Have you ever wondered what it requires to manage a superstar like Cristiano Ronaldo or prepare a goalkeeper such as Eduardo for the World Cup?
You’ll be able to find out when the annual U.S. Youth Soccer Adidas Workshop takes place in Louisville Thursday through Saturday.
The three-day event at the Kentucky International Convention Center is expected to attract more than 2,000 soccer coaches, administrators, referees and enthusiasts.
The largest event of its kind for youth sports in the United States, it will feature education sessions for those involved in the game, field demonstrations and an exhibit hall. A highlight of the weekend will be the U.S. Youth Soccer Awards Gala, which will showcase successes of the past year and over a lifetime.
One of the more interesting workshop sessions will feature Portugal’s national team goalkeeper coach Dan Gaspar, who will speak at 3 p.m. Friday about what impacted the country’s performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He will discuss how the team prepared for opponents, including eventual winner Spain, which knocked Portugal out in the round of 16.
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Here are our some of our top moments of 2010 – some local, some not so, and in no particular order of preference. If you have anything to add that was memorable for you, please add. A very, merry Christmas to all, and have a kicking new year!
The World Cup: As to be expected, there were many highlights within a rather large highlight as South Africa hosted the World Cup. Spain emerged as winners for the first time in the nation’s history, after beating the Netherlands in a somewhat dour final. Top U.S. moment was Landon Donovan’s dramatic injury time winner against Algeria, which sent Bob Bradley’s men through to the last 16, where they lost to Ghana in overtime. Another star to make the headlines was Paul the oracle octopus, who predicted correctly all of Germany’s seven encounters and the final itself. Alas, Paul departed for the great sea in the sky after he died in October.
Two class soccer: The moment that the IHSAA announced in May that high school boys’ and girls soccer would be divided into two classes come the fall of 2011 was the moment that certain smaller schools started dreaming of long post season tournament runs and maybe even a state title. The cut off point for the revamped tournaments – to be based on school enrollment – will be known in the spring following the next classification realignment.
OT Pioneer winner: Providence’s overtime clincher against the Highlanders in the sectional semi-final is so far one of the best goals I’ve seen since covering local girls’ high school soccer. It was rather apt that it was superbly finished off by Casey Marlin, who broke all manner of records in her junior year (top all-time Providence scorer at 59; most goals in a season with 29), but it was the searing 60 plus yard run by defender Leah Mattingly, leaving a number of Floyd Central players in her wake, and her delivery to Marlin, that made the goal special. Providence went on to win sectional and bowed out at regional to eventual state finalist Columbus North, coached by Jeffersonville’s Mike Spock.
Save clinches regional for Jeff: Jeffersonville goalkeeper Cauldon Feldhaus dove to his left to stop Cameron Hensley’s shot, giving the Red Devils a 5-3 penalty kick victory over Trinity Lutheran for the team’s third regional championship, and first since 2005. “To be honest, I totally guessed,” said Feldhaus. The Red Devils (18-2) lost to Washington at semi-state.
School shocks in Louisville: Soccer powerhouses St Xavier and Sacred Heart, both winners of boys’ and girls’ Kentucky state titles respectively for the past three years, crashed out of their respective tournaments on the very same night. Minnows Louisville Collegiate tamed the Tigers, while DuPont Manual overcame the Valkyries on penalties in a game played over two evenings. Collegiate would later lose to Central Hardin the quarterfinals, while Manual made it to the final four, where it lost to eventual winner St Henry.
Déjà vu for New Albany: It was a case of déjà vu as New Albany, for the second successive year, beat rival Floyd Central on penalties after a scoreless encounter. The Highlanders had gone through the entire season unbeaten, securing the Hoosier Hills Conference along the way.
CAI forces shootout: Beaten 6-0 by the Pioneers during regular season, Christian Academy of Indiana was in no mood for a repeat result. Following a 1-1 tie after overtime, and penalty kicks tied at 3-3 with just one shot remaining for both teams, CAI goalkeeper Tyler Stumler’s effort dramatically hit the crossbar and sped downwards, but was adjudged not to have crossed the line when it bounced off the turf. Ben Orem made no mistake with the last penalty, sending the Pioneers to the championship game, where they lost to Jeffersonville.
