When Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli announced his final 23-man roster for the World Cup, he didn't call on one of the hottest strikers on the planet. Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi tied Lazio's Ciro Immobile for golden boot honors in Serie A, scoring 29 goals in 34 games during the 2017-18 season. Instead of being rewarded for a stellar season, Icardi joined the unenviable list of World Cup snubs.
For the first time ever, the FIFA World Cup will utilize video replays after voting unanimously to adopt the system back in March. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is most prominently used in Italy’s Serie A, Germany’s Bundesliga and MLS, but a World Cup debut is a different animal entirely. So how does VAR work in soccer and at the 2018 World Cup? Can you get sick from VAR?
Soccer field dimensions are anything but straightforward. Unlike the playing surfaces for football, basketball, hockey, tennis and most other sports, not all soccer pitches are created equally. FIFA does not stipulate the specific size of a football pitch, instead allowing a range of lengths and widths.
That said, there are requirements that must be met for every soccer pitch, many of which are more specific when it comes to international matches.
How long is halftime in soccer? Well, as stipulated by Law 7 of the FIFA Laws of the Game, “the halftime interval must not exceed 15 minutes.” Halftime in soccer lasts for 15 minutes, although the duration of the halftime interval could possibly be altered with the consent of the referee. Here is the law as outlined by FIFA.
Law 7 — The Duration Of The Match
Goals are the ecstasy of football, so much so that it's hard to make a case defending 0-0 matches, even when they sometimes prove to be quite entertaining.
There's just something missing in the beautiful game when the ball does not kiss the back of the net. An abundance of goals is always welcome by fans and the press.
Of course, goals are nice, except when your favorite team concedes them.
When I was growing up playing youth soccer I had teammates whose parents gave them money whenever they scored. They didn’t receive large sums, but maybe $5-10 per goal. When I first found this out I was upset. For one, why wasn’t I making money for scoring? But more seriously, I was concerned that some of my teammates would be more interested in scoring themselves than helping the team score. So should parents pay their kids for scoring goals in youth soccer?
If you want to turn your child into the next Brian “McHead” McBride, at what age should you start sand wedging some crosses at their malleable dome piece? Well, in America, we have rules for this sort of thing.
Back in 2015, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that children 10 years or under should abstain from heading the ball. Additionally, players from the ages of 11 to 13 were now limited to practicing the skill in training with headers still outlawed in games.
The part of professional soccer that young players continually fail to understand as much as they should is the business part. The part in which they make their money. For example, how does one go about negotiating a contract in a manner that gets one as much money as possible? Most footballers have no idea, but we here at The18 are here to help with five easy tips to get that big new contract, big move (remember that moves to bigger teams almost inevitably come with higher salaries), big raise or big benching (probably the latter).
The dead of winter marks the offseason for most soccer players in America, but that doesn’t mean the time for setting goals and striving for improvement is at an end. Between the end of one season and the next preseason marks an important period for reflection, planning and taking the first steps towards a memorable new year.
Building on advice from some of the world’s top managers, we look at seven different areas you can focus on during the offseason to take yourself and your club to the next level.