Setting the stage for a big year ahead which will include the Concacaf Nations League, Gold Cup, World Cup qualifying and a potential appearance in the Olympics, go behind the scenes with the USMNT and U-23 USMNT as they kick off 2021 with January Camp in Florida. Behind the Crest, presented by Volkswagen US Soccer
January Camp sets the stage for a massive year ahead for the USWNT.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal becoming the highest goal scorer of all time.
Brought to you by Champions League on CBS Sports
Highlights on social media, scoreline, parent sideline, prizes for individual stats, the opponent style of play, time left on clock etc... all force you to make a decision of how to play during the match.
The correct decision, by far, is the one that retains possession. Here are examples of risky decisions...
The most important thing every player should understand is, in general:
That is the process to the top.
Inspired by 343
Lyon newest player, Catarina Macario. Is she the next Marta?
Video brought to you by Girls Soccer
Here is Marta Vieira da Silva, the goat.
Video brought to you by Per Coo
Ball control aka first touch is everything BUT first you must be aware of your surroundings. Check this out...
The typical youth player that plays at a "high level" has the latest cleats, unique hairstyles, and if extreme, have a loud parent. They don't know any other player than Alex Morgan, Ronaldo and maybe Messi. Those wannabe highlight players are products of the consumer environment that is making it hard for US youth players to succeed, but I believe there is a deeper rooted issue with why we struggle to develop players that excel at the highest level. Besides greed, we believe it lies in the definition many have in the word “skill”.
Skill means “decision making,” what decisions are you making during game scenarios that are leading to success. Recognizing the situation and having the “ability” to beat a player 1v1 in the right situation is a characteristic of a skillful player. The vision to see an open winger and the ability to drive a forty yard pass from the back to an open winger is skill. Having the ability to play the first time and not give the ball away in tight areas, but also having the recognition and composure to take multiple touches when given space and time is skill. Movement on and off the ball is skill!
Watching Thiago Alcantara recently during a Champions League match completely changed my opinion about the Spaniard, I never noticed how much influence he has on the match and how much skill he has when he is “on and off” the ball. He is constantly orchestrating the play even without the ball, suggesting what passes should be made to teammates with his movements, ensuring the ball is moved quickly and away from pressure. He plays first time when he needs to with precision technique. His ability to splitting the opposing midfielders at every opportunity to advance the ball to the attacking third was what drove Bayern Munich forward. He is one of the most skillful players in the modern era. Can Thiago Alcantara do a double step over? Of course he can. Did he do a ton of double step overs in the match? No, because the he handled evaluated the situation and made a better decision. Thiago Alcantara possesses the brain to be a successful midfielder at the highest level, similar to Xaxi for Barcelona or Modric for Real Madrid. Thiago now plays at Liverpool by the way. All of these are examples of players who possess skill, they are superior decision makers, not the athletic highlights reel or commercial stars that are flaunted to the young players.
US soccer has favored "athletes" over brains for a majority of the past decades especially at young ages, where quick wins were favored over long-term development of the players. I think there are great coaches but not many environments around US youth soccer that develop these types of football players at a young age. Hence why the current best USMNT and USWNT go overseas to play at a young age. The days of the early developer being looked on as the next superstar seem to never end with all the "car salesman" on the US fields. Hopefully, you'll find an environment that values players who enjoy to use their technique, orchestrate a play, not lose posccession, rather than the “goalscorer”. No college or pro coach will ask you how many goals you scored at U13. Of course goals are needed in the match but think about this, would Messi of succeeded in the US due to his size? Don't lie to yourself and if you do not know who Messi is, why are you still reading this?!
Anyway, players will learn real skills when they execute their technique in a realistic match scenario during training. Then they will be able to break down how to what, where, why, etc., during the match consistently. That is skill! The more players can play in these game scenarios the more they will develop an understanding of the correct decision, technique and get experience in various situations that come about in a real match. Thus why every training session should start with technical skills and end in some form of the actual match. Also real ballers of the game should want to watch as many higher level matches as they can to learn what high level skill really is.
To truly develop skill, players must fall in love with the process and the results will come.
