<a href='' target='_new' title='Van Der Vaart early strike' >Video: Van Der Vaart early strike</a>


Friday, October 21, 2011

Women’s soccer In Japan Receives Boost from Toyota

Automotive car giant, Toyota Motor Corporation has signed on to become the official sponsor of the Japan Women’s Football League. The agreement, which began this month, will be active until March 2013. As the official sponsor of the Nadeshiko League, the collective name of the Plenus National League and Plenus Challenge League, Toyota Motor Company’s name will be front and center when Arsenal Ladies makes its first appearance in Japan against the Nadeshiko League champions in the Toyota Vitz Cup on November 30th.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

UK's Lawrence Appleby Gives Tips to Scouting Hopefuls

Lawrence Appleby has seen his share of football clubs. From scouting for Hereford United FC during their Welsh FA Cup winning year to serving as joint manager at Morepth with ex-Premier player Trev Benjamin, Appleby’s career inside the world of football has been filled with adventure and wisdom.

This season you can find him scouting for a number of lower division clubs. Even with his breadth of experience, he is still faced with his most difficult task-finding the right players at the right price.

For those players who dream to follow in Appleby’s footsteps, he has offered the following advice:

• Start watching games, of all levels, as many times as you can each week
• Watch individual players and watch teams (their formations etc.)
• Learn to take thorough notes. Appleby’s match reports are usually 10 pages long full report on all aspects of opponents, formation, set pieces etc
• In his player reports, he includes height/weight, details on passing, tackling and dribbling. He provides the statistics on number of good passes against bad passes in a game, their coverage of the field, and their position in looking for the ball. However in the end, Appleby finds a good player always stands out.
• Must be able to study the match without being distracted
• When watching players: If you see a good player in a game, watch him play multiple times. Talk to the coach and manager. Then mention the player’s name or stand next to bench and say something like, “They always take short passes.” Eventually, you will make contacts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Turkish Men Behaving Badly: League Punishes Male Fans

In an attempt to promote a more nonviolent,family friendly atmosphere, the Turkish league has banned male soccer fans from attending matches this past weekend. In their place, women and boys under the age of 16 were allowed to cheer on their favorite clubs for free. To read more of the story, click here.

Are there any other events, you think men should be given a timeout? Weigh in. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, August 5, 2011

T&T Highlanders FC Has 3 Keys to Successful Season

All around the globe, soccer clubs are nearing the end of their pre-season and looking towards the 2011-2012 campaign. Trinidad’s 1st division club, T&T Highlanders FC is no different. We profiled them earlier this year in an installment of the Eat Soccer News Page. This is the first year for the T&T Highlanders, and we caught up with their owner, James Baird to find out more about their 3 ingredients for success this season.

No club can begin to function successfully without funding. Since our last report, the club has secured Lensyl Products Limited, a privately owned, international soft furnishings manufacturer, as its major sponsor. According to Baird, “We really owe a lot to Justin Lall and the Lensyl team for helping T&T Highlanders FC to get off on the right foot financially.”

Secondly, Baird has been tapping his network of contacts to provide international opportunities for top players from his 1st team. Sean Aberdeen is a talented attacking midfielder/striker who came to the club from current pro league side Joe Public. With a track record as a very quick and reliable striker, there is interest in him going to an American university this fall. Another attacking midfielder/winger, Jabari Raphael came to the club from local side Valtrin United. Raphael’s talents have generated interest in him trialing with a few European clubs in the not-so-distant future.

Lastly, the club is discovering quality players in through its academy program. As detailed by Baird, “We have two 15 year old players, Kyron Glasgow and Gehorkey Nunes, who have been promoted to the first team squad. They are both talented wingers, and if they continue to improve, they will make excellent professionals.”

This formula seems to have the T&T Highlanders off to a solid start. A recent pre-season match against local side Sparta FC yielded a 5-3 victory, with Jason Patron scoring 3 and Sean Aberdeen scoring 2 for the club.
To follow the progress of the T&T Highlanders, click here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fiesta Georgia Features Youth Soccer Tourney

For those Atlanta area soccer clubs that want to take on some new competition without traveling too far, the 4th Annual Fiesta Georgia may be just the event for you!

This one day celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month will feature a youth soccer tournament that will include Rockdale area soccer clubs. Hosted by the Lanza Group, LLC, all festivities will take place at the Georgia International Horse Park on Sunday, September 25th, 2011. For additional information visit Facebook: or

Monday, June 20, 2011

GoGo squeeZ + Kick It Tour Bring Soccer, Fun & Healthy Snacks

To encourage active play, GoGo squeeZ is partnering with Kick It, the nation's largest 3v3 soccer competition, to provide a healthier snack option to soccer fields at over 60 locations.

GoGo squeeZ is the first squeezable, re-sealable, 100 percent fruit applesauce snack. The packaging has a built-in straw, and requires no refrigeration, which means no cooler, spoons or mess, whether on the field or off.

