Thursday, May 31, 2007

Young Blood

Bob Bradley is calling in three of the U-23 prospects who are currently playing in Europe. Berkeley native Kamani Hill, who was a four-year letter winner at Berkeley High School under Janu Juarez, moved to German Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg after leading the UCLA Bruins in scoring. Lee Nguyen, a member of the PSV Eindhoven team that won the Dutch league title this year, was the only high school player on the USA’s roster for the 2005 World Youth Championship. Charlie Davies, a standout forward at Boston College and former U.S. youth international, comes into camp from Hammarby IF in Sweden.
Hill and Nguyen talk a little in this video from training camp:

USMNT Practice

The Men's National team is practicing in California, preparing for Saturday's game against China. The log of Tuesday's practice can be seen here
I just wanted to copy a few items and see if you recognize this practice.
"10:04 a.m. – Head coach Bob Bradley brings the guys together in the center circle and is talking about what they’ll be doing today and what he’s looking for from today’s practice....After the quick pep talk, trainer Anthony Slater leads the guys in a light jog around the field.
10:10 a.m. – After the run, the guys get in a circle to stretch, led by Andrew in the middle of the circle. Interestingly, Sorber and Peter are also stretching. Possibly playing today? Guess we’ll see.
10:14 a.m. – We finally get into the meat of the practice. The 16 field players are broken up into two groups of eight. One is taking part in a passing/trapping drill. Basically the guys run with in a square, always moving in a counter-clockwise direction, taking a touch and giving it back...
10:31 a.m. – Players using almost an entire half for the next drill where there are four two-by-two foot boxes in each corner. The teams of eight can score points by completing a pass into one of the boxes ... Bob telling the guys good so far, but there needs to be more talking. Umm…Nowak can definitely still play as he gets in good spots and sprays perfectly placed balls with one and two touches. He hits a great one-time ball to Jonathan Spector in the corner and puts it at 3-3. Another yellow score, then Marsh responds to for blue and a 4-4 tie.
10:38 a.m. – Bob blows his whistle after about seven minutes to talk through a couple points about moving without the ball and spacing.
10:51 a.m. – Both goals are pulled up to the 18-yard lines and it looks like they’re going to play 9v9 ...
11:45 a.m. – Guys move on to a strictly shooting drill now, with Sorber playing them a ball straight on from the endline. Lined up about 20 yards out, guys are attempting to take two touches, one to settle, the second to strike on goal...."

My point is that practice is practice no matter what level you are competing on. It is all about fundamentals.

3v3 Practices

For those of you playing in the tournament in Boone, here is your practice schedule:
Thursday 5-31 (6:00 - 7:30)
Monday 6-4 (6:00 - 7:30)
Thursday 6-7 (6:00 - 7:30)
Tuesday 6-12 (6:00 - 7:30)
Thursday 6-14 (6:00 - 7:30)
Sat 6-16 & Sun 6-17 - Tournament.
Location is still up in the air but I would plan on Wilson Field. The nets and goals are down at the Complex, unless you hear otherwise from Troy.
Here's the link to the tourney info and rules:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How not to take a free kick

For you guys that were at UNC camp last year, your coach played with Khano in college.
Here are his remarks concerning this:
"I tell you that 90% of the time that ball is driven like hell to the near post, a week into my first preseason I took one off the face waiting for the re-direction that never came."


But you can still get your TV soccer fix Saturday, 8:00pm on ESPN2 when the United States Men's National Team faces China in a friendly.

Here are the MLS week 8 goals:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

DC United win third in a row

I'm sorry to rain on Ben Olsen's parade (having the game winner and all). Now is it just me or does he look like Joe Cocker in this picture?

DC United defeated Houston 2-1 to give them a four game unbeaten streak. United scored early With Gomez putting one in the net unassisted in the fourth minute. Ben Olsen scored the eventual game winner in the twenty seventh minute with assists awarded to Gomez and Emilio. Dwayne De Rosario pulled one back for Houston in the seventy third minute but DC was able to hang on and to take three points home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Region 11 Women's Team Announced

Fifteen of the twenty-five schools that make up Region 11 placed players on the All-Region Team. Lake Norman led the pack with five players receiving region honors. Hickory and St. Stephens both had four players on the team. Hibriten and Wilkes Central each had three, Mooresville and Fred T Foard had two, while W.Iredell, South Caldwell, Maiden, West Caldwell, Newton-Conover, East Burke, Freedom, and Statesville each had one player make All-Region.

