Jun 082010

Well, parents, welcome to the Fall 2010 version of Houston Express 01B Chelsea.  I’m looking forward to having a great season in the fall, but wanted to use these summer months to start getting to know each other and discuss some possible summer activities.

First, however, I should tell you about the website.  I created this version of the site at the beginning of the year to be my primary means of communicating to you, the parents.  Most information you get from me will be via the website, with emails sent out only for time-sensitive issues.  As such, it is necessary that you subscribe to the website to receive the updates.  There are two ways to do this:  RSS is the best way, as you will receive updates shortly after they are created.  If you prefer, however, you can receive updates in a daily digest sent via email.  This is the easiest way, as all you have to do is enter your email address, but it does mean that you only get updates once per day (usually sometime between 9 and 10pm), and if I post an article later than 10pm (which I often do), you won’t be notified about it until the next evening.  So I do recommend that if it is at all possible you subscribe via RSS.  If you are unfamiliar with RSS, but you frequently visit blogs or news sites almost every site has RSS features and you will be able to subscribe to those sites, as well.  For information about how to use this website and how to subscribe, I suggest you visit this series of posts; the posts are listed in reverse order so be sure to start at the beginning.  For more general information about how to use RSS, email me at jason[dot]wintz[at]gmail[dot]com (replacing the written-symbol names in brackets with the appropriate symbols).

I want to take the opportunity to tell you a little about myself.  I am a soccer nut.  I love the game, and my goal is to pass that love on to our kids.  I hope to do that through teaching them some of the smaller, subtler details of the game; posting videos of great goals, especially ones in MLS or scored by Americans playing overseas; and getting our kids generally connected to the larger soccer world around us.  You can see all this if you take the time to browse through the site and look at the various types of posts I’ve created.  You may feel a bit overwhelmed by some of the things I propose, (summer camps, tournaments, going to professional games) but keep in mind that most of this is voluntary.  As I’ve said, I most want to teach the game, with the idea that our boys will grow to love the game (more than they already do).  While I hope to achieve victory in games, that is not my first priority.  Accordingly, although it is not required in club soccer, it is my goal that everyone play a roughly equal amount of time, and everyone play in multiple positions (if they so desire).

Now I’d like to learn a little bit about you guys, or more specifically, your sons.  I hope everyone will take a moment to post a comment below that lets me learn a little bit about your young player (even if you think I already know).  Let me know his previous soccer experience (club or rec, how many years, where), what positions he’s been playing, what positions he hasn’t been playing but would like to.  You can also add their favorite teams/players if you like.  If your son has played Express Soccer (club, not West U Rec) in the past, let me know his jersey number so we can try to have the new uniform keep that number (that way we have spares!).

Finally, I would like to have a team meeting where we get a chance to meet each other, discuss some other volunteer issues, fill out some paperwork, discuss money issues, etc.  Hopefully we can do this at a time when your players are available so I can meet them and begin putting names to faces.

  3 Responses to “Hello to the New”

  1. I will start off the comments section by letting you all know about my Alex. Alex has been playing and avidly watching on TV since he was 4, first with AYSO in California, then with Bellaire Rec, West U Rec, and for the last 2 seasons on 01B Chelsea, where he wore the #7 jersey. He plays goalie and right back, right midfield and forward, but I would like to put him as central back to see how he does there, as well. He loves the Dynamo (we are season ticket holders), the Galaxy (we used to be season ticket holders), Fulham, and the US National team. His favorite players are Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.

  2. Jason, thanks for a great start.
    Noah loves soccer and has played both spring and fall the last two years. He played on Express Liverpool this past year. He has been on two teams that were undefeated and two teams that rarely won. He had almost as much fun even on losing team. He desires to play and learn. He loves coach Ken.
    Noah likes to go to Dynamo games but we only make about 2 per year. He hasn’t followed much organizated soccer but is very excited about the World Cup. Noah is rooting for two team – USA and South Korea (Noah is Korean).
    Two years ago we were in Europe during the Europe Cup. We did not see a game but he talked me into buying him a $60 French Football Federation jersey.
    Noah will play any position. We like that he plays different positions.
    Noah loves to read books but has not shown interest in reading sports pages. He was not interested in the recent Sports Ilustrated issue on the World Cup. Let me know if you know of soccer books (fiction or non-fiction) which boys like. This might help him learn more about the game.
    As for dad, I like soccer but would not say I am a nut. Back in the late ’70s I had the good fortune to see a few matches of the NY Cosmos play with 65,000 rabid fans. I saw Pele, Becekenbauer, Chinaqlia, etc. It was great fun.
    FYI, the Sunday NYT Magazine had a story about why US has 300mm people and can not develop top level players. They compared the European development programs, in particular the Dutch AJAX program. The best programs emphasize skill development, not games or win/loss. The article is an interesting read but don’t get too carried away…the article concludes the best players would need not only to start young, train intensely, give soccer a higher priority over school and need to skip college to reach the top teir. Noah is going to college.
    In closing, we are looking forward to a fun constructive environment with good kids and good families.

  3. Yes, Alex will be going to college as well :). And probably not on a soccer scholarship :(. I haven’t finished that NYT article yet but have read stories like that before. All I can say is that I’m not prepared to completely give up on college yet. Two American players who are considered to be the best field players in US history (Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna) both went to college (although Reyna left after 3 years). Of the two best field players right now (Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey), Dempsey went to college, as well.

    For books, Alex really enjoys this one – http://amzn.com/0756650984 – (which was apparently recently reissued for the World Cup here – http://amzn.com/1405351772 -). I asked him to bring it down to look at it and I have to say it’s really great, even better than I’d remembered. It has sections on history, tactics, and information about soccer from all over the world. Like all DK books it is full of pictures, but it is not as child-oriented as most DK books. In fact, I think I would enjoy reading it. I should note as well that it’s written by the author of this book – http://amzn.com/1594482969 -, which is an incredible depiction of the history of the sport and how it grew to become first the most popular sport in England and then the world, and how it has transformed the world and been transformed by the world. It may be the best of the many very good books I’ve read about soccer.

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