The Louisiana Player Development League (“LPDL”) will kick off in September 2017. It is a league designed to provide the committed elite youth soccer players in Louisiana with opportunities to compete at the highest levels of competition and open pathways to identification to play beyond youth and high school soccer.
The LPDL is designed to mimic US Soccer’s Development Academies (“DA”). At present, no single club in Louisiana has the depth of talent or commitment to compete at the DA level. The LPDL will create an environment that will bring elite players together to train and compete in an environment as close to the DA environment as our soccer culture in Louisiana will permit. Like the DA, the LPDL philosophy is based on increasing the amount of training and making each competition more meaningful from the standpoint of player development. The LCSL is a team-based structure where teams from member clubs are seeded according to their team achievements. The LPDL, like the DA, will be a club-based structure. To qualify for the LPDL, a member club must satisfy certain rather stringent criteria.
Why is the LPDL Necessary?
There is a widespread recognition that our present league structure does not encourage the development of players. Our present league structure rewards outcome rather than performance. Further, our present leagues structure does not provide our elite players with ample opportunities to play beyond their high school years. Very few of our players go on to play in college and even fewer explore educational opportunities outside of Louisiana that the game could open for them. Coaches from colleges outside Louisiana do not recruit our players because, simply put, they cannot trust that our players have been developed in an elite soccer environment. Further, our players and our soccer families rarely see youth soccer at an elite level. We define excellence in the game as it is played in Louisiana - not as it is played on a regional or national level. All of our players ought to be exposed to the highest standard of play so they have an identifiable goal to which they can aspire.