Category Archives: Podcast


Professional Futsal League in USA to start in 2016

FutsalToday the Professional Futsal League announced that they are starting a professional futsal league in the United States. I got some chills running down my spine when I first read about this on Twitter. I then went on their website and it was almost unreal. I can’t believe I am this excited about a futsal league! It appears that the league is spearheaded by Dallas Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson and Keith Tozer, US Men’s Futsal National team head coach. I’ve never met Mr. Nelson, but I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with coach Tozer and he’s all about Futsal! I don’t have enough space here to list all his accolades, but let’s just say he’s the man you want when starting anything Futsal! His passion and knowledge about Futsal are just unbelievable, there’s no other way to describe it.

Check out Coach Tozer’s February 8th class in Milwaukee, WI. (I am not paid for this endorsement).

You already know how much I love Futsal and I believe it’s a critical piece to developing soccer players. I’ve had Drew Ducker on the podcast, Episode 6 discussing his play with the US Men’s National Futsal team. I have a special page on my website about 

The new Professional Futsal League (PFL) is scheduled to start in the Fall of 2016, and maybe a few tournaments in the Spring of 2015, that’s not too far away. You can go on their website and get additional information at You can also follow them on twitter.


I had to get this post up as I am super excited. I have a few friends directly involved with Professional Futsal that will be guests on the Podcast pretty soon, including Otto Orf from Futsal Factory. Stay tuned and hang on for the ride, this is going to be a fun one. I can’t wait to see the product. But the biggest reason for my excitement is the impact this will have on developing players right here in the US.

I also discuss my daughter’s development as a young player. My focus is not on her turning pro one day, but to be successful at soccer wherever it is she wants to play. This is something that every parent goes through, so I am sharing some of my experiences with you, the listener so that you can learn from my mistakes and also to let you know what is working for me and my child.

This is the video that I discussed in the podcast. My daughter playing barefoot in the living room.


YSE: 14: Content vs Model, Soccer Club and Academy Development Model Analysis with Mark O sullivan

Mark O Sullivan

In YSE 14 we welcome Mark O Sullivan from  Mark holds a EUFA A License. Mark recently wrote an article titled “Development Model or The Emperor’s New Clothes“. In the article which you can read here, Mark brought great insight and analysis into the difference between Content vs Model in a soccer club model. One model he uses as an example is the LTAD model which is used by different clubs around the world, most notably in the UK and Canada. (Before this podcast episode, I had reached out to Chris Murphy from Coastal FC in Canada to discuss this model. I am currently trying to work out a time to discuss the model further so we can learn more about it and its benefits).

Some of the other things you’ll learn from this episode:

Mark explained that he grew up playing on the street, nothing organized until 9 or 10 years old. Not sure how it happened, but someone always had a ball, just like in many neighborhoods across Europe. Mark also gave us some insight into his coach, who either “had an amazing knowledge of the game or very little”.

Something very interesting was his take on technique, which he thinks he learned on the streets, he would see it on TV, it helped him and his friends create a great imagination. They commentated on their own games, had a great time with their imagination. They watched what the pros did and imitated them. That’s how he learned to play with both feet. There was so much variability during the games on the streets.

Take Aways:

-structure must be from child’s perspective to maximize learning

-we know what is good for kids, but implement it for adults, this has to change

-Hard skills (easy to measure) vs soft skills and why many kids get overlooked due to size.

-Development model on a home page, don’t let your club do this!

-make it as fun as possible for the kids


Mark’s Follow up article “Turn the Curriculum on its head: Coaching in Context”.


YSE 13: Soccer and Papi Futbol in Argentina with Martin Blanc



For Episode 13 of the YSE Podcast we had the privilege of speaking to Martin Blanc.
Martin is a recent graduate of the prestigious Kalamazoo College, a private school located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he played four years of collegiate soccer. Martin brings us a unique point of view of American Soccer training and development. Martin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States at the age of 13 years old. He credits much of his development to the environment where he grew up, and states that his unique style of play comes from the streets. A former coach of Martin, Mr. Dustin Snyder, once described Martin as “a unique player with the Latin flair”. He is a pleasure to play with, against, and watch play.

