When Arthur Blank’s AMB group approached KSU about the public-private partnership in those plans they had always intended to build fields in addition to the stadium. In fact, last fall KSU had made mention of that desire prior to AMB group coming into the picture. Earlier this week Wesley Wicker, executive director of the KSU foundation, said the stadium will still be built. However, the scope of the project is slightly reduced from 20,000 seats to a minimum of 2,500. There would be an opportunity to expand to 7,500 spectators. That would be to small for MLS (unless you’re FC Dallas) but perfect for a Womens Professional Soccer team. There will be additional land on the 88 acre athletic park that could be used for a football stadium. At this point I’m assuming they said “football” meaning either American or European Football with the potential of both. (have I ever mentioned I’m an eternal optimist?)
Cobb County is also still interested in the deal. The county’s parks director is currently doing a feasability study to determine whether they would want to rent the fields during the summer when they’re not in use. The majority of the Soccer Specific Stadiums in the US have these types of complexs surrounding them. Tournaments and leagues can be a lucarative business and help sustain cashflow during off times of the year. One local example is the Silverbacks organization. They may have dropped the Men’s team for this season but they will by no means try and limit the youth teams and leagues that play in their surrounding fields.
Here’s the link the an article in the AJC http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cobb/stories/2009/01/20/kennesaw_state_expansion.html
Could we see a Men’s Soccer Team at KSU? Is this the new home of Atlanta’s Womens Profession Soccer Team? Could we see a Major League Lacrosse team playing there in the next few years?
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Well the draft is over and the trades are continuing as teams look to fill out their rosters for the upcoming season. Preseason training will start shortly and before you know it will be in the midst of another MLS season. It’s rare that a rookie can come in and have an on field impact in the first year or two. There’s usually two or three players that shine and a few that see some time on the pitch due to starters going down to injury but it’s more of the exception then the norm. However, there have been several people that believe this particular draft has some depth. Only time will tell.
Since MLS owns players contracts and not individual teams several top players have already come to terms on contracts. Nine top prospects have signed Generation Adidas contracts this year. GA contracts encourages early entry into the league for top youth prospects. These contracts don’t count against a clubs salary cap and guarantee players funding to finish their college education if they choose to do so down the road. That may be an oversimplification but that’s what it is in essence.
The last Generation Adidas player that hailed from Georgia was Ricardo Clark of the Houston Dynamo’s back in 2003. There were two Georgia representatives this year that were invited to the MLS Player Combine. Otto Loewy from Lawrenceville who played for Winthorp was a no show after a late season injury kept him from displaying his skills. Patrick Murray of Peachtree City was physically there but according to those who saw him play said his game didn’t make the trip. The Furman senior did little to help improve his stock. Neither of the two were selected in the four round draft the was completed earlier today.
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You may have missed it over the last few weeks but the NCAA Soccer Championships were played and Maryland beat UNC for the Men’s Championship. The UNC women’s team picked up the slack and beat undefeated Notre Dame for their 19th division title. The closest Georgia representative to make the playoffs was the UGA women’s teams. No men’s team was even an afterthought. In fact, in Georgia, there are no men’s teams. Okay fine, Southern Polytechnic University had a good year for their second in existence. Georgia State has a longstanding men’s program that was birthed in 1980. Unfortunately we may be able to inscribe its ending date on the tombstone in the next year or two.
Georgia State’s long running program may be a casualty of the new football program that starts play in 2010. With Title IX regulations there will be changes in the men’s sports programming so only time will tell it soccer makes the cut. I’m not saying that title IX is bad or I’m against it in any way. I do however have concerns that in Georgia men soccer players that want to stay in state will never have a men’s program of note.
When you look at the world dominance that is the Women’s National Team you can’t help but wonder how things would have been different if those scholarships and programs weren’t available. Conversely, on the men’s side of things the number of college players that make it to major league soccer is pretty limited. The players with the most talent/potential forgo college and enter the pros at a young age (see Freddi Adu, Jozy Altidore, or any National Team regular under 25). With the absence of a quality academy system in the states the college programs still play an important role. We may just have to accept in the land where the other football is king we won’t see many local programs elevate their game to the national stage.
What are your thoughts on college soccer and the influence of Title IX?
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