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'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
#744818 08/06/20 10:05 AM
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Fred Lipka on MLS's youth mission: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
by Mike Woitalla

Frenchman Fred Lipka has become a very important figure in American boys youth soccer.

His link to the U.S. game started in 2012 when he began consulting Major League Soccer as it began sending its clubs’ academy coaches to get licensed by the French federation. Previously the academy director at Le Havre, Lipka was hired full-time by MLS in 2015 and became its Technical Director of MLS Player Development.
His role became significantly farther reaching in April when U.S. Soccer pulled the plug on its Development Academy. While some clubs moved their elite teams to the ECNL Boys, MLS stepped in to run a league for the clubs preferring a format closer to what the DA provided.

“The last three months have been the most intensive months of my career,” says Lipka, who has been guiding the launch of the MLS-run youth league that on Tuesday announced it now has 78 amateur and five USL clubs on board, in addition to 30 MLS academies – for a total of 113 with more than 11,000 players. “It has basically been Zoom calls from 8 to 8 o'clock.”

MLS jumping in to run a league for so many amateur clubs is not without irony. The expectations before U.S. Soccer’s withdrawal had been that MLS clubs wanted go their own way. Also, non-MLS clubs had become frustrated with U.S. Soccer for catering to the MLS.

But amid the chaos of U.S. Soccer’s abrupt withdrawal -- while clubs were coping with the serious implications of COVID -- those that hadn’t moved their elite teams to the ECNL began to see MLS as a savior. Lipka’s time spent connecting via Zoom was much appreciated by the youth club bosses. They felt that their views on how to proceed into this new era were respected and considered.

Tuesday’s MLS announcement confirmed a governance system designed to provide representation to non-MLS clubs. The chairs in the leadership groups for the three conferences – Western, Central, Eastern – are split 50-50 between MLS academies and non-MLS clubs, which are referred to as “elite academies.”

The five working groups – Competition, Environment, Individual Growth, Talent ID and Commercial – are likewise staffed 50-50. That proportion may favor MLS, whose academies comprise less than a third of the clubs, but it delivers a far greater sense of influence to non-MLS clubs than they felt they had in the DA.

The league will have six age groups -- U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19. What the schedule, regionally or nationally, will look like is yet to be determined. The pandemic has prevented precise planning for a fall season.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #744822 08/06/20 01:26 PM
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No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #744825 08/06/20 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

Long Island with a population of 7+million has no competitive youth soccer club. Can someone please explain why?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #744826 08/06/20 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

Long Island with a population of 7+million has no competitive youth soccer club. Can someone please explain why?

7+ million people on Long Island? Actually Nassau & Suffolk is about 2.7-3 million. You must be including B'klyn, Queens, & Staten Island to come up with 7 million and still dont think you hit that number.

All that said, you raise a very valid point. On the National soccer landscape, Long Island is a non-factor.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #744827 08/06/20 02:27 PM
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It's a joke that no LI clubs got in yet. Same old DA crap, just run by the MLS- The local tri-state teams(Non-MLS) are nothing special.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #744831 08/06/20 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
It's a joke that no LI clubs got in yet. Same old DA crap, just run by the MLS- The local tri-state teams(Non-MLS) are nothing special.
It's all who you know. Black Watch and BWG among some of the others though? Please tell me they were just kidding.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745134 08/11/20 04:00 PM
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Caring about whether any region is competitive or among the top in the country in any sport is an absolutely misplaced concern.

I tend to care more about how Long Island’s High Schools have been ranked in the top 100 in the country. This region probably also gets among the highest acceptance rates in to the finest Universities in the world that happen to be in this great country.

I love the beautiful game but I could care less about the level of soccer leagues or the acceptance rates of teams from this region in to leagues that people think are the best in the country. Just because a team does not get in to a league does not mean that teams are not good enough.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745162 08/11/20 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

What league is this referring to, the Elite Academy League (EAL)?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
LIRef77 #745178 08/12/20 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Caring about whether any region is competitive or among the top in the country in any sport is an absolutely misplaced concern.

I tend to care more about how Long Island’s High Schools have been ranked in the top 100 in the country. This region probably also gets among the highest acceptance rates in to the finest Universities in the world that happen to be in this great country.

