Athlete [Re]defined

Athlete [Re]defined By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 “If only our best athletes played soccer…” When I see or hear this phrase my skin crawls. Why? Because these are the words of someone who “has it all figured out” regarding the American game. I’ve promised myself time and time again that I wouldn’t entertain this topic, but […]

Flip the Script 

“Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.”  -Mike Tyson Think about what that means and ask yourself how many times you’ve been punched in the mouth and left to pick your teeth up off the pavement. Take that as literally or figuratively as you want — that’s the tone of this […]

Chasing the Leprechaun

Think about your first “wow” moment in the game. Many who love the game experienced that introductory moment of absolute magic while watching one of the world’s best players or teams, but I want to you reach farther back and hone in on that moment outside the professional game. Admittedly, it’s difficult to find a […]

Passing is not Optional

What You Need To Know: Communication and passing are inextricably linked. Any player can do one or the other. Players and teams that master the use of both are well-suited to produce better results, attain a better level of play, and have happier players with more involvement in the play. There should be no conflict […]

Whatever It Takes

“You want to play on a real team? A team of real players who need real competition?” The questions were rapid fire. I tried not to think too hard as I wiped my brow after an indoor game at a place in Palatine, Illinois called Soccer City. “Yeah, I think so,” I said. A man […]

The Culture Wars of American Soccer

If you’ve played, coached, or watched soccer at any level in the United States and Canada then you’ve seen the worst pregame warm-up activity imaginable — the shooting line. The activity itself is a microcosm of the pedestrian misappropriation of the world’s game. Youth team coaches are guilty of allowing all of the players regardless […]

The Disconnect of the [North] American Game

[North] American soccer is an anomaly in the most peculiar ways. For a country that has yet to produce a single world class player, it sure expects to produce world class soccer. Why? Americans, especially those involved or invested in soccer, are guilty of coveting the result without respecting the process. Translation: People actually think […]

Shattering the Broken Cycle

“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Read up on what others have done.” To me, this means doing what the best footballing nations are doing at the grassroots level first, then addressing it at the National Team level. American soccer has this really nasty habit of believing itself infallible. Why does American soccer have to […]

It’s Not About the Shoes

“It’s 15 degrees outside and it’s snowing, you know that right?” I nod and continue fishing through my closet for cold weather gear before telling my wife I’d be back in a few hours. “Have fun!” she says with a sarcastic tone that suggests she’s convinced herself that her husband is insane — and I […]