Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Long before they became stars ...
by Bryan Alvarez, October 22nd, 2009 5:30PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

By Bryan Alvarez

When Soccer America profiles the nation's top young players, we ask them to reflect on their early youth soccer years and share their outstanding memories. Here are some of our favorites:

2008 Olympian Dax McCarty of FC Dallas:
"When I was young, I was faster than the other kids. One time, I was dribbling. I was going so fast I dribbled past the goal. People were yelling at me to stop but I kept going. My parents had to stop me."

Midfielder Robbie Rogers of the Columbus Crew and U.S. national team:
"I was on one of my first teams and I scored my first goal. I was so excited. Unfortunately, it was on the wrong goal."

Taylor Vancil, University of Louisville goalkeeper and starter on the USA's runner-up team at 2008 U-17 Women's World Cup:
"When I used to play forward I was about 9 or 10 years old. I dribbled from half-field during a rainy game. I was one-on-one with the keeper. The keeper sort of moved as I was shooting. I ended up sliding into the goal with the ball in between my knees. That was pretty funny."

Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei:
"At a young age, my team went to a tournament in Austria. The keeper got hurt. So, I had a great idea. I volunteered to play keeper because I wanted to jump in the mud. My mom didn't think it was such a good idea because she had to wash my jersey."

D.C. United midfielder Rodney Wallace:
"When I was 8 years, I had a game but it was raining. My father and I thought the game was canceled but it wasn't. I went to the game and came on at halftime. I scored four goals."

New York Red Bull defender Jeremy Hall:
"My mom went to sign me and my brother up for baseball. But the registration was full. My brother tried to convince me to play soccer instead. I eventually gave in. I remember going to practice in jean shorts and shinguards over ankle socks."

Kansas City Wizards' defender Matt Besler:
"When I was in a tournament, I got to take a corner kick for us. I was about 7 years old. It might have been windy. I kicked it and went into the goal!"

Chivas USA midfielder and U.S. U-20 international Jorge Flores:
"My cousin and I took the bus to play a game. We didn't have enough money to get home. So, we walked and got home around 1:00 in the morning."


(Bryan Alvarez is Assistant Editor at Soccer America.)

 



0 comments
  1. Chad Jackson
    commented on: October 22, 2009 at 6:13 p.m.
    Bryan, good and clever little stories but it would be great if you actually did an in depth interview with a star player before they became a star. How they prepared, how much they practiced, what they practiced, what coach influenced them the most. What is important about being a professional etc. Love to see that.

  1. Marcus Witte
    commented on: October 22, 2009 at 7:50 p.m.
    I agree with Chad as well but am really happy you shared these stories with us. I will foreward on to friends, family, players and other coaches I know! And make sure to get more girls/women's stories as well!


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Teen star Mallory Pugh has her own unique style    
At age 16, Mallory Pugh started all four U.S. games at the 2014 U-20 Women's World ...
The 'Relative Age Effect' -- a Response from U.S. Soccer     
In his 2008 book "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell popularized the concept of the relative age effect (RAE). ...
Richie Williams on teens turning pro, Bradenton, plus lessons from U-17 qualifying    
The USA earned a spot at the 2015 World Cup with a penalty-kick shootout at win ...
Wenger chimes in on Zelalem; Ramos names Hyndman U-20 captain    
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has hinted that 18-year-old Gedion Zelalem, who was recently named to the ...
How to Develop Refs     
When teaching a person how to play golf, if you put the ball on the tee ...
USA gets its Arsenal kid     
As U.S. coach Tab Ramos had hoped, FIFA cleared Arsenal's German-born Gedion Zelalem to play for ...
Effective Goalkeeper Communication -- Coaches Must Teach It     
How goalkeepers communicate with their teammates is a big part of their development.
When Christen Press went from daisy-picking to goal-scoring     
When you see World Cup-bound Christen Press play -- like her golazo against France -- you'd ...
Tab Ramos wants more U-20 firepower     
The top American scorer in U-20 World Cup history? That would be Jozy Altidore, with five ...
John Hackworth: 'Learning how to win is part of development'    
Coach John Hackworth, who rejoined the U.S. national team program after four years with MLS's Philadelphia ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives