Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Calendar Update as of August 4, 2006 (click to enlarge)
Our summer camp in Los Angeles for 2006 is over, and we have returned to Rio de Janeiro. We wish to thank everyone who attended as well as the coaches and technical directors who lent their support. In particular, our thanks go out to Angel Cano, Dianna Castro, Rodrigo Castro, Luis Espeleta, Luizinho, Rildo Menezes, Jose Luis Palomares, and Mckinley Tennyson. Congratulations to coach Rodrigo Castro and the City Strikers BU15, who won the BU15 gold bracket of the Arsenal tournament, August 12-13, 2006; we are very proud of their accomplishment.
On Monday, July 31, we declared victory over the Heat Wave: It appears the heat wave is behind us; in fact, for us Brazilians, it is rather (almost too!) cool at the beach in the mornings. Officially it was 79 degrees at 10:30am per the LAX weather station on Wednesday, July 26, but here at Dockweiler Beach, a few miles further west, it felt cooler than that. On Thursday, July 27, it was officially 82 degrees at the worst part of the day, 2pm. That morning, as it was overcast and cool, we were able to increase the intensity of the practices for the club players who began at 9am and 10am. On July 28, at 9am the official temperature was 78 degrees. Nice. What do you guys think of Michael Carrick going to ManU?
On August 3, the boys were directed by Rod Castro on defense tactics. It seems to us that certain of the players who have been with us the past two weeks have markedly improved. It was also nice to see that some boys who perhaps did not "show well" with us at the beach were especially good on Thursday night. We discussed the team formation with Rod Castro for Saturday's game at 3pm, Culver City High School. We handed out the Barcelona v Chivas de Guadalajara tickets. Dinner was at Campagnola in Westwood, and we were pleased the owner stopped by our table. During the day we also met with a Brazilian from the 1969 national selection (unfortunately he di dnot go to Mexico 1970) who now lives in Los Angeles and wants to start a youth club with an offical affiliation with Santos FC.
On August 2, we had more of an emphasis on tactical work than the prior day. Afterwards we had a Mexican dinner at The Talpa on Pico Boulevard near Barrington, with Carrick Inzunza, who is moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts, this September. Tonight, August 3, we are moving the evening session to BLANCO PARK (Culver Blvd, near Sepulveda, just East of the Toys R US and Pier One). This session will be conducted with Rod Castro.
On August 1, we introduced more tactical training, Brazilian-style. The weather was nice and cool, and we were able to extend the intensity of the sessions. That evening we had garlic chicken at the Cuban restaurant, Versailles, in West L.A.
On July 31, we had our first evening practice with the Boys Under 15. Everyone came except Devin (who just arrived from vacation). We spent about half of the time on technique and fitness, and the other half in a game situation. Afterwards we ate dinner at The Shack in Playa del Rey. Rodrigo had both a double cheeseburger and a hot dog.
On July 26, we actually held two evening practices, for younger club players at Penmar Park in Mar Vista/Venice, and then in the late evening for a Girls Under 17 and a Boys Under 17 team at John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica. We ate a late pasta dinner at a restaurant frequented by Frederic Kanoute when he is in town, Vito, on Ocean Park Boulevard. Both waiters who served us are football fans, and the son of one waiter plays for a Boys Under 12 club team. On the evening of July 27, we went to Zabumba, 10717 Venice Boulevard, from 8:30pm to listen to a little music. On July 28, after a fairly intensive set of sessions (including two where two different groups of boys kept the ball in the air for 53 and 50 successive touches, respectively!), we had sushi (including very excellent hamachi and a big, spicy squid that our good friend Pikul Paksangkanay in Bangkok would really like!) at Hama Sushi on Windward Avenue and Main Street in Venice and then went samba dancing at Cafe Danssa, 11533 Pico Boulevard, in West L.A., from where we were pleased to call Malone and Pikul so they could listen to the bateria. At Danssa we also met a former Flamengo player, and he promised to visit one of our morning sessions next week. Many, many thanks also to Rinda for stopping by on the bicycle. On Saturday night we went to a neighborhood place in East Los Angeles; the citizens there are all fans of Chivas de Guadalajara and, we understand, the Oakland Raiders. On Sunday we will see the Fluminense x Botafogo derby on GloboTV.
Beginning July 25, we welcomed the City Strikers Boys Under 15 for a total of 36 hours of training across 12 days that we will conduct plus another six sessions that will be led by their coach, Rodrigo Castro, who comes from our neighbor, Chile, and played for the NCAA champions the University of Indiana. We will also attend the Barcelona-Chivas match with them on Sunday, August 6.
Please note that the middle of the day is being taken up by sessions with a professional player who is moving to Necaxa in the Mexican First Division. We believe it is only the second US citizen to ever play for Necaxa.
Any questions or comments call 626 376 2497 (Daniel, right at the beach); if he does not answer, call Fernando at 310 699 4745
Brazilian Beach Soccer Comes to Los Angeles
During the soccer season, I, Rodrigo Lopes, work for the largest professional soccer club in Brazil, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, through its youth soccer school, Escolhina Fla, Flamengo Beach, Rio de Janeiro.
