Articles by: Soccer Fan

Develop Soccer through Futsal

When we think about Futsal in the United States, we always try to explain the benefits of Futsal. I’ve had to explain a million times already to parents about Futsal’s benefits and how it will help you with decision making, quicker feet, speed of play, more touches, balance, agility, 1 v 1 moves, and the list goes on. But I recently had a conversation with Stephen Finn, who works for the Football Association of Ireland. We discussed the problems with educating parents and coaches about the benefits of Futsal. He said something interesting that I hadn’t thought about because I was so concerned with developing soccer players. This is what Stephen said 

” I think helping people understand that soccer players can benefit from playing futsal is good but what is even better is that some players will be even better futsal players than they ever will be soccer players and when people see these guys in full flow they will excite spectators and grow your audience”

This is something we need to start advocating now that we have a US Youth Futsal National Team and a Professional Futsal League. As Futsal educators and advocates, we should not only think about improving the soccer player, but WE need to start thinking about developing the next Futsal player. We have a new goal and that goal is aligned with what we are already trying to do, develop futsal players for the future.

So from now on, not only will I educate parents on how futsal can enhance the skills of a soccer player, but that your son or daughter may one day become an excellent Futsal player, and there is nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact it should be celebrated. Futsal players are no joke and are admired Futsal players around the world. Falcao and Ricardinho are just two of the best.

Speaking of Ricardinho, I am working on a post about his development. Ricardinho tried out for soccer clubs as a kid, he was told by a soccer coach that he was too small to play soccer. He thought he would never play soccer again. A coach saw him playing and asked him to join their futsal team. In 2010 he won the Futsal Player of the Year award, more on that later. This happens to thousands of kids here in the US. Since the majority of coaches are in the “win at all costs” bandwagon, the smaller “weaker” players are pushed to the side. But now we can offer them Futsal! and just like Ricardinho, they will have an opportunity to continue their love for soccer and futsal. Futsal welcomes every player, big or small. The advantages of size in Futsal are very few (you can always use that big Pivo or Fixo). Now the smaller technically gifted players neglected by soccer coaches will have a Futsal coach waiting for them with open arms. And they will be given the ball and the crowd will request creativity.

Parents, coaches, and clubs need to understand that Futsal should no longer be viewed as only a tool to enhance the skills and development of a soccer player, but as a sport that will produce its own brilliant players. We as coaches and parents need to recognize that and give the opportunity to the kids to develop as futsal players if they choose to go that route. We should be taking the approach of Spain and Brazil by letting the kids start out with futsal and then allowing them to progress to the outdoor game. This will improve their development tremendously for numerous reasons, including the fact that they won’t be playing 7 v 7 when they are only 8 years old.

The fact that the US has so much land for soccer fields is actually a curse when you look at it through a soccer player development perspective. Because we have the real estate to build soccer fields all over the place, we think that every child should be playing on a regular size field. So just by introducing the kids to futsal at an early age, the soccer player development process will be improved. Futsal is not going anywhere, the quicker that coaches and parents realize that, the quicker we can progress and start developing players. Youth Futsal leagues are popping up everywhere and as Keith Tozer said, we have the most futsal courts in the entire world (we have 2-3 gyms in every school). The future looks bright for Futsal and Futsal players around the globe.

What are your thoughts about the US developing a world class futsal player? can it be done? or Will we find coaches to stunt their growth?

Best Youth Soccer Balls 2018

The steps that you will have to follow in order to purchase the best soccer ball available in the market can be quite overwhelming. That’s because you will need to pay attention towards a variety of factors in order to figure out the best soccer ball. To make the life easy for you, we have done a research to figure out what the best soccer balls of 2018 are. Here is a list of our findings. You can go through this list and identify what the best soccer balls that you will be able to purchase in 2018.

1. KixSports KixFriction

KixSports KixFriction is a solid soccer ball, which has received a lot of attention in 2018. For some people, this may sound as an odd looking soccer ball. That’s because it looks different from the traditional soccer balls that you can find out there in the market. The manufacturer wanted to do the same as well. They were successful with that and the results can clearly be seen from the demand available for these soccer balls.

KixSports KixFriction

Best Soccer Ball for 2018

    • DURABILITY: Take these soccer balls to the Street. Use this ball with confidence on any hard surface including concrete, asphalt, and gravel. Of course its great on Grass too!
    • OFFICIAL SIZE AND WEIGHT: the Friction soccer ball by 1GK USA is a must add to any player, coach or clubs soccer equipment collection and is a go to for many top level and youth boys and girls and their coaches when they train.
    • IMPROVE YOUR BALL STRIKING AND POWER: Goalkeepers and Goal scorers love the Friction ball to as they work to strike the ball with accuracy and power.

The KixSports KixFriction soccer ball is a hand stitched product. It has a scratch resistant PU cover as well. In addition, a latex bladder has been provided to deliver the best possible performance to the users. As mentioned earlier, the exterior appearance of this soccer ball is quite unusual. But still, you will be able to use the ball in many different surfaces. You will not come across any difficulties when you are using it on the grass surfaces.

