We'll probably never know how good Tim's teams would have been from age 14 to 18 because of his high school coaching commitments.
Historically the Legends program has built a far greater deceptive dribbling and finishing component than any other program. Teams trained in this way when they were younger played an ever better team game as we focused more on combination play and passing components of the game between 14-18 years of age.
The major difference was the sheer number of Legends players, defenders, midfielders, (even goalies), who could use a move in high level competition in any area of the field at 17/18.
To develop players who are stll able to perform the Christiano type skills when in their late teens, the focus on deceptive dribbling has to be very intense for much longer than even the most enlightened traditional coaches believe.
When the U18 87/88 Legends won the USYSA Regional Championship, the winning goal against Busch,(now St Louis SC), came from the free kick earned when Mark Roennigke was fouled as he did a Maradona Turn.
When the U16 79/80 Legends won the USYSA Regional Championship, the winning goal came when Jason Cole beat three Omaha defenders in a solo dribble from his own half.
When the 81/82 Legends won the USYSA Regional Championship, the winning goal came when Joe Burns dribbled past 5 Javanon defenders and scored from a position 15 yards inside his own half.
Every team I ever coached into their mid-teens also played a cultured passing game. This is an exercise in simple common sense and logic. They could hold the ball under pressure until the right moment to pass, instead of being forced into passing at an inappropriate time by defensive pressure.
The Brazilians are great passers for the same reason. Everyone on Brazil's teams through the years have been such great dribblers that they hold the ball under extreme pressure until the perfect moment to make the pass.
I hope this clarifies why we have always focused so intensely on developing the best ball handlers and goal scorers (the goal scoring shot is the hardest pass) at the earlier ages.
It is very simple logic. Any child who can hold the ball until the time is right to pass and also shoot with accuracy and power, (same technique as passing but much harder), will be a very special team player as they mature.