Friday, October 6, 2017

Coach P is Back

Well, it's been awhile - combination of things, mostly time crunch with my day job, plus some log-on issues that have finally been resolved.

Since I've been gone, a lot happening the soccer world.

**David Beckham's group was awarded an MLS expansion franchise in Miami and has made its first payment towards the purchase of land for a stadium;

**back on July 23 the Men's National Team beat Jamaica, 2-1 to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup;

**just tonight the men scored a crucial 4-0 win over Panama in a World Cup qualifier and are now in third place, 3 points ahead of Panama with one match to play - October 10 against Trinidad and Tobago.  The top three teams get an automatic bid to next year's World Cup in Russia;

**Over in the Bundesliga, my favorite team, Hamburger Sport Verein (HSV) got off to a flying start with victories in the first two matches, only to drop the next four before a tie last weekend, leaving them in 16th place of 18 teams.  They'll try again on Friday the 13th at Mainz;

**Sadly, former Women's National Team coach, Tony DiCicco, passed away in June at the age of 68;

** Back on August 2, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), of which I used to be a member, re-branded itself as United Soccer Coaches;

** The Haddonfield Memorial High School girls team got off to a 5-1-1 start, with the loss and the draw being non-league games - 2-1 to Kingsway and 1-1 with Rancocas Valley.

There's been much more of course.  I'll try to keep in better touch in coming months.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Carli Lloyd On The Go

It's been awhile since the last post, so might as well start off with a Carli Lloyd update.  Jonathan Tannenwald has a good article in today's Inquirer about Carlie's travels from Manchester City to Houston to the Women's National Team.

Speaking of Houston, about two weeks ago they gave up a 1-0 lead to Portland on a perfectly placed free kick into the upper left corner in the 90th minute.  Then in the 92nd minute the referee made what looked to me to be a bad call in sending Carli off.  The announcers seemed to agree saying there was nothing malicious about the foul, and maybe she came in "a bit late" but at worst a yellow card would have sufficed.

Anyway, I hope the rest of the season goes well for carli.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tony DiCicco, Former WNT Coach, Dies at 68

Soccer Hall of Famer Tony DiCicco, who coached the U.S. Women's National Team to the 1999 World Cup, has died at age 68.  His life was detailed in the New York Times as well as by the NSCAA and of course U.S. Soccer.

I had the pleasure of meeting DiCicco back in the 90s - before the World Cup victory, when the National Tam played a friendly against Germany at the German Hungarians club outside Philadelphia and I was invited to a reception for the teams.  My daughter, Kirsten, accompanied me and I had a picture of her with DiCicco.  Years later, at the JAGS Tournament, DiCicco was coaching a Connecticut team and I approached him and showed him the photo from some 15 years ago.  He had a good laugh and we agreed we had both aged a bit since then.

R.I.P., Coach.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Carla Overbeck: Carrying the Luggage

A new book that studies sport's greatest teams found that what they all had in common was an extraordinary captain.  The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams, by Wall Street Journal editor Sam Walker, writes about Carla Overbeck, captain of the 1999 U.S. Women's team that won the World Cup, and how she used to carry her teammates' luggage to their rooms.  The book is reviewed by Dan Lyons on Linked-In.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to All Soccer Moms

As I recall the term "Soccer Mom," was coined by a political reporter during the Clinton years and referred to (mostly white) suburban middle class women carting their kids around to soccer games (and basketball, Little League and a myriad of other youth activities).  To me it refers to the group of mothers of the girls I have coached over the years.

I have fond memories of most of the soccer moms whose daughters I was privileged to coach.  A few my wife and I still see socially.  I keep in touch with many more on Facebook.

Right now my favorite soccer mom is my step-daughter, Sarah.  And the soccer mom I will never forget is Kirsten and Scott's mother, Louise, who left us too soon more than 10 years ago.  She was Scott's first coach (when he was 6) and was at countless games played by Kirsten and Scott at school and on club teams.

Happy Mother's Day to soccer moms everywhere.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How Cool Is This Kindergarten?

What kid wouldn't love to go to school in their favorite team's stadium?  Imagine a Little League baseball player having classes at Yankee Stadium.  Or a pee wee hockey player doing the same at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Kindergarten kids in Hamburg, Germany, get to do just that at the Pestalozzi Foundation kindergarten inside the 29,546-seat Millerntor-Stadion, home to the Second Division F.C. St. Pauli.  The article in today's New York Times describes how the school uses the stadium's roof, tunnels and field for group activities and how players stop in to read to the children.

Located in a working class but gentrifying area, the St. Pauli club's fans are known for left-leaning politics and campaigns against racism and homophobia.  On the field, the team is hanging on the Second Division, just two points above the relegation zoned with four matches to play.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pay Attention, Parents

The sign below was posted on a family member's Facebook page as we get ready for baseball season.  Although it is from a Little League Baseball field, its message is just as important to youth soccer and for that matter all other youth sports.

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Enjoy the spring season!