I love the beautiful game but I could care less about the level of soccer leagues or the acceptance rates of teams from this region in to leagues that people think are the best in the country. Just because a team does not get in to a league does not mean that teams are not good enough.
I disagree with your statement. It's not that playing in a specific high level league will get these kids a scholarship from Soccer. We know 99.999% won't. Playing on a high level team that gets exposure and being scouted is what matters. Then because Lil Johnny has excellent grades, is a good soccer player and is well rounded in school, this is what may help him get into college on an academic scholarship. Colleges are far more likely to accept a well rounded student than just a kid with great grades only. If you are not an athlete then that's ok too. Those kids typically are in multiple clubs, and participate in other areas of school life. Again well rounded in their own way and that's what colleges want, not just some kid drinking and taking up space.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745202 08/12/20 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Caring about whether any region is competitive or among the top in the country in any sport is an absolutely misplaced concern.

I tend to care more about how Long Island’s High Schools have been ranked in the top 100 in the country. This region probably also gets among the highest acceptance rates in to the finest Universities in the world that happen to be in this great country.

I love the beautiful game but I could care less about the level of soccer leagues or the acceptance rates of teams from this region in to leagues that people think are the best in the country. Just because a team does not get in to a league does not mean that teams are not good enough.
I disagree with your statement. It's not that playing in a specific high level league will get these kids a scholarship from Soccer. We know 99.999% won't. Playing on a high level team that gets exposure and being scouted is what matters. Then because Lil Johnny has excellent grades, is a good soccer player and is well rounded in school, this is what may help him get into college on an academic scholarship. Colleges are far more likely to accept a well rounded student than just a kid with great grades only. If you are not an athlete then that's ok too. Those kids typically are in multiple clubs, and participate in other areas of school life. Again well rounded in their own way and that's what colleges want, not just some kid drinking and taking up space.

You totally missed my point and you are just wrong-firstly, I was addressing the posts that are shocked about LI Teams not being represented in a certain league.

The point you are missing is that you do not have to play in a national league with huge travel expenses to be admitted to a good university or to get scholarship money. Rather than paying thousands of dollars to expensive clubs promising to get college coaches or scouts to see them is just a risky and bad investment. A better plan that any certified financial planner would tell you would be to invest a similar amount in a 529 when your child is young.

Only the most academically gifted students can be accepted and actually graduate from some of these Universities while dealing with an extensive national travel soccer program while in high school. Then being a scholar athlete in College is very demanding and is like having a full time job while attending college. Great athletes in a soccer program need to be great students in order to handle the academic load. Not all can handle that.

I just think the focus is wrong, not all Colleges have enough athletic scholarship money available but if you focused more on getting your child to achieve more scholastically that would make more financial sense.

The most obvious evidence is that College Football (like the SEC) is still trying to run a season due to the tremendous revenue it creates. Not so for soccer.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
LIRef77 #745204 08/12/20 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Caring about whether any region is competitive or among the top in the country in any sport is an absolutely misplaced concern.

I tend to care more about how Long Island’s High Schools have been ranked in the top 100 in the country. This region probably also gets among the highest acceptance rates in to the finest Universities in the world that happen to be in this great country.

I love the beautiful game but I could care less about the level of soccer leagues or the acceptance rates of teams from this region in to leagues that people think are the best in the country. Just because a team does not get in to a league does not mean that teams are not good enough.
I disagree with your statement. It's not that playing in a specific high level league will get these kids a scholarship from Soccer. We know 99.999% won't. Playing on a high level team that gets exposure and being scouted is what matters. Then because Lil Johnny has excellent grades, is a good soccer player and is well rounded in school, this is what may help him get into college on an academic scholarship. Colleges are far more likely to accept a well rounded student than just a kid with great grades only. If you are not an athlete then that's ok too. Those kids typically are in multiple clubs, and participate in other areas of school life. Again well rounded in their own way and that's what colleges want, not just some kid drinking and taking up space.

You totally missed my point and you are just wrong-firstly, I was addressing the posts that are shocked about LI Teams not being represented in a certain league.

The point you are missing is that you do not have to play in a national league with huge travel expenses to be admitted to a good university or to get scholarship money. Rather than paying thousands of dollars to expensive clubs promising to get college coaches or scouts to see them is just a risky and bad investment. A better plan that any certified financial planner would tell you would be to invest a similar amount in a 529 when your child is young.

