• Catching college coaches' eyes at tournament play
    The opening whistle blows. The ball gets dropped back to you. Your first touch isn't so good and the ball slips away. You scramble to it just before a defender gets there, but you hit it awkwardly and it bends out of bounds. Uh oh.
  • Tom Howe: Coaching good soccer takes patience
    Tom Howe helped found St. Louis' Scott Gallagher SC in 1976 and coached future stars such as Tim Ream, Brad Davis and Pat Noonan. One of his alums, Cal coach Kevin Grimes, calls Howe "a legend, one of the best youth coaches ever." Last year, after Scott Gallagher merged with Busch SC and Metro United, Howe left and started a new club, Woodson City Rangers. Howe, a St. Louis product himself who starred at SIU-Edwardsville and played in the old NASL, spoke to us for the Youth Soccer Insider's ongoing interview series with leaders of U.S. youth clubs.
  • How Club Structure Impacts Development
    While the coach interacting with the players on a daily basis is the key influencer in their individual development, there are many structural factors surrounding the club that will impact the likelihood of a player reaching his or her potential.
  • Ref Tips: Mechanics on Free Kicks
    Generally, restarting play will not be challenging on free kicks when the ball is far from the goal. However, you will find certain forwards and midfielders deliberately walk by the ball after a foul is called against their team. They are trying to delay the other team restarting play. Do not let them do this-verbally warn them that if they persist, they will be cautioned.
  • 'Good players always want the ball,' says Dallas Texans' Hassan Nazari
    Hassan Nazari, who played for Iran in the 1978 World Cup and 1976 Olympics, founded the Dallas Texans in 1993 after coaching youth ball in the highly competitive Metroplex for eight years. The Dallas Texans have long been ranked among the top clubs in the nation for sending players to the college, pro and national team level, and for their success at national competitions.
  • Survey reveals young players' role models
    With 1,621 travel teams -- 820 boys teams and 801 girls teams -- the Long Island Junior Soccer League is one of the world's largest soccer leagues. Eighty LIJSL players, both boys and girls, from ages 8 to 14 are playing in the New York Red Bulls' Regional Developmental School.
  • Tab Ramos: Keep the parents at bay
    Tab Ramos, considered one of the USA's most skillful players ever, played for the USA at three World Cups, two Copa Americas, and in the Olympic Games. Two years after retiring in 2002 from a playing career in Spain, Mexico and MLS, he founded the New Jersey youth club NJSA 04. In 2008, he coached the NJSA 04 Gunners to the U-14 U.S. Youth Soccer national title, marking the first national championship for a New Jersey club in two decades.
  • Equipping keepers the right way
    During training, goalkeepers should be dressed for maximum protection: long pants, long sleeves, and shin guards. I prefer that keepers always wear shin guards at practice, not only to protect them from injury, but also because they have to wear them in games and should be used to them.