Commentary

That Goal

By Paul Gardner

It was Pele who started the “soccer is beauty” theme. He titled his autobiography -- one of them, anyway -– “My Life and the Beautiful Game.”

That was back in the 1970s, and it seemed so right at the time. Pele did wonderful things on the field, his play was full of creative moments and thrilling touches -- and there was really no other word for the soccer played by the Brazil team he led to victory in the 1970 World Cup ... it was beautiful to behold.

We are told: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever. Well, maybe. The words are those of the poet John Keats. They have the brevity and clarity of poetry ... but not, I think, the beauty 

That word “thing” seems altogether wrong. Not a poetic word. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa? Michelangelo’s David? These are things?  Well, maybe they are. Maybe so. A painting and a sculpture, not real people, simply art.

And “forever” takes in more than we would allow today. We have come to admit that art is not forever, that beauty lies “in the eye of the beholder,” that it changes from place to place, from era to era, from culture to culture.

Pele’s beautiful game still exists today -- the mantle is now worn by Barcelona -- but it is a struggle to keep beauty alive in an increasingly pragmatic and dollar-driven sport.

What we can hope for, to light up the harshness, are moments that are a joy forever.

We got one recently, thanks to Michael Bradley. That superb goal against Mexico. A goal to savor, to cherish. The setting, of course, was nigh perfect. A packed Azteca, sunny, colorful, noisy, tense -- as ever. 

But I don’t want to praise Bradley’s goal simply because it was scored against a dramatic background. The goal itself was what stirred me, so wonderfully fashioned by Bradley, who, in the space of a few seconds got all his soccer skills and instincts to react in perfect unison.

The quick decisive movement to pick off a loose ball on the halfway line, then one touch -- just one -- that put the ball where Bradley could chase it at full speed, where no defender could get at it … Bradley took 10 running paces, time for him to sight that Ochoa the Mexican goalkeeper was way off his line ... and then something else, maybe something like soccer antennae, the apparent ease with which Bradley made his choice -- no hesitation, no confusion -- because timing was now crucial ...  all Bradley had to do -- now that he had outpaced the Mexican defenders -- was to loop the ball over Ochoa. From 35 yards.

All he had to do? Because that is what Bradley made it look like, so easy was his shot on goal. A clean shot, hit with force, but not so hard that it went over the bar, not so soft that Ochoa had time to back up and corral it. That was the shape of the goal, a beautiful arc, one of the most satisfying of geometric forms.

Ochoa played his part, his athletic backward leap added to the drama for a second until the ball sailed untouched into the goal and suddenly it looked almost like slow motion as the ball hit the net and rolled contentedly down to the ground.

It had taken all of four seconds, during which Bradley had only two touches on the ball. Four seconds that gave the goal the added beauty of revealing, clearly, its birth, and then the suspense as the ball soared toward the goal. So much happened in those four seconds, so much that could have gone wrong in exquisite timing and delicate skills. Bradley got everything right.

A goal to remember. A thing of beauty for sure, and a joy, if not forever, then I think for a long time. Replay technology is hardly a fitting accompaniment to the romance of a perfect goal, but it will make sure Michael Bradley’s beautiful goal is not quickly forgotten.

66 comments about "That Goal".
  1. Gonzalo Munevar, June 21, 2017 at 8:44 p.m.

    Indeed, a goal to remember.

  2. Thomas Sullivan, June 21, 2017 at 8:59 p.m.

    Amen, Paul. It happens so quickly, it takes effort to realize that those few seconds were the result of decades of effort, training, a bit of luck and learning judgment over time. The beauty of that moment took 20 years to happen. Thanks for calling attention to the beauty in front of our eyes.

  3. Ginger Peeler, June 21, 2017 at 9:20 p.m.

    Yes, thank you. Frank went out of his way to disparage that goal...I guess,for him, if it isn't scored by the Dutch, if Isn't a "real" goal. He hijacked the commentary by focusing on Beasley's "mistake" that led to the tying goal. And WE LET HIM do that. Never again, if I can help it! Bradley's goal was a thing of beauty and should have been recognized by us as such. Again, the goal was wonderful, incredible and something to be praised and treasured! I'm in my 70s and so glad I got to see this kind of soccer played by our national team. I am blessed!

  4. uffe gustafsson, June 21, 2017 at 9:31 p.m.

