Youth Soccer

The Best And Worst Youth Sports To Referee

After 12 years away from the sphere of youth refereeing, I feel like I can finally come clean. While there’s a lot to like about making officiating your main means of employment throughout high school — namely the fact that you get to be outside while your friends construct thousands of take-and-bake pizzas at Papa Murphy’s — there’s also a fair degree of post-traumatic stress.

How To Train Like A Professional: 10-Year Pro Jamie McGuinness Shares His Workout Plan

“If football has taught me anything it is that you can overcome anything if, and only if, you love something enough.” — Lionel Messi

For Jamie McGuinness, his life’s mantra has always been to live without regrets and to accomplish that by going all in each and everyday. It’s a mentality that served him well over the course of a 10-year professional career that began at the age of 16 with Luton Town in the English Championship and continued in America with stints in the PDL and USL. 

There Was No Stopping A 21-Year-Old Lionel Messi At The 2008 Olympics

The crowning achievement of Lionel Messi’s international career remains the gold medal he captured as a 21-year-old at the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was a loaded Albiceleste squad with further attacking firepower provided by Sergio Agüero, Ángel Di María and Ezequiel Lavezzi, but Messi and Argentina were hugely reinforced by the over-age inclusions of Javier Mascherano and Juan Román Riquelme.

Liverpool 16-Year-Old Scores Insane Bike Off Corner Kick Like He’s Playing FIFA

There’s been a lot of talk recently about how Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool first team aren’t even going to bother showing up for the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town, instead sending its U-23 squad and coach. After all, when the Reds made a similar (albeit more necessary) move in the Carabao Cup, they were smashed 5-0 by Aston Villa.

10 Things We Miss Most About Playing Youth Soccer

As we grow older, we find less and less time to play the sport we grew up loving so dearly. No longer do we play soccer five to seven days a week as we did in our youth. Hell, finding time to play once a month is hard enough. 

But still we reminisce about the days of yore, when weeknights were filled with going to practice or playing pick-up games at the park and weekends were loaded with games and tournaments. 

Top Five Drills To Do With Your Youth Soccer Team

Training the youth can be stressful and difficult to keep it fun while also implementing useful soccer skills. While kids refuse to share their ball, are too busy picking flowers or just not into the practice, there are ways around these struggles. From my experience of coaching kids ages 2-13 years old, I have picked up what certain ages enjoy and what they do not enjoy doing. On the younger side of the spectrum, it is definitely more difficult to find what they may want to participate in as opposed to the older groups.

Everton Uses Adorably Haunting Children’s Drawings For Matchday Graphics

Everton took a different approach to the tired method of simply showing your players’ individual photos for in-match graphics, team announcements and substitutions on Tuesday night. 

The club allowed students from Linacre Primary School to visit Finch Farm for a drawing session that resulted in the images used across Goodison Park, the match day program and the club’s official website and social media accounts during Tuesday’s Premier League match against Newcastle United.

The resulting images are equal parts adorable and haunting. Jordan Pickford is an absolute unit.

The 5 Worst Calls The18 Has Ever Seen In Youth Soccer

Everyone’s got at least one — one memory from playing soccer they just can’t get out of their head, one moment in time they regularly ruminate over years after the fact. 

There are bad calls in every match and then there are the incidents that do not fade from memory. Everyone who has played the game for any length of time has at least one moment of madness from a ref they’ll never forget.

So we at The18 have compiled a list of the worst officiating decisions we’ve ever seen, to let you know you are not alone in your constant chewing over that one call so many years ago. 

Rare Footage Of Famous Footballers Playing When They Were Kids And Teenagers

There’s no more compelling story than when a player like Jamie Vardy goes from being released by his club at the age of 16 to suddenly tearing up the Premier League at the age of 28, but the Leicester City striker’s path is a fit-for-Hollywood tale rather than the norm. The truth is that football is now a mega-industry and the reach of its tentacles knows no bounds — in the search for the world’s next great talent, no rock is left unturned and no YouTube highlight video is left unproduced.