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  #11  
Old 02-04-2019
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If your child is younger than U-13, the focus should be on training versus a decent team. This is of course unless you are in love with EDP and the grossly overpriced leagues and tournaments. Over the past 5 years, there has been an explosion in terms of the EDP league fees, the tournament costs, and public perception:
1) EDP is very new, and parents without any soccer knowledge have bought into that "good" teams play in an EDP league.

2) What's most important about children playing soccer U-13 and younger is the not the league, it's developing your child:
A) Do they love soccer? Do they love going to practices?
B) Outside of team training? Do the children love going to clinics to get better or do they dread that? Will the child practice kicking the ball around with limited supervision? And last question, does the child take the ball everywhere they go without you telling them?

3) The problem with #2 is that if the questions to A and B are yes and good, then a player should be on a team with similarly skilled players. At U-13, puberty is taking effect on boys and girls teams, and the sizes of players range dramatically. So focus on skill, remember: technical, tactical, then physical and psychological.

4) The Academy club issue, youth soccer can be a money making business, that's all it is, a business, not a not-for-profit. Cedar Stars, PDA, Matchfit, WCFC, they don't care about your kids, all they care about is the almighty dollar.

5) So how do I know if my child is "good"? Take them to as many tryouts at Cedar Stars, MF, WCFC, as possible, do they get accepted onto the team without your prodding? You rank your child by how many people want them.

6) Don't forget soccer is a "team sport", a team with many great individual players that have been in the club just 1 year before moving again, doesn't win many games against similar level opponents with very little attrition. Once you pick a club, stick with it, through good and bad. Develop team chemistry.

7) Go to GotSoccer and Youth Sport Rankings US, see what the top 50 teams are in the age group, and go watch a portion of games when they are in your area.

It's not about academy when your child is younger than 13, which is what I think based on the conversations below. Think about your child's development, enjoyment, and competitive level.

Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2019
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
If your child is younger than U-13, the focus should be on training versus a decent team. This is of course unless you are in love with EDP and the grossly overpriced leagues and tournaments. Over the past 5 years, there has been an explosion in terms of the EDP league fees, the tournament costs, and public perception:
1) EDP is very new, and parents without any soccer knowledge have bought into that "good" teams play in an EDP league.

2) What's most important about children playing soccer U-13 and younger is the not the league, it's developing your child:
A) Do they love soccer? Do they love going to practices?
B) Outside of team training? Do the children love going to clinics to get better or do they dread that? Will the child practice kicking the ball around with limited supervision? And last question, does the child take the ball everywhere they go without you telling them?

3) The problem with #2 is that if the questions to A and B are yes and good, then a player should be on a team with similarly skilled players. At U-13, puberty is taking effect on boys and girls teams, and the sizes of players range dramatically. So focus on skill, remember: technical, tactical, then physical and psychological.

4) The Academy club issue, youth soccer can be a money making business, that's all it is, a business, not a not-for-profit. Cedar Stars, PDA, Matchfit, WCFC, they don't care about your kids, all they care about is the almighty dollar.

5) So how do I know if my child is "good"? Take them to as many tryouts at Cedar Stars, MF, WCFC, as possible, do they get accepted onto the team without your prodding? You rank your child by how many people want them.

6) Don't forget soccer is a "team sport", a team with many great individual players that have been in the club just 1 year before moving again, doesn't win many games against similar level opponents with very little attrition. Once you pick a club, stick with it, through good and bad. Develop team chemistry.

7) Go to GotSoccer and Youth Sport Rankings US, see what the top 50 teams are in the age group, and go watch a portion of games when they are in your area.

It's not about academy when your child is younger than 13, which is what I think based on the conversations below. Think about your child's development, enjoyment, and competitive level.

Good luck!
You hit the nail on the head with this with the exception on one point. PDA and WCFC ARE verified not for profits. While costs at these clubs may be similar to most, what you get from them is better coaching and facilities.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2019
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OP here --- I appreciate everyone's feedback and comments. I was specifically looking for feedback on Matchfit experience since they have just started to build out the youth program we don't have any friends in the program & any of the younger kids that are in the program are fairly new -- so was looking for feedback on the club in general.

As for the prior poster's comments, I agree with everything that is being stated, we have an older daughter and have down this path before and its not a one size fits all -- each child is different and has different goals.

I specifically didn't give details about my daughter's situation as I didn't really want to veer away from the question at hand regarding MFA. However, right now we are at a situation where she does play at a high level EDP team already and she is the top player on her team. She willingly goes to additional skills trainings each week, has a ball at her feet when she comes home, watches soccer games and is asking when her next practice / game is. And on breaks, when we are not on vacation, asks to go to camps / clinics. However, to keep things in perspective she is younger than U-13, so a lot can change between now and the next few years --- but the main goal here is to keep her loving the game, have her playing with kids that with similar talent / abilities, keep her challenged, continue long term development and to find a club for the long term. Matchfit was on the list, along with PDA, WCFC and STA.

Each club has some pro's and con's for us (whether it be commute, potential player pool, or other) and obviously other research can be done through going to practices, talking to parents, but again -- not the case with MFA as much.

Thanks for the advice!
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
OP here --- I appreciate everyone's feedback and comments. I was specifically looking for feedback on Matchfit experience since they have just started to build out the youth program we don't have any friends in the program & any of the younger kids that are in the program are fairly new -- so was looking for feedback on the club in general.