Senior Morganne Beard:

Senior Aleeshia Fischer:

Sophomore Holli Schwartz:


According to Wikpedia:
"A New York minute is a very short period of time, sometimes significantly shorter than sixty seconds, and sometimes a form of hyperbole for "perhaps faster than you would believe is possible"."
That is exactly what happened in last night's game, faster than anyone, especially Chicago,could believe is possible the Red Bulls were winning 2-0.Jozy Altidore back from his break last week(attending his prom) scores in less than a minute.Then Juan Pablo Angel scores a little over a minute later. Angel tops it off with another goal in the second half for a 3-0 final.Here's the goals:

And just for kicks here are the Eagles performing New York Minute. Remember before Don Henley is halfway through the first chorus Red Bull New York is up 2-0.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Should be a good game with Chicago desperate to end their losing ways. If you haven't seen him here's your chance to see Jozy Altidore.He should be raring to go after missinf last week's game to attend his prom. Really! As usual here are last week's goals for your enjoyment.

Lost Spoiler

I've got so much to catch up on here;The Champions League Final, my installment on self confidence, MLS Primetime, the revolving door that is Toronto Fc; but I have very little time. So instead of what I should be doing I'm going to talk about the Lost season finale. If you have it Tivoed read no farther. It seemed touch and go back and forth about which character would die, Desmond or Charlie. For a while it seemed both were going to be gone. In the end Charlie died and Desmond survived and I'm here to tell you why. This is especially for Biz. Desmond survived because he loves the green and white hoops, yep Desmond is one of the Bhoys. If you don't remember here's the proof:

Monday, May 21, 2007

LYSA tryouts

Don't forget Force tryouts begin tonight. Click here to see age groups and times.

Team Party part 2 big success

It seems those
that attended part 2
of the team party this
weekend had a big time.
It comes as no surprise
that the player that
showed up to a game in full
face paint, following a
special ops training mission
was the only one to make it to
the top of the tower unassisted.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The first 2 steps are in your head (pt 2)


click on picture to see full size

ENOUGH SAID!...Actually I will be adding to this a little later.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Team Party part 2

Tomorrow is part 2 of the team party. Climbing the tower at Footslogger's from
9:00am to 11:00am. Troy has emailed everyone details of where to meet and the time.
Please print out the forms that were attached to the email and fill these out. Thise heading up the mountain will eat lunch in the park at Blowing Rock I also suggested a
pick up game or kick around at Wilson field when they get back.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The first 2 steps are in your head (pt 1)

As I stated in the introduction I wanted to bring to your attention the importance of the mental aspect of the game. I wrote that everything is built on the foundation of your skills or technique but you must be attentive to the physical and mental aspects of the game.I'll start with "understanding the game" or tactical awareness. Most coaches put tactical awareness into its own group, but I believe it is a major component of the mental aspect of your game. I wrote in the introduction that the only way to truly gain an understanding of the game was through watching and playing. Now you have been taught or coached on a variety of tactical situations from how to run a 4-4-2 to what to do in a 2 vs 1 in the defensive third of the field but what sticks in your mental database is what has worked in games you've seen or played. Because soccer is not football the 4-4-2 will often morph into a 4-5-1 or 4-3-2-1. Your decision on how to handle the 2 vs 1 will be tempered by where you are on the field, who's tracking back, your confidence in your keeper or a dozen other factors. The most important thing I want you to remember is : You can't stop thinking!It sounds so simple yet how many times have you been watching a game and heard "that was just a mental lapse on so and so's part"? Unlike your technique which should be automatic you can't put your mind on auto-pilot during a game. When you do you end up reacting and in soccer that equals chasing the ball which means no fun. Now here's the big secret. Remember all that work with Brian on explosive speed? All the plyometrics, all the work on first step technique? The secret is the first two steps are in your head! When you start thinking during the game you move from reaction to ... wait for it ...wait... ANTICIPATION! I know you've never heard this before, especially being screamed from the sidelines. Some of the fastest players you'll face on the soccer field are not the fastest at running the 40. They are players with great tactical awareness or understanding of the game who are thinking and anticipating on the field. As the level of your play raises so will the "speed of play". Speed of play has many components. Physically, it is affected by the quality of our first touch. From the mental side, it is affected by our understanding of the game, i.e., the decision process made by the you as to when to turn and take on an opponent, when to combine with another player or when to play a forward pass. Now the best part is when you have great tactical awareness and can remained focused on the field you move from reacting or anticipating to DIRECTING.
Next we'll talk about confidence.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