2. Baden Thermo

If you are planning to purchase a soccer ball that comes along with an excellent design, Baden Thermo is a perfect option available to consider. Many customers have appreciated the unique design offered by the Baden Thermo soccer balls. As the name suggests, Baden Thermo can be considered as a thermally bonded product. Therefore, you will be able to use it for a longer period of time, while retaining the good looks.

The Baden Thermo soccer ball is a water resistant product as well. When you compare that feature along with the price tag of Baden Thermo, you will be impressed with what you can get. This soccer ball also comes along with a rubber bladder, which delivers enhanced air retention to you in the long run.

Baden Thermo Soccer Ball

    • BRAND NEW - Soccer ball that has been thermally-bonded which ensures superior durability
    • CREATED - with a high quality textured surface for a truer flight and better control
    • REINFORCED - rubber bladder which provides maximum air retention and durability
    • SEAMLESS-design prevents water absorption which eliminates those heavy waterlogged balls
    • NFHS - approved - 2-year guarantee
    • For optimal performance, additional inflation may be required. Ball pump not included.

3. Brine Voracity

The Brine Voracity can also be considered as a great option available for a person who is planning to buy the best soccer ball money can buy. It is a hand stitched product and comes along with a Polyurethane cover. Therefore, you will be provided with an enhanced experience while you are spending your time on the field. 

One of the most unique features that you can find in the Brine Voracity soccer ball is that it has a BEAR bladder system. This system has the ability to hold air for 10 times longer when compared to ordinary latex. You will be able to purchase this soccer ball in many different colors as well. This soccer ball has become popular among the beginners to be used as a training soccer ball. You will be able to get it at an affordable price tag as well. Take a look at the prices on Amazon here below. 

    • Maintaining a great feel on the ball is crucial as attackers move down the pitch to get into position to Score
    • When players dribble, pass and shoot the Brine voracity size 5 soccer ball, the soft, Hand-stitched PU cover helps them maintain Control

4. Adidas MLS TOP Glider Ball 2018

If you are a fan of Major Soccer League, Adidas MLS Glider is the best soccer ball available for your purchase in 2018. You will be able to get your hands on this soccer ball in many different colors and variations as well.

The Adidas MLS Glider has been provided with a strong construction. The internal nylon construction of the soccer ball provides enhanced durability for the users at the end of the day. On the other hand, it can also offer a strong level of resistance to the players in many different field types. This is a machine stitched soccer ball. However, it comes along with Butyl Bladder, which can deliver maximum air retention to the users at the end of the air.

    • Part of the MLS Soccer collection, the design is inspired by the three MLS pillars of club, country, and community
    • Machine stitched construction and internal nylon wound carcass for maximum durability and long-lasting performance
    • Special TPU exterior material is designed to resist abrasion and last longer
    • Butyl bladder for best air retention to keep the ball's shape and stay inflated longer
    • Size 3 ball suggested for ages 8 and under; size 4 ball suggested for ages 8-12; size 5 ball (official size) suggested for ages 12+; check with your local league for size requirements

5. Select Numero 10

Select Numero 10 is one of the most popular soccer balls available for your purchase in 2018. Therefore, you can think about spending your money to purchase it as well. This soccer ball comes from one of the most reputablel manufacturers in youth soccer balls. In case you didn't know, Select also provides the Bundesliga Official Match ball! The Derbystar brand is part of the Select brand. Therefore, you don’t need to worry too much about the quality offered to you in the long run.

The Select Numero 10 soccer ball is ideal for both indoor use as well as outdoor use. It has been provided with a long lasting Polyurethane cover. As a result, you will be able to end up with a fascinating experience while using this soccer ball. You will also be able to purchase the soccer ball in many different colors as well as designs.

    • HIGHEST QUALITY: A legendary match and training ball used around the world for decades for training and matches
    • PREMIUM MATERIALS: PU material laminated with neoprene foam to increase softness with SELECT's premium zero-wing latex bladder for optimal bounce
    • HAND-STITCHED CRAFTMANSHIP: 32 panel hand-stitched construction combined with golf structured PU-surface ensures optimal aerodynamics
    • NFHS/NCAA and IMS APPROVED: Meets or exceeds all requirements for NFHS(National Federation of High Schools) and NCAA play. IMS(International Match Standard) approval as well.
    • The SELECT Numero 10 is a high quality soccer ball for all playing conditions. The Numero 10 has been around seemingly forever due to the touch, the perfect flight, and the strength of the material. Perfect for any budget and almost impossible to wear out, the Numero 10 is extremely popular and suitable for all playing conditions. Meets NFHS and NCAA regulations and has a 2-Year Warranty.

Conclusion

In conclusion we have listed 5 great soccer balls for youth soccer players in 2018. Each one of these balls is a perfect match for your young soccer pla​yer. There are a few factors that you need to take into consideration, luckily for you we have listed them here to help you make a better decision when purchasing that new soccer ball in 2018 and beyond. We don't mean to be biased, but if we had to choose the best ball for your money, we would choose #5, the Select Numero 10 soccer ball. The ball is just pure quality and lasts the longest and keeps it's shape the longest. Overall it's an excellent soccer ball for 2018 for almost any youth soccer player. Good luck! 

Glow in Dark soccer ball

GlowCity Light Up LED Soccer Ball 

Want to have a ton of fun playing soccer at night? What could be cooler than a glow in the dark soccer ball? Check out the new GlowCity glow in the dark soccer ball. 

  • The GlowCity Blazing Smart LED Light Up Soccer Ball is a size 5: The GlowCity LED Soccer Ball can be seen a few hundred yards away so anyone on the pitch can see it, yes even the goalie! 
  • IMPACT ACTIVATED: Our Soccer Ball has a quality like no other. Unlike waiting for a glow in the dark soccer ball to charge under light our smart LED bulbs are instant!
  • SUPER BRIGHT: At night two Hi Bright LED's will fully illuminate the soccer ball into a magnificent Glow. Both intensely bright LED's are designed to fit inside the soccer ball.
  • DURABLE QUALITY: Nylon wound, very strong soccer ball. Batteries are included as well as very easily replaceable. In addition we are now including a second set of batteries with our blazing soccer ball! Our rubber grommets protect the LEDs to make the soccer ball fully water resistant.
  • FIRST CLASS CUSTOMER SERVICE: GlowCity strives to provide the best customer service to our customers. We provide a 60-day hassle free repair/replace guarantee on all our products.

Includes Preinstalled Hi Bright LED's

When you receive your Blazing Red Soccer Ball the lights and batteries will already be installed in the ball. All you will need to do is fill the ball with air and you are ready to go.

We are also now including replacement batteries with the LED Blazing Red Soccer Ball!

Plays And Feels Like Any Other Soccer Ball:

Even during the daytime no one would know how cool your soccer ball was. It looks completely like a regular soccer ball but wait till it gets dark out!

Wait Till Night Falls:

Playing a Soccer game at night will never be the same, this Light Up Blazing Red Soccer Ball will be the talk of the neighborhood and everyone will want one. Be the first to have the GlowCity LED Blazing Red Soccer Ball

(Soccer Goal Lighting Not Included)

The Futsal Ball weight

The Futsal ball
So many questions surround this mysterious ball. Some people believe the futsal ball is heavier than a regular soccer ball. Some people believe that a futsal ball is “weighted” to make it heavier. Some other soccer loving people believe that a futsal ball could hurt others… Well let’s review the futsal ball and figure out which one you should buy if you are in the market for an excellent futsal ball.

​Is the Futsal Ball Heavier?

Unlike some myths, a Futsal ball is not necessarily a heavier ball. It is, however, different. A professionall size futsal ball (Which is about the same size of a regular size 4 SOCCER ball) actually weighs LESS than the professional size 5 soccer ball. So when your child is playing with a size 5 soccer ball, they are actually playing with a heavier ball than if they were playing with a Senior Size Futsal ball.

So why does the futsal ball seem heavier? or why do some people believe the futsal ball is “heavier”?

After speaking to a few futsal ball manufacturers, I learned the futsal ball is stuffed with cotton. So we went out and purchased a futsala ball to openn it up and review the filling of the futsal ball. This is what we found. It is true that some futsal balls are filled with either cotton or some form of filling that will help it maintain a lightweight, but also take up space inside the ball to reduce the bounce.

The Futsal ball, which is known for its reduced bounce or low-bounce futsal ball, is smaller than a normal outdoor soccer ball and just a tad heavier only when compared to the same size ball. For example, a size 4 soccer ball is lighter than a SENIOR size futsal ball, but a size 4 soccer ball will be HEAVIER than a Junior size futsal ball.  According to FIFA, the specifications are as follows for a size 4 futsal ball, which is better known as SENIOR futsal ball since there is no such thing as a size 5 futsal ball. 

• Size: #4

• Circumference: 62-64 cm (25-26 inches)

• Weight: 390-430 grams (13-14 grams)

The inside of a futsal ball

• Bounce: 55-65 cm on first bounce

• Material: Leather or other suitable material (i.e., not dangerous)

These futsal ball properties are specifically designed to build confidence and develop skill and technique. When a Futsal ball is received, it virtually ’sticks’ to the foot of the player. This is one of the advantages of playing and training with a futsal ball, the player develops quicker than when using a regular soccer ball. The specifications of the futsal ball aid in building great confidence in tight spaces when rapid passes are made repeatedly in futsal games and futsal trainings.

​How does a futsal ball help player development?

