best at player development?  That is where I disagree with your post.  They provide a great platform for kids to play and to attend a lot of practices.  Some of their coaches are good, some are the opposite of good.  Why are their teams on average better than others in the state?  Bernie's model of winning championships to attract players/parents has historically worked.  They attract a lot of talent.  They have very deep teams/rosters.  They stack their young 9v9 rosters with 14 talented kids, so every kid knows they have to hustle their tail off or else there is someone who will take their spot on the field.  Their teams outwork other teams as a result.  Crossfire does not, in my view, develop beautiful, attacking players.  Look down 405 to PacNW if you want a club that has a development philosophy and culture that meets that billing.  In fact, many Crossfire coaches neuter players - they don't feel empowered to attack and feel pressured to get rid of the ball instantly. 

I watched the 06 state cup final, and I completely agree with your assessment of the 2006 Crossfire team vs. the 2006 SU team.  I haven't seen the 07 team, but that is a great experience for those boys going to that tournament, and a great accomplishment (even if Real Madrid and other clubs had multiple teams entered, so who knows whether they were playing the truly top teams from any of those clubs). 
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blacksheep

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 02:27:55 PM »

Does that mean that they are the best at player development?  That is where I disagree with your post. 

I am not saying that they are the best at player development.  That is why my son does not play at either club.  My point was that when you go to a big club they tell you 'it isn't about winning' and then you stay for a while and you learn 'it really is all about winning.'  I some times feel sorry for Ralph at SU.  From what I hear he's a really nice guy, really great coach with kids who loves 'futball' (= quality soccer from outside the US).  But the power structure isn't built around him or that ideal but a younger group of coaches/directors tied to Jimmy who have very pedestrian ideas about 'winning' and playing a more or less boring game (from the aesthetic POV) which 'gets results.'  Nietzsche once said 'be careful when fighting a monster that you don't become a monster in the process.'  Their obsession with Crossfire has made them a more monstrous version of Crossfire, a Crossfire without any talent. 

Look down 405 to PacNW if you want a club that has a development philosophy and culture that meets that billing. 

Absolutely agree with you.  I know someone who had his boy play over there.  It was just the commute on the 405 that killed him.  It would kill me too. 

In fact, many Crossfire coaches neuter players - they don't feel empowered to attack and feel pressured to get rid of the ball instantly.

Again have heard the same thing from one parent on their A team.  The emphasis is exactly as you say.  Your corrections of my post are acknowledged and accepted.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 02:42:06 PM by blacksheep »
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blacksheep

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »

even if Real Madrid and other clubs had multiple teams entered, so who knows whether they were playing the truly top teams from any of those clubs

well I did notice a change of 'luck' for the team on the 28th.  I think they went from a winning record on the 27th to a losing record on the 28th. Still a fabulous experience for all I am sure.   
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PossessionBall

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 12:47:53 AM »

Blacksheep,

The Crossfire 06 Boys' loss in the State Cup final was a coaching failure -when the team's usual formation and plays didn't work, the coach failed to adjust both. In a State Cup final game, a coach should do whatever is needed to win the most important game of the year, which the Seattle United coach clearly did.

That loss actually highlights both the reason for Crossfire's usual success, as well as its biggest weakness -the club attracts many talented players, but many of its coaches are also subpar. Furthermore, as a club, Crossfire values winning above all -most of its B and C teams have a few exceptional players so that they can "carry" the teams deep into State Cup play at the expense of the players' own development. The B and C teams are most definitely not full of "fit and skilled players."

As Silverdad stated, many Crossfire coaches favor "boot ball" and train players to pass after one touch, which is the opposite of what Coerver teaches. In addition, the Crossfire/Coerver Club training just finished its first year, and at the end of the program only roughly a quarter of the players who started it remained. In other words, while you are correct in that Coerver is a difference-maker, most Crossfire coaches favor a style of play far from it, and most skilled Crossfire players have not acquired their skills via the Crossfire/Coerver Club training, but instead have attended Coerver programs not affiliated with Crossfire for years. (As have most skilled players at every Seattle-area club.) As Silverdad also stated, the club that most closely follows Coerver-style play as a whole is PACNW.

Regarding fitness, Crossfire A teams practice four times a week, so the players might be in good shape because of that, but again, the best ones do Force10 for fitness -a program open to anyone at a reasonable price.

In sum, as Silverdad already stated, Crossfire attracts many talented players, but most of its teams play "boot ball" far away from "the beautiful game." The coaching is not superior, but the talented players are in constant competition with each other, driving them to do Coerver, Force10 and lots of private training weekly, for years. A good example would be the current most talented 7-year-old at Crossfire, who just came from WA Rush, and who does Coerver (independent of Crossfire) and is trained privately by a phenomenal Seattle United coach.

As has been stated on this board many times before, clubs don't develop players, including Crossfire.







