1994- First 30 years

The first million AYSO  graduates was accomplished and AYSO reached out to more than 50% of the States. The high school programs were in high gear. The colleges evidenced a higher quality of soccer play and professional soccer had completed a few early attempts to succeed. The number of youth players in AYSO youth soccer was expanding like never before in the soccer history of the USA. there would be a need for understanding the future potential for AYSO player graduates in college.
 
In 2014, AYSO would graduate upwards of 7,000,000 soccer players. The high schools nationwide. 2012, would have 411,757 high school boys playing soccer  in 11,600 high schools (2012) and 370,975 high school girls playing soccer in 11,127 high schools. The Pioneers of AYSO were steadfast not only in supporting the American Way of youth to high school to college to Olympics and professional soccer but also fully active not only by providing the players but also in having these players become directly active as coaches in college soccer. It is here at the college soccer level that the future of soccer in the United States would not only serve as a destination for our youth players but also the opportunity to seek playing at higher levels.
 
First, it is to be remembered that the parents of the players in AYSO became more sophisticated in their knowlege of the sport of soccer and would provide the guidance to their offspring well into their adult life. A college education was always a primary goal and side-steps without completing their college education were not a desired option. Statistically,  the support of soccer at the college level became a primary support objective for the Pioneers of AYSO. The following table indicates the growing college opportunities for high school graduates.
 
       YEAR                          # OF COLLEGES                         # OF MENS' TEAMS                   # OF COLLEGE MENS' SOCCER PLAYERS  
 
   1981 - 82                                      752                                                    138                                                           12,957
 
   1991 - 92                                      847                                                    160                                                          14,580
 
   2001 - 02                                     1,036                                                  211                                                          18,559     
 
   2011 - 12                                     1,096                                                  295                                                          22,987
 
 
Doubling the number of college mens' soccer teams with a potential growth to over 1,000 college teams is a positive approach to provide the next level of soccer with a solid foundation of skilled players. One task ahead is to advance the college soccer players into the highest level possible of the skills required to reach the international level desired.
 
The number of college women soccer players has reached approximately 25,000 and Olympic and World Cup champinships galore have reached our American shore. In fact the USA Womens' college soccer status is the envy worldwide. Our mens' college soccer prowess continues to reach the desired heights. The mens' college soccer has many advantages and the one of primacy, education, was initiated in the success of the Pioneers of AYSO at the youth level when our American youth were placed ahead of the sport. This AYSO national philosophies explains the impact of the statistical growth of AYSO. Likewise, the college education of American soccer players far exceeds any other reason to magnify the college soccer programs.    
 
Now, the challenge to elevate the play of coolege soccer is at hand. To understand the skills growth procedure in AYSO is the key to the college soccer level. In the beginning of AYSO in Torrance, California , the first year of play, 1964-65, found the first four teams with skilled coachs, three of whom played soccer in Europe. The fourth coach was an American college soccer player. This excellent start in AYSO youth being coached by former skilled players expanded to include many more foreign players but also men and women who excelled in other American sports and thereby adding an American excellence to  the soccer coaching of our youth. While there was a period before AYSO skilled graduates would be coaching at the high school and college level, the growth of high school soccer teams and college teams would be influxed with AYSO graduates and thereby complementing the growth with skills development.   
 
The advantage in foreign countries was the centuries of play compared to the 50 years of AYSO impacting the quantity in the USA.  However, as we have evidenced in the American womens' soccer programs, the USA  had the advantage of an excellent AYSO girls soccer youth program when compared to other countries. The American  mens' soccer program, using the same youth to high school to college soccer programs will become most successful when the procedure is encouraged not only to provide the necessary soccer skills but also to locate the gifted athlete from amongst the college level of soccer players.  The growth of the American college programs is vital to national success. Looking at it financially is a good indicator of potential success when compared to other evaluations.
 
First, using a conservative estimate of $200 per player at the college level, men and women, with 47,987 players, the cost totals approximate $9,597,400 to operate the college soccer program for one year. When the 295 colleges with men and womens' soccer grows to 1,000 colleges, the cost approximates $30,000,000 at the college level annually.
 
The Pioneers of AYSO in their infinite wisdom from its beginning in 1964 through the establishment of AYSO Philosophies throughout the succeeding years, knew that the American Way would succeed especially because many of the newly acquired American enthusiasts worked with the foreign-born soccer traditionalists and modified the approach to Invite Everyone to play in AYSO.  Everyone Plays in AYSO, and the American Way is succeeding as noted by the fans filling the stadiums and dozens of Americans playing in foreign countries where their skills are evidenced.
 
At the 50th Anniversary of AYSO, the Pioneers of AYSO, players, parents, coaches, referees, and administrators will be honored and satisfied with a "WELL DONE."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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