March 31, 2008
You can’t fault David James this season with Pompey playing up in the top echelons of the EPL. The 37 year old has character, tonnes of it, so much so that his soccer blog at the Guardian draws tonnes of comments from admirers all around the UK and the globe. In this weeks post, James really gave some great insight into the best way to attack penalty situations.
In England’s recent friendly against France, he gifted the following goal to Ribery:
Penalties happen, but what one must remember is that even with some “calamitous” claims to his ability, James holds a stunning longevity, and is someone to genuinely learn from. James held 216 appearances at Liverpool over several years, no mean feat for any goalkeeper in the Premiership. In the following video, James gives some insight into basic technique that every goalkeeper can learn from.
March 29, 2008
Profiles of the Legends: Peter Shilton
by Steve Amoia for Keeper Skool.
Peter Leslie Shilton, OBE, was born in 1948 in Leister, England. His professional debut occurred for Leister City in 1966. He was a model of consistency, endurance, and patience. He played 1005 games in a stellar career that lasted three decades.
An Anomaly of Modern Football
He played for almost thirty years with five different first division professional teams. Most of his club-side fame and honors came with Nottingham Forest, where he won the European Cup twice in successive years, along with the English First Division (the precursor to the EPL) once. He made his England debut at the age of 22, although had to wait 10 years before his first appearance at the World Cup. He.proceeded to play in more international games than any goalkeeper in world football history.
Professional Clubs (Ones where he made official appearances).
Plymouth Argyle: 1992 to 1995.
125 international caps for England which is the record for his country, along with the absolute milestone for any goalkeeper.
80 goals against for an average of 0.64 per game.
66 clean sheets for England.
Ironically, England won 66 times during his tenure for a percentage of 53%.
Competed at three World Cups (1982, 1986, and 1990) and two European Nations Cups (1980 and 1988).
PFA Player of the Year in 1978.
Two European Cup Championships with Nottingham Forest in 1979 and 1989.
English First Division Championship with Nottingham Forest in 1979.
Two League Cup Championships with Nottingham Forest in 1978 and 1979.
2002 English Football Hall of Fame.
OBE: Order of the British Empire.
Hand of God Goal By Diego Maradona
Mr. Shilton will forever be linked to a famous event in World Cup history. In 1986, during a quarterfinal tie, Diego Maradona of Argentina scored two goals. One for the ages, and the other with a sleight of hand as can be seen above. The agony and the ecstasy.
“It’ll stay with me for ever. The first goal in that game was always going to be so important. It gave the Argentineans a psychological edge and we all knew we’d gone behind to a handball – it cast doubt in our minds.”
Source: India Times Sports, 02 February 2008.
Euro 1988: England 1 x The Netherlands 3
In action during the European Nations Cup in West Germany. He also won his 100th cap for England on this day, and remains one of five (David Beckham recently became the fifth) to claim that honor. Please note current LA Galaxy head coach, Ruud Gullit (#10), for The Netherlands, along with FC Barcelona head coach, Frank Rijkaard (#17).
Mr. Shilton now gives speeches and lends his winning presence to individuals and groups. He has an affinity for golf and often appears at celebrity events.
March 27, 2008
“You stand before you walk.” Each developing child can be expected to move step-by-step toward developmental mastery in each developmental skill. As youth goalkeepers develop, one of the most crucial skills that must be mastered is the “stance.” Proper development of the keeper stance also called the “Ready Position” allows the keeper to effectively execute every other aspect of movement in goalkeeping.
Formal keeper training beginning at the U12 age group is when the very basic principles of goalkeeping must be taught. Proper instruction for goalkeepers in these age groups provides a solid foundation and establishing good habits for future success. Keepers at the U12 age group have reached the point where they will probably not move out of the way of a hard shot.
So, it is time to concentrate on receiving all types of balls and on distribution. It is at this age that they should be exposed to proper diving techniques. However, none of these technical skills have the greatest chance of being mastered if the keeper never learns to get into a ready position prior to a shot.
The goalkeeper “Ready Position” or “Stance” when mastered gets all of the keeper’s body parts in the correct place in preparation to make a save. A goalkeeper that has a good stance can effectively move or react to a shot no matter where it is going. A good ready position or stance when combined with good positioning, help keepers make saves look simple.
The elements that make up the ready position or keeper stance are very specific and developmental. They should be taught in sequence so young keepers have a “check list” of how the stance should look. In time, this checklist becomes instinctual and the keeper has mastered the stance with their body responding to a potential shot without hesitation.
