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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: 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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The 50/50 Blog: 9.17.13

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Welcome to the '50/50 Blog'

We hope that everyone enjoys this new blog and we hope that we can share some things that are relevant and some other things that are just fun and inspirational. Here's a picture so you can get to know some of us a bit better. If you see any content you think would fit well on the blog let us know at support@usyouthsoccer.org.
 

 

Youth Soccer Month

In case you didn't know, September is Youth Soccer Month! We are giving away some great prizes and there are some great events going on during the month! Make sure you enter to win one of our daily prizes and you use this month to just enjoy the beautiful game.
 

 

Looking for New Cleats?

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Stand Out in all conditions with the new hi-visibility colors from Nike Soccer! We're positive these are some of the brightest and boldest colorways that have ever been released.
 

 

Triad Elite in the News

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Triad Elite 96 (NC) finished second at the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup in just their first year. Watch here.
 

 

Brandi Chastain: The Ultimate Super Mom!

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Access Hollywood ran a great article recently on Brandi Chastain. It's hard to believe it’s been 14 years since Brandi’s iconicWorld Cup moment! Now, 45, she’s a mother to a 7-year-old son Jaden and 23-year-old stepson Cameron with husband Jerry Smith. She’s still active on the soccer scene and wants to get kids everywhere playing. Read more about how Chastain is a super mom.
 

 

Oooops!

It's never fun to have one of those embarassing moments during a soccer game, and especially not one where you feel you have to apologize to the fans for such a poor miss! Fox Soccer shares a video of what happened with this Algerian league player. Think how you would feel if this happened to you.
 
 

 

The Feel-Good Story of the Day

Last fall, we posted a story about FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz helping someone in need by donating bone marrow. ESPN recently ran a story on E:60 about another talented young athlete who did the same thing to help a young girl halfway across the world have a chance to live.
 

 

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Leightweight Soccer Ball

Sam Snow

New in the American soccer marketplace is the availability of lightweight size 4 and 5 soccer balls.  They are the same circumference as regular soccer balls of those sizes, but not as heavy. Now that has some intriguing possibilities for youth soccer player development.

Young players whose ball skills are still primitive could use a larger ball. The larger ball has a bigger "sweet spot" and it’s easier to track its movement, especially when bouncing or in the air. These facts are especially true for the U6 and U8 age groups. The problem with them using a size 4 or 5 ball is that it’s too heavy for them to dribble for very long or shoot at the goal from far away, much less to make a pass. With that in mind we have been using a size 3 ball for the two youngest age groups in organized youth soccer.

With the lightweight ball young players could expand their ball skills at a quicker rate. Take the U10 and U12 age groups for example. With a lightweight size 5 ball they could have that larger "sweet spot" but also be able to play longer passes, shoot from farther away from the goal and make crosses to the far post. With the lightweight size 4 or 5 ball players in these two age groups could add the air game into their repertoire sooner in their developmental timeline. The lightweight ball might alleviate some children’s anxiety with receiving the ball out of the air or to head the ball. Skills such as chipping and volley shots become more realistic for the U12 player using a lightweight ball.

There may be one pitfall to the lightweight ball though. Because many players will be able to hit the ball farther it may encourage them, and some coaches, to fall deeper into the abyss of kickball style soccer. Kick-n-run soccer is not in the best interest of the American player.

Whether you use the lightweight soccer ball in just your training sessions or in your matches too, I encourage you to give the ball a try as another component of player development.

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