• An Injury Prevention Formula for Adolescents
    A new study suggests that adolescents who train more hours per week in a single sport than their age are at significant increased risk of serious overuse injury.
  • Dealing with the Problem Player: Refereeing Young Children (Part 2)
    Most referees starting out will begin with the games of young children. It's very important that the ref do a good job plus enjoy the experience -- otherwise, the ref could quit before his or her career really begins.
  • Refereeing Young Children: More Teacher than an Enforcer (Part 1)
    When I started refereeing in 1978, young kids games were 11 vs. 11. I was paid $6 per game, or $4 if I refereed with a partner. Being given responsibilities and some authority while running up and down a soccer field was probably the best job that a teenager could have. Nearly all new referees will be given young children's games when starting out.
  • The Perils of Tournament Play: How to Cope
    Way back in 1989, when asked to name impediments to player development, U.S. national team coach Bob Gansler said that American youth soccer was "suffering from a huge case of tournamentitis." And that was when the tournament industry was in its infancy.
  • Why MLS made a French Connection
    The USA has long made a habit of looking abroad for formulas to successful soccer. But which nations are really worth emulating?
  • Former U.S. U-17 Neven Subotic vies for Champions League crown
    Neven Subotic, who spent part of his childhood in Utah and Florida and played for the USA at the 2005 U-17 World Cup, will line up on the backline for Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final on Saturday. He's the subject of the Youth Soccer Insider's latest edition of "When They Were Children."
  • Kristine Lilly: 'A ball, chaos, oranges -- and fun!'
    In the Youth Soccer Insider's latest edition of its "When They Were Children" series, Kristine Lilly remembers her early years of Connecticut youth soccer, which her set on a path to becoming the world record holder for national team appearances (352) and winning world championships with the USA. The account is an excerpt from her e-book, "Girls Soccer: My Story -- Dream, Believe, Achieve."
  • When Lightning Threatens: Safety Comes Before Soccer
    Earlier that week, I had told the home team coach that I would be a little late as my previous game was going to finish a few minutes before the kickoff time of his game and that game was four miles away. When I got into my car after the conclusion of the previous game, I heard thunder.
  • The Death of a Referee: Make it an Hour of Silence
    "The yells and insults from the sideline from the parents make kids more violent." -- Utah referee Pedro Lopez, the brother-in-law of 46-year-old referee Ricardo Portillo, who died last week after being punched by a 17-year-old goalkeeper.
  • Play through the lines: Risky at first but successful in the long term
    When establishing a style of play based on possession, passing and control of the ball, it is paramount for a team to develop the ability to play through the lines. So what does this entail? When a team plays through the lines it plays from one line to the next (backline to midfield line to forward line) rather than bypassing the midfield.
  • What to do about M's father?
    The recent death of Salt Lake City, Utah, soccer referee Ricardo Portillo makes me incredibly sad. There isn't a game on earth that is worth someone's life. I read that his family says the parents of the 17-year-old keeper who hit him in the head should bear some of the blame. I guarantee you that neither the parents nor anyone else on the sidelines intended for Portillo's death to happen. But time and time again I've watched negative energy result in unintended consequences.
  • Refereeing Special Children
    The Huntington Boys Club and Massapequa Soccer Club, both of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, became the first formal soccer clubs to have Special Children's Programs when they separately started programs in 1979. A year before, I became a referee.