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Upcoming free book contest w Jared Montz

Posted June 4th, 2010 in book review, youth soccer by steve

Jared Montz, ex professional soccer player and the owner of America’s First Online Soccer Academy, will release a review of Boys this week. He’s also holding a contest for his readers–winner gets a free signed copy of the book!

Jared has got an interesting website worth a visit. The timeline showing his rise from youth soccer player to professional, and his subsequent decline due to multiple injuries, surgeries, and ongoing physical therapy is worth the visit alone, showing  how talent and hard work  are often not enough to keep professional athletes on the field. You also need luck.

After his professional career ended, Jared reinvented himself as a coach and businessman. He runs soccer camps, his online academy, blogs and writes about soccer. A busy guy. Check out his site here:

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“The Kids Are Coming”

Posted June 1st, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

Interesting article at about youth players rising through MLS soccer academies.

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Interview with Michael at Fullback Files

Posted May 28th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

I did an enjoyable Q and A with the head honcho over at Fullback Files, a great blog focused on American soccer. Read it and learn more about me and the writing process than you’d ever want to know:

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Soccer in the Streets

Posted May 27th, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve


“It’s 2:30 on a Friday afternoon in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur, and Jason Longshore is looking out over more than 40 elementary school students in McLendon Elementary’s small gymnasium.”

Continue here.

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“Green carded” after loss

Posted May 23rd, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

OMAHA (KPTM)- A group of Lincoln East High School students are in trouble for what some are calling a ‘racist’ celebration following the school’s state soccer title Tuesday night.

Tens of dozens of students and fans rushed the field after the varsity boy’s soccer team beat Omaha South High School in overtime.

As the group stormed the field, dozens of “green” index cards were thrown into the air…

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Immigrants don’t help the Red, White, and Blue

Posted May 3rd, 2010 in Uncategorized by steve

I recently came across this commentary (yes, moving slowly as I do) on the Center for Immigration Studies

The author, David Seminara, states that the U.S. national soccer team is made up of a bunch of middle class white guys. Well, what he actually says is, “If soccer is the world’s sport, and America is the world’s leading beacon for immigrants around the globe, why aren’t immigrants making a bigger impact playing soccer for the Stars and Stripes?”

(The construction of this sentence, btw, is an example of a logical fallacy, as I recall from my days teaching beginning composition. But damned if I can recall which one…)

Anyway, Mr. Seminara states that almost all of the athletes on the U.S. national team were born in the U.S. and that many immigrant soccer players who grew up in the U.S. play in other countries instead of here. He asks why we have so many soccer loving immigrants but so few playing for the national team?

It’s a fair question to ask. But the answer is not–as Mr. Seminara hints in his essay–that the good immigrant players aren’t assimilating and chose to play elsewhere. It is also not, as suggested herebecause of FIFA rules. And it is also not, as mentioned in the LA Progressive, because of immigration rules.

The U.S. national team does not have many immigrants on its roster because the path to soccer success in this country is through paid club teams. Unlike many other countries, the U.S. does not have a soccer farm system where professional clubs groom future stars in U-14 teams far away from school and family. The route to professional soccer player here begins with money and access to the high quality coaches and year-round games that come with joining a top-notch club team.

Immigrants have much higher rates of poverty than native-born Americans, are far less likely to have health insurance, and typically come from families without much education. So, while the desire to play soccer is there, as we have seen in the growth and popularity of soccer in high schools across the country, the ability to pay for club dues, and the control over one’s own time (can mom skip work to ferry you to practice?), are not.

Young Latino immigrant soccer players, who might flourish with a good coach in an organized club team, end up playing in amateur men’s league games after the high school season is over. Unlike club tournaments, the men’s league competitions are not crawling with professional and college scouts. So the boys don’t get the help they need, don’t get noticed, and either leave the U.S. for futbol opportunities elsewhere, or quit playing.

Either way, our national team is what it is not because of poor assimilation, but because of money.

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