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Global Pitches – Big Bear Lake

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Jun 24, 2015

Global Pitches – Big Bear Lake

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I spotted this wall with a goal painted on it just up the street from Big Bear Lake. I realize that it may not look like a pitch, at least in the way many of us think about soccer fields or places to play. But I think it is imaginative and inspired places like this that we need young American soccer players utilizing more of. Far too often soccer in America, especially for young players is too organized. It’s too planned out. There is too much structure to it. I think much of that shows in the type of players that the US has traditionally developed. Players who often times aren’t that expressive with the ball or that imaginative. I think you can make the argument, and I certainly say this a lot, that young American kids aren’t allowed to just get out and play soccer. They go out and get coached all the time.

A wall like this represents nothing other than going out and playing with your friends. 1 v 1. Or taking turns shooting on another. Crossbar challenge. Or making up games that only kids can do. I dig that from the point of view that it is fun and helps to develop a love of the game for young players. But also from the point of view that playing anywhere and everywhere and in non traditional places will make American soccer players better. It will develop more skillfully sound players who are much more willing to take chances. Players who are better with the ball at their feet and more imaginative with what they do with it. Clint Dempsey is the type of American player that this makes me think of. And from the many stories told about him, he grew up playing in places that weren’t always full fields under the direction of youth soccer coaches.

Get out there and play.

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