Monday, April 30, 2007

ESPN2, TUESDAY at 2:30

Chelsea vs Liverpool
This game to decide who will face the winner of
AC Milan and ManU on Wednesday. Chelsea
heads to Liverpool up 1-0 on aggregate. Here's
some Drogba goals to get you warmed up.


Next year you guys are going to be on the bottom of the
totem pole once again. Remember as your feeling bad
about your position in the food chain that it won't last forever.
You need to be aware that there will always be new kids on the
block throughout your life and newbies will always have to pay
their dues. Check out this video of DC United's rookies paying
theirs :


Don't forget that was just part 1!
TS has more adventures planned
for May 19th.


DC United continued their losing ways Saturday dropping

an away game to Columbus, 1-0.

The Red and Black wore maroon in tribute to those that lost their lives at VT on April 16th.

Each jersey will be autographed and auctioned off at with proceeds going to the

Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well, I had a few storylines worked out in my mind to write
today about the Dallas, Red Bull game last night. My personal
favorite involved tracking "El Piscadito's" (The little fish, Carlos
Ruiz of Dallas) dives and scoring them. I even had some great
diving video clips picked out, but Dallas didn't maintain enough
possesion to make Ruiz's flops news worthy.
I had also thought that there might be a good showing by Dallas' new Colombian midfielder Juan Toja.
I had a whole story ready about the his similarity with the last great Colombian midfielder
playing in the MLS, Carlos Valderrama. With Toja's Jim Morrison hair style I had a sidebar ready asking the hard question about Colombian midfielder's and their hairstyles. Unfortunately
the Red Bulls maintained complete control of the midfield.

Another Dallas midfielder I really didn't want to discuss, but felt I might be forced to is UNC
graduate Dax McCarty. His rookie season is starting fantastic. Like I said New York dominated
the midfield so I was off the hook on that story.
So now that the game is over I have two things I want to comment on. First Altidore is the real deal. He played like a man, alone up top, getting hacked to shreds because no one could stay with him.
Second, the game winner was scored by Hunter Freeman an outside back. I want all of you guys
that even play back occasionally to please watch the outside backs in any game you watch on TV.
BC this goes for you especially, this is the kind of movement forward I have been trying to get you guys to understand. The outcome of last week's game was also decided by an outside back. Frankie Hedjuk made the sideline run and put the cross in for the game tying goal towards the end of the game. So please watch the outside backs and their serios contribution to the offense.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Directions to Lakeview Baptist Church......

From Lenoir or Hickory......
Go Hwy 321 to Southwest Blvd (The Loop).
Get on Southwest Blvd, and got to the 1st traffic light - turn left onto 321A South.
Follow 321A South about a mile, and pass Kincaid Furniture (on the right).
Just past Kincaid Furn, turn right onto Shasta Lane.
The church will be a couple hundred yards on the left.
Address is....
325 Shasta Lane
Lenoir (Joyceton)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hibriten Ladies vs Hickory at home, Friday 5:30 & 7:00

The 11-6-1 Panthers face the 15-1-2 Red Tornadoes.
Hickory is undefeated in conference play while Hibriten
is 5-4-1. The Panther's conference losses have all come
at the hands of 3A schools.


While we're talking about NY Red Bull here's a video
of tryouts for their freestyle team:



Here's your chance to see what all the talk is about
regarding the Red Bull's Jozy Altidore . The 17 year
had the MLS goal of the week last week. You can see
that and all the other goals from week 3 in the video

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Team Party Part 1 - Friday April 27th

Meet at 6:00 pm at Lakeview Baptist Church (Joyceton area). Anyone with an X-Box, please bring it with you (games. controllers, etc.)
1) Meal: We will be treated to a fine Barbecue Supper (6:00-6:45). Meal will be provided free for team members, their parents, and our sponsors. Anyone else wishing to come and attend, can purchase a plate for $6.00 each.
2) Music: There will be a special music presentation afterwards (7:00 - 7:30). This is my treat to the team.
3) Games: X-Box game link. We will link all the X-boxes in the fellowship hall, and let the kids enjoy some competition (7:30 - 9:30). We will have popcorn & drinks during the X-box games.
Please plan to come and enjoy......

