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


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!