In addition to serving as a sponsor for the Kick It tournaments and providing samples to thousands of people, GoGo squeeZ is encouraging families to join its GoGo Gang. Once membership levels reach 100,000, the company pledges to build a playground in an underserved community. More playgrounds have been pledged for construction when additional membership levels are reached.

So get your players ready for competition. To find out more information about location and registration for Kick It in your area, click here.

Here is a sample list of Kick It tournament cities below.

Charlotte, N.C. (June 25)
St. Louis, Mo. (July 9)
Indianapolis, Ind. (July 16)
Chicago, Ill. (July 16)
Atlantic City, N.J. (July 30)
The Colony, Texas (July 30)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Farmers Insurance & Mexican Legend Team Up For Free Soccer Clinics

Want a chance to meet a soccer legend who is known for blocking shots as well as scoring them? Well, look no further because Mexican soccer legend Jorge Campos is teaming up with Farmers Insurance in the youth initiative "Juega y Aprende con Jorge Campos." (Play and Learn with Jorge Campos)

These free soccer clinics are open to 100 youth in each host city, and will allow each participant to develop their skills with the assistance of Jorge Campos and a number of MLS staff. Additionally, each child will leave with a gift pack that includes a ball, water bottle, autograph and more.

To participate in the drawing parents can go to the Play and Learn event page on the Farmer's Insurance web site. To translate the information to English, simply click the Ingles link at the top of the page!

Here are the event dates in your city:

San Antonio - June 4 (10 am - 12 pm)
Dallas - June 5 (11 am - 1 pm)
San Jose, June 11 (2 pm - 4 pm)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Alaska Airlines Gives Portland Timbers' Fans A Reason to Cheer

Almost a week ago, Alaska Airlines debuted the final product of their "Paint the Plane" contest to fans. The MLS themed plane celebrates the city's very own Portland Timbers and was a combination of designs submitted by Paul Wright of Portland, Oregon and John Bode of San Mateo, California.

As the official airline and shirt sponsor for the club, Alaska Airlines has extended another benefit to Timbers' fans who will be flying out of the Portland International Airport during the current MLS season. Alaska Airlines will extend early boarding privileges to Portland International Airport passengers wearing an official Timbers jersey throughout the 2011 MLS season.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Where's Freddie Adu? Editor Fills Us In

Quite a few years ago, the soccer community was abuzz about a 16 year old soccer phenom named Freddie Adu. The teenager was signed to a lucrative contract with DC United. After some time the club, Adu was off to play in Portugal with powerhouse SL Benfica. After this point, the wires were silent. What ever happened to Adu? I had the chance to ask Tom Kundert, editor of, about the American star.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soccer: A Tool to Communicate to the World

My journey in the sport of soccer has been filled with conversation. Whether I have a ball in my hand or not, the subject alone has been a starting point for thousands of small conversations and shared moments with people who I otherwise wouldn't have entertained me.

During a taxi cab ride in New York this past February, the driver told me of an illustrious career that his son had in Europe. This conversation was the introduction to an even bigger story about his life as a retired engineer, taxi cab owner and world traveler.

On a more recent occasion, I sat beside a teacher from New Jersey who played soccer with her 5th grade class. She spoke about the girls in her class and their love of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the opportunity for 10 of her pupils to meet Pele at the Tribeca Film Festival during the upcoming week.

Now mind you, these interactions aren't started by some sort of waving of a soccer pamphlet or flag by yours truely. These are conversations that happen just as organically as a shared comment about Oprah between two people standing in line at a grocery store.

I say all of that to say that I am a firm believer in the language of soccer to give Americans an added dimension to their conversations. Most recently, I had the opportunity to share the idea, Embrace the Universal Language of Soccer, with about 400 people at TEDxGreenville.

I encourage you to take a listen, brood it over, discuss the thoughts with others, and...give a child a ball. Who knows what conversations it will allow them to participate in?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Editor Talks Up and Coming Portuguese Players

With everyone abuzz over the latest Arsenal Developments and the upcoming Chelsea match, it’s only fitting that we keep our eyes focused on Europe. There is a wealth of new talent ready to make a transition to the global stage, and my in-depth conversation with Editor touched on that quite nicely. Check out who Kundert thinks will be the names we will be talking about in the not-so-distant future.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Coors + Jorge Campos + You = First Class Soccer Pass

In 2010, Coors became the U.S. beer brand to sponsor the Mexican Premier League. Now, the top division sponsor wants to give American fans an opportunity to experience all of the pageantry and excitement of the 2011 Torneo Clausura.

Soccer fans have until May 15th to enter to win a trip to Mexico for the semifinals and finals of the 2011 Torneo Clausura (Closing Tournament). The winning fan(s) will watch the game alongside Mexican soccer legend and sports commentator, Jorge Campos. Also, selectees will have an opportunities to win framed, autographed memorabilia such as soccer balls, an assortment of Primera Division jerseys, goalie gloves and much more.

For more information on how to enter the contest, see Coors Light displays at retail locations or visit the "Pase de Primera" tab on the Coors Light Espanol Facebook page (

Buena Suerte! (Good Luck!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Verizon Announces Soccer Weekends for Players of All Ages

Do you have a child who wants to improve their skills? Raise your hand if your amateur adult team wants some tournament action. Where are the soccer players with a passion to go pro?

