Game Day Q&A: Your Take on Arena’s Gold Cup Presser

Want to know what it’s like to be in the hot seat? In our first edition of Game Day Q&A, join us inside the press room before the US men’s national team appearance in the Gold Cup quarterfinal match at Lincoln Financial Field. Today, Coach Bruce Arena is at the table fielding questions. We look forward to how you, as parents, coaches, players or other key stakeholders in the soccer community, weigh in on his responses.

1.       During his Tuesday afternoon presser, Arena revealed that it was his plan to look at new players during the group stage and bring in experienced players for the knockout stages of this year’s Gold Cup.  What are the takeaways you think an athlete should focus on when they were good enough for the call up but never included in the immediate future plans of a competition?

2.       In the group stage, Arena saw that the smaller countries have improved considerably. There was a good style of play. And, the gap has closed between these teams and their larger counterparts. As a coach, how do you alleviate the pressure when the competition, that’s traditionally been at a lower level, starts to raise their game to challenge your position?

3.       Despite the format of this phase of the tournament, Arenas has not been putting more of an emphasis on penalty kicks. He said there is a “big difference in taking them in practice than in the game and everyone who takes one is capable of making it.” What suggestions do you have for players to best manage a moment that cannot be replicated?



Hashtag Sports 2017: 5 Ideas for Soccer Stakeholders

From the USL to La Liga, an array of decision makers from the domestic and global soccer community were on hand for the opening day of Hashtag Sports 2017 Conference. Here are five ideas that stakeholders in the sport should take into consideration.

1. Sports orgs will feel an increasing responsibility to give back to the community. According to LA Galaxy's Chris Klein, their club is continually looking at ways to integrate causes dear to its players with partner brands.

2. FIFA gaming will shape youth athletes style of play on the field. esport personality Chuboi is noticing how a widely popular, lateral ball roll tactic, in the video game, has become a prevalent go to feint offline.

3. Sports are very personality driven. And if we look deep enough into platforms such as Overtime, we will find teams, coaches and players who want fan bases that will curate and generate content about them.

4. Soccer stars will allow more access to their lives outside of the game. Big3 basketball Commissioner and tech investor Roger Mason, Jr mentioned his involvement in Vaunt, a near term, online platform where several global soccer players will begin connecting with their fan communities.

5. The 3rd person point of view will continue to have a strong voice in shaping how fans view moments in and around the game. Sports media creators like Bleacher Report and Copa 90 are anticipating how a development on the field can affect its viewers and, in a broader sense, teams and sports. And it's these perspectives that will drive the stories that are told and the format they are presented in. 



Youth Director Outlines 3 Tactics Emphasized in FC Barca's Program

Director of Youth Football Jordi Roura

While in New York City for FC Barcelona's participation in LaLiga Promise's 3rd annual international soccer tournament, Director of Youth Football Jordi Roura held a brief Q&A during a reception held in his honor at the club's Park Avenue office.

The esteemed former player and manager oversees the development of all youth players at La Masia and was accompanied by his staff, as well as the fifteen youth players taking part in this past weekend's tournament.

Understanding that there has been an increased parental involvement of the sport, Roura detailed three guidelines FC Barcelona adheres to when players (and their families) enter the academy.

1. Closed Practices: There is only one open training session that parents can attend each week.  All others are closed.

2. Parents Rep the Club: From the very beginning, the academy teaches parents that they too are representatives of FC Barcelona.  Therefore, they are instructed in the club's philosophy of social media manners, winning right and playing fair.

3. La Masia 360: Pioneering a holistic youth player development environment, FC Barcelona meets with each student and their family on the first day to explain how the club functions, pair them with a tutor, psychological support and other adaptation services to ensure they are providing a level playing field for each student to win.

What are your thoughts on these policies? And, how do you think American clubs can successfully put some of these guidelines to practice? We would love to hear your thoughts below.