The key components to the ready position or stance:
1. Weight on the balls (front) of your feet with heels slightly elevated off the ground. Toes should point a little outwards.
2. Feet are even, neither foot in front of the other and approximately shoulder width apart.
3. Knees bent slightly so you are ready to move in any direction.
4. Body weight is forward, slight bend forward at the waist to bring the shoulders are in front of your feet.
5. Arms bent with elbows in front of your chest.
6. Extend your hands with the palms raised. Hands and fingers should be relaxed and positioned just above the height of your elbows.
7. Keep your head and neck relaxed with the head still and slightly forward. Move your body so that you are facing the play with your eyes focused on the ball.
It is important when getting in the stance, that your overall body position is relaxed, not tense, and it supports movement. The stance should allow active mobility. The keeper’s ability to demonstrate each of the points listed above is not difficult in an inactive manner. Practically every goalkeeper can perform the task when asked. However, the challenge for the keeper is to execute the ready position under live conditions.
Here is a game situation. You have just deflected a shot. The ball rebounds out about 10 yards from you. A forward gets to the ball first. You get up on your feet and prepare for the shot. Do you have the right stance? In reality this is where the ready position breaks down for most goalkeepers. Training keepers to get into the ready position is a very foundational step in learning to play the keeper position. But we must also put keepers into game like situations to train them to get into the stance at game pace. When a keeper has been forced out of position, the keeper must recover and get set for the shot.
Quick Training Idea:
Need two servers and a keeper and plenty of soccer balls. Remember to work from both sides of the goal equally.
Server #1 10-12 yards out from goal and equal to the right or left (near) post. Server #2 at the penalty spot with several balls.
Serve #1 plays the first ball to keeper at the “near” post. The keeper makes the save, tosses the ball back to Server #1 and then shuffles across the goal to make a save from a second server who is striking a ball from the penalty spot.
The object here is for the keeper not to make flying saves. Do not allow diving! The servers should be directed to play balls at the keeper. The keeper must stay on their feet.
Upon saving the ball, freeze the keeper, take a look at the keeper’s stance and make any corrections that are needed.
Some of the common mistakes that keepers frequently make getting into the ready position are:
1. Stiff, tense muscles.
2. Palms facing out with fingers in an upward position but the hands are either above or below the waist.
3. Arms hanging down too low.
4. Feet staggered, not balanced or square
5. Feet too far apart.
6. Weight backwards forcing the keeper onto their heels.
7. Poor head position.
Keeper coaches and keepers should constantly evaluate the keeper’s stance. Videotaping a practice session such as the one above or where the keeper is seeing a lot of action is an invaluable tool for directly showing and addressing the common mistakes keepers make while they are focusing on the ball and getting into the stance to receive shots at game speed.
When the keeper’s stance is executed correctly, their ability to perform more successfully increases. It is vital that coaches take the time to teach keepers the correct stance in a static and more moderate pace but as soon as possible, allow the keepers the opportunity to move into the stance at a game pace. Replicating the game pace challenges the keeper’s to get into the stance while connecting the brain and muscles as each part of the body moves together when getting ready to face a shot.
Peter Mastrogiovanni is the Goalkeeper Coach at Roberts Wesleyan College and the Doug Miller Soccer Academy in New York State. Peter has a Master’s Degree in Education and the National Goalkeeping Diploma through the NSCAA.
March 25, 2008
Has it happened to you? The goal that you felt a turkey could gobble up nice and easy, and an eagle could spot from a couple of miles away, but somehow, miraculously, slid past you into the back of the net? It happens to the best (whatever you consider the best to be) goalkeepers on the planet. Today I was browsing the online Croatian news and discovered this 60 metre effort in the Polish league that left one hapless goalkeeper befuddled and his team mates baying for some blood.
Michal Peskovic of Polonia copped this fantastic effort from Tomasz Hajto of Gornik Zabrezeu which left him curled up and dumbfounded in his goal:
Jokes aside, there are many facets that led to this goal, that could otherwise be overcome with some prior thought. Some of these suggestions listed are related to flaws in the human genetic makeup, whereas other can be prevented with a solid training plan:
React quickly, retract quickly: Peskovic seemed to react slowly to his defender being displaced, and while teetering around his 18 yard box, possibly did not think that his opposition would take a chance from such a distance. Regardless, being able to move back toward your goal quickly, or attack an opposing player (whatever the decision is you have to make), the goalkeeper should aim at moving as quickly as possible to defend a situation. All well and good to say, but the ability to quickly curb an attack comes down to really tight fitness and agility, something that Peskovic did not utilize to his advantage.
