Is US Soccer Holding Back The Growth Of The Beautiful Game In America?
The amateur USL Premier Development League club Ocean City Nor'easters have made history by beating their 5th professional team in their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup runs.
Support the Ocean City Nor'easters on Twitter @ocnoreasters and show US Soccer that they cannot cheat on behalf of the MLS power teams.
Rutgers Coach Fired… I’ve Seen Worse, Just Not At College Or On A Loop On ESPN
The first thought that went through my head when I saw the video of former Rutgers Basketball Head Coach Mike Rice screaming at, shoving and kicking his players was that he is a typical American sports coach. As bad as this sounds you can easily take away the word American and be left with the overly physical, overly shouty coach spouting expletives in any language seen all around the world, however, this particular situation is unique to the American system.
Nobody Just Plays Anymore!!
One thing has struck me more than anything about kids these days (And before I sound too old and out of touch I am only 28!). But the one thing about kids these days is that they don’t play. Not in the traditional sense of the word and it is holding back their development.
The Future Rise and Fall Of College Soccer
College soccer will only get better… until it becomes irrelevant again
By nearly all metrics, be it stadium attendances, TV audience or participation, soccer is growing in popularity in the USA at all ages. This is great news for the professional level long-term but only good for the college game in the short-term.
Concussions In Youth Soccer On NBC
Pretending To Care, Intending To Scare
With the sad suicide death of NFL player Junior Seau became known and the media’s immediate, knee jerk reaction to the taking of his own life being connected to the hits to the head he took as a sportsman questions have begun to be raised around other sports such as soccer and brain injury.
Unfortunately, rather than a sensible conversation (those days are gone) the media have gone out and declared that you will get a brain injury if you head the ball – see NBC’s awful report (http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rock-center/47364254/#47364254
). 11 minutes of time given to the “fear the soccer ball team”, 1 minute given to ex-World Cup player Brandi Chastain who gives the other side of the story. Not really a balanced film. Pretending to care, intending to scare.
What the English can learn from America?!?!
That’s right, I said it. What can the English learn from America? As an Englishman myself the first answer that springs to mind is of course… nothing, especially when it comes to soccer, the game we invented and you changed the name. However, when looking at the problems of the game in England, focusing on youth development, there are areas in which the US, probably without realizing it, are ahead of their English counterparts.
2012 Christmas Reading Book Review
Over the Christmas break I try to get as much reading done as I can to make up for the year when I find reasons not to read. It also helps that my family tend to buy me books for Christmas and then realize that I cannot take them back to New Jersey as they weigh a ton. I’m still yet to get on board the Kindle bandwagon but I’m sure it won’t be too long, however, I still like the idea of showing off the book collection in your house (like you used to with CDs before iTunes) for friends who stop by and suddenly realize how smart and enlightened you are. I try my best not to completely geek out on soccer books when I read but a lot of the time I can’t help it.
Racism In English Soccer
Far removed from bananas thrown on the field, fans aren't racists anymore, just the players are (apparently)
So it is Christmas, the time of goodwill to all men (but not women sadly), nut not in England. The term racist is handed out with too much ease in today’s English society perpetuated by the sensationalist press and the media’s decision that they must listen to every persons twitter feed. Right now English soccer, and by extension wider society, has embroiled itself in race rows. First Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, then Chelsea and England captain John Terry and now, absurdly, soccer pundit Alan Hansen.
Chelsea v Man City - December 2011
My unbiased view of super Chelsea FC
Last night (Monday Dec 12th) I was lucky enough to get a ticket to Chelsea v Man City, sitting (although didn’t actually sit at any part of the game) in the Matthew Harding Stand lower, just 6 rows from the goal line. Close enough to abuse Balotelli and see the cup of tea thrown at him after he stood and celebrated in front of us, close enough to explain to Joe Hart that what he just did wasn’t up to standard, close enough to almost catch a Sturridge shot (accidently palmed it into the face of the guy behind me) and close enough to jump up and down like a kid when Lampard smashed home the winner from the spot, I was freezing, wet and an hour and 3 trains from my nice warm house but I was ecstatic.
