90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Future Of U.S. Soccer

The fierce fight in American soccer over high school teams and the best way to go for Olympic gold.

Boys varsity soccer game January 7, 2011 at Basha High School, Chandler, Arizona. (nooccar/Flickr)

Boys varsity soccer game January 7, 2011 at Basha High School, Chandler, Arizona. (nooccar/Flickr)

News flash, if you haven’t heard:  United States men’s soccer will not be going to the Olympics this summer in London.  A stumble and tie with El Salvador last night in regional preliminaries – El Salvador! – means the U.S. men’s team has not made the cut.

No gold, no bronze, no silver.  No Olympic play at all.  After all these years of American soccer pushing up.  A new push in youth soccer aims to raise the bar.  But it would do that by pulling the best young soccer players right off their high school teams and into elite club play only.

This hour, On Point:  high school dreams, soccer realities.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

George Dohrmann, writer for Sports Illustrated.

Tony Lepore, director of scouting for U.S. Soccer Federation’s development academy.

Dan Woog, head coach at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut since 2003. His teams have won four FCIAC (league) championships, and one state championship.

C-Segment: U.S. Olympic Preview

Jason Stallman, deputy sports editor for the New York Times and he is in charge of the paper’s Olympics coverage.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Professional sports leagues in the United States have long relied on high schools to help cultivate the country’s best athletes. Rosters in Major League Baseball, the N.F.L. and the N.B.A. are filled with former scholastic stars, many of whom hold tightly to their quintessentially American memories of homecoming, letterman jackets and games played under the Friday night lights.”

The Washington Post “Three days ago, the U.S. under-23 national team had set its sights on London. Today, as the Americans prepare for a must-win match against El Salvador, they’re just hoping for a flight to Kansas.”

Tropigol “They will have to choose one way or another. They will have to make a commitment to a full season with their Development Academy club or remain with their high school, according to reliable sources in the U.S. soccer community.”

Video: El Salvador Ends U.S. Olympic Soccer Hopes

Last night, a 3-3 tie with El Salvador ended the U.S. men’s national team’s hopes of earning a spot in the Olympics. The U.S. has missed the Olympics for the second time since 1976 and second time in three games.

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 16, 2014
A still from Amanda Brown's documentary film, "Black Heirlooms." (Courtesy the FIlmmaker)

The documentary “Black Heirlooms,” tells the story of how inheritances, even humble ones, can tear families apart. We talk to the director.

 
Dec 16, 2014
Supermodel Beverly Johnson. (Courtesy Beverly Johnson)

Supermodel Beverly Johnson is the latest woman to accuse Bill Cosby. She joins us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment