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Post by Guest on 29/01/15, 10:49 am

What size are defenders in ecnl and college? My daughter is a very good centerback and has played there almost exclusively her entire first year of select. My wife and I are very short and it's hard to imagine our daughter being over 5'2". Should we be worried about playing too much time at a position she'll never be recruited to play? Defenders at older age groups seem to be of significant size.

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Post by TatonkaBurger on 29/01/15, 11:07 am

Positions change all the time.  You should only be concerned with your DD's development - having good skills and being able to play multiple positions.  In three years she could be a striker.
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Post by Guest on 29/01/15, 11:18 am

TatonkaBurger wrote:Positions change all the time.  You should only be concerned with your DD's development - having good skills and being able to play multiple positions.  In three years she could be a striker.
Is this true? I thought the positions gets locked in at 4 years old. Also, are all the defenders amazon women or just the centerbacks?

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Post by Seven on 29/01/15, 11:30 am

you know the old saying....."you cant coach size or speed"
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Post by Guest on 29/01/15, 11:33 am

Where have you guys been!?! Jeeeeez. We had our daughter genetically engineered in a petri dish for her optimal soccer position. Get with times.

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Post by SickofStupidity on 29/01/15, 11:47 am

Black market human growth hormones work wonders!

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Post by rockindaddy on 29/01/15, 11:58 am

Firstly I wouldn't be concerned after one year of select about being recruited at all. Secondly my DD has played centerback for years and was one of the shorter girls on the field. She now has grown to be slightly above average so you never know. But yes I would say at 5'2" she would not be sought after as a centerback in college. As they get older heading the ball clear is a real need and while usually the more aggressive girl wins the ball height does play a factor.
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Post by go99 on 29/01/15, 03:14 pm

don't let the coach fool you that it doesn't matter. If she is playing only CB at her size then its a problem. If it doesn't really matter then the coach should have no problem moving her to another position. And believe me the same coach will be the first to replace her when height starts to matter at CB. and then cut her when she can't match the other girls at the other positions who have been doing it for years. A big coaching problem here is we develop teams not players. He isn't concerned about her as a player his TEAM needs her at CB
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Post by camkat on 30/01/15, 11:31 am

go99 wrote:don't let the coach fool you that it doesn't matter.  If she is playing only CB at her size then its a problem.  If it doesn't really matter then the coach should have no problem moving her to another position.  And believe me the same coach will be the first to replace her when height starts to matter at CB.  and then cut her when she can't match the other girls at the other positions who have been doing it for years.  A big coaching problem here is we develop teams not players.  He isn't concerned about her as a player his TEAM needs her at CB

Experienced this situation with my daughter. She is now a junior and is 5'5". Which is too short for CB for most colleges. For U11 to U14 the coach had her only at CB because according to him she was a shutdown defender. Only after looking at college rosters did I realize this was likely to be a problem. That the coach was more interested in the team instead of her as a player. Fortunately at U15 she moved to an ECNL club and they immediately moved her to outside back and outside mid.

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Post by Lefty on 30/01/15, 01:08 pm

camkat wrote:
go99 wrote:don't let the coach fool you that it doesn't matter.  If she is playing only CB at her size then its a problem.  If it doesn't really matter then the coach should have no problem moving her to another position.  And believe me the same coach will be the first to replace her when height starts to matter at CB.  and then cut her when she can't match the other girls at the other positions who have been doing it for years.  A big coaching problem here is we develop teams not players.  He isn't concerned about her as a player his TEAM needs her at CB

Experienced this situation with my daughter.  She is now a junior and is 5'5".  Which is too short for CB for most colleges. For U11 to U14 the coach had her only at CB because according to him she was a shutdown defender.  Only after looking at college rosters did I realize this was likely to be a problem.  That the coach was more interested in the team instead of her as a player. Fortunately at U15 she moved to an ECNL club and they immediately moved her to outside back and outside mid.  

Team = Coach
I need you to play center back as it is what is best for the team ME

You the parent need to make sure you are looking out what is best for your DD, sometimes it may be what is best for the team coach and other times it may not be.

