Category: <span>Soccer</span>

Do Soccer Players Have to Play for the Country Where They Were Born?

Choosing which national soccer team to play for is not as simple as playing for the country where you were born. While national teams sound like they should have players from that nation, the football (soccer) association FIFA has rules which almost make it possible for players to choose to play for any country they like.

When do players have to decide?
The decision can be made at any age, and delayed until the player gets to the senior national team. Players can be on the Under 17 or Under 21 teams for a country, but until they play for the National Team, they still have options. The decision is final when the player steps foot on the field as a national team player. When a talented young person with ties to several countries starts to get some attention, everyone begins to ask, “Where will he or she play as an adult?”

Players can choose the country of their birth, but there are plenty of other options, such as the country where parents or grandparents were born, where they have been raised, or where they have chosen to live.

Making the choice can be hard for some players.
Which players in the current World Cup had choices about the national team they would choose? With current rules, most of them, but there are some who have closer ties which made the decision more difficult. According to the announcer on ESPN, 17 of the 23 players on the Algerian team were born in France, which makes it almost the second string French team. France is generous with citizenship for those born in their colonies and territories, so they have a lot of choices. Patrice Evra of the French national team was born in Senegal, but as the son of a diplomat, was raised in France.

Jose Torres, on the US team, was born in Texas, of a Mexican father and a US mother, and he has been playing professional football (soccer) in Mexico since he was in his mid teens, so when he was ready for the national team, everyone waited to see where he would play and breathed a sigh of relief when he chose the US team. However, he has not had as much playing time as his talent might expect, and one can only wonder if he would get more playing time if he had chosen to play for Mexico.

Freddie Adu was born in Ghana, but moved to the United States when he was eight years old. He had the option to play for Ghana, but chose to play for the US. While he started at MLS DC United, he has been playing for various European teams these past few years. As he was not called up to the US team this year, does he watch the team from Ghana and wonder if he would have had a better chance of playing World Cup games if he had chosen the country of his birth instead?

On the Serbian team, the player Neven Subotic was born in Yugoslavia, but raised in the US playing American youth soccer. He made his choice after he was not called up to play for the US under 20s team. Franco was born in Argentina but plays for Mexico. DeSantos, a wonderful player on the Mexican team has a Brazilian father, but fortunately for Mexico, plays for the country of his birth.

Foreign born players on the German national team.
Some of the most interesting international players are on the German national team. Cacau was born in Brazil, but is a naturalized German. Two of the stars on the German team, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose, were born in Poland. That left me thinking about the fact that the Poles did not qualify for the World Cup this year, and yet there are two very talented players, born in Poland, but playing for Germany. A little thought to the history of those two countries, with occupations, invasions, and wars, adds to the mix. Some research into the players explained some of the reasons. Both players were born in the area in Poland known as Silesia, a previously German territory. Their fathers had played football in Poland during the Communist years, but left for West Germany. The boys were both raised in Germany, and consider themselves ethnically German. So, you almost need to know the genealogy and family history of a player to make some sense out of which country they choose when they play international football.

In the world today, with the European Union, the French and British recognizing citizenship of those in previous colonies or territories, and the ease of people moving for a better life, a better job, or a more comfortable place to live, it will be increasingly difficult to identify who belongs to a national team.

In the United States, just about everyone either comes from somewhere else, or has parents or grandparents who did. So, if your young soccer player looks like they have potential, and yet may not be quite good enough for the US national team, start checking out the teams where the competition isn’t so tough, and checking your ancestors. Of course, if you have a really good soccer player in your family, especially one who can score goals, we need them here!

Sources: Television commentators, team and player websites.



Preparing for a Soccer Game in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League

If you are a soccer player in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy then you are extremely lucky. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy is the best youth soccer league in the country. Each season in the development academy is thirty games long and the best teams will qualify for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs. Each game is extremely important because every time you win you are helping your team get a step closer to winning a national soccer championship. For this very reason, it is important to understand how to prepare for a game in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League. Many players think that if they get a good nights sleep and eat well they are doing all they need to prepare for a youth soccer game. The fact of the matter is that much more must be done to prepare properly for a game in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

First, you need to take care of your body from a nutritional stand point. The night before your youth soccer game you should drink as much water as you possibly can. Even if you are not thirsty you should still drink a ton of water. Being hydrated is the key to having a lot of energy come for your U.S. Soccer Development Academy League game. You should drink water until your urine is clear. If your urine is clear it means that your body is completely hydrated. You should also have a complete and full meal the night before your U.S. Soccer Development Academy League game. Most players think that it is important to have a full meal a few hours before a youth soccer game. The fact of the matter is that your pre game meal is truly the meal that you eat the night before the game. The reason for this is that it takes twelve to twenty four hours for your digestive system to convert food to energy. Aside from a nutritional stand point, you should prepare for the game mentally.