    Did you see Woitalla video of Barca U10!goal think that kid might just watched Bradley goal.
    Both superb attention of the field and especially the goalie. Awesome!

  5. Dennis Mueller, June 21, 2017 at 9:44 p.m.

    Too many people spend their time criticizing Bradley. This goal will silence them for a while.

    I really loved it and actually shouted goal just as he struck the ball in the crowded bar I was in. It was wonderful!

  6. Raul Farfan, June 21, 2017 at 10:41 p.m.

    Sorry Paul wasn't Corona it was Ochoa on goal that night.

  7. Ric Fonseca replied, June 23, 2017 at 2:03 p.m.

    Raul, you are so right! For a fleeting moment I thought that Paul was correct, however, after reviewing parts of the game, sure enough it was OCHOA in goal for the Tri! WOW AND GOLLY GEE WILLIKERS, PABLO EL JARDINERO (PG) ACTUALLY MADE A SIGNIFICANT MISTAKE!!! Is ok, Pablito, write on, oooops I mean, PLAY ON!!!

  8. Nick Daverese, June 21, 2017 at 10:51 p.m.

    Hey Dennis I think I know you :) I am from the soccer coaches email list. Your team played us Brooklyn Italians at Princeton. I remember the 50s 60s and 70s like it was yesterday. Just can't remember yesterday any more.

    My most memorable goal was here in WC in 1994. The great Romario's half volley from a low cross from Babetto. That was like a work of art.

    I always said that Bradley was good. But when he tires he finds himself in no mans land. I heard they are talking about playing a 60 minute game they do that he can still go the Whole game :)

  9. stewart hayes, June 22, 2017 at 12:56 a.m.

    Pele's near miss long range attempt vs
    czechoslovakia in 1970 WC was not puré chance. Pele knew the keeper played out and was ready to try the long range shot if the opportunity presented itself. I would not be surprised if Bradley knew the same kind of chance might present itself. Still it was dramátic and well within his talent.

  10. Daniel Clifton, June 22, 2017 at 7:58 a.m.

    Bradley has way to many critics. Nice article by PG. Bradley picked off that pass after watching video of Mexico's build up. What a USMNT coach who has his players watching video of the team they are about to play? What has happened? Oh, Bruce Arena has happened. I don't think Bradley's ball skills are as good as when he played in Italy. I guess that is the price you pay for a multi-million dollar contract and the move to MLS. Bradley can still play. Arena has him in the right position. When I saw the ball was clearing the keeper and headed towards the under side of the cross bar I just started screaming.

  11. frank schoon, June 22, 2017 at 9:01 a.m.

    Guys, lets just chalk up Bradley's goal as a nice goal, nothing more ,nothing else. Go watch Youtube and you'll see more of those types of goals scored, even Uffe in his post above stated that watching a Woitella's video a U10 Barcelona youth scored one similar. Some of you are short-changing Bradley or are surprised or never thought Bradley had enough talent nor ability to score a goal like that.And some believe this should nullify any of the previous criticisms of Bradley(unbelievable) because of this goal and are probably surprised that Real Madrid and Barcelona haven't called and made inquiries for Bradley's services. Any player on the field, playing at that level has the ability ,given the right conditions, to score a goal like that. It is that simple. And if the Mexican goalie had taken a few steps backwards after releasing the ball, in the first place, we wouldn't be talking about this goal. Gardner did not mention the game but everyone old enough who saw Pele in WC'70 almost score a goal, a near miss, from the midfield line on a full volley back from the goalie was an unbelievable attempt. For to be able to kick a ball full volley, high out of the air, a one-touch kick, judge the distance with no time to adjust the body, to aim, think and look was just incredible...It just shows you how much touch and feel Pele had on the ball; and that is why people still talk about this event from almost 50 years ago, even though it was not a goal.

  12. I w Nowozeniuk, June 22, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.

    One amazing goal adds little to a player's quality who lacks consistency.

  13. frank schoon replied, June 22, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.

    IW, Exactly.

  14. Zabivaka Sobaka replied, June 24, 2017 at 10:11 p.m.

    Bradley will be at his best under Arena....you'll see. I am not Arena's fan, but after listening to him, I am changing my opinion and game at Azteca was his masterpiece. I hope he will build up from where Klinsmann left...likeLowe did, and I am not saying that WE WILL WIN the World Cup.

  15. frank schoon, June 22, 2017 at 10:13 a.m.