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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 10:23:51 AM »

We respectfully disagree with some things mentioned in this thread.  Biased as we admittedly are, heading south on 405, I-5 or Hwy 99, the best club you'll find in terms of a playing philosophy, style, game model and training curriculum is Eagleclaw.  Eagleclaw follows a positional play methodology modified as appropriate for the age groups of our players.   No other club is as organized methodologically so that coaches are not philosophical freelancers, which is the case at most other clubs.  We also wince painfully at the references in this thread to a "Coerver style of play". Eagleclaw is a long-time Coerver partner and the technical training provided by Coerver is a core component of Eagleclaw training.  That said, "Coerver" is not a game model or playing philosophy; it is merely a method (and an excellent one, in our view) for teaching mastery of the ball and creativity with the ball.  Coerver's owners themselves will tell you that what they teach is a very small slice of the game and their coaches are in no way teaching a game model or tactical philosophy. Technical skill can be taught, but for it to have utility and relevance in a team/game context, it must always be in service of a game model and playing style (two different things) that requires and values such skills.

At Eagleclaw,  the positional play game model we follow is heavily dependent on extremely high rates of possession, and so it succeeds or fails based on the technical quality of the players.  That is precisely why Coerver training is a 2 hour weekly block for all of our players in our Primary Academy.  We have written extensively about the need American youth players have for focused, quality technical training.  We know there are opposing views on this subject, but we think our approach is the most honest, responsible and effective way to develop technical players and help them avoid being told at 14 or 15 that they just aren't good enough on the ball.


And as for references to Crossfire's 2006 team, we think there were one or two Eagleclaw veterans on the team.  That is not something we are terribly excited about though, and we firmly believe that critical aspects of their Eagleclaw training came to a halt when the players made the move to Crossfire.  We see the results in the players who return to us after one or two seasons at Crossfire, realizing their peers at Eagleclaw have progressed further and that the crazy, busy training schedule at Crossfire proves the adage that more is not the same as better.  Players come and go at every club.  And this year, as in years past, we have one or two young Eagleclaw players who are moving to Crossfire.  In our experience, it is often the parents who drive the move to Crossfire looking for "DA" teams or hoping their kid is the next Jordan Morris or DeAndre Yedlin. Typically, the players are thriving in Eagleclaw's learning environment and want to stay.   We are with the players.  Our goal at age  5-12 is to develop players with a solid technical foundation, while letting them soak in a high possession style of play that lets them understand for themselves why their technical skills are so important.  We are trying to help players avoid being told at 13, 14 or 15 that they are just not good enough on the ball.  Most parents understand that.  Some do not. 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 02:33:35 PM by EagleclawFootballAcademy »
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deldietch

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 02:18:28 PM »

Interesting thread...  but with all the reference to Coerver and the Crossfire boys 2006 team.  You all know who the coach is right?  and his connections to Coerver?  The guy has TR Stonebeck on speed dial.  I know...he speed dialed TR when my daughter (a full time coerver student) came to check out a Crossfire A team years ago when she was wanting to move over from PSPL.

I'm not going to defend Crossfire, although I consider my daughter did have a positive experience there.  But once you reach a certain level..being on a team with like minded players is good thing.  And with respect to EagleClaw, many of these 2006 crossfire boys are in Coerver two or three days a week. (not to bash Eagleclaw...I'm planning on putting my son through their program)
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silverdad

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 02:48:15 PM »

We respectfully disagree with some things mentioned in this thread.  Biased as we admittedly are, heading south on 405, I-5 or Hwy 99, the best club you'll find in terms of a playing philosophy, style, game model and training curriculum is Eagleclaw.  Eagleclaw follows a positional play methodology modified as appropriate for the age groups of our players.   No other club is as organized methodologically so that coaches are not philosophical freelancers, which is the case at most other clubs.  We also wince painfully at the references in this thread to a "Coerver style of play". Eagleclaw is a long-time Coerver partner and the technical training provided by Coerver is a core component of Eagleclaw training.  That said, "Coerver" is not a game model or playing philosophy; it is merely a method (and an excellent one, in our view) for teaching mastery of the ball and creativity with the ball.  Coerver's owners themselves will tell you that what they teach is a very small slice of the game and their coaches are in no way teaching a game model or tactical philosophy. Technical skill can be taught, but for it to have utility and relevance in a team/game context, it must always be in service of a game model and playing style (two different things) that requires and values such skills.

At Eagleclaw,  the positional play game model we follow is heavily dependent on extremely high rates of possession, and so it succeeds or fails based on the technical quality of the players.  That is precisely why Coerver training is a 2 hour weekly block for all of our players in our Primary Academy.  We have written extensively about the need American youth players have for focused, quality technical training.  We know there are opposing views on this subject, but we think our approach is the most honest, responsible and effective way to develop technical players and help them avoid being told at 14 or 15 that they just aren't good enough on the ball.


