Soccer Poet

general : : 980 Minutes : Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On Saturday morning we took our three points and skedaddled out of Columbia on a charter flight to Lexington for a Sunday match against the Kentucky Wildcats. There’s a lot I love about charter flights, but the way that the plane parks about 30 feet from the bus we have to board is near the top of the list. Jill Maloney is one of our goalkeepers and she certainly leads a life less ordinary. In addition to traipsing across the Atlantic Ocean every few weeks to represent Ireland at the [...]

general : : Cannons : Monday, September 30, 2013

I’m going to begin with a little shameless self-promotion as Soccer iQ was named as one of the Top 5 soccer books of the year by the NSCAA Soccer Journal (otherwise known as the Best Publication Ever!). It’s been quite a month for Soccer iQ. In addition to the laurels bestowed by the Soccer Journal, September was also a record sales month, more than doubling the amount of copies sold on Amazon during its previous best month, which incidentally, was August. I thought I might mention [...]

general : : Moments : Sunday, September 22, 2013

Well the Dawgs got a big result as we knocked off the previously unbeaten South Carolina Gamecocks in front of 2,500 very enthusiastic fans on Friday night. The stadium was buzzing and the atmosphere was absolutely electric and two teams put on a great show. The ‘Cocks had a stellar start to their season, rattling off seven wins and one draw in non-conference play, a run that included a marquee win over Duke, a 0-0 tie with Boston College, seven shutouts and a single goal conceded. [...]

general : : Elephants : Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So here I am, fat and getting fatter. In an odd twist, my current density dilemma hasn’t swayed me to forgo sweets or red meat or my daily vat of coffee (mmmm coffee). Instead it has motivated me to give up Facebook.  It seems a good many of my Facebook friends have been working hard to lose the pounds and can’t stop themselves from posting their good fortune to the world at large. Look, I get it. You’ve done something your proud of and you want to announce it. [...]

general : : Happy, Happy, Happy : Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Well this week is getting away from me in a hurry, so I’m going to try to make up some ground to catch y’all up with the Georgia Bulldogs and other events that keep the world spinning. By in large it’s been a week full of good news, so let’s begin by saying Happy Birthday to Bella, Nikki, Torri, Gabby, TD, Jill, Kara and Angelica!  Busy birthday month here in Athens. Congrats to Coach Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs for their AMAZING performance and convincing [...]

general : : The Game Ball : Monday, September 2, 2013

Izzy is now a full-fledged fourth grader which is obviously fantastic. The academic work is significantly more advanced than it was a year ago, and I’m excited to see her try to tackle some more difficult subjects. One of the subjects her class is currently exploring is the elements, and of course that goes hand in hand with the periodic table. To help the students get excited about the periodic table (Yay Science!), the teacher introduced them to the Element Song (Yay music!). [...]

general : : Hero Hawk : Monday, August 26, 2013

SATURDAY So the Texas game didn’t go exactly as planned. Or, to be more precise, it went exactly the opposite as planned. We knew the Horns were going to be big and athletic and that they would play straight ahead. We knew they would be excellent in the air and that would make them dangerous on set pieces. In our pregame meeting at the hotel on Friday morning we mentioned a couple of key points. One of them was that we had to win the set piece battle, and to do that, we’d have to [...]

general : : Good Things on Threes? : Thursday, August 22, 2013

This afternoon we arrived in Austin, TX to prepare for our season opener against the Longhorns on Friday night. The stadium at UT is utterly massive. I mean this thing is enormous, and when it is empty, like it was today, it becomes enormous in a post-apocalyptic way. It’s the place where the survivors would congregate when the zombies rose from their graves. When I first started coaching I had no real ambitions other than to keep coaching so I could keep eating. I was never [...]

general : : Captain Morgan : Monday, April 22, 2013

I started this entry a while back, but for some reason I just kept holding back on completing it.  I really didn’t know why until a few days ago.  It’ll be pretty easy for you to connect the dots. I spent last weekend on the left coast, taking in some ECNL action as part of my recruiting duties. It’s interesting, the perception ‘outsiders’ have of our job. When I say I was in San Diego, the person I’m speaking with immediately gives a heavy [...]

general : : Urban Legend and a Good Resume : Saturday, March 23, 2013

It was a U-12 game. A striker had checked back from an offside position to receive the ball at her feet. The assistant referee (a.k.a linesman) raised his flag to signal the offside infraction and the play was whistled dead.  Immediately some parents who were sharing the AR’s sideline began protesting with an array of snide and patronizing remarks.  One of them figured he was obligated to point out that the offside call is contingent upon when the ball is played. Because they [...]

general : : Chapter 51 : Friday, January 25, 2013

So not much happening on the soccer front, unless of course you count a 9 year-old hitting a ridiculous BICYCLE KICK. Here’s the thing… most fans are just going to go Wow! Look at that bicycle kick! But soccer people, particularly coaches, are going to appreciate the entire maneuver because this little prodigy actually does three very advanced things here. He wedges himself between the ball and the opponent to protect the ball. Trust me, that’s not just by accident. [...]

general : : Dogs and Cats : Monday, December 10, 2012

Well look who’s been slacking again. Same ol’ story. Yeah, yeah, YAWN. You know, I’m not even sure if I should say this out loud, but the blog has been MIA for so long I doubt anyone checks in these days, so I’m gonna take my chances and confess: The worst thing that happened to me as a writer was publishing that book. I once heard a story about dog racing that stuck with me; if any of those greyhounds ever catch the electronic rabbit (let’s say the rabbit [...]

general : : One Point and Nine and a Half Months : Monday, October 29, 2012

"I promise you one thing. A lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season." Tim Tebow Let me begin by correcting any misguided assumptions about the hiatus of this blog. You’ve probably noticed that its absence [...]

general : : The Hummingbird : Saturday, April 28, 2012

Today’s been kind of exciting. To summarize, Izzy scored a goal this morning and then sucked down a dozen steamed clams at dinner. So she’s just like me. Except for the part about scoring a goal. Okay, it wasn’t Izzy’s first goal – she scored one while I was driving to Daytona a couple weeks back, but this is the first time that I got to see her score so that’s milestone territory as far as I’m concerned. And to be fair, she needed to score that [...]

general : : Funny Game : Saturday, April 21, 2012

Funny game, soccer. That’s a pretty common expression in coaching circles and in short it means that things are not always as they appear, particularly if you’re only looking at the scoreboard. Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Barcelona might lead one to believe that Chelsea was the better team on Wednesday. But a video of that match would be all the evidence a jury would ever need to convict our sport of deceptive practices. Despite overwhelming the hosts in every conceivable [...]