    TIP 40. THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE OF THE BACKFIELD WHEN HAVING THE BALL IS TO PASS THE BALL FORWARDS IN A MANNER THAT IT BEATS AN OPPONENT MEANING ONE OR MORE LESS TO CONTEND WITH GOING UP FIELD

  16. frank schoon, June 22, 2017 at 10:18 a.m.

    TIP 41. ONE OF THE ROLES OF AN OUTSIDE MIDFIELDER IS TO BE AWARE AND ANTICIPATE FOR SECONDARY BALLS AND DOWNFIELD. AND THAT IS DONT SEEING WHICH OPPONENT'S DEFEDERS ARE TALLER THAN THEIR OWN ATTACKERS UP FRONT.

  17. frank schoon, June 22, 2017 at 10:21 a.m.

    TIP 42. BEST CROSSES ARE THE ONES THAT BEND AWAY FROM THE GOALIE AND THEREFORE NOT ONLY MAKING IT EASIER TO HEAD WITH POWER BUT ALSO DISALLOWING THE OPPONENT TO QUICKLY COUNTER ATTACK.

  18. Nick Daverese replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:05 a.m.

    On Crossing outswingers every time you do them the keeper has attendency to go further out to get them. Then if you have a taker that can use the outside of his right foot from the right side. He might be able to score with a surprise inswinger.

    Danger on taking an outswinger that goes out too far out. It can be intercepted by an opponent playing further back you can immediate counter attack if that happens.

  19. frank schoon replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:20 a.m.

    Nick, on the danger of an counter attack on an out swinger, the attacking team should have players posted outside of the penalty to nullify the counterattack. Furthermore the defending will have usually mostly their whole team in the penalty box reducing any counterattacking threat .

  20. frank schoon, June 22, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.

    TIP 43. WHEN A BACKLINE LIKES TO PLAY THE OFFSIDE TRAP, THE FIRST THING TO WATCH FOR IS THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE OPPONENTS' ATTACKERS, WHO LIKES TO RUN AWAY FROM THE BALL(DOWNFIELD) OR COME TO THE BALL(UPFIELD). IT IS THE LATTER THAT ARE EASIER TO TRAP OFF SIDES.

  21. Nick Daverese replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.

    I never had a team that used the offside trap because I saw too many big games lost using it.

  22. frank schoon replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:36 a.m.

    SORRY ON TIP43. IT SHOULD BE "FORMER" NOT LATTER"

  23. frank schoon, June 22, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

    TIP 44. WATCH FOR WHEN THE OPPONENTS BACKS PINCH IN TO SUPPORT THEIR CENTERBACKS, THEN QUICKLY EMPLOY A DIAGONAL PASS INTO THAT EMPTY SPACE FOR AN ATTACK.

  24. Kent James replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:04 a.m.

    Frank, I know you said you use ALLCAPS to distinguish your tips from your regular comments, but I, for one, don't like to be shouted at. Maybe you could use all caps just for the "TIP44" part, we'll figure out the rest.

  25. frank schoon replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:32 a.m.

    Kent, sorry about the caps but it is not meant for shouting purposes. When I began caps ,I had no idea it meant by the younger generation as shouting,LOL. I also employ caps because of my eye sight when typing. The caps are also to distinguish from the other posts to readers who don't care about the tips. Once again ,sorry about that...

  26. Kent James replied, June 22, 2017 at 1:59 p.m.

    Not a big problem. Just thought I'd give you a tip (in return). :-)

  27. Nick Daverese, June 22, 2017 at 10:58 a.m.

    Hey Frank ever think of publishing your tips?

  28. frank schoon replied, June 22, 2017 at 11:15 a.m.

    NICK, I have so much material that you won't find in books for it is all "inside details and insights" about the game, from the horse's mouth, so to speak,or learn from coaching courses ,all of which has taken me over 30years to compile. I have often thought about how to present it. I just finished a paper on "How to Build up an Attack from the back". It covers all the nuances and the secrets ,the insights and details, for example ,70 tips to look for if the build up is going wrong; The Causes for an improper build up: 35 ways that influences the tempo of the Buildup; Signs of a good build up.etc. I've been pondering of the years how to present it, like a website or another method , a coaching clinic...Yeah, Nick it has been quite an ordeal for me in how to present it for I have so much real info that you won't find anywhere..Thanks for asking...

