Future of AZ soccer

Discussion in 'Arizona Scene' started by singh, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. singh

    singh Active Member

    The board has been slow for a little bit. Just looking for some friendly discussion

    I have a kid who is an 06. I have been paying attention to the elite leagues, and for the most part most of our local elite teams (ECNL specifically) are below average in terms of their placements in their respective tables…sorry if this offends anyone not my intent.

    the point is that I feel there is a dilution in talent given the number of ECNL ecrl dpl and ga teams available. Others have said this on the board as well…I was curious to what people on this board think the solution is?

    Consolidation? Better training, placing some teams in Tucson? Etc
  2. YouKnow

    YouKnow Member

    This is easy!!! Play at home more and aggregate play. There is enough talent to have very strong focused leagues that promote development, growth, and competition on a WEEKLY basis. Significantly reduce the number of tournament’s played in (especially at the younger ages) and reduce travel.

    Force coaches and clubs to be more strategic and thoughtful regarding regional and National tournaments.

    This would reduce overall costs, increase overall player health (mental and physical), and increase overall development.
    singh likes this.
  3. Just4Kix

    Just4Kix Member

    You are correct on the dilution, but as long as parents are willing to pay for it, there will always be too many elite teams. The dream is too big not to chase. The question is: Are we willing to be clear eyed about our kids prospects?

    10 - 12 players per year from AZ will play Power 5, Div 1 soccer. Not all 44 ECNL/GA starters, or any ECRL/DPL players.

    Your player is an 06. That's a below average age group (no offense). Figure 6 - 10 06s will play P5/D1. 2 or 3 impact players are already playing up, and the 06 elite teams are underperforming. SCDS (GA) probably has the best team, but in a very weak league. In ECNL there has been some movement towards RSL/Royals recently that should improve their results.

    Honestly, if my DD was an 06 and P5/D1 soccer wasn't in the cards, I would play for RG at Thunder or LM at Rush (06s play up as 05s in ASL1). Decent training, reduced costs, fun environment that takes the pressure off. If she wants to play in college at any cost, then I may stick it out on an ECNL team. Better exposure and pipeline to college.

    None of this is meant to be confrontational or provocative. AZ soccer has come a long way since placing 4-5 kids per year at prestigious soccer programs, but not nearly far enough to support 4 "elite" teams. Honestly everyone suffers from the same issue, so it's not unique. SoCal does not put 143 kids into D1/P5 programs each year, but they do have 13 ECNL teams.
    Mamma Bear, Sweeper and singh like this.
  4. singh

    singh Active Member

    What movement to royals happened? Out of curiosity
  5. Just4Kix

    Just4Kix Member

    2 players from PR moved.
  6. singh

    singh Active Member

    Interesting. At liberty to say why?
  7. Sweeper

    Sweeper Active Member

    The PR team is struggling with a small roster and injuries. It is going to be a long season for that team and they need to rebuild if it is even possible. For how much money you spend on ECNL, it was a smart move for the PR players to jump to Royals.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
    singh likes this.
  8. Sweeper

    Sweeper Active Member

    Playing a college sport is a grind and takes up all your time. I am honestly amazed at how many parents want their kid on a 06 DPL/ECRL team to spend a crazy amount of money on soccer when P5/D1 conference is not even a viable option for their player. Lower level D1 conferences, D2 and D3 are possible playing on a solid APL team that attends showcases.

    Just4Kix has it right. Less than 10 AZ players at the 06 age group are good enough for P5/D1.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
    Just4Kix and Mamma Bear like this.
  9. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    If you are specifically talking about P5 schools, isn't that the case for all age groups in AZ. Very few will play at a P5 school. The 06s seem to be a talented bunch, just spread thin throughout 4 clubs. Some have been consistent YNT participants (since the U14 days) and some are key contributors on 05 teams. I dont' know if they should be labeled as a below average group. Reduce the teams/leagues in half and the talent would consolidate. We don't have the population to support 4 top teams.

    To your point, the $$ required to play RL/DPL appears to be a bit extreme.
    singh likes this.
  10. tjinaz

    tjinaz Active Member

    I will say this. When your kid is good enough, works hard and wants to play at the highest level they can what do you tell them? APL is good enough for you, you are not worth the money and will never be good enough for a P5 college anyway? Yea, sounds good on a message board but not in a car on the way home from a game when they played their heart out. Soccer was never about scholarships for us it was about letting the player play and develop into the best player they can be. Giving them the support and resources to do that. It is the journey and teaching them how to succeed as well as fail. Sure ECNL/GA/ECRL/DPL leagues are expensive but the travel is some of the best experiences my player has had bonding with teammates as well as family. My player may or may not even play soccer after high school but as a parent I know that I fully supported them and will always will have the memories of the time we spent together doing something they loved.. Wouldn't change it at all.

    APL/ASL is a crap shoot anyway. Figure at 06 you have about 2-3 years left and if one of the good APL/ASL teams loses 2 or 3 good players (injury, quit soccer, better offer) or coach leaves, they will instantly drop and you won't get any prior notice. Teams implode fairly frequently at this age. Do you have a year to waste playing on a bad team? With the Elite programs you are guaranteed good coaching and other players that show up ready to play and really want to get better. No one playing around at practice or taking games off, players and families committed to getting better. If I were you I would try it. No guarantee you will even make it but if you do you will see the difference and if you don't like it find me an APL or lower team that wouldn't want an ex ECNL/ECRL player on their roster. You really have nothing to lose except a bag of cash.
    Futbol Fiend, Funyuns and singh like this.
  11. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    If you have the means, go for it. Many do not have the means. It's expensive, all the way around.