If you or someone you know falls in one of these categories, mark your calendars because Verizon is bringing free youth clinics, an amateaur adult tournament and open professional tryouts to 18 cities across the United States. The 6th Annual Copita Alianza youth clinics/ tournament, Verizon Copa Alianza adult amateur tournament and Alianza de Futbol open tryouts will take place from April to October.

The youth soccer clinics are free and open to youth between the ages of 5 and 17. Participants will engage in soccer drills and learn from professional players. Also, it is an opportunity for your child to meet Futbol legends Ramon Ramirez, Luis "El Matador" Hernandez, Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama and Jorge "El Brody" Campos, who are scheduled to participate in the festivities this year.

Each youth player will leave with a Verizon soccer jersey, ball and sack pack. Registration is required and parents can sign up at designated Verizon Wireless location one week prior to the clinic. To find the select store location in your area, go to

Verizon's Youth Soccer Clinic Registration Schedule is as follows:
• Dallas Clinic Registration – April 9-10
• Houston Clinic Registration – April 9-10
• Atlanta Clinic Registration – May 7-8
• Washington, D.C. Clinic Registration – May 21-22
• Chicago Clinic Registration – June 2-3
• New York Clinic Registration – June 4-5
• Denver Clinic Registration – June 11-12
• San Antonio Clinic Registration – June 25-26
• Los Angeles Clinic Registration – July 16-17
• Kansas City, Mo. Clinic Registration – July 16-17
• San Francisco Clinic Registration – Aug. 6-7
• Fresno, Calif. Clinic Registration – Aug. 20-21
• Miami Clinic Registration – Aug. 20-21
• Philadelphia Clinic Registration – Sept. 3-4
• El Paso, Texas Clinic Registration – Sept. 10-11
• Newburgh, N.Y., Clinic Registration – Sept. 24-25
• Yakima, Wash. Clinic Registration – Oct. 8-9
• Hawaii Clinic Registration – Oct. 22-23

Monday, March 7, 2011

Benfica, Sporting & Porto: The Portuguese Football Powerhouses

Happy Monday! It's time for the third installment of our exclusive interview with Tom Kundert of Kundert gives a quick lesson on the top clubs in the Portuguese First Division and a brief history of their efforts to stay at the top of the table.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Footvolley Documentary Release: Perfecting the Footvolley

After almost a year ago, I was in Barranquilla, Colombia with Professor Liosh Alzate and the athletes of the Colombian footvolley team. It was a wonderful adventure that I am proud to showcase to the world in an 8 minute documentary entitled, Perfecting the Footvolley. Many thanks to the executive producer Yuvonne Bowens, editor Steve Young, Freedom Heights Studios, and, of course last but not least, Liosh Alzate, Gregory Hamburger, Katia Silvera, Ronald Orzco, James Jimenez, Omar Otero Ochoa, Adrian David Guerra Parejo and Cristo Anaya Sanches.

Friday, February 25, 2011

From Sports Illustrated to FIFA Presidency: Wahl Runs for Opportunity of a Lifetime

When sportswriters draft their career plans, it is safe to assume that becoming the head honcho of a sports governing body does not enter the equation. However, Grant Wahl's recent actions may be just the catalyst to raise the bar for many of his peers.

Wahl, a sportwriter for Sports Illustrated, has publicly announced his bid to become the President of FIFA, the highest post in the international soccer world. It sounds like a tall order, and quite a long shot for an American guy who has never held an executive post in any national soccer association. Nevertheless, Wahl is hoping that the level of discontent within the global soccer community for Sepp Blatter's leadership decision will be just the ingredient to validate his chances.

To be formally considered for candidacy, Wahl needs to secure 1 nomination from a FIFA Association country by the April 1st deadline. He hopes that his positions on transparency, shirtless celebrations, instant replay and female inclusion in the FIFA governing body will allow him to cross the first obstacle to obtaining the post.

Out of the 208 FIFA Association countries, which do you think would consider giving him a public nod for the opportunity to run? We look forward to hearing your thoughts. In the meantime, enjoy this Grant Wahl for President video.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sponsorship Spotlight: Sierra Leone Premier League

A new season is set to commence for the Sierra Leone Premier League on February 26th with 14 clubs slated to compete for the league's top spot. In leading up to the kick off, the league office has received a financial boost from Africell.

Africell, a West African telecommunications company, has agreed to become the title sponsor of the league with a pledge of $23,500 USD. This is not the first foray of the company in soccer sponsorship as the company serves as a sponsor for the Gambia National Soccer Team.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eat Soccer Exclusive: Portuguese Futsal Player Cabral

There is a quote from one of my favorite movies, Akeelah and the Bee that goes something like this, “there are 50,000 teachers all around you.”

Although this was a piece of advice given to Akeelah, a little girl who was preparing for her moment in the spotlight at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, I believe this piece of wisdom rings true for those of us who are working to reach our highest potential in soccer, futsal, footvolley or freestyle.

