It seems like you can't go online nowadays without reading someone yelling about why something is bad. Social Networking has turned into what message boards were in the 90's, just a bunch of people yelling to be heard. Oh, but wait, there's major issues we have to chat about. Fine, discourse is great, but action is better. Those famous words of advice - Talk is cheap, mean the same thing here.
We can all admit there's things in the sport we don't like. Just sitting online and telling people what the mistakes isn't getting anything done. As much hatred as the Pro/rel people get online and in the media, they have made some good steps, but they still haven't gone far enough. They flew a banner over the last LA Galaxy MLS Cup game, and have had some merchandise made up. It is good PR, but how many times have they requested a meeting with anyone at USSF? How many times have they attended press conferences to get their voices heard? Oh wait, they are journalists. Never mind. Instead of making enemies of most of soccer journalists, they should be making allies, and requesting meetings with the higher ups in soccer. Proactive actions work, and maybe we would have seen Pro/Rel come into the game. But whom I to talk, I'm an MLS Bot.
To let the curtain back a bit, I'm an E Licensed soccer coach in Upstate New York, coaching Refuges, mostly from Africa. The club I work for doesn't charge our players for participation in house or travel teams, so they don't have the access to "top coaching" that apparently US Soccer wants you to have. None of my players can afford to pay the many thousands of dollars to play for clubs like that. None. So they are left behind, which is sad because all of them should have the chance to play after they graduate from high school.
US Soccer is a ponzi scheme, a money making experiment for a select few people. And we see countless articles, and podcasts talking about it. To be fair most of the people railing against this in US Soccer, are coaches, and are some of the brightest people in the sport. But are they accepting the money for their players, and doing anything about the pay for play? Probably not, they are just happy taking the money from the players and telling people about their connections.
What we need is an association outside of USSF that deals with the Academies, that's interested in the development of players instead of the development of bank accounts. We see so many articles or think pieces about how US Soccer is going to develop their own Messi. It's all well and good to talk about it, and have Pay For Play, and US Soccer will still be about 50 years behind the times.
Pele, Maradona, Cristaino Ronaldo, Messi, and most of the English National team learned the game the right way, by just going out and play. Also they didn't get picked for a team because their families were wealthy, in fact none of their parents were wealthy. But that's not what US Soccer has told us. We just need to bring over more Foreign Coaches, while telling American's to get the licenses, and just fall in line.
If you want change in the sport, you have to get out and do it yourself, instead of talking about it. Set up academies for underprivileged players, in your area. Invite scouts and college coaches out to your matches. Use social networking to approach people in the media about your cause. I'd bet, by using word of mouth, and having good player, maybe you can have one player or two attend college or play in an MLS Academy. Folks the tools are out there for you to improve the sport, you just have to find them and use. Complaining only gets you so far.