I decided that during the season in this blog I will keep writing about my U17 DA team and mix it with some of my thoughts/reflections on football in general. The season so far goes terribly but I don't think this is something really important to hide and hope these reflections might help me in the process as well. I understand that some of you don't care too much about my team but hope some additional thoughts will make up for it.
So our third game was against Irvine Strikers - good club but in somewhat similar to us. They are not MLS club and they have strong competition in the area from other clubs. We lost 1:4 (my team was the only one among U15, U17 and U19 which lost - other two won 3:0 each). Was by far the worst game out of three we played! We lost primarily to ourselves!
Week before the game we have been working very hard on keeping defensive line and dropping at proper time. Well, I have feeling that we overloaded players with information and at the game back line looked confused, indecisive and was not able to deal with opponent's forwards. We created more scoring chances than in previous games but allowed opponent too much as well. First goal at 0:0 was again terrible GKs mistake - I have to do something there!
But my main worry is that back line was not cohesive and in midfield we did not provide enough pressure. So I started to talk to some players and actually learned a lot of new information. It is a shame that I learned it two months in the season but better late than never, right? For example, my best player, who I think really can be different level turned out NEVER PLAYED ORGANIZED SOCCER!! Seventeen years old, was wanted by FC Dallas and Dynamo Huston still talks to him - NEVER played with referee!! Of course it is amazing that he is so good but also explains a lot why he has no idea how to defend as #8, and when your #8 doesn't defend properly... now we know what happens.
On top of that we have center back who came to the club very late last Spring (May) and played 3 games in June showcase for previous year U17 team as center back (under another coach). So I assumed he is center back, right?? Well, it turned out that before joining us in May, he never played as center back, but was attacking wing or #9!! And now we surprised why back line looks confused!!
I know it is embarrassing to talk that coach learns this 2 months into the season, but that's what happened.
One more thing which happened this week is a fight at the practice. Not real fight as we broke it up very quickly but couple punches happened. It is unacceptable of course and players involved are punished. But in hind-side I'm a little bit happy this happened. See, the problem is that boys on the team are supper friendly and get along very well. It was really great to watch them together on previous trip to Salt Lake City. But this also has a problem - I'm afraid some of us are here to enjoy time together and not to get result. Yes, you can do both, but at this age and level first priority must be result, so when after the loss I see happy smiling faces in the plane I feel that something is wrong. This fight shook up the boys a bit and I think they got little bit less casual. Well, at least I hope this is the case. This fight also told me who is a leader on the team - while I was talking to boys involved and sending them home, one kid gathered the team and said that this is bullshit and can't happen in future. Next day before the practice he brought both fighters together and made them to shake hands and apologize to each other. That was great to see!!
So I still enjoy a lot working with these boys! Moreover, I'm 100% convinced that the reason for bad results is in BAD COACHING and WRONG DECISIONS BY COACH. I honestly have nobody to blame for these losses except myself!! Boys work great and we connect well on my opinion so the question is if I can teach them properly or not. We will see!!!