Martin offers us so many incredible stories about his upbringing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He describes the environment and recalls being a kid in his backyard, trying to emulate the greats from his hometown such as Pablo Aimar and Javier Saviola. According to Martin, there was not a whole lot of coaching going on, but there was some from his father and some relatives.

He credits his technical ability to playing Papi Futbol in Argentina, on the streets of Buenos Aires. Papi Futbol is a 5 a-side game played by all youth in Argentina. He recalls playing soccer with a flattened juice box because balls were not allowed during recess. He also spent time juggling an empty water bottle with friends. He described how the political unrest in Buenos Aires, which caused several strikes by teachers at the school, sent him to play on the streets. School would be canceled each time there was a strike, instead of wasting the day, Martin and his friends took advantage of the day off from school and would go rent a field to play the entire day.

Martin describes his transition from Papi futbol, which is 5-a-side to full 11 v 11 when he was 14 years old in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also gives us his advice on why players should prepare themselves physically when they start getting older and playing at higher levels.

Martin also credits watching soccer on television with his father and even today as a tool to continue learning. He explains the difference between deliberate practice and playing for the love of the game. If you play for the love of the game, deliberate practice will be a game once you get older.

During the podcast, Martin will also share some of the issues with making into a professional youth academy in countries like Argentina. He recalls a specific, but unfortunate, incident during his tryout at 12 years old with Argentinos Juniors. Although Martin made the squad there were a few issues with what he was facing.

Martin’s #1 most important advice that he gives players, coaches, and parents today is to let the kids have fun. Once the child is in love with the game, they will find the desire within to get better. The child will play soccer for fun and improve their skills without realizing that. This is what Ted Kroeten refers to in his interview, the intrinsic learning.

Martin offered his email for anyone that wants to reach out to him, to discuss futbol, papi futbol, or any questions about Argentinian soccer. Martin can be reached at 

If you like this story and podcast, please consider sharing it with friends and soccer fans on twitter or facebook!


YSE 12: Soccer Coaching Tools, with Chris Gluck, from Posession with Purpose

In the 12th episode of the Youth Soccer Evolution Podcast, we welcome a very special guest, Christopher Gluck from Chris has a unique soccer journey, which we love here at YSE. He was an American who started a club in England. He started the Burnham Bulldogs, which had about 150 kids before he had to step down due to leaving the country (he was in the military). He explained how training and development was different there when he coached his two sons, and how he never traveled more than 10-15 miles at the most for games.

Chris was kind enough to share an hour with YSE and discuss his “Family of Indices that measure the ‘bell curve’ of strategic activities that occur in a game of football (soccer)”. It is soccer coaching tools at its best. He goes into detail on how coaches can use the formula to improve not only as soccer coaches, but help improve the performance and training and development of players.

Chris Gluck,

Chris Gluck,

The formula is so successful that Chris was recently asked to present at theWorld Conference on Science and Soccer. You can see the entire presentation by clicking on the link.

After listening to the Episode 12, if you still are having a hard time understanding the possession with purpose formula, you can read his Revised Introduction here. In the Revised Introducation, he introduces

“The Family of Strategic Indices”

Attacking Possession with Purpose (APWP): How effective a team is in performing these six process steps throughout the course of a game.

Gain possession of the ball
Move the ball
Penetrate the opponents defending final third
Generate a shot taken
That ends up on target and,
Gets past the keeper

Defending Possession with Purpose (DPWP): How effective the opponent is in performing those six process steps, throughout the course of a game, against you.

Composite Possession with Purpose (CPWP): The mathematical difference between the APWP Index and DPWP Index.

After reading the Introduction, you can use the same tools he uses to evaluate your team. You no longer have to measure wins and loses to evaluate your team’s performance. You can use the same tool, which is trademarked, that Chris uses. Here is how you can do it all for FREE!

Listen to the Podcast and then read this blog post Getting Better as Youth Soccer Coach. 

