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A single place for all the soccer musing of our editorial staff from every and any corner of the world's greatest game

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A bully’s worst nightmare is you: How to shut down bullying in youth sports

*+-Columnist Joe Dougherty guides coaches, parents and players on effective ways to help stop bullying within a youth soccer team.

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By | May 19, 2015 | 1 Comment | Tags: , , ,

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Richmond United, Bethesda SC, Maryland United U-14 ECNL sides thrive at South Carolina showcase

*+-Potomac area ECNL teams enjoyed a successful weekend amid challenging competition at the U-13 and U-14 ECNL Showcase at the MESA Complex in Greer, South Carolina over the weekend. Bethesda SC, Richmond United, Maryland United and McLean U-14 sides went a combined 6-2-4.

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By | May 12, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A standing-room-only crowd at RFK Stadium prepares to watch leg two of the MLS Eastern Conference finals between D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo

Dougherty: Random thoughts during a D.C. United game at RFK Stadium

*+-Joe Dougherty recently attended a D.C. United match at RFK Stadium, a venue finally in its twilight years as the franchise awaits the construction of a new stadium at Buzzard Point. In his newest blog post, Dougherty chronicles a night at the fading RFK Stadium from his walk through the parking lot to watching the action on the field and in the stands.

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By | May 8, 2015 | 2 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Four reasons why ‘Adultification’ of youth sports is hurting kids

*+-“Changing the Game Project” founder John O’Sullivan explains four specific ways “Adultification” manifests itself in youth sports: The push to become “elite” at younger ages, over and under-emphasis on winning, the discouragement of enjoyment and treating youth sports as a means to an end.

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Hummer: Best way to keep soccer parents quiet while maximizing player development

*+-What if young players could learn and develop without parents and coaches arguing a referee’s calls? U9-U10 players experienced that at this past weekend’s CCL ScrimmageFest, and SoccerWire.com Executive Editor Chris Hummer explains why this referee-less environment is the most conducive to player development.

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By | April 28, 2015 | 2 Comments | Tags: , , , ,

The Good Fight: My favorite victory in the battle against entitlement

*+-Entitlement seems to have become a permanent feature of modern college athletics, writes SoccerWire guest columnist Dan Blank. But an unassuming U of Georgia women’s soccer player named Jenna Buckley changed his entire outlook on the matter.

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COLUMN: Scored a goal? Great, now go thank your teammate…

*+-To celebrate the collective and ignore the individual beauty and creativity of soccer is wrong. But so is focusing only on the individual accomplishment and forgetting the teamwork that was necessary to getting the goal, writes Joe Dougherty in his latest column.

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By | April 24, 2015 | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , ,

Hummer: ‘Club-centric’ is more than a buzzword – and the proof is on the field

*+-Amid the game’s decades of explosive growth here, plenty of youth leagues (and tournaments) have had it pretty easy, especially on the girls’ side. But a multi-year groundswell of frustration is cresting in the form of the “club-centric” movement, a development-oriented approach which continues to challenge incumbent organizations in an increasingly competitive youth soccer environment, writes SoccerWire.com Executive Editor Chris Hummer.

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Invasion 2015: Two English soccer matches feature on US network TV Saturday

*+-For two decades Sports Illustrated has run a segment dubbed “This week’s sign of the Apocalypse,” and for the dwindling ranks of “old-fashioned Americans” bred to be fearful and dismissive of soccer, that concept got a little more serious over the weekend. Their disbelieving eyes were exposed to not one, but two foreign professional soccer matches simultaneously broadcast on competing major U.S. TV networks.

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By | April 21, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

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Maureen Hendricks Field the perfect home for Washington Spirit

*+-On the eve of the Washington Spirit’s 2015 NWSL home opener against league champion FC Kansas City, columnist Joe Dougherty examines why the Maryland SoccerPlex’s Maureen Hendricks Field provides the Spirit with an ideal home field advantage.

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By | April 17, 2015 | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

O’Sullivan: What youth sports can learn from video games

*+-Youth sports coaching and parenting expert John O’Sullivan explains why some kids would rather play video games than sports, and outlines ways to apply the same benefits that draw children to video games in order to get them back into sports.

