RSL & Classic

Discussion in 'Arizona Scene' started by whatithink, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. whatithink

    whatithink Active Member

    RSL chew up another one … your turn Rising
  2. RavenAZ

    RavenAZ Member

    For Immediate Release


    Introducing RSL-AZ CLASSIC

    We are pleased to announce that Classic Soccer Academy will be moving under the RSL-AZ organization as an affiliate. Classic Soccer Academy will now be called RSL-AZ Classic, and they will run our programs throughout Tempe, South Phoenix, and the West Valley. This partnership is exciting for us because the leadership at Classic adds value to all our members. They have successfully grown a Club from just two teams to over thirty teams in three years, many of which are State League teams playing at the highest level in Arizona. RSL-AZ Classic will continue to operate independently from RSL South and RSL North with their own Director of Coaching, Ryan Purtell.

    “We view this as an exciting opportunity to gain the benefits of the larger RSL-AZ organization and infrastructure while allowing us to continue our approach to player development,” said Purtell. “The MLS name in the State of Arizona is RSL, so working under that umbrella was too intriguing to pass up. At the same time, I think they recognized that we have something special going here at Classic and wanted to employ some of our techniques as well.”

    With this third branch in Phoenix, the RSL-AZ organization now has by far the biggest presence throughout the Valley.

    Real Salt Lake (RSL) is an American professional soccer franchise that competes as a member club of Major League Soccer (MLS) Western Conference. RSL began play in 2005 as an expansion team of the league. The club was founded in 2004 when the club's first owner and founder was awarded an expansion berth in Major League Soccer.

    The club plays its home games at Rio Tinto Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, Utah, since 2008. The team is currently led by head coach Mike Petke.

    In domestic soccer, Real Salt Lake won the 2009 MLS Cup and were runners-up in the 2013 MLS Cup, the Supporters Shield in 2010, and the 2013 edition of the U.S. Open Cup. The franchise regional success to date was in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, where RSL finished runners-up in the tournament becoming the first American club, since the CONCACAF Champions League format was introduced in 2008, to advance to the final stage of the tournament.

    Real Salt Lake - Arizona (RSL-AZ) is an Arizona soccer club that competes locally as a member of Arizona Soccer Association (ASA), US Club Soccer and US Youth Soccer. RSL-AZ began in 2018 under the leadership of Brent Erwin and Walid Kaakoush.

    RSL-AZ currently has recreational programs in Scottsdale, AZ and Chandler, AZ. The club also competes in ASA's Youth Academy League, Open League, State League and Arizona Premier League. RSL-AZ competes in ECNL under US Club Soccer, Desert Premier League and US National League under US Youth Soccer and the Development Academy (DA) under US Soccer.

    The RSL-AZ program is dedicated to developing top-rated soccer players at the highest levels of competition, and to prepare individual players for high school, collegiate, and professional competition. To accomplish these goals, we have developed a style of play that runs throughout all the teams and is reached by developing "Complete Players" in a "Total Soccer" concept. The team practices are a combination of a competitive and fun teaching environment, based on age-appropriate curriculum. These methods develop a player’s and team’s ability to score goals, implement strategies, develop a competitive mentality, strengthen teamwork, and generate a passion for the game.
  3. 4theluvofthegame

    4theluvofthegame New Member

    Who is even left??
  4. just4kicks

    just4kicks New Member

    Curious...what happens to RSL-AZ when/if Phoenix Rising gets a MLS bid?
  5. whatithink

    whatithink Active Member

    That's like the $64,000 question. It will also be interesting to see if RSL-AZ and/or Phx Rising get boys DAs. Does anyone know when US Soccer announce new clubs, I would think it would be by March or so?

    RSL-AZ seems to be building a funnel or hub/spoke model, lots of feeder clubs into the elite teams. That's very DA based and in line with what US Soccer wants. Phx Rising seem to be playing catch up, but trying to replicate.

