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11 Tips for Coaching the Little Ones

"I got recruited to coach my kid's soccer team. Any advice?"

Youth leaders react to change to soccer's registration cutoff date

On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced to two initiatives that will be mandated by August 2017. One was the standardization of small-sided games through age U-12. Fewer players on age appropriate-size fields - that has been the trend in American youth soccer for quite a while now.

U.S. Soccer mandates major changes, altering birth-year registration and standardizing small-sided format

U.S. Soccer has mandated a significant alteration in how American soccer will be organized -- changing the birth-year registration from an August-July format to January-December.

'Former pros can bring wealth of knowledge to the youth game' (Chris Martinez Q&A)

Colorado native Chris Martinez, who starred for the A-League's Colorado Foxes and MLS's Colorado Rapids, now serves a Real Colorado director and was named U.S. Development Academy U-15/16 Central Conference Coach of the Year 2015.

The Trophy Debate -- Give kids some credit

I'm not a big fan of trophies. They tend to be gaudy and overpriced. At the same time, I find it amusing when people get all riled up about kids nowadays getting trophies they don't deserve. As if that's really a major problem.

'Coaches cannot be set in their ways' (Luchi Gonzalez Q&A)

After a seven-year professional playing career, Luchi Gonzalez launched a career in education -- he served as Dean of Students and algebra teacher at Miami's Gulliver Academy -- and youth coaching. A full-time coach at FC Dallas' academy since 2012, the 2001 Hermann Trophy winner at SMU guided FC Dallas to the 2015 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 title.

World Cup-bound U.S. U-17s prep with Czech Republic tourney

For its first gathering since the draw for the 2015 U-17 World Cup, Coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player squad for the U-17 Vaclav Jezek Youth Tournament in the Czech Republic, where the USA faces Russia (Aug. 18), Slovenia (Aug. 19) and Slovakia (Aug. 21) in group play.

Consider the individual when planning practice

It's that time of year in soccer when youth teams are kicking into a new season. The "preseason" phase of training is one of excitement and anticipation, and well established in sports science as a time of increased risk of injury. The result being that a player's excitement for a new season can quickly turn to disappointment.

Why should you care about sports science?

For most, it is accepted that injury in sport is a part of the game; a result of bad luck and a risk an athlete knowingly takes on by playing.

Another U.S. U-17 goes pro as Velela joins Cosmos

Alexis Velela, who signed this week with the NASL's New York Cosmos, is the latest member to go pro from the 20-player U.S. U-17 national team squad that qualified last March for the 2015 U-17 World Cup.

'You can't communicate too much with parents' (Kim Calkins Q&A)

Kim Calkins was appointed Washington Youth Soccer's Technical Director in July. Calkins, who played collegiate ball at the University of Portland and professionally for the Boston Breakers, brings 15 years of youth, high school and collegiate coaching experience to the position.

USA gets 'challenging group' at U-17 World Cup

One goal for the USA at the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile (Oct. 17-Nov. 8) will be to win a knockout-stage game for the first time since 1999, when the USA finished fourth at biennial tournament with a team that included Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Bealsey.

How Zelalem & Co., are faring since the U-20 World Cup

It's been nearly two months since the USA's quarterfinal run at the 2015 U-20 World Cup. The performance included wins over Myanmar, New Zealand and Colombia. Coach Tab Ramos' team held eventual champion Serbia to a scoreless tie before getting eliminated in a penalty kick shootout.

LA Galaxy adds high school to Academy program

The Los Angeles Galaxy is launching high school education program for its Development Academy players.

U.S. U-18 boys kick off new cycle with Sweden trip

U.S. U-18 boys national team coach Javier Perez has named a 20-player roster for the 2015 Open Nordic Cup Tournament in Sweden, where the USA will face the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, followed by games against Iceland (Aug. 5) and Sweden (Aug. 7), and an Aug. 9 placement game.