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Post by Big Ern on 27/09/19, 08:11 am

"ECNL, you had a great run but it is hard for you to argue that you are the "elite" league. I will go through some common comments and topics you will get from ECNL folks. I want to state that ECNL is a good league and can get your daughter some competition and probably a scholarship, but they can not compete with DA. DA is the elite league in SoCal.

1. The competition
If you look at ECNL standings, look closely...at Goal Differential, usually after the 3rd or 4th team the GD goes to double digit negative. blues and slammers beat up on everyone else.
DA, usually is about the 9th or 10th team to get double digit negative
It is clear as day that DA is much more competitive. Also, don't give me the response that Crossfire and PDA are in ECNL because as a SoCal team you will see them maybe, if you are get a good draw, one game a year but will see the local teams much more.

2. "ECNL has more girls scholarships and continues to get more of the college coaches at their events"
DUH. ECNL has been around longer but every year DA gets more and more coaches to come to their events because they are just managed better (more on that later). It will take time until DA reaches the amount of scholarships that ecnl has done. Because they are a new! But for those who think new things can't out last who got there first....ask blockbuster, Toys R us and Radio shack how they feel about Netflix and Amazon.

3. "ECNL allows my kid to play HS soccer"
You should not want to play HS soccer if you are a club player, the competition just isn't as good, teammates are usually not as good and so much risk for injury when you play against players that may only be playing because they want to play a sport. HS soccer is very sloppy and the field conditions usually aren't great. DA has their teams play DA teams that are properly coached and know how to play on proper fields.

4. Safety
DA has rules setup for one game a day, 18 hour rule, can't play 3 games in 3 days. The fact that so many parents aren't in love with a league that wants to protect your kid is mind boggling. They have trainers on site and always has water available. ECNL on the other hand will have your 14-18 year old daughter continue to play in tournaments where they will play 5 games in two days! If their team makes it to the final they will can play 3 games on one Sunday on a full 11v11 field. That increases the chance of injury and puts so much stress on the body, that is not safe.

This argument will change if more clubs switch or go "all in". However, I am hearing rumblings that blues may go "all in" for DA....if they do, I don't think there is any argument that DA is the elite league.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope your DD makes it as far as she can but if you are looking for the best competition and a league that truly wants to develop players and keep them safe, DA is the way to go."

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Post by smugrr on 27/09/19, 08:54 am

Understand all of the above. However, it is frustrating that there is no way for your team to earn its way into the league because the league is limited to only certain clubs (this is actually true of both leagues) so, unless you are willing to go to one of those clubs, you are stuck.

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Post by Big Ern on 27/09/19, 09:56 am

1000% agree smugr!  Plenty of talented kids and teams not able to participate ...

It's certainly a shame that a YourApeeIn model isn't realistically feasible here --

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Post by AngelinaGoalee on 27/09/19, 10:27 am

Can’t get into much detail as BigE has...but overall to dumb it down a bit, outside of the travel cost DA feels right for my DD and us as parents. She did HS her freshman year, started varsity, made it to playoffs but didn’t feel fulfilling to her and she was able to make a fortunate switch. She’s well rounded socially so playing hasn’t affected her “popularity” and the rigorous soccer schedule hasn’t put a dent in her social activity schedule and when there is a conflict she is obliged to choose her soccer obligations over others. Her friends outside of soccer still love her and it creates an easy balance for her. Overall...do what works for you.

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Post by PLAYERONE on 27/09/19, 10:51 am

Thank you Big E. Agree 100%. I laugh at people that think ECNL is a superior league to DA. You don’t have to look far, look in your own back yard, you can compare FCD/SOLAR to Sting/Feet. Both represent top 2 clubs in DA and ECNL here locally.

At DA level, 12 for boys, 13-14 for girls.... the DA TEAMS would win every match vs Sting/Feet. Wouldn’t even be close.

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Post by IAmSoccerfan on 27/09/19, 10:53 am

I watched U17G Solar and FCD DA last night and my first thought was about how the possibility of injury has got to be much less. It was such a clean game. Unfortunately kids who aren't to DA level of play have to toil in the current club structure and play in multiple leagues and those six game tournaments. I hate it for my kids, but what are you gonna do? One of mine went back to rec for a year and she couldn't stand it. I'm not trying to knock rec soccer, but it's not for everyone.
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Post by AngelinaGoalee on 27/09/19, 10:57 am

Here is where sensitive folks misconstrue the post. They take it as if their DD is being slighted in a talent aspect. That’s not the case because we all know some talented ecnl players and some not so talented DA players so let’s just get that out of the way.

