No one could have believed that soccer, since its birth, would go onto to become as big as it has. Being the number 1 sport both viewed and participated in throughout the planet. And yet, for all of the good the sport has done throughout the world, it has taken a matter of days for soccer to once again be put into the scrutiny of the world spotlight.

Soccer deals with its critics on a daily basis, from extraordinarily high wages, to passing new laws that impact the game arguable in a negative way. However, the brightest light is well and truly shining on the commander and chiefs in governing body that is FIFA.
FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has been under a lot of scrutiny since its first executive arrests on late May. So how is it a an organisation that is supposed to be in charge of running Soccer across the world, involved in multiple crimes so much so the FBI are trying to indite them?
In recent years the FIFA organisation has been plagued by accusations of corruption, in particular the award of the 2022 World Cup to the tiny but rich and influential Gulf state of Qatar. In December 2014, FIFA chose not to release its own investigation into corruption, instead releasing an executive summary which it said exonerated the bidding process. This led to a few lawyers actually resining in disgust at this decision.

FIFA Soccer

The World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world, larger even than the Olympics, and generates billions of dollars in revenue from corporate sponsors, broadcasting rights and merchandising. These arrests and investigations cast doubt over the transparency and honesty for the process of allocating World Cup tournaments; electing its president; and the administration of funds, including those earmarked for improving soccer facilities in some of FIFA’s poorer member nations.

Which leads us to FIFAs current president, Sebb Blatter. Here is a guy that gets elected in for term after term, who openly admits he dislikes the English and most of European soccer. He has been caught on more than one occasion accepting bribes, and yet amidst all of the corruption, he pleas innocence and continues to make decisions and pass laws that jeopardise the sport in which millions of us love. How is he allowed to continue to get away with it? Well, much like any president, there is an election and within the elections are different parties and candidates who all run against each other and try to gain votes. This is no different with FIFA, however when they elect a president, it is done on countries voting and within the countries all of the confederations. The key to Blatter retaining his presidential crown relies on his heavy influence within the Africa and Asian populations. To gain a majority you only need 110 votes, to which Blatter holds 109 just within the Africa and Asian federations, due to their sheer number. Yet Europe and America (who arguably should have the majority of voting power as they have what are considered to be the best leagues in the world and attract the biggest names) only contribute to a 20% stake which equates to roughly 20 votes of the overall number.

So what is next for the sporting world’s most powerful organisation? According to FIFA rules, the earliest a new leader can be elected would be in four months time. This gives Blatter the time to set out his agendas before he has to relinquish his position. This is a very dark time for soccer so the next person who takes over FIFA needs to be squeaky clean and have an honest and transparent love of the sport that has bought joy to so many across the world.

 

1. Wear flip-flops more than Ghandi

Come rain or shine you will more often than not find a footballer sporting a pair of flip-flops.

2. Wear white socks over football socks

Almost every footballer will have worn white sports socks over their football socks at some point for no other reason than that it looked ‘cool’ for a stage about ten years ago. It’s all about the look!

3. Blacking out their football boots

Despite the flurry of different coloured football boots available nowadays every footballer will have at some point tried blacking out their boots with dubbin, probably to poor success.

4. Wear tape like a ninja samurai

On match day most footballers will be asking the physio for tape, not for an injury but for their socks and wrists. Again It’s all about the look!

Football

5. Wear gloves for training but not before or after

Footballers will wear gloves when they are running around getting hot, but not before or after when they are just going about their day.

6. Have strange pre-game rituals

Having a pre-game routine isn’t strange but some player’s rituals are borderline insane. Fabien Barthez for example used to get Laurent Blanc to kiss his head before every France game.

Footballers

7. Wear hobbit sized shin pads

For some reason footballer’s shin pads seems to be getting smaller and smaller each year, therefore serving very little functional purpose. Must be all about the look once again…

8. Excessively spitting, like a redneck

During a game a footballer is constantly spitting everywhere all over the pitch, literally like a dog marking its territory.

9. Eat pasta like an Italian sumo wrestler

Despite there being many other sources of carbohydrates, a footballer goes through a ridiculous amount of pasta during season. Delizioso!

10. Smear vapour rub on their shirt like they have a killer cough

For some reason in the 90’s players, such as Patrick Vieira, started drowning their shirt in vapour rub to help them breath. Don’t know how players coped before then…

 

 

Once again the season has thrown up its fair share of surprises and emergence of new talents. Big players performing on big stages. For me it has been a very enjoyable season to watch and probably one of the most interesting, even though Chelsea were streaks ahead of everyone else, they had their fair share of battles and bruises this season in order to be crowned champions. It is hard to argue against Chelsea winning the league, this is a case of stats well and truly not lying.

Here is my team of the season 2014-15:

david de
GK- David De Gea (Man United)

Although he has had a lot of criticism over the last 2 years for not being physically strong enough for the league, I feel he has really come into his own and went from strength to strength. At time he has single handily kept his team within touching distance of the top 4.

john terry

CB- John Terry (Chelsea)

It seems as though since being told he is no longer needed for his country, John Terry has upped his game to a whole new level. He is an ever present rock in Chelseas defence. He puts his head it where most wouldn’t and plays completely for the players around him. His positional sense more than makes up for his lack of pace.

gary cahill
CB- Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

Partnering John Terry in defence is Gary Cahill. Another solid season from the young CB who is quickly establishing himself as a number international. He reads the game very well and also offers a turn of pace and a goal threat, notching an important goals for Chelsea in this campaign.

branislav
RB- Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

Another Chelsea player makes my short list, the ever dependable Branislav Ivanovic. Although he is now north of 30, Ivanovic still demonstrates his ability to score crucial goals at one end and closing out games at the other. He made 32 appearances scoring 4 goals and keeping 15 cleans sheets.

ryan
LB-Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)

Given their last season’s performance a lot of people were expecting big things from Southampton, however it just didn’t quite happen for them for one reason or another. Bertrand has enjoyed a good season personally. His awareness and ball retention under pressure is up very good. His pace also makes him a strong threat going forward and his delivery this season has seen him assist a number of goals for his club.
alexis
RM- Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

There was a lot of noise coming out of the Arsenal camp when Sanchez joined from the Nou Camp last summer and he has certainly not disappointed. The Chilean managed 29 appearances, scoring 14 goals and assisting 8 of Arsenals goals.

phillipe
CM- Phillipe Courtinho (Liverpool)

Liverpool haven’t enjoyed their season and have really under achieved from what they did last season. But for me Courtinho has been the stand out player and has enjoyed a solid season. Very good on the ball and retains possession remarkably well, can play killer passes at any time. The one thing he needs to work on is his finishing, however he still has many more years to learn.

nemanja
CM- Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

In his first full season with Chelsea Matic has proven why he has been referred to as the anchor. Reading the game well and making crucial tackles and interceptions. He has played an unsung key role in Chelseas team defensively.

eden
LM- Eden Hazrad (Chelsea)

Arguably one of the best players in the world currently. Hazard has turned most defences inside and out, no one has an answer to stop him yet. Low centre of gravity means he is able to turn quickly in the most impossible of spaces. He has also added goal scoring to his CV boasting and impressive 13 goals in 32 appearances, also offering up 8 assists for the blues.

harry

CF- Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)

Harry Kane has enjoyed his best season as a pro yet. His stats say it all 30 appearances and 20 goals he is the leading English scorer in the Premier League. Notably he scored within 80 seconds of coming on for England. Let’s hope he continues with his goal scoring form next season.

diego

CF-Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Although Costa has had his injury woes he still managed an impressive 19 goals in the campaign. He is a real old school centre forward, who will score any type of goal as long as it is inside the penalty box. He has shown no respect towards any defender, often getting himself into trouble with referees with his fiery temper but you wouldn’t change it. Let’s hope he stays injury free for next season.

 

U.S Soccer Scholarships Director Liam Barrett picks his Best 11 from this season’s English Premier League. Unfortunately no American soccer player’s feature in Liam’s team but with the way Major League Soccer is progressing we are sure it won’t be long until players are coming over to England as much as English players seem to be going the other way towards the end of their careers.

UK Soccer Players

David De Gea – Manchester United

The Spaniard shot stopper had simply gone from strength to strength since what was a nervy start to his Manchester United career. A no brainer for the goalkeeper position in my team he has single handedly kept United in the top four mix this year.

John Terry – Chelsea

The former England captain is by no means the nation’s most beloved player but you can’t help but admire Terry’s performances this year and he well and truly deserves his place in this team being in my opinion the most consistent defensive performer in the league.

Gary Cahill – Chelsea

I have gone with Terry’s centre half partner, as the pair have become a really tough duo to break down this season and Cahill is always a consistent performer. I would have expected Kompany to occupy this place at the start of the season but he simply has not been at the races in recent weeks making very uncharacteristic mistakes.

Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea

The Super Serbian never seems to put a foot wrong in a Chelsea kit and is often a catalyst for many Chelsea attacks as well as being a brick wall defender. I’m sure he will appear in most people’s teams simply because you know exactly what you will get with Ivanovic; tough tackling, old school defending.

