Landon Donovan, the greatest player the USA has ever produced, recently appeared on "The Dan Patrick Show" and was asked about heading in youth soccer.
Beginning this year, U.S. Soccer has eliminated heading for children 10 and under, and put limits on the amount of heading in practice for children ages of 11 to 13.
“I think until you’re a certain age there’s no real need for [heading],” said Donovan. “A 10-year-old doesn’t need to be heading a soccer ball. It’s not like they’re gaining much in the game by doing that.
“Teach them how to do it, and by the time they hit 15, 16, 17 start to allow it a little bit more. But there’s no need for someone of that age to be heading a soccer ball. Just like there’s no need for someone to be tackling in football.”
In recent months, various youth organizations have adopted U.S. Soccer’s heading regulations according to the Federation’s Return 2 Recover program.
For example, AYSO: “The new rule bans heading for all U-11 and below division players. If an AYSO program doesn’t have single age divisions, heading is banned for U-12 and below. Heading for players in U-14 and U-14 will be limited to a maximum of thirty (30) minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers, per player. There is no restriction on heading in matches in U-13 and above.”
• U.S. Club Soccer launched a Recognize to Recover web page HERE.
• U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover home page is HERE
• U.S. Youth Soccer's: Introducing the Skill of Heading in the 11-U Age Group• Coaches, referees, parents and players are encouraged to watch U.S. Soccer's "Concussions in Soccer Overview" video, which also includes general safety guidelines:
Roster: U.S. U-20 women head to Florida
Coach Michelle French has named a 26-player roster for the World Cup-bound U.S. U-20 women's national team's April 1-8 training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. All but four of the players coming into camp are collegians.
The USA was drawn into Group C to face France, New Zealand and Ghana at the 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup in Papua New Guinea (Nov. 13-Dec. 3).
U.S. U-20 women’s national team
GOALKEEPERS (4): Emily Boyd (California; Seattle, Wash.), Rose Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Samantha Leshnak (North Carolina; Liberty Township, Ohio), Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.).
DEFENDERS (8): Madeline Elliston (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Hailey Harbison (Pepperdine; San Diego, Calif.), Ellie Jean (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Natalie Jacobs (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Taylor Otto (CASL; Apex, N.C.), Ally Prisock (USC; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Savannah Demelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts (Kansas; Leawood, Kansas), Shannon Simon (Washington; Torrance, Calif.).
FORWARDS (7): Mimi Asom (Princeton; Fairview, Texas), Jorian Baucom (LSU; Phoenix, Arizona), Katie Cousins (Tennessee; Forest, Va.), Mayra Pelayo-Bernal (Florida; West Palm Beach, Fla.), Taylor Racioppi (Duke; Ocean Township, N.J.), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Around the Net
The San Francisco Examiner reports that the city's Recreation and Parks Department has sent a letter sent to San Francisco Youth Soccer league supporters threatening to bring in an outside expert to mediate the conflict between soccer clubs if the league cannot "resolve its internal dispute quickly and fairly on its own." According to Rec and Parks, the number of kids playing soccer in San Francisco has doubled since 2009. The addition of an estimated 5,000 youth soccer players and 300 teams in nearly seven years has led to steep competition over premier practice times, field allocations and prized slots to play against teams outside San Francisco. The heightened competition has led to allegations of favoritism, reports Michael Barba. "Youth soccer boom in San Francisco leads to turmoil"