Interestingly, that same property which makes the futsal ball easy to receive makes it more difficult to strike a powerful shot. A Futsal ball gradually eliminates the "lazy pass" from players who have bad technique. Since the futsal ball is heavier, players must quickly get acquainted with the qualities good technique of passing and striking, which is bending the knee, turning the hips, and striking the futsal ball firmly to drive it. Constant touches and experience with the futsal ball eventually assist in translating those techniques outdoors with a soccer ball. This translates into a firmer and proportionately longer pass appropriate for the bigger field when necessary. Many countries and coaches around the world also claim that smaller size futsal ball encourages more precise striking of the ’sweet spot’ of the futsal ball. If one works during the offseason on striking a Futsal ball, then a larger bouncier ball is struck with greater confidence and authority in the 11 a side game.

I recently learned from a Brazilian coach that soft passes in Brazil are viewed as offensive. Futsal players believe that if you give them a "soft pass" you are telling them that they can't control a hard pass. I found this to be interesting and probably why Brazil has a culture of really well technically trained futsal and soccer players. Their culture demands that they control the ball at all times, regardless of the pass.

Conclusion:

So what size futsal ball should you buy?

Well that depends on your age, read this article for further details on choosing the correct futsal ball. This article will give you specifics on all things Futsal ball.  But generally speaking, futsal balls come in 3 different sizes, MINI or MICRO, JUNIOR, and SENIOR Futsal balls. Each one is listed below. 

A MINI futsal ball is used for kids under 7 years old. 

Mikasa SK-317 Series Mini Futsal/Soccer Ball 

  • Special Size and Weight Ball, Circumference: 50-55cm and Weight: 400-500g, Durable Construction for Intense Play, Lasting Color , micro futsal

A JUNIOR Futsal ball is used for kids 12 and under.

Select Sport America Magico Turf Futsal Ball

  • FPUS 1100 synthetic grain leather surface is very durable due to the grain PU material
  • Hand sewn 32-panel-technology ensures optimal bounce and playing characteristics
  • Comes with butyl bladder for better Air retention and a 1 year Warranty

SENIOR futsal ball is used for kids 13 and older through adults. 

Select Futsal Samba 2017

  • Great match and training ball for futsal
  • TPU cover with foam backing offers soft feel and excellent control
  • 32 panel hand-sewn construction for added durability and excellent shape retention
  • Specially designed low bounce butyl bladder
  • Circumference: 62-64 cm. Official Senior size. Ims approved

Stream 2018 Junior Olympics Futsal

​The 2018 Junior Olympics now have Futsal as part of their events.
The best junior futsal teams in the world will be battling for the Olympic Gold in Buenos Aires, Argentina this year 2018. All the best futsal teams will have their opportunity to showcase their talents on the biggest stage. The best part is that you can enjoy all of the games from anywhere in the world with internet connection!

Watch every futsal game live of  the Buenos Aires Junior Olympics by streaming ​it here. You can watch matches at the Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments Buenos Aires 2018 LIVE on this page. Matches will only be broadcasted from the Main Futsal Hall (Tecnopolis). Streaming will start 10 minutes before the kick-off of each live match, with commentary provided in English and Spanish.

You can see the match schedule here and follow your favorite teams! Good luck to all the junior futsal teams that have made the trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Stream all the Junior Olympics Futsal games live from Buenos Aires, in FIFAs website here. 

Develop Soccer Players through Futsal

When we think about Futsal in the United States, we always try to explain the benefits of Futsal. I've had to explain a million times already to parents about Futsal's benefits and how it will help you with decision making, quicker feet, speed of play, more touches, balance, agility, 1 v 1 moves, and the list goes on. But I recently had a conversation with Stephen Finn, who works for the Football Association of Ireland. We discussed the problems with educating parents and coaches about the benefits of Futsal. He said something interesting that I hadn't thought about because I was so concerned with developing soccer players. This is what Stephen said

" I think helping people understand that soccer players can benefit from playing futsal is good but what is even better is that some players will be even better futsal players than they ever will be soccer players and when people see these guys in full flow they will excite spectators and grow your audience"

This is something we need to start advocating now that we have a US Youth Futsal National Team and a Professional Futsal League. As Futsal educators and advocates, we should not only think about improving the soccer player, but WE need to start thinking about developing the next Futsal player. We have a new goal and that goal is aligned with what we are already trying to do, develop futsal players for the future.

So from now on, not only will I educate parents on how futsal can enhance the skills of a soccer player, but that your son or daughter may one day become an excellent Futsal player, and there is nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact it should be celebrated. Futsal players are no joke and are admired Futsal players around the world. Falcao and Ricardinho are just two of the best.

Speaking of Ricardinho, I am working on a post about his development. Ricardinho tried out for soccer clubs as a kid, he was told by a soccer coach that he was too small to play soccer. He thought he would never play soccer again. A coach saw him playing and asked him to join their futsal team. In 2010 he won the Futsal Player of the Year award, more on that later. This happens to thousands of kids here in the US. Since the majority of coaches are in the "win at all costs" bandwagon, the smaller "weaker" players are pushed to the side. But now we can offer them Futsal! and just like Ricardinho, they will have an opportunity to continue their love for soccer and futsal. Futsal welcomes every player, big or small. The advantages of size in Futsal are very few (you can always use that big Pivo or Fixo). Now the smaller technically gifted players neglected by soccer coaches will have a Futsal coach waiting for them with open arms. And they will be given the ball and the crowd will request creativity.

