Direct and to the Point

When I was ten years old, the soccer we played was defined by short passing and individual competence. After all, most of what we played was on Californian pavement with defiant weeds poking through the cracks. We played nearly every day either informally or with an organized team and from what I remember both environments […]

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 […]

The Importance of Sacrifice

After a recent men’s league game I overheard a young man (probably in the 14-16 age range) tell a buddy, “I can’t believe my parents are late to pick me up! Seriously, what the hell is wrong with just being on time?” The buddy, who was also waiting said, “Who cares? They’ll be here. Let’s go back […]

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 Lost Art of Defending

THE LOST ART OF DEFENDING: WHY SO ATTACKING? What has happened to the classic defense-first mentality among defenders? We examine the negative impact that the lost art of defending has had on the modern game.  By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 In an age where attacking players exude an unrivaled degree of balance and explosive athleticism, there exists an […]

The Me In Team

When Johan Cruyff described the basis of Total Football, he really described team football in two sentences: “Simple football is the most beautiful. But playing simple football is the hardest thing.” With a history of talismanic and mercurial superstars, football is still a game that celebrates the individual whose brilliance is only made possible by […]