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Classless DSA

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Classless DSA

Postby fourfourtwo » Mon May 07, 2018 9:11 am

I try to go out and watch soccer in the spring as much as possible, which isn't much, and I put a star next to a DSA game, mostly made up of Camden Hills players since they were playing in Bangor Sunday. After the score was 12-0 at the half, I was absolutely disgusted by the continued scoring and pressure by the DSA kids, but more importantly, the lack of coaching and class by the DSA coach.

It was obvious the coach told the girls to hold back at halftime, which I also disagree with, yet they scored 5 more in that half.

There was one simple solution to this problem....take 2 players off the field and play 11-9. DSA only had 2 subs anyways, so why not play with 4 subs and actually make the game more competitive. There is no way any DSA player got anything positive from that game, yet I believe if they played 11-9 then they would have gotten much more out of it.

Kudos to the River City team for not getting frustrated, I know back in my playing days, things would have gotten nasty.
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Re: Classless DSA

Postby zegen » Tue May 08, 2018 10:58 am

Before making such strong public statements, as a fellow coach I would hope that you respect the challenging situation DSA was in and understand that your solution to the dilemma was not as black and white as you suggested.

The Maine Premier League is not designed to be a recreation or youth league. Premier players invest a great deal of time and finances to train year round and hone their skills. Each club is responsible for entering competitive teams to maintain the integrity of the league. Players that are not ready for premier soccer should continue to develop their skills in academy, recreation leagues, school teams, camps, and their back yard.

Your solution to take players off the field is viable in recreation or school leagues, but not as easily done in premier soccer. It is not fair to take away playing time from players regardless of the opponent in a league where players have invested so much to play. That DSA team is preparing for a college showcase event in two weeks where they will face intense competition and need to prepare mentally and physically to show well for the college coaches they are aspiring to play for. Contrary to your statement, that particular DSA team is comprised of 50% Camden and 50% from various other schools making it challenging to train midweek due to spring sports. It would have been more beneficial for DSA to use that day to train and prepare accordingly for the upcoming event, but for the integrity of the league they showed up in Bangor to play.

DSA found themselves in a moral dilemma that day and raised the question to themselves, “what is the right thing to do in this situation?” Is it more insulting to the opponent to play possession for 90 minutes and never shoot or just play the game? The answer for them was not black and white for them. Neither the coach nor the girls on the DSA team took pleasure in having to make such a challenging decision and were frustrated they had to make such a hard decision in a premier league. They collectively made the decision to just play the game in the first half. The majority of goals were scored by defenders who were playing in attacking positions in an effort to challenge themselves while the other players worked the ball around the field and just maintained possession. In your eyes that was classless, but it is very easy to judge when you are not in that position.

I commend both teams for accepting the game for what it was and not allowing the situation to get nasty as you suggested. The question is not about scoring too many goals or about ego. It is about the integrity of the game and the premier league in Maine. For those Maine players and teams who are not able to travel throughout New England to play quality competition every weekend, they should still be allowed to compete and play as hard as they can to prepare for college soccer which is what the premier league was designed for.
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Re: Classless DSA

Postby fourfourtwo » Tue May 08, 2018 12:01 pm

Thanks for your honest response. I do agree with some of what you said, however, I also disagree with lots as well. Let me explain.

I agree it was a challenging situation they were in, but I disagree that it's not black and white. It's very simple to me.

I agree the Maine State Premier league is for high level players, and Soccer Maine needs to take some responsibility on this as well, but to be honest, there's really only about 2 teams in that league that I would consider "premier". Then what? What do the other kids who want to play do? There are no "rec" leagues for high school age kids so it's either play or not play and I don't think anyone likes the latter choice.

Soccer Maine should not have put a U16 team, made up of many U15's, into a U18 league (a parent told me that so who knows if it's true). Or maybe River City should not have allowed it to happen. Those are things that could have happened, but too late, the schedule was made and so the kids and coaches move ahead.