  29. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, June 23, 2017 at 9:53 a.m.

    LOL...yeah I can just about see it. The book would be about 10 pages, in ALL CAPS, and contain about 50 platitudes. Should be a best seller!

  30. Kent James, June 22, 2017 at 11 a.m.

    Nice to see PG in a good mood, writing a positive article every now and then (though I will admit he's my favorite curmudgeon). PG also does a nice job in pointing out how sublime that chip was (perfect weight, height, and all done on the run). One minor criticism; PG did not mention the importance of intelligence in MB's goal. He took a calculated risk (gambling to cut off the anticipated back pass, knowing he would be beaten if Chicarito turned with the ball instead of passing back), and timed it perfectly. And later, we find out that that was even something thought out in advance.
    Yes Frank, and other MB critics, one goal doth not a career make. But while MB is far from perfect, he is rightfully the captain of the US national team, and generally one of our most consistent players (and this goal highlights his abilities; effort, intelligence, composure, good technique).

  31. frank schoon replied, June 25, 2017 at 9:01 a.m.

    Kent , I"m not a critic of MB, as matter of fact I don't criticize any player per se. Just like with the goal the mexicans scored and my explanation of it was not a criticism on Beasley's, as some might think, for that was not his fault. I just call what I see are mistakes,technical or tactical made by players. It is all about the game, the x's and o's, the details , that's what interest me the most, not the players.....

  32. Nick Daverese, June 22, 2017 at 11:07 a.m.

    Kent I find caps don't upset me as much as someone doing the real thing stand next to me :)

  33. Kent James replied, June 22, 2017 at 1:57 p.m.

    True. I guess I just feel like the world needs a little less shouting, either metaphorical or literal...

  34. Nick Daverese, June 22, 2017 at 11:14 a.m.

    Hey Carly Lloyd's goal from the halfway line in the WC was a brilliant goal because she saw how far the keeper was playing off her line. Then decide to take it and hit it.

  35. Ric Fonseca replied, June 23, 2017 at 2:08 p.m.

    Nick, great point for reminding us of Carly's goal, it was just as brilliant, well, just a bit more, as Bradley's.

  36. Ginger Peeler, June 22, 2017 at 9:57 p.m.

    Frank, many people are self-publishing these days. Instead of throwing your hints out in a scattershot manner, you need to determine the target audience you're trying to reach (coaches of young age groups, young players?; you need to seriously consider your audience. Your words are wasted on the occasional fan). First you need to hire an editor who can take your words and make the concept of each of your hints easy to understand and easy to follow. You need a terminology index. Then you'll need a graphic illustrator who can take your concepts and illustrate the action you're describing in 2 or 3 drawings. A lot of people learn more from a graphic than they do from s verbal desscription. Oworked in publishing for 30-some years; you need to focus on the audience you're trying to reach! You should be able to find a competent illustrator without much trouble. Finding an early editor that you're comfortable with and that you trust is more difficult. You have so many hints, you should share them in a book. Of course, you must credit Cryuff and the Dutch program, but many people will see that as a positive.

  37. Ginger Peeler, June 22, 2017 at 10:01 p.m.

    I'm sorry. I hit send before I got my text edited...ended up with gobbledygook.

  38. Ginger Peeler, June 22, 2017 at 10:31 p.m.

    I meant to say that I've worked in publishing for 30-some years. Frank obviously feels very strongly about his hints and, I agree, they should be published!!! In the meantime, I will suggest, again, that Frank, instead of thumbing his nose at preferred practices and those actions which are considered common decency (don't YELL), restrict the all-caps to his hint headings and try to restrict himself to initial caps for the body of his hints. One isn't as likely to go cross-eyed trying to read them. Again, I'm in my 70s...if I can follow accepted email/texting standards, so can he! Just because we're older doesn't excuse us from following accepted standards.

  39. Nick Daverese, June 23, 2017 at 2:33 a.m.

    If I really wanted people to see and use those tips I would also film a demonstration when they are used in the right way. Easier for people to understand in a functional way through demonstration. There is a coach I know who had a hand out on a way to play. His team could do it. So I suggested he film it using his player to demonstrate it. At that time I knew a film crew who would do it. It was guys my Godfather Gab used for his side business. He owned a lot of auto repair garages in the Bronx. His side business was he made porn :). When the guy I wanted to film heard what the film crew actually did he backed out. Big mistake if he would have filmed it he could have made a lot of money. The point was the film crew worked cheap. :)

  40. frank schoon, June 23, 2017 at 11 a.m.

