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Top original articles of 2015 on

It’s been a record year for readership in 2015 (and climbing) for! We’ve had some of the industries best and most respected writers contributing regularly all year, so it’s no surprise that the most popular pages on our entire website all year are dominated by these great original works!

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#22 – U.S. U-17s: Hugo Perez, the 98-99 crop and a legacy on the line at U-17 World Cup in Chile – By Charles Boehm

Hugo Perez’s name and memory swirls around the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team as they try to make their mark at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile – despite the fact that he hasn’t coached this team in well over a year. Why was he removed from his previous post? Why isn’t this group playing as well today as they did under his leadership? Charles Boehm delves into the biggest mystery in U.S. youth soccer today. [+ Read Full Story]

#21 – Paralysis, pain can’t stop Penn State soccer’s Brett Gravatt as his new life begins – By Roger Gonzalez

Penn State soccer player and Northern Virginia native Brett Gravatt suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a snowboarding accident in December, paralyzing him from the lower chest down and changing his life forever. But as he and his family recently explained to SoccerWire’s Roger Gonzalez, Gravatt is determined to find new frontiers to conquer. [+ Read Full Story]

#20 – Fullerton Rangers’ Jimmy Obleda calls out poaching: “Big academy clubs fish by net” – By Tim Froh

U.S. youth soccer has long been rife with player poaching, typically on a small-scale, local level. But is the practice now becoming the norm at the increasingly professionalized elite level? Last week SoccerWire’s Time Froh spoke to Fullerton Rangers’ Jimmy Obleda on the matter. [+ Read Full Story]

#19 – Manchester United’s Tony Strudwick shares youth development philosophy – Quinn Casteel

Manchester United head of athletic development Tony Strudwick holds the challenge of keeping one of the English Premier League’s top clubs in peak physical condition, from the first team on down to the youngest youth age groups. [+ Read Full Story]

#18 – SW Q&A: Brandon Quaranta talks DA, high school and more – “Celtic’s not going to be part of Baltimore Armour” – By Charles Boehm

After our conversation with John Ellinger about new U.S. Soccer Development Academy program Baltimore Armour was published last week, we got a message from Baltimore Celtic’s Brandon Quaranta. He had read about Ellinger’s hopes of involving Celtic in the multi-club partnership that birthed Armour, a project intended to gather the area’s top talent in a more competitive, more effective DA program. And he wanted to send a clear message… [+ Read Full Story]

#17 – Resentment, conspiracy theories simmer as youth soccer bodies push birth-year change – By Charles Boehm

A sizeable chunk of American soccer leaders and opinion-makers have gathered in the nation’s capital this week, thanks to the USMNT’s friendly vs. Peru, and a decidedly wonky topic loomed large for many from the youth soccer community: the U.S. Soccer Federation’s recently-announced changes to the organization of birth-year age groups. [+ Read Full Story]

#16 – U.S. Soccer’s birth-year plan is shortsighted, helping coaches, not kids – By Beau Dure

The U.S. Soccer Federation’s intervention in the messy world of youth soccer is surely overdue, writes Beau Dure. The decision to rearrange age groups, though, was neither the most important issue to address, nor an elegant solution to a minor problem. [+ Read Full Story]

#15 – Ten reasons you shouldn’t coach your own kid, and what to do if you absolutely must – By Dr. Wendy LeBolt

When kids want to play youth sports, they need coaches. But should you coach your own kid? Dr. Wendy LeBolt surveyed parents, parent-coaches, professional coaches and coaching educators to gather some advice that’s a must-read for those considering this challenge. [+ Read Full Story]

#14 – What college coaches want in a player – By Joe Dougherty

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. [+ Read Full Story]

#13 – What’s taken the U.S. Women’s National Team so long to return to NWSL action? – By Charles Boehm

The U.S. Women’s National Team clinched World Cup glory with that unforgettable 5-2 demolition of Japan in Vancouver on Sunday, July 5, triggering two weeks of whirlwind celebrations, commemorations, awards and appearances. One location they haven’t spent a great deal of time in during that stretch, however: on the field for their professional clubs in the NWSL. Charles Boehm takes a look at the USWNTers’ slow return to club action. [+ Read Full Story]

#12 – Which year determines your age group? Youth soccer organizations move to clarify – By Beau Dure

Some detail-oriented people in youth soccer have noticed that a recently released U.S. Soccer document contradicts what several organizations have said about the new birth-year age group mandates. [+ Read Full Story]

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