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Messages - jknezek

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1
South Region football / Re: FB: USA South Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 04:46:20 pm »
I would be very happy, of course, if it ended up like that.  ;D We have to figure out how to beat LaGrange and Methodist though, since that hasn't happened the last two years. If everybody we expect to be back makes it and we stay healthy, I like our chances.

Go Hawks!

Hey Hawks. I'm planning to be at B-SC this year for the game. Yellow motor home, parked on the hill behind the end zone. Family will be tailgating provided the little ones are healthy and the weather is good. If you are going to be at the game let me know and I'll char you some kind of meat and hand out the pop.

2
Men's soccer / Re: 2015 D3 Season: NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
« on: July 22, 2015, 04:29:31 pm »
Good point re the rules of college soccer. The substitution rules are misguided and ensure the emphasis on athleticism and ugly soccer over skill will continue.

Not the only problem. The restrictions on practice time, which exist for all sports, is worse. It guarantees a minimum of team cohesiveness and pushes teams to play long ball with athletes instead of soccer. PDL with its short season and seemingly random team make up year to year does the same thing. This is one of several reasons I find college soccer and the PDL developmental dead ends.

3
Men's soccer / Re: 2015 D3 Season: NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
« on: July 22, 2015, 02:24:40 pm »
Thanks, JK

I would love to see the U.S. develop the "soccer pyramid" that we see in England, but as you say the money is not there.  An added problem is the fact that you have a large network of collegiate programs that siphon resources out of what would be that "soccer pyramid."

I think you'll see a continued marginalization of the college game for the truly elite youth as the MLS academies gain strength. We've seen it at the h.s. level, it is starting to creep up to the college level. There is a better way to learn soccer than to play at the college level. That goes for all sports, of course, and is a reason why I think MLB does the best job of ensuring the best players rise to the top and the NFL does the worst job. But all of that is neither here nor there.

The best kids will still get degrees if they want them, but they won't be playing college soccer. On the upside, that's still only skimming a couple hundred top prospects off, and the rules for college soccer ensure the level of play isn't very good anyway, so I doubt anyone will notice too much.

4
Men's soccer / Re: 2015 D3 Season: NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
« on: July 21, 2015, 09:36:15 am »
Thanks!

Just wondering how the United States takes its next steps in its evolution as a soccer nation.

Slowly. Development is driven by money. I have great faith in the MLS teams, but they need to actually make money. While the recent TV deal is a huge step forward, it's simply a drop in the bucket. These teams have great local followings, but the games need to turn into national events. I do think MLS will overtake the NHL, and I think eventually baseball is in trouble. Though that is probably at least a generation off. If MLS could start getting TV deals on par with what the NHL gets, and a similar national audience, the development academies would take huge leaps forward.

The other thing is the lower leagues need to change. Think of the soccer period in England. There are 20 teams in the premiership, 24 Championship teams, 24 League One, 24 League Two. So this relatively small country has 90+ professional teams where the players can actually make a year round living playing soccer. That is a huge amount of development per population. In the U.S. we have 20 or so (it seems in flux all the time) professional teams where players can make a year round living, that is MLS, and a bunch of NASL and USL teams where players can starve for the love of the game and work jobs in the off-season to survive.

That isn't going to cut it. I don't think the U.S. will ever support a soccer pyramid like England, but I do think that MLS, if it continues to grow, can support a farm system like MLB. Each team has two or three professional affiliates in lower levels, each with their own development academies. I think MLS will eventually end up with 34 teams in two divisions, based on other professional leagues and the inclusion of Canada. So if each MLS team had a pair of USL level affiliates that paid some kind of living wage, you would have almost 100 professional teams. Still low per population density, but probably good enough to make sure not too many players are slipping through the cracks. It would make sense to mandate that 80% of those lower level teams are made up of home country passport players. So MLS would be free to stock rosters with premier talent, but our development would be mostly home grown.

And no, I have no good idea of what to do with the NASL. Give it 20 or 30 years. Soccer has come a long way in the last 20, I think it will continue to move along at a good pace in the future. Short of football imploding due to tramatic brain injuries and the NBA rigging itself out of business, it's never going to be the top sport. But it doesn't have to be the top sport in the U.S. to allow the U.S. team and league to be among the best in the world.

5
Men's soccer / Re: 2015 D3 Season: NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
« on: July 20, 2015, 12:46:47 pm »
Yes, many non-MLS clubs field both USSDA (their best players) and club teams.  Much of the  identifying/and later, recruiting, happens during U16 USSDA games.  Thus, it is not that uncommon for some players to make their college commitment (primarily for the D3 commitments) and then skip playing U18 USSDA altogether during their senior year in order to play high school so just looking at their senior year can be deceptive.  Some players game the system, and play high school, then join USSDA mid-season to avoid the no-HS rule.  All this stuff and the rules is still evolving ...