Providence wins . . .oops, no it doesn’t! Those who witnessed it said they had never seen anything like it before. With just 20 seconds left, and the game tied at 3-3, Providence took the lead when Pierce Crawley notched his hat-trick. However, Pioneer celebrations were short-lived. In fact, they lasted as long as it took Jennings County’s Matt Flora to kick the ball from the restart at the halfway line perfectly into upper left hand corner of the net to tie proceedings at 4-4.
US loses World Cup bid: Matching the disappointment of the U.S. losing to Ghana at the World Cup was the awarding of the 2022 tournament by FIFA to Qatar. At one stage considered a strong favorite, the U.S. bid (which included the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium as one of the possible venues) lost out to the Persian Gulf nation the size of Connecticut amid allegations of a corrupt selection process driven by oil money. Bah, humbug. Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup.
It was mentioned more than once prior to University of Louisville’s NCAA Division 1 championship decider against Akron that a victory would provide a great opportunity to start a soccer dynasty at the college.
The truth is that the start of such a dynasty commenced before they lost 1-0 to the Zips on Sunday at Santa Barbara, Calif.
The program has grown steadily over the past few years under the stewardship of Ken Lolla, but it came to life this year thanks to an unbeaten regular season and No.1 ranking which led to numerous 5,000 plus crowds at Cardinal Park during the NCAA tournament.
Already, the area’s young talent must be dreaming of playing with Louisville, not Indiana, UCLA, Ohio State or anyone else for that matter.
And the future looks bright for the Cards. Only two of Sunday’s starters were seniors, while regular standouts such as Dylan Mares, Louisville’s Andrew Farrell, and supersub Aaron Horton are freshmen.
Akron is proof that a program can be built steadily to become a soccer powerhouse. The Zips were runners-up in 1986, grew steadily in stature under none other than Ken Lolla from 1993 to 2005, and have been mainstays come the business end of the NCAA tournament under current coach Caleb Porter.
On Sunday, they became the first team from the college to win an NCAA championship in any sport, solidifying its status as a modern soccer powerhouse to boot. Great encouragement can be garnered from that.
Louisville’s performance this year comes at a good time for local soccer. You should see a number of their players over the coming years taking the field for River City Rovers, a USL’s Premier Development League team which will play its first games next summer.
The league is seen as a shop window for Major League Soccer clubs looking to discover and identify aspiring pros.
Rovers themselves will be pleased with the Cards’ profile boost, as having recognizable names on its roster will help with attendances. So too will indoor pro outfit, Louisville Lightning.
These three teams should be responsible for more young players getting involved in the game and prolonging their involvement in it. We should also see a new facility in the not too distant future in the shape of a soccer stadium, or a much revamped one at the very least.
What is needed next is the go ahead from U.S. Soccer for a Development Academy, which would feature teams at U15/16 and U17/18 levels.
There are currently 78 top youth soccer clubs – including Indiana United from Carmel and academies from many Major League Soccer franchises – fielding teams in a league which focuses on player development rather than going after results.
For example, the ratio of practices to games is around 3:1, and the re-entry of players into games once substituted is eliminated.
A joint bid by Javanon and Mockingbird failed earlier this year, but the general feeling is it’s only a matter of time before one is introduced locally.
So will any of this help the game in southern Indiana? It can only have a positive knock on effect, as hopefully extra exposure to the game and opportunities to watch more quality live soccer encourages more to take it up.
And whether the best and improving players from New Albany, Jeffersonville, Floyd Knobs, Clarksville, Sellersburg or anywhere else head to Louisville teams or not, they will still be part of our high school teams in the fall. (As a sidenote, it remains to be seen what effect, if any, tolling the bridges would have on such traversing.)
I get the feeling that the game in greater Louisville is ready to make a major leap forward, and hopefully we can leap with it.