    GINGER, NICK, I appreciate very much your input and will definitely take this to heart, there are good suggestions there. I'm glad you told me that you were in publishing ,Ginger, very interesting...
    Don't think I haven't thought of different angles one for example was the attempt ,I made in writing a paper on ' On how to build up an attack from the back". The Tips I give out are scattershot, but I do that for a reason. First of all soccer experiences and knowledge of the game through playing the game is learned in a scattershot approach, not in a nice linear, mathematical step by step , book manner. Second, I want those who are interested in my tips to think about what I'm saying and try to connect the dots with what they know themselves about the game. Ginger, don't see these Tips as representative of Dutch soccer although much of what I give comes from not only Cruyff but also other greats of soccer. See what I give in Tips not as Dutch but "truisms" of soccer.
    Also I give a lot of corollaries, that take it a step further from what the "greats" state. For example Cruyff stated
    that right footed players head the ball best with the left side of their forehead and vice versa. So when I connect the dots, you know that most players are right footed, thus my corollary is that crosses from the right side are the more dangerous than from the left by virtue that there are more right footed players. I realize those posting comments here are made by an eclectic bunch whose soccer knowledge and experience are anywhere from 0 to 10 as 10 being the most. So these Tips will only serve those who are interested and perhaps aide in their soccer knowledge. If any have any questions , I'd be more than glad to explain. Again ,the scattershot approach is to make you think more about the game and I don't want to spoon fed things, then you won't otherwise learn.....Again ,thanks so much for your input, Nick, Ginger....

  41. Nick Daverese, June 24, 2017 at 12:22 a.m.

    Have you ever heard of being in the Flow state in a game?

    It has happened to me in both our game and in American football.

    This description of "seeing in slow motion" is one of the common characteristics of someone who is in a "Flow" state.

    Simplistically speaking, there are certain conditions which need to be met in order to achieve this state. IIRC, one condition is that the challenge being presented to the individual must be at (or slightly higher) than his current ability to handle it. Too high (for too long), and it can cause anxiety/frustration . Too low, and it can cause boredom.

    For a fascinating read regarding this, I would recommend a book entitled: "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

    Imagine if you can see something happening in real time. But it seems like it happening in slow motion. If you can be in the Flow state you could react faster then anyone in the game because your seeing it in slow motion. Every once in a while it has happened to me but it is so rare you can't do it at will.

  42. Nick Daverese, June 24, 2017 at 1:03 a.m.

    Span of perception/ chunking"

    What this really means. See the field and the opponents and team mates. Then instantly do something from the picture you saw. Without having to waste time thinking about what you saw. So it is see the picture and do an action. The action being making a good decision pass or taking on the defender or defenders or making a good shot.

    This is what Dan found out.

    "Teaching it scientifically in a non sport context was done in the 1950's. "The Perceptional Speed Test was developed in the 1950's by LL Thurstonand TD Jeffrey of the University of North Carolina and is still used to test for checking the span of perception. It contains a 140 mini test search consisting of a picture in the farthest left column and five more figures to the right You must write down the column number of one figure to the right that is identical to the one in the farthest left column. It is now published by the Human Resources Center at the University of Chicago."Span of Perception; Ability to visually process a sequence of information instantly."

    I kept this because I thought it was very interesting, and can be applied to our game. I like to get my hands on this test, and actually test my players. To see how they do. Maybe by taking this test at different times during the season maybe they can get better at it, and use it in games.

    I talked to Tab Ramos and he said for him beating the first defender 1 v 1 is not a big problem, but beating the second defender if he is spaced well in support is a problem he could not focus on the second defender instantly. Especially at the beginning of the season. He improved on beating the second defender later in the season. He would get injured by the second defender and not the first defender especially playing at a wing mid position. He loved the wing mid position.

    I thought chunking could help him focus on the second defender faster, but did not know how to teach that. I just said maybe move to the inside mid, so the second defender could not take a big run at you. Or he could move inside the field after beating the first defender on the flank so you can lose that second defender. I tell all my wing mids to use the inside of the field after beat the first defender when you see a second defender close on that flank. he opted to play an inside mid in his last years of MLS play. He was hurt less then before after doing that. Plus both sides of the field benefited from his passes instead of just one side.

