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DA Practice / Game committment

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DA Practice / Game committment

Post by AFC-E-Rules on 3/31/2017, 2:49 pm

Looking or some advice. My son is being considered for DA next season and I am trying to understand the practice / game commitments. I have heard that they may practice 3 or 4 times per week. Also, are any clubs doing a residency and or home school program which seems to be the way the Euro's do it.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by davito on 3/31/2017, 3:13 pm

Check out the local clubs on the DA website to get an idea of the game schedule. Scroll down below the roster. (Note that U12 has 2x the games because they have 2 teams per club)

http://solr.ussoccerda.com/sam/teams/index.php?team=1654267

DA teams can only play DA games, DA showcases and big DA approved tournaments like Dallas Cup. This is to ensure less games, more training.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by davito on 3/31/2017, 3:24 pm

I don't know the exact training for U12 but probably 3 or 4 times a week at Solar, Texans and FCD. By age 13 or 14 you are looking at 4-5 times a week.

FCD integrates schooling with DA. Solar and Texans do not. There are pros and cons to this approach.

If your son plays for FCD it is almost impossible to stay in your local ISD because FCD training is counted as off campus PE and is partially during school hours. So you either have to move your son to Hunt Middle in Frisco or do some eSchool etc. It can mean a lot of running around to Frisco mornings and evenings but at least all school and soccer is done by 5pm.

With Solar and Texans you can stay with your local school but you are running around to soccer practice 4 or 5 evenings a week.

DA is a big commitment. I hear a lot of parents whining that kids should be able to play basketball or do track too etc. But realistically there is not time. If you try to jam it in you are asking for injuries and probably overloading your kid and yourself.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by AFC-E-Rules on 4/1/2017, 7:50 pm

Thanks for the info, this is helpful. Maybe it is better to wait until U14 to go this route to let kids be kids for a few more years. I am sure there is a high burn out rate once you start looking at 4 to 5 per week practices.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by Number13 on 4/3/2017, 8:24 am

davito wrote:Check out the local clubs on the DA website to get an idea of the game schedule. Scroll down below the roster. (Note that U12 has 2x the games because they have 2 teams per club)

http://solr.ussoccerda.com/sam/teams/index.php?team=1654267

DA teams can only play DA games, DA showcases and big DA approved tournaments like Dallas Cup. This is to ensure less games, more training.


Maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture, but that looks like 27 games or something (at U13 or U14). Plus Dallas cup, maybe a showcase or something else. Which seems to be a little more than your median CL team that plays in 3-4 tourneys. CL teams doing Regionals etc play more games. Kids doing CL and HS soccer or whatever play more games.

DA is definitely more practices per game. And maybe the games are spread out more. But it doesn't look like its necessarily less games. And then maybe some of these coaches are aggressively setting up scrimmages. DA is, first and foremost, more soccer. A big commitment as you say. Not sure that means they are protecting the kids from overload.

Now PA, that seems like less games. Very Happy

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by panzerbug on 4/3/2017, 9:24 am

If you son is a U13 next year your schedule will be:

- 3 to 5 practices a week (depending on club and position). Someone already pointed out the differences between FCD, Texans, and Solar.

- 28 games (play each team 4x, 2 home 2 away)
for u13 will be: 6 trips to Houston
2 trips to San Antonio
2 trips to georgetown near Austin
All the away games usually are a day trip or more if you stay the night before.

- Futsal showcase: 3 games one day, usually requires you stay the night before. This year was in Houston, last year was in Dallas.

- possible 2 showcases (3 games over 3 - 4 days)

-Dallas Cup for some

-The DA schedule starts with pre-season in August, game start in September and can run as far a June (and July currently). Depedning on club you may get a few weeks off over christmas from practice.

- When you hit u15 or u16 they add in three teams in Colorado and 1 in Kansas so the travel requirement gets a little more expensive.

If you add up the games:

28 regular games
3 futsal games
3 - 6 Dallas Cup games
3 - 6 showcase games

so 37 - 49 games per a season atleast, not including extra tournaments or games.

I think a u13 classic league team will play:

18 regular games
+ tournament games

So the basic level of time commitment is lower unless you team plays more then 4-5 tournaments a year.

There is a lot more windshield time for sure in the DA. The out of town games at u13 are 7- 10 hours in the car atleast.

In between all of that you've got to squeeze in homework, plus make up work when you start missing school for tournaments.

So like number 13 says, can't see how they are really protecting the kids from overload, unless it is keeping them so busy they can't spend time trying to do anything else.