Here are the steps you will need to master, but read the post to learn how to evaluate them. If you decide to put this into practice, I would love to hear about it. Send me an email at  and let me know your thoughts. Chris explained that there not any youth teams doing this right now.

 Split the pitch into thirds and place one parent at the entry point into your own defending final third and one at the entry point into your opponent’s defending final third.
 Next, place two parents at the middle of the pitch.
 Then place one parent at or near the end line on your defending side of the pitch and then one parent at the same position on the opponent’s defending side of the pitch.
 Give each parent a clipboard and pen (waterproof if necessary) and have them begin to count and keep track of certain ‘team’ data points.
 The two parents in the center of the pitch are to count and document (all) passes attempted and passes completed for each team (throw-ins and free kicks included) across the entire pitch. If you have four parents then have two track passes attempted and two track passes completed, one for each team.
 The two parents at the entry to the defending final third are to count and document passes attempted and completed(within and into) the defending final third for each team. This also includes all throw-ins, crosses, corners and free kicks that are not specific shots taken on goal. If you have four parents/guardians then have one each track passes attempted and passes completed separately for each team.
 Finally, the two parents on the end lines are to count and document shots taken, shots on goal, and goals scored for each team.

I want to thank Chris again for coming on the show and demonstrating his soccer coaching tools. He has given us so much to think about and ACTIONABLE steps we can take TODAY with our team and improve the player development process.

If you like what Chris is doing, make sure you support his blog, on twitter @chrisgluckpwp, or with his other work at the Columbian where he writes about the Portland Timbers,

You can also read his work on or at



YSE11: How to navigate College ID camps and play Division I Soccer, with Elijah Michaels

Elijah Michaels Courtesy of

Elijah Michaels

How to Maximize Player Development as a player, parent, coach, and administrator

How to Maximize Player Development as a player, parent, coach, and administrator

In Episode 11, we had the pleasure of discussing the development of a young goalie, Elijah Michaels, that I first met when he was around 12 years old. The interview was conducted back in May of 2014 when Elijah was still in High School. Today he is at Western Michigan University plying his trade with the Broncos. I want to thank Elijah and Ann for coming on the show.

Elijah Michaels was still a field player, when I first met him, playing on his Red Arrow SC team coached by his mother, Ann Michaels. Elijah continued having fun playing and developing into one of the best goalkeepers in Michigan. He and his mother took some time to discuss their journey which started back when Elijah was about 5 years old. Elijah is a bright young man as you can tell in the interview and I knew he would have a lot of insight into developing as a young goalkeeper.

Elijah goes into detail about the reason he kept playing soccer and why he still loves it today. He and his mother specifically discuss how they were able to navigate through numerous goalie camps and eventually used the College ID camps to their advantage by getting letters of recommendation from Toni Dicicco! They give us many tips and advice on how to navigate this difficult process and why starting early is critical in today’s world.

Elijah also gives great insight into the mind of a young keeper and how they take games, training sessions, and winning and losing. Why he decided to specialize in High School. Why having a terrible memory is good for goalkeeping.

Ann stated that as a parent, she decided to learn and play the sport herself so that she could help her kids develop. I thought this was a great point, because the sport is not as easy as it looks or as easy as parents may think it is.

I am also working on an ebook to help parents and players navigate through the college recruiting process. If you are interested in a free copy, just let me know.


Elijah’s WMU bio Where Elijah met coach Dicicco

Would you like to connect with Elijah or have any questions for him? He gave his email  please contact him.

Unsure about your player development knowledge? Want to make sure you maximize your player development model? Click here for more information. 



YSE10: A Different Kind of Training and Development with Mark Burke, former Aston Villa player

MobtBK_0_400x400 Mark BurkeMark Burke has been described as “sure of touch, calm of mind, he would lope around in seemingly lackadaisical fashion before offering a cute little pass here or a deft touch there. A man with an eye for ball retention.” He enjoyed a promising career in England with Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Wolves. He soon left Port Vale to join Fortuna Sittard and apply his trade in Holland as a 26-year-old in 1995. It was in the Netherlands that Mark began to understand and view the soccer player development process. We were lucky enough to get him on the podcast to discuss player development with us and talk a little about his book, A Different Kind Of Soccer.

