By Mike Woitalla
THE FIX WAS IN. The coach of an Omaha FC U-13 girls team resigned after it was revealed he instructed his team to allow the opponents, a team from the same club, to score the game-winning goal that would send them to the state final.
Marjie Ducey of the Omaha World-Herald reported that Coach Doug Trenerry's team was out of contention to reach the final so w ith three minutes left in a scoreless tie he had his team intentionally concede a goal.
The Nebraska State Soccer Association ordered a replay of the games among the three teams in contention for a spot in the final to decide who advances to the regionals.
"No matter what the sanction or forfeits, somebody would have been penalized," said Jeff Hulbert, executive director of the state association. "Let the three teams left, for the good of competition, play the game and win or lose on the field, not in a hearing. The coaches have agreed and are moving forward with the competition."
The incident was reported by Jacque Tevis-Butler, the coach of the team that would have benefitted from the gift goal, after Trenerry told her what he had done.
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TURF WAR. A teacher in Rocky Point, N.Y., who also heads the Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club, is in hot water after sending an e-mail to fellow teachers asking them to not send students home with a flier advertising another league, reports the North Shore Sun.
The e-mail read: "I am asking everyone for a big big big favor. Please please please please... Support Rocky Point Youth Soccer and DO NOT SEND HOME THE SOCCER FLYERS THAT ARE FROM FJS SOCCER or other towns. They are NOT a Rocky Point-based program. Just send home flyers that are only from Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club."
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FROM THE FIELD: REF WATCH. I've seen refs do this in pro games and don't get it. It made even less sense when I saw it on several occasions during a youth tournament last weekend:
A player goes down and the ref deems it wasn't because of a foul, so he gestures and tells the player to "get up!"
What's the point of that?
There's no rule that players have to hurry off the ground after they fall. And what if the player is hurt? Certainly rushing them to get up isn't wise.
My guess is the youth refs are mimicking the high-level refs without considering how nonsensical this is.
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HIGH SCHOOL vs. CLUB. Last month's item on elite clubs encouraging their players to skip high school soccer prompted this response from former U.S. national team star and MLS coach Brian Quinn.
Quinn, now a San Diego-area youth coach and girls high school coach, has had five of his children play both club and high school ball.
"I feel that the 'developmental' aspect of the game is a veil for the inadequacy of some of our coaches at the club level," Quinn says. "High School soccer is great for kids. The approach for the three months that the kids play should be to enjoy every minute with their friends -- and if they do, they get so much out of it.
"There are so many more opportunities for kids to become 'leaders' at high school than there are at club level because of the built in hierarchy that does not exist at club level. No one wants to tell their peers at club level what to do or how to do it. At high school the expectation is for the seniors and juniors to lead and mentor and guide the younger players. This does happen!
"There is no magic formula in producing the 'fantastic players' other than the drive, ability and determination of the player. This is why I believe we tend to overrate coaching when in effect we only need to provide the environment for kids to thrive -- it does not matter where it is."
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... Thirteen people, including children, were injured during a youth soccer tournament in Oceanside, N.Y., last weekend when three inflatable "bounce houses" blew away in strong winds. Most suffered minor injuries but one woman was critical condition, according to the Long Island Press. ...
... AYSO welcomes George Kuntz as its Player Development Technical Advisor. He will remain head coach of UC Irvine's men's team, which he has coached for 17 years. John Ouellette recently retired as AYSO National Coach but steps into another newly created position as AYSO National Coach Instructor. Amid the professionalization of American youth sports, Ouellette's leadership for nearly two decades in AYSO's coaching education program has helped keep the volunteer model alive and ensured that hundreds of thousands of American children still have access to low-cost youth soccer. ...
... Our video of the week features an 11-year-old from Herndon, Va., coolly scoring with a scorpion kick. Watch it HERE ...
(Mike Woitalla, the executive editor of Soccer America, coaches youth soccer for East Bay United in Oakland, Calif. His youth soccer articles are archived at YouthSoccerFun.com.)