While training with Coach Eric Parada and the open men’s team Grupo Recreativo Escorpiões Futebol Clube, I had the pleasure of learning from and playing with Euclides Cabral. Cabral is a highly accomplished futsal player who helped his club accomplish the impossible-climbing the ranks from the 4th division to the top national division in Portugal in less than 4 years time.

In this first clip, Cabral agrees to serve as one of our 50,000 and provides us with some excellent advice—and its sprinkled with some great footwork by a few of the guys at Grupo Recreativo Escorpiões. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PortuGoal Exclusive: Overcoming the Beginner Obstacles

In the second part of our exclusive interview with Tom Kundert of, the editor explains some of the initial challenges he faced in the beginning stages of the soccer news site.

Forest Green Rovers Puts a Stop on Red Meat

When Dale Vince took over as owner of the Forest Green Rovers, few knew how far reaching his dietary preferences would be. It wasn’t too long before everyone found out.

The boss, who doesn’t partake in meat or dairy products, issued an order to his players forbidding them to eat red meat. It was a decision aimed to improve the health and performance of the players.

Now, this policy has extended to the fans. The cottage pies, burgers and sausages are no longer an option at half time. Sustainably produced chicken and fish accompany lentil burgers on the new menu.

As a man who made his fortune in alternative power, Vince hopes that these dietary changes will not only improve everyone’s palette’s but make the Blue Square Bet Premier club more environmentally friendly.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finding Ronaldo: Exclusive Interview with

Top of the morning to everyone! If you are anything like me,there are just some national teams that you look forward to watching. Portugal is one of those teams for me. Ronaldo, Nani, Liedson and crew are a few of the names that come to mind.

I am a firm believer that talented players come from a talented environment. With that notion, I had the good fortune of connecting with Tom Kundert. He is the editor of Portugal's definitive english language site, Take a look at the first installment of our conversation, where you will learn how a humble beginning now attracts over 300,000 unique readers each month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get Fit 3v3 Soccer Challenge: Las Vegas-2.13.2011

In an effort to combat against the increasing rate of youth obesity in the state of Nevada, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is partnering with Las Vegas’ Neusport Football club for the Get Fit 3v3 Soccer Challenge on February 13, 2011. The event organizers are hoping to encourage kids ages 7 to 14 to become physically active and empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices now and in the future.

The Get Fit 3v3 Soccer Challenge will feature up to 160 teams with a maximum of six players on the roster. Each team is guaranteed three games, which last 24 minutes (with 12-minute halves).

If you know of a player or team in the area that may still be interested in participating, go to

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mobile Application Developer Helps Clubs Recruit Brazilian Players

Mobile application developer, AppTech Corp is providing a service that will link professional soccer recruiters with players in emerging markets worldwide. The company has completed the first phase for developing an app for a soccer development academy located in Parana, Brazil.

The initial rollout includes a website and app called, which features the premiere Brazilian goal keeper. The website and app provides player information, stats and video of players who are candidates for international soccer opportunities.

After a review of the first phase, AppTech Corp is in negotiations with several European clubs and recruiters. The company predicts that they will be able to generate revenue from their soccer apps during the first half of 2011.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New York Cosmos Take Another Shot at Once-in-a-Lifetime

A few years ago, a friend invited me to see a documentary on the New York Cosmos. I must admit. I found the movie, Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos to be quite entertaining. It was a cinderella story of an American soccer club that appeared out of nowhere, did the unthinkable by signing the best player in the world and then crashed out of existence in a larger-than-life fashion.

Who would've thought that a club once valued at less than $10 (at its demise) would rise from the ashes to do the unthinkable yet again? It seems that Pele, a former player and the Greatest Player to ever touch a ball, has faith in the Cosmos most recent campaign. Add former USMNT player Cobi Jones and King Eric, as in the famed Manchester United Eric Cantona, to the mix overseeing the acquisition of talent, and one could say this club has a powerhouse recipe to turn the American sports fan into radical soccer fans in a throwback to its glory days of the late '70s.

We will keep you posted on this story as it continually develops. Do you think the New York Cosmos can revive themselves and do the unthinkable in 2011? Tell us your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sports In Translation (5): Advice for Soccer Players Going Abroad

Your networking, planning and learning have equipped you with the tools to have a rewarding time overseas. Now, you should begin thinking about life after this journey. It may seem like you are heading from A to Z before even boarding the plane, but you may want to keep your eyes and ears open for ways that this experience can provide dividends long after it is over.

Consider thinking about the following questions:

• What do I expect to gain from this athletic experience?
• How can I utilize THIS experience to further my future athletic goals?
• Are there other ways that I can harness this experience to generate additional income?

If you have not created a written plan for your athletic career, these three questions can help you develop an outline that will get your wheels turning. More importantly, it will make you aware of the small actions that you can take during your experience abroad. These measures are sure to serve as a huge springboard for accomplishing your larger goals.
For instance, your unique slant on your athletic activities abroad can peak the interests of American print and new media journalists. Notifying these sources of your experiences, whether through blogging, vlogging, interviews and cool videos, can increase the awareness of your brand in the sports industry and serve as the foundation for cross-cultural consultant opportunities.

