• Pros and Cons of Tournament Play & the U.S. Development Academy (Q&A with NSCAA's Ian Barker, Part 3)
    In Part 3 of our interview we asked NSCAA Director of Coaching Ian Barker to address tournament play and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's impact on the youth game.
  • U.S. coaching education must be unique (Q&A with NSCAA's Ian Barker, Part 2)
    Ian Barker became Director of Coaching of the 30,000-member National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in February. A longtime ODP coach, he served as Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Director of Coaching (1997-2007) and spent more than two decades coaching college ball. In Part 2 of our interview we asked Barker about coaching education in America and for advice on navigating the youth soccer landscape.
  • 'Relate to the kids' (Q&A with NSCAA's Ian Barker, Part 1)
    Ian Barker became Director of Coaching of the 30,000-member National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in February. A longtime ODP coach, he served as Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Director of Coaching (1997-2007) and spent more than two decades coaching college ball. In Part 1 of our interview we spoke with Barker about youth coaching in America.
  • On losing without a loss (Q&A: U-17 coach Albertin Montoya)
    In a year that saw the U.S. women win Olympic gold and lift the U-20 World Cup, the U.S. U-17 girls suffered a first-round exit at the U-17 World Cup last month, despite going undefeated and conceding only one goal.
  • Crucial Concussion Evaluation Info for Coaches
    How should a coach evaluate a young athlete for a possible concussion?
  • Why Mexico has been so successful
    It's five days after Mexico won the 2012 Olympic gold medal. Scouts from 11 Mexican pro clubs and three representatives of the Mexican federation (FMF) are eying players from ages 13 to 18.
  • Keys to the Ref-Assignor Relationship
    Assignors are the people who give referees and assistant referees their schedules every week so it's imperative that an official maintains a positive relationship with them.
  • Bad Boys, Perfectionists, Musicians, etc. -- The Archetypes (Part 2)
    I have coached probably 1,000 different players since my first youth team in 1975. There were junior high squads, high school freshmen, junior varsity and, now, varsity teams. But I feel like I’ve worked with only a few. That's because the same boys show up again and again. Well, not the same ones -- but the same types.
  • The Archetypes: Loners, Little Guys, Mathematicians, etc. (Part 1)
    The same boys show up again and again. Well, not the same ones -- they'd be too old, and even worse they would know all my tricks -- but the same types.
  • For Kids Only ...
    Dear Soccer-Playing Children of America,
  • Laughter, Tears, Frustration, Celebration (Book Review)
    If there's a book about a youth soccer coach's experience as entertaining and insightful as what Dan Woog has produced, I'm unaware of it.
  • Refereeing in Different Systems
    The youngest youth soccer players start out by kicking a smaller ball into a smaller goal on a small-sided field. By the time they have graduated to U-13 and often sooner, they are playing 11 vs. 11 with a No. 5 ball on a regulation field with goals that are 8 feet high and 8 yards wide.
  • Hope Solo: 'Free and unburdened on the soccer field'
    Hope Solo's memoir, released days after she helped the USA win gold at the 2012 London Games, debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list. The goalkeeper's propensity for controversy and the promise of revealing details from her battles with coaches, teammates (and even a dance partner) undoubtedly boosted sales. The book also provides a glimpse into the youth soccer days of the world's best female goalkeeper.
  • U.S. Academy goes younger; futsal in the plans
    The U.S. Soccer Federation continues increasing its influence on boys soccer. Launched in 2007 with 64 clubs, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy enters its 2012-13 with 80 clubs, and for the 2013-14 season will add a younger age group, U-13/14.
  • NSCAA opposed, but couldn't stop, high school ban (Joe Cummings Q&A)
    The impact of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's banning its players from high school ball is being felt across the nation as the fall scholastic season begins. We spoke with Joe Cummings, the CEO of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), more than a third of whose 30,000-plus members are high school coaches.