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Post by soccerinsane on 30/01/15, 01:20 pm

In my opinion it's a little much to ask the coaches to shift players when they are working well as a team just because a kid is currently in a spot where she may not (or even definitely won't) grow enough to be as tall or as big as what "most" college coaches are looking for in that particular position.  There is no reason that college coaches will overlook a kid playing CB if he or she is a good defender--just might pull that kid for a different use on the college team.  Now this is not at all saying that coaches should insist on rigid field positioning for each player--especially when they are little--just that coaches shouldn't rearrange what's working for a team (and presumably the players who are getting the playing time) just because a player isn't the sought after height for a position.  I can't imagine why it would or should be on their radar.  And our oldest got a decent scholarship to a small (and not phenomenal) DI college after playing CB for her club team all of her select years.  She did NOT play CB on her college team--played outside--probably b/c she is barely 5'4.  But the fact that she was a great defender--aggressive, fast, smart and fearless to jump up for those headers--got her the spot.   Definitely understand that the larger and better soccer schools may have such a focused view of what they are looking for, that they won't look at the "too short" CBs for other spots on their roster, but I sure don't think playing CB for years because it's where your team needs you and you're good at it and getting tons of playing time is going to hurt your college chances significantly just because you're short.  Just my thoughts on this lovely Friday! Sorry for the novel! Smile
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Post by Guest on 30/01/15, 01:51 pm

Great thread! It's rare to get such great insight on this forum.

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Post by Tiger on 30/01/15, 01:56 pm

camkat wrote:
go99 wrote:don't let the coach fool you that it doesn't matter.  If she is playing only CB at her size then its a problem.  If it doesn't really matter then the coach should have no problem moving her to another position.  And believe me the same coach will be the first to replace her when height starts to matter at CB.  and then cut her when she can't match the other girls at the other positions who have been doing it for years.  A big coaching problem here is we develop teams not players.  He isn't concerned about her as a player his TEAM needs her at CB

Experienced this situation with my daughter.  She is now a junior and is 5'5".  Which is too short for CB for most colleges. For U11 to U14 the coach had her only at CB because according to him she was a shutdown defender.  Only after looking at college rosters did I realize this was likely to be a problem.  That the coach was more interested in the team instead of her as a player. Fortunately at U15 she moved to an ECNL club and they immediately moved her to outside back and outside mid.  
Lefty wrote:
Team = Coach
I need you to play center back as it is what is best for the team ME

You the parent need to make sure you are looking out what is best for your DD, sometimes it may be what is best for the team coach and other times it may not be.  

As the old saying goes...There's no "I" in team. Yeah, but there's always a ME!!!

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Post by Tiger on 30/01/15, 02:03 pm

Guest wrote:What size are defenders in ecnl and college?  My daughter is a very good centerback and has played there almost exclusively her entire first year of select. My wife and I are very short and it's hard to imagine our daughter being over 5'2". Should we be worried about playing too much time at a position she'll never be recruited to play?  Defenders at older age groups seem to be of significant size.

Take a look at Univeristy of Florida's roster:

#15 5' 2" D/F
#2 5' 4" D
#35 5' 5" D/MF
#4 5' 4" D/F
#10 5' 3" D
#1 5' 2" D
#3 5' 5" D

This should give you some hope.

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Post by Guest on 30/01/15, 02:39 pm

G.O.A.T USWNT ctr back...still hanging on at nearly 40...C.RAMPONE...she's barely 5'6".

Skill, anticipation, awareness, decision making, tackling instincts, SPEED and willingness to compete for aerial challenges is far more important than height at that position in the women's game.

At u11, why worry about projecting to college positions? Focus on skill, development and helping her love the game.

Besides - center back is a GREAT position to develop within when done right. IMO, only keepers have as much high-stakes pressure to handle on a regular basis. And it's much easier to turn a kid who played centrally into a wide player than the other way around.
If anything it's the kids stuck wide their whole youth career that end up limited when they get older if they don't TRULY end up with the attributes of a wide player post-puberty (i.e. blazing speed with the ball).

The biggest factor I didn't hear mentioned is what does the DD want? If she loves playing center back, maybe continue encouraging her to develop as a complete player, ask the coach to let her get minutes elsewhere on the field from time to time, and let the rest take care of itself when the time comes.

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Post by Guest on 30/01/15, 03:47 pm

There you go 4-3-3, being all sane and logical, and such...

