The Dutch believe that soccer is best learned by playing the game. They do not believe that the actions should be separate training sessions. This means that everything in practice should include the natural progression of the game, regardless of theme. There should be a build up, goal scoring, preventing a build up, and denying scoring. In a nut shell. Attacking, defending and transition.
There is, however, a curriculum they follow by age group.
- At U6 the objective is simple. The players should be learning to control the ball.
- U7 through U9. Goal oriented actions with the ball. (Beating an opponent to score)
- U10 through U11. Learning to play goal oriented together. The players must be introduced at this age to the concept of needing each other to be successful.
- U12 through U13. Learning to play from a basic task. This entails build up and scoring when in possession and disturbing a build up and preventing scoring when defending. This is accomplished by functional positional training that begins with simplified versions of the game tasks, then moves to 11v11 by the end of practice to see if there is transference.
- U14 through U15. Fine tuning the basic tasks as a team.
- U16 through U17. Playing as a team. The emphasis is learning to be a team player by understanding how the individual ability benefits the team.
- U18 through U19. Learning how to be competitive.
This is a very condensed version of the Dutch vision, but it is a very interesting methodology.
Let us look at the USA.
- U6 through U8. Ball control and creativity.
- U10 through U14. Ball skill, Creativity and Insight.
- U14 through U16. How to function as a group.
- U17 and Older. Competition and Outcome (Results)
I think the comparison speaks for itself. You draw your own conclusions.