Soccer Summit Held Before NYCFC Game At Yankee Stadium
Internally here at LeagueApps we strive both as an organization and as individuals to be true students of the game. To that end, we’ve made it a top priority to facilitate as many collaborations and conversations between our robust list of partners. Sharing knowledge, spotting trends, and projecting what the youth sports industry will look like in the next few years is an on-going passion project for us.
Last Sunday, before the NYCFC’s final regular season home game, we hosted nine youth sports leaders with more than 50 years of experience in the industry. Our high-level conversations touched upon topics including the pay to play model, indoor facilities and winter soccer options, and the path to the professional ranks. Drilling down further, organizers shared common pain points such as the cost and availability of fields, travel expenses, the lack of scholarships, the oversaturation of the market due to too many clubs, the challenging parental communication component, and the decline of the Olympic Development Program (ODP).
This roundtable event was far from a venting session thanks to our thoughtful guests. Solutions were offered in response to nearly every hurdle, including the concept of monthly meetings where parents could voice concerns and ideas. In regards to the ODP, a magic wand solution offered was to simply make the program free.
The Connecticut Football Club’s Christine Huber remarked that the event hit the mark in terms of gathering the best that youth soccer has to offer in one place. “LeagueApps was able to bring together some of the areas great soccer minds to talk about the future of soccer in America. It was great to see clubs in different markets dealing with the same struggles that we deal with at CFC,” said Huber.
The event was held David Villa’s suite at Yankee Stadium and participants in our roundtable were able to meet with the soccer legend following the game. Adam Manning, our in-house soccer expert, shared his thoughts about the event. “It was great to get perspectives from so many different types of organizations. The takeaway is that we have identified issues that we are facing in youth soccer. Now we want to effect change. Having these conversations is the start. In the past, we’ve looked to US Soccer to fix everything. The truth is that we can make a change in our local organizations to help move towards these lofty goals. That is what this summit was all about,” said Manning.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) November 1, 2018
Events like this also help to shape the conversations we’ll be having in the coming months through our content channels. Topics including the possibility of MLS promotion/relegation, a European youth soccer model and parental education are now all on our radar. Stay tuned!