Author Archives: J.R. Eskilson

Written by J.R. Eskilson

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The start of the 2015 U20 World Cup is three weeks away, and the final preparations are underway for the 24 teams headed to New Zealand for the international event. On Thursday, U.S. Soccer revealed its roster for the World Cup (with one player to be named later Gedion Zelalem’s status still to be determined).

U20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos and his staff had a lot of tough decisions to make when it came to selecting the group to take to New Zealand. After all of the cuts were made, Ramos left a number of talented players at home, so I took the liberty to construct the Best XI of the excluded players from this pool.

After careful consideration (which came during the 10 minutes between when the roster was announced and when I started working on this), I settled on a 3-5-2 formation that is all attack.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

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“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

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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.

247sports.com 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 247sports.com.

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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

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This week, TopDrawerSoccer.com 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 TopDrawerSoccer.com 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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