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The 50/50 Blog

Note:  Opinions expressed on the US Youth Soccer Blog (web log) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer). Links on this web log to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by US Youth Soccer with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of topics and issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


The 50/50 Blog: 4.18.14


Tim Howard extends stay with Everton



video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Roberto Martinez believes Tim Howard's influence off the field is as valuable as his excellence on it.

The USA international has penned a two year extension to his contract, ensuring he will remain at Goodison until 2018 at least - when he will be 39 years old.



Jojo Harber called-in for U15 National Team


Jojo Harber

Girls' U15 National Team Coach B.J. Snow was on the sidelines watching national champions Eastside FC's G98 Red play their first National League game against Pennsylvannia's Beadling Bulldogs at the Vegas Player Showcase in March. It was there he saw EFC's forward, Jojo Harber. Read more.



Gareth Bale issued mock speeding ticket



Police issue Gareth Bale with speeding ticket for ‘reckless over-taking’ in Copa Del Rey Final. Read more here.



'Daily Show,' 'Colbert Report' Staff to Compete In Celebrity Soccer Tournament




The staffs of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and John Oliver's Last Week Tonight will be among the teams slated to face off at a celebrity soccer tournament this weekend as part of NYFEST. Read more here.



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The 50/50 Blog: 4.17.14


Kick TV continues World Cup coverage


KICKTV presents the Ultimate Group G Preview "The Group of Death." Episode 2



Ecuadorian tragedy


ecuador tragedy

Many of the teams at this summer's World Cup will pin their hopes to their respective star strikers, soccer's offensive aggressors who are charged with scoring goals and keeping opponents on their heels. But Ecuador — tasked with navigating a group that includes France, Switzerland and Honduras — will be without its own star striker when the World Cup kicks off on June 12 in Brazil. Read more here.



Ring of Fire

PAOK's Toumba Stadium had so many flares were lit before a Greek Cup game against Olympiakos it looked the field was surrounded by a ring of fire. We know you are excited about the upcoming regional and national championships but please keep your flares at home. Best of luck in State Cup.


Richest American soccer owners



With the announcement from Arthur Blank as the newest owner of an MLS expansion team Soccer America takes a look at the wealthiest American soccer owners. Read more here.



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Finding the Right Balance

Sam Snow

I am a parent from Southern California and I have question.

I was wondering if you have done a story in the past or possibly consider a future story regarding the clash between Club Soccer and High School Soccer. What do the experts say about practicing twice a day? Once at high school and then at club practice? My daughter plays on a team heading to National League in 3 weeks, we asked our high school coach to let our daughter sustain from high school practice (contact drills) until she returns from North Carolina.

My daughter played varsity (goalkeeper) as a freshmen last year and was injured at high school practice. She missed nearly 90% of the high school season. I was watching high school practice last year when she was injured. The previous high school coached was running a Keeper vs Field player (One-on-One) drill for nearly an hour. As time went on the field players became more reckless. So this year as a sophomore we do not want to take a chance of our daughter getting hurt.


Coaches of elite players absolutely must educate the player and the player’s parents on striking the right balance of activity. It is also very helpful when that player’s coaches are all involved in the discussion. Connecting those coaches is the responsibility of the player. We are mistaken when we think that a teenaged player has boundless energy and therefore can play in multiple demanding soccer events. No athlete has inexhaustible energy. All athletes need recovery time from strenuous events (matches, tournaments or demanding training sessions).

The coaches of high performance players are well aware that the player is on more than one team and to act as if that’s not the case is very selfish of them. The coach who really cares about the individual player, as well as the team performance, will take into account the physical and mental demands on a high performance player who is being asked to play the most number of minutes in every match on the schedule and is likely on more than one team not only in a year, but perhaps in a season. The coach who sees the big picture will give the player good counsel on when to take time off, will put that player in regeneration sessions as it fits that players soccer schedule (even if that’s out of synch with the rest of the team) and will reach out to the player’s parents to give them facts on proper sleep, hydration, days off and nutrition for the player under heavy demands.

The coach who is interested in the player’s long term career in soccer as well as performance in the immediate season will also reach out to those other coaches to work on a sensible schedule for the high performance player. Coaches who only care about their team’s performance to the exclusion of all else will not do any of the steps just described.

It is the well-educated coach who is more likely to make the balanced decision with the player. For example the three slides below are from the U.S. Soccer “E” and “D” license coaching courses and they speak directly to over training and over playing a player or team.





Coaches have an obligation to make well informed decisions that affect players’ health.

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The 50/50 Blog: 4.16.14


Kohl's American Cup



We're three events into the 2014 US Youth Soccer Kohl's American Cup schedule with events taking place in Gilbert, Ariz., Tulsa, Okla., and Sumter S.C. If you take part in a Kohl's American Cup make sure you check out photos from your event here: Still don't know the schedule? Find when an event is coming to a town near you:



Super sub



A sub warming up on the endline makes a miraculous save on a breakaway... and then gets ejected. Despite saving the goal the transgressors team still lost 2-0.



Landon Donovan



Landon Donovan insists that the transition to playing under U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann hasn't been difficult -- but getting older has. Read more here.



All eyes on Atlanta



Major League Soccer and Atlanta are expected to announce an expansion to the league today. You can tune in today at 5 p.m. ET to watch the announcement.



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