Youth football expert believes class gap is hurting US soccer growth

We’re delighted to welcome the founder of Kinetic Academy Harry Hudson as our exclusive columnist. Each week the youth football expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on wonderkids across the UK…

The majority of children in the UK will have played youth football to some degree but the same can’t be said of the United States of America.

While British boys and girls are enjoying a kickabout at school, in the local park or playing Sunday League on mud baths, kids across the pond are getting stuck into basketball, American football or baseball.

Harry Hudson is the founder of the Kinetic Academy which brings together young people of all backgrounds to compete together in trying to achieve their collective dream of being professional footballers.

Something like that in the States would be nigh on impossible though and the Sevenoaks manager believes that the way football is perceived is what is holding the sport back.

“Football is seen more of a middle-class sport in the US,” Hudson said exclusively to The Football Wonderkids. “That’s not a good or bad thing it just means it’s slightly different.

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“You don’t really have the melting pot of cultures and competitiveness that we would have here.

“When we went to visit and played in the Dallas Cup, I spoke to a few guys there and they were saying that if you went to really densely populated areas of the US, they would be playing basketball.

“That’s their go-to sport and soccer isn’t really played in those areas because there are quite extensive costs to be involved in youth soccer in the US which changes the demographic of young people who play.

“Until different parts of society are all playing, I don’t think it will break through with the prevalence that it has in the UK.”

More American players are making the switch to European football as are players from the MLS but there is still a long way to go before the men’s side of the game catches the women’s.

In other Kinetic Academy news, Hudson thinks Kwadwo Baah’s move to Fortuna Dusseldorf is a super move for the former Kinetic youngster.