    The MLS expansion timeline for the 2 remaining teams seems to be a mystery, or is to me at least. Some news but no timeline news,, that I can find.
  6. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Plenty more! Premier, Brazas, Thunder, GYSA, Strikers.
  7. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    That's my question also
  8. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    I personally do not like this trend of monopolizing youth soccer clubs in the valley. It limits choices and who knows about the cost? I guess your son or daughter could always find a Hispanic FBSL team to join if RSL or Rising doesn't suit your taste since that is what the future is looking like. Two Mega Clubs and some FBSL teams. Instead of State League or APL, it will be the Rising League and RSL-AZ League.
  9. Sweeper

    Sweeper Active Member

    I have heard that when/if Phoenix Rising gets MLS that RSL-AZ will lose their DA status since they are borrowing it from Utah (out of state). Not sure if this is true or not but it is in the rumor mill.

    Also if Phoenix Rising gets MLS that would allow them to have Boys DA.
  10. tjinaz

    tjinaz Active Member

    Don't forget about Del Sol. They are in the mix but vastly outnumbered. Del Sol has Girls DA so I would assume RSL would be able to keep theirs as Del Sol has no MLS sponsorship either.
  11. soccerguy

    soccerguy New Member

    keep in mind, RSL isn't "chewing up" anyone. Sereno and Legacy came together. Valpo was going somewhere else no matter if it was RSL, Del Sol or Rising. Tucson is Tucson and everything coming out of Utah is that they want to have fields there and MLS does a lot of pre-season stuff there. I have no idea about Yuma, and obviously Utah wants to be in Vegas. Anthem, I don't think people think twice about that and I forgot about them! Classic is a different story, and from the rumors this was something good for both clubs because Classic has a good staff and has done some good stuff in a short period of time. RSL is looking to improve in the areas they lack. Looks like Classic wanted to be a true Soccer Club and wanted to compete at the highest level, but maybe it's just too hard being a smaller club and compete. Of course you can always do that with certain teams or age groups, but can a small club compete in every age group and attract those kids? IDK

    If you look at MLS clubs across the country, this is not new. The money is in the MLS and that money will trickle down to the youth. Hopefully Rising gets MLS although that doesn't look too good now. MLS in Phoenix would be great, and then US Soccer can sort that out between Rising and RSL. I think both get DA because because territories will eventually go away. I think Rising gets DA anyways through USL, but who knows.
  12. steelerfeever

    steelerfeever Member

    All good points. Let me add this wrinkle from (and you can find the topic on Reddit). After reading the article it seems MLS teams are toying with the idea of not even being a part of DA. What are the ramifications if Phoenix Rising gets awarded the last MLS franchise over St. Louis and Sacramento later this year? 1.) Will the new MLS academy model be a all expenses paid getting rid of Pay for Play? If so, you'll see a vast majority try to make their Academy. Will RSL then pull out of youth soccer in AZ? 2.) What will happen to all of those other Phoenix Rising youth teams? They have a hundred plus teams. Nothing, continue the pay for play model?

    I have no answers but it sure is an interesting time for youth soccer. We saw and are seeing in Phoenix the most changes we've likely ever seen in youth soccer the past 12 months. My guess is if Rising gets the last MLS bid before expansion to 30 teams, and MLS decides to move away from DA, we're going to see a bunch more changes.

    MLS clubs consider leaving the Development Academy

    Nico Romeijn, U.S. Soccer’s Chief Sport Development Officer, has confirmed that MLS clubs are considering pulling out of the Development Academy.
    “There's always a possibility,” said Romeijn when asked whether U.S. Soccer may be faced with playing its 2019-2020 season without MLS clubs participating in its Development Academy, which was launched in 2007 for the nation’s elite players. “We're still talking with MLS. …

    “It's possible, because we're not governing MLS. But the thing we are really focused on is that alignment of the pathway. As you know, our landscape is quite fragmented. It's really important for us to have that alignment, so when we think about player development we think about, ‘OK, maybe it's good to have pro competition and then the other clubs.’”

