A Brighter Future for American Soccer – Tyler Vermilyea
Growing up, soccer was 70 percent of my life after family, friends, and school of course. I always wanted to be the best, I had dreams of going pro as every kid does at some point. As I got more involved and serious in the sport I began to realize quickly the major flaws that our academy and development system hold compared to a successful grassroots system as seen in Germany and England. When I was around twelve years old my club team (which cost around $200/yr give or take) had folded and it was time to decide if I was serious about playing soccer. As we looked to find a new team that would be a step up for me as a player we always hit the same road block, the cost. Some of these ‘academies’ are charging $2,000-$9,000 per year, if not more. That’s just simply something my parents couldn’t afford. This frustrated me, because I knew I was talented enough to play on these teams, and my development as a player would’ve certainly been more advanced if I had been able to. I’m not necessarily saying I would’ve gone pro if I had been able to join, but I certainly would’ve had a better chance. We as a country have done a poor job to find that raw talent that can be developed into a world-class talent, that would put U.S Soccer on a whole new level, and the pay-to-play system is the major barrier that holds us back as a true footballing nation. I want to change this. I have a vision that one day I can create a scouting system that would discover these players that aren’t being discovered, and get them in the faces of the professional organizations that are going to develop these players to their full potential. I believe if we can alter the way we scout, we can finally reach that next level that U.S soccer has been so desperately trying to reach.