Single-Digit Soccer is a book that will make youth soccer parents and coaches laugh, then push for change. Youth soccer at this age (9 and below, hence “single-digit”) is fun. And funny. There’s no shortage of fun stories to tell, and I put a couple of them in the excerpt in SoccerWire. But we also get into more serious topics. U.S. Soccer is trying to step up its game so we’ll have better players emerging from youth soccer. Yet the most obvious solutions aren’t always the best, and in the unique landscape of the United States, they’re often counterproductive. So that leads … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: What is this about?
You can now read Single-Digit Soccer on the electronic device of your choice. The paperback edition hit a snag. I’ll keep working through it, and it should be ready in September, hopefully in early September. If you have not yet read the excerpt posted at SoccerWire, take a look. To celebrate the release, I’ve posted a video giving people a quick intro to the topic: Enjoy, and please order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple or Kobo. Update: And it’s also available on Scribd, Page Foundry/Inktera and Oyster. Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: The video (and official release date)
Should coaches of really good players from U9 to U19 pay attention to Single-Digit Soccer? Until time freezes and no one ages, yes. U10s have a funny way of growing up to be U16s. And while Single-Digit Soccer casts a wide net over everything — rec soccer, semi-serious travel soccer, TOPSoccer and extreme travel soccer — there’s plenty to hold the elite coach’s interest. One major issue for these coaches: soccer’s dropout rate. Here’s Kevin Payne, who has dealt with elite players as an MLS executive and continues to do so in his role as U.S. Club Soccer CEO, sums it up: At … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Why elite coaches should care about being inclusive
Fox made a big splash this year with the Bundesliga, easily one of the four best leagues in the world and one that holds a certain charm for U.S. fans, especially us old folks who remember Soccer Made In Germany. The early ratings are in, and they’re not good. The only games drawing more than 50,000 viewers were broadcast on two channels in two languages, and you have to add them together to break 50K. The NWSL, with far less fanfare and far fewer resources sunk into production, did better than that when it debuted in 2013. So would someone care … Continue reading Numbers on NWSL TV invisibility don’t add up
As with many other Internet shoutfests, it all started with an innocuous tweet: WARNING to @NWSL teams and anyone staying at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Kansas City, MO #bedbugs #notok — Christine Sinclair (@sincy12) August 15, 2015 Can’t blame Sinclair for venting there. Bedbugs are every traveler’s nightmare. The big hype about bedbug resurgence came about a couple of years ago, and I’m still putting my bags up on hard surfaces to minimize the risk of anything hitching a ride back to my place. (I draw the line at the “pry the headboard off the wall, put your bags … Continue reading Alex Morgan and the Bedbugs That Ate the NWSL
Want a better U.S. soccer league? Try global dysfunction. Yes, that’s a cynical clickbait headline. But it’s empirically true. In Ian Plenderleith’s rollicking Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer: The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League, we learn a few reasons why international players were drawn to the USA in the late 70s and early 80s. Pay, of course. At the time, wages were limited in Europe, and the NASL could outbid most top-tier clubs, let alone the lower divisions. Mood of the country. “There is little doubt that in the 1970s the United States was a more … Continue reading “Rock ‘n’ Roll Soccer” vs. NASL revisionism
If you read all my tweets and replies on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve eased up a bit on ignoring the crowd that pushes for promotion and relegation in U.S. soccer. It’s intentional. I think we’re starting to see some ideas that go beyond shouting anti-MLS slogans. And given the scarcity of MLS content I’m writing these days, it’s almost like tripping down Memory Lane, like going back to a high school reunion and chatting amiably with the guy who was a total jerk and bully the whole time. Wait a minute. Scratch that. That guy still doesn’t … Continue reading The NASL, NPSL, and why there’s no pleasing pro/rel advocates