2 years ago

Player highlight: Megan Rapinoe

History of the women's match would never be complete without mentioning her name as one of the players that are truly unbelievable to have graced the sport.

Rapinoe's precise cross to Abby Wambach equalizing goal in the 122nd minute against Brazil in the 2011 FIFA World Cup (a goal that holds the record for latest goal ever scored in a World Cup match) stays one of the very amazing moments in football.

Observing her at the last Mundial in nearby Canada, it was clear to see why the U.S team depends so much on her to make the difference, for instance, in the first match against Australia, supporters were getting edgy before Rapinoe's brace help settled nerves as the team began the campaign brilliantly.

Her two goals against Australia was the first time the side would record a player with two goals in a game since Abby Wambach feat against Norway at the 2007 event.

European soccer enthusiasts would definitely remember her time with Lyon in the 2013-2014 season where she played an important function as the team landed the French title and for the first time reached the UEFA Women's Champions league.

Before her entrance, two years ago, Seattle Reign FC had troubles finding the net which made the club leaders to seek answers to that problem and as you'd expect, the  contained drafting in Rapinoe, who'd not only score plenty of goals, would also lift the team emotionally, given her stature.

The 2015 World Cup was enormous not just for the player but for the whole of the U.S team, development of the past few years meant the team's domination was under threat.

Aside from defending champions Japan, countries like Australia, Sweden and France who consistently had a say in the tournaments, nations like England, Nigeria and Cameroun were eager to establish themselves on the greatest stage.

Rapinoe was among the players' manager Jill Ellis knew if her team were to have some chance of grabbing the coveted prize from the control of the Japanese, she could rely on.

Through the entire tournament, her ability, dedication and skill was of the highest order and I vividly recall an American enthusiast saying "seeing Rapinoe play makes me forget about all the atrocities happening in the planet, ISIS, Boko Haram, Civil war in Syria as well as the Iran nuclear threat" he said.

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2 years ago

Soccer Coaching Where Do I Start?


Soccer has been the sports lifeline of many countries including the United States. The love of the game is so intrinsic that parents provide soccer equipment and soccer gear to their kids at a very tender age. Guided by such soccer parents, some children are given a soccer ball as soon as they learn to walk, some even earlier. In some cases, this is the first exposure kids have to the game of soccer.


However, for the right grooming to play professional soccer, it is imperative that soccer coaching be provided at a young age. A youngster with the right soccer training can be groomed to be a quality player and more importantly a better student of the game. It is all about learning the tactics of the game where you learn not only the skills of how to make a great pass, score an incredible goal, dribble by someone with ease; but also to develop strategies to win which is the ultimate aim.


Soccer enthusiasts however, stress on that aspect of soccer coaching, that the ultimate goal of the players in the learning period is not to focus on match results but to work towards creating a level of confidence and comfort with the ball. It is imperative that a youth soccer player loves the game and works on improving skills with regular soccer drills.


Soccer drills are excellent training modules which playing width, defending and tackling, attacking and shooting, goalkeeping, heading, aggression (physical contact), transition and small-sided games. Soccer coaching can be influential in molding youth soccer to the pinnacle of glory.


Experts of the game agree that it is essential to be able to finish off an attacking movement. Many soccer coaches are found to overlook this important aspect of the game and as a result finishing technique suffers. As a result, many players even after having completed the soccer training sessions are found to have never learned to finish off attacking movements, leading to failed opportunities and disappointment.

An insightful soccer coach teaches the finer nuances or the accuracy in the finishing technique. This accuracy is adjudged to be more responsible in deciding the outcome of a match than the power to hit hard. Good soccer coaching always incorporates the art of finishing in the soccer drills.


At the same time it is also essential that soccer parents impart ethical values in their kids without being intrusive enough as not to over-shadow the influences and training offered during soccer drills. To summarize, soccer coaching is all about grooming the future soccer superstars.


The problem for most people is that they do not know where to start. If you are a new parent or a new soccer coach it is difficult to find everything you need to know in the one place.

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2 years ago

Soccer Balls And Stuff


There are a million things you can do with soccer balls. You can kick them. You can play catch with them. You can hit them back and forth across the floor with a baby. You can dribble them with your knees. You can bounce soccer balls off your head. You can play dodge ball with them. You can play with your soccer balls in a pool. Or, you can play soccer with your soccer balls. Whatever your interests, you can find something to do with a soccer ball.


The nice thing about soccer balls is that you don't need anything else to have fun with them. Sure, if you are going to play soccer, then you might want some soccer goals, or a soccer field to play on, but you can usually find a park that has some or you can make some yourself. Most of the time however, you don't need any other equipment to find things to do with just your soccer ball.


You can kick soccer balls around for hours at a time and not get bored with it. You can practice different kinds of kicks and soccer tricks, and show them off to your friends. You can kick the soccer ball back and forth with a friend. You can kick your soccer ball around in a park, a field, a farm, up in the mountains, on rocks, anywhere you are, you can probably kick a soccer ball around for entertainment.


One nice thing about a soccer ball, is that you can play games where you compete with yourself. You can test yourself to see how many times you can kick the soccer ball into the air without it hitting the ground, similar to hackey sack. You can do it by yourself or with friends. You can bounce it on your head for as long as you can. You can dribble it off your feet and your knees, your shoulders and your head. Once you've done it, you can keep trying to improve and do better. Keep trying to increase the number of times you can kick it, knee it, or hit it with your head without letting the soccer ball touch the ground. It's nice because it also helps you develop your soccer skills, as well as just being something fun to do. You learn to have better ball control and when you are playing a game you can control the ball better as you are dribbling down the field or passing to your teammates. It will help you to dribble past your opponents better. When you are in a game, you also may be more likely to do a cool move or score a cool goal by hitting it off your head into the goal.


Another nice thing that you can do with soccer balls is practice cool soccer tricks, like jump kicking it in the air. You can do a straight jump kick or a side jump kick. Or you can do one of those kicks where you jump backwards onto your back and kick the ball while you are in the air, before you hit the ground. One of my favorite tricks, that makes people think that I am good soccer player, even though I am not, is to roll the ball up the back of your leg with your other foot, and then kick the ball with your heel, from the leg the ball rolled up, so that it goes flying forward over your head. My goal is to one day score a goal by doing that trick where I kick it with my heel forward over my head, and then using my head to hit the ball in to the goal and score. Once I've done that, my purpose will be fulfilled.


Anyway, a soccer hobby has proven the test of time and space. Whatever country in the world you are in, you will find people playing soccer. It is the most popular sport in the world, and it doesn't look like it is losing momentum. In fact, soccer is catching on more in the United States, where it is the less popular than in other countries. So start your soccer hobby today and get yourself a soccer ball, and start kicking it around.