Players choose between Academy and school teams

Players choose between Academy and school teams

The Academy will increase its season length to 10 months next year, causing a conflict for CHS soccer players like sophomore Josh Golob.

By Julie Kracov and Stacy Stein

The Academy, a boys soccer league with the goal of developing U.S. national team players, has changed its schedule to 10  months as opposed to a six to eight month schedule. This change prohibits players who play for the Academy, which is affiliated with D.C. United, from playing for their high school teams.

“U.S. Soccer is tasked with getting our men’s national team together and on a level where they can compete around the world,” said Steve Olivarez, youth development manager for D.C. United. “Everywhere else in the world, they run on a ten-month schedule.”

According to Olivarez, this change will allow for more training sessions, along with allowing games to be spread out. With the previous schedule, teams often had multiple games in one weekend in order to fit them all into the season.

“They’ll get more training sessions in, which directly correlates to the level of play,” Olivarez said. “Most player development occurs during training sessions.”

However, players such as sophomore Josh Golob are now forced to decide between playing for their club teams or the CHS team.

“I want to play CHS soccer and Academy soccer,” Golob said. “I resent that I have to choose between the two.”

Boys soccer coach Arnold Tarzy believes that players should still be able to play high school soccer, no matter how skilled they may be.

“The U.S.S.F wanted to do as the rest of the world,” Tarzy said. “They’re being dismissive of our cultural differences, which involve educational institutions.”

However, according to Olivarez, the league is not trying to force players to give up high school soccer, even though he believes the level of play in the Academy is higher.

“Obviously each player has a choice,” Olivarez said. “If they prefer to do high school soccer, they can do that.”
Although the level of play in the Academy may be higher, Tarzy believes that there are still advantages to playing high school soccer.

“Any player at any level who has played soccer will always point to high school as their best memory,” Tarzy said. “Great players can learn how to lead even if the level is not as good as their club level.”