Limited Vision: In this article we discussed previously the inherent flaw in the human visual system that does not allow goalkeepers to decipher oncoming attack in situations like free kicks for example. Phenomena like the Magnus Force, which deviates the trajectory of the ball, or a simple split second loss of focus on the ball during attack can help manipulate the reaction of the goalkeeper. Hajto’s shot on goal could have also been well struck, enough to limit Peskovic’s vision of the ball. Nothing can really curb the effect of these flaws in the human visual system, other than training them to the best of your ability.
Getting Back To The Ball Is An Artform: I often talk about attacking the ball, but sometimes the goalkeeper needs to move backward to cut the flight of the ball during downward trajectory toward goal, and especially when they are caught off their line. Now, Peskovic’s technique was there, but the chink in his armour showed that instead of pushing the ball up over the bar, he pushed it back down into his own goal. Looking at the video points to Peskovic pushing the ball down into the net in an arc-like motion, where he should have pushed it up and away over his bar.
The key is not feeling like a dodo when goals such as the above effort pan out in a competitive match. Many of these fundamental flaws are well out of your reach like the human visual system for instance. Other facets of your game such as poor technique and utilizing powerful fitness prescriptions will iron out many of the above imperfections. Situations as shown in the above video can and do happen, being prepared will allow any goalkeeper to enhance the way they attack these types of situations with gusto.
March 18, 2008
There is no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson has been in the game long enough to have an immaculate eye for talent. Whilst watching his son play in an LDV Vans Trophy Final against Wrexham he spotted young Ben Foster whom was goalkeeper for Wrexham at the time (on loan from Stoke), and swooped down with a 1 million pound bid to sign the young striker (Source: Wikimedia).
In the years that have followed since his signing with Manchester United, Ben Foster has won many backers to be England’s number 1 for many years to come. Recently, Foster arrived back into the Manchester United squad after an impressive loan spell with Watford. In Saturday’s game against Derby, Foster displayed superb reflexes, distribution and pulled off two fantastic saves to keep Manchester United on top of the table.
One thing that resonates with Foster’s ability is his resilience. Over many years he has forged a significant talent and reputation on loan at many clubs. When he suffered a debilitating cruciate ligament injury, he has bounced back and developed his ability over time to gain significant momentum in his career. Alex Ferguson believes that Foster will eventually replace England number 1 Paul Robinson.
The other night I watched David James in stellar form for Pompey, and it will be interesting to see whom gains England’s number one spot over time (Capello was in the stands watching over proceedings). In the interim, David James will certainly have to be next in line, while Foster should over time develop into a formidable goalkeeper for England. Following is a video highlight reel of Ben Foster in action for Manchester United.
March 17, 2008
There is a difference between the fan who has an intelligent passion toward their team and those who are fueled with a vindication toward the opposition. Great fans have a healthy respect for both teams on the field, where as fans whom are overly passionate about their own team can sometimes become drunk with a sense of pride. Unfortunately, in most cases too much pride can hurt, not only yourself, but your team and the game in general in the long run.
We saw the effect of pride when Dida was struck with a fans flare, and while we say the Brazilians game was never in check, I do believe that the incident left a powerful effect on his “want” to be out on the park. “But hold on”, you say, “…he’s a professional. He should just get on with his game”. With a goalkeeper it is never quite that simple. Injury can effect performance in one way, but an attack from a fan can leave mental scars that run deep.
Recently we saw Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Armando Riveiro struck by a bottle during a game against Real Betis, causing the goalkeeper to gain two stitches to his face. Because of one stupid fans actions, Betis now has to dish out a three game-round ban. So who gets effected in this situation?
The goalkeeper constantly looks over his shoulder, nerved by opposition who may rain down missiles on him at any minute, good fans…passionate and considerate fans, lose face because of one mans actions, clubs have a PR nightmare, and everyone loses.
But it’s even deeper than that, and we tend to forget that when the stadium lights shut down, and the crowd has whittled away into the night, goalkeepers like Riveiro have to tell a worried wife or girlfriend that it will be all right and it’s all worth it in the end. Goalkeepers like Riveiro have to tell their child not to be scared “Dad will be alright”.
In the end, you see, there is more at stake for a goalkeeper than just the effect of one stupid fan on the team and the game as a whole. There is self doubt, there is the worry that stepping on the field could even risk your future, possibly your life. Passion for one’s team and game is one thing, blinding self pride that leads to destructive behaviour is just plain stupidity.