Only the most academically gifted students can be accepted and actually graduate from some of these Universities while dealing with an extensive national travel soccer program while in high school. Then being a scholar athlete in College is very demanding and is like having a full time job while attending college. Great athletes in a soccer program need to be great students in order to handle the academic load. Not all can handle that.

I just think the focus is wrong, not all Colleges have enough athletic scholarship money available but if you focused more on getting your child to achieve more scholastically that would make more financial sense.

The most obvious evidence is that College Football (like the SEC) is still trying to run a season due to the tremendous revenue it creates. Not so for soccer.

With all due respect, your response is that of a referee on the field where his opinion is the only one that matters. Since we are not on the field, I shall continue to dissent. I was going to write some long winded response but its not worth it. I wasn't wrong with what I wrote. You were wrong for just dismissing it without giving it any thought. I'll take my card and carry on.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745213 08/12/20 03:56 PM
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MLS sucks, Don Garber said last night that they are hoping to buy high end foreign talent for a discount because of Covid. He did not mention one word about developing talent in this country. The MLS could give a crap about anyone’s kids including 95% of the ones that play for them. Remember he made this statement at the MLS’s premier event for the year, the “MLS is Back” tournament.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745216 08/12/20 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

What league is this referring to, the Elite Academy League (EAL)?

What's the answer to this question?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745218 08/12/20 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
MLS sucks, Don Garber said last night that they are hoping to buy high end foreign talent for a discount because of Covid. He did not mention one word about developing talent in this country. The MLS could give a crap about anyone’s kids including 95% of the ones that play for them. Remember he made this statement at the MLS’s premier event for the year, the “MLS is Back” tournament.

What part of Don Garber's job description includes developing US talent? You might be confusing him with someone who works for US Soccer. Does anyone hold the head of the premier responsible for the performance of the England team?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745224 08/12/20 07:50 PM
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YES, the people that love their country because it is the ENGLISH premier league. Obviously you do not know the restrictions on foreign born players in many leagues around the world. Actually it is most restrictive on non EU citizens, when involving all the big leagues.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745232 08/12/20 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

What league is this referring to, the Elite Academy League (EAL)?

What's the answer to this question?

Anyone? Bueller?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745241 08/12/20 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Caring about whether any region is competitive or among the top in the country in any sport is an absolutely misplaced concern.

I tend to care more about how Long Island’s High Schools have been ranked in the top 100 in the country. This region probably also gets among the highest acceptance rates in to the finest Universities in the world that happen to be in this great country.

I love the beautiful game but I could care less about the level of soccer leagues or the acceptance rates of teams from this region in to leagues that people think are the best in the country. Just because a team does not get in to a league does not mean that teams are not good enough.
I disagree with your statement. It's not that playing in a specific high level league will get these kids a scholarship from Soccer. We know 99.999% won't. Playing on a high level team that gets exposure and being scouted is what matters. Then because Lil Johnny has excellent grades, is a good soccer player and is well rounded in school, this is what may help him get into college on an academic scholarship. Colleges are far more likely to accept a well rounded student than just a kid with great grades only. If you are not an athlete then that's ok too. Those kids typically are in multiple clubs, and participate in other areas of school life. Again well rounded in their own way and that's what colleges want, not just some kid drinking and taking up space.

You totally missed my point and you are just wrong-firstly, I was addressing the posts that are shocked about LI Teams not being represented in a certain league.

The point you are missing is that you do not have to play in a national league with huge travel expenses to be admitted to a good university or to get scholarship money. Rather than paying thousands of dollars to expensive clubs promising to get college coaches or scouts to see them is just a risky and bad investment. A better plan that any certified financial planner would tell you would be to invest a similar amount in a 529 when your child is young.

Only the most academically gifted students can be accepted and actually graduate from some of these Universities while dealing with an extensive national travel soccer program while in high school. Then being a scholar athlete in College is very demanding and is like having a full time job while attending college. Great athletes in a soccer program need to be great students in order to handle the academic load. Not all can handle that.

I just think the focus is wrong, not all Colleges have enough athletic scholarship money available but if you focused more on getting your child to achieve more scholastically that would make more financial sense.