MLS PRIMETIME, Thursday,8:00 pm

Chicago vs. Dallas
Dallas heads to Chicago and will try
to build on their win over Kansas City
in week 6. Chicago comes home after two
3-1 losses on the road. One to New England
and last week to Toronto. Chicago was able to
enter the record books by allowing Toronto
their first three goals of their inaugural season
as well as Toronto's first win. Here's week 6

The first 2 steps are in your head (intro)

I've often told you at practice or during pregame
talks, that one advantage you will always have is
your ability to think. Every one of you on this team
is blessed with intelligence and this is a thinking
man's game. If you compare it to football, a soccer
game is one big broken play. Unlike football where
everyone's responsibilities and movements are planned
and choreographed, soccer players must continually
analyze and adjust their movements and assignments.
This is one reason why you are constantly being coached
to "talk" on the field. Good communication is critical
to the success of the team.

There are three important aspects to your game; mental,
physical and skills. Obviously skills are the most
important part of your game. Everything is built on this
foundation. It doesn't make any difference what kind of
shape you are in if you can't pass the ball. Likewise
it doesn't matter how well you "read" the game if your
first touch is going to give up possession. This is why
it seems all of our practice time is spent on fundamental
skills like passing, shooting or dribbling.(however most
drills incorporate all three aspects in some manner.) Troy
and I and countless other coaches at camps, have worked
with you on skills. Brian has spent alot of time with you
on your physical conditioning. It's time now to at least
introduce you to some of the mental aspects of soccer.

The mental part of the game covers a lot of areas but there
are three that I would like to start with. I want to touch briefly
on "understanding the game", self confidence and visualization.
Tomorrow I'll begin with understanding the game. Let me just
say there are really only two paths to this understanding; playing
and watching the game. I say that to remind you Thursday is MLS
Primetime on ESPN2. If you need to be reminded here are some tips
on how to watch a game.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bradley named USMNT coach

Well it has taken Sunil Gulatti of the United States Soccer Federation almost a year not to make a decision. Reports are that tomorrow Bob Bradley will lose the "interim" part of his job description. Personally I have no problem with Bradley as coach but I do have a problem with the ineptitude of our Federation.What a fiasco this has been.

Bradley has a great eye for young talent, I just hope that tactically he will up for the job.


This weekend I was
able to watch an
Adult League game.
The team I watched
was made up of
Hibriten High School
players, past and
present. there were
players from the class
of 1992 thru the class
of 2008. The Hibriten team won
6-0 even though the second half
was called short by the ref. Here
are some pics from the game.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Boy 10, dies on soccer field

I know I've told you before but there is a reason
I scream at you when you start hanging on crossbars.
There have been several documented cases of deaths
when the goals have fallen over on players. All goals
should be secured, but you never know!

ABC news in Washington have just reported the death of
a fourth grader,in Va.,during a scrimmage, from a falling net.

NCYSA has just sent out an email to the Associations to
warn players and all parents of the dangers of goal posts
to include horseplay on or around goals.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Hibriten vs Brevard

Brevard defeats North Lincoln 3-1.
The second round brings Brevard to Lenoir to face the Panthers,
Saturday, May 12th, 6:00pm.

MLS PRIMETIME, Thursday, ESPN2, 9:00pm

The Second Game for the
Rocky Mountain Cup

The Rocky Mountain Cup goes to the winner of the
Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids series each
season.Colorado won the first meeting this year
Claiming a 2-0 victory At Salt Lake on April 30th.
Real Salt Lake will probably be running a 5-3-2 and
Colorado usually lines up a 4-4-2. Again please watch the
outside backs during the game, even though neither team
has scored from a cross this season. Pay attention to the
aerial game or Real's lack of one. RSL has given up three goals
from headers.
Here's some trivia from the MLS game guide:
"Kreis went from the eldest member of the Real Salt Lake
roster to the youngest-ever head coach in MLS history on
Saturday when he made his debut as the RSL skipper
against the New York Red Bulls …"