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by Number13 on 4/3/2017, 10:45 am

In fairness, my oldest son, will likely play these games this soccer year:

18 CL
11 SRPL
6 NPL
4 Region III
8 Middle School
20ish futsal games
40ish indoor games

And this is kind of a slow year. Overload isn't real high on our list of concerns.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by Riquelme Rises on 4/3/2017, 12:49 pm

If your are going to put your bb in DA just go the FCDallas route. That is the one true DA. Solar DA has jokes for coaches unless we are talking Castro. Texans seem to have a good coach in Hudgell and so would be the next choice. If you can get your kid in FCDallas DA then Academy is worth it. If not just join a Classic team that is in D1 and plays Regional and National league as well.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by allentexan on 4/3/2017, 2:20 pm

If 60 or so competitive kids opt for DA, then what is the level of remaining competition in CL? Just curious to hear from those who have already traveled this path.

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by davito on 4/3/2017, 3:10 pm

Basically removing about 3 teams worth of good kids from D1. So yeah it waters down CL a bit but the top 3 or 4 CL teams that do all the RPL/NPL stuff are still very competitive in my opinion.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by davito on 4/3/2017, 3:32 pm

See my comments and corrections in Red.


panzerbug wrote:If you son is a U13 next year your schedule will be:

- 3 to 5 practices a week (depending on club and position).  Someone already pointed out the differences between FCD, Texans, and Solar.

- 28 games (play each team 4x, 2 home 2 away)
It is 24 games (play 6 other teams 4x) Online schedule shows 27 games because it is the 24 league games plus 3 showcase games played in the Fall
 for u13 will be: 6 trips to Houston
                       2 trips to San Antonio - Why go to San Antonio???? Trips are all Houston or Lonestar
                       2 trips to georgetown near Austin
 All the away games usually are a day trip or more if you stay the night before.

- Futsal showcase: 3 games one day, usually requires you stay the night before.  This year was in Houston, last year was in Dallas.

- possible 2 showcases (3 games over 3 - 4 days)

-Dallas Cup for some

For our U14 team no futsal so it is
24 league + 6 DA showcase + 3 Disney Showcase + 3 to 6 Dallas Cup = 36 to 39 Total


-The DA schedule starts with pre-season in August, game start in September and can run as far a June (and July currently).  Depedning on club you may get a few weeks off over christmas from practice.

- When you hit u15 or u16 they add in three teams in Colorado and 1 in Kansas so the travel requirement gets a little more expensive.

If you add up the games:

28 regular games
22 regular games (play 10 teams 2x plus an additional game against each of the other 2 local teams)
3 futsal games
I don't think the older teams do futsal any more
3 - 6 Dallas Cup games
3 - 6 showcase games
I think at least 6 showcase or playoff games.

so 37 - 49 games per a season atleast, not including extra tournaments or games.
so 31 - 34 games per season. Maybe a few more if go far in DA play offs

I think a u13 classic league team will play:

18 regular games
+ tournament games

So the basic level of time commitment is lower unless you team plays more then 4-5 tournaments a year.

There is a lot more windshield time for sure in the DA.  The out of town games at u13 are 7- 10 hours in the car atleast.

In between all of that you've got to squeeze in homework, plus make up work when you start missing school for tournaments.

So like number 13 says, can't see how they are really protecting the kids from overload, unless it is keeping them so busy they can't spend time trying to do anything else.

The overload is managed as sole focus is on soccer through one organization. No conflicts with the high school sports, basketball, track and field etc. One game per day. The kids are definitely busy but there aren't the conflicts as everything is with the one coach.

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by davito on 4/3/2017, 3:35 pm

Oh, I know the Solar U16 and U18 DA teams did the Disney Showcase too so that adds 3 games. So 34 to 37 games total.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by Madeinchina on 4/3/2017, 4:01 pm

What are the benefits of playing soccer non stop from an early age?

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by Sprint on 4/3/2017, 4:22 pm

Madeinchina wrote:What are the benefits of playing soccer non stop from an early age?


1. Kids develop skill at a young age are more likely to be able to compete at a high level when older. ( skills used in soccer take time, lots of time, and more time, to develop)

2. Its fun to travel for tournaments, even when little.

3. Kids stay in shape and develop a habit of personal fitness.

4. Kids learn some discipline and teamwork.

Most of this could probably be said for playing any sport and not just focusing on soccer. Being focused on soccer only at a young age would seem to be needed if there is any chance a kid is going to be a pro or play at a high level. The bio's of most elite pros look a lot a like and that includes playing with a ball hours a day from the time he was 4 or 5.

Knowing the above, 99% of kids will never be a pro or play at a very high level so each kid and parent needs to decide if putting all the time into one sport is worth it.

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by panzerbug on 4/3/2017, 4:37 pm

few corrections, where you corrected things specific to U13 next year.  Didn't respond to the points you made specific to the older age groups since the initial poster specifically asked about U13:

davito wrote:See my comments and corrections in Red.


panzerbug wrote:If you son is a U13 next year your schedule will be:

- 3 to 5 practices a week (depending on club and position).  Someone already pointed out the differences between FCD, Texans, and Solar.

