MLS Strike Averted: Now Watch and Learn


Now that the Major League Soccer (MLS) season will start March 26, the U.S. men’s chances of doing well in the upcoming 2010 World Cup have dramatically improved. A number of U.S. national players play in the MLS. Any work stoppage and subsequent lack of playing time would have negatively impacted these players and the U.S. national team. Now I really can’t wait for the June 12 game against England.

Along with the women’s professional league (WPS) getting underway April 10, it is important for youth soccer players to watch and see professional players in action. Youth players who happen to live near a professional soccer team should be encouraged to attend a live match. If there is no professional team close by, players should watch a game on TV. A lot can be learned by watching professional players. In fact, watching any older team play, from high school on up, is an excellent learning opportunity for youth players. If youth players are only exposed to soccer at a peer level and coaches (no offense) who themselves have never played soccer, they will never know or see how soccer can and should be played.

One of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time was the, “I Want to be Like Mike” Gatorade campaign. Which child doesn’t want to be someone famous or someone they see as larger-than-life? Who doesn’t want to be a princess, a Marine, Julia Roberts, or Michael Jordan? By exposing youth players to professional soccer, they will soon start learning from and emulating Abby Wambach and Landon Donovan. In turn, they will improve as soccer players.

Besides encouraging and exposing youth players to professional soccer matches, the following activities will also get players more excited about soccer.

  • During practice, have the small-sides games between the FC Gold Pride and Atlanta Beat.
  • Give each player a nickname based on a name of a professional player who plays his/her position(s).
  • Name the team after an MLS or WPS team (Sky Blue is pretty cool).
  • Have a team party on June 12 when the U.S. men’s national team takes on and (fingers crossed) beats England. Should that happen, the win will become this generation’s do-you-remember-where-you-were sporting moment just like the ‘Miracle-On-Ice’ was my generation’s moment.
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5 Responses to “MLS Strike Averted: Now Watch and Learn”

  1. Rob S. Says:

    I second your words,Alex. Last year my daughter and I discovered our local WPS team, the Gold Pride. We went to 2 of their matches and she attended a couple of their academy sessions.
    This season I have 2 matches lined up for us plus a SJ Earthquakes match next weekend. She loves watching the pros live and on tv.

  2. Rob S. Says:

    She used to go for Beckham but now likes Ronaldinho and Brandi Chastain. :) Looking forward to the WC !

    • Alex Kos Says:

      Did you know that Brandi was not picked up by the Gold this year? Your daughter will have to find someone else … although Brandi is one of the pros featured on weplay.com.

  3. Rob S. Says:

    Wow, I was not aware of that. I thought she was still on the roster.
    Thanks for the info!

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