The first touch is arguably the most important skill in soccer. Without a good one, you won’t ever have the opportunities to use your other skills because a DEFENDER will have already closed in. Unfortunately, the first touch is also one of the most difficult skills to learn — it makes the difference between good players and great ones.
Be Aware of Your Teammates. No matter how you plan to control the ball, you need to know where you want to put it. The point of a good first touch is putting the ball in space and getting it out of your feet so you can deliver a crisp pass or take a clean shot. So in the moment before the ball comes to you, take a peek around. It’s as simple as putting the ball where a defender is not. And as your touch improves, your confidence will, too, and you will be able to look up sooner.
Get the Ball Under Control. Once the ball reaches you, you have several options. Take the ball with: The inside or outside of either foot Your thigh Your chest Your shoulders Your head Or get creative
Cushion the Ball. Track the ball in, put your entire body behind it, and don’t remain stiff. The same way your hands move back to soften a catch, cushion the ball with whichever part of your body you are using. Ideally, you should be on your toes, knees bent and arms out for balance.
Bring the Ball Down. The first thing you want to do is get the ball on the ground if it isn’t there already — that’s where it is easiest to handle. Doing that requires a soft touch and a generally downward motion of your body. With your foot, almost sweep the ball to the ground when it comes to you. With your thighs or chest, the goal is to provide a cushion for the ball to land on before letting it drop in front of you. You can control the direction of the touch by turning your hips or your shoulders.
The Chest Trap. When it comes to chest-ing a ball down, lean back and remember to take a deep breath first or you might feel suddenly winded.
Get the Ball out of Your Feet. Once you have the ball in your possession, you need to be looking around to either run with it, pass, or shoot — so keep your head up. Then, with a tap from the outside of your foot or your instep, push it a couple of feet in front of you to give your kick some room or starting your dribbling. From there, it’s up to your creativity. The quicker and more natural your first touch becomes, the more time it will give you to plan your next move. The best players always seem to have time and space on the ball because of the quality of their first touch.
Practice Makes Perfect. All you need for the easiest first-touch drill is a wall and any kind of ball (even a tennis ball works). Throw or kick the ball at the wall from a variety of angles and bring it under control as it bounces back — left foot, right foot, thighs, chest, even shoulders and head. There really is no secret to it. It may sound simple, but it’s the best way to develop those instincts alone. If you have the luxury of practicing with someone else, the drill doesn’t change much. Your teammate takes the place of the wall and feeds you the ball.
Your touch defines you, how is your first touch?
Want to train? Click HERE
Consciously or not, every player that is part of the team, during the game faces many opportunities that demand different decisions. The players decision that is fast and correct is extremely influential in the game.
“Everything starts from what the player sees. Not from what they looks at.”
If the player is aware, there is no place to fear and they will want the ball. They become responsible, creative and confident in the game. The basis of the decision process is information. The time, quality and frequency of gained information is a key in this process.
Constantly moving, players must be aware of which direction and part of the field they should move and why. That is perception, sense of awareness, and our field of sight. However, our field of view is limited, but our awareness can improve by understanding this:
1) Scanning the field - Player gathers information from surroundings.
2) Correcting body position
3) Correcting position on the field
Types of information on the field
– Where is the space with advantage (free space, numerical balance)
– Where are opponents
– Where are teammates
– Position in the formation
Based on the received information, a player must analyze them in relation to their position, principles and, assessment of the risk and which solution will bring the biggest advantage for the team.
All this information seems to be quite easy to remember and use during the game, however, sometimes the easiest way seems to be the most difficult to use. Cryuff once said,
“Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.”
How much you know is the one, but how you will use it is the other thing. Cognitive Process is one of the most difficult pieces of skill a player can develop. Done correctly, their speed of play will be unstoppable. But it takes time to develop the brain to think this way because it’s happening individually inside the head of each player. The player must understand it takes time and patience to think this way. Trust the process.
All we can do as coaches is to replicate the situations that are troublesome for the players during the game. Situations where defenders are set in transitional opportunities (ex. defense to offense), where they need to control more than one aspect of the game. Where attackers must decide what to use to control the pass or what type of run to make or dribble. The direction they will choose to create an attack.