The Elite Players Performance Plan will rip out the heart of English soccer
The EPPP will now replace the current tribunal system, which assesses player valuations based on evidence from each club. The new system will mean a selling club is paid £3,000 per year for every year of a player's development between the ages of nine and 11. The fee per year from 12 to 16 will range between £12,500 and £40,000. Top clubs will also be exempted from the current rules preventing them from signing under-16s who live more than 90 minutes' travelling distance away (or an hour for under-12s), allowing them to scout and sign players from anywhere in the country.
Multi-Sport Athletes: Saints or Sinners?
After almost two years being involved in the South Jersey League and Super Y-League levels of soccer in south Jersey I have seen the disruption to a team multi-sport players can cause. I have lost players to baseball, basketball and not just to scheduling conflicts but to muscle strain injuries sustained at those sports and exhaustion caused by them.
As a professional soccer coach in this situation I should be of the opinion that the more time a player spends at soccer practices the better. In fact that is not the case. When I am coaching these young players I am not aiming to win the game, the league or the tournament. I am trying to develop them into better soccer players, better athletes to increase their chances of performing at their highest level at the age when it really matters such as earning a college scholarship or gaining a professional contract.
American Youth Sports Coaches and Institutions Set The Child Up To Fail In Adulthood
It hit me over the weekend that the American winning is the most important thing attitude is not on the extreme spectrum of the nuttiest sports coach but seeps into all levels and ages of youth sports. Many coaches I have seen over the past year and a half I have been in south Jersey put a lot of lip service to ‘having fun is the most important part of youth sports’ mantra but a lot really mean that it’s no fun losing so to have fun you have to be winning. I find it a sad part of American sports that player development is forgotten at a young age. Sports leagues and sporting institutions put such a regard on winning that two things tend to happen, when players reach adulthood there is no love for the game and players abilities have been artificially inflated and the player is not as good as they were told and thought they were.
It Takes Balls Not Brains To Play This Game
The Battle To Overcome Anti-Intellectualism In Soccer
Over the past year or so I have gradually been drawn into the world of science and data in sports.
I was first exposed to this while I was at the University of Brighton with my housemates taking Sports & Exercise Science degrees while I stuck to my Sociology of Sports. What I saw from my housemates, especially when they used me as a guinea pig, was science being used in sports, mostly to test athletes. That was fine but recently I have seen that next step to how science (from maths and economics to physics, bio-chemistry and physiology) can improve the sport, club and sportsmen that I love.
Everyone competes and nobody wins!!!! Welcome to soccer in America
One thing that has really jumped out at me about soccer in the US is that there is no organized structure that runs it from head to toe. In England, the FA are in control of or have a hand in virtually everything to do with soccer. From grassroots youth through amateur men’s leagues and the professional game. There is a distinct lack of pyramid style structure here in the states. As a consequence this means that the US Men’s National Team suffers more than anyone.
FIFA – Family At War
If anybody in FIFA or around the world wanted to know how powerful and ruthless Sepp Blatter is, we just found out.
I have been interested in the inner workings of soccer’s international governing body since I was at University and I read my lecturer’s book called BADFELLAS – FIFA Family At War. John Sugden and Alan Tomlinson were my sociology lecturers and had been digging into FIFA for the last 5 years. Some of the information they found was incredible. FIFA, of course, didn’t like the book and tried to have it banned, they sued the authors but that just allowed Sugden and Tomlinson to counter-sue naming Blatter in the litigation (ensuring that it will never go to court!!)
What has Iceland ever given us – that was good!!!
In recent years, all Iceland (that small island in the North Atlantic) has given us is plane delays thanks to their volcanic ash clouds. It made me wonder what good has come out of this desolate, wind battered nation.
Being A Soccer Supporter Hurts
A commentator on the last game I watched said “hope is what will kill a football supporter”, Chelsea had just pulled a goal back against Manchester United. I felt like I was treading water, could see the rescue boat but the line they threw was too short and then I heard the final whistle and the boat sank with me. If only it was that quick!!