Team Party Part 2 - Sat. May 19th

1) The kids & sponsors are invited to attend a Rock Climbing Adventure at Foot Sloggers in Boone, NC.
We will have the climbing tower from 9:00 am - 11:00 am. Gear is provided, wear shorts or warm up pants for comfort in climbing. I will have a waver of liability for parents to sign, on Friday 4-27 at the "Part 1 party" (or see me prior to 5-19 to sign).
2) After the climbing tower adventure, we will stop by the Park in Blowing Rock. Please bring a basketball, tennis equip, soccer ball, or just yourself - to hang and enjoy the area.
3) There's all kinds of food/ice cream/ treats nearby, if you want to treat yourself. We may do something (Hot-dogs & Chips?), but do not have any details worked out yet....

More info. and directions to come !!!!

The Legend Turns 60-Johann Cruyff

Go Johann, it's your birthday!

You guys all know who Pele is but this is another legend of the game that you should know.
Johann Cruyff played for Holland and played most of his career for Dutch giants Ajax. Ajax's
style became known as "total football". This was due to fluid movement of players during the game. All positions were interchangeable and no field player was to feel stuck in a position.
If you do recognize the name it's because of a move that you have practiced and mastered called the Cruyff Turn. Cruyff would look to pass or cross the ball. However, instead of kicking it, he would drag the ball behind his planted foot with the inside of his other foot and turn through 180 degrees and accelerate away outside a defender.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ESPN2 Tommorrow at 2:30

Chelsea vs Liverpool
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea's coach has shown that the art
of playing mind games with the opposition is still one
of his greatest skills by claiming Liverpool will do all
they can to get top scorer Didier Drogba booked in the
Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea has three players carrying yellow cards and the
Blues coach has said that Liverpool will be trying their
best to get them yellow cards so they cannot play in the
second leg match. Joe Cole and Lassana Diarra, like Drogba,
are just one booking away from missing the second leg and
Mourinho believes Rafa Benitez's side will make the most of it
- especially where Drogba is concerned.
Chelsea is looking for revenge after Liverpool beat them at the
same stage in the Champion's League two years ago.


Manchester United AC Milan

Manchester faces AC Milan at home with an injury ravaged team.
Not a single one of the starters in the back are healthy enough to
hit the field against Milan. The player to watch will be double award
winner Christiano Ronaldo who was voted the English player's association
Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. For AC Milan Brazilian Kaka
will be trying to show why some consider him the world's best striker. If you
didn't read my entry on how to watch a game, check it out here:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Playing up - Playing back

I have been preaching to you for a couple of years now that there is a difference between playing "defense" and playing "back". Playing defense can not be used to mean a player whose position is in the defensive third of the field. I'm sure you can all repeat me with the mantra, "We all play offense when we have the ball and we all play defense when we give up possesion."

Now with that out of the way I wanted to talk a little bit about the the difference in the mentality of the player positioned in the back. The picture above is a perfect visual of the difference between players playing back and those playing up top. The two in the foreground play in the back while the sparkling clean player in the background plays up top. Players in the back are generally hard working, blue collar types, not seeking glory or fame and not afraid to get dirty. Their joy comes from getting stuck in and knowing in their heart that without them there is no chance for the team to succeed. Their motivation is internal rather than external. The player in the back doesn't look outside himself for the confidence to perform. It's a good thing too, because the reality of the situation is the player in the back can have the performance of the season, but get turned in the 89th minute, give up a goal and become the"goat". Now the player up top can have his worst game of the season, miss several "sitters", get lucky with a toe poke in the 89th minute and become the hero. The world is not fair, but the guy in the back knows in his heart that "Offense puts people in the seats while defense wins championships."

