Soccer Poet

general : : The Advantage Rule in Soccer : Sunday, November 5, 2017

In my last post I happened to mention the Advantage rule as being one of soccer’s more mysterious concepts. Based on reader feedback, that little tidbit didn’t slide by unnoticed. Turns out, it’s a mystery that quite a few people wouldn't mind some help in solving. So, as I can shed some light on the topic while exerting minimum effort, I will again dip in to the Happy Feet well, where this topic isn’t only addressed, it’s brought to life by the magic of video [...]

general : : The Hand Ball in Soccer : Saturday, November 4, 2017

So I’m not much for teasers, but I am excited to be making a pretty big announcement in the next week or two. I’ll try to be a little more dependable with blog posts between now and then, so just check back once in a while. Anyhoo… This week I was reminded of one of my high-priority pet peeves in the beautiful game, and I mean, what good is a blog if you're not going to use it to vent, I figured I'd share it with you. Yay you. Here’s a challenge for you: Spend [...]

general : Soccer : Preseason for Parents : Saturday, July 29, 2017

I’m a big fan of July. It owns Independence Day, Shark Week and, depending on the year, some iteration of quality international soccer. It also happens to be one of the three months when sales for the book ROOKIE – Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer spike. In case you were wondering, the other months are December, in preparation for Christmas, and January, in anticipation of National Signing Day. But back to July… July is the month when things start getting very [...]

general : Soccer : A Good Pencil : Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Before Facebook and YouTube, if something went viral, it went there via email – like the ten ways to amuse yourself in an elevator (passing out name-tags was my favorite); or the Darwin Awards, which recognized people who had removed themselves from the gene pool with acts of terminal stupidity; or this one: When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and [...]

general : : What My Daughter Isn't Getting From Soccer : Tuesday, October 25, 2016

      I’ve always had a distaste for people who say that sports aren’t important. Okay, I agree that there are more pressing issues that warrant our attention – like world peace and curing cancer – but just because some things are life-and-death important, it doesn’t mean that other things can’t also be important in their own ways.       The detractors only see sport as a recreational activity… a group of people chasing [...]

general : : The Grand Coincidence : Wednesday, May 18, 2016

If it happened in the U.S., we’d have already anointed it as the second best story in the history of sports, just behind the Miracle on Ice. And to be honest, it’s equally impressive. It’s the ultimate underdog movie (Think Hoosiers on steroids – not the players, but the plotline), but since Leicester City happens to be in the U.K. – in the East Midlands of England to be precise – their football club’s moment in the American sun has quickly passed. And [...]

general : : Five Myths About Signing Day : Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Signing Day! Wednesday is the day when soccer players across the country – and around the world – solidify their commitments to the universities of their choice by signing a National Letter of Intent and an agreement of financial aid, officially putting to bed one anxiety before preparing for a whole new one – their first preseason. By signing that piece of paper, a student-athlete is agreeing to accept the financial offer from the university of his choice and [...]

general : : So Uncool : Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When I look back at the past 12 months, it’s hard to miss the number of good things that have gone away. Ace died. So did Roddy Piper. David Letterman said farewell, followed in short order by Jon Stewart. The Phils traded away Chase Utley. Cindy Mancini, the girl from Can’t Buy Me Love who took Patrick Dempsey from totally geek to totally chic, passed away in July – well, at least Amanda Peterson, the actress who played her, did. Even Phineas and Ferb’s 104 days of [...]

general : : 17 Tips on Scholarships : Thursday, September 10, 2015

So the girl and her parents had flown a long way to get to us. She was a late recruit – one of those kids that managed to fly under the radar. I’d stumbled upon her down in Texas and was crazy about her. We offered her a 50% scholarship over the phone. It was a very fair offer, but she hadn’t committed to it. I was expecting that there’d be some haggling during her visit. They would ask for more and I’d tell them we didn’t have any more. Then they’d [...]

general : : Concussions - Gettin' Jiggy : Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Will Smith has a new movie coming out and it may be the highest grossing Public Service Announcement of all time. The film is called Concussion. Can you guess what it’s about? Congratulations to everyone who answered, ‘Concussions!’ Yes, the movie is about concussions, and if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell watched the same trailer I did, he’s probably thinking that retirement looks pretty good right about now. Will Smith plays forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu who [...]

general : : 2015 Women's World Cup : Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Do you find it strange that as the US Women’s National Team has advanced to the World Cup quarter-final, that I actually feel sorta bad for them. Gone are the days when that team could do no wrong… or could be both sensational and anonymous. For the better part of two decades they performed in a sort of vacuum. The only people who cared, loved them unconditionally. It’s been well documented, but this institution we know as the USWNT once won a World Cup in China and was [...]

general : : The World Cup and Free Stuff : Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Poetheads, are you ready to get your World Cup on? Is your red, white and blue ready to be gloriously glorious? Are you fired up to watch Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and friends kick some global backside at the 2015 Women’s World Cup? Oh hell yes! I don’t know why, but I just have a feeling that this is our year. Believe me; as a Philly fan, I've learned to set my hope meter at something just above abject despair, so this is way out of my [...]

general : : The Good Fight : Friday, April 24, 2015

“The problem with instant gratification is that it takes too long.” Anonymous Suddenly awash in a new wave of free time, I’ve been doing a lot more reading about the culture of youth soccer and athletics in general. The blogosphere is heavy with articles of this genre, and as a newly minted man of leisure, I’ve indulged in many of them. As one might expect when exploring this particular brand of material, you don’t have to read very far before crossing paths with [...]

general : : smiledeep : Friday, February 27, 2015

Paul ‘Ace’ Hayward died today. I’ve been sitting at this keyboard for ten minutes, and for the life of me I can’t figure out what the second sentence of this entry is supposed to be. If you’ve been here before, you’ve met Ace. I only hope that you also had the chance to meet the man himself. If you did, you already consider yourself lucky. If you didn’t, I’m sorry you were cheated. I count five heroes in my life. Only three of them ever knew [...]

general : : 30 Days to Live : Thursday, January 8, 2015

If you haven’t read my blog post from July 22, 2011, Action for Ace, I highly recommend reading it before you read this. Just trust me. Also, I’ve never asked you to do this before, but I hope you’ll repost the link to this entry on your Facebook page or Twitter account or wherever you can. You’ll understand when you’re finished. Sometime in the middle of August, my friend and once-upon-a-time-coach, Paul ‘Ace’ Hayward, went to see his doctor. This had [...]