Friday, February 22, 2008

MLS in Philly and goings on in Chester City

It has been a busy couple of months for me. I started teaching full time at a school in the City of Chester where the likely new MLS stadium for Philadelphia will be built. I am very excited about the new team and new stadium and plan to be there opening day. Everything seems to be lining up and people are real behind this. There is a rumor going around that it will be announced on 28 February. An article in the local paper has the MLS saying dont jump the gun on this but it all seems to be a done deal. I know our family is very excited about this.

Recently I have become involved with a soccer/education outreach in the city called the Will Trippley Youth Development Foundation. Will was a rising soccer start who was brutally murdered in the city while home on spring break from college. His mom and some former players have started this foundation in his honor here
I am getting involved no necessarily on the soccer end but likely on the education side of things. This groups vision is to educate the youth and help them get into private schools while playing soccer. This is at the grassroots at its best and this group has a great vision.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

U17 MNT win against Brazil

With full credit to the young men on the field, their coaches and the USSF a big result today for the u17 team. It goes to show that developing talent from the grassroots level up is so important. Keeping teams and groups together to develop cohesion so players know the strengths and weaknesses is vital. Well done men. You made the country proud. I also applaud the USSF for encouraging strong competition. Nothing builds success like success.

Friday, December 7, 2007

No posts lately

Sorry everyone, I have not posted recently due to some other priorities at home. As I type this I am sitting at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) in the ICU with my 7 year old daughter Abby. She is in critical/stable condition after some major complications from some minor surgery 10 days ago. My wife and I have been taking turns spending time at the hospital. It is my shift for the weekend and will go home Sunday night.

I will post some coaching thoughts later this weekend and some thoughts on some soccer that I have watched while Abby has been around.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

The end of the season banquet

Well the soccer season is officially over in Ridley. We had our annual banquet with over 600 families in attendance. Each team's coach presents two awards to deserving players on his team. I had tough choices this year for my two.

For the u6 girls Frenzy the winners were
MacKenzie Cannon for outstanding sportsmanship and over all play
Hannah Oaster won for most improved. She went from 0 goals last year to 5 this year. She also was a team leader during practice and the games.

For the u8 boys Crew the winners were
Jace Roberts for outstanding spirit, sportsmanship and hard work. This boy came to every practice, was the first boy there, among the last to leave, gave 100% in every game and every practice, never complained and improved dramatically all year. Every team needs a Jace Roberts and I wish I could coach a team full. He is a pleasure to coach because he can be coached, what he lacks in skill he more than makes up with heart. Heart cannot be coached. He plays the game like I would play.

JJ Oaster received it for outstanding play and improvement. Being the coach's son is hard, he had among the highest expectations of anyone on my team. He was consistently a leader in both practice and games and all of the boys really liked him on the team. He made the first team as my starting striker because of his great ball awareness, passing ability and ball handling skill. He became the corner kick and direct kick player by the end of the year. He had 7 SOT in the final three games with one of them hitting home. He is probably the best pure passer I have ever coached and among the most accurate kickers. In an age and at an age where kids want the glory of the goal, JJ passes and passes extremely well. He also can bend a ball like few boys his age I have ever seen. He exceeded my expectations and truly had to work very hard to get this award.

I know my two kids got awards but they truly earned them. I may be a little biased but I give awards for more than skills. I sat down with the parents and explained why each one got the award and not one parent questioned my decisions. After my explanations they all agreed.

I am going to miss my Saturdays on the pitch but it gives me time to study up and work up more plays and practices for the spring. I may be promoted to an assistant in the travel system next year so I will really have to step up my coaching education.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Girls end on a tie

Like the boys game earlier in the day the girls tied their final game 2-2. They too ended the year 5-3-1. 22 (I miscalculated a goal for Hannah earlier in the year) Goals scored only 6 conceded. Hannah scored the first and Mariah scored the second goal. Mariah's equalizer was with less than 30 seconds left. All the girls played well and most if not all want to play again for me in the spring. I am sad to see the season end but am very glad it ended up being a winning record for the girls.

Final scoring tallies for the girls

MacKenzie 4

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Last boys game-end with a tie

The boys ended their season with a 1-1 tie. Total record 5-3-1. A very good performance especially the last half of the year. In the last 4 games the boys only let up 2 goals while scoring 7.

I had only 9 boys show up today which meant most of the boys played the entire game. We basically owned the ball our possession time in their end was over 75%. We had 5 really good SOT and many other opportunities.

It is sad in a way to have the season end I will miss being out on the pitch every Saturday. I really enjoyed this team and the boys really played hard every week. There was obvious growth each week and the boys really grew as a team. I had very helpful and cooperative parents and a great assistant.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Week 9 games-1st goal for jj and winning ways continue

Week 8 games were canceled due to rain and very wet field.
The week 9 results were worth the wait. First the girls won decisively 6-0. Alyssa had a hat trick, Mariah, Allison and Hannah each had 1 goal. Their record is 5-3 which means they will finish the year with a winning record. This was another shutout with the defense only allowing 1 shot on goal. They have only conceded 4 goals all year while scoring 19. Much better passing and a clean game.

Scoring leaders for the girls
MacKenzie 4
Hannah 4-

The boys won a very hard fought 2-0 victory to also raise their record to 5-3 meaning they too will have a winning record. JJ had his first goal in 4 years of playing soccer. He had a hard SOT in the 1st half and took a header from a player, battled 5 players, still controlling the ball and blast a shot high into the net over the goalies head. It was a strong kick and I was very proud. It was the insurance goal we needed to secure the victory. It was their second straight shut out. Again the boys dominated the game and controlled the pace and flow of the game. The passes were clean today and the boys really have come on. This again shows how strong this team is getting.