As for the prior poster's comments, I agree with everything that is being stated, we have an older daughter and have down this path before and its not a one size fits all -- each child is different and has different goals.

I specifically didn't give details about my daughter's situation as I didn't really want to veer away from the question at hand regarding MFA. However, right now we are at a situation where she does play at a high level EDP team already and she is the top player on her team. She willingly goes to additional skills trainings each week, has a ball at her feet when she comes home, watches soccer games and is asking when her next practice / game is. And on breaks, when we are not on vacation, asks to go to camps / clinics. However, to keep things in perspective she is younger than U-13, so a lot can change between now and the next few years --- but the main goal here is to keep her loving the game, have her playing with kids that with similar talent / abilities, keep her challenged, continue long term development and to find a club for the long term. Matchfit was on the list, along with PDA, WCFC and STA.

Each club has some pro's and con's for us (whether it be commute, potential player pool, or other) and obviously other research can be done through going to practices, talking to parents, but again -- not the case with MFA as much.

Thanks for the advice!
Good luck with your search. I suggest staying away from MFA. Just personal reasons from our experience, they are not honest and over load teams. my daughter had teammates who were told they would get play time with the ECNL teams when signing, then never set foot on the field with those teams. Honesty may not get you to have 24 girls on a roster, but it will keep people from complaining about unkept promises
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
OP here --- I appreciate everyone's feedback and comments. I was specifically looking for feedback on Matchfit experience since they have just started to build out the youth program we don't have any friends in the program & any of the younger kids that are in the program are fairly new -- so was looking for feedback on the club in general.

As for the prior poster's comments, I agree with everything that is being stated, we have an older daughter and have down this path before and its not a one size fits all -- each child is different and has different goals.

I specifically didn't give details about my daughter's situation as I didn't really want to veer away from the question at hand regarding MFA. However, right now we are at a situation where she does play at a high level EDP team already and she is the top player on her team. She willingly goes to additional skills trainings each week, has a ball at her feet when she comes home, watches soccer games and is asking when her next practice / game is. And on breaks, when we are not on vacation, asks to go to camps / clinics. However, to keep things in perspective she is younger than U-13, so a lot can change between now and the next few years --- but the main goal here is to keep her loving the game, have her playing with kids that with similar talent / abilities, keep her challenged, continue long term development and to find a club for the long term. Matchfit was on the list, along with PDA, WCFC and STA.

Each club has some pro's and con's for us (whether it be commute, potential player pool, or other) and obviously other research can be done through going to practices, talking to parents, but again -- not the case with MFA as much.

Thanks for the advice!
I knew a family whose daughter was at MF (and may still be, not sure because we lost touch). They seemed satisfied with the experience, but apparently MF looked down upon the kid going to training outside of the club (eg. Red Bulls or other similar programs). I always thought that was weird.
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2019
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I knew a family whose daughter was at MF (and may still be, not sure because we lost touch). They seemed satisfied with the experience, but apparently MF looked down upon the kid going to training outside of the club (eg. Red Bulls or other similar programs). I always thought that was weird.
I never understood that, clubs should thank outside training programs whether it be Red Bulls or A-Game or other for helping make their kids better. Such an odd position.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2019
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I never understood that, clubs should thank outside training programs whether it be Red Bulls or A-Game or other for helping make their kids better. Such an odd position.
I suppose there is always the danger that a coach from these other training programs might try to poach players to another team/club. But yeah, I would think that would scare more players away from MF than it does retain the players they have.
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2019
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I suppose there is always the danger that a coach from these other training programs might try to poach players to another team/club. But yeah, I would think that would scare more players away from MF than it does retain the players they have.
Unfortunately this is not just a MF restriction, there are other clubs that ban outside training. Paranoid coaches and owners donít make for pleasant circumstances. If a club offers a player what they need, they shouldnít worry about a kid leaving. The focus should be on development and its clear that all anyone cares about is keeping their cash cows.
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2019
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Unfortunately this is not just a MF restriction, there are other clubs that ban outside training. Paranoid coaches and owners donít make for pleasant circumstances. If a club offers a player what they need, they shouldnít worry about a kid leaving. The focus should be on development and its clear that all anyone cares about is keeping their cash cows.
I am not sure if its a total MATCHFIT thing or just a coach by coach situation. I have seen kids from Matchfit training with other coaches outside of Matchfit and in different training environments. I can assume if you get permission from your coach to do additional training outside your club with another coach from another club I don't see them having a problem. I have done it with my older daughter and I do it now with my younger and our club doesn't have a probably with it because we are fully open and have no motive or agenda. When some people are trying to test the waters and look elsewhere is where I believe coaches have the problem. I don't blame them either because if you are open with your coaches as a parent then what you do shouldn't be a problem.
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  #20  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Stay away from Matchfit especially at younger ages. They dont develop kids. Any of the older teams that do well is because they recruit kids in. Just last month they brought in 8 kids to fill their 06ECNL team. What reputable club needs to bring in 8 kids midyear? There is now 26 kids on their roster. What about the kids that were already on that team? They dont care. Dom Bucci who runs the whole thing is just an arrogant, self serving, A-hole.
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