Published on November 29th, 2017 | by Staples Soccer0
Kyle Martino ’99’s US Soccer Presidential Campaign Picks Up Steam
Kyle Martino ’99’s bid for the presidency of US Soccer is gaining traction across the country.
SB Nation recently posted an in-depth interview with the former Gatorade National High School Player of the Year. Martino notes:
“I’m the entire soccer spectrum. I played travel. I played rec. I played club team. I played state team. I played regional team. I played youth national team. I played high school and went to the state final … I went down to Bollettieri (the predecessor to the Under-17 residency program at IMG Academy). I went to college. I played professional. I even played semi-pro. I played PDL. I played the full national team. And now I’m on the backside, where I’m playing men’s league and I’m paying for my kid to be in the system. I’ve seen the whole thing, and every level has a role to play in developing players.”
Martino — who has taken a leave of absence from his NBC Sports work as a Premier League analyst — discusses the pervasive influence of money on youth soccer, regional training centers, MLS and the women’s game. Of particular interest to Staples soccer fans are Martino’s ideas for reforming the Development Academy system, and the importance of “soccer culture” for growing the American game.
“Everyone is getting stuck on, is the [DA] the right way to go? Was the residency program working? All of these elite soccer questions. Do you know one area that I for the past 20 years have highlighted, an area that has contributed to my game the most? It was paying $5 on a Tuesday night and $5 on a Saturday night to play indoor with Hispanic adults and indoor with Jamaican adults. For me that was one of the best parts of my soccer education, playing with people that were bigger and faster than I was, but also playing with people who come from different cultures with different approaches to the game. People who bring a certain pizazz, a certain flair, and that is part of the reason I became the player that I became.”
Martino would like to see futsal courts in every school and park in the country.
Click here for the full interview.
Also of note: Charlie Leonard ’14 — who just finished his soccer career at Union College — is spending his long break working on Martino’s presidential campaign. He’s joined by Meghan Donovan, daughter of Dan Donovan ’82.