Soccer Poet

general : A World Cup Story : Friday, August 9, 2019

I had coached at small, NAIA schools before joining Ole Miss in 2007. I had never pined for a Division I job. I enjoyed my existence, and in hindsight, a fraction of that could be chalked up to ‘ignorance is bliss.’ I had never looked at my career in terms of what soccer could give me. It was always about the people I got to co-exist with – the ones I got to coach, and I couldn’t imagine that the people playing Division I soccer were any better than the people I’d [...]

general : Never Apologize for Winning : Wednesday, June 12, 2019

So last week I posted a meme that said, “Never apologize for winning.” Had no idea how apropos that sucker would be a few days later. Our 13-0 thrashing of Thailand is blowing up everything this morning, and not in a good way… not for a lot of people. That ‘never apologize’ bit is a big theme in my book Everything Your Coach Never Told You Because You’re a Girl. But now it seems like half our country is saying exactly that to our only soccer program that has [...]

general : The Backbone of Possession : Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I’m a big fan of possession soccer. So big, in fact, that I wrote a book about it. Not surprisingly, I called it Possession – Teaching Your Team to Keep the Darn Ball. After making the NCAA tournament at UGA in 2014 and being rewarded with a pink slip, I had sworn off college coaching. I felt my talents were better suited to year-round sunshine and catching fish in the Gulf of Mexico. But this past July, Widener University, in Chester, PA, just south of Philly, found itself in need [...]

general : Signing Day : Make It a Holiday : Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I typically avoid using this blog as a sales pitch for my books. Or at the very least, I think it’s fair to say I take a soft-sell approach. But today I’m going rogue. Today I’m going to tell you about a book and why you should buy it. Wednesday, Feb. 7th is National Signing Day. And the fact of the matter is, we don’t do enough to celebrate it. Signing Day is that most wonderful of days when rising college freshman officially commit to the college or university of [...]

general : : The Advantage Rule in Soccer : Sunday, November 5, 2017

In my last post I happened to mention the Advantage rule as being one of soccer’s more mysterious concepts. Based on reader feedback, that little tidbit didn’t slide by unnoticed. Turns out, it’s a mystery that quite a few people wouldn't mind some help in solving. So, as I can shed some light on the topic while exerting minimum effort, I will again dip in to the Happy Feet well, where this topic isn’t only addressed, it’s brought to life by the magic of video [...]

general : : The Hand Ball in Soccer : Saturday, November 4, 2017

So I’m not much for teasers, but I am excited to be making a pretty big announcement in the next week or two. I’ll try to be a little more dependable with blog posts between now and then, so just check back once in a while. Anyhoo… This week I was reminded of one of my high-priority pet peeves in the beautiful game, and I mean, what good is a blog if you're not going to use it to vent, I figured I'd share it with you. Yay you. Here’s a challenge for you: Spend [...]

general : Soccer : Preseason for Parents : Saturday, July 29, 2017

I’m a big fan of July. It owns Independence Day, Shark Week and, depending on the year, some iteration of quality international soccer. It also happens to be one of the three months when sales for the book ROOKIE – Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer spike. In case you were wondering, the other months are December, in preparation for Christmas, and January, in anticipation of National Signing Day. But back to July… July is the month when things start getting very [...]

general : Soccer : A Good Pencil : Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Before Facebook and YouTube, if something went viral, it went there via email – like the ten ways to amuse yourself in an elevator (passing out name-tags was my favorite); or the Darwin Awards, which recognized people who had removed themselves from the gene pool with acts of terminal stupidity; or this one: When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and [...]

general : What My Daughter Isn't Getting From Soccer : Tuesday, October 25, 2016

      I’ve always had a distaste for people who say that sports aren’t important. Okay, I agree that there are more pressing issues that warrant our attention – like world peace and curing cancer – but just because some things are life-and-death important, it doesn’t mean that other things can’t also be important in their own ways.       The detractors only see sport as a recreational activity… a group of people chasing [...]

general : The Grand Coincidence : Wednesday, May 18, 2016

If it happened in the U.S., we’d have already anointed it as the second best story in the history of sports, just behind the Miracle on Ice. And to be honest, it’s equally impressive. It’s the ultimate underdog movie (Think Hoosiers on steroids – not the players, but the plotline), but since Leicester City happens to be in the U.K. – in the East Midlands of England to be precise – their football club’s moment in the American sun has quickly passed. And [...]

general : Five Myths About Signing Day : Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Signing Day! Wednesday is the day when soccer players across the country – and around the world – solidify their commitments to the universities of their choice by signing a National Letter of Intent and an agreement of financial aid, officially putting to bed one anxiety before preparing for a whole new one – their first preseason. By signing that piece of paper, a student-athlete is agreeing to accept the financial offer from the university of his choice and [...]

general : So Uncool : Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When I look back at the past 12 months, it’s hard to miss the number of good things that have gone away. Ace died. So did Roddy Piper. David Letterman said farewell, followed in short order by Jon Stewart. The Phils traded away Chase Utley. Cindy Mancini, the girl from Can’t Buy Me Love who took Patrick Dempsey from totally geek to totally chic, passed away in July – well, at least Amanda Peterson, the actress who played her, did. Even Phineas and Ferb’s 104 days of [...]

general : 17 Tips on Scholarships : Thursday, September 10, 2015

So the girl and her parents had flown a long way to get to us. She was a late recruit – one of those kids that managed to fly under the radar. I’d stumbled upon her down in Texas and was crazy about her. We offered her a 50% scholarship over the phone. It was a very fair offer, but she hadn’t committed to it. I was expecting that there’d be some haggling during her visit. They would ask for more and I’d tell them we didn’t have any more. Then they’d [...]

general : Concussions - Gettin' Jiggy : Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Will Smith has a new movie coming out and it may be the highest grossing Public Service Announcement of all time. The film is called Concussion. Can you guess what it’s about? Congratulations to everyone who answered, ‘Concussions!’ Yes, the movie is about concussions, and if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell watched the same trailer I did, he’s probably thinking that retirement looks pretty good right about now. Will Smith plays forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu who [...]

general : 2015 Women's World Cup : Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Do you find it strange that as the US Women’s National Team has advanced to the World Cup quarter-final, that I actually feel sorta bad for them. Gone are the days when that team could do no wrong… or could be both sensational and anonymous. For the better part of two decades they performed in a sort of vacuum. The only people who cared, loved them unconditionally. It’s been well documented, but this institution we know as the USWNT once won a World Cup in China and was [...]