Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wizards Youth System

As MLS Commissioner Don Garber stated a few months ago, all MLS teams will be starting a youth system to help develop home grown players, that would be tied to the parent club. This way players that develop in each teams youth system would not be put into the draft, but rather would could be called up to the reserve team and then the full team of the MLS team.

Today the Kansas City Wizards announced their plans for their own youth system that will start to be put together this summer, to begin playing next fall. The Wizards will start by having U-15, U-16, and U-17 teams, these teams will compete in the Super Y League and the Midwest Regional League, as well as tournaments, although they will not be playing in the 2007 State Cup. The technical staff, that will be overseeing the youth teams, will be looking to pull in players from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma for the team.

It's good to see the Wizards starting to comply with this part of Garber's plan for the youth system. While the Wizards have got 2 local products on their team right now (Will John and Ryan Raybould), John came to the Wizards after a trade, while Raybould was drafted by the Wizards. Under this new youth system, both John and Raybould could have retained the "professional" rights of those 2 players, meaning that they'd have come to KC a lot easier.

The major question that will remain, is will the best players from MO, KS, IA, NE, and OK come to play for the Wizards youth team? Each of those states have some very good club teams already in exsistence. The Wizards will be joining that already crowded club soccer landscape. This will be a problem that I'm sure will take quite a while to get settled, players in the U-15-U17 age divisions who are already on good teams will probably be reluctant to switch to the Wizards new system. These teams will not be affliated with any current club in KC, so they'll be starting from scratch.

No comments: