Youth Soccer Spotlight: AYSO United Technical Director Robbie Earle
This is an exciting time for AYSO and the AYSO United program. With the addition of Technical Director Robbie Earle, the growth of AYSO’s club program has extended the opportunity for players to take their talents to the next level. AYSO United has formed a staff that is dedicated to the development of all youth soccer players no matter what their skill level may be.
SoccerToday spoke with Earle on his role at AYSO United and his goals helping develop youth soccer players who love to play the beautiful game.
Youth Soccer News: In the often confusing and crowded youth soccer landscape, it is unusual for any new organization to find great success immediately — but that is exactly what AYSO United — AYSO’s official club program — has seen in its first year.
AYSO United has taken the AYSO community by storm.
With 16 locations nationwide and over 2,500 players in its first year, AYSO United is quickly establishing itself as an authentic, premiere club program.
AYSO United’s focus lies within player development and a commitment to the player rather than results. Through these philosophies, specifically everyone plays, the commitments are what AYSO is hoping can really change the way club soccer is perceived.
Recently, AYSO United brought on Robbie Earle as the program’s Technical Director. Earle is a former Premier League player, Jamaican national team star and current studio analyst at NBC Sports Group’s Premier League.
SoccerToday spoke with Earle on his transition as AYSO United’s Technical Director and the goal of the organization’s new program.
Diane Scavuzzo: What would you say you are most excited about joining the AYSO family?
Robbie Earle: The opportunity to influence kids’ experience in the game. We all started off at a young age and people go on to different levels, whether it’s playing for enjoyment or playing at a professional level. The formative years are so important.
It is critical to create the right environment and the right ambience — so that kids can enjoy the game, flourish and gain confidence.
Diane Scavuzzo: Would you say that your biggest goal at AYSO United is to create the kind of environment you just described?
Robbie Earle: Yes, definitely. A healthy environment for young kids to grow, whatever that is.
Not everyone is going to turn out to be like a Landon Donovan or a Julie Foudy – both former AYSO players.
Some kids are just going to be enjoying this great sport and that’s perfect.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you think makes AYSO United different than other soccer clubs?
Robbie Earle: I think the biggest thing is that AYSO is often the first point of entry.
AYSO is an inclusive model. Everyone gets a chance to play.
Everyone gets 50 percent of the time on the soccer pitch and that’s what you really want to do. You train on the week and with your coach, but ideally, everyone wants to be part of the team.
I’ve seen kids standing on the side with like one or two minutes to go — and then they are thrown on and then the whistle blows. You see their disappointed little faces and that’s not what it should be about.
Youth soccer should be about everybody being a part of it.
Some people are quicker, faster, stronger, but at this point that shouldn’t be the main focus. It should be about everyone taking part and playing their part and growing with the sport.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you think your broadcasting experience will help you in this role?
Robbie Earle: I’d like to think that some of the connections I’ve made in — the people I’ve met through broadcasting — I’ll be able to call and ask them for advice. I’m one of those people that likes to use other people and their experiences for my own benefits.
Diane Scavuzzo: What would be your greatest advice to players who want to play AYSO United?
Robbie Earle: I think they will see the benefits of what we’re trying to implement here.
That we’re trying to develop this great program that’s been going for 50-odd years — that we’re moving with the times and moving forward.
What’s great is that kids can be as successful and progressive as they want within the AYSO program.
Diane Scavuzzo: Anything else you’d like to add?
Robbie Earle: Most kids in AYSO only play to a certain point — before going on to find the next thing — whether that’s club or academy or whatever. I’d like to think that AYSO United will be able to harbor everyone’s ambitions and grow.