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Commentary Mar 23, 2012

Choosing high school over Development Academy

Two Seattle-area youth soccer standouts have chosen their high school team over playing in the Development Academy in the wake of U.S. Soccer’s decision to move to a 10-month season.

Clubs in Texas had already made the shift, and some elite youth soccer clubs decided not to wait until the fall to make the switch, including, the Kitsap Sun article notes, Redmond-based Crossfire Premier SC, which is why Diego de la Cruz and Sam Gomez aren’t playing high school soccer.

Miles Rodriguez-Nilson and Jordan Kollars, with the chance to remain with their Seattle Sounders FC U-18 academy team, chose to play for their high school team this spring rather than the Seattle Sounders FC U-18 academy team.

Having talked with several coaches recently, we’ve heard mixed thoughts about the benefits of high school versus club soccer. Jay Hoffman, technical director for the Virginia Rush, told The Soccer Wire the club is letting players decide on whether to play high school or for the Rush, but he said he expects most will opt for the club. He believes having a 10-month season will help reduce injuries by not having high school-age players involved with three-to-four matches a week.

Others, however, have argued in favor of high school soccer and against forcing players to make that choice.

For the sake of brevity, we won’t rehash the pro/con arguments of high school versus DA/club soccer. But there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing about more decisions like this, one way or the other.