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!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mexican Refs Walk

Referees in Mexico refused to officiate games in the top division last weekend, protesting what they said was light punishment of two players who assaulted officials.  As reported in the New York Times, one player shoved a ref after a red card and another from a different team head-butted an official.  The referees reported both players for “aggression,” which could have led to yearlong suspensions. But the league’s disciplinary committee issued eight- and 10-match suspensions for the lesser offense of “attempted aggression.”  The Times said refs showed up for a match Friday but refused to take the field so the game was not played.  Matches on Saturday and Sunday also were not played.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mallory Pugh

.Good story on Yahoo Sports last week about Mallory Pugh of U.S. WNT.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Standing For The United States

As reported in today's New York Times, U.S. Soccer will now require national team players to stand during the playing of the national anthem.  The new rule is apparently in response to Megan Rapinoe, who knelt during the playing of the anthem before a friendly against Thailand as well as before a match with her club team,  the Seattle Reign. 

For those who howl "she has a right of free speech":  no she doesn't when it comes to a non-governmental entity such as U.S. Soccer.  A governmental agency may not require someone to stand during the Star Spangled Banner, but an employer may.  And that aside, if an athlete is representing the United States, she should show respect for the country.  She is certainly free to express her opinions on Twitter, to the media or whatever, but when it comes to the national anthem, it is not unreasonable to expect American athletes to show respect.