Upcoming coverage/career plans

Mid-major announcement to start with: Ranting Soccer Dad now has its own site. I’m not married to the design yet, but it should stabilize in the next few days. This site and podcast will be my top work priority for some time to come. I’m even planning a related book. Stay tuned. Ranting Soccer Dad deals primarily with youth soccer, but it ties into everything in the soccer world — U.S. Soccer politics, the national teams, the pro leagues (men and women), etc. Even if you think you’re not interested in youth soccer, check it out. You’ll find some interesting … Continue reading Upcoming coverage/career plans

Podcast, Ep. 10 – Ronnie Woodard on women in coaching, youth soccer madness

  Tennessee Soccer Club’s Ronnie Woodard is a legit women’s soccer pioneer — first scholarship player and goalkeeper at Duke, one of the first wave of women’s soccer players to move into the coaching ranks. She has coached college and elite youth teams, winning 2016 NSCAA Coach of the Year honors, while launching a consulting business for college prospects. We talk about what’s keeping women out of coaching (10:20 mark) and what’s better or worse in youth soccer today (25:00). Then I rant about my youth soccer weekend (coach ejected!) and some upcoming Ranting Soccer Dad programming.   Continue reading Podcast, Ep. 10 – Ronnie Woodard on women in coaching, youth soccer madness

Podcast, Ep. 9 — Girls’ Development Academy with Travis Clark, plus a soccerpolitical rant

The podcast starts this week with a bit of a political rant. The news on DACA is hard to ignore, and we’ve had some ongoing overheated arguments in the soccer community. The Travis Clark interview on the Development Academy starts around the 9:25 mark. A few landmarks: Will the NWSL affiliates dominate? (19:45) DA vs. high school (25:00) Can we tame the chaos and still have multiple development pathways? (30:30) A few clubs to watch in the DA (38:45) Continue reading Podcast, Ep. 9 — Girls’ Development Academy with Travis Clark, plus a soccerpolitical rant

Podcast, Ep. 8 — Youth development and women’s soccer with Kris Ward

Kris Ward has done a bit of everything in coaching at a relatively young age — high school, Development Academy, ODP, college, traditional clubs and NWSL. We talk about rec soccer, how the U.S. academy approach compares with other countries and what a curriculum really means. Around the 40:30 mark, get ready for a detailed breakdown of all that isn’t working in U.S. women’s soccer. Continue reading Podcast, Ep. 8 — Youth development and women’s soccer with Kris Ward

Podcast, Ep. 7 — Smarter soccer parents with Skye Eddy Bruce

With all due respect to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (now known as Will Smith), sometimes parents DO understand. Skye Eddy Bruce, an experienced player and coach, is now working to help parents understand youth soccer and then advocate for their kids. Throughout this interview, she and I talk about empowering parents. (And educating them — the idea isn’t to have ignorant parents berating coaches all over the country.) We don’t need to let coaches push winning over development, and we don’t need to sign up for the league that travels all over creation. A few highlights: 2:15 About the … Continue reading Podcast, Ep. 7 — Smarter soccer parents with Skye Eddy Bruce

Podcast: Ep. 6 — The Big Questions with Bobby Warshaw

“If you let your kid play sports, she’ll grow up to be a productive member of society! If you don’t, what’s wrong with you?” That’s the subtext of a lot of sports marketing ads for everything from the NCAA to shoe companies. And we sports journalists buy in whole hog. But wait a minute. Aren’t some of the traits that make someone a good athlete — aggression, attitude, a winner-takes-all mentality — actually bad traits to have in life? Bobby Warshaw played at Stanford and went on to the pros in MLS and Scandinavia. His book, When the Dream Became Reality: The journey of … Continue reading Podcast: Ep. 6 — The Big Questions with Bobby Warshaw

Podcast: Episode 3 with Gwendolyn Oxenham and extraordinary women’s soccer stories

Gwendolyn Oxenham and I both went to Duke, but she’s a more typical Dukie overachiever — soccer player, filmmaker, author, etc. Her new book, Under the Lights and In the Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer, collects interesting stories from all over, showing us what women’s soccer players do to compete and get better in a sport that is providing more opportunities than in the past but not quite as much as we’d all like. She also chats here about her youth soccer experience (a devoted coach!) and what she’d like to see for her kids. Continue reading Podcast: Episode 3 with Gwendolyn Oxenham and extraordinary women’s soccer stories