Joachim Löw played his defenders in a very high line against Algeria which with the heat and not exactly speed players seemed like a risky strategy with balls over the top tempting for the opposition. However, Algeria found the imposing figure of Manuel Neuer, who Löw described as playing as a keeper sweeper. Neuer made some fantastic clearances coming out of his area to clear the danger. There were some tricky moments like when the Algeria striker Islam Slimani got around him but ran out of space to turn the ball in.
Rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in the knee is a nightmare. As the parent of a teenage son who is seven months out from A.C.L. reconstruction surgery, I can attest to the physical and psychological toll it can take, not to mention the medical bills. But a practical new study suggests that changing how sports teams warm up before practices and games could substantially lower the risk that athletes will hurt a knee, at a cost of barely a dollar per player.
Illinois senior Nicole Denenberg has seen it all during her four years as a college student-athlete, and now she's sharing pearls of wisdom in her new blog. Today, she gives advice to players attending college soccer camps.
I wanted to offer a few more tips before wrapping up the topic of college camps and progressing in the journey towards a college selection. Because I received feedback on my previous blog, I would like to add some final thoughts on how camps can help you with your future academic and soccer goals.
The youth academy of the famed dutch soccer club Ajax is grandiosely called De Toekomst — The Future. Set down beside a highway in an unprepossessing district of Amsterdam, it consists of eight well-kept playing fields and a two-story building that houses locker rooms, classrooms, workout facilities and offices for coaches and sports scientists. In an airy cafe and bar, players are served meals and visitors can have a glass of beer or a cappuccino while looking out over the training grounds. Everything about the academy, from the amenities to the pedigree of the coaches — several of them former players for the powerful Dutch national team — signifies quality.
SANFORD, Fla. — Before Haley Berg was done with middle school, she had the numbers for 16 college soccer coaches programmed into the iPhone she protected with a Justin Bieber case. She was all of 14, but Hales, as her friends call her, was already weighing offers to attend the University of Colorado, Texas A&M and the University of Texas, free of charge. Haley is not a once-in-a-generation talent like LeBron James. She just happens to be a very good soccer player, and that is now valuable enough to set off a frenzy among college coaches, even when — or especially when — the athlete in question has not attended a day of high school. For Haley, the process ended last summer, a few weeks before ninth grade began, when she called the coach at Texas to accept her offer of a scholarship four years later. “When I started in seventh grade, I didn’t think they would talk to me that early,” Haley, now 15, said after a tournament late last month in Central Florida, where Texas coaches showed up to watch her juke past defenders, blond ponytail bouncing behind. “Even the coaches told me, ‘Wow, we’re recruiting an eighth grader,’ ” she said. In today’s sports world, students are offered full scholarships before they have taken their first College Boards, or even the Preliminary SAT exams. Coaches at colleges large and small flock to watch 13- and 14-year-old girls who they hope will fill out their future rosters. This is happening despite N.C.A.A. rules that appear to explicitly prohibit it.