The kids were fired up to play and the parents were expecting to see the kids play, so we went ahead and played the U13 Eagles.  Our kids gave a heck of a fight!  Our boys are finally understanding the game and I am very very proud of them.  They did not back down, even when they were getting knocked around, they did not back down.
I have informed the league of the U13 team and I am looking into it; if we will have to face them again. 

The game against the Eagles was very similiar to the game we played against the Tigres.  The Eagles had one tall kid who dribbled the ball from their defense line to the Arsenal goal, he did this twice.  The question is; Is that playing soccer- one player doing everything?  To me that is silly and is not really playing.  The teams that play this "style" of soccer are not learning how to play the game. 

On the other hand, we may have lost our first games, but our kids are learning how to truly play soccer.  The way to protect our kids against any team, is to teach them practical soccer, which is the European style.  Every single player holds the ball for 2 or 3 seconds this way you do not get injured: the 1-2 pass.  Our kids should only dribble when there is space, once the opponent approaches, you give the pass to avoid contact.  This prevents injury.

In the second half of the game, Jonathan stopped the Eagles cold, because he was playing the sweeper position.  Jonathan has been playing this position for a very long time and really knows that position.
3 things that he did very well:
he communicated with the defense, especially the goalie
he pushed the defense up which caused the Eagles to be outside
he did not allow players to pass him and he pushed the ball all the way to the other side of the field.


I am very proud of the Arsenal boys, we went against one of the best teams in the league, and 50% of our players are brand new, but we gave a tremendous fight.

The Arsenal played at the same level as the Crush.  We lost because the Crush was a little faster than our boys and more agressive. 

I saw Elijah charge towards the ball from the defense line all the way to the midfield and caught the ball with his head and drove the ball forward.   This is an example of how our boys can play if they just play with more concentration.

Also Alex impressed me today as goalie.  He was more relaxed and made some good stops.

The main mistakes started with the midfielders, they are not maintaining their positions, when the midfielders move towards the defense line, they allow our opponent to play on our side because the midfield is no longer holding their ground.  It also causes our forwards to move back.

 We made small errors in the defense line, due to lack of practice  this was the reason the Crush made so many goals against us.  Arsenal needs to remember, Do Not Let The Ball Bounce.  The only goal that impressed me was the 3rd goal; a shot from the left side of the field; a Crush player ran and shot with his left, a beautiful shot.  The game could have been 1-0 instead of 4-0 (Crush win), if not for our defensive errors. 

Remember: When we lose it is a team loss and we take it as a team.

Reagan was the only Arsenal who was a match for the tall #11.  I saw 3 or 4 times in which Reagan was just 2 steps behind #11 and Reagan was able to take the ball from him.
If all the kids play as Reagan, playing 1-1, the Arsenal can neutralize a team like the Crush.
Way to go Reagan!!!!!!

S.A. Arsenal Youth Soccer Club