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Tab Ramos Q&A: Qualifying brings invaluable experience

The USA qualified for the U-20 World Cup for the second straight time during the tenure of Coach Tab Ramos, who took over after the USA missed the 2011 U-20 World Cup. We spoke to Ramos, who also serves as U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director, about the team's performance at the U-20 Concacaf Championship in Jamaica, the progress of players ...

Tackling Key Challenges in Modern Day Youth Ball

I was part of a panel at the US Youth Soccer Workshop at the NSCAA Convention: "Youth Soccer in the Real World: Issues faced by a Modern Day Club Director of Coaching."

Refereeing Restarts Near the Goal

When I watch a soccer game on TV, I "referee" it. Sometimes instant replay confirms that I was correct and sometimes it does not.

Paul Breitner: USA needs a club culture

Paul Breitner, famous for scoring in two World Cup finals, including in West Germany's 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in 1974, is at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia as brand ambassador for Bayern Munich, the club with which he won five Bundesliga titles and a European Cup. Last year, Bayern Munich opened a New York office and launched a partnership ...

'Improved coaching is the priority' (Tony Lepore Q&A, Part 2)

In Part 2 of our interview on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Director of Scouting Tony Lepore addresses the quest to improve the coaching of elite players in the USA

'Development Academy Making Progress and Staying Ambitious' (Tony Lepore Q&A, Part 1)

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which launched in 2007, now comprises 100 clubs. We checked in with Director of Scouting Tony Lepore on the state of the Academy and U.S. Soccer's new youth initiatives, which include increased financial aid and adding a U-12 program in 2016.

Joe Cummings: 'I've seen what I dreamed about'

Soccer came into Joe Cummings' life in 1959 when he was a 10-year-old at a Massachusetts elementary school and a teacher, Arthur Mulrain, started an after-school soccer program.

The Rise of Gedion Zelalem: 'A creative, attacking midfielder'

Gedion Zelalem, the 17-year-old Arsenal prospect who recently committed to the U.S. national team program, moved to Maryland from his native Germany at age 9. Prior to joining Arsenal's youth program shortly before his 16th birthday, he starred for the Olney Rangers under coach Matt Pilkington.

Red card? How to call DOGSO

Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity (DOGSO) is a red-card offense.

Alexi Lalas strikes a chord on foreign clubs coming to USA

"Make no mistake. This is a gold rush. This is a land grab." That's Alexi Lalas after being asked by The Guardian about foreign clubs -- such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Everton -- making ambitious moves into American youth soccer.

Small-sided push from USSF promises long-term benefits

The U.S. Soccer Federation looks like it is getting ready to mandate small-sided games. My comment: what took you so long?

Ref, Can we talk?

Among the feedback we got from last week's column on referee abuse ("Blaming the ref doesn't work") were those who pointed out that sometimes coaches do feel a legitimate need to communicate with the referee -- especially when the coaches believe their players' safety is at risk.

Blaming the ref doesn't work

I've long believed that coaches lashing out at referees is a counter-productive practice. After reffing and ARing nearly 40 youth games in the last year -- and surveying other referees -- I'm even more sure of it.

Refs, a smile goes a long way

Leo Durocher was a baseball lifer who was a better manager than player. So much so that his teammate, Babe Ruth, called him the "All-American out."

Robbie Rogers' Story of Soccer, Pain and Love

Robbie Rogers, like all players who make it to the higher levels of the game, spent a lot of time playing soccer on his own, away from the organized practices and games. And like most such players, he has a tale of indoor destruction.