Here it is almost Primetime Thursday and I haven't
even reviewed last weeks action. I'll try to make it short
and sweet. DC United got their first win.
Columbus and Chicago each suffered their first loss. Toronto
played their first home game and are still looking for their
first goal. Chivas played their first game without Amado Guevara.
New York Red Bull allowed a goal against them for the first time.
Jason Kreis coached his first game for Real Salt Lake (bringing Chris
Brown up from the reserves. Brown entered the game in the 67th
minute, scoring his first goal of the season in stoppage time to secure
a tie). Houston scored more than a single goal in a game for the first time
giving Colorado their first loss at home. Wake Forest grad and Revolution
rookie, Wells Thompson scored his first goal. Who's left? Oh yeah, LA and
Dallas each had their first bye. I think that's everyone.
Here's week 5 goals thanks to Climbing the ladder:


The big news last week was the Player's Union
publishing MLS salaries. The outcry from the
soccer community was loud and strong. The
consensus among fans seemed to be if low wages
continued the League would implode. A full 25%
of players were making less than $20,000 a year.
Why would anyone in their right mind, especially
college grads, take a job making less than they could
make flipping burgers? Bobby Boswell who is
starting for DC United set us fans straight. Bobby said:

"I didn’t play soccer in high school or college because I thought
“Man. I would love to make X amount of dollars one day.”
I thought, “Man, that has to be awesome to represent your country
on the biggest stage in the world.” And that is my goal. Hopefully,
I get that opportunity, but if not, I know one thing: It will be one
heck of a ride. And when you’re along for the ride, it isn’t about
money. It is about experiences and everything that goes along with
those experiences! So, I will continue to play hard everyday and try
to get better as I have always done, because at the end of the day that
is all I really can control."

Please read the rest of what he had to say on his blog at
You need to bookmark this page. For you guys that live on facebook
and myspace Boswell let's you get close and personal to his experiences
with DC United.

Just for the record the developmental salaries in the league run between
$12,900 and $17,700. Even after Boswell's blog entries I still couldn't
get rid of the gnawing feeling that our young prospects in the sport were being
slighted. I did a little research to see what baseball, farm team players were
making their first year. I found A team average about $14,000, AA players
approximately $16,000, and triple A players about $18,000. I guess I'll have
to find something else to get up in arms about.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Jimmy Conrad's x-ray

According to the Seattle Post:
"Kansas City captain Jimmy Conrad fractured his jaw
in Saturday's 1-0 win over Columbus but is expected to
miss just one week. Conrad sustained the injury in a collision
with Columbus' Ricardo Virtuoso just eight minutes into the
game but played the entire match. Instead of having surgery,
Conrad has decided to eat soft foods for a month and will be
re-evaluated on May 16, according to the team's Web site.
Conrad will miss Saturday's game with CD Chivas USA. ...
Conrad, a defender, also suffered a broken jaw last year and missed seven weeks."

Liverpool Academy vs NC ODP raffle

For those of you on the fence, about heading to Greensboro Thursday for the game, this might tip it for you. The following items will be raffled at the game. Tickets will be sold at the game for $5.00 each.

Liverpool F.C jersey signed by Steven Gerrard!
San Jose Earthquakes Shirt signed by Jeff Agoos
Nike T-Shirt signed by the entire LA Galaxy Team (of 2004)
D.C United Shirt signed by Ben Olsen (2004)
LA Galaxy GK jersey signed by Kevin Hartman (2004)
LA Galaxy Jersey signed by the entire team (2004)
DC United MLS game ball signed by the entire DC United Team
Signed LA Galaxy Nike Ball

Anger Management Needed

Our Kung Fu keeper in Argentina has recieved a six month suspension but isn't losing his place on the team. For the life of me I can't figure out why. Sessa has some serious anger management issues.

In 2002, he was banned for 10 games after grabbing a referee by the neck after being sent off. He also kicked advertising boards in fury as he left the pitch.

The following year he dropped his shorts in front of fans of rivals Racing Club after a penalty was awarded against his team.

Last October, he attacked team-mate Lucas Castroman, apparently angry at the way in which Castroman had just got himself sent off.