Within your athletic endeavor, there are unlimited opportunities. A commitment of hard work and service to others can leave a remarkable impression. These actions can be as simple as showing up to trainings early or offering to let teammates practice their English with you after a practice session. Who knows the playing, coaching or goodwill offers that will stem from these actions?

Additionally, the slightest inconvenience or fascination, with a local product or practice, can be a new stream of income in disguise. Don’t just look at them superficially. Turn those complaints and new discoveries into an export or import endeavor.
Sports is a business, and as an active participant, you owe it to yourself to make the most of your international endeavor. Immerse in your new culture with the assistance of a great support network. Invest in your athletic career and your new community by sharing your skills and talents. Tap into this life changing experience to uncover larger athletic opportunities and new streams of income.

Sports In Translation is now available as an electronic download for $3.99 on

Guess Who Is Coming to Play? Argentina!

I had heard whispers about this during the World Cup, and now it is a date. Argentina is scheduled to take on the US Men’s National team on March 26, at the New Meadowlands Stadium at 7:00 p.m. ET. In case a trip to Jersey isn’t in your cards, you can watch the match on ESPN2 or follow via's MatchTracker or Twitter @ussoccer.

Match ticket prices start at $38 and go on sale Friday, Jan. 21 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Purchases can be made via Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting

Since Maradona’s departure as coach of the Argentine side in late 2010, the South American squad has posted a 3-1 record under the direction of Sergio Batista, defeating Ireland, Spain and Brazil. Argentina’s last clash with the home team on American soil took place on June 8, 2008 and ended in a 0-0 draw before a sold-out crowd at Giants Stadium.

The current FIFA Player of the Year, Lionel Messi (Barcelona) will be joined by Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) and Javier Pastore (Palermo) for a star studded, international exhibition aimed to prepare the team for the Copa America in July.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sports In Translation (4): Advice for Soccer Players Going Abroad

It’s often said that 80% of our worries never come true. Unfortunately, it is easy for your imagination to run wild if you don’t have the exact answers to the questions that many people may ask you about your trip.

• Where will you be staying?
• What will you eat?
• What is the crime rate like there?
• What are you going to do in your spare time?
• Do you know anyone there?

Without a knowledge base, questions like these can have you visualizing a dark room, without running water, food or friends!

Creating a local support network is the foundation for crafting a daily routine that mirrors the best expectations that you want to come true. It is now time to harness the power of your imagination to make this experience, regardless of its length, uniquely your own. With that being said, take the time to ask yourself these basic questions.

• What are some of the things that I like to do in my spare time?
• What are some of the experiences that I would like to have?
• What are some of the foods that I like to eat?

You may find the three questions listed above a little unusual. However, a great way, to aid in your acclimation into a new environment and avoid long periods of feeling homesick, is to sprinkle your new experiences with a big dose of home.

If you take the time to look at my Facebook page, I am extremely open about my hobbies. Shopping for designer bargains, enjoying the beach, playing soccer and generally having a great time are high on my priority list. Therefore, these activities are experiences that I make a point to seek out when I train and play abroad.

After a few weeks of living in Rio, I was informed that a teammate and her husband owned a women’s boutique in Ipanema. It was a like a dream come true! Full of locally designed and produced apparel, I returned home with some absolutely fabulous finds.

While in Bermuda, our host made sure that I partied at all of the best clubs. I love great music, excellent company and lots of dancing. It was yet another activity that I love to do when I am at home, but it was new and exciting to attend parties and clubs in another country.

I provided you with those two examples so you can understand that your adventure can be what you make of it. Your international encounter can include familiar experiences, but within a new environment, they can take on a new perspective and energy that you may not be able to receive while in the United States.

Your fresh environment can provide you with entirely foreign encounters that can add color to your new routine. As you learn about your destination’s culture and from those in your network, you will be able to plan to participate in activities that may be of interest to you.

Regardless of your interests, there are more people just like you ready to take part. Your local contacts, social networking friends and athletic associates are excited and willing to share all of the one-of-a-kind aspects of their culture with you. All you have to is to make your interests known.

Prior to my departure, I make a few restaurant visits. There are just some dishes that I know I will not be able to find when I go abroad. However, there are some surefire ways to make your favorite snacks work double time for you. Upon closer inspection of my luggage bag, you are sure to find some cold candy bars, fruit snacks, trail mix, cereal bars and cracker packs. I get no greater feeling than watching foreign language television and eating a few handfuls of trail mix before bedtime!

The availability and export taxes levied on your favorite snacks are unpredictable. Bringing something as small as your favorite candy bar or non-perishable pack of snack crackers can go a long way in making you feel better during a moment of missing home.

I must confess that the first 14 days of my stay in Rio de Janeiro included a daily trip to the grocery store to purchase an American candy bar and soda. Although I rarely partake in these foods while at home, they seemed to be a welcome sight for sore eyes during my transition. Each time the cashier rang up my purchase, I couldn’t help but think about how much money I could’ve saved if I would’ve packed those candy bars in my bag. Now every time that I travel, I have a few on hand just in case!

