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 […]

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 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 Allure of the Rondo

The Allure of the Rondo By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3   Call it “Piggy in the Middle”, 3v1, 5v2, 5v5+2 or any variation where a numerically superior group of players has the ball and a smaller group of players tries to win the ball back. Great players do this with precise and frenetic one-touch passes to […]

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 […]

A Dive off the Deep End

A Dive off the Deep End By: Jonathan Townsend @jon_townsend3 3/3/2014 There is something awful yet spectacular about modern altercations in football. Something suggestive of an unwritten rule that players need to touch foreheads and explode backwards like stuntmen in the climactic scene of a Michael Bay film—complete with an artistic aerial spine-snapping flailing motion. […]

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 […]

Divers Anonymous

Divers Anonymous By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 1/1/2014 Pardon the pun, but diving is an issue that needs to be tackled with the tenacity of a Billy Bremner chomp to the ankles and the severity of a Roy Keane lunge at the kneecaps. Surely, I jest, but hopefully you’ll get the point. Every football fan experiences […]