Aaron Cresswell – West Ham

Cresswell may well be a surprise pick for some people but the former Ipswich Town defender has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water this season. With the likes of Manchester City reported to be interested in signing the skillful left back I wouldn’t expect to see him at Upton Park for too much longer.

Nemanja Matic – Chelsea

Arguably the signing of the summer, especially considering the Serbian was formerly at Chelsea and didn’t quite make the grade during his first stint at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho infamously once said that Makelele was his ticker in his watch and Matic looks like he too is just as important to the team – breaking down many opposing attacks as well as starting many for the Blues.

Cesc Fabregas – Chelsea

The former Gunner was nothing short of inspirational at the start of the season forming a formidable partnership with Diego Costa. His recent form hasn’t quite been as good, which may explain his exclusion from the PFA team of the year however I still think you would do well to find a more complete midfielder in the league.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

The tricky Belgium was just voted PFA Player of the Year and I totally agree with that selection. He is so difficult to stop as when he isn’t scoring vital goals for Chelsea he has been setting them up for his team mates. I believe he has been the difference this year for Chelsea and is the main factor why they will win the league this season with relative ease.

Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal

Sanchez has really shone since arriving at the Emirates and seems on a mission to prove Barcelona wrong for letting him go in the summer. The Chilean matches his flair and genius touches with extreme hard work making him a fans favorite on so many different levels. Has the potential to be an Arsenal legend if he continues to play as he has done in his first season.

Harry Kane – Tottenham

At the start of the season I would never have expected Kane to make my team of the year but the young England forward has been unbelievable in front of goal this season and has single handedly reinstalled excitement into English soccer. He has had the Midas touch this season will be interesting to see if he can replicate this form next year.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

The Brazilian born Spaniard fire powered Chelsea to the top of the table early on in the season and the team hasn’t looked back. His recent injuries have been frustrating for fans but his value is unquestionable. Costa scores goals, simple.

At U.S Soccer Scholarships we like to keep you up to date with the latest NCAA & NAIA news. In this blog we are going to give you a little more information about how GPA’s work and what the new requirements are for NCAA colleges.

Firstly, we are often asked what the requirements for men’s soccer scholarships and women’s scholarships are. The GPA requirements for men’s soccer scholarships and women’s soccer scholarships are exactly the same. You must also remember that to obtain a soccer scholarship your GPA is just one aspect of the entry requirements, you still have to sit an ACT or SAT entrance exam on the academic side too. At U.S Soccer Scholarships we can’t stress enough just how important your academics are. When becoming a student-athlete the student part always comes first.
Scholarships Book
What does GPA mean?
GPA stands for Grade Point Average. To earn an American soccer scholarship into an NAIA college you have to meet an entry requirement of 2.0 GPA. This then has to be maintained to allow you to compete competitively. To earn an American soccer scholarship from 2016 into a NCAA college you need a 2.0 GPA to meet college requirements but must achieve a new higher level of 2.3 in order to play.

What comprises my GPA?

Your GPA is made up from your school academic qualifications including GCSE’s, A levels, BTECS and equivalents. As a guide a C grade is worth 2 points. This essentially means colleges are looking for a C grade average as a minimum but the higher the better. Upon applying with U.S Soccer Scholarships we have a GPA Calculator to work out your GPA for you to check your eligibility, so please ensure you put clearly on your application each individual course and your grade/s or predicted grade/s when applying.
GPA Calculator
We always recommend to any of our clients when even thinking about trying to get a U.S Soccer Scholarship to work as hard as possible in the classroom to get the best grades you can and fully prepare for the entrance exams whether ACT or SAT. You may be an extremely good footballer with a great football C.V. but if you don’t meet and maintain your GPA you won’t be able to play competitively. This is enforced strongly in America too and there really is no getting around it.

If you have any more questions regarding your GPA or any other entry requirements please get in touch, we are here to help.

Womens Soccer Scholarships Specialist – Mark Lawrence is contactable on admin@ussoccerscholarships.com

Mens Soccer Scholarships Specialist is Liam Barrett contactable on admin@ussoccerscholarship.com

We look forward to hearing from you,

Jamie Lewis
U.S Soccer Scholarships Director

U.S Soccer Scholarships Team.