Watching football is a great way to learn more about the game. Ask your coaches questions!
The biggest difference between the good and the best players is, decision making and first touch. So get your head up and gather the infomation to execute.
Dear Parents, if your elite soccer player has a dream of playing in a high level, you can help the most by fostering these mental qualities in your children and reinforcing them every day. The greatest gift parents can give their children in sports is the gift of a growth mentality.
Lesson #1: Be Coachable
First and foremost, teach your child to be coachable. Being coachable means that your child has respect for his or her coach and listens to what is being taught. Being coachable means that your child trusts the process, listens to what he or she is told and executes it without complaint. It's not a technical skill or an inherent ability. It is a mental attitude. It is defined by your ability to be coached. As amazing as your coach may be, their efforts are meaningless without another crucial part of this success equation: your own coachability. Even with the best coaches at your disposal, it is your coachability in conjunction with great training that will ultimately determine your progress.
Lesson #2: Be comfortable with being uncomfortable
Teach your child to reach out of his or her comfort zone by trying harder than they have ever tried or having difficult conversations. Players should be the ones to have conversations with their coaches about playing time or skill progression. When your elite soccer player reaches higher levels, coaches expect players to try their best and will not (nor should they) have a conversation with parents about playing time. Your children need preparation and practice in how to push it to their limit and advocate for themselves in their professional careers.
Lesson #3: Be an excellent teammate and leader
Teach your child the characteristics of how to be an excellent teammate and leader. These go hand in hand. Teach your child SELFLESSNESS by emphasizing good body language if a teammate makes a mistake or if your coach ask you to run. Teach your child ACCOUNTABILITY by not placing blame toward others, there is no “I” in team!
Lesson #4: Be mentally tough
Teach your children mental toughness and resilience. One day in their lives they may not start, or maybe they don’t even play at all. Elite athletes survive disappointments because they are mentally prepared for whatever happens to them. They have dealt with adversity, disappointment, and failure and learned how to grow from those experiences.
Lesson #5: Postive Attitude
Last but not least, remind your children they can achieve anything IF they put in the work CONSISTENTLY! When the going gets tough, the tough keep going, there is no gain without pain ;)
Elite soccer provides you the opportunity as a parent and coach to teach children life lessons.
Join Cristiano Ronaldo with Sam Kerr and Bruno Fernandes along with Nike Master Trainer Jamie Reynolds as they share the tips, drills and training secrets that have powered their rise to the top.
• Speed with Cristiano Ronaldo
• Movement & Finishing with Sam Kerr
• Heading with Cristiano Ronaldo
• Playing Between the Lines with Bruno Fernandes
• Free Kicks with Cristiano Ronaldo
Equipment needed: 7 markers (e.g. cones) 3 football/soccer balls 1 tennis ball 1 goal
BROUGHT TO YOU BY NIKE FOOTBALL
Home or on the road? Perfect time to learn more on why football is the world's most beautful game. Here are some of the best football movies to watch online:
Take the ball, Pass the ball
First Team: Juventus.
Sunderland ‘Til I Die
All Or Nothing
This Is Football
Go to Youtube and search for "soccer documentary"
The teamwork makes the dream work. Check out some of the best team highlights.
When the assist is more beautiful than the goal. When the players play for each other, the game is more beautiful..
Defense wins championships. Check out Atletico's fantastic team defending vs Barcelona. Watch the red and blue team pressure, cover and balance together.
Effort wins games. Watch the dark teams effort to get back on defense. Eight players sprinting to help defend!
Life is boring without sauce. Skills can change a game. Got sauce?
Goalkeepers save the team. Learn from some the best.
The world of football is mourning the loss of Diego Armando Maradona, name will forever be in the heart of Argentina and Napoli Stadium. This is a documentary about his life when he played at Barcelona, Napoli and Argentina.
If you enjoyed this video make sure you like, comment, share & subscribe below for more amazing content.
https://www.facebook.com/AzamAbdallah & https://www.twitter.com/AzamAbdallah
Check out his top 10 goals & skills.
