All Coaching Articles
Preseason training camp is officially underway for the New York City FC Academy program, ahead of the 2018-2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season.
Arrive early at just about any U17 boys team practice, and you’ll see a handful of kids goofing off in front of the net, trying crazy bicycle kicks, bending shots from impossible angles, and juggling the ball with each other before attempting shots one would never see in a game. On Saturday, Mario Mandzukic of Italian Series A side Juventus netted one of those straight-from-the-training-ground goals -- and during the Champions League final, arguably the most important club game in the world. Mandzukic’s bicycle kick goal will certainly be considered one of the greatest in Champions League Final history, and deservedly so. It provides the combination of team chemistry and individual brilliance that are necessary for a goal to be given such an honor. The goal provides a number of lessons for young players and coaches.
Columnist Joe Dougherty draws on his three decades of coaching youth soccer to provide a straightforward perspective on the share of the elite player development workload between club coaches and high school coaches.
It’s long been seen as a fact of life in U.S. youth soccer: The bigger kids are at an advantage, and thus disproportionately identified as promising players. But new research suggests that even world-renowned professional academies may be overlooking talented but undersized players.
Success as a youth athlete does not necessarily mean that athlete is headed for success as an adult, a study delivered at the 2016 Youth Athlete Development Conference revealed.