Two big local soccer stories may be of interest to people beyond Northern Virginia:
1. The VCCL is now the CCL. The idea behind such leagues is that clubs can schedule games in all age groups against other clubs so that a greater sense of club identity is forged. In reality, when one club’s U15 team isn’t up to par with the other clubs’ U15 teams, they recruit heavily from elsewhere to level the playing field. Or they take an entire team from elsewhere.
See the discussion at the generally vile Fairfax Underground (seriously, do NOT read the thread about the Muslim cabbie assault). I think “travel parent” speaks for me. (No, it’s not me.)
2. McLean Youth Soccer is out of the Development Academy. You can some discussion on that story as well as the Fairfax Underground thread, which perked back up with the McLean news.
All of which makes me glad I’ve so far avoided the big-time travel scene. And it makes me feel badly for people whose kids are soccer prodigies.
I recently had a fun conversation about this topic:
ME: Suppose my kid turned out to be the best 12-year-old player in Vienna in a few years.
NOT ME: You’d probably want him to go to one of the big clubs.
To get the best competition and best coaches.
So he’d develop.
I know — I’m being intentionally obtuse. But I think the race to get to the “best” clubs and the “best” competitions is getting rather silly. Kids who play American football get to play for their high schools against other teams. Kids who play soccer have to shop around to find the right fit, preferably one that won’t cost their parents a ton of money or commuting time.
I get the notion of promotion/relegation to make sure club games aren’t useless, joyless blowouts. In an area with as many good clubs as Northern Virginia, you could certainly have good competition up and down the divisional ladders.
If they’d all play in the same danged league.