And as for references to Crossfire's 2006 team, we think there were one or two Eagleclaw veterans on the team.  That is not something we are terribly excited about though, and we firmly believe that critical aspects of their Eagleclaw training came to a halt when the players made the move to Crossfire.  We see the results in the players who return to us after one or two seasons at Crossfire, realizing their peers at Eagleclaw have progressed further and that the crazy, busy training schedule at Crossfire proves the adage that more is not the same as better.  Players come and go at every club.  And this year, as in years past, we have one or two young Eagleclaw players who are moving to Crossfire.  In our experience, it is often the parents who drive the move to Crossfire looking for "DA" teams or hoping their kid is the next Jordan Morris or DeAndre Yedlin. Typically, the players are thriving in Eagleclaw's learning environment and want to stay.   We are with the players.  Our goal at age  5-12 is to develop players with a solid technical foundation, while letting them soak in a high possession style of play that lets them understand for themselves why their technical skills are so important.  We are trying to help players avoid being told at 13, 14 or 15 that they are just not good enough on the ball.  Most parents understand that.  Some do not.

Joe, you have said several times that Eagleclaw is not a "club", which is the only reason why I didn't refer to Eagleclaw in my post :)
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2017, 04:23:40 PM »

Structurally, Eagleclaw began as an Academy, building from the ground up.  The Academy program is now divided into a Primary Academy and an Advanced Academy.  The development pathway is internal and vertical, with more upward organizational growth planned.  Hence the evolution from "Academy" to "Club", which occurred last Fall at around the time we began collaborating with Valencia CF.
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PossessionBall

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2017, 07:00:22 PM »

Yes -I know the Crossfire 06 Boys coach's connection to Coerver and T.R.... But his paycheck doesn't come from Coerver anymore, so he is quickly losing his Coerver ways!
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ForTheKids

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2017, 08:55:55 PM »

In the end, it does not matter much. Have fun wherever you are, in 10 years you will not be making a living in the game.
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PossessionBall

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2017, 11:09:58 PM »

For the Kids,

Just because only a very miniscule percentage of soccer players will become professional athletes doesn't mean that anything should go in youth coaching. The clubs sell a service, and while "fun" may certainly be a part of that service, it is safe to assume that most parents would not pay thousands of dollars a year for soccer "fun."
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raddad

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2017, 05:25:39 AM »

Crossfire has the best 9 year old soccer players in the state. Bottom line! lol

Crossfire obviously is the best team in the state by leaps and bounds.  Their 07 team just came back from a competition in Amsterdam where they placed 11th among European teams (tied PSG, beat Hamburg etc).
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tripleplay

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2017, 09:27:30 AM »

Crossfire has the best 9 year old soccer players in the state. Bottom line! lol

Crossfire obviously is the best team in the state by leaps and bounds.  Their 07 team just came back from a competition in Amsterdam where they placed 11th among European teams (tied PSG, beat Hamburg etc).
What I don't understand is that if winning is bad for youth development then why are the supposedly great-developing Europeans holding tournaments for little kids - and winning them?

Could it be that winning is about putting together the right roster, and that claims of superior "development" are nothing more than self-serving myth? [Answer: Yes]
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tripleplay

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2017, 09:31:26 AM »

For the Kids,

Just because only a very miniscule percentage of soccer players will become professional athletes doesn't mean that anything should go in youth coaching. The clubs sell a service, and while "fun" may certainly be a part of that service, it is safe to assume that most parents would not pay thousands of dollars a year for soccer "fun."

Parents would be a lot better off if clubs spent more resources on providing a fun experience for youth, and less catering to the deluded ignorami
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tripleplay

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2017, 03:14:33 PM »

Structurally, Eagleclaw began as an Academy, building from the ground up.  The Academy program is now divided into a Primary Academy and an Advanced Academy.  The development pathway is internal and vertical, with more upward organizational growth planned.  Hence the evolution from "Academy" to "Club", which occurred last Fall at around the time we began collaborating with Valencia CF.

Clubs are the critical entities in youth soccer. Why? Because they provide the playing opportunities for youth. It's that simple. Someone whining about this or that "bad" coach because they don't parrot some idiotic philosophy is a moron. I thought the original article WAS quite stupid in many ways, of course, but for the most part it did pick clubs with a very strong track record of providing playing opportunities for the State's youth.

I would characterize Eagleclaw more as a training business than a club. They sell a service to a small number of people at certain ages where it is possible to do so. Completely different from the mission of service which is at the heart of a true club.
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blacksheep

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Re: The top 5 Washington youth soccer clubs
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2017, 07:34:53 AM »

What I don't understand is that if winning is bad for youth development then why are the supposedly great-developing Europeans holding tournaments for little kids - and winning them?

Could it be that winning is about putting together the right roster, and that claims of superior "development" are nothing more than self-serving myth?


One native born American on that team as far as I can tell (Japan, Nigeria, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and many others as is typical of Eastside soccer players drawn as they are from Microsoft Corporation). 
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