Ask any American parent what they expect from a competitive youth soccer club and you will hear a variation of the following answer; "We want a club that focuses on player development - not just winning." This sounds good, but I suspect that most American parents don't know what they are talking about and are merely repeating marketing buzzwords said by every club in America. I contend that you must understand the club's soccer philosophy [or lack thereof] as a crucial part of evaluating your child's development.
Why does this matter? Clubs with clearly defined philosophies (and high expectations) typically have consistently better coaching.