Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

September 23, 2008

College game not the ideal training ground

"College soccer doesn't prepare them to be professionals because college soccer is a very athletic game."

It is almost a stylistic trademark in this country: the hardworking, athletic player who unfortunately lacks the technique or ball control to truly be a threat.

"It's run and gun, and if you're not doing it, we'll sub you out and maybe we'll put you back in."

"The game never settles down into decision making. It becomes a physical game, where I can physically impose myself on you and win, and not because I have to make 90 minutes worth of good decisions, because I know I can't go off the field and come back on and get some coaching advice or whatever. The college game doesn't prepare these younger players to think their way through a game."

"A good young player in Europe will start at [the] youth team level at a professional club, and over the years he will build up his knowledge and develop a natural affinity for the game along with a good tactical brain. But here in the United States they play soccer in the schools and then college, and they are 20 or 21 years old and they are coming to me, having been coached straight out of a book."

"This is a major limitation when these players come into the professional game, and it means that I have to go back to basics with them. They're just rough diamonds and they don't have the tactical vision."

"In the college game, they're used to playing a three-month season. At some point, a lot of the younger players start to go, 'Wow, this is just dragging and getting long.'"

Unless the university soccer system is overhauled, it could soon become practically irrelevant because American professional clubs may choose to bypass it.

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