Soccer dominates the highest paid player salaries in all of sports… is that a good thing?
ESPN showed the highest paid annual and weekly salaries for players in all sports. Surprisingly to many Americans, soccer topp
ed the charts and dominated the top 10. The Yankees, Lakers and Red Sox were in there too. Real Madrid and Barcelona were the top two highest paying team.
In the self styled ultra Capitalist America, why are your sports so Socialist?
This is something that I have always, (well since I learned what those big words meant), thought was odd. It is even more noticeable these days how Capitalist the US is with the rabid Tea Partyers loving up Capitalism and decrying anything that they deem not up to their free market ideals yet they still love the NFL, Major League Baseball and the like.
Why does nobody ever agree when talking about sports??
Listening to ESPN radio as well as other sports chat radio stations when I am closer to Philadelphia it has confirmed my assumption that sports reporters never agree on anything!! It winds me up that they argue over every tiny detail. The player, manager or team that they are discussing is either great or awful, hall of fame candidate or a disgrace.
Just As I Was Warming To US Soccer Fans!!!!
I was excited about another weekend of top soccer, then I realized it was the international break and I lost my excitement. It’s not that I don’t like international games, I do, it’s just we are into the business end of the Premier League and the pressure at the top and bottom is rising to boiling point.
Nevertheless, I saw that I could have an enjoyable afternoon of US soccer (after my coaching duties of course) thanks to the MLS not having a break for internationals. I could watch the Union and then USA v Argentina. The Union won a pretty scrappy game, I was in and out of the game watching in-between checking on my dinner. I like the way the Union play but they were not allowed to get the ball down and pass like they had in their opening game. Then we moved onto the main event, USA v Argentina. Lionel Messi was going to be the star of the show (and looked sensational) but everyone apart from the Americans seem to know it was a friendly game. An exhibition. From the first whistle the US couldn’t get close to the ball and Argentina moved it around with ease, the Americans were just chasing blue and white shadows. Then the team in the new red jerseys got all irritated that they couldn’t get the ball and started flying in with some stupid challenges that were going to hurt someone. From that point I realized the US do not do friendlies.
MLS Opening Weekend (now to keep up the passion and support)
The MLS began this 2011 season with not so much a bang but a loud yelling noise. The sports broadcasters will not fund the BANG but the MLS are forcing through and letting everyone know they are here to stay.
"You call this soccer?" You Better Be Able To Back Up That Trash Talk
By Steve Thurlby
As the NCAA March Madness is about to kick off I wanted to write something about one of my biggest pet peeves, TRASH TALK!! Basketball is full of it and it will annoy me every time I see or hear it over the course of this tournament. Luckily for me none of the teams I coach talk trash, I have heard it in practices and I have nipped it in the bud right away.
Introducing ... Steve Thurlby's "You call this soccer?" blog
By Steve Thurlby
As a coach with Ocean City FC Nor’easters soccer club, ideas have been banded around as to how we can improve almost all aspects of the company. Some ideas were good, some were not so and others were scrapped as soon as the words left their lips. However, one idea stuck in my head, writing a blog focusing on US soccer.
Who is Steve Thurlby?
I grew up my whole life in the small town of Fleet, Hampshire in the south of England. I was born with a soccer ball at my feet and became a Chelsea supporter, I feel it is important to say which tribe I belong too.
I grew up playing soccer for fun, in school and with local clubs. I started playing organized youth soccer at Crookham Rovers before making the cross town move to the mighty Fleet Spurs, the Premier League equivalent of Tevez from Manchester United to Manchester City. I was always a good player but rarely the best player in the team until my last few years. At 16 years old I enjoyed playing for Fleet Spurs U17s, College team and the Fleet Spurs Men’s reserve team, I guess I had the legs then to play 3 times a week
Steve Thurlby wonders ... why is it called soccer?
By Steve Thurlby
Ok, here we go, first proper blog, might as well get the white elephant in the room to disperse, why is it called soccer here in the United States?