• USA beats Spain at U-20 tournament in Valencia
    The U.S. U-19 men's national team upset host Spain, 1-0, at the Sub-20 l'Acudia COTIF tournament thanks to a free-kick goal by Brandon Vazquez, a Southern Californian product who joined Tijuana Xolos' youth program before playing for the USA at the 2015 U-17 World Cup.
  • Refs: Use your head and wear a cap
    I schedule a full check-up with my dermatologist every six months. When I was there last, this past May, she said to me, "I saw one of my patients with all this sun damage to his face. He's a soccer referee like you. I asked him why he does not wear a cap and he said that he's not allowed to do so. But the last time you were here, you showed me these articles (from Soccer America) that soccer refs can now wear caps."
  • Taking the ice bath plunge for muscle soreness -- helpful or not?
    I've noticed for a long time now that adult endurance athletes will often jump into an ice bath after a race or particularly strenuous training session. This practice is common in the triathlon and endurance running community. Like many things touted by elite adult athletes, the youth sports community seems to be giving this a try as well.
  • Development Academy award winners in good company
    In the wake of the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, which concluded last weekend with FC Dallas winning both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 national titles, U.S. Soccer has announced the DA year-end awards.
  • Most of 2015 U-17 alums already with pro clubs
    The USA may have disappointed at the 2015 U-17 World Cup last October when Coach Richie Williams' U.S. team was the first since 2001 to exit in the first round, and a 5-1 loss host Chile marked its worst loss at the U-17 World Cup in group play since falling, 4-0, to Oman in 1997. But the rate at which team's players are moving into the pros indicates this was a talented group.
  • Think food first: Refueling after training or games
    Here's another of those subjects that seems to make some people emotional -- why is it important for young athletes to refuel after exercise, when should this happen, and what drink/food is best?
  • FC Dallas makes Development Academy history, but focus remains on long-term
    FC Dallas won 2016 U.S. Soccer Development Academy titles at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 divisions, becoming the first club to win both age groups in the same year.
  • FC Dallas reaches both Development Academy finals
    FC Dallas, which leads MLS clubs in Homegrown signings, continues to impress at the youth level. Both FC Dallas' U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams have reached the 2016 U.S. Soccer Development Academy finals, which take place on Saturday in Carson, California.
  • Top ECNL honor goes to Southern California's Slammers FC
    Slammers FC was named ECNL "Overall Club Champion" for the 2015-16 season. The Newport Beach, California-based club won 2016 ECNL national titles at U-15 and U-18 divisions and its teams reached the quarterfinals in four of the five ECNL age group national championships and the semifinals in three.
  • So far, 53 clubs join Girls Development Academy
    U.S. Soccer, which on June 30 announced the first 25 clubs that will play in the inaugural Girls Development Academy season of 2017-18, last weekend named another 28 participants, and has indicated that more clubs will be announced in the near future.
  • Do's And Don'ts of Supplements for Young Athletes
    Last week I wrote about painkillers and how to use them occasionally, as well as some cautions. This week I'd like to follow that up with a brief discussion about supplements commonly used by young athletes
  • The cases for and against compensating youth clubs
    When Manchester United paid a transfer fee of $10 million to Bayern Munich to acquire 30-year-old Bastian Schweinsteiger in 2015, a small German club named TSV 1860 Rosenheim received $42,000.
  • Collegian makes case for U.S. U-20 men's national team
    The only collegians on the USA's 2015 U-20 World Cup roster were two backup goalkeepers. And en route to its quarterfinal finish, the USA for the first time in 14 U-20 World Cup appearances, dating back to 1981, fielded a starting lineup without any field players who ever played college ball.
  • Girls Development Academy taking shape: First 25 clubs accepted
    Twenty-five clubs have been accepted so far by U.S. Soccer to compete in the Girls U.S. Soccer Development Academy, whose inaugural season kicks off in fall of 2017. U.S. Soccer has not specified how many clubs will take part in the 2017-18 season, during which teams will compete in U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 age groups, but the Girls DA is likely to launch with at least 50 teams.