There is an ongoing discussion in US Youth Soccer circles over the consistent advantages kids born earlier in the year have when it comes to making youth teams. As food for thought, the following lists the months of birth for all of the players from 2006 World Cup rosters as well as how the US figures into that list.
Here’s the data broken down into quarters and converted to percentages to help clarify the data:
As you can see, the effect is barely noticeable when looking at all of the rosters (particularly when you remove the USA from those numbers) but is stark and clear from the USA roster. 80% of the American field players were born the first half of the year, and only Eddie Pope was born in the last three months among the 20 field players.
This data matches what we have tended to see at the youth levels from the US, with precious few players from the later months of the year making youth teams. I’ll let people draw their own conclusions from this.
Data is from FIFA .