El Repechaje: Costa Rica look to earn World Cup spot vs.  New Zealand, respect for Concacaf

El Repechaje: Costa Rica look to earn World Cup spot vs. New Zealand, respect for Concacaf

In the European region, clubs follow a similar way of playing, coaches are educated on how to properly prepare the youth. They have a roadmap on how to get to the highest international level from the start of a young player’s club career until they reach the professional ranks. The coaching is elite, the blueprint is set from an early stage and all they have to focus on is strapping on their boots, playing under a certain system and individually understanding the style of play to achieve the highest level of competition.

Domestic leagues are another reason why Concacaf is not as respected as other regions just yet. Countries like Suriname, Bermuda, Guatemala and Martinique are amongst Concacaf nations we can’t hear nor feel much from because the grassroots development isn’t there. Right now, smaller countries in the region rely on the nationalization of players who want an opportunity at the international game to boost their individual stock. But it shouldn’t stop there. We need to collectively do a better job at implementing a system of coaching to bridge the gap between every single one of the countries in Concacaf. We need to work together and learn from each other.

Personally, I have seen growth in Concacaf from 2009 when I started my career. Are we moving forward? Yes, we are. Are we moving with one purpose in mind? I’m not sure about that yet. What we can take away from not getting enough recognition globally is change needs to happen. Collective structure, football awareness within the regions, touching every corner of the continent and reaching those communities. Giving the youth a clear and equal path to get to the top is so fundamental. What Concacaf needs is simple: more football education at the higher level, a better idea of ​​styles of play and philosophy, less coaching turnover for the youth, and a fair chance for recognition will go a long way toward getting Concacaf into what we know it can become.

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