Looking for Players

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The Michigan Wolves-Hawks Soccer Club is looking for more players for the following teams:

U9 Hawks Red - call Tia Perry for more info 734-756-3970

U7 Hawks - call Tim Ernst for more info 734-323-3680

ECNL Reflections

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LETTER FROM THE ECNL PRESIDENT

Reflecting Back ... and Moving Forward

Looking back sometimes helps in finding the best path forward.   This statement summarizes the focus of the ECNL as the league begins its 6th season this month. By remembering where the ECNL has come, and why the ECNL was formed, we hope to make the 2014-2015 season the best one yet.

Two Hawks on U17 WNT roster for Korea Trip

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U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow has named 20 players for a trip to the Korea Republic from Aug. 25-Sept. 4 where the squad will play multiple matches against the host.

South Korea won the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup that was played in Trinidad & Tobago. Asia teams have won three of the four FIFA U-17 tournaments contested so far with Korea DPR winning the inaugural event in 2008 and Japan taking the title in 2014.

This will be the first international trip for this group of players at the U-17 level. The U-17s last gathered for a domestic training camp from June 15-22 in Chula Vista, California.

The U.S. roster represents 10 different states. There are six players from California, the most of any state. Colorado has three and no other state has more than two.

The age cut-off for the next U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2016, which is currently scheduled to be played in Jordan, is Jan. 1, 1999. Seventeen players on the roster are 1999s, with three born in 2000.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Hillary Beall  (West Coast FC; Laguna Beach, Calif.),  Brooke Bollinger (Space Coast United Storm; Indialantic, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (5): Kerry Abello (Team Chicago; Aurora, Ill.), Jojo Harber (Eastside FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Brooke Redington (South Bay Force; Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Karina Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Isabel Rodriguez  (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Taryn Torres (Solar Chelsea SC; Frisco, Texas), Kali Trevithick (Crossfire; Redmond, Wash.)
FORWARDS (6): Theresa Boade  (Colorado Rush; Castle Rock, Colo.), Rachel Dorwart (Penn Fusion; Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Civana Kuhlman (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Tara McKeown  (Eagles; Newbury, Calif.), Alexa Spaanstra  (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.), Frankie Tagliaferri  (PDA; Colt Neck, N.J.) 

Lars Richters: Explain rationale and outline expectations

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Interview by Maddy Shiber for salogo home

Crew Soccer Academy Wolves coach Lars Richters was named 2014 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 Coach of the Year for the Central region. Richters is an English teacher at Livonia (Mich.) Stevenson High School, his alma mater where he also served as boys head coach for 14 years through 2011. He was 2009 Development Academy Coach of the Year after guiding Derby County Wolves to the U-15/16 national crown. He played college ball at Yale and professionally indoors for the Detroit Rockers of the NPSL.

When and why did you start coaching?
LARS RICHTERS: I started by working camps as a youth player and gradually evolved to working for teams while I was still active as a player. As my playing career was coming to an end, I decided that I wanted to make high school teaching a career, and coaching became a natural companion.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?
LARS RICHTERS: I love the idea of trying to have a positive impact on young people. Now that I’ve gotten older, I’m grateful for all the various coaches that have impacted my life in a positive way and I hope to do that for the next generation. Also, I just love the game, I love soccer, and as I can’t play it very well anymore as I’m getting older, this is a good way for me to stay involved.

What do you like the least?
LARS RICHTERS: I don’t enjoy the tryout process, especially not being to able to offer spots to players or having to go through a cut or selection process. After all these years, that still doesn’t come easily to me. However, although I don’t like it, I understand that it’s a necessary evil of competitive sports.

What’s the most amusing thing you’ve witnessed or experienced while coaching?
LARS RICHTERS: When I was coaching a U-8 or U-9 team, one of the players we had in goal was distracted by a frog in the field. The opponent dribbled around the goalie and scored on the wide-open goal. That reminded me of the amusing things that happen while coaching young players and provided me with perspective in all of my coaching endeavors.

