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More Good Work from Amberley

Consider yourself lucky if Amberley Publishing puts out a book about your club. They have quietly become the first stop for football titles, covering every angle and era of the beautiful game.

Cover Art Courtesy of Amberley Publishing

Charlton Athletic FC: A Pictorial History by David Ramzan is a very personal story of a supporter and his love and passion for his local club.

Exclusive photographs and images frame incredible glimpses from Charlton’s past.  You will find stories of a North American tour in the 1930s and the great Eddie Firmani, who started his globetrotting career with the Addicks.

Following Hereford United is like riding a shaky rollercoaster.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride and you’re not sure what is around the next corner.

Hereford United: A Pictorial History by Ron Parrott, Richard Prime, and John Prime is a similar experience as they delve into 80+ years of history at the club. The Bulls are certainly not the masters of consistency, but they have had their moments of glory.  This book captures every moment, good and bad, in an effort to fully explain the club’s story.

Amberley’s Ipswich Town title is the meatiest of the bunch with over 150 pages. Ipswich Town: A History by Susan Gardiner is the name of this masterpiece. There are many more books that focus on the Blues, but none journey into the supporters, community, players, managers, and journalists at this depth.  It’s a different angle and a different perspective, making it a welcome addition to the history of Ipswich Town.

DeLass Returns to Dayton

The Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) announced the re-signing of captain Joel DeLass for the 2014 season pending league approval.

Photos Courtesy of Jeremi Blurton,

“Joel has been the leader of this team for the last two years and he will be returning as our captain for the 2014 season,” Dayton Dutch Lions head coach Sid van Druenen commented. “Besides his qualities on the field he is also very important off the field as he is a great leader and example for the younger and new players.”

The Spring Lake, MI native was a key cog in the Dutch Lions attack in 2013, registering six goals and one assist.  The reliable midfielder made 26 appearances for Dayton, registering 2317 minutes played.

“I’m very excited to be back in Dayton for another season. As an organization, the club has taken massive strides both on and off the field since the first year in the league,” DeLass declared. “Last year we accomplished our goal of making the playoffs, but a tough loss in the playoffs left a bitter taste in a lot of our mouths. Hopefully with the players returning, some key signings, and the affiliation with Columbus, we will be able to once again improve on our previous season and make a deeper run in the playoffs.”

Photos Courtesy of Jeremi Blurton,

DeLass was named to the USL PRO Team of the Week an incredible six times in 2013.

He was a standout at Wheaton College in Illinois before joining fellow USL PRO side Charlotte Eagles in 2010. He also has experience in the PDL with West Michigan Edge.

He will wear number 8 for the Dutch Lions and can be found on Twitter @joeldelass.

DDL Strengthen Squad with Thuriere and Vickers

The Dayton Dutch Lions continued to upgrade their squad with the signing of midfielder Sebastien Maurice Thuriere and midfielder/forward Cameron Vickers for the 2014 season.

Photo Credit: VSI

Thuriere spent the 2013 season with VSI Tampa Bay, registering 24 appearances and 18 starts with the club.  He would log one goal and four assists during the season in addition to starting in the team’s first-ever USL PRO match.  He would also find himself on the USL PRO Team of the Week during Week 8 of the season.

“Sebastian had a great rookie season for VSI in 2013 and players can only get better in their second USL PRO season,” Dayton Dutch Lions head coach Sid van Druenen remarked.  “Sebastian will not be an exception. He is the perfect combination for a holding midfielder as he has strength, works very hard, and is also a technical player with a strong long pass.”

The St. Petersburg, FL native was a standout at the University of South Florida after an amazing career at Seminole HS, which included being named to RISE Magazine’s All Soccer Area Team in 2007 and 2008.

“I’m excited to be in a new atmosphere and I am also looking forward with working with the Dayton Dutch Lions coaching staff,” Thuriere commented.  “I think it is a good environment for me to grow as a footballer. My goal is to make a positive impact and help Dayton reach their goals.”

He can be found on Twitter @SebaT13 and will wear number 6 for Dayton.

Photo Credit: Garrett Cleverly/

Vickers led Phoenix FC in assists in 2013 while making 15 appearances.  The Lake Tapps, WA native also spent time with the Portland Timbers U-23s after starring at Sonoma State University.

“Cameron is an old-fashioned winger who can get up and down the wing all game and can send a quality ball into the box,” van Druenen added.  “He brings USL PRO experience to our roster as he spent the 2013 season with Phoenix.”

He can be found on Twitter @Cvickers7 and will number 17 for the Dutch Lions.

“I’m very excited about joining the team this season,” Vickers concluded. “I admired the style of play that they had last season and am happy to be a part of it this year. I’m ready for the season to start so we can make some noise in the USL.”