The night before your game, you should visualize yourself playing in the game. When you are visualizing yourself playing in your U.S. Soccer Development Academy game you should visualize yourself playing well. There are two different ways that you can visualize yourself playing in your U.S. Soccer Development Academy game. These two visualization methods involve first person visualization and third person visualization. For third person visualization you should visualize yourself playin well as if you were someone in the stands watching yourself play. For first person visualization you should visualizing yourself playing well as if you were seeing it though your own eyes. This visualization will help give you the confidence to play well during your U.S. Soccer Development Academy games!



New Guide 2021: Workout with Soccer

Grab a pick-up game of soccer to keep your workouts fresh. Taking the routine out of an exercise routine is vital to keeping you moving month after month. Something I love to add to the toolbox is pick-up soccer games. These are the games that regularly happen in parks with small groups of people who don’t really care who shows up. Regardless of whether or not you’ve played before, the common objective here is exercise and fun.

Where to Look
You can find these light-hearted games being played in parks, often around the lunch hour and near large companies with lots of employees. You can also find them on weekends in parks anywhere. If you haven’t noticed a regular group playing near you, check out the internet and search your area and you’ll likely find others keeping their game alive. The city where I live offers co-ed leagues and men and women only leagues with a huge range of age brackets. One of the big attractions to soccer is its growing popularity, its low equipment costs, and the benefits reaped from participation. Working some strategy to get the ball in the net takes a lot of leg and team work. Before you know it you are sweating and completely focused. Getting started is easy, so let’s begin.

Getting Started
There are a few things you’ll want to do before walking onto the field. The first is to achieve some level of physical fitness so you are able to enjoy yourself. As you’ve probably guessed, soccer is a running game, but don’t be discouraged. Jogging a couple of times per week will get your feet used to the idea. You don’t need to go fast or long, you need only to go. It will also be a good idea to switch up the speeds you run. If you are running for 20 minutes, mix up your run with slow and fast speeds for small durations. This will more closely mimic the game of soccer and prepare you for the variations. You will get the majority of the conditioning while playing with the group you have found.

Equipment
Another thing to consider is the soccer equipment you’ll need. This is recreational play so the gear you buy can be very minimal. Cleats, shin guards, soccer socks, shorts, and shirts are great to have but really aren’t vital. Soccer cleats will keep you from slipping on the grass and shin guards protect the front of your legs if kicked, otherwise soccer can be played in just about anything in which you can comfortably run. If you decide to play in a city league you will have a team shirt and will likely be required to wear shin guards.

Skills
One last thing to do before heading to the field is tackle a couple of soccer drills to give you confidence and enhance your playing experience. The most used skill is dribbling the ball with your feet while maintaining ball control. If you haven’t done this in awhile or ever it is worthwhile to visit. You can get in some conditioning with dribbling practice too. Once you are comfortable going slow then pick up the speed and try mixing up the tempo by combining fast and slow speeds. Include some juggling work into your practice time as well. Start by dropping the ball to your foot and kicking it back to your hands. Get decent with one foot and then try the other. Finally, start to pass the ball from foot to foot without using your hands. This takes a lot of practice to master and won’t keep you from incorporating soccer into your workout regimen so work on it between soccer days.

Playing soccer as an adult is fun way to add a new element to a weekly workout routine. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to get involved and you can play at any skill level. Soccer is a cardiovascular challenge that enhances your hand foot coordination and builds leg and core strength. If you are looking for a new challenge that can be tailored to your desired effort level then give soccer a go…..you are sure to have a ball.



The Truth About ODP Soccer

If your son or daughter plays on a youth soccer team you may have heard about ODP soccer at one point or another. During the ten years prior to 2008, the ODP soccer system was the national scouting system for youth soccer players in America. If a player was in the ODP soccer system they could eventually get recruited to play for a regional or youth national team. The ODP soccer system is broken into state teams and regional teams. There are five regions in the country, each taking up a different part of the country.

