FUEL Soccer Talk for 12/20: WNT Plays New Zealand, 7 Year Old National Anthem at MLS Cup, Importance of Saying Thank You

Happy Thursday, check out these stories that we have gathered here for you.

1. U.S. Women’s National Team to host New Zealand (Soccer Wire)

The US Women’s National Team will be hosting New Zealand on May 16th in Busch Stadium in St. Louis. This addition to their schedule means 8 of the next 10 Countdown to the Cup opponents will also be in the World Cup during the subsequent summer.

“On Dec. 6, U.S. Soccer announced 10 venues and nine opponents for Countdown to the Cup.”

The USA will be playing teams from all six FIFA Confederations: Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, Oceania, and Concacaf, all before heading to France for the Women’s World Cup.

“New Zealand, which is coached by former Australia and USA head coach Tom Sermanni, recently won the Oceania Women’s Cup in dominating fashion, outscoring its opponents 43-0 over five games to qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

During the last two friendly matchups in 2017, USA beat New Zealand both times (3-1 and 5-0).

This will truly be a great matchup, what do you foresee the result to be?

2. 7 Year Old Sings National Anthem before MLS Cup (CNN)

#ThrowbackThursday: 7 year-old Malea Emma sings the National Anthem before the MLS Cup game between Atlanta United and Portland Timbers.

What is the best rendition of the National Anthem that you’ve heard in person?

3. Time to Say “Thank You” (Eastern New York Youth Soccer)

This article by Tim Bradbury is a great read. He states that great coaches put people first and care about individual and human growth more so than technical development.

“They believe that if they get the team spirit and cooperation piece right and that all players are committed to being the best, they can be to serve their team, that excellence will quickly follow.”

Bradbury’s goal is to work to make his players develop into great people. He aims to help his player become: Resilient, humble, disciplined, honest, caring, polite, brave, and capable of self sacrifice.

“A key part of the team culture I try to create is the ability and awareness to say thank you.”

Thank you is such an important concept for children to learn. To instill these values into the youth is much more important than their soccer skills. Bradbury is truly trying to improve who these children are as people and to show that camaraderie is as important as the game itself. Not only is it important to say thank you, but it is also important to display thanks with actions as well. This is the holiday season and a perfect time to show gratitude for all people.

How do you like to show that you are thankful?