International Soccer Network, LLC and are the official media partners of the Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) and Cincinnati Dutch Lions (PDL).  The two groups entered into a strategic partnership in December 2013. 

ISN Stars of Coaching Presented by Korrio – January/February 2014

“You never know how far you can go in life unless you give it your best.”

“Take and treat each game as the most important game of your life.”

“Surround yourself with people who were there before you and respect the people who were there before you.”

Photo Credit: Atlantic Soccer Factory

These are the words of Aleks Mihailovic, one of the great innovators in the American game.  He is considered to be one of the best game managers and tacticians in the country.  His knowledge, coaching skill set, and passion for the beautiful game are second to none.

He has done just about everything in the sport, most recently being named the Technical Director for the American Soccer League (ASL).

“Aleks is one of the most respected soccer minds in the country,” ASL Founder/CEO Matt Driver declared. “His knowledge of the game and vision for expansion makes him the ideal Technical Director for the ASL.”

The ASL is a new league, but one with an exciting future according to Mihailovic.

“The ASL has great potential to be an outstanding league because of leadership, such as Matt Driver, Mike Wheeler, and many enthusiastic owners like Jim Antonakas who want to be involved in a league that is dedicated to unique style and effective play. Matt has done a great job in implementing the look and feel for the league. The key to success in any league is to make sound soccer decisions guided by what is best for the game and the league first.”

He has also served as National Director of Coaching for United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and played professionally with the Washington Diplomats and Jacksonville Tea Men of the original North American Soccer League (NASL).

“It was a league dominated by some of the greatest players in the history of the game.  To be exposed to this environment was an incredible learning experience. Having the opportunity to be exposed to details of world-class individual greatness and high level improvisation was one of the greatest gifts the game has given me.”

Mihailovic played alongside and on the same pitch as some of the all-time greats including Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyaff, Carlos Alberto, George Best, Eusebio, and of course Pelé.

He is also a Jacksonville University Hall of Fame inductee and ended his career at JU as the program’s all-time leading scorer and was a two-time All-American.  He was the third player in NCAA history to amass 40 goals and 40 assists in a career. Furthermore, his 54 career assists still rank sixth in the NCAA all-time record books even after 30+ years.

Photo Credit: Atlantic Soccer Factory

Mihailovic boasts over 20 years of elite-level coaching experience at the youth, adult, and professional levels. In 2009, he was inducted into the Illinois State Soccer Association Hall of Fame. He currently lives in Chicago where he serves as President of the Chicago Blast Soccer Club, one of the premier soccer clubs in the Midwest.

Chicago Blast has won over 100 tournaments and league titles in less than 10 years against serious competition. A focus on player development has made this incredible accomplishment possible.

“Chicago Blast is a unique soccer club.  It has brought diversity and opportunities for players to be trained in a sound and positive environment. It has given many players the opportunity to be part of a soccer family that goes beyond just soccer. It’s a club built on sound values and principles such as respect, loyalty, ethics and the will to develop and improve individually and collectively. Many of our players have had the opportunity to compete locally, regionally, and nationally.”

He is also the founder of Soccer Made in America (SMIA).  Since 1984 the program has touched over half a million players and coaches throughout the country.

“The mission of SMIA is very simple, to elevate technical and tactical awareness and the acceptance of the game throughout United States.  Soccer Made in America is nationally recognized for presenting outstanding methodology for players and coaches.”

The USSF “A” licensed coach has been actively involved with educating coaches and players for decades.  He has authored coaching manuals, been featured in instructional DVDs, and served as a featured clinician at events across the country.

Mihailovic credits both Hank Steinbrecher and Bora Milutinovic as major influences on his career, something his players say about him.

“Hank came to our game when the game needed him the most.  I was also very fortunate to be introduced to Sepp Herberger and German football at the age of 20. It truly opened my eyes to the game and it served as the start of my coaching foundation, however I owe much gratitude to our USSF coaching schools for the education I was provided.”

What people love about Mihailovic is his passion and love for the game.  He believes in the work he does and believes in America as a soccer nation.

“I believe it is an exciting time in our game and in our country. We have our U.S. Men’s National Team going to the World Cup in Brazil. The acceptance level of the game in the United States is rising, and soccer is now the #1 played sport in America. We have cities with passionate fan bases starting to take hold and our youth and adult coaches are tactically and technically improving the game all over America.”

Photo Credit: Atlantic Soccer Factory

Mihailovic believes the U.S. is headed in the right direction, but improvements in the areas of environment and talent evaluation would go a long way.  He also suggests that coaches need to pay attention to detail in training and development.

“You can’t teach the game unless you know the game. I think the focus at the early ages starting at U-8 demands experienced coaches who can install proper fundamental blocks in young players. In most cases we have most experienced coaches working with older players and less experienced work with younger ages. We need to balance and re-evaluate this process in order to develop natural and fluent movements in our players at early ages, supported by precision in teaching technical and tactical areas.”

