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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The “Best” Myth

A swirling autumn wind ripped across the aluminum bleachers as I took a seat to watch a local high school soccer game. I generally don’t enjoy watching high school soccer because of the slovenly way the game is played at this level. I knew what I would see would be rough version of soccer fluctuating […]

The Futsal Shadows

The Futsal Shadows By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 Football has and will always be a game of contrasting styles, evolving philosophies of play and trendy paradigms that captivate the world only to be emulated, bastardized, found out, and written off as obsolete. There was a day when direct, Route One football was all the rage (for […]

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line By: Jonathan Townsend @jon_townsend3 March 18, 2014 Football is the physical manifestation of pure passion on the pitch. The modern game’s stakes are increasing at an alarming rate as the season becomes more unforgivable. The pressure on each player’s shoulders is matched by the blood pressure of the managers on the touchline. […]

Taking Football to the Streets — Part II

Taking Football To The Streets Part Two In part two of a special feature looking at taking football back to the streets, Jon Townsend interviews John Farnworth on his remarkable journey into freestyle football. By Jonathan Townsend | 4 March 2014 Every footballer has their own story. Some are more akin to war stories of […]

Taking Football to the Streets — Part I

Taking Football To The Streets Part One In a stunning follow-up to his acclaimed 10,000 Touches article, Jonathan Townsend looks at taking the game back to the streets and interviews freestyle football legend, Edward Van Gils. By Jonathan Townsend | 3 March 2014 A heavy rain and the repeated chops, turns, and drags of my […]

The League of Shadows

The League of Shadows By: Jon Townsend Since its inception at the start of 1992-93 season, the Premier League has redefined the global branding of football. In a league known for its pace, power and competitiveness, the game has thrived with higher attendance figures, television monies and a massive injection of foreign finances and talent. […]

10,000 Touches

In the summer of 2001, I was fortunate enough to train in Holland for close to 16 weeks, playing with a local team from Enschede in friendlies and tournaments. I saw how young Dutch players trained, prepared and learned the game. One morning, after playing a few hours of street football, I rode my bike […]