Erik Imler
Author Archive

Erik Imler

Erik Imler is a Retired Professional Player, NCAA Champion (1989,1991,1992), and 1992 U.S. Olympic Team member (Barcelona, Spain) who is dis-satisfied with the status quo of youth soccer development in the United States.

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Some thoughts on why ‘two-footed-ness’ is essential in today’s game.

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Graham Ramsay gives his thoughts on an important question: “How can we transform this mass of soccer players in the USA to become a power in every sense of the word?”

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This past week I did something I have never done before in coaching….I invited the parents of our youth academy (U9/U10) players to come out for a match against their children.

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A two minute explanation of proper technique followed by 15 minutes of practice on his own was all that was necessary to introduce my son to the concept of heading. While reaching his Day 1 goal of 5 headers against the wall, I saw his confidence grow in a very short period of time.

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“Does your team have the ability to shift their tactical approach based on the game they are playing? Or does your team try impose the style they adopt from the opening kick of the ball until the final whistle?

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“Why does it seem that most coaches are so hesitant to develop the GK position? Why is that I rarely hear another coach talk to his GK during the flow of play?”

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The past few weeks has been a joy to watch more and more players react positively to the call, “RECYCLE.” The ball is moving backwards to a supporting player in order to retain possession and provide time for the player on the ball to make better decisions.

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…Cruyff has been my favorite soccer personality. Of course as a player, but even more so, as a manager. As a player, he was an artist. As a coach/manager, he was an innovator. I’m intrigued by his thought-provoking outspokenness.

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Recently, I found myself in a conversation with a group of youth academy (U9/U10 age group) directors from a neighboring club…a big club.

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