Top youth American soccer/football players, it's time to wake up !!!
I had the luck and the joy of seeing young players 10 -11 years old who could be considered really-really-really good at soccer/football. In this piece I would like to point out, in my opinion, what could be important for them to do, BEFORE they are 16/17/18 years old !!!
Without any doubts we can say that anyone (O.K. .......maybe "almost" anyone !!!) can recognize a phenomenon 10 or 11 years old. But these cases are very rare and unique so, I'm not referring to these phenomenon.
I'm talking about really-really-really good soccer/football players who, having talent at 10 or 11, with the correct training in the right environment could reasonably believe and hope to have a professional career !!!
Many talented American youth soccer players (and more important, their parents !!!) still consider it a good achievement to play at 15 for the Junior Varsity team at High School, and an exceptional achievement to play at 15 for the Varsity team at High School.
I totally agree if we're talking about decent or even good players.
But, if we're considering really-really-really talented players (let's forget the word: exceptional) and the above is their level of maximum achievement while considering the possibility of having a professional career, then it's time to force yourself to..............................WAKE UP !!!!!
I repeat, it's time to...........WAKE UP !!!!!
Let's make this absolutely clear: if you're really, really, really good at 16 or 17 you should have already been training and playing 5 or 6 years ago on the youth team of a professional soccer/football club, and at 18 or 19 you should occasionally train with the First Team with a good chance to make your professional debut !!!!!!
And, when I say First Team, I'm not referring to an MLS team. Please notice that I said MLS team. There are not MLS Clubs. They are just.......teams, because they don't have an academy in which they develop top talented players from when they are 10 years old !!!!
So, without talking about Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern, Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, A.C Milan, Inter Milan and other dozens, I'm just talking about the hundreds of Professional Soccer/Football Clubs in the rest of the world in the first 3 PROFESSIONAL Divisions in their countries !!!!!
In the rest of the world, at 18/19 years old, either you're at the "border" of the roster of the First Team and occasionally train with them and maybe play some 15/20 minutes here and there or it's better that you honestly think (after having graduated !!!) about looking around and...................FINDING A JOB because soccer/football at a professional level will not be your life !!!
I'm saying this because, many decades ago (my era !!!) the right age for debuting was 22/23. Coming closer was 20/21 but today, we constantly see that at 18/19 (occasionally 17 !!!) all the professional clubs make some players of this age have their debut !!!
And this happens more and more everyday !!! Also, instead of debuting for the clubs in which these players were developed (youth academies !!!) they are traded to other clubs for a large amount of money and, with that, the youth academies will have "oxygen" to keep going and developing top world soccer/football players !!!
As I said above, please try to force yourself to understand that I'm not talking about phenomenon like Messi or equivalents who debuted at 14 !!!!! I'm just talking about a really talented youth soccer/football players who should have their debuts at 18/19.
So, if you're really, really, really good (and I wish this for you with all my soccer/football heart !!!) and you just play at College (maybe with a scholarship just because you're good at soccer !!!! Who cares if for you algebra is a mystery. Just put the ball in the net often and you'll graduate !!!!) and dream that one day maybe, maybe, maybe you'll play professionally, please wake up and try to realize that when you go out at 22/23 and look for a spot on a professional team, that spot will have already been taken by someone else...........................4 years ago !!!!
The ones who take your spot were training there, on the youth teams (Academies !!!) of a professional Club, from when they were 10 !!!!
They studied there, will graduate there ( studying for real, otherwise they would have kicked them out !!!) so, in case their soccer/football career doesn't go in the expected direction, then (and only then) will they look around for a traditional job !!!
If you're really-really-really good, instead of wasting time, in the future, playing at college pretending to be a top player, try to enter into the correct training professional environment and keep studying there (O.K. the fact that there you would have to study for real could be a problem !!!).
To be sure not to be misunderstood, please notice that in the sentence above I wrote....KEEP STUDYING THERE !!!! In no way did I say not to go to college !!!!!! You'll train professionally while studying at the club's expense !!!!
Having a professional soccer/football career is not easy and it's a very small % that will succeed but, at least, try to do it in the correct way, which is not at 22/23 years old !!!
I would like to conclude by reinforcing the concept above with this interview of the American National Team U17 Coach Wilmer Cabrera just after being kicked out in the knockout stage (round of 16 !!!) of the U17 World Cup for the 13th time in 14 appearances !!!!
Here's the beginning of that interview, but please read that in the link below !!!
Wilmer Cabrera: U.S. boys are immature
Interview by Mike Woitalla
For the 13th time in 14 appearances, the USA returned from the U-17 World Cup without a win in the knockout stage, losing 4-0 to Germany in the round of 16. We spoke to Coach Wilmer Cabrera about his team's performance, the future of the U-17s residency program in Bradenton, and player development in the USA.
SOCCER AMERICA: Are you confident that the players you took to Mexico were the best in the USA at this age group?
WILMER CABRERA: Yes.
SA: Now that you've had a week to reflect on your team's performance in Mexico, what's your impression?
WILMER CABRERA: The same impression I had at the beginning of the tournament. We have a group of players who cannot yet compete at the highest level with the top teams in the world.
At this age, our boys in the United States, they're very young, they're immature. At this age in the top countries, they're already men. They're more mature. They're more professional. They have a more professional mentality.
That is something you cannot manage in practices. You have to live with that. It's a big advantage the other countries have over us.
Please continue at the link........
If you don't believe me, at least believe him !!!
I would like to conclude with a simple data. In the last Champions League Final between Chelsea and Bayer, which is the top soccer/football game in the world for Clubs, in Chelsea's roster there where 2 youth players: one was 18 and the other one was only 17 !!!!
Wake Up !!!!!!
p.s. To reinforce the above, this kid 9 years old is Zak Gilsenan from Ireland. He just entered the Academy of Barcelona and his entire family will move there !!!!
But, as I said above, he is a phenomenon who entered in a try-out of a group of 400 kids-players in May. Then the group become 90 and then just 16. When they played the final game among themselves, Zak scored.......... 7 goals !!!!
A phenomenon will always get to the top. What I was pointing out, refers to very-very-very good youth soccer/football players with a credible chance to play professionally !!!!
Posted on 09 Nov 2012 by coachgianni