According to Mihailovic, more academy programs in large cities would also be a major step forward.

“Having more academy programs does not oversaturate talent pool; it becomes an opportunity to develop more talent in a highly competitive environment. When you have cities of 15 million people with two or three academy programs, only an average of 90 players are affected in each age group.”

High-level programs cost money and that is something that still needs to be addressed.

“Everybody expects us to be on the same playing level with the world’s best clubs. Until the financial situation is solved where development is fully funded for advanced players, it becomes a challenge to compete with clubs who have a true structure in place. For example, Manchester City has a budget of approximately $3 million for their U-15 academy program. Most MLS teams have a similar budget for their first team and academy programs combined.”

Creating a “winning first” attitude and changing the adult game are other pieces of the puzzle.  Even though he is regarded as one of the nation’s best soccer minds, Mihailovic is admittedly a lifelong learner when it comes to the beautiful game.

“As a coach you cannot stop learning, you always have to keep up with the newest methods and opportunity for new learning. I think if you put what is always best for the game first; the game will always be there for you.”

He knows how important his job is and not to take it for granted.

“Being a soccer coach has the ability to impact lives. Teaching life lessons to your players such as hard work ethics, discipline, and desire to never give up will help players develop on and off the field.”

What we need are more people like Aleks Mihailovic, a leader with tremendous vision, a sensible approach to the game, and literally a world of technical knowledge.

Korrio understands it is your passion for coaching kids that drives you. We also know that the less time you spend dealing with administrative, communication and automation hassles, and the more time you spend on the field, the happier you’ll be. And because you play a crucial role in our children’s lives, we want you spending as much time as possible coaching our kids. Korrio offers a modern approach to coaching by allowing new ways to communicate and develop a community on and off the field. Congratulations to the ISN Star of Coaching this month.

Fans Select Vaqueros as Name for Fort Worth Team, Logo Contest Announced

Photo Credit: Fort Worth Vaqueros

Viva Vaqueros!

Vaqueros now roam Fort Worth, not on horseback, but on the soccer field after more than 1,000 supporters voted online or in-person for the name of Fort Worth’s new NPSL soccer club.

The Fort Worth Soccer Group unveiled the name Vaqueros on Thursday in a special ceremony in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The event featured supporters, team officials, coaches and city leaders such as Fort Worth City Council member and director of the Fort Worth Sports Authority, Dennis Shingleton.

“Fort Worth is excited to now have a soccer team to call its own,” Shingleton said. “The expectations are high for this challenging initiative, but the rewards are great for our citizens and devoted soccer fans. This is the beginning step for professional soccer in Fort Worth and we could not be more enthusiastic. Let’s get started.”

Fort Worth City Council member Sal Espino represents the Fort Worth district that includes LaGrave Field, the Vaqueros home field beginning May 9.

“We are excited to have the world’s most popular sport in Fort Worth at historic LaGrave Field,” Espino said.

The name Vaqueros appropriately fits a Fort Worth soccer club considering the city’s rich history including the Stockyards, the Stock Show, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the overall cowboy culture.

“We had complete faith in the Fort Worth soccer supporters to choose a meaningful name,” Director of Business Operations Tobias Xavier Lopez said. “Intelligent fans want a name that is indicative of their city and culture. The name Vaqueros features completely unique imagery that speaks to the city’s history and the Hispanic community. It’s original, relevant, and provides the Fort Worth Soccer Group and our supporters the opportunity to build a powerful brand that can become a point of pride for Fort Worth.”

The next stage of fan involvement now begins as the supporters will be encouraged to design and then vote on the Vaqueros logo.

Fans are encouraged to submit their unique logo design to [email protected] beginning today, February 14.

Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. central time on Friday, February 28, 2014.

The Top-2 fan created logos will join a professionally commissioned design to make up the final three logos to be unveiled on Monday, March 3.

Just as fans selected the name Vaqueros, supporters will then vote; both via social media and in person community events and meetings from March 3-16 for their favorite of the final three designs.

“The reason soccer players kiss their shirt after scoring a goal is because they want to show respect for the badge or shield.  The logo means so much in the soccer culture,” Director of Business Operations Tobias Xavier Lopez said. “The Vaqueros logo will carry a powerful weight because it will represent the voice and vision of the Fort Worth community.”

The fan submissions selected as finalists will receive a Vaqueros prize package, which will include an Authentic PUMA Vaqueros jersey and a season seat.

Logo Contest Schedule

February 14-28: Fans and designers submit logos

March 3: Final 3 designs revealed, voting begins at and in person

March 16: Deadline for fans to vote

March 20: VIP Cocktail party to unveil the logo and official team PUMA gear