FUEL Soccer Talk: Viva Las Soccer; Atlanta speak; Developmental Bridge Program in Orlando

Some soccer happenings heading into the weekend! 

US Youth Soccer National League Girls roll into Vegas

The US Youth Soccer National League Girls teams will compete in their second event of the 2018-19 season March 15-17 at Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex and Kellogg Zaher Soccer Complex in Las Vegas, Nev., as 100 teams — representing 26 state associations and 64 clubs — play their final games to solidify the division standings.

Entering the weekend of play in Las Vegas:

* 17 berths to the US Youth Soccer National Championships are still to be decided.
* 17 National League division titles are up for grabs
* 61 of the 100 teams playing in Las Vegas are still in contention for a berth to Nationals.

The division winners in the 14U-18U age groups earn a place in the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships, while the top two finishers in each of the 19U divisions also advance. The 2019 National Championships will take place July 22-28 in Overland Park, Kan.

Following the first two National League weekends, seven girls teams have booked tickets to the National Championships. With so many berths to Overland Park still on the line, there will be plenty to play for when the teams meet in Las Vegas.

For all the information:

What are the keys for teams to perform well on such a big stage?

VIDEO: Bocanegra and Eales speak on the flourishing Atlanta United philosophy

Atlanta United featured an explosive, freewheeling attack that helped lead to an MLS Cup last season. Now they’re getting defensive, or at least more so as they try to repeat this year.
New head coach Frank de Boer’s emphasis during the Five Stripes’ preseason camp at Cal State Fullerton has been on what to do when they don’t have the ball, and how to propel that into making MLS’s best offensive team even better.

“We’re playing a variation of the system we played last year,” defender and captain Michael Parkhurst told MLS.Com. “So not everything’s completely new, but definitely some things out of our starting positions [on the field] are a little bit new. When he wants us to press and when he doesn’t and how he wants guys to rotate; it’s a little bit more zone-oriented than man-to-man. Little things that we still need to get used to. After every game, we watch a little bit of film, see a couple things we didn’t do well or how he wants to do it different.”

Atlanta team executives Carlos Bocanegra (VP, technical director) and Darren Eales (team president) talk about the team, new coach Tata Martino and the league in this excellent interview. As a proven destination for development and a place to showcase talent, Atlanta United has a bright future ahead.

What will Atlanta’s biggest challenge be in trying to repeat this season?

South Orlando Soccer Club’s Developmental Bridge Program

The South Orlando Soccer Club offers an additional training program designed for selected developmental players who demonstrate the desire to see the bigger game of soccer and have the intention to eventually become competitive players. Called the Developmental Bridge Program, the evaluation-based program is used to identify those players in each age, separately boys and girls, who meet the highest skills standards among their peers, as well as have the personal motivation to absorb instruction & apply those skills in game settings. However, this does not mean, just the top players. A lot of the mid-level players that really want to improve their skills and become one of the top players are the best candidates for this program as well.

Players identified in the tryout/evaluation process, will be offered to participate in an additional Advanced Training once a week along with other players in their age of similar ability. The additional training is designed to challenge those players who are able & personally seeking instruction versus other top-level players in their age. The Player must demonstrate this proactive interest, ability to absorb instruction, and capability to apply the new skills learned.

When selected to a Development Bridge Team (DBT) for their age, in addition to a once a week high-ability group training, the program will seek to play a competitive game with the goal of introducing them to the competitive atmosphere.

More details:

Are there similar programs like the Bridge Program in your area? 

 OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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