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The Development Gap in the USA Soccer Pyramid


Great topic and article,  ‘Players Path to Proficiency.’  I agreed with the Kontributors’ comments especially resonated with Werner Roth. He wrote, “The most critical elements in building those players mentioned…

  1. Early childhood development starts when the kid leaves the crib with their ball at their feet, dribbling it wherever they go.
  2. Growing up in a futbol culture where they see, breath, eat and sleep futbol.
RootsFutbol- LOGO

 At Roots Futbol, we believe the developmental gap in the US soccer pyramid is the 3-9-year-old age group. The alphabet soup of leagues, etc., etc. at the club level aside, in general, it’s all good in the US:

  • Quality training and coaches
  • Good facilities
  • Good competition

However, that’s reserved for 11U and older. What do we have for the youngest of young players?

Primarily, well-meaning recreational organizations provide activities 2-3x per week for two 8-week seasons/per year. Further, it is understandable but unfortunate that clubs cannot/do not dedicate sufficient resources to this age group (i.e., “junior academy” or similar.) 

So, no matter how good it is, the players coming into the club system at 10 years old are woefully unprepared to engage in the meaningful and quality training that most organizations offer these days.

We feel the keys to preparing youth to be their best at the club level and enjoy and appreciate the game for a lifetime are:

1. Frequency of training – we are 4x/week for 10 months. Each session features agility and coordination in addition to the technique training. One day per week is dedicated to another sport altogether.

2. Economic and geographic accessibility – we have multiple locations doing the same training. We have a monthly subscription payment model ($115/mo.) – no commitment fee or seasonal registration and can cancel anytime at no charge.

3. Sensible training: game ratio. Players from across the locations are grouped into ability-based teams and convene at a central facility two times per month for 30-minute games. No coaching, just inspiration. Teams are re-grouped at 3-month intervals.

Thanks for creating this opportunity to Kontribute, Karl – and the other contributors were also spot-on.


Ric Granryd,

General Manager & Founder

Roots Futbol, LLC

Koach Karl’s Notes

  • Thank You Ric, for submitting your observations and giving us pause to think about what we are doing for/with our children/players.
  • Dear Reader, ‘Thank You’ for taking the time to Read and then Share this article with your soccer community.
  • Your Comments on this theme are very much appreciated and may help some organizations improve – Priceless..!
Guest Kontributor

On top of our already large base of Special Kontributors, we also have Guest Kontributors. We thank all who have taken the time to kontribute to!