Rule or Be Ruled

Watch this first.  How much training is too much? Well, the whole question in itself is subjective as one person’s threshold might be the next person’s training zone. The term “over-training” is thrown around weight rooms like discarded bumper plates and it’s avoided in soccer circles because most people are too scared to push their limits. […]

The Game is Free

“There is a time and place for organized soccer, but if that is all players play, then enjoyment, creativity, leadership, and fun will have to be ‘coached’ into players, instead of being developed organically” I have this memory of my father showing me a clip of Pelé juggling a grapefruit when I was a boy […]

Assessing College Soccer

For players growing up in the United States, the opportunity and possibility of playing for a high-profile and high-calibre university has long been the end goal. During a player’s teenage years either playing high school soccer or for a competitive club, they learn that statistics matter more than performance. Yes, for recruiting purposes, statistics supersede […]

The Captain Before the Armband

It’s often the players who seek the elusive who find only the ‘what might have been’s’ in football. Some players are simply part of the wrong generation. This generation is one where club loyalty is a rarity and a nation’s World Cup hopes didn’t hinge solely upon expectation, but rather continue to sway in the […]

A Simple Game in a Complex World

A Simple Game in a Complex World By: Jon Townsend Soccer: It’s really a simple game in a complex world. The year was 2001, and I sat in my high school cafeteria with my buddies and I noticed many of the prestigious and not-so-prestigious national and regional universities had ceased their visits to our school. […]

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Game

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Game By: Jon Townsend  @jon_townsend3 We can look at the United States’ victory over Ghana in Natal through rose-tinted glasses and be happy with a job well done. Three points in the bag against all odds (cue Phil Collins) and on to the next game. Clint Dempsey scored a classy […]

Losing Ugly

Losing Ugly By: Jon Townsend I’ve sat there with you, watching each team’s wingers burn up and down the pitch, the center midfielders operate as true terriers in every sense of the word while the defenders maraud around chasing shadows and smashing each striker’s shins. We hoped we’d win but knew we could lose. So […]

A Place to Call Home

This article first appeared on http://www.thesefootballtimes.net on April 21, 2014.  A Place to Call Home By: Jon Townsend   The sunshine, the banging of drums, and the green, blue, and white-paneled Mitre Ultimax soccer ball are images that remind of Saturday, April 6, 1996 in San Jose, California as Major League Soccer kicked off its […]

The General’s Death

This content was written for http://www.thesefootballtimes.net and appeared there first on April 4, 2014.  The General’s Death By: Jonathan Townsend   I recently found myself watching a replay of the 1988 FA Cup Final between the ‘Crazy Gang’ of Wimbledon and a heavily-favoured Liverpool side on late-night television. As the footage cut out, I flipped […]

Up in the Air

Up in the Air: Is it Time to for MLS to Hit its Ceiling? Since its inception in 1996, Major League Soccer (MLS) has become a league many thought would implode in its infancy. As the 2014 season approaches, the league’s vitality is increasing while the number of teams in MLS has more than doubled. […]