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The Best of 2016 in American Youth Soccer

It wasn't all smooth sailing for American youth soccer in 2016. The turf wars between governing bodies showed no signs of subsiding, the high school vs. club debate intensified, plenty of complaints about the transition to birth-year registration, and lawsuits filed by youth clubs in their quest to receive compensation from professional clubs. But there was plenty to celebrate ...
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Newcomers to USA get a boost from Soccer Without Borders: Meet founder Ben Gucciardi

Ben Gucciardi is the founder of Soccer Without Borders, which is entering its second decade of providing soccer programs for under-served youth in the USA and abroad. Also known as Futbol Sin Fronteras, SWB started in Oakland, California, and its year-round programs in the USA serve more than 1,000 children in Oakland, Baltimore, Boston and Greeley, Colorado.
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A major schism: U.S. Youth Soccer strikes back at Washington state for seeking sole USSF registration

In response to Washington Youth Soccer announcing its quest to register its players solely with the U.S. Soccer Federation, U.S. Youth Soccer announced that it has "formally accepted WYSA's resignation from U.S. Youth Soccer effective as of January 1, 2017" -- a move WYSA states it has not taken.
» 52 Comments

Unseeded USA faces tough path to U-17 World Cup

Failing to earn a seed at the Concacaf U-17 Championship that will determine the region's four qualifiers for the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India, the USA faces stiff competition in its first-round group at the Panama-hosted tournament April 21-May 7.
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Boston seeks unity to grapple with big-city youth soccer challenges

Kids who want to play youth soccer within the city of Boston face a calamitous and disjointed mess. With 3 million registered youth soccer players in the USA in 2014 representing an 89 percent increase since 1990, the sport is progressing rapidly, and yet the city of Boston is being left behind.
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Tab Ramos: Current U-20s are a more consistent group

In just over two months, Tab Ramos will aim to steer the U.S. U-20 men to the U-20 World Cup for the third time of his tenure.
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A strong case for high school soccer from Laura Kerrigan: 'Let's not have turf wars'

In our continued coverage of the debate over clubs that don't want their players taking part in high school ball, a position supported by U.S. Soccer for its boys and girls Development Academy leagues, we hear Laura Kerrigan, who coaches the girls and boys teams at North Carolina's Cary High School, where she also teaches social studies.
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Offside Decisions: Defender's Deliberate Play vs. a Deflection

Flushing, Queens is home to U.S. Open tennis and Citi Field, where the New York Mets play. It also has a huge Asian-American population. So when a junior college coach asked me to meet him at a restaurant in Flushing over a year ago, I checked to make sure that his team was not on my schedule (it was not) ...
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Big U.S. U-17 wins a 'snapshot of good signs of progress'

During three games over five days last week at the Nike International Friendlies in Florida, Coach John Hackworth's team impressed in every area of the field. His U.S. U-17 boys scored 15 goals combined against Portugal, Turkey and Brazil and conceded only two goals -- a terrific three-game run by the team that is preparing for the U-17 Concacaf Championship ...
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Stunning win by U.S. U-17 boys: 7-1 over Portugal

The Nike International Friendlies tournament, launched in 2001 for the U.S. U-17 boys national team, has long provided early glimpses of future stars. In 2008, a 16-year-old Neymar played for the Brazil team that in Lancaster, California beat a U.S. team that included Juan Agudelo. Coutinho, the current Liverpool star, scored twice in Brazil's 3-0 win.
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