Ranting Soccer Dad

Frank but fair conversations and occasional silliness about youth soccer.

October 25th, 2017    

RSD16: Kevin Payne (U.S. Club Soccer) shatters simplistic suggestions

Fix the pay-to-play system! Make U.S. clubs pay and receive solidarity payments and training compensation! Get Sunil Gulati out of U.S. Soccer!

Not so fast.

Today’s guest is Kevin Payne, currently the U.S. Club Soccer CEO and previously an executive with D.C. United, AEG, and Toronto FC. He also has plenty of experience within U.S. Soccer in a variety of roles, including membership on the Board of Directors.

He’s here to tell you the pet solutions we toss around on Twitter are either (A) not so simple or (B) totally missing the boat. The interview starts at the 7:20 mark, after a brief rant on the state of MLS, the NASL, USL, NWSL and maybe even QSL. (Yes, I miss shortwave radio.)

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October 18th, 2017    

RSD15: The clogged youth-to-pro pipeline, with Brian Dunseth and Chris Keem

Was Nik Besagno a warning sign?

The top pick in the 2005 MLS Draft -- ahead of Brad Guzan, Michael Parkhurst, Will John, Chris Rolfe, Bobby Boswell, Chris Wondolowski and Jeff Larentowicz -- had a very short MLS career. Perhaps not coincidentally, that’s when people started to wonder if the U17 residency in Bradenton was producing soft, coddled players.

Yes, the youth-to-pro pipeline is at the core of our national wailing and gnashing of teeth after the U.S. men failed to qualify for the World Cup. It’s a topic so big, we need two guests.

First up, player-turned-commentator Brian Dunseth talks about what happened in Trinidad (3:30), Olympic soccer and how much it hurt the men to miss out (5:00), losing players from youth soccer (9:40), the parental perspective when clubs start demanding your money (11:20), the importance of failure (17:00), whether players are too soft or coddled (20:15), MLS (27:15 and 33:10), coaching education (28:15), relegation from a player’s perspective (35:45), the Development Academy (39:45), and an easy solution to all of this (40:10). Then concussions (44:30).

Then it’s Chris Keem, a veteran youth soccer coach and administrator with experience in college and the NPSL as well, joins us around the 50-minute mark. We start out talking about turf wars and how they drive up prices in youth soccer, then move into dealing with the Development Academy when you’re running another youth club (53:45), addressing “pay to play” and how it works in other countries (58:00), getting a club’s coaches on the same page and poaching vs. development (1:04:30), what the NPSL was and what it wants to be (1:06:00), and why youth players may opt for other sports (1:17:30).

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October 10th, 2017    

RSD14: U.S. Soccer presidential candidate Steven Gans

Steven Gans is running for U.S. Soccer president, and he has some bold statements. "Under my administration, nobody’s going to be ignored" (11:15). "The laissez-faire attitude (toward youth soccer) is troubling and would change under my administration" (29:00). The idea of having two State Cups in one state is "utterly ridiculous," and those who are not working for the good of the game for the kids are going to be "marginalized" (31:30).

 

If you're also running for U.S. Soccer president and would like to be interviewed on this podcast, please get in touch.

The podcast starts with a funny or cautionary tale from this weekend's youth tournaments.

(NOTE: This interview obviously took place BEFORE the USA was eliminated from the men's World Cup on Tuesday night.)

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October 4th, 2017    

RSD13: Washington Spirit recap and why Vegas shouldn’t make us cynical

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, the podcast opens with a few thoughts on why we shouldn't give up on changing people and society as a whole, either on something relatively trivial like youth soccer or something horrifying like one man's ability to assemble the weapons to wound 500 people. Maybe we need a little less competition and a little more cooperation to make the changes we need?

Also, a quick recap of the Washington Spirit's season, in which the team fell from being 30 seconds away from a league championship to last place. Includes postgame comments from Spirit coach Jim Gabarra and the team's star attacking player, Mallory Pugh.

(Apologies for the drop in volume during the Pugh interview. Also, if you can't hear Gabarra's last two words, they're "No comment.")

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