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Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

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Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

Post by jla956 on 6/4/2017, 4:02 pm

Our son has played Rec soccer for years and now that he's playing high school soccer his coach advised us to get him on a select team so that he would have additional development both prior to and after his high school soccer season.  I understand that June is the month when boys try out for the area teams which then make their roster selections by July 1st.

Here is what we are finding out and I need some help to get a better grasp of.  It is my understanding from talking to the various coaches, team managers, and parents is that there are multiple "leagues" of competitive soccer in the Dallas area.  I have been told (not sure if it's correct though) that the Classic League is the top-tier soccer league.  Next is the Plano Premier League, and then there is the PrimeTime League.  I have also come to understand that there are various divisions within each of these leagues.  I hear that Classic has three levels, Plano Premier has four or five levels, and no one can tell me how many Primetime has.  I also understand that there is relegation in each of these leagues at the end of the season, so a team can move up or down depending upon how they performed during the previous season.

I have been told that players move from teams to teams quite often depending upon how skilled they are and how well their team did.  A highly skilled player is often "recruited" by other teams and in some aspects there is not a whole lot of team loyalty by players or parents - it's a "what's best for my son" type of approach.  Obviously that's quite a difference from Rec soccer and of course high school soccer where you have to play where you live - unless you move your son to a private school.

I am trying to get a handle on how this work so that I can make the best decision for my son.  I would hope to find a team that my son could stay with for the next several years until he ages out but if players do come and go quite often then that may not be the case.  I guess that every boy has to try out for his team prior to the next season and there are no guarantees as to whether or not that he will make the team.  New coaches also come and go so they each have their own selection criteria.

One other question regarding the various leagues.  Is there anyway to compare division levels between the various leagues.  For example, how might a division one Plano Premier team compare to a Classic League team.  Would they be comparable or not?  I guess if they never play each other it might be hard to estimate that.

We're new to this so if there is a prior post on here that explains it all please direct me to it.  Thanks in advance for your help and feedback.

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Re: Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

Post by ussoccerfan on 6/4/2017, 7:48 pm

My thought is to find a coach that your son enjoys and will develop under. Now is a good time of year to go out and practice with several teams at several clubs to see what might be the best fit for your kid as its basically a free agent type of period to look around. If he has friends on his high school team that play at a club then you might want to start with those. As far as a comparison between leagues, Classic division 1 typically has the best teams (outside of DA), followed by Classic division 2. When it comes to Classic 3 though, you probably can find teams in Plano division 1 that are very capable of knocking those teams off as I think the difference between those teams are minimal. But thats just my two cents....

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Re: Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

Post by Marvelousmar on 6/5/2017, 5:24 am

Ussoccer fan I fully agree with your 2 cents and would add an additiomal 2 cents that there are some in Division 1 Plano sides that have beaten some Division 2 Classic teams as well (Fc Lighting Arsenal Fcd west or an Solar Williams shameless plug to name a few) also that you are correct in the general ranking. I have always been of the opinion that playing the beautiful game whefe your child finds a coach that they enjoy and a team they enjoy trumps the league they play in. Find a side that has the desire to get better every time out. Good luck in your search there are a lot of teams in this area and I believe one that fits every boy's needs.
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Re: Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

Post by ussoccerfan on 6/5/2017, 8:05 am

Marvelousmar wrote:... would add an additiomal 2 cents that there are some in Division 1 Plano sides that have beaten some Division 2 Classic teams as well (Fc Lighting Arsenal Fcd west or an Solar Williams shameless plug to name a few)...

Youre right on that Marvelousmar! We were on a Plano team that beat a couple of Classic level 2 and above teams in a tournament! So finding the right environment for your kid is the key!

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Re: Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

Post by bigtex75081 on 6/5/2017, 9:52 am

@jla956 - What the others before me have written is spot on.  Don't worry about divisions or names or relegation. You're over-complicating this right now.  Just find a team that your son likes, with kids that are a little better than him, with a good coach, at a reasonable location.  Make sure your son can justify playtime during games with his new team.  If he isn't playing during games, you're not maximizing his time for aggressive development.  The game is the best teacher.

Soccer is fun so put him in an environment that he'll truly enjoy and grow from.  

With that said... There is a reading-between-the-lines part of this that I'm worried you're missing.  What this high school coach is advising is not a small thing.  This is a HUGE commitment we're talking about here.  And that commitment isn't limited to just your son but your entire family.  We're talking about a year-long commitment.  Hundreds of hours of field time for your son and your family.  You're going to spend at least $2000 but it's much more likely to be >$3000.

This coach isn't saying, "Send him to this 1-week camp to work on his shooting and finishing skills."  The coaching is saying "You need to commit a full year on a higher level."  But even after that year, there will still be no guarantees for anything, not even a roster spot on the JV squad.  This coach is not saying, "He's kinda close.  He just needs to make a small change."  The coach is saying, "He needs to make TREMENDOUS changes with a GIGANTIC commitment for an extended period of time."

I will be honest, if my son got that type of feedback after a tryout, my statement to my son would probably be... "We have work to do.  We know that.  But it doesn't appear you're going to make the cut for this team in the near future.  Here though, we might be wasting our time.  The competition for roster spots is too strong.  We need to look at your alternatives.  The coach is saying you need at least 1 year just to possibly catch up.  It will be even longer than that to surpass any kids that will have already made their space on the team when you are caught up."

I'm sorry for this. I feel bad about writing it. Hopefully I'm wrong. I'll let the other parents on this board shout me down and tell me I'm wrong. I'll let them illustrate that I'm taking this interpretation of the coach's feedback too far.

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Re: Questions about Dallas Area Club and Select Soccer Programs

Post by jla956 on 6/5/2017, 10:12 am

Thanks for everyone's feedback and suggestions - great stuff!  bigtex75081 - I probably didn't do the best in explaining my son's situation.  He was a freshman last year and started on the JV team.  I believe what the coach was trying to reinforce with me is that it would really help his development if he could get on a club team that he could play on prior to and after his HS season.  Since a lot of his HS teammates are on club teams I believe that he was using that as a reference point for us to help make our son a better player.  There was never an inference that he needed to do that if he wanted to stay a starter or have a chance to move up to varsity.  What I like about competitive soccer from what I've seen so far is that the coaches are truly motivated in fielding a team where the starters are in fact the best players.  Rec soccer will rotate everyone in and out so as to provide an equal playing time for all.  HS and club soccer is talent based, so if you want your kid to have a chance to start then he needs to get the best coaching and training that he can so as to put them in a position to succeed - if they then put in the effort on their part.

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