Future Soccer Stars

By Martha Navia, NFCU Director  

Nancy Fuller Children’s University has added a Physical Development program. We have invited our parents, grandparents, and community volunteers to be a part of our Outside Classroom Project. Thanks to Koach Karl for volunteering his soccer skills with the children.

What made this soccer activity, the greatest, was that each child was given a ball to control while moving around.  All balls were the same size (# 2) to make it age appropriate.  And the balls were the same color which avoided conflicts because once a child lost their ball we didn’t hear “that’s mine” or “I had that color”.

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Meet Frank Yallop – GM of Fresno FC

Koach Karl, GM Frank Yallop, John Hodgson, & Chuy Sanchez

By Chuy Sanchez

I  had the pleasure of sitting down with Fresno Football Clubs General Manager Frank Yallop in his office on Monday after the Clubs record attendance home Opener. Yallop, if you’re not familiar is a former MLS legendary coach winning championsihps with both LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthqueakes. Cocaching the likes of Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and Chris Wondoloski to name a few. He has  also played with Ipsiwch (Former EPL) as well as Candadas mens National Team. I was able to ask him some questions about his coaching careeer.

What tips would you give to youth coaches?

Frank: My big thing is that I never get angry with a player if they can’t figure out what you’re saying. Your information going to them sometimes players get it and sometimes they don’t. So, don’t get mad if they don’t pick it up straight away. I never get mad at my players I just continue the same path of saying the same thing over and over and suddenly, they get it and that’s such a joy. I used to coach teams saying, “were going to play a 4-4-2 and do this this and this”. The first few games it might now work, but then suddenly there’s the beautiful picture that I have been working on everyone is getting it, and everyone is working to the same drum. Coaching is not easy people think “Oh I can do that.” You have to manage personalities, systems, and individuals. Lots of things go into it, but the big thing is you can never get mad or frustrated. You have to think “It’s frustrating, but how can I change it? How can I help my players?” That’s all I have ever done.

Click here for GM Frank Yallop’s responses to… His stand-out player; His stand-coach; Pursuing a soccer career and more…

Boys Referee of the Year

Q & A (Part 1)

How/ Why did you become a referee?

During my junior year of high school back in 2016 one of my good friends had contacted me if I would be interested in becoming a referee since I was already a soccer player who understood the game. I took my chances and enrolled in the class for officiators which brought great changes to my life in such a positive way. Understanding the game through years of playing helped me greatly to grow as a referee because it has taught me leadership, responsibility, and professionalism on and off the field. With the choice of becoming a referee it has made me into a finer leader not only on the field but during school as well. I wanted to become a referee because I have love for the game and when my playing days came to an end I did not want to be separated from it. By being an officiator I wanted to honor the game in the perspective of an official because it holds great responsibility to ensure quality and persistent work which has shaped into the man I am today.

What do you enjoy the most about referring?

Nothing is more amusing to me than a good match of soccer that I can be a part of as an officiator. I enjoy being able to watch two competitive teams  go at it in a fast paced setting for the next ninety minutes knowing that I am in control of it all especially when it is challenging game for me. Witnessing the development of teams and players is what I enjoy most because it shows maturity in the players and growth from where they were before. Not only do I enjoy being a part of the game but as well as helping the upcoming referees because they are the future of the community and knowing that I can help them to perform at their best is what brings happiness to me day in and day out.

What do you like the least about referring?

For me it all comes down to players who do not abide by the laws of the game. The players who try to cheat their way throughout the whole game by committing reckless fouls just so they can “show off” how “good” they are when in reality they are only not making themselves look like fools but as well as their teammates and coaches. When negative sportsmanship is shown to the other team it gives me an unwanted feeling of disgust inside me because the game should always be respected as a player towards their opposing team. If they would not like the unsporting like behavior then why would they do it themselves to others.


Pull and Go! – Nothing fancy, just effective touches!

Welcome back, so here we are with a tutorial for this month’s article and it’s a simple skill, but one that can be quite effective for those who make it part of their ball control movement in game play.

Here’s the highlight video that shows everything you need to be able to teach it. This can be done to fake an attempt to dribble past an opponent, or to actually change directions and dribble by. So let’s get to it, watch the video below!


As a keeper, you have to not only think about stopping the shots coming at you, but you also have to think about your delivery of the ball back into play. This is rarely as simple as kicking the ball as hard as you can up the field.

There’s a few things to think about and that’s because the goal kick can be an excellent tool in the goalkeepers arsenal to help control the tempo of the game. There are endless ways in which you can use your goal kick, but let’s look at a few of the key options.

Holding Onto the Ball Longer:

This is the main way that goalkeepers can utilize their kicks to manipulate the game in front of them. There are many reasons for this but the main one is for when the opposing team is putting pressure on your defenders.

It’s worth noting that usually keepers will only use this when their team is in the lead. Wasting precious minutes when you’re falling behind is never a good thing, even if the other team does have the momentum. Also bear in mind the 6-second rule for possession, so ensure you always have a defender to pass a short ball to.

Kicking the Ball Up Field:

Kicking the ball up field is a great way to give your team a chance to get a break. It’s risky because your opponents may immediately regain possession of the ball. If you’re trailing behind in the latter ends of the game then this is a good tactic to use. You sometimes want the other team’s strikers to pull back into their half as much as possible to prevent them getting another goal.