    Exactly how MLS would operate its youth competition outside of the DA is unclear, but its issues with the DA format include the widening gap of quality between MLS clubs and amateur clubs, and the DA’s restrictions on outside competition, such as international play.

    Last year, U.S. Soccer responded to complaints from MLS clubs’ about traveling long distances to play against teams that don’t offer meaningful competition. It decreased the number of DA games on the schedule and created “free weekends” for clubs to choose their own competition, such as against foreign teams. The DA has also for years allowed MLS clubs to compete in the Generation adidas Cup.

    “One of the things [the MLS clubs] really like to do is play against international opponents,” said Romeijn. “And, of course, that's a really good benchmark when you're talking about player development.

    “Then we say, of course, we will look at the schedule and we will give you the opportunities. It's the same when you're looking at the Generation [adidas] Cup they organize.”

    For some MLS clubs, the free weekends provided so far aren’t enough to satisfy their quest to take international trips or they fall during inconvenient times of the year.

    Romeijn says he can envision MLS continuing in the DA with a different format in which MLS clubs are given more flexibility. But …

    “There are, of course, limitations,” said Romeijn. “One cannot say, all 23 clubs, give your schedule and we will adapt. That's impossible. Because you cannot build a competition on that."

    An example of adjusting the DA schedule to please MLS clubs would be to allow, within the DA structure, more games between MLS clubs.

    “You can imagine Philadelphia and Red Bulls,” Romeijn said, “and they say, OK, not only two but four of these games are really valuable for them when you're looking at player development. And that's what we want to do. Focus on player development.”

    Because of the investment required to travel in a country as large as the USA, it would be difficult to imagine MLS creating its own type of youth leagues similar to Mexico's Liga MX, in which U-17 and U-20 travel with the first team to play in a national youth league that mirrors first-team competition. More likely, MLS academies could design a combination of national, local and international competition for their youth teams, and perhaps combine with USL youth programs.

    Alternatives to MLS pulling all of its teams out of the DA include keeping its younger teams in the DA and MLS creating its own competition for the older age groups. The DA, for its part, could propose a tiered format based on the quality of its clubs to placate the MLS clubs that believe they’re playing too many games against weaker competition.

    “We are now in the process of having these conversations,” said Romeijn. “Nothing has been decided yet.”
  13. Brother Maynard

    Brother Maynard Active Member

    Thank You for bringing this up. The word is this has a very high probability of happening and is something the MLS clubs are exploring. This would make any non MLS DA a second Tier DA, and all we need to do is go look at So Cal right now and some of the changes they are going through. The reality is though this is only an impact for the Boys side, if you have a Daughter I highly doubt you see anyone lose a girls DA. The RSL DA is tied to the Utah Royals and yes they are owned by RSL but they are separate so I think any MLS rules about territory may not apply for the girls. All this DA/MLS talk is really about the boys side. As for the Rising getting MLS now, there is one spot left for this expansion cycle after Austin was just awarded one and the competition is between Sacramento and St Louis most likely. Also, as was mentioned USL teams do have DA's so Rising doesn't have to be MLS just to get one. We have a problem here with sports competition with 4 other Pro franchises fighting for fans. Sacramento has nothing really but an NBA team, I think SAC also has a stadium that is actually under construction. I hope Rising gets that last spot and even if they did its still years away and many of us our kids will age out by then. This club consolidation is just about numbers and from what I have heard its what US Soccer actually wants to happen. But, I will have to hand it to RSL-AZ I think they are winning the battle in this consolidation.
    steelerfeever likes this.
  14. GKdad

    GKdad Member

    While RSL-AZ is "winning" in numbers PRFC is by no means done either. They are throwing out fishing line e-mails to club directors in the areas that neither they nor RSL-AZ currently serve looking for more. Further, the mid level (by size not always by quality) are also starting to dip their toes in the water and making overture when the opportunity presents itself to inquire. In both of the cases that I have experience/knowledge of on this it always starts with questions such as "how can we the larger club help you."