Diego Maradona loved the game and you can see it in this classic warmup. Enjoy.
Amazon Prime Video has some amazing football documentaries.
Here are some of the best and most inspiring team talks by Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, from the Amazon Original documentary: Manchester City All or Nothing Man City: All or Nothing is available to watch now exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Marcelo Bielsa is a man of few words but luckily lots of other people are happy to talk about what makes him such a special manager. Watch Take Us Home: Leeds United exclusively on Prime Video.
This is the unmissable inside story of an unprecedented campaign at @SpursOfficial. Watch the full discussion in the latest episodes of All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur on Prime Video
The USMNT has gone through many trials and tribulations these last couple of years. From missing out on the 2018 World Cup to getting dominated by Canada, the USA have not looked great. Over the last couple of months this has changed though. Prospect after prospect, goal after goal, the USA has developed so many players in such a short amount of time that it's hard to keep track. The Next generation of US talent looks phenomenal, and if they can reach their potential we have a team that can compete with the rest of the world. Cheers to a new era!
Meet the new boys...
America's best, check out eight episodes of Christian Pulisic's process.
This video contains some top moments of your favorite commentator Ray Hudson. Ray Hudson is a fantastic commentator famous for his hilarious metaphors and romanticized descriptions. His expression when his fellow commentator Phil Schoen mentioned Tom Cruise during a match is legendary. His favorite term to describe something incredible is "Magisterial". In this video you will find almost all of your favorite Ray Hudson moments. Enjoy!
Following 16 years of heartache, Premier League football will return to Elland Road this season. A club with such rich history and huge fanbase, take a look at what it means to the city and its supporters.
Video broght to you by Optus Sport, the home of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FA Women's Super League and Euro 2020.
Widely considered one of the greatest team performances of all-time. Join us as we watch the 2011 Champions League final. With Pep Guardiola and Leo Messi both at the peak of their powers, Barcelona put on a true masterclass against Manchester United at Wembley. Here below is the full game, grab your notepad and take some notes. Click and enjoy!
Here is the tactical analysis of the game above. They analyze Guardiola's tactics that defeated Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United with 3-1. Check out how they broke down the game.
We offer "match analysis" via ZOOM, please email us for more infomation at WeAreProcessFC@gmail.com.
Many coaches and trainers have been saying that phrase quite often but most are missing a ton of depth and nuance. As a result, we’re not correctly identifying this player attribute.
By far, most players [outside elite pros] you identify as ‘checking their shoulder‘ are doing it to see if there’s pressure nearby. By far, they are not scanning the field to assess what their next decision is – not to mention what 2 or 3 moves into the future could be.
That, my friends, is truly ‘checking your shoulder‘. That’s next level. And that’s what separates special from average. Well, let’s be careful; we’ve also got to consider what level the player is exhibiting this at. Context matters.
Learning to ID these players who are next level takes a ton of experience. But at least now we’re aware there’s more to it than witnessing a simple head swivel.
Marcelo Bielsa is a man of few words but luckily lots of other people are happy to talk about what makes him such a special manager. Watch the series, Take Us Home: Leeds United exclusively on Prime Video. Season two has just begun, check it out.
Take Us Home: Leeds United Season 2 Episode 1
Click and enjoy!
An elite group of world-renowned athletes and scientists prove that everything that has been taught about our diet is not all true. There is a new form of power and it's yours if you want it.
For one week, can you eat plant based meals? Give it a try, these champions below did.
Dani Alves has everything you could want in life – family, wealth and the distinction of being the most decorated champion in football history. But at 36, Dani doesn’t want to be invisible. Dani still wants the stage. And feels he has to prove it every time. Follow Dani has he starts the next chapter with his new club, Sao Paulo FC, his new city and new dreams - while never forgetting where he came from. Watch Dani as he brings his full self to the camera – the good, the crazy, the inspirational. Agora!
"SPFC have signed their biggest fan, I want to write my next chapter with the club of my dreams."
After deciding to leave Paris Saint-Germain, Dani Alves announces that he has signed with São Paulo FC.
Watch all 8 episodes,enjoy.
BY: The Players Tribune