Responding to the ‘Let the Debates Begin’ article. Roby Stahl advocated re-publishing several articles he wrote and shared with US Soccer 24 years ago [See Reset #1]. The articles were written after Roby met with Ami Jacquet, the French National Team Head Coach, after winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 European Championships.
Subsequent responses/comments by the readers to Roby’s original article, “US Soccer Needs to Reboot!” will be published. We hope people will question their perceptions and beliefs to improve our soccer culture and send us their input..!
“Since the age of 6, I have heard one saying, “In 10 years, the US will be a soccer powerhouse”. Now, in my sixties, there is no powerhouse in the offing.” Roby Stahl
Reconnect US Soccer With Your Members. We have a new president, yet members have not heard one word from her. US Soccer has tons of money, but how is it being used? How do we get our voices heard? Reset #1 Reconnect and listen to your members.
We Are Not Technical Enough. There is no arguing this! Yet US Soccer does not teach technique in their coaching schools. I have heard this from former players participating in D courses twice this month. What good are tactics when your players cannot control the ball effectively? Reset #2 – Get back to teaching technical proficiency!
Our Overall Recreation Mentality. Putting the word elite on your website does not make it so! We have the largest number of participants worldwide playing in the US. Yet approximately 98 percent are playing Rec. Our emphasis should be on developing individuals, not on winning! Reset #3 Establish parameters for what is an Elite vs. Rec player.
Too Many Associations and Leagues. If a club or player is unwilling to fight for a place in his team or league, they just jump ship. In the old days, if you lost your spot, you fought to regain it. Now we can criticize the coach/club or go to another team. Reset #4 Leagues should be governed by US Soccer, with parameters to USYSA and State Associations.
The Negative Aspect of Volunteer Boards. Boards usually hinder rather than accelerate the progress the DOCs propose. You hire the DOC to run the soccer aspect of the club and then refuse to allow him to make any meaningful progress. Then you fire him because his non-athletic son or daughter is not on the top team. Most board members have not played sports, especially soccer. Reset #5 Let your DOC do their job!
The cultural emphasis on getting a scholarship to College rather than aiming higher. Reset #6 I’m not touching this one, but you know what I mean.
Thanks for reading my rant, which in my opinion, will have information that can help revitalize/reset US Soccer.
In the meantime, YOUR feedback and thoughts on what WE and US Soccer need to ‘Reset’ to improve are requested and welcome..!