• 'Put best coaches at youngest ages' (Q&A with Mustang's Fred Wilson)
    The Youth Soccer Insider continues its interview series with youth club leaders by talking with Fred Wilson, the Boys Coaching Director of Northern California's Mustang Soccer, a club-slash-league with nearly 5,000 players under its umbrella
  • How adults can 'teach' kids by playing along
    One of the best ways for adults to coach children is to play along with them
  • The art of refereeing solo
    The referee's position is called a "diagonal," which he or she runs goes from corner flag to corner flag.
  • Tackling gay issues in sports
    The hardships faced by gay teens inspired the coming-out of former University of North Carolina star David Testo after nearly a decade of pro soccer in MLS, the USL and NASL. We contacted longtime soccer coach and journalist Dan Woog, the author of five books on gay and lesbian issues, to comment on the importance of pro athletes coming out and to offer advice for coaches on how to combat the homophobia that can torment gay and questioning teens.
  • Making sure the goals are safe
    The goals are 8 yards in length by 8 feet high. The youngest age groups in youth soccer will often use smaller goals. The goalposts must be white. Should referees come to a field with goalposts that are not white, play the game and report the color of the goal posts to the league.
  • Cosmos cash; U-17s on TV; High school rules; MLS teens
    The reincarnated New York Cosmos appear to be recommitting to their relationship with Queens club Blau-Weis Gottschee, which had filed a lawsuit against the Cosmos on Nov. 3 after not receiving a promised payment.
  • 'They need a guiding hand' (Derek Armstrong Q&A, Part 2)
    Few individuals have had as great an impact on American youth soccer as Derek Armstrong, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary as head of the San Diego Nomads, one of the USA's first fully staffed, multi-team youth clubs. In Part 2 of our interview, Armstrong addresses the USA's challenge in producing special players and the U.S. Soccer Federation's role in player development.
  • 'U.S. coaching is first class' (Derek Armstrong Q&A - Part 1)
    Few individuals have had as great an impact on American youth soccer as Derek Armstrong, who three decades ago pioneered the fully staffed, multi-team club model now prevalent throughout the USA.
  • If MLS wants kids to watch ...
    How do you, a youth coach, address your players when they're victims of bad fouls, brutish opponents or bad refereeing?
  • Sideline coaching -- Dump the GPS and let the kids drive
    While observing U7 games a few seasons ago I got into a conversation with a disgruntled parent. It turns out that this parent was constantly being told to stop coaching from the sidelines by the team's actual coach. This parent felt justified "getting involved" from the sidelines because, he explained, the designated coach of the team "wasn't coaching enough."
  • (Part 2) Klinsmann Q&A: 'We are on the right track'
    Jurgen Klinsmann's stint as Germany's national team coach in 2004-06 coincided with the nation's rebirth as a world power. We asked Klinsmann, U.S. head coach since July, to compare the German player development efforts with those in the USA.
  • Klinsmann Q&A: Parents can set an example (Part 1)
    Jurgen Klinsmann, whose playing career included winning the 1990 World Cup title with Germany, took a keen interest in American youth soccer when he moved to California upon his retirement in 1998. He became head coach of the U.S. national team in July and took time before the USA's November friendlies against France and Slovenia to discuss American youth soccer issues, including the parents' role, pay-to-play, differences between European and American youth clubs, college ball -- and he offers some advice to youth coaches.
  • Part 2: Becoming Alex Morgan: Rising star reflects on youth game
    Alex Morgan, at age 22, was the youngest member of the USA's runner-up squad at the 2011 Women's World Cup, where she scored in the semifinal and final. Three years earlier, in the midst of her college career at Cal, she led the USA to the 2008 U-20 World Cup title. We asked the Southern California product to reflect on her youth soccer days and address some of the key issues facing young soccer players.
  • Becoming Alex Morgan: Rising star reflects on youth game (Part 1)
    Alex Morgan, at age 22, was the youngest member of the USA's runner-up squad at the 2011 Women's World Cup, where she scored in the semifinal and final. Three years earlier, in the midst of her college career at Cal, she led the USA to the 2008 U-20 World Cup title. We asked the Southern California product to reflect on her youth soccer days and address some of the key issues facing young soccer players.
  • Richie Williams: Remember when you were a kid
    After playing 14 years of pro ball and serving half-a-decade as an MLS assistant coach, Richie Williams now focuses full-time on the youth game.