    If you have the means and can't land on a top team initially, grind it out on the DPL/RL team. It's rare, but call up to the top team does happen. Seems to be a bit more common right now due to injuries on some teams. It's quite interesting how many clubs fail to look internally to replenish their top teams. Geography often gets in the way of talent evaluation. Frankly, it's around U15-U16 that some players decide to do soemthing else, freeing up spots on rosters.
  12. Sweeper

    Sweeper Active Member

    This! There are kids on GA and ECNL that have no plans to play college soccer (even at the 06 age group). Parents have the money to pay the expensive team fees and travel all around the country. Good for them. There are also kids on GA/ECNL teams that are on scholarship and parents put every last penny into soccer with maxed out credit cards with the hopes of getting a D1 offer.

    Back to the original thread, yes the current 06 ECNL teams are sub-par compared to the other ECNL age groups (06 Royals is get better having picked up some players in the last couple of months). If you have an 06 player in GA/ECNL you know what clubs I am talking about. If you could get all the best 06's (even the 06's playing up on 05) on one team, they would be one phenomenal team. But this would never happen, too many ego's. The final result: diluted 06's teams that will struggle to make the GA/ECNL playoffs, frustrated players and parents.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  13. Just4Kix

    Just4Kix Member

    When you truly understand the Ulittle call up process (Club Nominates 150 kids nationwide and USS weeds out in later years) then you wouldn’t tout this. There is one club that constantly sends too many, then markets how successful they are at placing YNT players. In fact, they have an 07 they just sent that was cut from an ECNL team just 1 year prior.

    Its a complete joke in early years. This year from all of AZ: 2 made the U20 team and 0 made the U17.

    Judge the age group by their placement in ECNL: RSL 4th (1.29ppg), Arsenal 6th (.5ppg) and PR 8th (.17 ppg) and GA: SCDS 2nd (1.8ppg)
  14. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    I know the system very well. I disagree that it's a complete joke. It's not ideal but it serves its purpose. Having 2 players called into U20 camp in preparation for Costa Rica is a positive thing for AZ girls soccer. It's possible one of them will be a team captain once again. Both will continue their careers post club at prestigious programs. Over the course of the years, being called mulitple times to ID centers and Regional Camps is a good thing for players. They develop relationships with the YNT staff and the other players. It's a building block on their resume and will help them with recruiting.

    As far as the rankings in ECNL are concerned, they are pretty even between the 05/06 year groups. The Rising 06 team has always been unstable. This year seems like it's been exacerbated by injuries, player moves, and coach instability.

    I don't have much insight on the player you reference being cut. I do know that players can get better from one year to the next and can thrive after a change of scenery. Happens all the time - Michael Jordan didn't make varsity his sophmore year and Josh Allen didn't have D1 offers coming out of high school and played community college for one year.
  15. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    Sure, too many egos...but too many teams. Two seems to be a good balance for the valley.

    For AZ teams, playing middle of the pack in strong leages is a good thing. It will get you noticed. Putting aside all of the tribal discourse, AZ clubs in ECNL/GA have a good track record of placing players in schools, if that's the player and parent's goal. Every now and again we will have a team that will place in top 3 of their league. But draws and losing by a goal or two is a good result and will get players noticed. Colleges aren't really concerned with record, but concerned whether your DD is a good fit for their program.
    Funyuns likes this.
  16. tjinaz

    tjinaz Active Member

    Yea for sure. SoCal is like here top team movement happens. Top clubs over there recruit among themselves and talent consolidates. Thing is they have a much much deeper pool. I would like to think we hit above our weight going against the Cali teams, middle of the pack is actually pretty good considering the competition. I would say ECNL SW has at least 2 teams in the national top 10 at every age level.
    AZsoccefan likes this.
  17. GKdad

    GKdad Active Member

    From what my DD has told me the PRFC ECNL team has some serious issues. Multiple girls have left the program to go elsewhere or quit soccer this season. She was told that 7 girls on that team were suspended by the club for smoking weed in the hotel on a travel weekend recently as well.

    All hearsay as I am not involved with the program. At this age it seems the girls know someone on just about every team and the gossip seems nonstop.

    I have seen text messages sent to non elite league players from current members of that team asking them if they are interested in playing ECNL looking to recruit new talent.
    singh likes this.
  18. singh

    singh Active Member

    I had heard this as well. Not involved in the program either and didn’t want to say until someone else did. Lol

    I had heard they have 8 field players and two keepers so far
  19. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    I think it's a great way of looking at things, from an AZ perspective. We have age groups from different clubs that have had great seasons in the past. As a parent, if you are stuck on the win/loss track, then maybe the elite leagues aren't for you. Most teams will bat 500 or less going up against CA teams. Some will do better. Regardless, most who want to play at the next level will play. P5 is a reach but attainable. Most will play at D1/2/3 schools they are a fit for and like.
    singh likes this.
  20. Digital5

    Digital5 Active Member

    That's unfortunate for those players. Crazy story.
    Sweeper likes this.

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