Author Archives: J.R. Eskilson

Written by J.R. Eskilson


“I don’t want to play,” four-year-old Maddie replied before staring at the grass.

Some battles just can’t be won.

After five days of the US Youth Soccer National Youth License course, my grade came down to running two activities with a group of six players in the U6 age group. Not exactly the most difficult challenge in a vacuum, but not a cakewalk when the kids have already gone through three other coaches on a warm afternoon in Southern California.

My Director of Coaching at Sol SC highly recommended the US Youth National Youth License course. She said it was the best course that she ever attended, which is a high selling point from a coach with an A License.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

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On Monday, Eric Lopez became the youngest player to sign a professional contract with a USL PRO side when he inked a deal with LA Galaxy II – the pseudo reserve team of LA Galaxy.

Lopez’s arrival to the professional level is a bit of a surprise. Goalkeepers tend to develop later and the opportunities for a 15-year-old in that position are limited. There are very few goalkeepers who make much of a mark even in their late teenage years.

While the trajectory of his career is just starting, there is potential there for a special goalkeeper. Lopez already stands well over six-feet tall and has a long, lean frame. Beyond his physical attributes, Lopez has very good positioning for a player his age. He also has a knack for catching the ball away from his body.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson


The rivalry between Cal Poly and UCSB is on. It’s on like a below average comedy on Wednesday night on CBS.

Hundreds of Cal Poly students lined up on Monday morning to get a ticket for Sunday’s game against UCSB at Spanos Stadium. It’s the return leg of the clash after the first installment ended in a 2-2 draw last weekend.

The Mustangs and Gauchos met for the first time this season on Saturday in front of 14,345 fans at Harder Stadium. It was the fifth largest on-campus crowd in NCAA soccer history.

Sunday’s rematch might be the hottest ticket in San Luis Obispo history. The capacity at Spanos Stadium is 11,075 and the #BlueGreen rivalry game has sold out before.

While neither team is currently ranked, both teams are fighting for a spot in the Big West Conference tournament and need a result for the game. The importance of the game drew out fans from all over who then took to social media to share the joy of standing in line on a beautiful California day.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

Score one for “if only the best athletes played soccer” crowd. reported on Friday that Drake Davis, the No. 10 wide receiver in the nation for the 2016 class, is forgoing high school football in order to concentrate on soccer.

“This is a decision he made in the spring and he’s stuck with it,” Davis’ high school football coach Brian Hurlocker told

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Written by J.R. Eskilson


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Written by J.R. Eskilson


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Written by J.R. Eskilson

BNT Camp

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Written by J.R. Eskilson


This week, chatted with a likely SuperDraft pick in Cal Poly senior forward Mackenzie Pridham.

The reigning Big West Offensive Player of the Year is a likely target for a number of teams, but his Canadian birth certificate has cooled some interest from U.S. teams. Pridham explains that he will have his U.S. citizenship in time for the draft in a Q&A about the draft, his goals for the season, and what people don’t know about him.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

Cracking jokes and dishing out coy smiles, Abby Wambach seems right at home in front of the camera.

The U.S. Women’s National Team forward went through the wringer on Tuesday night as she was paraded through a bevy of news outlets waiting to chat with her following the Gatorade Athlete of the Year banquet.

Calm as she is in front of the net, Wambach slid from one question to the next on a wide variety of topics.

She chatted with as well. Most of the questions were aimed at the star of the evening, Morgan Andrews, but Wambach did talk about what the last year has been like for her and where she wants to push the WNT in the near future.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

By Travis Clark

A busy stretch lies ahead for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

And with a trio of friendlies and a pair of World Cup qualifiers set for the end of May and the beginning of June, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced the first wave of players who will take part in those games.

So who does this group represent? Let the manager tell you himself.

“All the players coming now for this very special four-week period represent our core,” he told “If tomorrow was the World Cup, this is the group that comes in for our World Cup roster. It’s a clear signal to other players that right now it’s down to business. We’re playing World Cup qualifiers. It’s not about experimenting or seeing different players, it’s about who we think are the best.”

Deducing from what he’s said, does this mean that Alfredo Morales – the German-American-Peruvian midfielder/defender with all of zero international caps – is a core member of this group? Sure, the kid looked cool, calm and collected in his brief U23 stint against Mexico (but his club Hertha wouldn’t release him for the U23s ill-fated qualifying endeavors), but it’s impossible to imagine him as a part of the integral group of the U.S. MNT at this point.

Aside from that, there’s not a lot to be surprised about, as Klinsmann is set to add up to 13 more players for the camp in Florida. Joe Corona, the Mexican-American attacking midfielder who plays for Club Tijuana has secured a spot in camp for the time being. There’s the glaring absence of Sacha Kljestan, the former Chivas USA midfielder who recently won a title over in Belgium with Anderlecht. Jose Torres and Kyle Beckerman continue to get the nod over Kljestan for reasons only Klinsmann seems to see.

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