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Coaches Blog

Sam's Blog is a bi-weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam Snow is the Coaching Director for US Youth Soccer.

 

The Player's Game

Sam Snow

The Player's Game

By Chris Panayiotou, Developmental Director of Coaching - Virginia Rush Soccer Club

Football, soccer, voetball the player’s game?

I dream of being like my heroes Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney, ah the fame

I dream that 80,000-90,000 fans are screaming my name,

I want to ask the stars, with all those people screaming your name….

How does this affect your game?

How do you think?

When coach yells, the sidelines screams directions I just freeze and shrink

 

They say that soccer is the player’s game

I just can't concentrate when the adults yell my name

I want to play where it's nice and quiet

Not where a referee misses a call and induces a riot

I want to play where I'm free to make mistakes

Not when that happens the adult berates

 

The parents yell boot it, punt it, whack it clear

I just want to dribble keep the ball near

After all, the ball is the world’s favorite toy

I am not a grown man, just a small boy

 

People are yelling pass, pass, pass

Tell me dribble and I will be the top of my class

I want to dribble and touch the ball

I want to be free from the noise and try it all

 

Dad when you were young how and what did you play?

Did your parents come and watch you, what did they say?

The ride home is at times what I dread

Because what you say I should do, is not what coach said

 

Today is my day, to learn and embrace,

All that I can from my coach and teammates.

From me to you, and you to me,

The way forward is clear to see.

These six words mean the world to me.

Mom, Dad, there is no better way for you to say,

"I loved watching you play today."

These words I hear, and never fear are true and kind and full of cheer.

 

Kick around with me, show me what to do

Let me take part in pick-up games like you used to

 

I am still a young person not a professional player

I need support and praise not a nay-sayer

Thank my teachers and coaches for their time

They are trying to help my skills be sublime

 

Praise my effort, grit, determination and will

Let me develop, try new things, gain a skill

Sit back, relax, enjoy this ride

This is my journey let me fill you with pride

 

 

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For Love of Country

Susan Boyd

This week the United States Women’s National Team marched decisively toward qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup by winning the CONCACAF Championship. The top three teams automatically earn a berth and the fourth place team will participate in a play-off against a CONMEBOL team (South America) for one last spot that the two leagues share. Presently, they are ranked as the top women’s team in the world. The World Cup will be played June 6 – July 5, 2015 across Canada. Having watched the CONCACAF games, I’m impressed with the quality of soccer. The matches have so much to offer youth players. While we focus on the male superstars, we too often forget the level of soccer that women play. Skill, team tactics, determination, power, and spectacular performances come together with the women’s matches. These are great opportunities for youth players, both girls and boys, to witness some of the brightest and most athletic players in the world practice their craft.

I mention all of this because having the World Cup in Canada means it’s more accessible to us than any of the upcoming Men’s World Cups. In 2018, the men will play in Russia. Who knows what our relationship will be with Russia by then given recent world events. I also remember the 1980 Olympics in Moscow that America boycotted, so there’s a precedent for not participating due to politics. The 2022 World Cup will be in Qatar in the heart of summer, so heat will be a tremendous factor. Again, we may find politics playing a role in who attends the event, to the point some teams may not feel safe to participate. The Middle East will hopefully settle down by then, but it may also explode further. Given that backdrop, Canada will be quiet, safe and manageable for families and teams.

Soccer fans support and promote the men’s game, yet some of the most athletic and amazing players come from the “fairer sex.” When looking at World Cup records, women stand equal with the men, and several women surpass the men in the number of consecutive World Cups and goals. Nail-biter games have elevated the Women’s World Cup. In 2011, the U.S. lost to Japan in an extra-time game that had breathtaking moments of great play and close calls. They beat China in 1999 in a double overtime game that was decided by penalty kicks. In six Women’s World Cups, the U.S. has won twice and come in either second or third in the other four years. It’s a pretty amazing record, one that promises to continue next year. This is all the more reason for young fans to come watch live matches at such a high international level that are at our doorstep. The United States obviously has an amazing team, but Japan, Brazil, Germany, Norway and Sweden have top squads that offer intense competition and crowd-pleasing play. Certainly, you can watch these games on TV, and at a bare minimum that’s what we soccer families should be doing. But given this great opportunity to go see matches live, I’m hoping parents and youth soccer clubs will seize the good fortune the locations offer.

FIFA, through Ticketmaster, tender a number of ticket packages that include a full pass and a half pass to the venues across Canada. Those who purchase the packages will have the first chance to buy tickets to the finals on July 5 in Vancouver. Specific seats for the packages will not be available until November, so right now all packages can be obtained. However, once the teams are selected and the venues where those teams will play announced, ticket sales will pick up and sell out quickly. You can either take a chance now to buy passes for a stadium close to you or you can wait for the schedule and risk not getting good seats or even any seats. United States matches will sell out quickly. You can get tickets through this link at FIFA www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/organisation/ticketing/. As a warning, you will only have two minutes to complete your order, so have your credit card ready before you open up the site. Group sales are available through the same link if your youth team wants to attend some games. One last warning, remember that you now need a passport or a passport card to travel to and from Canada, so if you don’t have one of those documents for everyone in your party, you should apply now. Passport cards are the least expensive and get you into Canada and Mexico for land crossings as well as the Caribbean and Bermuda sea ports but not for air travel to any of those locations. 

The drama, athleticism, and excitement of international soccer isn’t limited to the men’s teams. For a much more reasonable cost and considerably easier travel, you and your family can attend the top level of international competition. While we have to separate the men and women due to some physical differences in strength and force, there is no real separation in skill and team tactics. The chance to participate in a world-class event will be available just north of us in a country that speaks English, has a currency close to our own, and a pleasant summer climate. You couldn’t ask for a better family soccer trip. These women do have professional options but at far lower pay than any of the men make. If you go, you will be witnessing the dedication and passion of soccer from players who do it more for love of the sport than for wages and endorsements. That kind of intensity for country and sport argues for some really special competition where youth players can see the best that the world offers and the heart it takes to be the best.

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The 50/50 Blog: 10.27.14

Stickley

USWNT wins women's CONCACAF crown

 

 

 

The U.S. WNT rolled past Costa Rica 6-0 to win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship crown.

 


 

Bradley Wright Phillips ties season goal scoring record

 

A critical match for the shape of the Eastern Conference matchups in the MLS Cup Playoffs concluded the 2014 regular season Sunday evening as Sporting Kansas City played host to the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park.

 


 

Incredible futsal goal

 

Japan’s Yuki Morata seizes a turnover, nutmegs a defender, sizes up the soon to be helpless Guatemalan keeper, and that’s when things really heat up.

 


 

El Clasico Highlights

 

Real Madrid defeated Barcelona in Luis Suarez' season debut.

 

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The 50/50 Blog: 10.24.14

Stickley

SKC bows out

 

Two days after the Portland Timbers, needing as little as a one-goal loss to advance, fell at Olimpia of Honduras to exit Concacaf Champions League, Sporting Kansas City exited when it lost to Saprissa of Costa Rica, 2-0.

 


 

This makes us sad

 

 

We can't even imagine what the penalty taker must feel after slipping here.

 


 

USWNT vs Mexico

 

WambachHaiti

The US women's national team can punch their ticket to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada in today’s matchup with Mexico (7:30 ET; Fox Sports 1) in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Read more.

 


 

Aron Johannsson

 

aron jo

Aron Johannsson made his long-awaited return Monday by finding the back of the net. Read more here.

 

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