FUEL Soccer Talk for 10/26: US Youth Soccer Vet Goes Pro, 1 v 1 Tips, Chipotle Booritos!

Today we look at one of US Youth Soccer’s own stars and his turn going pro, playing in the world cup, and more, as well as some excellent 1v1 tips and more!

It’s Friday so we know many of you will be traveling to tournaments this weekend. If you’re looking for motivation, here are some stories we’re discussing today in our newsroom.

1. MLS Cup to World Cup: How Former US Youth Soccer Player Rodney Wallace Landed at NYCFC (MLS Soccer)

Many of us know about MLS star Rodney Wallace, who is now playing for New York City FC. Wallace won the 2015 MLS Cup with Portland, has experience playing overseas in Portugal and Brazil, and also has earned 26 caps representing his native country, Costa Rica.

What you may not know is that Wallace played US Youth Soccer after his move to the US at age 9.

Wallace found a club team in his new home of Rockville, Maryland, and despite not having his soccer cleats with him the first time out — he recollects, “It was pouring rain that day, and I was slipping all over the place” — he showed enough skill and knowledge of the game to impress the coaches and embark on his development. That process included U.S. Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program, which he notes was crucial in his evolution as a player.

Wallace rode the momentum of his club experience to earn a scholarship to the University of Maryland. It’s pretty cool to think Wallace’s club soccer experience set him on the path to soccer greatness. He played in the 2018 FIFA World Cup for Costa Rica.

“Playing in the World Cup, I feel like it’s the ultimate level you can reach,” he added. “Not many players have the privilege to live that. I was honored by that. You look across the field, and you’re playing against Serbia, against Brazil, against Switzerland. It’s surreal.”

Credit Wallace for setting ambitious goals as a youth player and achieving them.

What are your soccer goals five and 10 years from now?

2. Learn How to Beat Your Opponent 1 v 1 With Allan Saint-Maximin (Unisport)

We’ve all faced a situation in a game when we need to beat an opponent 1 v 1 . One of the best 1 v 1 players in the world, France’s up-and-coming star Allan Saint-Maximin, offers his tips to beating an opponent in space.

Saint-Maximim encourages young players to try skills first in training, with the purpose of doing it again with confidence in games. He notes that too many players try out new skills almost jokingly in practice with no intention of using them in games.

What is your go-to 1 v 1 move in a game?

3. Chipotle’s Halloween costume discount forces staff to make tough calls on soccer uniforms (The Takeout)

Do you have a soccer practice or game scheduled for Halloween? If so, you may be eligible for a $4 “Boorito” at Chipotle. Just wear your soccer uniform to the restaurant, and you MAY be eligible for the discount — if the restaurant employee decides that a soccer uniform is a costume.

Stuck in the fine print, the rules of Boorito state: “Limit one Boorito per person; must be in costume to qualify. Determination of whether a ‘costume’ qualifies for the offer is at the sole discretion of Chipotle restaurant personnel.”

The article addresses the soccer costume question directly.

Is a soccer uniform a costume? Hopefully, Chipotle employees err on the side of costume inclusivity—I mean, what do they care how many $4 burritos they hand out?—to avoid potential arguments.

We agree — the soccer uniform should work as a costume. Best of luck to all who attempt to go for the $4 “Boorito”!

How will you incorporate soccer into your Halloween activities?
What’s driving the conversation on your team?