- 28 games (play each team 4x, 2 home 2 away)
it is 28 for u13

8 teams - solar, FCD, Texans, H Texans, Dynamo North, Dynamo South, Lonestar, San Antonio (u12 - u14 next year)

assuming you are playing for one of those 8 teams you play 7 opponents 4 times, 4x7=28


It is 24 games (play 6 other teams 4x) Online schedule shows 27 games because it is the 24 league games plus 3 showcase games played in the Fall
 for u13 will be: 6 trips to Houston
                       2 trips to San Antonio - Why go to San Antonio???? Trips are all Houston or Lonestar

see above 2 trips to San Antonio starting next year, express only has U12.

                       2 trips to georgetown near Austin
 All the away games usually are a day trip or more if you stay the night before.

- Futsal showcase: 3 games one day, usually requires you stay the night before.  This year was in Houston, last year was in Dallas.

- possible 2 showcases (3 games over 3 - 4 days)

-Dallas Cup for some

For our U14 team no futsal so it is
24 league + 6 DA showcase + 3 Disney Showcase + 3 to 6 Dallas Cup = 36 to 39 Total


-The DA schedule starts with pre-season in August, game start in September and can run as far a June (and July currently).  Depedning on club you may get a few weeks off over christmas from practice.

- When you hit u15 or u16 they add in three teams in Colorado and 1 in Kansas so the travel requirement gets a little more expensive.

If you add up the games:

28 regular games
22 regular games (play 10 teams 2x plus an additional game against each of the other 2 local teams)
3 futsal games
I don't think the older teams do futsal any more
3 - 6 Dallas Cup games
3 - 6 showcase games
I think at least 6 showcase or playoff games.

so 37 - 49 games per a season atleast, not including extra tournaments or games.
so 31 - 34 games per season. Maybe a few more if go far in DA play offs

I think a u13 classic league team will play:

18 regular games
+ tournament games

So the basic level of time commitment is lower unless you team plays more then 4-5 tournaments a year.

There is a lot more windshield time for sure in the DA.  The out of town games at u13 are 7- 10 hours in the car atleast.

In between all of that you've got to squeeze in homework, plus make up work when you start missing school for tournaments.

So like number 13 says, can't see how they are really protecting the kids from overload, unless it is keeping them so busy they can't spend time trying to do anything else.

The overload is managed as sole focus is on soccer through one organization. No conflicts with the high school sports, basketball, track and field etc. One game per day. The kids are definitely busy but there aren't the conflicts as everything is with the one coach.

Which is pretty much what I said tongue in cheek.  


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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by davito on 4/3/2017, 5:24 pm

Ah ok, I was not thinking about when San Antonio FC come in.

Given that the USSF are pushing all the age groups up one year this summer the U12 will be known as the U13s (the 05s). If they stick to the same system as they had when they called the 04s U12 this year, the only DA showcase they have is the Futsal showcase.

The fall showcase in Indy would not kick in until U14.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by Number13 on 4/4/2017, 7:30 am

allentexan wrote:If 60 or so competitive kids opt for DA, then what is the level of remaining competition in CL? Just curious to hear from those who have already traveled this path.

It waters it down.    For 8th graders (what used to be called 03s) it more/less removed two teams from CL.   The whole team.   Wasn't really like each team lost 2-3 kids, Solar/Texans all lost a complete team.   So you basically ended up with 3/4s of the D1 teams largely unaffected.   Just shifted everybody up two spots and caused one team to go into death spiral.    CL is pretty clearly not the same level as DA, but doesn't look that much different than it did prior. I would guess you could still form > 3 teams out of CL kids who would be competitive with at least two of the three DA teams our age.   But instead you have those kids spread out over up to 30 CL teams.  I would say the age pure shift was a bigger event than DA.  

IMO, the main benefit of playing soccer nonstop from an early age is that perhaps your child really likes playing soccer.   That is pretty much it.   Well and hopefully it keeps them away from the glass pipe and floozies.
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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by OP05 on 4/4/2017, 7:52 am

davito wrote:Basically removing about 3 teams worth of good kids from D1. So yeah it waters down CL a bit but the top 3 or 4 CL teams that do all the RPL/NPL stuff are still very competitive in my opinion.

Who will those NPL-type teams be for the younger kids (05 and 06)? At the older ages, I know Ody and Stricker are examples.

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by JogaBonitoTX on 4/4/2017, 9:32 am

OP05 - for the 05's, the bulk of the top 3 (FCD Gomez, Solar Oglesby, and Texans Stark) will head off to DA.

Next up for the 05's are Texans South Adames, Dallas Kicks, Liverpool Dalglish, and Solar Castro (who will lose a lot of players to both 05 and 06 Solar DA). I'd think Adames, Kicks, and Dalglish all like their odds on becoming those NPL type teams.

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Re: DA Practice / Game committment

Post by tpitty on 4/4/2017, 9:57 am

Also remember ECNL for boys will be in affect....Liverpool will be in that mix for sure. I am unaware how many ages are included in that, but just know it is happening.
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