Here's a video for those playing in the back

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Work on Your Touch - Try Soccer Tennis

You gotta have fun with the game so, why not perfect your skills at the same time? A little game of soccer tennis or volleyball can certainly be fun. It's pretty simple to set up almost anywhere and you can play 1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 3 and 4 v 4 might be the most players you’d want to get in on a game but that’s just my advice – you could play with larger teams too (it’s your call). These games can teach quite a bit through play and probably more than you think. Take for example, you might be an attacker that has to take a ball out of the air from a cross on the chest and with one touch direct the ball to your feet for a volley shot on goal.You might also be a central midfielder or defender that has to win a 50/50 ball out of the air and at the same time redirect play to a teammate in order to create a counter attack. Well, playing soccer tennis or volleyball can help you better prepare yourself to manage these sometimes difficult but exciting moments in the match.

If the pros are playing these games why shouldn’t you?

If the pros are playing these games why shouldn’t you? To get started, grab a few friends and play 3 v 3 up to 15 points with one bounce allowing only one touch per player (that’s three touches in a sequence of play per team). Generally, follow the rules of tennis or volleyball, be creative and have fun. If you want to make the game more challenging volleyball is the way to go, which you do not allow a bounce. You can also put other creative restrictions on the game for a better test of your skills like requiring a combination of touches from the team (at least one headed pass and one foot pass).

The opportunities to be creative and challenge your skills are only limited to your imagination. So, just get out and play. Here is a video of DC United playing during practice:

Friday, April 20, 2007

Houston Dynamo to aid VT

"The tribute and fundraiser will take place Sunday, April 29 when Dynamo take on the Chicago Fire at Robertson Stadium.
The Dynamo will wear special uniforms that night featuring the Virginia Tech colors of maroon and orange, and after the match, the uniforms will be auctioned off with all the proceeds going to the Memorial Fund. Fans can participate in the auction online and at Robertson Stadium the night of the match."
Why DC United didn't come up with this first I'll never know.

Lady Panthers at Home Tonight

Hibriten hosts Maiden tonight. JV begins at 5:30, Varsity at 7:00.

Thursday, April 19, 2007



The Lenoir Youth Soccer Association will be holding tryouts for the following classic soccer teams for the

2007 - 2008 SEASON.

Tryouts are open to all interested soccer players in the area. All tryouts will be held at the Rotary Soccer Complex on Zacks Fork Road in Lenoir. All players must bring shin guards, ball and water. All players must attend at least one tryout, but they are encouraged to attend as many as possible.
Women�s Teams
Monday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 23 6:00-7:30

U18- 89 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1989
U17- 90 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1990
U16- 91 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1991
U15- 92 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1992
U14- 93 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1993
U13- 94 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1994
U12- 95 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1995
U11- 96 Lenoir Force G born on or after August 1, 1996

Men�s Teams
Tuesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 24 6:00-7:30

U14- 93 Lenoir Force born on or after August 1, 1993
U13- 94 Lenoir Force born on or after August 1, 1994
U12- 95 Lenoir Force born on or after August 1, 1995
U11- 96 Lenoir Force born on or after August 1, 1996
U15 and older will be held in the Fall, Dates to be announced

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New England Revolution vs Columbus Crew, 7pm, ESPN2

This isn't one of the most exciting of match ups but still should be pretty entertaining. The Crew is winless this season but they are undefeated (two scoreless draws). New England is 1-1, with a 1-0 loss to Chicago and an impressive 4-0 win over expansion team Toronto. The thing to watch in this game will be the wing play for the Revolution. Taylor Twellman, New England's target forward will need good service from the wings. Twellman, who didn't make the cut for the World Cup has something to prove if he hopes to go in 2010. Khano Smith a speedster who plays on the wing will be up against National team player Frankie Hejduk, that will be a match up to watch. For those of you who went to UNC Soccer Camp last year and had Josh as a trainer, will be interested to know he played with Khano at Lees McCrae in Banner Elk.

ESPN will be carrying a game every Thursday during the MLS season.