I have no idea about the Messiah players, but the USSDA roster/games played/start %/goals is available to the public, so if someone were willing to invest the time, it will not be that difficult to research. Many of the profiles also gives a decent background on the player, which I've always found useful in understanding the player.  I'm sure the college coaches are on the USSDA sites constantly, researching and following players.

I personally do not like this shift to USSDA, as the program is designed (National team scouting) for maybe 5% of the players who actually play in USSDA.  I believe the true "Academy System" should be limited to the MLS teams and the rest should focus on the holistic approach of developing student athletes.  But hey, perhaps it is just me, as the current trend is just the opposite.

Do the academies in Europe solely provide soccer training to the kids, or do they provide an educational program to them as well?

Depends on the academy. The top academies do both. Other academies are soccer only but make arrangements for the schooling.

6
  I'd argue that nobody who was left out of the tournament last year, or realistically at just about any point in the past decade was going to beat one of those two teams, full stop.  We're talking about giving Pool C teams access to maybe the first 2-3 rounds of the tournament, and not really anything deeper than that.

It's outside the past decade but I believe PLU won the title in 1999 as a 7 seed and a Pool C.
Mary Hardin Baylor was the national runner up as a C in 2004. They played every playoff game on the road, so they weren't a high seed, but part of that could have been a function of a Texas sub bracket with HSU and Trinity also making the field. Linfield came out of Pool B to win it all. They played at home throughout, so they were an undefeated high seed.

7
Kiko,
I'd actually go the other way on your point about the power conferences.  I believe UWO from the WIAC has proven itself quite capable of beating UWW.

Seriously? They are 1-9 against UWW in the last 10 years and the one win came in a year where UWW lost to a team that went 6-4. Those losses include 25+ point losses multiple times. Sure not the last 3 years, but quite often.

JCU did the same with Mt. 

Something like 1-15 in the D3.com era.  Including a 32 point loss just a few years ago. Great proof there.
Institutionalizing reputation is a bad idea. See the pre-AQ era.

8
East Region football / Re: East Region Fan Poll
« on: July 15, 2015, 12:34:56 pm »

I was wondering if anyone thinks the roster limit has hurt the NJAC as far as deep playoff runs. I seem to remember it coming in around 15 years ago for budgetary reasons. Does anyone think that played a role in Rowan's drop from elite to very good status or was it Keeler leaving and less reliance on elite transfers. Probably both.

I'm going with 40% Keeler leaving, 50% easing off the transfers (which was part of Keeler leaving, so you could just cram 90% in there), and 10% the roster limits.

9
East Region football / Re: FB: New Jersey Athletic Conference
« on: July 14, 2015, 10:02:30 am »

When my son son was being recruited by R-MC and Bridgewater he received financial packages that were much better than CNU's.  It helped that he was a very good student but I was surprised that CNU couldn't come up with more aid.

This certainly does happen. The private schools have more ability to try and attract kids that are a stretch for the school. For a kid going to a school that is somewhat indifferent on whether he gets in or not, or a reach for the student, the public schools are usually a financial winner.

  Are you saying the New Jersey public schools are not as affordable as the Virginia publics or the competition among them makes it harder to recruit in state kids?  Anyways, my point is in my experience with my children is that the private schools had an advantage over the publics because they could offer more $$ whether it be academic, leadership based, etc.

I have no idea if the NJ schools are more expensive. My point was, if you want to play at the D3 level in VA and are looking for state school affordability, CNU is your only football option. In NJ, as the NJAC shows, there are six schools that must compete for the athlete. So CNU doesn't have to compete against other state schools for D3 football players, but Morrisville, Montclair, Rowan, TCNJ, Willy Pat, and Kean are competing against each other for D3 football players in NJ.

In other words, if you want to play football at a state school in VA and are a D3 level player, CNU is your only choice. The plethora of D3 options surrounding CNU make it a small advantage, but it is still some kind of an advantage in comparison to the NJ state schools all in competition with each other and the private D3 schools in the area.
Morrisville is actually a SUNY school, State University of New York.  They are an associate member of the NJAC for football.

Good catch. Overstated by one. +K

10
East Region football / Re: FB: New Jersey Athletic Conference
« on: July 10, 2015, 02:20:28 pm »
Looks that way. I'm not an expert either. And I am biased a tad bit.  But thems the facts!! #4 ain's too shabby!

Yep. That was really my original point. All those schools are darn good. CNU probably suffers from the endowment size in these metrics. Not necessarily the quality of learning versus JMU. I think CNU is around 20MM, JMU is almost 80MM.

