September 02, 2012
Hope Solo: 'Free and unburdened on the soccer field'

By Mike Woitalla (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider)

Hope Solo's memoir, released days after she helped the USA win gold at the 2012 London Games, debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list. The goalkeeper's propensity for controversy and the promise of revealing details from her battles with coaches, teammates (and even a dance partner) undoubtedly boosted sales. The book also provides a glimpse into the youth soccer days of the world's best female goalkeeper.


July 10, 2012
Clive Toye does Roald Dahl for soccer

By Mike Woitalla (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider)

Of individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on youth soccer in the USA, Clive Toye ranks very, very high on the list.


April 27, 2012
Proud parents of great players offer insight

By Mike Woitalla (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider)

"The worst thing for a kid is to be on the field and hear his father screaming from the sidelines, and the kid has to look over and see that."


February 10, 2012
Another curriculum! (US Youth Soccer's is worth a read)

On U.S. Youth Soccer's 117-page Player Development Model coaching guide ...

By Mike Woitalla (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider)


March 13, 2011
Know They Keeper

Coaches must adjust their approach to the individual. Some keepers might need the soft touch to get in the right frame of mind. Others might require a rousing pep talk. Some keepers might fall apart if they are given a direct, honest critique without plenty of compliments to go with it. Others are fine with a harsh, straightforward assessment. So how does the coach know what's best for each individual?

By Tim Mulqueen with Mike Woitalla (excerpted from "The Complete Soccer Goalkeeper")


February 28, 2011
Westside Metros' Cony Konstin: 'Coaching is overrated'

Cony Konstin is the Director of Coaching of Westside Metros SC, a small club based in Beaverton, Ore., that has gotten national attention with the success of its U-19 Internationals boys team and has sent players to the U-15 national team pool. Previously, Konstin served as the Director of Houstonians FC, which became a model for inner-city youth soccer.

Interview by Mike Woitalla (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider)


December 06, 2010
They scored -- now what?

Goalkeepers react in various ways after they get scored on. Some keepers whack the ball in anger. Some fall to their knees, head in hands. Some scream at their teammates. And some hang forlornly on the net. Whether the keepers realize it or not, these immediate, emotional responses are more than personal reactions. These actions speak loudly to the keepers' own teammates and to their opponents.

By Tim Mulqueen with Mike Woitalla


October 29, 2009
On sideline screaming ...

"Unfortunately, our children are granted far less adult-free playtime than previous generations, and the pickup game has become a rarity. Soccer, because it is a safe, simple game, can serve as a substitute for the free play that today's children are being denied -- if adults learn to keep their mouths shut." ... From an interview on parent behavior at youth games I did with momlogic.com.

-- Mike W.


December 21, 2008
Youth soccer craziness in Arizona

An extensive article in the Phoenix New Times looks at the state of youth soccer in Arizona. A forged signature scandal, accusations of abusive coaching methods, astronomical costs ...

Read the Phoenix New Times article HERE.

December 09, 2008
Beware of Brits Bearing Baloney

Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner comments on the ever-increasing involvement of British clubs in American youth soccer: "There is something distinctly offensive about this attempt to palm off on U.S. coaching systems and 'methodology' that have failed to measure up in England."

Read the whole column HERE.

November 14, 2008
Pickup vs. Organized (Coaches Survey)

If you are at least 18 years of age and have coached at least one season of soccer then please consider taking this SURVEY.

For more information on Nick Lusson's study about pickup play and organized soccer ...


November 10, 2008
Concussions: Tips for Sideline Management

Concussion is a controversial and tricky medical topic, but any coach or parent who works with soccer players needs to know what to do if you are faced with a situation in which you suspect a player has had a concussion.

By Dr. Dev Mishra (From Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider)


July 30, 2008
Youth Soccer Reporter

Soccer America Magazine has launched a new e-letter, The Youth Soccer Reporter, covering competitive youth soccer each week. The YSR provides news and analysis and includes features on rising stars, profiles of top clubs and interviews with key figures on the American youth scene

Check it out HERE.

July 11, 2008
Snack Food for Thought

Since when did the postgame (or, in some cases, pregame and halftime, too) snack become the focal point of youth recreational soccer games? And when did it become the latest installment of "Keeping up with the Joneses"?

By Emily Cohen (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider, June 19)


June 19, 2008
Be a Great Team Manager

You're organized. You're a good communicator. You've run your school auction and served on a plethora of committees. Which is why your child's new coach has asked you to be the team's manager for the upcoming fall soccer season. "What do I need to do?" you ask.

