Bayern Munich campus director Jochen Sauer has seen the progress that the sometimes-flawed soccer system has made in the United States.
The present results blow away, the past...by a long shot per Sauer.
“The (soccer) education that young players get in the States is completely different now. The quality of the coaches is better. Combine this technical and tactical improvement with athletic ability, and these are the reasons some players are performing on the highest level,” Jochem Sauer, director of Bayern Munich’s youth academy told Fox Sports. “The level of MLS clubs has grown extremely since, say 2010. When MLS players came to train in Germany 10 years ago, the speed of play — how fast the ball goes from player to player, how quickly you have to anticipate what to do next — was too much for them. Now we’ll get FC Dallas players here on trial, and they need only two or three training sessions to adapt.”
The timing of Sauer’s comments come at a very interesting period in U.S. Soccer. The United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) was shuttered just over a year ago, but also managed to produce the majority of the younger players within the USMNT’s player pool.
MLS Next, which is powered by the MLS clubs (obviously), has captured the progress from the USSDA and built upon it for the boys. For females, the Girls Academy League and ECNL have absorbed the top-tier clubs.
The landscape in the United States is challenging, though. With some clubs operating as a pure business and others pretending to operate as non-profit entities, finding the proper pathway for kids is no easy task due to all of the logistical obstacles.
The ideal scenario would require professional clubs to make the financial investment to adopt the European model, where true club oversight could aptly manage all the complexities of developing youth players.
To capture all of the reactions from top youth football aficionados, check out the full post on FoxSports.com.