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Monday, December 19, 2016

MLS: Retirement Home for EPL Stars?

Will the MLS One Day Reach The Heights of the EPL?

The Legend : Beckham

The  legends of the game, past and present, want to play after their glory days in Europe. Lets face the music people, the current stars of the game of soccer are not playing in America, and for that matter don't until there 30 or beyond.

So most if not all "retire" in the MLS and keep playing after reaching their limit in Europe. They bring their talents and knowledge overseas.

The likes of Beckham, Pirlo, Lampard, Gerrard, and multiple more have all called their
competitive days a quit. They joined a less competitive league from the high prestige of the EPL and champions league.

All of the legends that came to the MLS left the soccer based culture of Europe and came to the 'land of the free'. Kaka, David Villa, and countless others have come over recently.

Starting from the time of Beckham, the game of MLS has changed for the better. Prior to Beckham joining the LA Galaxy the league was filled with mediocre talent, and a select few starts, but none like Beckham.

A man who had played for Real Madrid, Manchester United, AC Milan, and the star studded England squad. He played part of his prime at the LA Galaxy and changed the image of the league forever.

He comes to a league where the likes of Taylor Twellman, Sharlie Joseph and others are the stars, players who wouldn't scratch the starting 11 over the reserves of any of Beckham's prior teams.

Nothing against what the league was, and the players in it. But the game has changed and for the better, it may become one of the greatest in world at some point, but not now.

The likes of Zlatan and other huge current stars have been quoted in saying they want to play in America at one point!

I'm not sure about you but I would pay a small fortune to see Zlatan, Messi, Ronaldo, or any other superstars of the game play.

Maybe one day the superstars will play in their prime in America, competing with the likes of La Liga or the EPL?

Monday, December 12, 2016

3 Simple Methods to Help Your Fitness Training

Train like a champion and you will perform like one!

Soccer is a game built upon fitness

Everyone wants to be the most skilled on the field, but if you cant play for a full 90 than its not as important. Using that skill at only partial your ability due to fitness limits in your value as a player. A professional or any high-level player needs to be able to perform and use their skill all throughout the game.

It takes time and effort to train your fitness, but it is simpler than you think. It wont happen over night, but I bet after just a few weeks of incorporating some of these methods you can notice a difference in your fitness.

These are not specific drills or techniques, but rather methods and general actions to help to train your fitness. Eating healthy is a huge factor to this, but lets take a look at the first method to increased fitness, and arguably the most valued yet underused.

#1.  One of the largest used muscles in a soccer players body is not the legs, but rather the abs. All power, strength, and force is driven from our abs. Any portion of running starts with the abs, and works it way down the body.

Breathing only gets easier when you have strong abs, so why neglect all the benefits of strong abs? A large chunk of players fail to work their core enough, and rather try and work on just only running or sprinting.


Track athletes, who are the most fit for running their specific events, have strong cores and it shows in their ability to perform. The abs help in the breathing process of exhaling and inhaling to assist the diaphragm.

All professional soccer players, and higher level players have just as strong core muscles, and it lets them be able to do the sorts of running that is needed in a 90 minute game.

Lets look at all the attributes of having strong abs: they help with supporting the upper and lower body, allowing for running, twisting, and turning, aid in injury prevention, and lastly allow for explosive performance. All needed in the game of soccer, so why neglect training them?

#2.  Its true you need to be able to play for 90 minutes, but like discussed in previous post its not all just running. It breaks down to a rough estimate of 68 minutes per game that an average player actually runs. This also includes sprinting and jogging, yet unlike track athletes it is not all at once, its spread out in small amounts.

This means using the method of Interval Training is huge to being able to perform at a high-level of fitness at various points of the game. Its not about making 1 or 2 hard sprints and being gassed, you have to be able to do so numerous times throughout the game.

Interval Training encompasses the basic concept of training your running/sprinting in intervals of on and off between walking/jogging. For example a workout I have done is, instead of running 1 mile straight, break it off into run one lap at 6 minute pace, and walk the next, and repeat until you have finished 1 mile at 6 minute pace.

#3.  Lets look at the game as a whole, just like with your core strength and interval training, you have to actually put  100% effort in to training to get results.You can not go through the paces and think you will magically increase your fitness, wrong.

It may seem obvious, but as I have done myself and what countless others do is train solo because of various reasons. Don't get me wrong, working while others are not looking makes you better, but it also very challenging to do so.

It can be tough to mentally push yourself and find the drive to do better without having someone their to support and challenge you. (See our mental toughness article to also help you)

So I suggest training with a partner or group of similar level athletes who can PUSH you to your limits during training. Someone who can push you to go beyond your normal routine, and do that extra rep or set when your tired is what will help you to excel beyond your current level.

Soccer is a tough game, and being fit for a full game can be even more challenging. So try some of these methods, and look over our mental toughness and training tools to help you out. Future posts will have more in depth drills and techniques for you to use!!

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