Learn from the Pros

Watching the bumpy road Lionel Messi treads every time the World Cup comes around is this the final hurray to this great player. He will join Johann Cruyff as a player who graced the sport but never won a World Cup.

Emotionally it must be difficult living in Spain and like most patriots love his Argentina and especially when the World Cup comes over the horizon. With it comes all the trappings & comparisons of past teams & great players especially Maradona. Like previous great players to leave their homeland they have found glory and wealth in Europe. However the difference between Maradona & Messi is that only Maradona maintained  a strong relationship with his homeland whereas many would consider Messi more Spanish especially when results go south.

I hope Argentinians appreciate Lionel as he is great ambassador for his country. He is not like no other and goes about his trade as only he can – a brilliant footballer without all the hype. Literally his shoes do all the talking.  

He still has another World Cup in him and for him to lead a great soccer nation to glory would be a fitting climax to a great career. 


Touchline Obstruction and Interference

One of the biggest challenges facing assistant referees, especially in youth games, is to secure and keep a clear and unobstructed view of the touchline from one end of the field to the other. 

Whether the spectators are located on one side and the team benches or on the other  each team is stationed on the same side as its fans, the assistant referees are faced with constant interference and obstruction of the touchline they are responsible for.

The area two to three yards wide immediately alongside the entire length of each touchline should ALWAYS be free of coaches, coaching staff, substitutes, spectators and equipment.

Assistant referees and players should be the only ones allowed in that space during a match.  Assistant referees must have an unobstructed view of the entire length of the touchline so they can make clear decisions as the ball leave the field.  Throughout the match players need the space so that they can perform throw-ins, corner kicks and substitutions.  During play, players are allowed to step off the field (which is allowed in soccer) and immediately return to the field without having to find their way between or through obstacles standing in their way.

The presence of unauthorized people in these areas prevents assistant referees, and players in some instances, from playing the game or doing their job without interference. Interference with the players and assistant referees within that “restricted space” can lead to challenges, and possible injuries.

When people are allowed to stray into these areas and the referee and assistant referees are not proactive in addressing the situation as soon as it arises, they are allowing the intruders to obstruct the view of the assistant referees and interfere with the players’ right to have the use of that space.  It is the referee team’s responsibility and right to make sure that the area be kept clear during the entire match. Once the situation arises and the officials have repeatedly requested the intruders to refrain from encroaching into the area, it is fair and reasonable to expect that the referee can stop the match and issue cautions as deserved.

The Loss of One of Our Own

We lost a Soccer Player from our membership last night Moi Martinez passed away last night after a long fight from a medical condition.

He played as a Youth here in Selma and was a great influence on the pitch at an early age. He was a player for the Fresno Fuego at his highest level before he was stricken with this debilitating illness. I just want you all to know that he was a great person and player.

I recognized how special this young man was at such a young age when I was refereeing one of his matches and had to give him a Yellow card and he look me in the eyes and told me that this yellow card would make me famous someday I knew he was special. That’s the kind of player he was. Confident 100 percent of the game. I will truly miss him.

The family could use your help in any way, shape, or form.

There has been Go Fund me account set up for him so please help the family if you can, if not say a prayer for him and his family. It’s truly a sad time when you lose such a young life. Thanks again for your help!

Being Prepared

Emergency Response is one of those planning things that we all hope we’ll never have to use but are eternally grateful we’ve done when the need arises. With the ramping up of the season and greater numbers of young athletes headed out to the pitch, the diamond, the field, we need to do due diligence in preparing for both minor and major injuries.

Emergency response is the planning of what to do in the event of injury to any of our players. Essentially, it involves three levels, 1) First Aid Kit, 2) Safety Plan, and 3) CPR/First Aid/AED trained volunteers.

A first aid kit should contain basics, such as adhesive bandages (aka Band-Aids) of various sizes, compression wraps (aka Ace Wraps), cold packs or ice bags (bring ice with you, not all venues have it available), gauze, medical tape, a simple cardboard splint (can substitute with a few old magazines which can work as a splint).

Also make certain to have access to clean water, bring your own, or have a container available for it. Water will be useful in irrigating open wounds as well as for keeping hydrated.

The goal is to temporarily, administer care until the athlete can get to more definitive, professional care. We’re not doing craniotomies out at mid-field now! A Safety Plan should include knowing and writing down the location of the most appropriate medical care facility in your location. Especially if you’re at a tournament out of town. Don’t always rely on GPS as it may not show you the most appropriate site, i.e. Emergency Department vs Urgent Care vs. Clinic.

Have all safety information with your child. The coach should have the information on all athletes but it’s always good to have your child’s medical history (especially if complex) and immunization records. Don’t rely on memory.

The Safety Plan should also include the names and contact information of pre-determined volunteers who have CPR training, First-Aid training, and training on an AED/Automatic External Defibrillator. Know the location of the closest AED before the event.

Being prepared is essential in any rapid emergency response. For more information, go to safekids.org as always. Play hard, play safe.

Know Your Role!

Players Play.
Coaches coach.
Officials OFFICIATE.
Administrators administrate.
Spectators spectate.
There should be very little, if any, overlap between them.

“The outcome of our children is infinitely more important
Than the outcome of any game they will ever play!”

– Koach Karl Dewazien –