Moreover, your snacks can serve as a diplomatic peace offering to your athletic associates and newfound friends. Finding room in your bag to add a few extra dry snacks to present as random gifts will bring smiles, gratitude and new conversation to any environment. It provides the recipient with an opportunity to experience a little taste of your culture.

My peanut butter crackers and fruit snacks are huge conversation pieces. After a long training session in Barranquilla, I passed a few packs to my trainer and the other footvolley players at the session. The unexpected treats helped to keep everyone’s hunger at bay during our long bus ride. Moreover, the “cookies” from America were a topic of conversation for many future training sessions!

Sports In Translation is now available as an electronic download for $3.99 on

Picture of the Day: Milan FC (Accra, Ghana)

Our picture of the day was sent to us courtesy of Sneijder, a member of Milan FC in Accra, Ghana. Sneijder & company defeated their opponents 2-1 over the weekend. Congratulations lads!

If you want to submit images or video of your club in action, please send it to All videos clips should be in the form of a Youtube link,and the footage should be 3 minutes or less.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scoring In the Inner City: Paul Kitson & Varsity Soccer 365

Eat Soccer strives to bring awareness to players, clubs and programs within the global soccer community who are making a mark for the beautiful game.

Today, I am proud to introduce you to my friend, Paul Kitson, Jr. We met during a coaching stint at the 2009 Bank of Bermuda Pro Soccer Clinic in Hamilton, Bermuda. Paul will tell you in his own words about his journey to soccer, and how he is doing his part to develop the next generation of players with his company, Varsity Soccer 365.

My soccer journey began just barely after I could walk. According to my family, I was dribbling a soccer ball before my second birthday.

I had the honor and privilege of learning the beautiful game from, a professional soccer star, my friend, mentor and father, the late Paul Kitson, Sr. He set the foundation for everything I know about soccer.

I can clearly remember that my father never pressured me to play, or pushed me to be the best or to even be like him. I was given the freedom to build my own relationship with the game, something I’m truly grateful for. More importantly, I was allowed to figure out which parts of the game I enjoyed the most, which kept my experiences and passion for the game pure.

For me, what separates soccer from other major sports is the freedom for creative expression on the field. This has always been my favorite element of the game. Many soccer fans and young players, learning the sport, want to see goals and hold goal scorers in the highest regard (which is great!). However, I was always more intrigued by plays, a player who set up the goal, what happened ten seconds before the goal was scored and who broke down the other team by outsmarting them with an incredible pass.

I always asked my dad for a copy of the game tape right after we left his games, and I would study it as if I had to take a test afterward on what I had seen. My affinity for the creative aspect of the game motivated me to work diligently on my skills so that I would have the physical tools to pair with my vision and awareness. Coupling that with the fact that I always had fun on the soccer field, you could always find me with a smile on my face even during the most difficult training sessions.

The lessons I learned as a young student-athlete led me to a successful high school career at Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ) during which my team won the NJ State Championship in 1999 and three years later to an NCAA Div 1 Patriot League Conference Championship at Holy Cross in 2002. Through hard work on the practice field, focus in the classroom and the grace of God, I’ve traveled to play soccer throughout most of the United States, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, England, Canada and Bermuda. I’ve been fortunate enough to have trained with professional players and gained lifelong friends through this beautiful game. I didn’t realize it when I was young, but now I know soccer is the greatest gift I could have ever received from my father. I will always be eternally grateful to him for it.

“When individuals take on the responsibility of pursuing excellence both on the field and in the classroom the possibilities are endless.”-Paul Kitson, Jr.

Paul Kitson, Jr. is the owner of Varsity Soccer 365, a company that promotes physical fitness and overall well-being by teaching players of all ages the game of soccer. With a heavy emphasis on creative, technical development, Varsity Soccer 365 aims to provide students of after school programs, in the Connecticut, New Jersey and New York areas, with a safe, healthy, effective and fun way to exercise.

To learn more about Varsity Soccer 365 and how you can bring their programming to your district, contact Paul Kitson at or visit www.varsitysoccer To receive timely soccer advice for players in your area, checkout Paul’s blog Side Street Soccer.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sports In Translation (3): Advice for Soccer Players Going Abroad

In the event, you have put the word out for your upcoming trip, and it has not yielded any referrals as of yet. You do not need to panic. There are people who are in close proximity to you who are more than happy to be of service. The members of Meetup, ExPat Exchange, and Couch Surfing are in your corner. These free and low cost organizations allow individuals with a common interest to interact and learn from one another. A brief explanation of each organization is included.

Meetup: Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. People, called organizers, create local groups about everything from cooking to pickup soccer to salsa dancing. It is free to join the groups, and they traditionally meet to discuss and participate in activities related to their common interest.

I am a member of several language and pick-up soccer groups on Meetup. Leading up to my trip to Rio, I was a dedicated member of the Atlanta Portuguese Meetup Group. Our meeting locations included a variety of Brazilian restaurants and bakeries, which helped me to familiarize myself with the cuisine. Also, I was able to put my developing language capabilities to use through conversations with fellow Meetup group participants and the restaurant staff.