Emily Cohen (from Soccer America's Youth Soccer Insider, June 19)


May 08, 2008
'The Uneven Playing Field'

New York Times Magazine provides an indepth look at the high rate of ACL injuries among female athletes. Read the article by Michael Sokolove HERE.

May 07, 2008
'Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls'

"Want your teenage daughter to have strong bones? Steer her to soccer or other impact sports, experts suggest, and you may help her prevent low bone density later in life."

Read the HealthDay News article HERE.

May 06, 2008
'Bringing Focus Back on Player'

Houston Chronicle columnist Glenn Davis looks at South Texas clubs' move into the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in his article: "Federation bringing change to youth game: Quality over quantity helps promote proper development."

April 25, 2008
Dave Sarachan: U.S. Soccer youth scout

"Kids aren't getting the proper training. Clubs have their priorities wrong. The emphasis has been on: Where can we find the biggest, fastest, strongest (kids), in their minds, for whatever it takes to win, so my club gets recognition and our kids get (college) scholarships?" says Dave Sarachan, the Director of Scouting for the U.S. Soccer Federation's Developmental Academy.

Read the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle article about Sarachan HERE.

March 20, 2008
Club vs. High School

The Seattle Times reports on the controversy surrounding players who skip high school soccer in favor of club ball HERE.

March 11, 2008
The Scholarship Reality

The New York Times has run a series of articles on the myths and realities of college athletic scholarships: Expectations Lose to Reality of Sports Scholarships, Recruits Clamor for More From Coaches With Less and New Rules Threaten Sport's Tryout Process.

For a breakdown of athletic scholarships by sport and gender, go HERE.

March 05, 2008
Juggling fund-raiser

The Traverse City Wings, a Michigan U-11 boys team, have turned juggling into a fund-raiser for new indoor arena flooring. The goal is to hit 1 million juggles in 65 days. "Juggling gives us better touches so in game situations you can stop the ball instead of it going all over the place," said Cameron Sipple, 11. "It makes us want to work out more." Read the Grand Traverse Herald article HERE.

March 04, 2008
Coaching Your Own Children

Clearly, coaching your son or daughter isn't easy. If you are able to find an appropriate balance between encouragement and pressure, however, it can be a wonderfully rewarding experience.

Tony DiCicco, who coached the U.S. women to the 1999 Women's World Cup title, has also coached his own children at the youth level. He addressed the challenges and provided advice in Soccer America's Youth Insider.


October 05, 2007
Reviving The Pickup Game

Sam Snow, U.S. Youth Soccer's Director of Coaching, argues for the revival of pickup-game style soccer for in Soccer America's Youth Insider. Click HERE.

September 05, 2007
English youth development 'falling apart"?

Of the starters during the first weekend of this season's English Premier League, only 37 percent were English, compared to 76 percent in 1992. That figure, and other stats -- nearly 70 percent of EPL goals this season have been scored by non-English players -- have renewed criticism of the nation's academy system, which Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson says is "falling apart."

The Guardian's report, "Academies go from substandard to ridiculous" looks at flaws in the English player development -- "Foreign players are technically better than us," says Middlesbrough's head of recruitment, Ron Bone.

And The Times of London quotes former English Premier League stars Patrick Vieira and Ruud Gullit on the topic.

"There are not so many good young English players at many of the clubs and I really believe that the academies are not good enough for the young players between 12 and 15," says Frenchman Vieira, the former Arsenal captain.

The Dutchman Gullit, who played for and coached Chelsea, says: "Not many English youngsters are coming through. They spend fortunes on academies, but the bigger clubs don't use them because they can buy any star they want."

August 27, 2007
Is an elite team right for your child?

Soccer America's "Youth Insider" features an excerpt from Regan McMahon's excellent book, "Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports."

Click HERE to read "Is an elite team right for your child?"

August 19, 2007
BOOK REVIEW: 'Revolution in the Bleachers'

By Mike Woitalla (Soccer America Magazine)

"Come on," yells the parent to the child, "you're gonna be late for unscheduled time." That's from an anecdote in Regan McMahon's book, "Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports."


June 26, 2007
From Passionate to Frenzied

Soccer America's "Youth Insider" features an excerpt from Regan McMahon's excellent book, "Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports."

Click HERE to read "From Passionate to Frenzied."