Who were your most influential coaches?
LARS RICHTERS: The first name that comes to me is actually my high school coach, Pete Scerri. He’s one of the first coaches who inspired me and helped me to dream big and I give him a lot of credit for preparing me for my later accomplishments. I also have to say that the coaches that I work with in my club influence me. We try to continue our education as coaches and I try to learn as much as I can from both local coaches as well as the very best coaches that I watch on TV. I always try to keep learning.

Are their things your coaches did that you have adopted as a coach?
LARS RICHTERS: I continue to borrow exercises from past coaches and also pick up things in my club or from courses or other coaching activities. The one thing that I try to apply to my coaching is the way that other coaches deal with man management. On the plus side, I’ve had coaches who are very good in this area, and I try to imitate them in terms of being communicative with players, laying down clear expectations, and trying to inspire players to do well.

What's the biggest mistake youth coaches make?
LARS RICHTERS: The excessive focus on winning at all costs. It’s even a trap that I have fallen into in my coaching career, because we’re all competitive people and wish to be successful. However, trying to prioritize the improvement and development of the players and the teams is most important.

Also, sometimes youth coaches don’t communicate very well with their players and teams, and, especially in the case of youth soccer, with the families.

I think we as youth coaches sometimes expect players to read our minds rather than being very clear with what we expect out of them. Likewise, I think we sometimes expect parents or families to follow us blindly without explaining our rationale or outlining our expectations properly. So I would say that communication is a very important part of the job.

What was the highlight of your playing career?
LARS RICHTERS: My parents were both born in the country of Latvia and I do have dual Latvia and American citizenship, so I did have the opportunity to play for the Latvia national team. That was a memorable event, not only for the soccer side, but also for my family heritage.

What were your favorite teams growing up and which teams do you enjoy watching most now?
LARS RICHTERS: As a young player I tended to follow individual players more than I did teams. I admired players such as Michel Platini, Lothar Matthaeus, and Zinedine Zidane. I gravitated toward those creative center midfield players. Recently, I’ve been following Liverpool for a number of years. I tend to have an allegiance toward that club at the moment. I appreciate attractive soccer that’s also played with real passion and with a commitment to the team.

How would you rate the USA's performance at the 2014 World Cup?
LARS RICHTERS: The first word that comes to my mind is “encouraging.” I have to say that I admire the team and coaching staff for the confidence and boldness with which they approached competing, in perhaps the toughest group in the entire World Cup. I was impressed with the fact that they were able to line up with some of the top nations in the world and still be competitive in games. I keep coming back to that word, “encouraging.” I embraced it as a fan this summer without question.

If you had a magic wand, how would you use it to improve American youth soccer?
LARS RICHTERS: Although this would truly need a magic wand, I would love to take money out of the process. If players with financial needs could still have the same opportunities, that would be a tremendous boost for this sport in our country. If finances weren’t a roadblock, the things that we could do developmentally would be a real positive step. If we could do away with money, I’d love to see the strides that we could make with players in our country.

Lars Richters
Club: Crew Soccer Academy Wolves/Michigan Wolves SC.
Hometown: Livonia, Michigan
College: Yale (All-Ivy 1990)
Pro Playing Career: Detroit Rockers (NPSL/1991-1998)

Buckingham scores first goal for UNC

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WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Freshman striker Megan Buckingham's first half goal was all the scoring No. 4 North Carolina needed as the Tar Heels edged UNC Wilmington, 1-0, in the women's soccer exhibition opener for both teams Tuesday night at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.

The Seahawks play another 6 p.m. home friendly Saturday against Duke, while the Tar Heels return home to entertain Missouri in their final preseason tune up on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

With threatening skies hovering around the coast, the two teams locked up in a defensive battle until Buckingham took a pass from sophomore forward Sarah Ashley Firstenberg in the box and tapped the ball into the right-hand corner of the net at 39:10 to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead at intermission and the only goal of the game.

UNC finished with a 13-1 advantage in shots, but the Seahawks allowed just four on frame. UNCW goalkeepers Carolyn Huddy and Liisa Rahkola, combined for three saves, with each goalie playing one half.

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