Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Long before they became stars ...
by Bryan Alvarez, October 22nd, 2009 5:30PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider



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.)


  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



Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Should you play sports when you're sick?    
We're getting in to that time of year when people start sneezing and coughing all around ...
DiCicco and Dorrance react to USA's U-17 World Cup exit     
On Friday, Japan faces North Korea in the final of the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup, ...
Watch out corporate America, Here come the Refs!     
A few very advanced refs can earn enough money from refereeing to make it their vocation. ...
Mallory Pugh leads USA's U-20 Women's World Cup squad    
Mallory Pugh, the 18-year-old Colorado product who has already made 17 appearances, with four goals and ...
World Cup ends early for U.S. U-17 girls    
The USA exited in the first round at the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup with a ...
MLS newcomer already has two teens on the roster    
Atlanta United begins MLS play in 2017, but it made a bit of history by becoming ...
Please, Don't scream at the children    
Within the last few weeks, while coaching and refereeing, I observed a couple of very different ...
Under pressure: U.S. U-17 girls in danger of World Cup elimination     
One reason U.S. Soccer invests so heavily in its youth national team program is to give ...
USA starts U-17 Women's World Cup with a rout     
The USA's quest to win the U-17 Women's World Cup for the first time began with ...
The College Process: Be Prepared, Proactive and Persistent    
No two children are alike and their dreams are as unique as their goals. As high ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives