Get Recruited Faster with a Player Profile on

Sep 08, 2012

Alecko Eskandarian’s compelling read about high school vs. Development Academy

By Jimmy LaRoue

I’m going to write more about this after the weekend, but wanted to throw this out there for people to read and ponder for now.

In an article for, Alecko Eskandarian offered up a thoughtful and compelling analysis of the debate going on in soccer circles over the choice high school-age male soccer players have had to make between playing high school soccer and playing for an academy team with U.S. Soccer.

Because U.S. Soccer has mandated that academy teams all move to the 10-month season starting this season–after running it on a trial basis last season–players have been faced with this choice, with some staying with their high school team, many sticking with their academy team, and with a waiver, some are still playing for both their school and academy team, provided that team is a private school team. It’s put a tough choice on young people, and there’s been mixed reaction especially among high school coaches.

It’s a discussion that’s been going on here at and across the soccer landscape.

Since I’m sure Eskandarian has put much time and thought into what he wrote, I want to take at least a little time to go over the points he makes before getting too far in depth on what he’s written.

Like I noted, I think Eskandarian has offered up a compelling read, one well-thought out based on his own experiences and what he has observed in his various roles over the course of his playing, and now coaching, career, and I think it’s a very good jumping off point for the ongoing discussions about how best to develop elite youth players.

What are your initial thoughts to what he had to say about HS vs. academy? His solutions? Let us know in the comments.