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Parents Blog

Susan Boyd blogs on USYouthSoccer.org every Monday.  A dedicated mother and wife, Susan offers a truly unique perspective into the world of a "Soccer Mom". 

 

Advancing Youth Soccer Through “Play for a Change”

Stickley

By Erin Gifford
Guest Contributor
 
As a mother of four active children, we can frequently be found outside, and in the fall, that means we’re out on the soccer fields. Three of my four are playing soccer this year, and literally every single day of the week, we’re either headed to soccer practice or to a game. I think by now our minivan could probably drive itself to the soccer fields.
 
When we’re not watching the kids play and practice, we’re kicking the soccer ball around with one another, playing different games just off the soccer fields and getting lots of exercise as we run and play. This is my son’s first year playing soccer (he’s four years old) and he loves to kick the ball with his sisters. My husband coaches my son’s team, as well as my six-year-old daughter’s team, so we’re definitely a soccer family.
 
Getting outside and exercising is important to me and my family, and soccer is such an easy way to do so. You don’t need to do much more than kick a ball around, so I was excited to see that Merck Consumer Care’s Active Family Project teamed up with U.S. Youth Soccer to encourage families to get out there and play soccer this month during Youth Soccer Month.
 
As part of this partnership, Merck Consumer Care is helping to further interest among children and families in playing soccer in their communities through their Play for a Change initiative. Through this campaign, they’ll provide soccer tips and locations of soccer fields. They even joined forces with soccer superstar Brandi Chastain to bring added excitement to this worthwhile initiative.
 
I’m fortunate that in my community it’s easy to get started with soccer. Many, many children in my neighborhood play soccer at all different levels. But, I know it’s not that way in every community, so I love that as part of Play for a Change, Merck Consumer Care is donating soccer equipment to underserved communities to get even more children, moms and dads engaged in the sport of soccer.
 
When we’re not actively engaged in soccer practices and games, we like to kick the ball around in the backyard before dinner and in our spare time. We also look for national and college level games that the kids would enjoy watching to get them even more excited about the sport. It’s a great way to see new teams in action while spending time together as a family. We even bring along a couple of soccer balls to play with before the game and when the kids start to get antsy in their seats.
 
Soccer will no doubt be a part of our lives for some time to come. I encourage you to get out there, start kicking the ball around and see where it takes you.
 
Erin Gifford is a mother of four children and finds herself out on a soccer field just about every day in the fall. She is a member of Merck Consumer Care’s Active Family Project Play Council. She also has a family travel blog, Kidventurous, which was chosen as the Best Family Travel Blog by Parents magazine.

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The 50/50 Blog: 9.20.13

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Chris Hegardt's Effort to Play on

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ESPN created a E:60 segment about Chris Hegardt's fight with cancer. Chris plays for a club team called Surf based in San Diego. Watch and read about his struggle with cancer in order to be able to continue playing the game he loves. 
 

 

US Youth Soccer's TOPSoccer Program

 
This is a beautiful video posted online about a local TOPSoccer program based in Virginia. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability. 
 

 

Rapinoe Sisters hold Soccer Camps

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U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder and former US Youth Soccer ODP player Megan Rapinoe, along with her sister, Rachael, held a camp for youth players near our National Office in Frisco, Texas. Rapinoe (third row, far right in the photo) answered some questions about youth soccer and the Women’s National Team. Keep an eye out for a video from the event! 
 

 

Ranking the Top Five Young American Exports across the pond

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The MLS just posted this quick article about five young players in Europe that are looking to make an impact at the upcoming World Cup. Make sure you read up on these players and then keep your eyes on them on the Road to Brazil. 
 

 

Soccer on TV

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Here is Soccer America's list of games that are going to be broadcast this weekend. Take some time to flip through the list and see which games you will be able to watch. Is it ever really possible to watch too much soccer? 
 
 
 
 
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The 50/50 Blog: 9.19.13

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Youth Soccer Month Contests

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We are running some great contests during Youth Soccer Month. We're giving away a brand new Nike soccer ball each day, a Nike Backpack filled with prizes each day, as well as giving away a signed U.S. Soccer National Team Jersey weekly. Sign up daily on our Youth Soccer Month contest page for your chance to win!
 

 

Beyonce Plays Soccer with Brazilian School Kids

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While in Rio de Janeiro for her Sept. 13 performance at the Rock in Rio music festival, Beyonce (top center) paid a visit to a public school to show off her soccer skills. We love seeing celebrities take part in the game we love.
 

 

Obession with Soccer Lands Boy a Spot with US Youth Soccer ODP

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Matthew Moscatello, a Glen Crest Middle School student, had a pretty cool experience over the summer after he was chosen for the Illinois Youth Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program in Rockford. Read more about his experience here.
 

 

Parents and Coaches on Youth Sports

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Check out this great infographic we found done by Liberty Mutual that suggests parents and coaches may be on a different playing field when it comes to priorities about youth sports. See the full infographic here.
 

 

UEFA votes for 2022 winter World Cup

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European countries have given their overall backing to moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter, Britain's FIFA vice-president has confirmed. Read more here on Fox Soccer.

 

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The 50/50 Blog: 9.18.13

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UEFA Champions League Kicks-Off

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The  UEFA Champions League group stages kicked-off yesterday and there were plenty of goals to be seen. Check out the game highlights here on FoxSoccer.com
 

 

Eastside FC players invited to U-14 Girls National Camp

 
 
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Eastside FC 98 defender Zoe Milburn has been invited to the US Soccer U-14 Girls' National Team camp. Read more here. Her teammate, Joanna Harber, who was the leading scorer during Eastside's run to the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championship, was also invited to the camp. Full list here.
 

 

The Original Soccer Mom

Ever wonder what the orginal soccer mom looked like? Well here's a good image from the cover a documentary called "The Other Sport" that includes information about former U.S. Women's National Team Coach Pia Sundhage.
 
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Son of our Blogger

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Robbie Boyd, son of our Parent's Blog writer Susan Boyd, scored a goal and notched an assist in his college game this weekend. Boyd plays for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has helped the Panthers get off to a 4-0-1 start and grabbed the Horizon League's Player of the Week honors. Boyd grew up playing in the presitigious US Youth Soccer National Championship Series with the Chicago Magic (pictured above) Read more.
 

 

Sounders on Top

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The Seattle Sounders are sitting pretty on top of the MLS Power Rankings after taking down Western Conference foes Real Salt Lake. With less than two weeks to go in the MLS regular season where is your MLS team sitting in the power rankings? Find out here.
 
 
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