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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.

Bayern Makes its Move

One thing we hear a lot from the foreign clubs coming to the USA is how they're aiming to help Americans produce better soccer players.

Give parents their money's worth

What are the keys to a club providing an optimal experience for the different levels of teams under its umbrella: from comp to rec?

Briana Scurry: Good coaches understand kids

"We play sports because we want to be a part of something," says Briana Scurry, who was a big part of two U.S. Olympic gold medal wins and famously saved the penalty kick in the 1999 Women's World Cup final victory.

Lee Nguyen's journey began in Texas backyard

The latest edition of our "When They Were Children" series looks at Lee Nguyen's youth soccer experience. The 28-year-old's 18 goals were fourth best in MLS this season, the most by an American, and led to a call-up for national team duty by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The DOC's 3 most important duties

A Director of Coaching at a club needs to possess many talents. The DOC must be a good listener and also hard of hearing at some times. He or she must be determined to stay the course and, also, make changes for the betterment of the organization.

Getting Players to Pay Attention

(My recent outings to training sessions with 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds reminded me how difficult it can be to corral a group of wonderfully rambunctious children -- and prompted me to remind myself of the advice we got in this article that first appeared in March of 2013.)

Variety is the Spice of Refereeing

People ask me how I can referee just about every weekend of the year.

Landon Donovan's Path to Greatness

The latest edition of our "When They Were Children" series looks at Landon Donovan's childhood soccer experience.

Are the Best Refs the Ones You Don't Notice?

After a few of the games I have refereed, a spectator approached me and said, "You must have done a good job as I did not notice you."

Jill Ellis: Players like to problem-solve (Q&A Part 2)

Coach Jill Ellis, currently leading the USA in qualifying play for the 2015 World Cup, has coached at every level of the youth game. She served as U.S. Soccer Women's Development Director, overseeing U-14, U-15 and U-17 girls national teams, from January 2011 until taking the full national team's helm in May. The former UCLA head coach's youth national team ...