Following is the video footage of the incident against Armando Riveiro of Athetic Bilbao, you judge for yourself:
March 15, 2008
Just recently we saw Rio Ferdinand don the goalkeeping gloves in an attempt to save Manchester United from getting the boot in the FA Cup vs Portsmouth. It was interesting to find the following video of David Beckham in between the sticks against some kids at a youth training camp for the LA Galaxy. It was great fun to watch a right wing try to pull off some fancy saves against a bunch of kids, but a worthy cause nonetheless, and great to see one of the best help kids in LA get familiar with the game.
Now, a few pointers on what not to take away from the video, if you’re a young goalkeeper watching this.
Don’t ever turn your back toward attack after completing a save.
Don’t back peddle when there is an attack on goal, always make yourself BIG.
But one great thing that Beckham did was in the initial attack, dropped low and attacked the ball at the players feet. Enjoy the video.
March 13, 2008
Profiles of the Legends: Jorge Campos
by Steve Amoia for Keeper Skool.
Jorge Campos Navarrete was born in 1966 in Acapulco, Mexico, which is a beautiful region of majestic cliffs that rise high above the Pacific Ocean. For most of his life, he has surfed and enjoyed the ocean. He began his professional career in 1989 for Pumas, and retired from competitive play in 2004. He was 5′ 8″ (1.76 meters) in height. During World Cup 2006, he was part of the back room staff for Ricardo La Volpe. According to Mr. Andres Cantor of Futbol de Primera and Telemundo, Mr. Campos now works as a football analyst for TV Azteca in Mexico. He is known affectionately as “El Brody.”
Known for Bright Kits, Risk-Taking, and Versatility
When I saw him play in person for the first time during 1996, I thought his kit was an exotic warm-up shirt. But when the Los Angeles Galaxy took the pitch against DC United, he was as bright as a lime green neon sign. I would later learn that he designed his own trademark kits.
Mr. Campos was extremely athletic, and made up for his average stature with an intrepid sense on the pitch. For him, the goal line was not a magnet. He seemed to view himself as a player first, and goal keeper secondly. As you can see from the image above, he liked to wear the #9 shirt. Routinely, he would wander far away from his line to dare opposing strikers. Or to join in the attack of his own team. He was a rare keeper who could also play striker with equal efficiency. Sometimes, within the same game. On those occasions, he would wear two kits: the striker shirt and shorts underneath the others. Needless to say, he provided his managers with a unique intra-game tactical choice.
- Pumas of Mexico.
- Atlante of Mexico.
- Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS). He was one of the marquee signings in 1996.
- Cruz Azul of Mexico.
- Chicago Fire (MLS).
- Pumas of Mexico.
- Puebla of Mexico.
130 caps for the Mexican National Team.
Participated in 3 World Cups: 1994, 1998, and 2002.
Competed at several America’s Cups (Copa America).
1999 FIFA Confederations Cup Champion with Mexico.
Two Mexican League Championships with Pumas and Cruz Azul, respectively.
39 career goals: 31 by free kicks which was a record until surpassed by Rogerio Ceni in 2005.
“Golazo” for Atlante against Cruz Azul
Please note the athleticism in this volley.
Wildcoast’s Protect the Ocean Campaign
From the Sea of Cortez, Mr. Campos lends his celebrity and life-long affinity for marine life to raise environmental awareness:
“The best defense for the sea is you.”
“Join the team to support the protected marine areas so that we will always have fish, and be able to fish forever.”
“The sea is a part of everyone and is for all of us.”
March 13, 2008
Soccerlens writer Eddie Griffin did a super job of covering the Texas Pro Soccer Festival the past week. Eddie really did the hard yards in putting together some great articles together to give fans of the MLS an insight into the super effort that my mates Jason Chronkite and Chris Campasano pulled off at last weeks event.
Eddie travelled down to the event with his better half, and took the time to take some great videos and also super interviews with the stars of the MLS and coaches alike. Following is a review of some of the best saves during the Texas Pro Soccer Fest, and I have to thank Eddie for being so kind and giving our readers an insight into some great saves by some of th best goalkeepers in the USA.
Some of the MLS’ best talents were on display at the Texas Pro Soccer Fest last week, as the Houston Dynamo, D.C. United, Chivas USA, and Toronto FC came to the San Antonio area.
The tournament started and ended with scores of 4-3 and 3-2 – both of those involving Toronto FC, but even with quite a few goals, the week wasn’t all bad for the keepers.