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Post by Truthiness on 27/09/19, 11:06 am

Big Ern wrote:

2. "ECNL has more girls scholarships and continues to get more of the college coaches at their events"
DUH. ECNL has been around longer but every year DA gets more and more coaches to come to their events because they are just managed better (more on that later). It will take time until DA reaches the amount of scholarships that ecnl has done. Because they are a new! But for those who think new things can't out last who got there first....ask blockbuster, Toys R us and Radio shack how they feel about Netflix and Amazon.

3. "ECNL allows my kid to play HS soccer"
You should not want to play HS soccer if you are a club player, the competition just isn't as good, teammates are usually not as good and so much risk for injury when you play against players that may only be playing because they want to play a sport. HS soccer is very sloppy and the field conditions usually aren't great. DA has their teams play DA teams that are properly coached and know how to play on proper fields.


Been thinking about the HS soccer stuff and I think this is somewhat related to this discussion...

There's a lot of evidence that the world (mostly Europe) is closing the gap and that they are producing much greater quantities of women soccer players.  In the current men's college game, about 3 out of 20 players are foreign born.  In the women's college game, about 1 out of 20 players are foreign born.  That higher percentage of males makes sense when looking at historical male/female output for players around the world.  Those percentages are for all college soccer teams, and anecdotally, it seems to me the percentages of foreign-born players for Power 5 colleges are higher (perhaps they have the recruiting budget to widen their searches).  

I see that number rising for the women significantly in the very near future.  In the next decade, because of the boom in the number of quality international soccer players along with the fact that women have a fraction of the professional prospects that men have (thus making an American college scholarship quite an attractive proposition), it would not be surprising at all if that percentage rises from 1 in 20 to something like 4 or 5 in 20.  If that happens, then those roster spots will obviously be at the expense of American players.  The competition for scholarships for US players will increase dramatically.  

The DA believes that spending 3 or 4 month for each of four straight years to leave the club and play high school soccer comes at a developmental cost to the individual player.  I think everyone, even the most die-hard  ECNL fan, would agree with that contention.  With rare exception it's almost certainly true, but such commitment comes with an obvious cost.  That cost is the very reasonable belief that the life experience and fun of playing high school soccer is well worth the minor developmental loss that comes with choosing to play in the generally inferior environment.  I think even the most die-hard DA stans see the merit in that personal decision for many players.  That tradeoff is now easier to justify because the average ECNL player still currently has quality collegiate options.

Putting all that together, though, the competition for college roster spots and money is about to get much more competitive as the rest of the world continues to improve the quality and quantity of its players who will be looking to play at an American college.  If the DA is producing players who have more fully fulfilled their potential and are better equipped to fill the fewer spots available, then I think simple math would suggest that ECNL players will be getting the short end of the stick of being the ones shut out of those 3 or 4 roster spots that will probably soon be going to international players.  It seems likely to me that the consequences of taking a total of 12-16 months off from a high-level club environment to play high school instead of club soccer may become a bit more stark in the near future than it is now.  

Men's college coaches long ago come to the conclusion that boy players who have been in the DA environment are generally better equipped to be an impact college player.  That day is likely coming for the women's game, too.  And combined with the likely influx of impact international players, it seems to me the college scholarship squeeze could be coming for ECNL and especially other "independent" players.
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Post by AngelinaGoalee on 27/09/19, 11:30 am

From personal experience DA did this to woo my daughter, my wife, and myself....
My daughter joined for the Spring ‘19 season of DA.
Participated in the Spring Showcase in Denver.
Before we boarded the plane we were urged to contact a major university who was interested in my DD. It was a day before the new rule was implemented so she was only able to engage briefly with them but hell, after 5 games in and interest from several colleges I’m very optimistic about her soccer future. Not saying it couldn’t have happened with another platform but we as a family feel good about DA and after her school soccer experience she is exactly where she wants to be.

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Post by dmallday on 30/09/19, 03:11 pm

Which clubs have DA teams besides Solar and FCDallas?

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Post by 07soccerdad on 30/09/19, 03:17 pm

Dallas Texans and a slew of other Clubs across the country. Here's the list.
http://www.ussoccerda.com/all-clubs

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