During my time in Rio de Janeiro, my Meetup group organizer spent part of his Brazilian vacation there as well. It was a great opportunity for me to have lunch with a familiar face, use a little English and share some of my experiences with someone who had an understanding of the culture and its people.

Joining Meetup groups, that draw those who have familiarity with (or interest in) your destination and natives of the country together, are an invaluable way for you to prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed when you enter into a new culture. Through conversation and cultural learning experiences, you are able to go into your new environment recognizing foods, phrases and customs that can otherwise seem intimidating.

ExPat Exchange: ExPat Exchange has developed into the largest online community for English speaking expatriates. It is a free resource that assists individuals with all phases of relocation to and from their foreign country. Hundreds of questions are addressed under such topics as, Culture Shock and Settling In, Working Abroad and Overseas Property. With the country specific, network pages and forums, you are able to learn firsthand from expatriates who are living there.

Couch Surfing: Couch Surfing is an international, non-profit network that connects travelers with locals in over 230 countries. According to their 2009 statistics, the network includes over one million members, who reside in more than 69,000 cities and practice 300+ languages. The mission of the organization is to promote cross cultural exchanges and interactions.

Registration with Couch Surfing includes a small donation that allows the organization to cover its administrative costs. Local members offer to host travelers in their homes, meet visitors for coffee or facilitate unique experiences for those who have relocated to the area. Moreover, it is common for likeminded travelers to organize cultural explorations with the posting of a message.

In addition to social networks, there are a few government based organizations that can provide you with helpful information about your upcoming stay.

U.S. Sister City: A large number of American cities have partnerships in place with cities in countries worldwide. The website Sister Cities International ( has a master list for all sister cities. Once you locate which American city has a partnership with your destination city or one close by, reach out to the committee person via email or phone. Many times these committees are small, and access to its officers is fairly straightforward. Let them know about your upcoming athletic stay, and inquire about any helpful information or contacts that they may have available for your use.

Consulate Office: Foreign consulate offices are dispersed all throughout the country. The website provides a wealth of information about the country, as well as all of the required travel protocols for Americans.

If you live in or near to a city that has a consulate location for your destination country, you may opt to participate in cultural programming provided courtesy of the consulate. Events range from language learning to dance lessons to musical performances. In addition to increasing your exposure to the culture prior to your departure, it’s yet another opportunity for you to meet and build relationships with those who can assist your with your transition.

Reaching out to the associations and organizations listed above can begin with a simple email or membership registration. It does not take an exhaustive first effort to get the ball rolling to creating your best experience playing abroad.

Sports In Translation is now available as an electronic download for $3.99 on

FIFA Compensates Clubs for World Cup Players Absence

According to

Fifa paid out $40m to 400 clubs that released players for last year's World Cup in South Africa, it has been revealed. Barcelona was the biggest recipient, pocketing $866,267 after several of its players starred in the 32-team tournament. It provided six starters, including the scorer of the winning goal Andres Iniesta, to the Spain team that beat the Netherlands 1-0 in July's final. A total of 736 players were involved in the event. 'We are pleased that we can share the success of the 2010 Fifa World Cup with the clubs by providing them a share of the benefits of our flagship event, in particular to recognise their efforts in the development of young players,' Fifa president Sepp Blatter said. Fifa agreed to pay $1,600 per player per day for the duration of their stay at the tournament. A further $70m has been set aside for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Bayern Munich earned the second-highest payout of $778,667, followed by Chelsea with $762,667, Liverpool with $695,600 and Real Madrid, which received $678,133.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sports In Translation (2): Advice for Soccer Players Going Abroad

Remember all of the hours, hard work, and determination that it took for you to receive this sports opportunity? Well, you will need to use this formula to guarantee success with your cross cultural experience.

The moment, that you accept the invitation to take your athletic endeavors abroad, is the moment that you have set into motion your pre-trip planning. Your travel plans include more than simply packing a bag and securing the necessary travel documents.

Take the time to consider the following questions:
• What do you know about the culture of the country that you will be traveling to?
• Are there any customs that you should be aware of?
• Do you know of one or two persons who reside in your designated country or city that you can call upon for advice or assistance? (These individuals should be outside of your sports team contacts within the country.)
• Are you able to fluently speak the language?

When putting together your action plan for your overseas athletic excursion, your first goal should be to have a strong network of support in your destination country. It may seem like a tall order, but it is not an impossible task.

Technology and the shrinking of the global community have allowed people to connect and share information. In order to obtain some of the basic information about a particular country or culture, you can read the content on travel web sites such as Frommer’s and Lonely Planet. Both of these organizations publish books with detailed information on particular regions and cities within a country. However, I find that the user responses, on their country specific web pages, are extremely helpful. This web content allows you to read up-to-date experiences from travelers who have been where you are going.

