Coaching Blogs from EPYSA Director of Coaching Mike Barr


Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Director of Coaching Mike Barr

high school soccer

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Posted by: Coach Mike Barr commentComment (0)

The only true neighborhood soccer team may be the local public high school team in your school district. Many club coaches point out the value of their club program and the importance of their program on a never ending self serving basis, but in no way does it compare to the notoriety, fan appreciation, and absolute fun of playing in front of your long time peers and extended family.

When I was a high school coach, the greatest satisfaction I received was when Strath Haven High School played Lower Merion in a regular season night game in the late eighties, before three thousand loud and boisterous fans. Both stands were filled and fans circled the fence along the field. The atmosphere was electric. I have yet to see this type of crowd or passion demonstrated at a youth club match and don't believe I will ever see this type of pure excitement at any club match in the extended future.

In my position, I coached players who won national titles playing for their clubs but they never fail to remind me how much more fun and how much more value they place on their high school state championship. Nothing can erase the vision of all their friends, brothers and sisters, students and fellow athletes rushing the field and sharing the victory after the final whistle.

High school sports, including soccer, should be cherished. We are a unique country and high school sports bring about a sense of community, identity and tradition that is cherished by many throughout a lifetime. Soccer fans get out and support your local high school teams.










Don't make the same mistake

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Posted by: Coach Mike Barr commentComment (0)

Soccer America on August 27th brought out some interesting facts about the MLS and American Soccer Players. The information includes:

Only 8 of 16 teams fielded lineups with a majority of players who are eligible for the United States National Team

Only 19 of those Americans were under 23

A majority of the 19 American players were defensive players.

In 2002, 71% of all starters were US eligible citizens. In 2010 less than 51% of the starters were US eligible citizens.

These stattistics could have a huge impact on our National team's success in 2014 and 2018.

MLS should look to sign quality young American players to maintain and improve the United States performance on the world stage and also to assure interest does not begin to wane. US Soccer and MLS administrators should heed the warning signs the NASL ignored.  Bringing in over rated, over paid and over age players does not make a league stronger. Develop and sign Americans who will increase the fan base and allow for a stronger national pool.  

















College Soccer

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Posted by: Coach Mike Barr commentComment (0)

Enjoyed the long weekend in New England and had the opportunity to see three Division One men's soccer matches. A couple of things came to mind during the matches. How is it that the NCAA has such a short season for soccer and yet football, baseball, basketball and even hockey have much longer seasons. Why not have the soccer season for September and October and restart again in March and April. They could play the NCAA championships in May.This would allow for more training and not the two or three games played in one week.
I still cannot understand why some Division One coaches still rely on foreign players to fill their rosters. Are they lazy in recruiting and capitalize on the free trip to England to evaluate talent? With academies and
ODP the talent pool is quite large and yet scholarships that coulkd be provided to American players are wasted on foreign players, who are in many cases not stronger than their American counter parts.
In one match I saw this weekend a Division One program started nine foreign players (six from England and three from Central and South America) the other team in the contest started only one foreign player. The team with the American players was dominant and more talented and won the match.
In soccer circles we rarely think outside the box and recognizing the benefit of a longer soccer season collegiately provides development, great facilities, quality training and an automatic feeder program into the
The days where picking up a player with an English accent adds quality to your team have long passed. Adminstrators and athletic directors should look to see that American youth players are being served.

Stay Tuned for Coach Barr's Blog- Coming Soon!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Posted by: Coach Mike Barr commentComment (2)

Hello!  Welcome to Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer's new website.  Glad to have you here.  Soon you will be able to read my daily blog.  This will give us the opportunity to have an ongoing discussion about the world of soccer.  I'm looking forward to chatting with you.