ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Dedicated soccer fans in this country know in order to get the best development players have to go to a number of different academies that are overseas.
It’s why Roseville Youth Soccer just partnered with the German-based Talentprojekt to help develop some of their players who may have been overlooked or just happened to be late-bloomers.
The players are young, maybe 8, 9 or 10 years old. But when they are ready for high school, some of them may have the opportunity to head to Germany to continue their classroom and soccer education.
“So, our job is to find the ‘whispering talent’ — really good players who maybe get overlooked,” said Kevin Stringer, technical director of Talentprojekt. “And we want to basically give them a chance to be submerged into the German Bundesliga of player development programs.”
Roseville Youth Soccer made the decision about a year ago during the height of the pandemic to focus on player development rather than wins or losses.
That philosophy fit right into what the German-based Talentprojekt was trying to accomplish in the U.S.
“It’s a five-year plan where you’re going to have … Basically, right now, we’re building a bridge into the German development system,” Stringer said.
Players do not have to be part of Roseville Youth Soccer to be scouted by Talentprojekt, which increases the pool in the Sacramento region to about 10,000 boys.
“So, that level of inspiration to the young players, even if only a very small handful of them go, being able to see it and what success, if you dedicate yourself, looks like would pay dividends to them all,” said Scott Millsap, director of community outreach for Roseville Youth Soccer.
Scouts for Talentprojekt will be in Roseville starting next month evaluating all the young talent and identifying those to keep an eye on for the future.
“The American system just isn’t there just yet. U.S. soccer has come a long way to develop players with the MLS and the different academy’s they have, but what we’re seeing is you really have to take a player who’s got the talent right now,” Stringer said. “Until the U.S. gets the infrastructure down where we can have a high level of soccer, you’re going to have the professional player pathway going through European clubs.”