Keep it up and we'll banish you to the lair of the semi-sane elves with RalfDallas... Never to be heard from again... Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

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Post by the7wolf on 30/01/15, 04:04 pm

Why do such a large proportion of North Texas soccer parents feel that playing defense is akin to being the water-boy? The position requires great timing, little margin for error, maturity in decision making and a great first touch. In soccer around the world, more captains come from defensive positions than anywhere else on the field. I see no problem in rotating players in positions for development purposes but many kids have an affinity for defense as much as some do for offense. If some NTX parents had their way, 11v11 would comprise of a gk and 10 forwards.

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Post by go99 on 30/01/15, 04:27 pm

I think defense is a great position and some kids do have a affinity for it. But there is also no reason to lock a kid into a position that they don't like and lack the physical traits for long term success. Other than the coach needs wins and a good player in defense will help him get those wins.

Had a situation way back in academy with my son. He was tiny and the coach always played him at defense. I asked the coach about it and he agreed that no in fact my son was not a "defensive" player. He then said he is very difficult to get around and as long as we don't get scored on the team always has a chance to win. So right now the team needs him in defense and as he solidified the team he would move him into the attack. He then added that if I noticed my son never played defense in practice because. So he was honest, gave an explination that helped the team and the kid. That is rare in NTX. Usually what you will get is some coaches speak that comes down to this is what I need and thats more important than the kid
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Post by DoubleDDRedux on 30/01/15, 04:41 pm

Guest wrote:What size are defenders in ecnl and college?  My daughter is a very good centerback and has played there almost exclusively her entire first year of select. My wife and I are very short and it's hard to imagine our daughter being over 5'2". Should we be worried about playing too much time at a position she'll never be recruited to play?  Defenders at older age groups seem to be of significant size.
Gary Medel played center back for Chile in the World Cup and he's only 5'7". Your daughter could do fine except maybe against beefier clubs like FCD.
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Post by DoubleDDRedux on 30/01/15, 04:46 pm

Tiger wrote:
Guest wrote:What size are defenders in ecnl and college?  My daughter is a very good centerback and has played there almost exclusively her entire first year of select. My wife and I are very short and it's hard to imagine our daughter being over 5'2". Should we be worried about playing too much time at a position she'll never be recruited to play?  Defenders at older age groups seem to be of significant size.

Take a look at Univeristy of Florida's roster:

#15 5' 2" D/F
#2 5' 4" D
#35 5' 5" D/MF
#4 5' 4" D/F
#10 5' 3" D
#1 5' 2" D
#3 5' 5" D

This should give you some hope.
obviously they recruit heavily in Bolivia.
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Post by DoubleDDRedux on 30/01/15, 04:49 pm

Seven wrote:you know the old saying....."you cant coach size or speed"
or bra size
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Post by DTLD on 30/01/15, 05:05 pm

I agree with wolf. My kid plays cb and loves it. She's very skilled and has a great first touch. You really have to be brave and a good decision maker. Seems as though there's a lot of pressure on defense the older they get. Defenders also seem to have the ball at their feet more. It also seems as if defenders get more play time as they rarely get switched out as much as midfielders or forwards. At least in our experience.

DD started out playing forward when she was really young and worked her way to the back over time. I feel as though since she's been at cb for the past yr that she's definitely grown on maturity and decision making.

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Post by Lefty on 31/01/15, 08:00 am

the7wolf wrote:Why do such a large proportion of North Texas soccer parents feel that playing defense is akin to being the water-boy? The position requires great timing, little margin for error, maturity in decision making and a great first touch. In soccer around the world, more captains come from defensive positions than anywhere else on the field. I see no problem in rotating players in positions for development purposes but many kids have an affinity for defense as much as some do for offense. If some NTX parents had their way, 11v11 would comprise of a gk and 10 forwards.

I'm with you wolf.  My earlier comment was not related to offense or defense, but that the parent has to be the guardian of their dd's best interest.

All ours eventually played defense as they preferred to have the game in front of them.  

As many a coach told us over the years:
. You can hide an ineffective forward or midfielder during a game, but there is no hiding an ineffective defender
. #'s and effort will help at forward and midfield, but in the back you just better be good.

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Post by rockindaddy on 31/01/15, 09:27 am

Forwards only have to get it right once. Defenders have to get it right everytime.
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Post by Zizou on 31/01/15, 09:53 am

I would think that holding mid-fielders and center backs would be in high demand at the college level. The building blocks of most successful teams begins in controlling the mid field and defending.

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