The return of UEFA Champions League and the beginning of the knockout stages marks a joyous time for any soccer fan. This season’s Round of 16 promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Matchups like Real Madrid vs. PSG, Juventus vs. Tottenham and Chelsea vs. Barcelona would be amazing finals for the event, but we’re lucky enough to have them in February and March. You're not going to want to miss any of the action.
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.
When it comes to attracting top talent to your youth club or league, control what you can control and the rest will take care of itself. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s not always simple to know where to focus to recruit youth players, especially if you want the best.
We sat down with several experienced club directors to find out what they focus on to recruit talented young players (and their families) to their organizations.
Murphy's Law posits that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Soccer practice is not an exception to Murphy's Law, so let's break it down:
With registered youth soccer players in the United States growing from just over 100,000 in 1974 to over 3 million by 2014, the landscape of the sport has changed drastically over the last 40 years. As soccer has grown, tournament hosts have similarly had to adapt to greater numbers and greater competition while providing some of the best facilities and fields in the world.
Being a coach is tough. Making sure players show up, sending countless emails and managing the expectations of every parent can make the whole experience of coaching a youth team seem like herding cats.
On top of that, coaches have to listen to the same excuses time after time after time. Some are reasonable, some are ridiculous and all of them are a coach's least-favorite part of the job. At least one can laugh about them later. Here's a list of excuses that, at one time or another, every coach has heard.
To play soccer is to partake in a global community of shared experiences. We all watch the same matches, absorb each other's methods and styles and speak one universal language, the language of the game we love. Like anything in life, soccer has its phases — its ups and downs — but we wouldn't have it any other way, because in the end, soccer always gives us so much more in return.
Here are 18 things that show we have far more in common with each other than divides us.