Ranting Soccer Dad

Frank but fair conversations and occasional silliness about youth soccer.

September 27th, 2017    

RSD12: Is youth soccer doomed to suck?

Host Beau Dure flies solo for this edition, asking whether it's possible to turn youth soccer into an activity that produces good soccer players and good human beings. 

Crowd noise sound effect is from FreeSound user paulw2k under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. I hope Brentford won the game.

September 20th, 2017    

RSD11: Alexi Lalas on developing soft, tattooed millionaires

Alexi Lalas is a Soccer Hall of Famer. He’s also an entertainer, with interests in music as well as riling people up from a soccer broadcast studio. So when he rips the U.S. men’s national team as “soft, tattooed millionaires,” he’s drawing on both backgrounds.

In our conversation, Lalas explains that “tattooed millionaires” came from a solo release by Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson (no, not the “More Cowbell” guy on SNL), and then we talk about whether everything from the now-defunct Bradenton residency program to the Development Academy is giving us a generation of coddled, entitled men’s soccer players.

We also talk about specialization, playing in multiple soccer environments (i.e., not just in the Development Academy), high school/college soccer, the Apollo Theater, diversity of playing styles, Michael Bradley’s understanding of livestock, and Brad Friedel playing basketball.

September 13th, 2017    

Ranting Soccer Dad, Ep. 10: Ronnie Woodard on youth soccer, women in coaching

Do women actually face more difficulty breaking into college coaching today than they did 15 years ago? Is youth soccer going off the rails?

I don't know. But Ronnie Woodard would. The former Duke goalkeeper went straight from the college field to the college sideline and had a strong career coaching at College of Charleston and Vanderbilt before moving to youth soccer with Tennessee Soccer Club and taking national honors, including the 2016 NSCAA Coach of the Year Award.

That's not all. She has a master's degree in counseling and runs a consulting service for female college prospects.


A few conversation highlights:

- 10:20: What’s keeping women out of coaching?


- 19:30: Balancing high school soccer and club soccer

- 21:00 Defraying travel costs


- 25:00 What’s worse in youth soccer today? (cough … parents … cough …)

- 27:00 What’s the case for pursuing college soccer when the cost of travel soccer will usually be greater than any available scholarship?

- 29:30 What’s better in youth soccer today?

And then I go on a rant about the first weekend of Northern Virginia soccer, including a coach's ejection. (No, it wasn't me.)

September 6th, 2017    

Ranting Soccer Dad, Ep. 9: Girls DA with Travis Clark

The podcast starts this week with a bit of a political rant. The news on DACA is hard to ignore, and we’ve had some ongoing overheated arguments in the soccer community.

The Travis Clark interview on the Development Academy starts around the 9:25 mark. A few landmarks:

- Will the NWSL affiliates dominate? (19:45)

- DA vs. high school (25:00)

- Can we tame the chaos and still have multiple development pathways? (30:30)

- A few clubs to watch in the DA (38:45)