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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: 10.31.13

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween from us at US Youth Soccer! Make sure as you share your soccer Halloween photos and tag them with #UsysHalloween so that we can share them with everyone!
 

Seattle vs Colorado

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The Colorado Rapids faced the Seattle Sounders last night in the opening Knockout Round game of the MLS Playoffs. Read here to see who won and see the goals.
 

 

Amirgy Pineda

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Amirgy Pineda, who plays for Fullerton (Calif.) Rangers, in the US Youth Soccer National League, and the U.S. under-18 national team, has been invited to take part in the Nike Chance Global Showcase Nov. 1-4 at St. George’s Park, the English Football Association's national center in Burton upon Trent. Read more here.
 

 

 Asphalt into Turf

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After more than a decade of providing after-school programs that combine soccer and poetry at Bay Area schools, America Scores has launched a campaign to build micro-soccer artificial turf fields at 18 San Francisco schools. Learn more here.

 

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The 50/50 Blog: 10.30.13

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Albion SC Girls

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Over their eight years, these girls have seen success at every level, including CSL, Cal South and Far West Regional League. More recently they took top honors playing up at the Disney PUMA Showcase in Orlando, Florida. In mid-October, this elite team traveled to Sweden to compete internationally courtesy of PUMA. This Albion SC girls team will also be participating in the US Youth Soccer National League that starts in December. Learn More here.
 

 

SDSU baseball players in costume

 
 
Members of the SDSU baseball team took part in the annual Halloween Baseball Contest and Game on Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Did any of you dress up for soccer practice this week?
 

 

Penalty kick fail

 
 
Don't get fancy from the spot, just slot it home!
 

 

Another penalty kick miss

 
 
ATSV Stadl-Paura led 5-1 SK Altheim when it was awarded a penalty kick. The TV commentator accused the players who conjured the trick play of "watching too much YouTube." Well, now they're on YouTube. 
 
 
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Youth Tournament Soccer

Sam Snow

I received this question from the US Youth Soccer Facebook page from a parent in Manassas, Virginia.
 
"Hi, my family is new to youth tournament soccer so I wanted to check something out. The kids played 4 half games yesterday. Today, depending on seeding, they will play one to 3 full length games. Is this standard? These kids play really hard and I question the safety of this. Is this just standard in soccer...3 hours of hard play in one day? I saw kids playing on sore feet after 2 hours yesterday. These kids are playing in Herndon today and I'm just concerned we will have a lot of unnecessary injuries, but maybe I don't know the sport."
 
While the tournament situation described is not standard it does not surprise me given the number of bad decisions by adults in youth soccer. At the most teams should play one full match per day at a tournament. Even that is too much stress on the body if games take place for consecutive days. The human body needs 48 to 72 hours to fully recover from strenuous exercise. This is why you see at least three days between matches in the Olympics and the World Cup. The State Association Technical Directors of US Youth Soccer have released this Position Statement on tournaments.
 
TOURNAMENT PLAY
 
We believe that excessive play at competitive tournaments is detrimental to individual growth and development, and can serve to reduce long-term motivation. Do not multiple matches being played on one day and one weekend have a negative effect on the quality experience and development of the individual player? Further, far too many playing schedules include so many tournaments and matches that there is never an "off season." We believe that players under the age of twelve should not play more than 100 minutes per day, and those players older than thirteen should not play more than 120 minutes per day.
 
We also recommend to tournament managers and schedulers:
  • The players should be allowed ample rest between matches.
  • That all tournament matches be of the same length and that no full-length match be introduced during play-off rounds.
  • Kick-off times allow players a reasonable opportunity to prepare for competition. This encompasses rest and recovery, nutrition and adequate time to warm-up and stretch after traveling a long distance in addition to taking into consideration extreme environmental conditions.
Here are two related Statements from the national State Association Technical Directors.
 
FESTIVALS FOR PLAYERS UNDER 10
 
We believe that Soccer Festivals should replace soccer tournaments for all players under the age of ten. Festivals feature a set number of minutes per event (e.g., 10 games X 10 minutes) with no elimination and no ultimate winner. We also endorse and support the movement to prohibit U10 teams from traveling to events that promote winning and losing and the awarding of trophies.

STATE, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL COMPETITION FOR U12’S
 
We believe that youth soccer is too competitive at the early ages, resulting in an environment that is detrimental to both players and adults; much of the negative behavior reported about parents is associated with preteen play. The direct and indirect pressure exerted on coaches and preteen players to win is reinforced by state "championships" and tournament "winners." We therefore advocate that, in the absence of regional competition for under 12’s, state festivals replace state cups. We also strongly recommend that with regard to regional and national competition the entry age group should be U14.
 
 

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The 50/50 Blog: 10.29.13

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MLS Playoffs

MLS Playoffs

The 2013 MLS Playoffs start tomorrow and Wednesday with play-in games. Who will be hoisting the MLS Cup at the end of it all? See the bracket here.
 

 

College Soccer Top 25

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Another week, another set of Soccer America Weekly College Rankings. Check them out.
 

 
 

2014 US Youth Workshop Schedule

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The schedule is now available for the 2014 US Youth Soccer Workshop, held in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention, which will take place Jan. 15-19, 2014 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia — bringing thousands of coaches, administrators, referees and soccer enthusiasts together in one place. Find the schedule here.
 

 

US Youth Soccer Instagram

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Check out our Instagram feed and see what new US Youth Soccer pictures are up. We'd love to share YOUR pictures so tag them with #USYouthSoccer and we'll share our favorites.
 

 

#UsysHalloween

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We want to see your halloween costumes this year, especially your soccer inspired ones! Tag your photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #UsysHalloween so we can create an album of Halloween photos from you. Look at last year's album here.
 
 
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