Parents, coaches, and clubs need to understand that Futsal should no longer be viewed as only a tool to enhance the skills and development of a soccer player, but as a sport that will produce its own brilliant players. We as coaches and parents need to recognize that and give the opportunity to the kids to develop as futsal players if they choose to go that route. We should be taking the approach of Spain and Brazil by letting the kids start out with futsal and then allowing them to progress to the outdoor game. This will improve their development tremendously for numerous reasons, including the fact that they won't be playing 7 v 7 when they are only 8 years old.

The fact that the US has so much land for soccer fields is actually a curse when you look at it through a soccer player development perspective. Because we have the real estate to build soccer fields all over the place, we think that every child should be playing on a regular size field. So just by introducing the kids to futsal at an early age, the soccer player development process will be improved. Futsal is not going anywhere, the quicker that coaches and parents realize that, the quicker we can progress and start developing players. Youth Futsal leagues are popping up everywhere and as Keith Tozer said, we have the most futsal courts in the entire world (we have 2-3 gyms in every school). The future looks bright for Futsal and Futsal players around the globe.

Futsal vs Soccer

What is the difference between Futsal and Soccer? What is best to play in the winter, soccer or Futsal? Which sport should my child play as a youth, Futsal or Soccer? 

Futsal is still fairly new to many around the globe, however Futsal has been played since it originated in Uruguay in the 1930s. Lets take a look at the differences between futsal vs soccer because I get this question so much.. We can also review the other questions we get about Futsal as mentioned above. If I missed some that you think about, please write them below on the comments and I can keep adding to this article. 


1. The Futsal ball, it’s a different size, weight, and bounce. I think everyone knows this already. But you should probably know that the senior size futsal ball is actually LIGHTER than the size 5 soccer ball. Did you know that. I had a parent ask me one time if their child should play goalie because the Futsal ball was “heavier” and could hurt their child. I did some research and found that the futsal ball is actually lighter, go figure. Everyone always assumes that the futsal ball is heavier.

2. What are the numbers in Futsal vs Soccer. 11 v 11 Soccer and 5 v 5 in futsal. Futsal is sometimes referred to as 5-a-side. One goalie and 4 “field” players. Soccer has 1 goalie, 10 field players.

3. Playing with the Keeper in Futsal vs Soccer. Unlimited passes back to the keeper are allowed in soccer, yes I know he can’t pick it up. But in Futsal, you are only allowed ONE pass back to the keeper until you pass the half line. Yes, after the keeper has touched the ball on your half, you cannot play him the ball again, unless you lose it or the defender touches it. According to the FIFA laws of the game, an indirect free kick is awarded if the goalkeeper touches with any part of his body a back pass that has been played back to him before the ball has (1) crossed the
halfway-line or (2) been touched by an opponent.

3.5 The official size for a Futsal goal is 2 X 3 METERS or 6.5 ft X 9.8 ft . Some say it's too small, but the futsal goal is a ton of work for goalies since play is constantly in attack. It's  important to have the correct size futsal goal so that kids learn to play the correct techniques in futsal.  Let's review the Quick Play Futsal Goal. 

  • ★ OFFICIAL FUTSAL SIZE (3Mx2M) ★ The premium level coaching goal, ideal for backyards or shared use coaching fields at schools, colleges and soccer camps.
  • STRONG 3 inch diameter uPVC Crossbar & Posts – Thicker and more durable than cheaper PVC goals on Amazon and significantly lighter than steel frame goals.
  • THE ONLY GOAL that can be FOLDED FLAT for storage or PACKED AWAY IN A BAG – All Match Fold goals are fully portable, with CARRY BAG INCLUDED as standard for transport to the pitch. QUICKPLAY's unique pre-attached pole system allows fast and easy set-up in around 5 minutes. In addition, Match-Fold goals also fold flat for easy storage against a wall or fence, taking up minimal space, while being super quick to set up again. From folded setup only takes 30 seconds.
  • QUALITY & DURABILITY – Strong enough for all ages this Match Standard Goal features a heavy duty net and includes QUICKPLAY's unique shock absorbing bungee attachment system for longer net life. Designed in the UK by soccer players, for soccer players and used by professional soccer clubs, schools and colleges around the world.
  • 2 YEAR PARTS WARRANTY – When buying ‘New’ direct from QUICKPLAY (seller) you will receive our 2yr parts warranty, from a company that prides itself on customer service. We recommend you only buy from QUICKPLAY - Sales from unauthorized resellers or ‘Used’ products are not covered by 2yr warranty.

4. Substitutions in Futsal vs Soccer. Soccer has a limit of 3 substitutions, Futsal has unlimited substitutions, but with a roster limit of 12 futsal players. Although unlimited substitutes is the case in most outdoor soccer leagues throughout the US, FIFA only allows 3 subs for one game. In Futsal, the substitutes are unlimited from youth to FIFA.

