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Fundamental Soccer Blog

Yes – We Need To Reset Overall.

After reading Roby Stahl’s article, ‘U.S. Soccer Needs to Reset,’ Coach Kuster responded with the following …

Wow – lots of ideas with lots to think about, and these ideas have value. It might be elevating the thinking a little in an effort to catch up with other countries – but what happens everywhere else in the world is pretty simple and basic.

I don’t think they’re talking about models in Brazil, Argentina, or Mexico. When the Argentinian crashed heads with the French player, that’s considered balancing the other player’s mind. Michels said it best – “Soccer Is War…If You’re Too Nice, You’re Lost.”

Now reverse engineer from this quote, and you’ll have a model. That model revolves around the components of the game – fitness, technique, tactics, and psychological components. Lots of wiggle room for what kind of player somebody wants to be and what type of coaching and game approach works best. 

Do we really believe there’s something different about a knowledgeable coach in Europe than a knowledgeable coach from the U.S. Don’t we all have the same FUNdamental issues? Dettmar Cramer chuckled at the thought that coaches were better in Europe than in America – he told me there were as many bad coaches in Europe as in America – LOL

You can tell by the comments how different we are across all levels – you can tell where it’s coming from based on the teams their kids are playing on. Not sure if these are just parental perceptions rather than realities – but it shows how discombobulated we are.

State boards and many clubs are basically soccer parents – too often disgruntled parents because the emphasis used to be on being competitive – but “competitive” started becoming a dirty word some 30 years ago because this new genre of board parents wanted to focus on participation. And participation was linked with fun. The idea that everybody should play equally because they paid-to-play became a potent weapon.

Soccer business models evolved that emphasize fun and participation. Still, on the back side, they’re financing the Academy, ECNL, and Elite programs from those in the participation role. Clever!

Hard to do when your administrators at all levels control how this will play out. The administrators that have crawled up through the ranks from Leagues, State, Region, to National. “All for the good of their children,” “ I mean for the good of the game.” Change it? How can you at this point?

So, we have lots of kids playing with minimum talent to show for it – but hey – we have more kids playing. Reset?

Keep the discourse going – if you can get people questioning their perceptions or beliefs, that’s always a good start!

Tony Kuster

Degree in Health and Physical Education, History; U.S. Soccer A-License; Originated and directed Mastercraft Selekt 81 Soccer Club; Coached at Webster University 1987; College coach at Forest Park CC - 1988-89; Missouri Youth Soccer Director of Player and Coaching Development; Missouri Senior Men's Director of Coaching 1994-2000; Originated and directed Blök soccer club 1994-2000; Boys and Girls Soccer at Desoto H.S. from 1998-2012; Region II Girls ODP Coaching Staff; Region II Boys ODP Coaching Staff; Assisted in player identification for national teams program; Dutch Touch Coaching Staff; Coached Scott Gallagher Girl's Bayern 2013-2021; Coached Scott Gallagher Boys Schalke and Gladbach teams.