This year, he slapped team-mate Maximiliano Pellegrino in the face during a Libertadores Cup match away to Internacional in Brazil but escaped a red card because the referee did not see the incident.

That was followed by what the Argentine media described as his day of fury in Cordoba when, he kicked a ball into the face of theball boy and then grabbed his genitals in front of a photographer.


Monday, May 7, 2007


We've known for a long time that they take
their soccer very serious in Central and South
America. Here's the latest example, of how
serious, from Argentina. This happened in a
recent Boca Juniors game.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


The Panthers have a first seed so they will be
awarded a first round bye. The second round
game will be Saturday, May 12th when they
will host the winner of the Brevard, North
Lincoln match up.View complete brackets here.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Thursday, May 3, 2007


There will be a local '90 ODP player participating.

Thu May 10 @ 7:30pm � NC ODP v Liverpool F.C Academy: Come out and see the future stars of the English Premier League!

The world famous Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League, Academy Teams visit to North Carolina is fast approaching! Liverpool F.C has just reached the UEFA Champions League Final and the Academy Team just won the F.A Youth Cup, beating Man Utd in front of over 25,000 fans!

Tickets (Adults $10 � Children $7 � under 5 Free) for the game come in the form of an all access pass, which allows entrance to:
* Liverpool Academy Training Session � Wednesday May 9 at 7:30pm (Smith Soccer Complex) * Observation of U12 Training Session Held By Liverpool Staff � Thursday May 10 at 5:30pm (Bryan Park) * Observation of U14 Training Session Held By Liverpool Staff � Thursday May 10 at 6:15pm (Bryan Park) * Game: Liverpool F.C Academy v NC ODP � Thursday May 10 at 7:30pm (Macpherson Stadium, Bryan Park)

To avoid waiting in lines on the night we encourage everyone to purchase tickets in advance on-line. Tickets can be purchased at: (Group rates are available on-line! Tickets can also be purchased at the gate the night of the game)

Liverpool will be bringing their full Academy team to North Carolina comprised of the players that beat Man Utd to win the FA Youth Cup!

The Liverpool Academy has been responsible for producing immense talents such as Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, and Steven Gerrard! The Liverpool Academy team won the English F.A Youth Cup in 2006 and is in the final in 2007! The last Liverpool team to win this trophy included Michael Owen!


Chris Little
Director of Coaching & Player Development
NC Youth Soccer Association



The Lady Panthers host Freedom tonight in their last
home game. Tomorrow night they play West Caldwell,
while not at home it's still hard to call it an away game.
Play offs begin next Wednesday, May 9th.

MLS Primetime, ESPN2 7:00pm, DCU vs NE

Tonight's match up has DC United looking for their first

points of the season against the Revolution. They are holding

a banner contest in RFK tonight. Over on the United boards it

seems the fan favorite so far is:


With AC Milan's thrashing of Manchester United
yesterday, Liverpool finds it will face Milan in the
Champions League Final in Greece on May 23rd.
Milan picked apart a lackluster Manchester side,
opening the scoring with a Kaka strike in the 11th
minute. With Kaka's performance yesterday he
solidified his position as front runner for World Player
of The Year. ManU played well off the ball the entire
game allowing the Italian midfield to show their technical
ability. While I'm on my "outside backs in the attack' kick
I will mention that AC Milans right side back, Diddo was in the
attack most of the game. I believe his pushing forward took
C. Ronaldo out of his game and forced him to play more "D'
than he's used to. The first video is of the highlights:

The second video is the lowlights:

Third video is Kaka:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


I don't think I mentioned this but after last week's
performance by Milan's GK, an angry fan put Dida
up for sale on EBay. I believe he reached the price
of $99 and some change before the auction was
taken down.

TODAY, ESPN2, 2:30

THis match will decide who will face Liverpool
in Greece for the final. Liverpool advanced
yesterday on PKs. ManU is up 3-2 but Milan has the
all important away goals. Here's the highlights from
their first meeting:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


We had been talking

about the importance

of the outside backs

involvement in the

attack, not just in the

build up but in the

offensive third of the

field. In today's Champions

League game the player to

key on to see this in action will be Chelsea's

Ashley Cole. If you don't remember our discussion

about how to watch a game, click on the link. Steve

Finnan of Liverpool will be putting some crosses in the

box but Cole is known for aggressively getting into the

attack. Enjoy the game!