5. Throw-ins in Futsal vs Soccer. There are no throw-ins in futsal, you must play the ball back in with your feet once it goes out of bounce. If the ball is played out the end line, the goal “throw” is awarded in Futsal, not a goal kick.

6. Goal Throws in Futsal vs Soccer. There are no “goal kicks” in futsal, however there are “goal clearances” in futsal. The goalie must throw the ball in or drop kick the futsal ball, however the goalie cannot come out of the goalie box with the ball. In soccer the goalie can punt the ball, throw it, or dribble out of the box with the ball. Once a goal kick is awarded in soccer, the goalie can only kick the ball out of the box.

7. Game Clock in Futsal vs Soccer. In Futsal, the clock can be stopped during an injury or for other delays. In soccer, the clock does not stop, it’s a “running clock”, but time could be added at the end of the game. In futsal there is no “stoppage time”. Futsal has a 22 Minute half, while Soccer has 45 minute halves.

8. Timeouts in Futsal vs Soccer. Each team gets one timeout per half in Futsal, but in soccer, there are no timeouts.

9. No shoulder charges allowed in Futsal vs Soccer. Futsal is a game of skill and less about strength and power. Although slide tackles were recently allowed into the Futsal leagues by FIFA, shoulder charges are still discouraged. Obviously in soccer there are slide tackles and shoulder charges.

10. 4 Second Restart Rule in Futsal vs Soccer. There is no actual restart rule in soccer, but in Futsal, you MUST restart within 4 seconds of ball going out of bounds or on a goal throw or risk losing the ball to the other team. This helps with the speed of the game.

11. No Offside rule in Futsal vs Soccer. While soccer has the offside rule to discourage cherry picking, Futsal does not enforce the off side rule due to the small size of the court, I don’t know this for a fact, but I will assume that it’s true. The futsal court is limited in size.

12. Sent off player can be replaced in Futsal vs Soccer. In Futsal, when a player receives a red card, that futsal player sent off can be substituted for after 2 minutes or after the other team has scored. This the complete opposite in Soccer as the player sent off cannot be substituted and the team must play a man down for the rest of the game.

13. Positions if Futsal vs Soccer. Futsal has the Fixo, Pivot, and Ala (2). Soccer teams have the Defenders (4),Midfielders (4-5), Forwards (1, 2, or 3 depending on formations.

Your content here...

Soccer Player Gifts and Presents

As the holidays approach, i’ve been getting some questions from parents about what to buy for their soccer loving kids for Christmas or their birthday. This made me think….. what are the top soccer gifts for soccer players? In terms of soccer player development, as I’ve said all along, you only need a very few simple soccer items. And you may still be able to develop a soccer superstar even without some of these top soccer gifts for soccer players, but I feel they will be helpful. Forget the $5,000.00 IMG Academy residential camp or the $2000/month personal soccer training, that’s all hype and overrated. You don’t need to spend so much money. What you need for your young soccer player is to play, play, and play, all day, every day, with friends, family, and even pets! So instead of sending him off for a two day camp, take two days off from work and invite a few friends over and play some pick up games. Now remember, I didn’t say “training”, I said “play” and have fun.

The list of best presents for soccer players is mostly for younger players, 3 years old – 12 years old. After 13-14 years of age, the players may need specific training and development. It would then make sense to invest in a camp or personal training, but don’t get carried away, you can’t buy your way to stardom.
So here is my top list of best presents for soccer players, in no particular order.

I wrote a whole post about it here. There is just nothing more convenient and affordable as a pair of small portable pop up soccer goals. These goals are easy to store, easy to carry, easy to set up, and work perfect for shooting. They are great for small sided games. You can set up a game at any back yard, indoors, or on the street. The versatility of these pop up soccer goals can’t be beat. The PUGGS are probably the most durable.

THE ORIGINAL – The PUGG goal is the original pop-up-goal created in 1984.
INCLUDES – Set includes 2 goals, pegs, a spare parts kit, and a carrying bag.
MAXIMAL PORTABILITY – Compact and lightweight design fits into a 32″ x 40″ carrying bag.
QUICK EASY SETUP – Sets up easily with a quick twist; collapses into 1-inch-thick flat oval.
EXTREMELY DURABLE – Each goal measures 6 x 3.5 x 3.5 feet (W x H x D) and works seamlessly on grass, sand, and turf fields.

2. The Mookie Swing Ball and SKLZ Star Kick

I like the Mookie Swing Ball because it’s perfect for the highly motivated player. Let’s be honest with ourselves, the kids in the US often times live very secluded from from friends and neighbors. They don’t always have the opportunity to walk down to the street and play a pick up game. The Mookie Swing ball gives soccer kids who don’t have access to “play” pick soccer games, the opportunity to train on their own. You can also use the SKLZ Star Kick Trainer as well. This one ties to your waist. See the photo below. I used a soccer trainer similar to the SKLZ star kick trainer and I improved by shooting, juggling, and first touch. With either the Swing ball or star kick trainer, you can shoot for days and never have to chase down that soccer ball again, and you don’t need a wall. You can work on all your different forms of shooting, inside the foot, outside, laces, etc.