The most obvious evidence is that College Football (like the SEC) is still trying to run a season due to the tremendous revenue it creates. Not so for soccer.

With all due respect, your response is that of a referee on the field where his opinion is the only one that matters. Since we are not on the field, I shall continue to dissent. I was going to write some long winded response but its not worth it. I wasn't wrong with what I wrote. You were wrong for just dismissing it without giving it any thought. I'll take my card and carry on.

Nobody gave you a card Mr. Anonymous. I am a referee, I am not on the field when I commented here but you know nothing about me. I was a Coach way before I was a referee and in my youth I was also a player. So after more than 30 years around the game I offer my opinions and those opinions are usually backed up by facts, not emotions and not being upset that a LI team is not represented in a league.

And please share with us what it is you have contributed to the youth soccer game? You can dissent all you want, I never said only my opinion matters but if you do make an opinion the adult manner to express it is to back it up with FACTS.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745244 08/12/20 11:43 PM
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Now children

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745245 08/13/20 12:30 AM
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Does anyone have insight into the new LIJSL Academy program? This will replace PDP after the tournament in two weeks. I think PDP replaced Long Island Select, and this new Academy is supposedly for the most “Elite” long Island players, more “select” than PDP. How can we know what program is best to supplement development at the Club/town/Rec level?

This is a repost--nobody answered the OP.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745251 08/13/20 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

What league is this referring to, the Elite Academy League (EAL)?

What's the answer to this question?

Anyone? Bueller?

Can we get a response to this question, what league is this thread referring to?

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
LIRef77 #745265 08/13/20 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Caring about whether any region is competitive or among the top in the country in any sport is an absolutely misplaced concern.

I tend to care more about how Long Island’s High Schools have been ranked in the top 100 in the country. This region probably also gets among the highest acceptance rates in to the finest Universities in the world that happen to be in this great country.

I love the beautiful game but I could care less about the level of soccer leagues or the acceptance rates of teams from this region in to leagues that people think are the best in the country. Just because a team does not get in to a league does not mean that teams are not good enough.
I disagree with your statement. It's not that playing in a specific high level league will get these kids a scholarship from Soccer. We know 99.999% won't. Playing on a high level team that gets exposure and being scouted is what matters. Then because Lil Johnny has excellent grades, is a good soccer player and is well rounded in school, this is what may help him get into college on an academic scholarship. Colleges are far more likely to accept a well rounded student than just a kid with great grades only. If you are not an athlete then that's ok too. Those kids typically are in multiple clubs, and participate in other areas of school life. Again well rounded in their own way and that's what colleges want, not just some kid drinking and taking up space.

You totally missed my point and you are just wrong-firstly, I was addressing the posts that are shocked about LI Teams not being represented in a certain league.

The point you are missing is that you do not have to play in a national league with huge travel expenses to be admitted to a good university or to get scholarship money. Rather than paying thousands of dollars to expensive clubs promising to get college coaches or scouts to see them is just a risky and bad investment. A better plan that any certified financial planner would tell you would be to invest a similar amount in a 529 when your child is young.

Only the most academically gifted students can be accepted and actually graduate from some of these Universities while dealing with an extensive national travel soccer program while in high school. Then being a scholar athlete in College is very demanding and is like having a full time job while attending college. Great athletes in a soccer program need to be great students in order to handle the academic load. Not all can handle that.

I just think the focus is wrong, not all Colleges have enough athletic scholarship money available but if you focused more on getting your child to achieve more scholastically that would make more financial sense.

The most obvious evidence is that College Football (like the SEC) is still trying to run a season due to the tremendous revenue it creates. Not so for soccer.

With all due respect, your response is that of a referee on the field where his opinion is the only one that matters. Since we are not on the field, I shall continue to dissent. I was going to write some long winded response but its not worth it. I wasn't wrong with what I wrote. You were wrong for just dismissing it without giving it any thought. I'll take my card and carry on.

Nobody gave you a card Mr. Anonymous. I am a referee, I am not on the field when I commented here but you know nothing about me. I was a Coach way before I was a referee and in my youth I was also a player. So after more than 30 years around the game I offer my opinions and those opinions are usually backed up by facts, not emotions and not being upset that a LI team is not represented in a league.