    I think some players are born with this ability like Valderrama.

  43. Zabivaka Sobaka, June 24, 2017 at 8:31 a.m.

    Ginger, you seem to make more sense here!
    These clowns sound like whole bunch of NFL fans trying to make a sense out of beautiful game and even a write a playbook for it. This game is not played out of huddle!

  44. Nick Daverese, June 24, 2017 at 1:52 p.m.

    Zab very few Eastern Europeans actually play the game beautiful don't forget that. What they do is sit 10 at a table that sits 6. Eating 6 dishes all made with potatoe. Then they divide the check 10 ways. No one just picks up the check and pays it themselves because they have no money for the rest of the week. Do I have that right?

  45. Zabivaka Sobaka replied, June 24, 2017 at 9:57 p.m.

    Nick, why don't you just talk about USWNT, otherwise keep your ignorant comments to yourself.

  46. Zabivaka Sobaka replied, June 24, 2017 at 10:20 p.m.

    I am not going to list outstanding world class players fro eastern Europe to prove that your knowledge of the game is by far limited....too many to list

  47. Bob Ashpole replied, June 24, 2017 at 11:13 p.m.

    Nick I am pretty sure Zabivaka is another reincarnation alias of a past poster. Zabivaka is the name of the Russian mascot for the 2018 world cup.

  48. frank schoon replied, June 25, 2017 at 2:44 p.m.

    BOB, you're right , this Zabivaka character, I believe, uses two other aliases.

  49. frank schoon, June 24, 2017 at 2:28 p.m.

    Nick, Although I have a few favorite Eastern European players, from Yugoslavia like Dzajic, one of the greatest, along with Puskas from Hungary, or Hagi from Rumania, Eastern Europe has done nothing for soccer and never won anything...And by the statements of Zabivaka , I can fully understand why......

  50. Zabivaka Sobaka replied, June 24, 2017 at 9:54 p.m.

    Frank, please publish the book of your tips. Make sure it is printed on the toilet paper, I will buy it.

  51. frank schoon replied, June 25, 2017 at 8:47 a.m.

    ZAB, You surprise me, I had no idea you take in knowledge employing that part of your body below....Amazing...

  52. frank schoon, June 24, 2017 at 2:31 p.m.

    Nick , I hope you are enjoying watching NYC FC cleaning up on NY Red Bulls, today..LOL

  53. Nick Daverese replied, June 25, 2017 at 12:10 a.m.

    You know what's funny none of the NY teams actually play in NY. At least the Cosmos play here. If they want a stadium here you have to pay off our fake Mayor DeBlasio. Pay him off you get Uber you get MMA any thing. The good thing about him is he can be bought.

  54. frank schoon replied, June 25, 2017 at 8:50 a.m.

    Nick , keep writing about NY and it's culture. I'm getting real lessons about what is going on there. Excellent! and also continue talking about you're eastern european roots...very interesting and funny ,at times...I know Bob and I enjoy reading this stuff.....

  55. I w Nowozeniuk, June 24, 2017 at 5:36 p.m.

    These tips should be sent to all the MLS clubs were the average IQ is cemented in mediocrity.

  56. Zabivaka Sobaka replied, June 24, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.

    They should be printed in a little booklet form so the players can take them to the field and use them during the game

  57. Nick Daverese, June 24, 2017 at 11:54 p.m.

    Zab are you trying to tell me what I posted is untrue? Example Romanian clubs sell their players for a few head of cattle. That is how poor those countries are. They scout players here all the time. I talk about anything I want to talk about. Want to talk about Albanians here in the Bronx. I know a lot about them. I have a friend who uses them for his building projects because they work for 60 dollars a day. They have a soccer club called NY Albanians when I go see the play I always vest up and carry a firearm. The Russians hate them incidently no wonder.

  58. Zabivaka Sobaka replied, June 25, 2017 at 2:27 p.m.

    Nick D, Soccer is not your game..you did not grow up in a football culture...you will never comprehend, understand or fully learn it... reading schoon's tips or listening to Jason Davis are not gonna do it....

  59. Nick Daverese, June 24, 2017 at 11:58 p.m.

    Zab they call a booklet like that a hand out. In case you didn't know. You study them at home. But you evidently can't read so you have no need for handouts. You think a hand out is money you get from begging :)

  60. frank schoon, June 25, 2017 at 9:49 a.m.

