Thunder soccer club

Discussion in 'Arizona Scene' started by Chechy, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. tjinaz

    tjinaz Active Member

    Yea. Starting at U14 is a bit late. Not impossible (Alex Morgan did it) but most of the girls in the DA/GAL/ECNL pathway have been playing club since U9 or 10 and have been on top teams for years. It can be done but you will start out behind the curve. If your DD is big, fast and strong that is a big plus as with most sports. If you are serious about it you may want to supplement with private coaching and go to any of the Coerver training they do at Cactus Yards. Its good and not too expensive. Look at skill training as that is likely where she will lacking if she has never played club before. George Kuzara at Skill Drill soccer runs sessions every weekend for $15 a session at Carlson Elementary and is a very good skills teacher but tends to work with youngers. Like they say it is a marathon and not a sprint. Also U14 is a prime age for ACL injury so make sure she is doing stretches and ACL injury prevention exercises. People new to club tend to go nuts and over train, you don't want to end up injured and lose time.

    that is a sample of what he does in a session. Along with 1v1s and small games. I have seen 9 yr olds fly through those cones after a year or so. My DD really benefitted in working with George and doing futsal.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  2. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    Certainly different strokes for different families. This may be the single most argued point about youth soccer in this country- Pay to Play. Pay if you can, pay less because you need to. No doubt that ECNL/GA, etc are designed to help those that can pay to have greater access. It's a bit unfortunate but it's reality. Many can't sprinkle fairy dust into their bank accounts and play in the letter leagues.
  3. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    I agree that overtraining is an issue. In my opinion it is the number one issue in youth soccer today. Training should not be determined by time spent, but rather what one does in time. Overuse injuries are a real thing especially in early teens as their bodies go through the transformation from child to adult.

    When it comes to personal training this is who I would recommend.
    Under 12 - George Kuzara
    Over 12 - Petar Beralic
    They both offer great things, but as they age and get older Petar is the man. His years of knowledge being a professional player and coach go a long way in helping develop players. George is great at technical work and touches on the ball. He has a softer approach than Petar (lol), so for younger kids he is better suited. As they get older they need a Petar to push them hard and handle a few insults along the way (lol). So, for kids heading into their teens where soccer is getting more serious Petar is your guy.
  4. soccerfamily

    soccerfamily New Member

    Petar is the man! He trains my son and he trained my sons current coach back in the day for many years. He's been around a long time and knows what to do. Whenever he leaves in the summer we can tell my son needs Petar back because he starts to lose that touch! I have also heard good things about George but have never been.
    Daenerys likes this.
  5. Agree with you on training time vs training activity. If these clubs cared about the kids, there is no reason to play 4 games in a tournament, often all 4 within a 20-25 hr window and sometimes in 100-110+ degree heat. Then, follow that up with a Monday practice. Most parents don't know how to help their kids actually recover or eat properly to heal correctly and I haven't met a single club coach that gives proper direction on that.

    As for the trainers, there's more out there than those 2. George for the summer futsal sessions is gold though. I am a huge advocate for more futsal outside of the rigid, structured (mostly European) AZ club scene. Also, I wouldn't call George and Petar personal trainers...those are group sessions.
  6. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    You're correct. Group sessions is more accurate.
  7. Daenerys

    Daenerys New Member

    Had a child who played for Thunder several years ago; it was not a good experience and we left after one year with them. I would suggest Arsenal or RSL as they have Elite level teams to work towards joining and alot more opportunities training wise for the kids. I would not recommend Thunder at all due to our experience with them.
  8. Soccerstar

    Soccerstar New Member

    My kids play at GYSA and Thunder are literally right up the street from us. Thunder are maybe the 4th, 5th or 6th biggest club in the state. I played Rec soccer as a kid and over the past few years i have become a crazy soccer parent and it seems Thunder charge like 10 times more than GYSA but when i look at their top team in each age group usually GYSA are higher. A volunteer group of parent coaches seem to beat them year after year. The girls program at Thunder seems to be consistently better than the boys. They have teams that are losing in the lowest brackets by more than 10 goals which shows they are just putting anything they can grab together to fill teams. Something that it seems many clubs also do. How many of their age groups even play APL on the boys side? A club that size should do better at state level. I don't know much about them internally though so have no comment on why.
  9. SoccerDadAZ

    SoccerDadAZ Active Member

    Comparing match results between clubs to determine which is the better club is very misleading, especially in the younger age groups where physical attributes will reduce or eliminate any advantage of better coaching. Deciding which club is "better" really depends on a lot more factors than just match results. To be transparent, I'm not affiliated with either GYSA or Thunder.
  10. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    100% agree with you! GYSA puts out a much better product than Thunder for a fraction of the cost. Then again, GYSA doesn't put out as many competitive teams either because they are primarily a recreational club. The competitive teams they do put out tend to play in the higher divisions in Open League or participate in Advanced Leagues however. One can make the same case for AYSO as well. They both put out good teams at a fraction of the costs of the major clubs in the Valley. Quality over quantity and affordability. A model more clubs should immulate, but don't since more teams means more cash.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
    Soccerstar likes this.
  11. Soccerstar

    Soccerstar New Member

    I agree some results can be misleading but year after year seems to suggest a trend. If you were the parent of a very talented 6, 7 or 8 year old boy and were looking at clubs then would you choose a club that year after year seems to have teams placing nowhere near the top 10 or often even top 20. Is there a boys team at Thunder in those younger age groups that breaks the top 10 teams, i actually don't know? But i do know in the published stats looking at the leagues across the older age groups on the boys side that a club of that size should be seen more often in APL or state league
  12. SoccerDadAZ

    SoccerDadAZ Active Member

    If I have a 6-8 year old boy or girl, I would be more concerned about the coach and how they develop players vs. the club. At that age, I can put together the biggest and fastest kids on the team, play direct ball, and win most games. But at the cost of their development. At that age, I'd rather have the best coach in a crappy club vs. a crappy coach in the best club.
    Soccer Dad and AZsoccefan like this.
  13. Chechy

    Chechy New Member

    My daughter did a try out for GYSA, but they only have one team. They only needed a 2-3 players and my daughter was competing for a spot against another girl and didn't make it. Not to mention some girls didn't even show up for tryouts and still made the team based on recommendations and having played last season. I was pretty frustrated with GYSA on that end.

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