Each state has one or two ODP soccer teams in the ODP soccer system. Tryouts for each ODP soccer team take place during the late summer and early fall. The tryout process is truly not the greatest. Hundreds of players come to ODP soccer tryouts and there are only a few coaches available to scout players for the ODP soccer system. The other bad thing about ODP is that it costs a lot of money to play on the ODP soccer team. To fix this, the US Soccer Foundation came up with something to replace the old ODP soccer system.

The US Soccer Foundation recognized that ODP soccer wasn’t doing its job when it came to scouting players for youth and regional national teams. In 2008, the US Soccer Foundation created a youth soccer league called the US Soccer Development Academy League. The US Soccer Development Academy League is currently significantly better than the ODP soccer system. Early on in 2008, thousands of teams across the country sent in their applications for this league to the US Soccer Foundation in Chicago. Only 60 clubs were accepted into this prestigious league that is still running strong today.

The ODP soccer system still exists, but it is only supplementary to the scouting system that exists in the US Soccer Development Academy. If your son or daughter currently plays in the ODP soccer system you should try and get them over to the US Soccer Development Academy as quickly as possible. The reason for this is that in a few years the ODP soccer system will be completely eliminated from the national scouting system. The US Soccer Development Academy is doing a great job at scouting players for college soccer teams and helping players develop throughout the country. The future of US Soccer is looking bright because of this promising and prestigious league.



Indoor Soccer Drills

If you are a youth soccer coach and you live in a cold region, you may be looking for some indoor soccer drills to do with your youth soccer team. When living in a cold climate, you can often lose several months of training with your team. Indoor soccer drills are a great way to minimize this loss of time and sometimes a way to eliminate this loss of time entirely. The following indoor soccer drills work well on turf as well as a gym floor. If you can get an indoor soccer facility to train at that is better, but otherwise you can use any gym for these indoor soccer drills.

One of the best indoor soccer drills is called the two line passing drill. For the two-line passing drill you should place two cones approximately ten yards apart from each other. You should then have half of your team line up behind one cone and half of your team line up behind the other cone. These two lines of players should be facing one another because they will be passing a soccer ball back and forth during this indoor soccer drill.

This indoor soccer drill begins with the first player on one line passing the ball to the first player on another line. After this first player passes the soccer ball to the other line, he should follow his pass and sprint to the end of the other line. The next player should then do the same thing that this first player did. This can be one of the best indoor soccer drills if your players execute the drill correctly. There are several key points to remember when running this indoor soccer drill.

The first key to executing this indoor soccer drill correctly is that your players need to focus on passing the ball crisply, firmly, as well as accurately. By doing this they will turn the two-line passing drill into one of the best indoor soccer drills. The next key point is that players need to sprint as fast as they can to the other line after they pass the ball. Either way, the two-line passing drill is by far one of the best indoor soccer drills if executed properly. This indoor soccer drills is great because it gives players the opportunity to focus on developing their passing technique even during the harsh winter months of the year.



Soccer Tryout Drills

If you are a youth soccer coach you may be having some soccer tryouts in the next few months for your team. Having soccer tryouts gives you the ability to scout out new players that could help your team in the upcoming season. Scouting players for your team can be a difficult task at times because you don’t know which drills to do. Part of having a successful soccer tryout is using drills that allow you to see what a player is capable of doing. There are tons of soccer tryout drills that you can use during your youth soccer tryouts. The best soccer tryout drills are the ones that allow you to see a full range or a player’s abilities as a soccer player.

One of the best soccer tryout drills is called the pass and shot shooting drill. For this drill, you should have all of the offensive players that are trying out line up at midfield. Each one of these soccer players should have a soccer ball at their feet. You should be standing at the top of the eighteen yard box without any balls. You should have a goalkeeper, preferably one trying out standing in the goal. After you have completed those steps, you can begin this astounding soccer tryout drills.

For this soccer tryout drill you should have the first player in line pass you the ball. You should then lay the ball off to either side of you. The player that passed you the ball should then run onto the ball and take a shot. This is one of the best soccer tryout drills because it allows you to see the ability that a player has to score a goal from distance. The other reason as to why this is one of the best soccer tryout drills is that it allows you to see which players have the ability to focus and score goals under pressure.

There are several things you should look for when running this soccer tryout drill. First, you should look to see which soccer players can shoot with power as well as accuracy. At the highest level of youth soccer a shot must be powerful as well as accurate if a goal is going to be scored. You should also look for the players that are the most motivated to score. Either way this is one of the best soccer tryout drills because you get to see which players have the ability to score. The last reason as to why this is one of the best soccer tryout drills is that it allows you to let the players trying out have fun scoring goals!