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

Spirit-Red Stars: A mad night at the SoccerPlex

There’s just a lot of anger in the world right now. Our president took a break from Twitter ranting to issue the most controversial presidential pardon since Gerald Ford fell on his sword for Richard Nixon, paving the way for a peanut farmer from Georgia to become president and then a truly outstanding ex-president. North Korea, apparently angry about being pushed off the front page by U.S. domestic shenanigans and a hurricane (and a preposterous fight), flung a few more missiles into the sea, which raises the question of how many North Koreans live in dangerous poverty while Kim Jong … Continue reading Spirit-Red Stars: A mad night at the SoccerPlex

Mayweather-McGregor: A corporate bailout, not a fight

I’m certainly not the first person to tell you I won’t be watching Floyd Mayweather box Conor McGregor tonight. It’s one thing to watch Randy Couture pummel James Toney in the co-main event of a strong UFC card. It’s another to shell out $99.99 to watch a UFC fighter who’s third, at best, in the current pound-for-pound rankings of a down period for MMA taking on a boxer who, for all his personal flaws, knows his craft about as well as anyone ever has. McGregor isn’t even the UFC fighter who would bring the most entertainment value to a freak-show … Continue reading Mayweather-McGregor: A corporate bailout, not a fight

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

State of the Spirit, Mewis trade edition

You can’t fault the Washington Spirit for trading Kristie Mewis. She’s a strong attacking player who hasn’t been a full-time starter in recent weeks as the Spirit fully embrace their non-contender status and continue to develop a gaggle of young attackers who have been better than expected. She has trade value, and yet it’s reasonable to omit her from the current starting XI. The question: What are they getting for her, and what does it say about the Spirit’s awareness of where this team really stands? The early indication from coach Jim Gabarra on Lifetime’s broadcast is that they’re going … Continue reading State of the Spirit, Mewis trade edition