At U.S Soccer Scholarships we are often asked similar questions in regards to Major League Soccer (MLS), i.e. how do you get drafted, when can you get drafted and is there a cap on the number foreign players within teams. However, recently we have heard a lot of people talking about the so called ‘salary cap’ that exists in MLS. Contrary to popular belief MLS does not have a salary cap. A salary cap is a mechanism, agreed to within a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), imposed upon independent employers within a federation of employers to control wage costs. A single entity model is conceptually incompatible with a salary cap – if there is only one employer, a “cap” would simply cap all employee salaries at a single level. Beyond a salary cap being conceptually incompatible with the single entity model, numerous published accounts confirm this.  MLS has a salary budget, which was set by the management committee of MLS, and is now set within the CBA. The league’s true allocation of salary budget among the various teams is nebulous best, with unequal allocations perfectly allowable through various manoeuvring and league approved mechanisms.

Obama USA Soccer

Only certain roster spots count against salary budget. The league can choose to pay transfer fees for foreign players coming into the league, which in Europe would be charged on a per contract year basis against that team’s budget. For example, David Beckham, Frank Lampard and David Villa, all of their respective clubs would have contributed to the transfer of each player. Allocation money is given to each team on a Byzantine basis, which can be used to “buy down” salary budget charges. Generation Adidas players carry different salary budget rules. Designated Player (DP) total salary counts against budget up to a certain amount and is less if the DP joins a team half-way through the season and even less if the DP is under a certain age and finally if the DP is an international Designated Player their salary budget rules will again be different. Base salary, guaranteed salary, signing bonuses being allocated across the life of contracts versus year paid… Players like Beckham can be given an option to become an owner/operator at $20 million by the league, which option is now worth $100 million, and that $80 million windfall somehow doesn’t count as league salary. (Or, presumably, U.S. income tax or capital gains tax.)

I recently found a quote stating that the MLS has always been a league where all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. MLS can pick and choose destination teams for marquee players and decide how much of the non-salary expense the league is willing to pay. The distribution of league revenues is unequal and tied to how financially successful an owner/operator’s team is. Some investor/operators are allowed to play in non-soccer stadiums, or in the outfield of baseball parks, or on artificial turf, others must build soccer stadiums to get into the club.

MLS American Soccer Logos

In short, the Major League Soccer pay structure is somewhat of an enigma and you would need a Ouija board to try and begin to unravel the mysteries. Mind you, it isn’t anything compared to the English Premier League where the so-called ‘lowest’ paid players are earning millions a year! MLS has started to adopt a lot of traits used in European soccer, not just buying ageing premier league stars. It may not be long before you see MLS players on $300,000 a week especially with the way soccer’s popularity is growing.

Barclays Premier League

Ash Veitch
U.S Soccer Scholarships

In honor of Charlie Adam’s wonder strike last week for Stoke against Chelsea, from a staggering 64 yards, we at U.S Soccer Scholarships thought we would dig through the archives and reminisce about other memorable long distance strikes from the Premier League.

Adam Soccer

 

  1. David Beckham

    When someone mentions a long distance goal in the English Premier League there is only one man who comes to mind – David Beckham. Golden balls himself burst onto the scene in 1996 when he scored a remarkable lob against Wimbledon from all of 52 yards, leaving with goalkeeper Neil Sullivan with absolutely no chance. Beckham did actually go on to surpass this strike in terms of distance when he scored from 70 yards for L.A Galaxy against Kansas City Wizards, however on that occasion the goal was empty so not quite as impressive.

 

Beckham American Soccer

 

  1. Xabi Alonso

    The Spanish midfield maestro Xabi Alonso had already scored from well inside his own half in 2006 against Luton in the F.A Cup but his effort for Liverpool against Newcastle a few months later surpassed even that. Alonso launched the ball from the edge of the centre circle inside his own half to completely outfox Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper who in fact slipped over not once but twice in his attempts to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net.

 

Alonson Soccer Goal

 

  1. Wayne Rooney

    Wayne Rooney is undeniably in sensational form for both club and country at the moment showing a moment of brilliance to score last week against Aston Villa, but his goal last season against West Ham is one that will stick in the memory for even longer. Rooney broke the deadlock at Upton Park in extraordinary style spotting Adrian off his line and lobbing the ball over the West Ham goalkeeper from just over 45 yards. Incidentally, Rooney also added a second later in the first half to secure a 2-0 win for the red devils.

 

Rooney Football Goal

 

  1. Matt Taylor

    One player who has built a reputation for himself as being a bit of a long distance goal and set piece specialist is Matt Taylor – most notably remembered for his time at Portsmouth. His most infamous long distance strike came against Everton in 2006 when he struck a first-time volley high over Everton keeper Tim Howard from fully 45 yards after 14 minutes. The ball sat up perfectly for Taylor after Kanu’s challenge, but no one expected a left-foot volley from near the halfway line that Howard motionless as it dipped into the net.