    Guys, you see this occur in games today,all of the time, that the outside back receives the ball at midfield and proceeds to run down the flanks on attack, a la Alves when he played for Barcelona. It is a common occurrence and it is such a bad pass and play, comparable to being just as bad as an outside back passing the ball straight up the flank to the winger. Both of these situations, including the square pass, would get you benched at Ajax(when Cruyff played) if attempted. Cruyff stated in today's soccer so many of the golden rules have been watered down and as a result made the game poorer in quality. Why would you pass to an outside back at midfield and watch him run on attack with the ball 20-40 yards....How stupid in soccer can you get when you are allowing the opponents time to react and set up defensively as they watch the attacking back run with the ball down the flank. The idea behind an attack is to surprise the opponent, which you are not doing it in this manner. ( I wonder if anyone at the coaching clinics/license courses have brought this up,DUH). So here is my TIP.

  61. frank schoon, June 25, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    TIP 45. DON'T PASS THE BALL TO THE ATTACKING BACK AROUND MIDFIELD BUT LET HIM RUN ALL THE WAY DOWN THE FLANK WITHOUT THE BALL AND THEN QUICKLY PASS TO HIM. THE PLAYER WHO IS PASSING THE BALL SHOULD NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE RUNNING BACK INSTEAD HESHOULD LOOK TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE FIELD AND THEN ALL OF SUDDEN PASS THE BALL. IN THIS MANNER THE OPPONENTS HAVE TO SCRAMBLE DUE TO THE LACK OF TIME TO ADJUST DEFENSIVELY AND AS RESULT CREATE CONFUSION IN THE DEFENSE...

  62. frank schoon, June 27, 2017 at 3:09 p.m.

    TIP 46. WHENEVER YOU OUTNUMBER THE OPPONENT ,FOR EXAMPLE, 3V1 OR 4V2, THE PASS SHOULD BE GIVEN FAST AND NOT SLOW. A SLOW PASS GIVES THE OPPONENT AN EXTRA MAN ,SO TO SPEAK, FOR HE IS ABLE TO MARK TWO PLAYERS THUS REDUCING THE ATTACKING ADVANTAGE. THE ATTACKING SIDE OFTEN LETS IT GUARD DOWN AND RELAXES FOR THEY FEEL MORE SECURE WITH AN EXTRA MAN OR TWO BUT IN FACT THIS ACTION CAN ONLY HELP THE WEAKER TEAM

  63. frank schoon, June 27, 2017 at 3:17 p.m.

    TIP 47. A LONG PASS THAT IS OF HIGH QUALITY IS ONE THAT IS MADE TO AN ATTACKER ON THE RUN WITH THE BALL GOING BEHIND THE DEFENDER. A LONG PASS TO THE ATTACKER STANDING STILL WAITING FOR IT IS NOT ALL THAT FUNCTIONAL.

  64. frank schoon, June 27, 2017 at 3:21 p.m.

    TIP 48. WHEN A WING CROSSES THE BALL ON THE RUN, AT THAT MOMENT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF TWO ASPECTS. ONE, WHO GOING TO NEAR , FAR AND IN FRONT OF THE GOAL. TWO, WHO IS MAKING THE RUNS FROM MIDFIELD FOR SECONDARY BALLS.....

  65. frank schoon, June 27, 2017 at 3:26 p.m.

    TIP 49. PRESSURING THE OPPONENT REALLY MEANS HOW CAN A TEAM CREATE PRESSURE CAUSING A SECONDARY BALL SITUATION , IN OTHER WORDS FORCING THEM TO MAKE A BAD PASS....

  66. frank schoon, June 27, 2017 at 3:38 p.m.

    TIP 50. TACTICS IS NOTHING OTHER THAN FINDING THE WEAKNESS(S) OF THE OPPONENT AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IT. FOR EXAMPLE ,IF YOUR OPPONENT ON AVERAGE HAS OLDER MIDFIELDERS THEREBY PERHAPS A LITTLE SLOWER , AND IF THE GAME IS PLAYED LATE AFTERNOON THAN FIND OUT IF THE FIELD YOU PLAY ON HAS DEW SETTLING ON IT DURING THAT TIME OF DAY , MAKING THE BALL ROLL FASTER. IT IS THE LITTLE DETAILS THAT CAN EFFECT THE GAME. THIS IS WHY AJAX ,A FAST PASSING TEAM SPRAYS THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME...

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