Thursday, February 09, 2012

Changes Coming to Academy System

It looks like members of the Sporting KC Juniors system will have some big decisions to make this coming fall. The rumor making the run around the internet today is that the US Soccer Developmental Academy will be making changes to the season, making it longer. The announcement sounds like it could even come tomorrow. The plan would increase the season to a 10 month season, starting in September and ending in June.

The change in season will cause a major decision to be made for players. With the extension of the season, players in all the USSDA teams, including the Sporting KC Juniors, will have to decide whether this schedule will be right for them. Choosing to play for a USSDA team would mean no high school soccer for these players.

It's certainly a big decision to make. I know some of my best memories of playing soccer came playing for Raytown South High School. It's an experience and one to really enjoy for any player. There's just something about representing your school that makes you feel good and fills you with some pride. But on the other side the academies are probably some of the best paths to get to the pro game. Especially in Sporting KC's case where there is a direct path from the Juniors system to the professional team. It'd be one of many sacrifices that someone that wants to potentially play professional soccer would need to make.

I can see both sides of the debate and both sides certainly have their merit. It'll be interesting to see how many, if any players decide to leave the SKC academy because they want to play for their high school team.

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