Soccer in the USA vs Football in Europe
The U.S. and European nations have completely different approaches to developing their youth soccer players, and we can state right away, the United States Soccer Federation is way behind!
In Europe, a massive slice of youth soccer is done by academies that are run by professional soccer clubs. Take Juventus F.C. (Italian Serie A club) for example. The club runs their academy for boys and girls starting at the age of 9. Usually it’s age 11 where players start their “Academy” adventure.
The European club academies provide the young players with everything they need, including paying for their education. This model is strongly put in place also in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Netherlands and many more.
In these nations this model has not only been applied to the boys, but to the girls soccer program as well and they are based on merit not on if you can pay. In the United States., it can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars to attend a youth soccer program. The national average yearly tuition is at $2,300. and this prevents very talented youth soccer players (both field players and Goalkeepers ) from lower to middle-class families from being able to play soccer.
US Soccer is a private entity, it is not government owned like in the rest of the world. So, it’s pretty obvious they allow this ridiculous Pay-to-Play situation to take place. Take a look at some of the world class soccer players today if they had been born in the US, they would have most likely had to come from a wealthy middle-class family in order to become a professional soccer player. Most of the world’s best soccer players come from a poor background. While if you check the men and women that play for our national teams that is NOT the case!