With registered youth soccer players in the United States growing from just over 100,000 in 1974 to over 3 million by 2014, the landscape of the sport has changed drastically over the last 40 years. As soccer has grown, tournament hosts have similarly had to adapt to greater numbers and greater competition while providing some of the best facilities and fields in the world.
Seventeen-year-old Orlando City SC U-17/18 forward Alejandro Pereira put the exclamation point on a year that’s had its fair share of incredibly acrobatic goals with this breathtaking overhead kick at the 2017 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in Westfield, Indiana.
The Ovideo, Florida native put the finishing touches on a 2-0 victory for Orlando over Pateadores U-17/18, a club from Irvine, California.
Spain will approach the 2018 World Cup as a nation largely in transition. Nobody’s ready to write off the likes of Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas, but this could well be the last World Cup for all of them.
If history repeats itself, we should expect Real Madrid or Barcelona to splash cash on promising youth prodigies. Earlier this year, Real Madrid spent 45 million Euros on 16-year-old Vinicius Junior, who doesn't have any first team experience.
On Sunday, England won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, sparking snarky Brits to declare the nation had finally ended its 51-year cycle of hurt, dating back to last winning the World Cup in 1966.
Despite being home to arguably the world’s most entertaining league, England has consistently failed to flatter at the international level. A stellar crop of English players (including David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen) in the 2000s were dubbed the Golden Generation. Their play at the highest level didn’t exactly live up to the lofty moniker.
Trigger warnings are all the rage these days so in the spirit of that I just want to warn y'all you are about to read the stupidest story in the world.
Mili is an eight-year-old girl who plays on a U-11 team because she is very good for an eight-year-old. The combination of Mili being very good and Mili having short hair led the organizers of a soccer tournament her team was playing in to wrongly conclude Mili is a boy and disqualify the team.
The United States matched their biggest-ever triumph on the U-20 World Cup stage, and Mexico scored a game-winner in the 89th minute as North America sent two representatives into the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinals — just as many as South America and one less than Europe.
Jonathan Klinsmann is young and still has a lot of growing up to do. Goalkeepers generally improve with experience more so than other positions and tend to peak in their late 20s and early 30s. So we're not that worried about him yet.
That said, he should stop watching tapes of Joe Hart.
There is no doubt that the India U17 World Cup team earned an impressive road victory this week against a strong Italian side, knocking off the hosts 2-0.
There's just one problem with the narrative that arose after the match. The India U17s didn't actually beat the Italy U17 National Team. Instead, they played and won against a team comprised of youth players from clubs in Lega Pro and Lega Pro 2 (the third and fourth tiers of Italian football, respectively).
Aged only 15, top English clubs have already been scouting Rangers teenage sensation and Scotland youth international Billy Gilmour. Gilmour can't legally sign a contract with any team until he's 16, but Chelsea are rumored to have agreed to terms with both player and club.
Gilmour had also grabbed the attention of Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Disregarding all of the great opportunities that have been presented by the English clubs, it's difficult to understand why he'd choose Chelsea given their track record of loaning their young players.