 

Taylor Soccer Goal

 

After much debate the U.S Soccer Scholarships team has come to agreement that given the opponents and distance Charlie Adams’ effort is in our opinion the best long distance goal scored in the Premier League so hats off to the Scotsman who will definitely be remembered for this effort and we are sure Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois won’t forget it in a hurry either! If you can think of a better long distance strike we want to know about it, email us at admin@ussoccerscholarships.com with your goal contenders.

 

US Soccer Scholarships Logo

U.S Soccer Scholarships Team

In America did you know there are more women’s soccer teams at college level than men’s? In the NCAA there are 750 teams available for men and 950 for Women! When you look across the 3 leagues and take out the DIII teams that don’t offer scholarships you’re still left with 532 schools for women who offer scholarships. The men’s offering is just over 370 and that’s just NCAA. This doesn’t even include all the NAIA and NCJAA leagues either! The amount of women’s soccer scholarship opportunities is just incredible.

The above facts highlight just how big women’s soccer is in USA. The profile of women’s soccer alongside the highly competitive college leagues has a positive knock on effect with the women’s national team. The current American women’s team are ranked 2nd in the world and not long ago had been ranked number 1! They are going into this year’s world cup in Canada favorites over world number 1 team Germany and with good reason…. they have only suffered 4 defeats since 2011 that’s a very impressive record!

Women US Soccer Scholarships

The U.S women’s team has excelled over the past twenty years with 2 world cup wins, 2 CONCACAF wins and Olympics gold medals too! There is no doubt that America is a powerhouse within women’s soccer and will continue to be whilst they give their youngsters great chances to succeed with scholarships and fully back the women’s game.

Womens USA Soccer Scholarships

Please apply now to see if your eligible for a women’s soccer scholarship. If you would like any additional information please email admin@ussoccerscholarships.com and Mark Lawrence our women’s soccer specialist will be in touch.

With the MLS season up and running again it is clear that its popularity is going to continue to grow with exciting new additions to the league, such as former world cup winners David Villa (Spain) and Kaka (Brazil). Add to that England favorites Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and it is evident why Sky have finally made the decision to purchase the rights to show MLS games on their sports channels.

Aston Villa Football Club

The amount paid for the four year exclusive deal are yet to be confirmed but the deal would not have come cheap with BT and Sentanta Sports also competing for the rights. This transaction from Sky mirrors what they had previously done when they increased their coverage of La Liga matches when David Beckham first moved over to Spain. The former L.A Galaxy player spoke to the press this week about Sky’s acquisition, expressing his personal delight with the news: ”This is another important moment that shows the continued growth of MLS. I have seen first hand how popular soccer has become in America. Having fantastic partners such as Sky Sports on board will not only add to the coverage of the game, it will also broaden its appeal outside of the US.

Beckham Galaxy Soccer

The increased exposure of American soccer to UK football fans will no doubt have a profound effect, not only in the number of fans following MLS teams but also on the number of youth players looking at the opportunity of pursuing soccer scholarships. With more money being injected into soccer at the highest level this will over time be filtered down into college teams, as they essentially act the same way as academies do for professional clubs in the UK. At U.S Soccer Scholarships we expect the demand for scholarships at colleges and junior colleges to soar and that is why we are continuing to expand our team throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. So if you are currently playing in the U.K and think you have the academic and playing abilities to earn a scholarship in America, then please fill in our free online application and we can then arrange for one of our representatives to come and watch you in person to see if you have what it takes to live the American dream.

USA College Soccer Fans

U.S Soccer Scholarships Team

U.S Soccer Scholarships Director Liam Barrett

U.S Soccer Scholarships Director Liam Barrett gave an exclusive interview with Ipswich Town Fans website and forum, Those Were The Days (TWTD). TWTD has acted as a platform for all things Ipswich Town for over a decade now and features all the latest news and exclusive interviews with current and ex players that have turned out for the Suffolk based side. A former academy player and coach for over ten years at Ipswich Liam gave an in depth overview of his experiences since leaving Town with journalist and football enthusiast Phil Ham, as well as discussing how U.S Soccer Scholarships was created and what is in store in the upcoming future for our company. Please click the link below to access the full interview on the TWTD website and if after reading the article you believe that you would also like the opportunity to do as Liam did and play soccer in America simply fill out our online application and we will give you a decision on your eligibility standing within 48 hours.

http://www.twtd.co.uk/ipswich-town-news/26710/former-academy-striker-helping-young-players-to-find-us-scholarships