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By | April 13, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , ,

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NPR’s Frank Deford says “Americans don’t care about Major League Soccer”

*+-NPR sports commentator Frank Deford struck a nerve with the American soccer community on Wednesday morning with the release of a piece entitled “Americans Don’t Care About Major League Soccer”.

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By | April 8, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

Dougherty: Over-coached college basketball can’t measure up to The Beautiful Game

*+-Columnist Joe Dougherty compares the role of coaches on the sideline in soccer to college basketball, and explains why he will take the free-flowing nature of “The Beautiful Game” over the stop-and-go, often over-coached game of basketball every time.

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By | April 7, 2015 | 2 Comments | Tags: , ,

Dougherty: Doing the right thing, even when it hurts

*+-Integrity. Character. Personal development. Youth coaches of every sport claim they teach these things to the kids they coach. And many of them do. But not all, says SoccerWire columnist Joe Dougherty.

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By | March 20, 2015 | 4 Comments | Tags: , , ,

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Canceling a youth soccer tournament is no easy decision

*+-Columnist Joe Dougherty spoke with Arlington SA Tournaments & Events Director Jerry Ellison to provide an inside look at what tournament directors go through when bad weather hits and it’s ‘decision time’ leading up to an event.

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By | March 5, 2015 | 14 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

Open letter by Washington Spirit owner Bill Lynch

*+-Washington Spirit owner Bill Lynch penned a preseason letter to the fans on the state of the team, the NWSL and some upcoming programs.

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2015 id2 National Selection International Tour: Video Journal #1

*+-The first edition of US Club Soccer’s id2 NSIT video journal introduces the traveling party as they gather for a brief domestic camp in Houston, scrimmage against Texas Rush, and then dip below the equator to Buenos Aires.

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Why more coaches should use ‘The Coerver Method’ for soccer player development

*+-Columnist Joe Dougherty advocates for the ‘The Coerver Method’, a player development philosophy focused on individual skill progression and tactical awareness. It was created by deceased Dutch coach and player Wiel Coerver, inspired by Pele and mastered by current Dutch superstar Arjen Robben.

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By | February 26, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Four-time MLS Referee of the Year Paul Tamberino shares on ref development

*+-Following one of the most decorated careers as an American soccer referee, Paul Tamberino has continued giving back to the game in his new job mentoring and developing current referees at various levels. Tamberino, who has worked in major CONCACAF tournaments, World Cup Qualifiers, Olympic Qualifiers and NCAA Final Fours, spoke with SoccerWire.com on his recent endeavors in raising the quality of officiating in American youth soccer.

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By | February 24, 2015 | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , , ,

What college coaches want in a player

*+-Columnist Joe Dougherty interviewed several area college coaches to find out the most sought-after attributes they look for when scouting at showcases. The three most common patterns he found were character, technique and being physical.

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By | February 20, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creating an early engagement model in North American youth soccer

*+-This week John O’Sullivan continues the discussion how the North American youth soccer community can end the early specialization path, and create an early engagement path where kids don’t have to play, but rather want to play. This shift can not only produce more elite players, but grow the game and its fan base for the future.

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By | February 19, 2015 | 7 Comments | Tags: , , , ,

Poaching vs. Coaching: Can you tell the difference?

*+-Longtime youth soccer coach Joe Dougherty explains the tell-tale signs between whether someone has a coaching or a poaching mentality toward youth soccer, and the harm that comes from being a poacher.

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By | February 13, 2015 | 4 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

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Think first: Five simple ways to raise your team’s soccer IQ

*+-For all the improved technical training going on in North America – and some steps in the team tactical training as well – soccer is still so far removed from our everyday culture that most players and youth coaches still lack some of the basic “soccer IQ” that is standard fare in most of the world, laments SoccerWire Executive Editor Chris Hummer. Here he breaks down five easy ways to get your team playing smarter — and scoring more.

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By | February 10, 2015 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , ,

Dougherty: For the young player, details matter

*+-Longtime youth coach and soccer writer Joe Dougherty explains why helping young players focus on the basics – and the accompanying details – is far more productive than rushing to move on to more advanced technique.

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By | February 6, 2015 | 1 Comment | Tags: , , ,

O’Sullivan: The early specialization dilemma in North American soccer

*+-When it comes to growing world-class soccer players, early introduction is mandatory and early engagement is crucial, but early specialization can be disastrous. Confused? Let SoccerWire’s John O’Sullivan explain.

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