U.S. women’s soccer: The fight for 18 in 2016

You would think the shrinking of the national team roster from the Women’s World Cup (23 players) to the Olympics (18) means some veterans get left home and less experienced players have trouble breaking through. But a rash of retirements has...

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Single-Digit Soccer: The elite-industrial complex crushes all

Why do we play youth sports? We’re here because you’re looking for the BEST of the BEST of the BEST, SIR! “Your boy Captain America here … to find the BEST of the BEST of the BEST, SIR! … with honors.” … Co...

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A quick word on pro/rel

Yes, I know. We should be done with this topic for another few years at least. But every once in a while, I come across some sincere conversation about this, picked out from the ritual abuse and accusations that I’m … Continue reading &r...

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Making the Club World Cup interesting

You’re not watching the Club World Cup? You’re not engrossed in every game? No one is. And that’s a pity, because it’s a grand idea poorly executed. Want to make it more interesting? Spread it out like the Davis Cup. … ...

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The tough turf questions to ask after the WNT cancellation

The U.S. women’s national team will not play Trinidad & Tobago today. The cancellation is the stunning but fair conclusion to yesterday’s news that Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL in training and the team was less than pleased with the &he...

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The ideal MLS playoff format, 2015 edition

“Get rid of the away-goal tiebreaker!” “Have a minigame after the second game!” “I miss shootouts!” Yes, it’s that time of year. Even the commissioner, Don Garber, has fretted about the away-goal tiebreaker. ...

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Single-Digit Soccer: The bond of a rec team

My U12 House league team finished its season on a chilly, windy Saturday morning, completing a four-team mini-tournament with a win on penalty kicks. After the game, the parents gave me a photo book. The joy of the season was … Continue readin...

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Single-Digit Soccer: The challenge of finding a properly challenging level

The book Coaching Outside the Box: Changing the Mindset in Youth Soccer has a chapter with best-case and worst-case scenarios for moving up and facing a tougher level of competition. The best case is a nice tale of a U11 boy … Continue readin...

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