Mark knows what it takes to make it in Europe and he shared some of his insights. Additionally Mark shares his visit to Holland and what he learned about player development in the Netherlands. Why the Dutch’s attention to detail and belief in their own system is what separates them from the rest. Why the Dutch have decided to stick to their philosophy and continue developing players. bannerforsite

Mark was a great guest on the show and we can’t thank him enough for sharing his blueprint on developing players. Get his book to ensure that you are optimizing the development of any player you coach or parent. The book will teach you what the game is about, the stages of learning, and how to improve your technique and mental game. There is also insight into the training and development approach. This book is a great tool for the Player, the Coach, the Parent, and the Club Administrator.

And if you decide to purchase the book, make sure you use our link (or click on the banner above) and Mark has graciously agreed to donate some of the proceeds to the YSE Podcast. Thank you in advance!

“In England it’s a totally different thinking. If you don’t follow that run people will wonder what you’re playing at. The Dutch are thinkers. They think more about the game than we do. We have this idea of the Dutch being very liberal but that’s not really true – it’s an extremely regimented and organised culture and the football is the same. It’s organised to the smallest detail.”

“I had a lot of ideas about football before I went there but it was in Holland that I learnt how to organise them. In that first year I found out so much. Pim Verbeek really took me under his wing. We used to drive all over Holland just watching games to introduce me to the different styles and how teams played. It was a real football education”.

If you have a question for Mark or you want to let him know you are a fan of his book or interview, let him know here.

Follow Mark on Twitter

on facebook



YSE:9: Developing Confident, Creative Soccer players through Positive Coaching with Jason Pratt

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn episode 9 of the Youth Soccer Evolution Podcast, Jason Pratt from the Positive Coaching Alliance tells us how coaches and parents can develop more confident soccer players through the use of positive coaching. He also gives us a great tool (also known as Filling Emotional Tank) that can be found on his website that coaches can implement today to improve the positive environment within their team and start improving the confidence level of players.

Jason shares with us how Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a non profit organization is changing the coaching environment one coach at a time by introducing the tools and resources that are inadvertently being ignored by many coaching courses and educators. The PCA works with other clubs and teams to improve the culture and create Better Athletes and Better People.

Jason gives us a point of view that few coaches and parents think about during training sessions and game days. We dive deep into the player development process, the impact coaches have on players, and why coaches need to provide positive healthy environment to foster player development. Check out the PCA website at to learn all about the Tools and Resources that PCA offers and to learn how your club can get involved with PCA (full disclosure, I am not being paid by PCA, but I do recognize the impact the organization is having on coaches).

You can go directly to the coaches “Tools” link here. 

Don’t forget to give us a 5 Star review on iTunes if you like the show.

Give us your feedback below or send us email at [email protected]



YSE8: Before Total Football and Tiki Taka, there was Jimmy Hogan, with Dermot Dalton


Ernesto with Dermot Dalton at the FUNINO Clinic

Dermot Dalton, the manager for The Beautiful Game, joins YSE Podcast to share some of his research on Jimmy Hogan. Jimmy Hogan was a critical component in the spread of possession based football throughout Europe, today known as Total Football and Tiki-Taka, among other names. His innovative approach and possession based philosophy impacted many managers who went on to have an impact on several storied teams in the footballing world.

Jimmy Hogan is credited as the visionary that saw possession in football as not only a way to defend, but also the best way to score. While the majority of teams, coaches, and players preferred to play direct, it was Jimmy that went against the grain and touted possession as the way to win.

Jimmy Hogan’s impact on the footballing world started with young coaches that worked under him in the early 1900’s and has reached all the way to the Netherland’s Total Football and Barcelona’s tiki-taka today.

Below we list some of the few coaches and teams that can be linked back to Jimmy Hogan.