Houston’s Pat Onstad has been in professional soccer for two decades, and is still going strong at 40. He didn’t have his best night on Wednesday, when Toronto put three past him, but one of the marks of a good keeper is having a short memory.
On Sunday against D.C. United, Onstad did see a late equalizer go past him, but he also made two big saves in the final 20 minutes to ensure that the Dynamo took home the tournament trophy. In the 71st minute, D.C.’s Guy-Roland Kpene was one-on-one with Onstad in the box, and 9 out of 10 times, you’d expect the attacker to come out on top, right? Unfortunately for Kpene, Onstad was alert and timed the striker’s move perfectly, getting down to deflect the low shot out of harm’s way.
After the equalizer in the 78th, D.C. had another golden opportunity in the waning minutes. A free kick came into the box, and a D.C. player got his head to it, forcing Onstad into having to react more quickly than before. But, the veteran keeper dived and got a hand out to beat the bouncing ball away.
Here’s the video of Onstad’s saves:
From a Canadian goalkeeper to a Canadian team for the next great piece of shot-stopping in Texas. During the Toronto FC-D.C. United match on Friday night, rookie Toronto keeper Brian Edwards flashed his great potential with what may have been the save of the tournament before Onstad’s duo on Sunday.
Cezar (scorer of Sunday’s equalizer for D.C. – that guy is a menace when he’s anywhere near the box) stole the ball near Toronto’s box and teed himself up for a rocket that Edwards dived down to deflect up and out of play. If Edwards makes more saves like that, it won’t be long before he overtakes Greg Sutton as TFC’s #1. I’m not sure if the video gets the full save, thanks to Cezar taking the shot as quickly as he did, but it was a great save, you can take my word for it!
Here’s the video of Edwards’ save:
Unfortunately, Chivas USA’s Brad Guzan didn’t play in the tournament, as he suffered an MCL sprain shortly before the team’s trip to Texas, so we were deprived of the chance to see the 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and one of America’s brightest promising talents.
Let’s hope that there’ll be many more moments like these at next year’s tournament, but until then, expect to see quite a few in the upcoming MLS season, which is right around the corner.
March 11, 2008
I’m hammering away at the keyboard feeling like (possibly even looking like) Doctor Zoidberg from Futurama. This weekend was our first hit up for the season, and let me tell you my body is feeling every little bit my age…29 less 100. Suffering from a fried noggin (yes, you fry in the Aussie sun, you don’t get a fancy tan), some weeping grazes that would make the Grand Canyon look timid, and copping a tearing pain in my shoulder after a smashing one to one…I could honestly say I never felt so good!
Now the game was a calamitous riot of soccer (it was not even worth being called football), but I was supercharged by my performance, and I quickly forgot about the pain until long after the game had finished. Going out 2-0 winners, with a lot of rust in the joints, I feel the guys (with some serious hard work) will get into the finals this year…that’s me forecasting by the way…I suck at forecasting, just ask my boss!
Some of the key things I learned, and points which you can take away from my own game experience are as follows:
Measure Your Opponent: We played a second division side, and although they could run rings around the rest of the team, we held firm and were constantly in attacking situations (finishing is another story). As a goalkeeper, if you sense that the oppositions attacking capability is lack lustre, play well off your line, even when the opposition is in your half. Playing off your line will allow you to aid your defense and attack more effectively, it also gives a strong sign of confidence in your own ability.
Momentum Is Vital: In one particular one to one situation on the outskirts of my 18 yard box, I quickly attacked the ball before the player had the chance to get to the ball (he got to my shoulder instead, but not the ball). Being able to read the play quickly and acting decisively to attack the ball without halting your progression enhances your strength off the line.
Attacking The Ball At It’s Sweet Spot: One corner kick in particular floated beautifully over head to my right, and with good timing and execution I sailed over the attacking player (I actually knocked him down on his behind) and grasped the ball nicely at the point where the ball had tipped over its arc of flight and just began it’s descent. With great timing and watching every motion of the ball in it’s flight toward the goal is vital in attacking the ball in it’s sweet spot of flight during a corner kick.
My kicking game was tighter than it has been, my fitness needed some work after a virus knocked me about for the past two weeks, but the goalkeeping powers that be liked young Johnny on the weekend, and they are making me pay in spades with some pain after games end.
Overall, I feel that sometimes the best games should usually hurt this good, it means you came out of your comfort zone and worked hard to help your team to stay in the game. Hopefully you can take some of the above points I learned during the game and utilize it in your own performance with some success.