Here is the new US Men’s National Team Coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, speaking on ESPN a year ago during the World Cup in South Africa. He focuses on two main points that he thinks would help US Soccer improve on the world stage: 1. involving players of all socio-economic backgrounds and 2. being better technically.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves Coach Klinsmann! It comes as no surprise that we at iSoccer are in complete agreement with both of these statements as 1) the iSoccer assessment is freely available to
all youth players, and 2) Our mission is to Raise the Level emphasizes technical development…. Time will ultimately tell, but at iSoccer, we believe that this is right (and necessary) direction for US Men’s Soccer.
And here is Coach Wilmer Cabrera of the U17 Men’s US Team after the U17 World Cup in Mexico.
“Unless we have an unbelievable team where we have six, seven very skillful players who can make the difference on the field. But we don’t have those types of players. I haven’t seen those players yet.”
“We have to grow, little by little. And I’m not blaming anybody. It’s the system. It’s cultural. I’m part of this culture. I can’t change what I cannot change. I want to try to help where I can. “
Sense a consistent theme here? We have to Raise the Level!
PS. We also felt that it was important to note, that as the U20 World Cup kicks off today in Colombia the US will not be present. We did not qualify….
Charlotte Soccer Academy, a US Soccer Developmental Academy and ECNL Club, partners with iSoccer to take Raising the Level of its players to another level!
Brad Wylde, the Executive Director Charlotte Soccer Academy, stated “iSoccer’s training module is a fantastic motivational tool for young players too continue to develop their technical ability during practice and more importantly during their own time. Having gone through the 16 skills that each player is assessed on, it is very easy to conduct for a team as well as an entire club and covers all aspects of the game for all field positions. Its a great way to set a bench mark for each age group or level and inspires players to work at their game through continuous testing on each skill each season. We at Charlotte Soccer Academy are excited about implementing this program throughout our club at both recreation and competitive levels”
“Charlotte Soccer Academy is a leader at every youth level across the US and we are excited to be partnering with them. Brad and the entire organization have created a wonderful environment to develop players in North Carolina, and we look forward to being key ingredient to motivating their players to raise their technical level,” states Scott Leber, the Founder of iSoccer.
Nadeshiko Japan made lots of noise by knocking off host Germany, 1-0, to reach the semifinals, and the team will make history if can beat Sweden on Wednesday and reach the final. You can’t find many people inside Japan these days that are not following their beloved Nadeshiko, which is led by Homare Sawa, the team captain who is scored a hat trick against New Zealand during the qualifying round. Sawa is perhaps the best known Japanese player, having played in five World Cups and three Olympics.
Japan’s current team has been together since the Beijing Olympics, where it finished fourth. And while Japan has a long history in women’s soccer, it has not enjoyed success like this summer’s until recently. Japan formed its women’s national league in 1989, which helped the national team qualify for the first World Cup in China in 1991, and it has qualified for every World Cup. Japan had only advanced out of the group stage once before this summer, when it lost to the United States, 4-0, in the quarterfinals.
In fact, Japan won only one game in its first three trips to the World Cup, but several years ago the Japanese Football Association decided to get more serious about women’s soccer. The J.F.A.’s Captain’s Mission mandate set in motion a better network for identifying players, along with better coaching and the involvement of former national team players. Of note, all though more women coaches have become involved with the game, there is still only one in the country who holds the SQ License, which is the equivalent to the A License given out by U.S. Soccer. She is Midori Honda, who served as Japan’s captain at the first World Cup and was the first woman to pass the difficult exam and receive the license. Honda is currently an assistant coach for Japan’s under-20 team.
Still, not a lot of money or resources are put into the women’s game. Compared with some of the world’s powerhouse programs such as America or Germany, the difference is staggering. I have conducted thousands of soccer clinics for over 500,000 kids over the past 20 years and over all the number of girls playing the game has remained flat. So the pool from which to select players is still very small. However, the organization for identifying and the emphasis on training technical skills at a very young age has been the difference. So although the number of players has neither increased or decreased over the years, better resources and training methods have produced better results.
The woman have the same set up for national training centers as the men. There are 47 regions and each has a training center program. These are not facilities in the physical sense, rather the name of the program. They meet monthly to provide specialized training for select players, and that training culminates in a national camp in December that brings together the best 15-year-olds in the country.
Soccer is a year-round sport where players play 365 days a year, men or women. You can not help but produce good, technically sound players if the content and emphasis is on technical skills.
This is what is happening in Japan.
Tom Byer, the former director of Coerver Coaching Asia, was born in the Bronx. He has lived in Japan for more than 25 years, where he is known as Tom-san, and has conducted more than 2,000 soccer events for more than 500,000 children. He also appears on a nationally televised, daily show for children.