Raise the level of competition in the backyard to raise the level of the national team

The title is a take on Tom Byer’s concept to ‘push up the bottom to raise the top.’

After the USYNT’s poor showing at the U17 World Cup some think we need to focus even more on making the elite soccer players better.

Focusing on the elite, after they have already been identified is too late. That might help them get 5-10% better.

Raising the level of competition in the backyard can push the level of play of the elite up by 30%.

It needs to be 30% better to compete with the talent in the top 20 countries who are 20-30% better because the level of competition in their backyard is much, much higher.

That comes down to changing culture and culture isn’t something that’s easily changed.

I wrote about how the U.S. lacks a ball culture here.

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