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  #21  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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It would greatly benefit Oregon soccer to have a conversation about what Timbers academy is, and what it isn't.
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  #22  
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It would greatly benefit Oregon soccer to have a conversation about what Timbers academy is, and what it isn't.
And it would be beneficial if the Timbers were a bigger part of that conversation, explaining:

* What they are looking for
* What can players who go to TA expect
* How they identify players
* Why the hell Benjamin Billups was allowed anywhere near the program.

For example--they seem to, or have in the past, care about "technical skill" (i.e. kids who can dribble and shoot) more than they do about other skills (passing, marking, off-ball play) or about athletic ability. At least that was true at the younger ages. This has annoyed a lot of mommies of young studs, who note their own kiddos beating some of the kids who were chosen, causing them to make all sorts of unsavory accusations. But the Timbers aren't looking for the most effective club players, or the players that will enable them to do the best in the DA league; they're looking for players that have the best chance (even if still a slim one) of progressing to the professional level.

And unfortunately, the last bullet item has cast a shadow over everything else; the last thing a high-level academy wants to be seen as doing is taking payola. Even if BB fils is now only serving as a training cone, the fact that he's remotely involved stinks like a dead fish. I won't say more because I don't really like badmouthing kids, and it's not entirely fair to blame a teenager for the actions of his parents, but someone in the Timbers organization should have the integrity to say "no, we are not doing that." Especially since the sum involved is couch change for a guy like Merritt Paulsen.
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  #23  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
And it would be beneficial if the Timbers were a bigger part of that conversation, explaining:

* What they are looking for
* What can players who go to TA expect
* How they identify players
* Why the hell Benjamin Billups was allowed anywhere near the program.

For example--they seem to, or have in the past, care about "technical skill" (i.e. kids who can dribble and shoot) more than they do about other skills (passing, marking, off-ball play) or about athletic ability. At least that was true at the younger ages. This has annoyed a lot of mommies of young studs, who note their own kiddos beating some of the kids who were chosen, causing them to make all sorts of unsavory accusations. But the Timbers aren't looking for the most effective club players, or the players that will enable them to do the best in the DA league; they're looking for players that have the best chance (even if still a slim one) of progressing to the professional level.

And unfortunately, the last bullet item has cast a shadow over everything else; the last thing a high-level academy wants to be seen as doing is taking payola. Even if BB fils is now only serving as a training cone, the fact that he's remotely involved stinks like a dead fish. I won't say more because I don't really like badmouthing kids, and it's not entirely fair to blame a teenager for the actions of his parents, but someone in the Timbers organization should have the integrity to say "no, we are not doing that." Especially since the sum involved is couch change for a guy like Merritt Paulsen.

Timbers want players. Just like everybody else. Not much more to it than that.
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  #24  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
And it would be beneficial if the Timbers were a bigger part of that conversation, explaining:

* What they are looking for
* What can players who go to TA expect
* How they identify players
* Why the hell Benjamin Billups was allowed anywhere near the program.

For example--they seem to, or have in the past, care about "technical skill" (i.e. kids who can dribble and shoot) more than they do about other skills (passing, marking, off-ball play) or about athletic ability. At least that was true at the younger ages. This has annoyed a lot of mommies of young studs, who note their own kiddos beating some of the kids who were chosen, causing them to make all sorts of unsavory accusations. But the Timbers aren't looking for the most effective club players, or the players that will enable them to do the best in the DA league; they're looking for players that have the best chance (even if still a slim one) of progressing to the professional level.

And unfortunately, the last bullet item has cast a shadow over everything else; the last thing a high-level academy wants to be seen as doing is taking payola. Even if BB fils is now only serving as a training cone, the fact that he's remotely involved stinks like a dead fish. I won't say more because I don't really like badmouthing kids, and it's not entirely fair to blame a teenager for the actions of his parents, but someone in the Timbers organization should have the integrity to say "no, we are not doing that." Especially since the sum involved is couch change for a guy like Merritt Paulsen.
BB isnít there anymore.

The 06, 07 teams are much different and even the new round of 05 isnít like the TA of old.
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  #25  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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It would greatly benefit Oregon soccer to have a conversation about what Timbers academy is, and what it isn't.
If your child was invited you will find out tomorrow at the meeting. Last night training was at Providence Park
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  #26  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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BB isnít there anymore.

The 06, 07 teams are much different and even the new round of 05 isnít like the TA of old.
If not, then good. Had heard he was still coming as a practice player (he's not on the roster any more).
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  #27  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Timbers want players. Just like everybody else. Not much more to it than that.
I think that is the problem. I think the Timbers have to run this program but they aren't that interested in making it a successful one. Historically the Timbers have never really committed to the idea of developing homegrown players. On one hand, this is fine. They are a for profit organization and they can do as they please with their money as long as they are meeting the minimum requirements. On the other hand, the kids who commit to the program, and the parents who are driving them around town so they can make that commitment, should have a clear understanding of that. Part of that is not getting all bristly when anyone comments on the lack of transparency in the process, or remotely questions whether it is an elite program. Some of the questions, comments, or criticisms aren't driven by jealousy but are inevitable given the historical performance of the program.
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  #28  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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This program hurts the teams with a few of the players now attending the discovery training sessions and not there own teams training sessions any longer. If they want to be in the TA then make a team, if not then let them practice with their own team. It's going to hurt them come spring when several players haven't practiced with the players they now have to play games with. The selected few players now feel they don't need to practice with their own team, as they are to good. Not impressed Timbers, or TA. The kids at this age are way to young to be just doing soccer, they should be able to do other sports and enjoy being kids. They aren't even done growing or developing, most of these kids won't even be playing soccer in five years. Way to much and way to competitive, let them be KIDS!
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  #29  
Old 1 Week Ago
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Default Discovery Program

This program is actually pretty simple and modest. They obviously have a TA team in about every age group from U12 up. They are inviting a small group of additional players from around the state to train with the Timbers Youth staff a few times. They train separate from the TA team in those sessions, not with them. From what I understand, there are only like 6-8 training sessions for Discovery Program players. But connecting with a few kids who are not already on the TA team allows them to be familiar with some candidates to join the TA team in the event someone leaves the TA team.

It is not, from what I can tell, a highly structured program with a full training curriculum. It is pretty informal. It is a touch point with a few kids to consider in the future. I know one kid who is doing it. Some are identified by coach referrals, ODP, or someone spotted a player at a youth game or tournament.

Is it a tryout open to the entire state? No. Is it some super political selection process? No. It's about as informal as these things get.

The kid I know that is doing it is a quality player who does not appear to be politically connected in any way that matters. He stood out on the field among other good players and was invited to attend some extra training. Not a big deal or anything to gripe over.
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