• USA in home stretch toward U-20 World Cup qualifying tourney
    At the U-20 Concacaf Championship in Costa Rica Feb. 17-March 5, Tab Ramos aims to become the first coach to lead the USA to three straight U-20 World Cups. He'll name his 20-player roster for the qualifying tournament following a Jan. 31-Feb. 10 training camp in Orlando, Florida, to which he has invited 24 players.
  • Ref friendlies as if they count in the standings
    Friendly games can take many forms. It could be a preseason game, a match played for charity or the alumni game of a college or high school. College soccer has many friendly games on its schedule, such as the spring games as well as preseason games played before the regular season in the fall. It's no surprise that these college games are generally not as intense as the games played during the regular season.
  • Not using referees is part of Schalke 04's acclaimed youth program
    Schalke 04's youth program, currently home to three U.S. youth national team players -- Haji Wright, Weston McKennie and Nick Taitague -- is among the world's most successful at graduating players to the highest levels.
  • Meet 16-year-old Brianna Pinto, called into U.S. national team
    In October, Brianna Pinto started all three games for the USA at the U-17 Women's World Cup. In January, she was invited to the U-23 women's national team camp, where she impressed such that Coach Jill Ellis invited the midfielder to join the full national team's camp under way now in in Carson, California. Pinto turns 17 in May.
  • Should new refs be identified -- like in driver's ed?
    There are hundreds of soccer referee certification clinics held across the United States every year. Sadly, most refs passing these courses do not last two years with verbal abuse by the adults in youth soccer being the No. 1 reason for quitting.
  • Tab Ramos on new rules, U.S. progress, MLS and youth clubs
    Tab Ramos, a U.S. Hall of Famer whose playing career included three World Cups, is entering his fourth year as U.S. Soccer's Youth Technical Director. Ramos, who is also aiming to become the first coach to lead the USA to three straight U-20 World Cups, has been at the Technical Director helm during a period in which U.S. Soccer has increased its impact on grassroots youth soccer by implementing rule changes such as the build-out line, standardizing small-sided formats, and switching to calendar-year registration.
  • Modernized NSCAA coaching courses have a touch of Mike 'Bert' Berticelli
    It was circa 1991 and I was a young high school teacher and coach in South Bend, Indiana. I remember being introduced to Mike Berticelli after a game in which my team scored six goals after a rather louder than usual halftime talk.
  • Boys Development Academy expands again -- adds U-15 division
    The U.S. Soccer Boys Development Academy, which launched in 2007 with two age groups, will be adding a single-age U-15 division in the 2017-18 season. That will give it six divisions, from U-12 to U-18/19.
  • Q&A with U.S. Soccer's top coach educator Nico Romeijn: On teaching the coaches
    The U.S. Soccer Federation hired Nico Romeijn of the Netherlands in June of 2015 as its Director of Coaching Education. Romeijn previously served as the Head of Education for the Dutch federation (KNVB).
  • Troy Dayak leads thriving West Coast SC after 16 years of pro ball
    A hard-nosed defender during his 16-year pro career, mostly with the San Jose Earthquakes with which he won a pair of MLS titles, Troy Dayak was nicknamed "The Beast." But when he coaches youth soccer -- at least four teams on an average weekend -- Dayak sits calmly on the sidelines, quite often the mellowest coach on the field as he guides teams from West Coast SC, which he founded six years after retiring from the Quakes in 2005.
  • Washington Youth Soccer reinstated by U.S. Youth Soccer
    In November, Washington Youth Soccer announced its aim to register its players solely with the U.S Soccer Federation. In mid-December, U.S. Youth Soccer sent a memo to all its state associations announcing that was for 2017 revoking from WYS any "any and all benefits" associated with U.S. Youth Soccer