• The Two-Ref System: Its Flaws and How to Cope
    With many of the thousands of high school games to be played this fall, and with the high school leagues being played in the winter and spring, the two-referee system (just two refs and no assistant refs) is an unfortunate fact of life.
  • Don't Skip The Preparticipation Physical Exam
    The "sports physical," formally known as the preparticipation physical exam (PPE), is an important part of an athlete's summer regimen.
  • The Role Model Coach: Pia Sundhage
    The sideline shots of coaches during TV broadcasts tend not show them in the best light.
  • Relive the U.S. women's golden Olympics
    The Olympics provided a rare chance for America's soccer-playing girls to see plenty of action from the world's best women players. Fortunately, those who tuned in for the USA's march to their gold medal were treated to high drama, exciting soccer and lots of goals.
  • Ref's View: Summer brings soccer in different forms
    One of my friends, living in New York but originally from Croatia, is a big fan of European soccer but of MLS, not so much. He remarked to me about the Herbalife World Football Challenge, "Why are these teams playing in baseball stadiums? The fields don't even have the same width as games in soccer or football stadiums."
  • High school ban hits hard in Manhattan
    Martin Jacobson is likely the most renowned high school soccer coach in the USA as his success with inner-city New York kids, at a school dubbed "Horror High" by the tabloids, has been well-documented by media outlets, including CBS's "60 Minutes."
  • Brian Bliss: 'At U-16s, winning becomes part of it'
    For the second time in three years, the Columbus Crew Juniors won the McGuire Cup -- U.S. Youth Soccer's U-19 national championship -- coached by former U.S. World Cup player Brian Bliss, the MLS club's Technical Director. Bliss, 46, also serves as assistant coach of the U.S. U-20 national team to Tab Ramos, with whom Bliss played alongside on at the 1998 Olympics and 1990 World Cup. We spoke with Bliss about key issues in American youth soccer, including the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's ban on high school ball.
  • Ref's View: Soccer on fake grass
    Artificial turf can be a wonderful solution for soccer fields, particularly in urban areas, that are overused. Through the advent of FieldTurf over a decade ago, overused fields have been transformed from dustbowls to artificial turf. In New York City, the best example of this is the historic Metropolitan Oval, which now sees a daily regimen of soccer.
  • A solution to your volunteer shortage
    How many times have you thought or heard this comment, "Nobody wants to volunteer for the club anymore" ... "I don't have anyone to ref the games" ... "Who is going to put the nets on the goals for opening day?"
  • Spain's bright future; U.S. U-20s; high school vs. club
    Two weeks after Spain routed Italy, 4-0, to win Euro 2012 - following up on its 2010 World Cup and 2008 Euro titles - came a sign that Spanish dominance could have a long future.
  • Hydration tips for summer sports
    In a previous Youth Soccer Insider we discussed recognizing signs of heat illness. Now we will discuss an even more important strategy -- preventing dehydration and possible heat illness through a good hydration strategy.
  • Heat Illness: How to recognize it in young athletes
    I am often asked this time of year about some strategies for coaches and parents to recognize heat illness, and for some strategies to manage the young athlete. With that in mind let's review some basic principles.
  • Kristine Lilly: Have fun and go after it (Q&A Part 2)
    Kristine Lilly, the world record holder for national team appearances with 352, debuted for the USA at age 16 in 1987 and retired in 2010 at age 39. In Part 2 of our interview with the veteran of five World Cups and three Olympic Games, Lilly offers advice for young players and reflects on her youth sports and national team experience.
  • Kristine Lilly: Good coaches create good memories (Q&A Part 1)
    Kristine Lilly, the world record holder for national team appearances with 352, debuted for the USA at age 16 in 1987 and retired in 2010 at age 39. We checked in with the veteran of five World Cups and three Olympic Games for her insights on American youth soccer, past and present.
  • Tim Howard's advice for keepers, parents and coaches
    Goalkeeper Tim Howard is on a well-deserved summer vacation. Within the last year, the 33-year-old goalkeeper played -- besides his 14 starts for the USA - 44 games for Everton in the English Premier League and FA Cup.