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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.

 

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