    I have said this in another thread but this large club consolidation isn't a bad thing IF and ONLY IF the player development focus goes all the way to the players on the lower teams. From what I have seen so far, at least on the girls side that is not the case. I still see a bunch of teams at these clubs that are slightly above a rec level and parents are paying the same and in some cases more than the top level team families. It kind of feels like a youth soccer pyramid scheme. This is also evidenced that the conversation here centers mostly around whether or not a club getting bigger is going to bring them a DA designation and what professional affiliation it will bring. As parents and coaches we have to make our sole focus developing players, wins and being looked at for the DA, ECNL or professional team affiliates will follow that no matter where the talent is. Maybe 2% of the boys and girls locally are good enough to compete at that level and less than 1% will go further than that.
  15. soccerguy

    soccerguy New Member

    I agree. The focus needs to be on ALL the club teams and not just the DA, ECNL, APL, etc, etc. I think that is where RSL and the MLS model will help though because the curriculum will come from the top down. However, this is all new and like any new business the kinks will need to be worked and it will take time. I think Rising will see the same issues as I am sure they will get a DA, but it will be from the USL team which means a new staff presumably running that. A lot happening, but soon this will be the norm for all the 2012 kids and younger.
  16. Brother Maynard

    Brother Maynard Active Member

    Well said, and I agree with you. Oh I am certain Rising isn't done yet either if they aren't listening or talking then they aren't doing there job. But the perception seems to be that you need to be a big club these days to get things like DA, etc. I agree with you 100% on the player development this should be the #1 priority, and in a lot of cases it just isn't.
  17. Desert Hound

    Desert Hound Active Member

    RSL consolidation. It seems the focus is on creating better "elite" teams. The idea is that there is more of a pipeline for the ECNL, DA and secondarily the DPL teams. This is what will help RSL stand out in the long run. They will have a larger pool of players to pull from and over time I would expect to see generally speaking their ECNL, DA, DPL teams be better vs Rising, del Sol and Arsenal.

    In terms of the typical player/parent (not on ECNL, DA, DPL) nothing changes except for the name. This year the RSL North have their own teams, tryouts and coaches, and basically practice in the same places as last year. The same holds true for the RSL South teams. Based on the press release, RSL Classic will have their own tryouts, teams, coaches. So next year as we look at the leagues we will see a lot of RSL...the reality is those RSL teams all come from different areas.
  18. AZFAN2007

    AZFAN2007 New Member

    Very good points... you are generous assessing 2% and 1%.... the reality it is a fraction of that..
  19. Flyingaway

    Flyingaway New Member

    The more teams a club has, the less attention it pays to the lower level teams. Lets be honest, second teams ALL over the valley are not being taken care of. If I could get high level kids in my son's age group I would hire a great coach and affiliate with futbolito, would forget about AYSA league games and pick our level at tournaments. RSL 2nd teams in my son's age group, are not doing well. Actually the north end is doing k because ECNL players help them out.
    For us parents is less options, harder to move from club to club.

    I don't see anything good coming out of this Empire.
  20. GKdad

    GKdad Member

    Very well could be generous, probably generous on the 1% more than the 2%. RSL-AZ's original press release claimed they had 7K+ players which I am certain includes their rec programs. From there we look at the largest clubs by number of competitive teams you have RSL with 176 (including Classic) teams that have competed in something since Sept. To my Surprise AZFC/FBSL at 96 over 80 of which are boys teams. PRFC is at 83 including Revolution plus a fairly large rec program. Arsenal at 43 also with a fairly large rec program. After that you have 10 clubs in between 20-40 with a few large rec programs as well.

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