On Tuesday October 16, the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) fielded a roster of twenty-one players for their match against Peru. Only nine of the USMNT players hail from domestic MLS clubs.
By contrast, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) will finish their Women’s World Cup Qualifying campaign on Wednesday October 17, and EVERY PLAYER on the roster plays her club (or college) soccer inside the USA. The game against Canada will decide which team comes out on top of Concacaf heading into the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France.
The United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) began for boys in 2007 and has begun paying dividends for the USMNT. Eight players on the roster for the match against Peru were products of the USSDA.
The Girls’ Development Academy began in 2017. US Soccer is completely committed to continuing domestic development for the USWNT rather than having players improve their development oversees, as is so common among USMNT player pools.
At the recent Development Academy Playoffs and Showcase in Oceanside, California, Soccer Nation spoke extensively with Mirelle van Rijbroek. Mirelle is the Director of Talent Identification for U.S. Soccer. She oversees an army of U.S. Soccer scouts across the country, identifying players for the USYNT and USWNT roster pools.
Come back to Soccer Nation over the next few weeks to read more about our conversation with Mirelle van Rijbroek. Her insights into player identification, the new Girls’ Development Academy, and the choices that girls (and their parents) have to make are definitely must-read for soccer families.