Fellow blogger John O'Sullivan and founder of Changing the Game Project weighs-in on U.S. Soccer's small sided game mandate and changes to birth-year age groups, as opposed to the August 1 through July 31 age groups we currently use. He reiterates my post from last week - Coaching is Over-Rated (Why 3 versus 3 is so valuable). He also looks at stats regarding playing small sided games and the evidence is overwhelming. Small sided games yield more experience -- and generally more fun.
In the Man United study, playing 4v4 instead of 8v8 yielded: