Nesta: “Soccer is Changing in America”

As the Head Coach of the Miami FC, Alessandro Nesta, finishes the first season with his team in the demanding NASL, he spends some time with Soccerplus and its readers to share his impressions and ideas about youth soccer in America.

Taking an in depth look back at this first season with the Miami FC, what do you think about their performance?
It was hard at first because I had to understand what kind of players I needed to win games and to win the League. In Italian soccer, you opt for quality players to win, but here you need a more physical kind of player, because every game is a battle. And you win based on the physical aspect more than the technical part. It is a complicated balance.

What are your personal expectations for the future?
Next year, I will still be with the Miami FC. It is a school for me, I learn something new that enriches my personal experience every day. My personal expectation is to go as far as possible as a coach.

You have a son that plays for Juventus Academy.
¿What differences do you see between youth soccer in Italy and the United States?
The first big difference is passion. Here, kids don’t care if they win or lose. The same happens with my son. The second difference is that constricting rules have been set. These rules establish that kids cannot head the ball until they are 12 years old, and it is in that age that kids develop coordination. Not being able to head is a big limitation. It is true that, at home, everyone does what they like better, but I completely disagree.

What advice would you give to a young boy that would like to become a great professional player and lives in the United States?
I would advise him to try to gain experience in Europe. There are many players that go to Norway to close the gap between a European and an American player. Unfortunately, players start developing very late here. It could happen that once he turns 16 he decides that he wants to pursue soccer. And at age 16 for example, in Italy, kids are already focused on becoming professional soccer players. I was already playing in the “A” series at that age. On the other hand, soccer is changing in America and I hope that in the near future, players can be more competitive.

“In Italy, if a kid loses a game, he cries because he does not want to lose.”

“Not heading the ball is a big limitation. Here, they think they can shape big players like Messi, but without that basic formation, you can’t achieve anything.”

Name: Alessandro Nesta
Head Coach of Miami FC
Nickname: Sandro
Place of Birth: Rome, Italy
Date of Birth: March 19th, 1976

•    1 FIFA World Cup
•    1 UEFA Championship
•    1 FIFA Club World Cup
•    3 UEFA Super Cup
•    2 UEFA Champions League

Latest Tournaments of 2016

3-4: Florida Winter Cup & Showcase, Palm Coast, FL.
Ages:U9-U19 Boys and Girls.
Teams: All USSF Affiliates.

3-4: The Gulf Coast Cup, Ft Myers, FL.
Ages:U9-U19 Boys and Girls.
Teams: All USSF Affiliates.

10-11:The Sports Recruiting USA Showcase, Naples, FL.
Ages:U15-U19 Boys and Girls.
Teams:All USSF Affiliates.

10-11: Vero Winter Cup, Hobart Park-Vero Beach, FL.
Ages: U9-U19 Boys and Girls. T
eams: All USSF Affiliates. or www.kickoffsoccer.

2016 South Florida Super Cup Showcase, Miami-Dade County, Florida Ages:U15-U19 Boys.
Teams:All USSF Affiliates.

IMG Cup Boys Invitational, IMG Academy – Bradenton, FL.
Ages: U13-U19 Boys
Teams: ALL USSF AND FIFA Affiliates

27-30: Disney Soccer Showcase-BOYS, ESPN World Wide of Sports & approved off-site venues.
Ages:U14-U19 Boys Teams:All USSF and FIFA Affiliates.

27-30: Hollywood Winter Classic, Hollywood, FL.
Ages:U8-U12 Boys and Girls.
Teams: All USSF Affiliates

28-30: Orange Classic International Girls Soccer Tournament, Plantation, Miramar.
Ages:U9-U19 Girls.
Teams: All USSF & FIFA Affiliates.

Russia 2018: The US is in Big Trouble

A look at the CONCACAF AND CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers

The ball is rolling towards Moscow: Every matchday brings joy and sadness to the fans from all North America, South America and the Caribbean. The first two games of the hexagonal made it clear which teams almost have a spot in Russia and those that will have to struggle to get one.

Our team got off to a bad start in the CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifying stage: a 2-1 loss to Mexico in Columbus and a 4-0 humiliating defeat by Costa Rica. The stars and stripes are bottom of the six-nation group. Costa Rica is the big surprise by leading the hex with two convincing victories, and a good goal differential. Mexico moved up to second place. Panama and Honduras are also battling for a spot.

The “Verde amarelha” has six consecutive victories. Last matchday Brazil defeated Peru (2-0) and sits at the top of the standings of the CONMEBOL, comprising of ten teams, of which the top four qualify for direct spots and the fifth-placed team will advance to the international play offs. Other teams joining Brazil are Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina.  For now, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia and Venezuela won´t be seeing The Red Square or Putin.

The Perfect Technique

Learn how to play soccer like the great players

J10 is not a soccer club, it is an Academy where boys and girls learn the technical aspect of the game based on the South American technique. Its objective is to shape kids with a better individual technique, without competing with the clubs. Sergio Barth is partner of Jayzinho –the well-known international freestyle player- in this innovative training program and he explained its concept to Soccerplus.

How did the idea of creating J10 come about?
We realized that people are highly focused on competition in the US, but they don’t have a basic knowledge of soccer technique. We are interested in training kids on the technical aspect from the beginning. We believe the competition stage must start at the age of 12, like it is done in Argentina.

When did J10 start?
In May 2015. The idea came about through Jayzinho, who worked individually with some kids. I had the dream of having my own academy because I have always been linked to soccer. A mutual friend brought us together and we joined forces to create J10.

What is Jayzinho’s experience in soccer?
He is a former professional player shaped in Chile and France. He received training in futsal, which is the basic technique for every player, working in a confined space. He is an Adidas athlete, and was asked to be part of the FIFA STREET EA SPORTS videogame. He created the necessary movements for the videogame. Jayzinho preforms street soccer exhibitions worldwide, and he is also the new face of the Cheetos brand. All of his skills are transmitted to boys and girls through J10.

How old do children have to be in order to be part of the Academy?
We receive children from the age of 8. There are a few exceptions with younger children, a 6 year old and a 7 year old, because they are technically advanced.

Do girls and boys work in different groups?
No. Actually we have two age groups. Eight to 13 and 13 to 18 years old; now we are even getting professional players, one of them is Jorge Luis Corrales, who plays for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, he comes to train with us during the off season. Tessa Florio, Houston Dash player, 27 years old, also trains with us for three months during the off season.

How do players prepare physically?
We use a method created by Jayzinho. It is all about the technique. We work the physical aspect, always using the ball. While they are performing drills, they are working physically. The drills are always different, with a physical exigency that is very high and always using the ball.

What sets you apart from a traditional club?
Our idea is to shape and empower the players. The drills are based on the technical and not on the tactical aspect, as is the case in most of the clubs. We customize our work. Additionally, we don’t sign any contracts concerning rights over players.

What are J10’s goals?
One of our goals is that the kids who go through the whole process with us may get a college scholarship in any city of the U.S. And, those who want to become professional players may achieve it. We already have kids who have gotten college scholarships. One of them is in Vermont and the other one is part of the FIU team.

Who is he?

Place of birth: Medellín, Colombia
Date of birth: October 30th, 1979
Favorite food: Bandeja Paisa
Favorite player: Cristiano Ronaldo
Favorite team: Atlético Nacional, Medellín
Family: His wife, Catalina and their 5 year old daughter, Martina

Taylor Valle
Josemy Vigil
Nicholas Feanny

Marceliano Medina
Son: Juan Pablo Medina

“I have seen many changes in my son’s technique ever since he joined J10. I have also seen a mental change, I see he is more positive and believes more in himself. ”

Emiro Arcila y Yolardi Correa
Children: Camilo y Daniel Arcila

“My children play soccer since the age of 4. We became a part of J10 three months ago and we have seen the change in terms of ball control and technique in our children’s game.”

Team Guardians: The Goalkeeper Position’s Responsibility and Evolution

Edgar Uribe is the FBS-FC´s Goalkeeper Coach. He has great experience as a soccer player in Colombian soccer and as a coach in Miami. Uribe started his career when he was very young and has experienced the evolution of the goalkeeper position.  

How is the goalkeeper training different from the rest of the team?
I think that the goalkeeper’s job is much more complex in the tactical and technical aspects. For children, it is not so easy to play as a goalkeeper because they must stay focused.

Being a goalkeeper, is this the most difficult position?
It is one of the most difficult ones, the goalkeepers must work hard during trainings. It is a position that requires much sacrifice. You can do things right for 89 minutes, but if on the last play of the game someone scores a goal on you, the rest of the team gets discouraged.

What conditions does a child need to have in order to be a good goalkeeper?
Most importantly, the child must have motivation and the desire to be a good goalkeeper. Work hard to have good reflexes to be able to become a fast goalkeeper.

What’s your experience as a goalkeeper?
I played for Atlético Nacional in Colombia and also for The Colombia National Team in U18, U20, and U21. I was also the third goalkeeper in the Copa America when Colombia became champion against México in Bogotá.

When did you decide that you wanted to play as a goalkeeper?
I started playing soccer when I was very young. When I was 9 or 10 years old, I played as a right midfielder but I wasn’t too fast because of my physical condition. So the coach moved me to the goalkeeper position and since then, I started liking it.

What is the greatest memory of your career as a goalkeeper?
When I got promoted to Colombia’s premier division. I remember that Rene Higuita was playing at that moment, I was only 13 years old. It was a wonderful experience, the simple fact of playing with such a personality was fascinating because he was so outgoing; I also had the opportunity of playing with Miguel Calero, who already passed away.

Currently, what goalkeepers do you think are good at what they do?
I like Portadio, a young goalkeeper with a lot of technique, strength, speed; a very serious goalkeeper, a leader on the field.

How has the goalkeeper position evolved?
It has evolved on regards to how much feet are used now; it is not like before when goalkeepers used to play more with their hands. Nowadays there are libero goalkeepers, who work more with their feet, and come out of the goal defending with their feet.

Who is he

Full Name: Edgar Uribe
Place of birth: Colombia
Date of birth: December 17, 1981
Education: Social Communication
Favorite team: Deportivo Independiente Medellín
Favorite player: Luciano
Favorite food: Bandeja Paisa
Family: Wife and two children

Kale: The Queen of Greens

What you need to know about the super-nutritious veggie

Kale is a leafy, nutritious, green vegetable that is part of the cabbage family. It is considered as one of the most healthy plant foods on the planet. Kale has been gaining popularity because of its vitamin, antioxidant and mineral content.

Here are four benefits of eating kale:

Immune System
Kale’s amazing amount of vitamins enhances the immune system and fights off invading viruses and bacteria. It is full of antioxidants that support the production of white blood cells. Additionally, the hearty green vegetable protects the enzymes that repair DNA damage, helping your body heal itself.

Bone health
Not only does kale contain an important source of nutrients, it also contains more calcium than milk. It is considered to be among the many fruits and vegetables that hold high levels of vitamins that can enhance and protect your skeleton. Leafy green vegetables are the best dietary sources of calcium.

Kale is a nutrition powerhouse, packed with vitamins C, A, and K and minerals such as magnesium, a substance that if you are deficient in can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue. Many athletes substitute tortilla chips with kale chips because they are lower in calories and full with nutrients.

One of the great benefits of kale is that it is a natural detoxifier. This super food is filled with components as fiber and sulfur; both of them are excellent for removing toxins from your body. Detoxifying eliminates toxins out from your organism and keeps you feeling more active and energetic.

Fast fact
There are several varieties of kale; these include curly kale, ornamental kale, and dinosaur, all of which differ in texture and appearance.

Kale juice
Two apples
Two carrots
Blend and drink after training

Key to rehydrate after training
According to a study at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Nigeria, kale is one of the most nutrient dense and healthiest vegetables, and must be included by athletes in their eating plan, since it promotes electrolyte replacement after physical effort. It contains high levels of iron, it is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc, and additionally it has high protein content, low contribution of carbohydrates and around 3% fiber.

Andrés Iniesta: Man of the Match

The Spanish is regarded as one of the best midfielders of all time

He grew up playing soccer in a small village named Fuentealbilla in the province of Albacete, Spain. Iniesta was a quiet and shy boy with great soccer skills who caught the attention of several important soccer clubs.

Iniesta Made History
The talented boy joined FC Barcelona’s youth soccer academy at age 12. He made his debut for FC Barcelona’s first team during a Champions League game in October 2002. Iniesta progressively assumed a starring role on the club, leading Barcelona to an amazing six titles in 2009. The talented player made history during the 2010 World Cup final, when he scored the winning goal to give Spain its first-ever World Cup Championship.

His Reputation
The Barca captain is known for his exceptional passing and dribbling abilities, as well as his great versatility, imagination and work ethic. The Spanish star won the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final: Man of the Match, the 2014 Golden and 2014 La Liga Best Attacking Midfielder. Andrés Iniesta is a man of many virtues, he is considered as one of the most respected and best midfielders of all time.

“I don’t play the game to be number one; I play to be happy.”

Who is he

Full Name: Andrés Iniesta Luján
Place of birth: Fuentealbilla, Spain
Date of birth: May 11, 1984
Age: 32
Height: 5 ft 7 1⁄2 in
Weight: 150 pounds
Position: Midfielder

Senior career

2001–2003         Barcelona B
2002–Present   Barcelona
Spain National Team

Lidio Britto: A veteran Runner Gives us his Advice

When did you begin to run?
Well I’m a veteran runner. I’ve been running since 1986, involved in road running and triathlons.

How important is it to wear the right shoe when you’re running?
When you start running you want to be the shoe according to your gait type because everyone is different. Most people don’t know but most shoes are made for different types of gaits and they’ll buy shoes because they like the color, or the brand. If they just pick a shoe off the wall they might not pick a shoe that’s appropriate for them and it will start to work against them.

How do you determine what your gait type is?
Here in the store we do an analysis using a treadmill, a video camera, and a 2D scan of your foot where we can determine your gait. For example, if you are a supinator, and you buy a shoe for stability which is mainly for a pronator, the shoe can bother you and cause you an injury. It’s not very complicated but you need someone who can properly determine your gait.

What kind of material are the shoes made of?
What’s most important is the type of shoe for the type of gait. For the most part the soles of the shoe are made of “E.v.a” (which is a type of foam), but there’s also “flight foam” from ASICS, or “boost” from ADIDAS. So the materials vary but they for the most part do the same thing.

What tips would you have for somebody that wants to start running?
If you’re a beginner my tips would be to buy the right shoe, start slow by either walking and then jogging, or by walking and then running. Also to not increase your mileage by more than 10 percent a week because sometimes people start of too strong and by the third month they’re injured. Nutrition is important as well, but for short distances not as much. If you’re running a half marathon and above, then yes it’s important to eat properly. The most important is hydration and to stay hydrated.

What do you want your customers to find here?
We are not a “sports” store, In Runner’s Co. we are running specific only. When you’re in need of equipment for a sport whether its tennis, or golf, etc. you want to go to a store that understands the sport. In a store like that the employees will know the sport and the products, do the sport, and be trained in the sport in order to be able to best help you with what you need.

Brazilian Soccer Club: Proud Parents

Our newspaper was with the fantastic fans of the Brazilian Soccer Club. Here are the pictures. And next week, the whole story of this wonderful South Florida club!

European Soccer Showcase by Figo

The European showcase will have the presence of former Portuguese star Luis Figo, leading the tournament and sharing his international soccer experience, along with his technical staff with many UEFA coaches.

eurpeansoccer (1)

Soccer teams

The tournament is for players who are passionate and want to become professionals. It is expected to attract more than 400 teams of boys and girls ages 8 to 18. The event will be held on November 11-13 at Lakewood Ranch Premier Sports Campus.

“We want to give visibility to these kids, when you play in the streets, you never have the chance to be seen by the scouts. We want to give them an opportunity to show their talent. And I wanted to give back to the soccer community my experience.” Figo said.

Awards and more

There will be top awards for champions and finalists. Additionally, the International Visibility Program, Figo’s brainchild, will select a coach in the tournament for a UEFA course with all expenses paid for.

The European showcase by Figo will change the landscape of youth soccer in Florida. The plan is to have annual tournaments and add more competitions on the East Coast in the near future.

Luis Figo is a soccer legend who won the Ballon d’or and and was Player of the Year, former player of the Portugal team for 16 years, of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid C. F. and Inter Milan.