11
East Region football / Re: FB: New Jersey Athletic Conference
« on: July 10, 2015, 12:14:49 pm »
Now, we are 3rd in state for Avg SAT scores behind W&M and UVA. It keeps getting tougher and tougher to recruit.

I'd still rank them fourth among Virginia public schools, UVa, W&M, JMU, CNU/GMU, depending on your interests of course, but that list is nothing to sneeze at. Throw in Va Tech, VCU, and VMI and if I could find a job, I'd move to Va so my kids could go to the state university system. It's one of the best in the nation in my opinion.

Just re-read this....bahahaha...no way JMU is ahead of CNU. 10 years ago yes, but not today. My daughter started at JMU. JMU gave her 13 credit hours for her high school IB work. She took 15 in her first semester. Total = 28. She transferred to CNU - and lost 19 of those 28 credits...started with 9 after a semester in college!!! (she still graduated on time..Magna Cum Laude).

I'm no expert on it, so you may very well be right. US News ranks JMU #6 among Southern Regional Colleges. CNU ties for 17th. USA Today puts JMU #6 at schools in VA, CNU doesn't make the top 10. Forbes puts JMU at 188, CNU at 381. College Factual ranks JMU 6 in VA, CNU not in top 10. 4IU has JMU at 6 in VA, CNU at 19.

I'm no expert, but the people that claim to be, whether they are or aren't, are pretty consistent.

12
East Region football / Re: FB: New Jersey Athletic Conference
« on: July 10, 2015, 10:57:51 am »

When my son son was being recruited by R-MC and Bridgewater he received financial packages that were much better than CNU's.  It helped that he was a very good student but I was surprised that CNU couldn't come up with more aid.

This certainly does happen. The private schools have more ability to try and attract kids that are a stretch for the school. For a kid going to a school that is somewhat indifferent on whether he gets in or not, or a reach for the student, the public schools are usually a financial winner.

  Are you saying the New Jersey public schools are not as affordable as the Virginia publics or the competition among them makes it harder to recruit in state kids?  Anyways, my point is in my experience with my children is that the private schools had an advantage over the publics because they could offer more $$ whether it be academic, leadership based, etc.

I have no idea if the NJ schools are more expensive. My point was, if you want to play at the D3 level in VA and are looking for state school affordability, CNU is your only football option. In NJ, as the NJAC shows, there are six schools that must compete for the athlete. So CNU doesn't have to compete against other state schools for D3 football players, but Morrisville, Montclair, Rowan, TCNJ, Willy Pat, and Kean are competing against each other for D3 football players in NJ.

In other words, if you want to play football at a state school in VA and are a D3 level player, CNU is your only choice. The plethora of D3 options surrounding CNU make it a small advantage, but it is still some kind of an advantage in comparison to the NJ state schools all in competition with each other and the private D3 schools in the area.

13
East Region football / Re: East Region Fan Poll
« on: July 10, 2015, 09:27:27 am »
I gew up in NJ, school in VA, and have lived in AL for 6.5 years. Fortunately I grew up in Central NJ so never picked up the heavy accent and I've avoided the southern accent. But it would be pretty funny.

14
East Region football / Re: FB: New Jersey Athletic Conference
« on: July 10, 2015, 09:26:11 am »
Now, we are 3rd in state for Avg SAT scores behind W&M and UVA. It keeps getting tougher and tougher to recruit.

For public schools. An important distinction. CNU is a good public school, but there are a few D3 privates in VA that are tougher to recruit to from an academic standpoint. W&L is in it's own category, but H-SC, and Bridgewater have lower acceptance rates than CNU, and H-SC, Bridgewater and R-MC have basically the same accepted SAT/ACT scores. If you want to play at the D3 level, and are looking for public school affordability, CNU is your ONLY option in VA. That is a pretty good advantage that the public NJAC schools don't possess.

None of that takes away from my respect for CNU as a school. It is a very good one and absolutely on the upswing. I'd still rank them fourth among Virginia public schools, UVa, W&M, JMU, CNU/GMU, depending on your interests of course, but that list is nothing to sneeze at. Throw in Va Tech, VCU, and VMI and if I could find a job, I'd move to Va so my kids could go to the state university system. It's one of the best in the nation in my opinion.

15
Women's soccer / Re: Women's World Cup 2015 - Canada
« on: July 09, 2015, 08:57:46 am »
I can't believe you guys haven't posted lately.

Too busy eating crow. That was a team that peaked at the right time. The group stage was very poor, but every elimination game they got better. From the weak performance against Columbia to a good but flawed game against China, a wonderfully dominant performance against Germany and finishing with the shock and awe start to the Japan game. I don't know why they started so slow and looked so poor through 4 games, but the last three games showed a team growing and gaining strength and confidence. They are worthy of being world champions without a doubt.

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