The second thing it helped improve was the first touch on the soccer ball. Since the ball is tied to my waist, it immediately swings back at me, forcing me to control it and get a good first touch.


And finally you can juggle all day long and never worry about the ball rolling down the hill or bouncing away from you, it’s tied to your waist 🙂

  • PLAY ON ANY SURFACE: Including durable and weather-resistant components, this portable and compact set can be played on any surface such as concrete, decking, grass, and even sand.
  • EASY SETUP: Fill up the string-attached soccer ball, fill the base with sand or water, adjust the cord length and you're all set for the ultimate Reflex Soccer Swingball experience.
  • ENCOURAGE ACTIVE PLAY: Soccer games for kids are an excellent way to build endurance and muscle, improve balance and coordination, and develop gross motor skills and reflexes.
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Includes Soccer Swingball base, length-adjustable nylon string measuring, vinyl soccer ball, inflation pump, and detailed assembly instructions. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

3. The KixFriction Ball

This is $35 investment into a “magical ball” that is supposed to help improve your soccer touch, dribbling, passing, and shooting. So how does this magic soccer ball work? Well let's take at look at the anatomy of the KixFriction soccer ball and we can tell you all about it! 

The KixFriction Ball by 1GK USA is the best training ball on the market thanks to it's unique, revolutionary and patented design that improves ball striking technique developing powerful, crisp, clean and accurate passes and lethal finishing. This Freestyle hand sewn 32-panel soccer ball, with 92 heavy-duty butyl rubber flaps individually sewn into the seams, helps players improve their touch and foot skills in tight spaces whether on the field, the gym, or in the streets by creating aerodynamic drag and frictional resistance while rolling and in the air. The KixFriction ball builds confidence while providing hours of fun and enjoyment for kids and adults of all ages.

Youth soccer players spend more time with the original authentic Friction ball vs traditional soccer balls as they challenge themselves to strike the ball harder, juggle more, and take on their friends to become the king of the streets! Street Soccer and Freestyle juggling are popular all over the world including in Europe and South America and is rapidly becoming a go-to for kids and adults in the US as many of the worlds best players learned their craft as youth soccer players playing in the streets. Adaptive PE classes love Friction balls thanks to its multiple uses and ease of use on all surfaces. The KixFriction ball's design and rubber flaps provide a safe, tactile feel, limits rolling which keeps the ball close and provides an easier to use multipurpose ball whether kicking or catching.

4. Select futsal Ball

Every kid needs a futsal ball. This ball should be dribbled inside the home and taken to futsal games and trainings. Why do I recommend the futsal ball for inside the home? because it has less bounce and won’t be bouncing all over the place breaking things. Let your kids dribble the ball inside, but no passing or shooting. Not much else to say, but that the futsal ball should be one of the top presents for a soccer player this Christmas. You can read more about Futsal Balls here. 

5. Sklz soccer goal

The SKLZ soccer goal offers a little more than the pop up soccer goals. The SKLZ soccer goal is a little bigger and is rectangular like a regular soccer goal, so the kids may enjoy it more. I have a pair of these. They take a little longer to set up and take down, but they are still extremely safe, durable, portable, and convenient.

  • ULTRA DURABLE DESIGN. Built for high intensity training, the Quickster Soccer Goal is designed for youth and elite players. Equipped with strong 2-ply netting, the heavy gauge tarpaulin facing, and easy connect click-lock tubing, this net is built to last
  • VARIOUS SIZES. Available in 12x6', 8x5', and 6x4', the SKLZ Quickster Soccer Goal is perfect for any level of player. With an offical shape, you'll get an authentic gamelike experience for true action and scoring.
  • ULTRA PORTABLE. This ultra-portable Quickster Soccer Goal is quick to set up and easy to break down. Included you will find a convenient storage bag with ground stakes, so you can take your training session anywhere!
  • PRACTICAL AND QUICK SET UP. Start practice in less than 2 minutes. The lightweight frame is perfect for your back yard pick-up games or practice at the field.
  • INVEST IN YOUR GOALS. Investing in sports equipment means investing in your training and athletic goals. Use the SKLZ Quickster Goals to hone in on your soccer skills.

6. Futsal or indoor soccer shoes

It’s a given that kids will want/need indoor or outdoor soccer shoes at some point. I know it’s not a surprise that they are on this list. But please do find a pair of indoor shoes for your child to participate in futsal or indoor soccer. It almost hurts when I see a kid playing futsal in basketball shoes. The high soles on tennis shoes will increase the likelihood that your child will sprain their ankle. If you can, purchase a pair of cheap indoor soccer shoes, you can get them at Wal-Mart for about $40, or go to Amazon, our affiliate, and find a cheap pair. Again, you don’t have to spend alot, the shoes won’t make anyone score more goals, but it will help with avoiding injuries.

That’s it, that’s all you will need to turn your little guy or girl into a soccer superstar! I know you want a magic pill, an expensive clinic or tournament that only you can afford, but those are not necessary. Are they good to get the kids outside and motivated? yes absolutely, do whatever you can to keep your son or daughter motivated and wanting more. So this Christmas or birthday when you are wondering about the top soccer gifts for soccer players, keep it simple.

2018/19 Nike Professional Soccer Ball Merlin

Every year Nike brings us the best of the professional soccer balls. This year is no different.  Nike recently unveiled the Nike Merlin Professional soccer ball that will be in used in Italy for the Italian Seria A, in Engand for the EPL, and in Spain for La Liga. Each league received their own colors for their respective league, but the Merlin soccer ball design is the same. 

The Premier League Merlin Soccer Ball integrates All Conditions Control (ACC) to provide optimal touch and control in all weather and field conditions.  This is the first time that Nike has used the ACC for a soccer ball. 

The debossed grooves and 3D inks in the ball will further improve its feel and aerodynamics, helping it move through the air. This will ensure a true bounce and improve the accuracy of specialty kicks from professional players, such as curving and knuckling shots. 

And the ball’s colours, a mix of white, black, purple, blue and yellow, will help players identify more easily which way it is spinning, when it will drop, and how fast it is travelling. This will give them crucial milliseconds to decide what magic they will apply next. . 

These colours are 3D-printed onto the ball and "engineered to dry at levels and locations that vary by millimetres" to improve aerodynamics. Each league will have different colors. So make sure you get the right one for your favorite league! 

But Nike wasn't done yet innovating the 2018/19 Merlin soccer ball. Nike decided to  give the 2019 ball only 4 panels andmake the official ball for the 2018/19 Premier League the most advanced yet. Why is this innovative and improved from the traditional 32 panel? The innovative four-panel construction (and the first ball to ever have only 4 panels) gives the nike ball a bigger sweet spot.  Fewer panels mean fewer seams, eliminating hard spots and opening the ball up to more sweet spots for Premier League players to shoot or pass with more accuracy.

And finally inside the ball is the bladder, a crucial hidde component to every ball,  which is made from latex rather than the traditional rubber, which will help the ball maintain a consistent shape and maintain air pressure. 

Conclusion

Nike set out to make one of the most advanced professional soccer balls known today for the 2018/19 season. There are different prices and levels for you and your child. Let's take a look at each one of them. ​

Materials: 37% synthetic leather/33% rubber/20% polyester/10% cotton

Nike Soccer Ball Size 4

The Nike Soccer ball size 4 is especially manufactured to serve the needs of children between the ages of 9-12. As the age of 13 years old, children in the US will transition to the adult size soccer ball, the size 5. 

The Nike Soccer Ball size 4 is the second largest soccer ball that is manufactured. Nike has numerous designs and colors. Nike always has the vision to develop several soccer ball designs for the size 4 soccer ball that will be appealing.

The Nike Soccer ball size 4 is also the same size as the SENIOR FUTSAL BALL. This one can also be purchased online or at a local sports specific store. ​

To play at an elite level, children don't necessarily need an expensive size 4 nike soccer ball, but you should look for a good quality ball to ensure they are getting a good feel. As long as the Nike soccer ball has a good bounce, holds air adequately, and has a quality cover, your child should be able to do everything they ever dreamed of with a soccer ball. 

Nike offers several size 4 soccer balls in different price ranges. Let's take a look at a few of them. ​

Nike Strike Serie A Soccer Football (SIZE 4)

Nike SIZE 4 ball is ideal for Ages 8 –12
Resisting and made of high tech materials, this new ball combines an exceptional look to the ultra modern technologies.
The 12 panels make the structure more compact and impact resistant
This size 4 ball is Made of TPU material, it provides a long durability and accuracy for unparalleled shooting.
The nike size 4 ball is Reinforced with synthetic material, it allows your child to increase the speed and power of play for development.

NIKE PITCH SOCCER BALL (SIZE 4)

The NIKE 32-panel Size 4 ball is designed for durability for those long days of training with your young child.
Machine-stitched TPU casing is designed for consistent play throughout the day.
The Nike size 4 has a High-contrast graphics for easier visual tracking.
The ball is made of 60% RUBBER 15% POLYURETHANE 13% POLYESTER and 12% EVA

Nike Ordem size 4 Official Match Ball USA Team Soccer Ball.
12-panel design for accurate flight; flight further enhanced by the Nike Aerowtrac grooves that help stabilize.
Nike Aerowtrac grooves and micro-textured casing designed to deliver accurate flight in this size 4 ball.
Withstands high-level play from all kids and maintains flight and shape retention with a fuse-welded synthetic leather casing.
The Nike Soccer ball size 4 is 40% synthetic leather/30% rubber/20% polyester/10% cotton.