Armed with the information gathered from these travel books and sites, you can have a starting point from which to have a familiarity with the transportation systems, neighborhood characteristics and cultural selling points for your designated city. However, tourists’ perspectives, albeit helpful, do not provide you with a full understanding of a place or its people.

A great starting point for building your international support team is your own network of associations. Does everyone in your circle of influence know that you are embarking on this amazing, athletic endeavor? If not, it would be wise to tell them, and inquire whether they have people that they know who are natives of the country or have traveled to the place where you will be going. You will be amazed at the referrals that may come your way.

I had to be reminded of this all important resource when I was blogging my footvolley experiences from Barranquilla, Colombia. Although I had made a slight mention to a few people in my network that I would be heading to Barranquilla, I didn’t fully publicize the trip. I figured that my Colombian connections were next to zero. However, a social network update about Barranquilla yielded a comment from one of Facebook friends. She was excited to learn that I was in Barranquilla because her boyfriend was born there, and his entire family resides in the city. It was a lesson learned.

Sports In Translation is now available as an electronic download for $3.99 on

Bribery, Business & Soccer Tickets: UK Law Puts Businesses on Defense

Who knew that tickets to a Arsenal match could land a U.S. business in hot water, and possibly have an executive facing up to 10 years in the slammer?

These are questions that attorneys, such as Philip Hilder, a white-collar criminal defense attorney at Hilder & Associates in Houston, are trying quickly understand the answers to for their clients. According to Hilder,"The new U.K. Bribery Act, set to take effect in April, has companies that do business in Britain running scared. The new law targets not only bribes to foreign officials made to grease the skids, but also payments between private businessmen. It's being called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act on steroids because it appears to be much stricter than the U.S. law. It's confusing right now because it's unclear whether fancy dinners and tickets to a soccer or cricket match will suddenly be seen as a criminal bribe, even for companies that aren't headquartered in the U.K., but do business there."

Do you think this legislation is an indirect response to the global financial meltdown? Is it a way to keep businesses from 'persuading' decisionmakers to agree to deals and overlook details that can derail aspects of the economy down the line? Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sports In Translation (1): Advice for Soccer Players Going Abroad

I have made the decision to begin offering full excerpts of my electronic report, Sports In Translation. Here is the first installment. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me a message via Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter!

When I embarked upon my dream to become a professional soccer player, I knew that my journey would include international training and playing experiences. However, I didn’t know how these opportunities would arise.

One day, I saw a book in the bookstore, and the rest was history. My purchase of Brazilian Soccer Principles by Thadeau Gonçalves set me on a course that landed me in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a female soccer club.

The excitement of training and playing in Brazil was confronted by some challenging realities. Adjusting to a new daily routine that didn’t include constant contact with familiar surroundings, friends and family was hard. Feeling helpless when trying to overcome the negative stigma of being an American was frustrating. Moreover, learning to overcome cultural differences came with its share of trial and error.

Since my first international athletic experience, I have continued drawing upon the lessons learned in Brazil as I continue my playing and training abroad. No trip is without its learning curve, and I often share my new knowledge on my social networks.
This openness has allowed me to connect with fellow athletes who find themselves in far flung places learning many of the same lessons. It is with this common experience that I offer to you this electronic report.

Perhaps, you are a coach, trainer, or player who has recently received an opportunity take your passion for your sport to a new country and culture. Or you are a parent, agent or publicist for a sports professional, and you want to lend your support so that your child or client handles the transition successfully. The opportunity can lead everyone involved to feel excited and nervous at the same time.

No worries. The goal of Sports In Translation is to give you the power to overcome the nervousness associated with the unknown. Knowledge is power, and armed with the information located in these pages, you will be able to focus on your athletic performance, seize the opportunities to learn a new culture and harness this experience to build friendships and business alliances.

Sports In Translation is now available as an electronic download for $3.99 on

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

FIFA's #1 Female Player Marta Is Unemployed

Just this week, Brazilian player Marta was awarded the FIFA Player of the Year award for the 5th consecutive year. As the soccer's number one female athlete, her career is still without obstacles.

After joining the Women's Professional Soccer league from Sweden, her club the L.A. Sol folded after one season. Marta relocated her talents to FC Gold Pride which after winning the WPS Championship this summer had to call it quits due to a lack of financial solvency.

The New York Times article, The Best Player on Earth is Looking for a Job, is worth a read. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, one of our 2011 goals is to bring some meaningful solutions to the quandry soccer leagues have found themselves in stateside. The MLS is faring a bit better, but it could stand for an injection new ideas. As for the women's league Stay tuned.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Soccer Gamers: RealSports Soccer 2011 Release on Nintendo

Good Morning Soccer Lovers who have a penchant for video games. I do have a video game announcement but it's not about our beloved Electronic Arts' FIFA series. Throwback video game producer, Atari, is planning to release Volume 2 of their Greatest Hits series on Nintendo DS. This collector's item includes....RealSports Soccer! If you are expecting graphic wizardry akin to FIFA 11, it may be a little disappointing. However what the game lacks in pizzazz, it definitely makes up for it in historical value. If you love all things soccer and want to show off a new "artifact" of your collection to your friends, this should do the trick!