I disagree that taking players off is not something you see in premier leagues. I have coached for a very long time, at a very high level, and played college soccer, and I can tell you first hand that the amount of times I have seen teams play with less than 11 is more than many people think. So to assume that playing with 9 players wouldn't "prepare" them for future college showcases is simply wrong. I believe it would have prepared them more. What could they possibly be preparing for when they can pass circles around the opposition? They won't see that at a showcase and so why practice it? What they will see is high pressure, various formations, and fitness tests and playing with 9 players would have prepared them for all 3 of those things.

And yes, I'm aware of the many players who were on the field. I know many of them. When Madi Michaud (PI) is scoring the teams 10th goal, and Ella Peirce (Camden Hills) scored 5 first half goals, I don't really see that as moving players around a whole lot. And saying that Kassie Krul (Camden Hills) and Elize Quinones (Hebron Academy) are playing striker in the 2nd half to make the game more competitive is laughable. Is that preparing them for a showcase? I don't think so. All those players mentioned are very talented players and should be commended for their abilities (they are also very nice kids too), which is why I put more stock in the coaches decision, not the players. Players will play, as they should, but they should be given appropriate advice in those situations.

But yes, I commend both teams for keeping it clean. And super commend the officials for calling a good game, keeping it fair, and even giving the weaker team a few more calls. Pure class on their end.
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Re: Classless DSA

Postby oscar » Tue May 08, 2018 12:09 pm

Know nothing about the situation but calling it a premier league may be the first mistake. If the game is that much of a mismatch why even schedule it? Sounds like the losing team may want to spend their time playing a spring sport like track, tennis, softball etc. Sounds like they are wasting their time trying to play year round soccer. Do they pay money to be on this premier team to get waxed by another Maine team? Maybe the winning team could have tried to hit the goal posts instead?
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Re: Classless DSA

Postby fourfourtwo » Tue May 08, 2018 1:34 pm

totally agree, shouldn't even be called premier at that level. And playing superior players 2 years older makes it even worse. I agree the game shouldn't even have been played since neither team got anything out of it. I'm sure there are kids out there on that losing team that just simply love soccer and telling them they can't play, or to play tennis, probably isn't the right choice either. I've seen many players who were average, at best, go on to become good coaches. Keep them involved, just find another league to play in, or something. I love the goal post idea though, but I could see them missing and it going in and then that still seems like they are piling it on.
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Re: Classless DSA

Postby zegen » Tue May 08, 2018 2:02 pm

Maddie M has not scored yet this season and was the only one given permission to try to score in the second half so she could break her scoreless ice as one of the team's forward. Ella Pierce scored twice to my knowledge (once was accidentally from a cross that she felt bad about). I'm not sure how familiar you are with positions because neither Kassie or Eliza Q played striker during that game (both switched from mid and defense the entire game with specific tasks to focus on that would improve their skills). The instructions given by the coach were to put the ball on net to resemble the actions of soccer but do not try hard to score. If you have ever seen that team play normally, you will agree that they were not shooting on goal to score during that game and thought the goalie could handle their shots. The girls were given the option to play in positions that they wanted to try so they could challenge their normal skill set or play in positions that they might play on their HS team.

Indeed the coach could have taken some players off and has done exactly that in previous instances. However, the upcoming ID event involves playing 3-5 hard games in 2-3 days so she opted to allow everyone on the team the opportunity to get as many minutes of soccer fitness as possible. It was a judgement call that was made in the best interest of the players and not for the sake of running up a score.

You asked what the kids who want to play should do? Easy one...practice. Not everyone is ready for premier and should train on their own if that is their goal. Premier is not a development league. Not every student gets into Harvard and not every student should be given an "A" just because they studied so why should all soccer players be allowed in a premier soccer league just because they want to play soccer? RC already fielded a team in that age group and should have collapsed age groups to give the premier players in their area the opportunity to play more competitively. DSA develops the players in their academy until they are ready for premier. Similarly, in the Bangor area Seacoast and RC offer training opportunities and Field for Kids offers a place for them to play and hone their skills. Those players have plenty of opportunities available to them if they want to improve and tryout again next year.
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