Soccer NEWS: Pro Soccer Corner here we go!
Yan K. Skwara is the President of San Diego Boca FC and says "Its exciting to write about what's going in with Pro Soccer in Southern California and nationally as this is something that both myself and SoccerNation felt needed to be covered more so on a weekly basis, so enjoy the ride!
My personal experiences as a U.S. pro player, playing in Europe in the 80's, when there were not any leagues such as Major League Soccer or the Minor Leagues like the NASL, USL, or NPSL, gives me a chance to convey my personal perspective that I hope can only enlighten you and also give soccer fans a chance to see things from a different perspective. You may also disagree, but that is why we do this, so we can all mix and match to make the game better and stronger in the United States.
These are exciting times for the professional game in the U.S. Major League Soccer is now well established and growing, and the minor leagues are finding themselves. I can see relegation and promotion from a distance, but we are still far away from that reality but it is coming one day. Players are getting better fundamentally and technically year in and year out. There has been so much improvement, but we just need to keep pushing ourselves in order to properly grow, otherwise we will go sideways and that is my concern and focus in today's column.
What do we do to take US Soccer to the next level in the big picture? I suppose US Soccer has those answers and time will tell, but first we must look at our national, professional and youth programs, how they are structured, and who is running these programs and how they are being taught.
I do know this. If you played the game at a high level, the experience is available to teach others. If you do not have playing experience, then you have a different perspective of the game. That's just reality in my eyes and how Bob Bradley comes to mind. I was reading a column the other day that made a lot of sense to me so I’ll repeat it. If people are upset that Bob Bradley is head coach of the United States Men’s team again for the next four years, then maybe they should take their frustration out on US Soccer since they are the ones pulling the trigger.
Personally, I wish Bob all the best. This last World cup in South Africa was an improvement for the US, but I think we all expect more, much more! That's question is, can we be more productive and is Bob the man to get that result. I am going to be bold and say there was a better choice out there and a better way, but that path was not taken, at least for now. That type of move was going to take time and some boldness, and US Soccer chose to stick with a game plan that they had in their back pocket. There is always a lot of politics that go on behind the scenes with these tough decisions, but I will not go there. The fact of the matter is the decision is made and now we have to live with it and support it for four more years. I believe we had an opportunity to really make some upward changes because the talent is here, but we played it conservative. Now what, same results? We need to be aggressive and push the envelope and take it up two notches. Has Bob played at a high level? Has he coached at a high level? What does he see out of his eyes that may differ from other professional coaches? The answers will differ depending on whom you are talking to.
U.S. Soccer is a financial powerhouse compared to the rest of the world and we have over 300,000,000 million in population and are surrounded by futbol talent all over the America's. We have heavy European and South American road maps to follow in terms of how to progress the game. Everything from infrastructure to technical tactics is what we are catching up to. I say if the others are getting the results then we must continue to mimic the country’s that have proven systems and make things happen quickly.
Bob Bradley you are in a tough spot because you grew up here and you never played the game at a high level and you were never deeply involved a pro system outside of the one you know. You have come a long way as a coach and you have all of our support.
I think US Soccer could have gone a different route for new and different results. I respect their decision. What do you think?
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Yan K. Skwara
is the President of San Diego Boca FC
and is a new feature columnist for Soccernation. Skwara's new column Pro Corner will appear weekly and report on professional soccer news.