And please share with us what it is you have contributed to the youth soccer game? You can dissent all you want, I never said only my opinion matters but if you do make an opinion the adult manner to express it is to back it up with FACTS.

OK Mr Arrogant Referee, you ask what I have contributed. So here it is: Refereed for my local club for many years, coached my younger brothers team while in college, was assistant coach then became coach of my daughters team 15 years ago until they aged out. Coached both sons teams (one still plays LIJSL, the other plays for an academy now, joined Board of my club and ran referees, Travel director, VP, etc. Club manager of oldest sons club. Yeah I've been around the game a long time too. That good enough for you? I dont just talk out of my a**. And for the record my initial post was respectful. I just told you I disagreed with some of your points. You chose to get twisted about it because I disagreed with you. You needn't rely because quite frankly you bore the hell out of me.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745266 08/13/20 11:24 AM
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OK Mr Arrogant Referee, you ask what I have contributed. So here it is: Refereed for my local club for many years, coached my younger brothers team while in college, was assistant coach then became coach of my daughters team 15 years ago until they aged out. Coached both sons teams (one still plays LIJSL, the other plays for an academy now, joined Board of my club and ran referees, Travel director, VP, etc. Club manager of oldest sons club. Yeah I've been around the game a long time too. That good enough for you? I dont just talk out of my a**. And for the record my initial post was respectful. I just told you I disagreed with some of your points. You chose to get twisted about it because I disagreed with you. You needn't rely because quite frankly you bore the hell out of me.[/quote]

Thank you to another arrogant anonymous tough guy trying to attack LI Ref who is one of clearest thinkers to post to this board. The poster who disagrees with you is clearly not at your high level of altruism as he his hiding behind mommy's apron well into his adulthood.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745302 08/13/20 07:48 PM
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Thank you Larry I really do appreciate that.

The poster obviously has contributed a lot of time to the game of youth soccer and we all appreciate your contribution. This discussion brings me to a salient point that I see on these boards and I experience on the field as a referee. They are similar in this way-

Here’s how I see it. You started by calling me arrogant, just because I used facts to support my argument. It’s like when I make a call on the field and the Coach is 50 yards away and wants to argue the call because it hurt his team!

The difference here is that we can disagree and I don’t have the final say but just tell me where I’m wrong, don’t just call me arrogant, that brings nothing to the discussion.

I’m not here to argue WITH YOU. I’m here to argue MY POINT because I have a lot of experience dealing with irrational people when I work games. They are only irrational because they have an emotional involvement in the game. I have this huge luxury that helps me do my job. I don’t care who wins. I care about the players. I care when they get hurt.

But not caring who wins is the most liberating feeling. As a Coach I have wiped away tears and pain and I never made the ride tougher than it already was after a loss. Not having to deal with that is a blessing because it gives me the clarity that neutrality allows you to have. I just try my best to be in position to make that call, the right call.

Same here, I choose to comment on issues that I have no emotional investment in. No inner city players in this league? No Long Island teams in a National league? I see it as their loss. The players in this region are just as good as players anywhere in the country.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Anonymous #745310 08/13/20 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
No clubs from Long Island? Did the crazies of this message board scare them away?

Long Island with a population of 7+million has no competitive youth soccer club. Can someone please explain why?

Why? Cosmos opened up and charged absolutely $0 and played in the USSDA, parents of Long Island choose to drive past these guys and pay money or go elsewhere. Talk about boycotting the one opportunity you had to establish a DA club on the Island. Its ok though Barcelona came, charged $4,000+ and everyone came running. Unfortunately the truth is Long Island parents might not deserve a competitive youth soccer club.

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Re: 'We won't run the league from an Ivory Tower'
Larry Miller #745381 08/14/20 01:54 PM
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Back of THE NET
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Back of THE NET
L
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 978
Likes: 4
You have made a great point that permeates the Youth Soccer Industrial Complex. Many, many people think they have to pay gobs of money otherwise the experience will have no value. This easily plays in to the snake oil salesmen that are out there overcharging parents with excellent marketing not backed up by the actual results.

Then like a troll does you come up with a thoughtless smear to excuse what is happening. Long Island players just like players anywhere deserve a positive value oriented soccer experience. Blaming the parents is just without merit and classless.

Please tell us how you are paying for the sins of your parents as you seem to think that this is how it should be.

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