Here's a video of last week's MLS goals to get you warmed up:

Adu vs. Altidore

I'm sure you guys all know Freddy Adu's name and recognize him in the video above, but there's a new kid on the block you need to keep an eye on. Josmer (Jozy) Altidore started last year for Red Bull New York at the tender age of 16. He scored three goals in seven games last year so alot of folks are watching for this to be a breakout year for him. He tells his own story in a new Adidas, Impossible is Nothing, commercial. This is what he says.

Josmer Altidore:
Soccer player. Major League Soccer player at age 17
"Push yourself further, and you find out what you're really made of."
"I'm Jozy Altidore and this is my story.
When I was five, I kicked the ball too hard.
Parents were afraid I would hurt the other kids.
So I had to play with the eight-year-olds.
My weapon was gone. I was scared.
But you just got to fight for every loose ball.
You know, that's what it's about at any age.
Now I'm playing in the MLS at age seventeen.
I'm still taking on all the big guys,
That's when you find out what you're really made of."

He is also in a RBNY commercial which you can see below along with his first MLS goal.

Carolina Alum breaks MLS record

Although it pains me to do it I thought you Carolina fans would want to know that Michael Harrington from UNC has set a new record. Harrington was drafted by the Kansas City Wizards and in his first MLS game last weekend scored in three minutes. That was enough to put him in the record book for the fastest goal in league history by a player making his debut. Here's an article about him:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

HHS vs. St. Stephens

Don't forget the Lady Panthers are at home tonight. JV at 5:30 Varsity at 7:00
Lenoir Youth Soccer Association Developmental Soccer Camp

Rotary Soccer Complex
Zack’s Fork Road
Lenoir, NC
July 9 – 13, 2007
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Girls and Boys Ages 5 – 14
Cost –Early registration: $55.00
After July 1: $65.00

Jim Blanton – Men’s Varsity Coach at Hibriten High School
John Howarth - Past Men’s Varsity Coach at Hibriten High School

Other local high school and College Players

Age appropriate training, combining individual skills training and small-sided games, will be used to improve player’s soccer abilities. Players should bring water, snack, shin guards, sunscreen and a ball to every session. For more information contact Coach Blanton at 728-8475 or email:

Registration forms are available at Mulberry Recreation Center. More info is on our web page at

Monday, April 16, 2007

How to watch a game

Ronaldo Vs RonaldinhoUploaded by NicoASM7

Like I have been telling you guys, two of the easiest ways to improve your game are juggling and watching games. Your touch is critical so please start juggling every day! I know most of you have busy schedules and sometimes sitting down to watch a whole game is impossible on the weekend so I will be posting some highlight clips here. No excuses! I will try to put up some tv schedules also.

If you do take the time to sit down and watch a game make it worth your while. Listen to the pregame and see what formations the teams are running, pick out a player that plays your position and watch how that players moves ( with the ball and without). Off-the-ball movement is an important part of the game and is easier to see when you are watching a game in person. However, there are several ways to learn about how to make runs and supportive movement when watching a game on TV. The top of the television screen is great place to look for off-the-ball movement, because the players at the top of the screen are rarely directly involved in the play, but they will be moving. And if you’re lucky, you will see the start of a run that results in a shot or a goal a short time later.

The best time to look for movement is when a player has the ball at his feet and doesn’t seem to have anywhere to pass it. Who moves to help him? Where did they move to? How many players moved? Good possession teams always have someone in position to provide an outlet pass.
You can also look for players who made runs but didn’t get the ball. You guys only want to make runs if you're going to get the ball. Pros know that just by making a run to the corner, or moving out of a space in which they are standing, they are opening it up for teammate to get the ball. Watch how players “check in” and “check out” by moving into a space to provide a passing option, waiting, then moving out to another space. Two things are always happening in a high level game players are creating space and moving into space created by others.

Perhaps the most important thing for you to watch is the way players trap or settle the ball. I've told you your “first touch” is the most important skill you can have. The best players have great first touches, because their first touch on the ball enables them to prepare the ball for their second touch – whether it is a pass, a shot or a dribble. Watch how the players are thinking ahead when the ball is coming to them and how their first touch rarely just stops the ball at their feet. It is prepared to their right or left, so they can create space and play the ball easily and efficiently with their next touch.