Coaches such as Hugo Meisl, the Austrian coach who went on to coach the storied “Wunderteam”

The Wunderteam, sometimes known as the “danubian wirl”

The German coach, Helmut Shun

The “Magic Magiars” team

Coach Bela Guttman

Dermot also takes the time to talk to us about Horst Wein and his philosophies. You can find out more about Horst Wein, Dermot Dalton, and Funino by going to

You can also view the post from April that I wrote about Horst Wein by clicking here. See the post on Horst Wein, click here.

If you would like to purchase one of the many books by Horst Wein, click here.

Ernesto Diaz with Horst Wein at the FUNINO Clinic in Philadelphia


YSE7: Tom Frambach on sacrificing trophies to improve youth soccer player development in New York City

YSE Tom FrambachTom Frambach, General Manager, from Downtown United Soccer Club (DUSC) in New York City joins the Youth Soccer Evolution Podcast to discuss how his club is sacrificing trophies at the younger age groups in order to maximize youth soccer player development. Why trophies don’t equal player development and what clubs can do about it.

Tom takes us on his soccer player development journey as a young man in the early 90s, when soccer was beginning to grow into what it is today. He shares how his environment, and the coaches he was exposed to, changed the way he viewed player development.

Tom shares with YSE nation how DUSC does not allow the younger age groups under 12 to play in leagues. They focus on development instead by controlling the environment and allowing for “proper competition”. The key is to educate the parents on the process of training and development and explain why winning does not equal development. Although it may not always be easy, Tom explains that clubs may lose some players, but you have to stick to your Mission and Philosophy.

He also discusses how kids are training outside of formal training hours, and how it helps them manage games. They play without structure and it allows them to get more touches on the ball. We also dive into how smaller players can focus on their qualities and master them, which is something Tom did as a youngster.

The video discussed in the show about the U18 team that won the State Cup can be found on the DUSC website, scroll down and to the left will be Dusk Video Channel, click on “U18 Golden Generation”.

Jean Paul Marin, academy player for Red Bulls, from DUSC

Tom can be contacted at

Having trouble with coaching? For coaching books Click Here!

Don’t forget to reach out to us through email [email protected], on twitter @ElErnestoDiaz, and Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of


YSE6: Drew “Ducks” Ducker making the US National Futsal team and Indoor Soccer Champion!

courtesy of

In Episode 6 of the Youth Soccer Evolution Podcast, we welcome Drew “Ducks” Ducker. Drew is not only an outstanding soccer player, he’s also a outstanding person. I’ve had the chance to meet Ducks a few times and he’s always a pleasure to be around. Drew took the time to share with us his journey wich started out on the B team as a young player. He worked hard and his efforts eventually landed on the United States Futsal National team, Orlando Sharks, Nashville Metros, and with the Detroit Ignition, where he won his first professional championship. He shares his success in High School and at the club level, and then the obstacles he had to overcome as a collegiate player. How the positive influences in his life helped him overcome those obstacles. Drew also has a ton of advice for coaches and parents to help with the development of young soccer players, such as the importance of positive coaching at a young age, why futsal is important, and why peaking at a young age may not be ideal. Check out the Chamba website below and spread the word by forwarding the link to your friends and contacts. They have a lot of cool unique clothing and equipment for soccer players. Check out Duck’s website for tons of resources about Futsal, training and development, his bio, and updates on his Futsal Academy. And some really cool videos made by Ducks himself. This is the article regarding the MISL and PASL merger. I think as soccer continues to grow in the US, the indoor league will grow and professional Futsal will soon make an entrance, only time will tell. A link to the Detroit Waza Flo professional indoor soccer team, where Drew currently applies his trade. If you are in the Detroit, MI. area, get your team into East Michigan Futsal league! Check out our affiliates to Learn How to Improve Your Speed, Power, Strength, Agility, Endurance, Technical Ability, Creativity,
Mental Conditioning, and Diet…

Or try Go Pro Workouts recommended by Jozy Altidore!

photo is courtesy of