This summer, in conjunction with City Soccer Club and Pacific Coast Soccer Club, two youth soccer clubs in Los Angeles, my soccer associate, Daniel Simpson, and I are offering 14 days of beach soccer training and games from July 24, 2006, to August 6, 2006, for boys and girls aged 7 to 17, exactly as they are conducted in Rio. Lamentably, we cannot bring all of you to Rio de Janeiro. But what we can do is, for two weeks, transform Dockweiler Beach into Copacabana Beach!
Every day, from July 24, 2006, to August 6, 2006, we will have a 1-hour-50-minute session beginning at 9am, at 10am, at 3:30pm, at 4:30pm, at 5pm, and at 6pm. Some sessions already are booked (click on the calendar that will up updated daily from July 24 onwards), and we would encourage you to email and make your reservations at your earliest convenience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: Each session is 1 hour, 50 minutes. : First tryout session, $5 (must present picture ID for a “tryout” session and may not repeat a “tryout”). Thereafter, it is a graduated scale: 7 sessions, $72. 14 sessions, $129. 21 sessions, $171. 28 sessions, $200. Realistically a player in good condition could undertake 2 sessions per day, either consecutively or with a 1-hour (or longer) break in between. Others may want to attend every other day or for a set number of sessions of their choosing. We are entirely flexible as to which sessions you attend (except for sessions which are “FULL” as noted below or to be advised on the website) – you need not start, for example, on July 24. Entire teams can book an open session or sessions at a 45% discount (minimum 12 players/team) - enquire for details.
There are 14 days and many different starting times for sessions. So, you will be able to come practically at any time, and we encourage flexibility as part of our approach. For example, you may be a very serious gold-level player who wants to get ready for the upcoming Coast Soccer League season. You may therefore want to undertake two sessions back-to-back, which would amount to nearly 4 hours of fairly intensive soccer (but without the tedium of running laps when you can better use the time playing on the sand with the ball). Or you may be a beginning soccer player who wants to develop technique and perhaps you have other responsibilities that limit you to one session every two days. Or you may fall somewhere inbetween. While we are focused on youth soccer, for persons aged 7 to 17, we will also entertain running sessions for adults. So, for example, we were very pleased to hear that the Chiat-Day team (competing in the entertainment industry league at the Electronic Arts facility in Marina del Rey) would like to fit in a few sessions with us as part of the culmination of their spring-summer season, and we are pleased to have worked with their top scorer, Mckinley Tennyson (an NCAA champion with UCLA), in Rio de Janeiro the prior summer of 2005. In Brazil, there are both mixed-gender sessions, and we have sessions for girls and women only. We would consider devoting sessions to girls teams. Penultimately, you can start and finish whenever you like -- naturally we would love it if you could be with us from start to finish, but we recognize that you may be a rock star or skateboard maven and have other priorities :) . Finally, we can with a little advance notice during the month of June 2006 work to schedule closed sessions for certain teams. Since we already have worked with a number of Los Angeles club players in Rio the past two summers, in point of fact we already are partially booked for a number of the sessions, and these are indicated in yellow on the calendar (or in red ink if 100% booked). We want you to enjoy a quality session and hence do not expect to have more than 12 players per coach (unless it is a single team). We would encourage team managers and coaches to contact us regarding team sessions, as the intensity, daily frequency, and cost of our sessions should be attractive to the better silver, silver elite and gold teams. Indeed for the players that have already booked their sessions, we are consulting with the regular coaches and managers to adjust the degree of difficulty of the sessions, and the content, to their desires. In this way, we hope to contribute to the preparation of some interesting teams who may surprise their adversaries this coming season! In sum, our program for beach soccer this summer of 2006 is patterned with the same flexibility that one will find on Praia de Copacabana or Praia do Flamengo in Rio.
How to Get to Dockweiler Beach State Park
It is so simple, even Garrincha (one of the greatest, if not the greatest, futebol legends of Brazil, notorious for his poor driving skills and sense of direction) could drive to Dockweiler Beach: The parking lot entrance to Dockweiler is at the western end of Imperial Boulevard. You could take the 105 Freeway west until it ends and flows right into Imperial Boulevard, and follow Imperial Boulevard west to its terminus at Vista del Mar. If you do not want to park inside the pay lot, you may want to turn right (north) onto Vista del Mar and find parking along the side of this north-south street. Be CAREFUL parking, and walk west down the incline onto the beach. You will see us approximately 150 yards north of the intersection of Imperial Boulevard and Vista del Mar. Look for the flags, cones and two sets of goals. Parents who may want to drop off and pick up without paying for parking likely will be able to do so without a problem (although your first day of registration may require you to park).
How to Get to Centinela Park
While most of our sessions are at Dockweiler, a few will be at Centinela Park in Inglewood. Directions: From the 405 and 105 Freeways, go East on the 105, exiting at Prairie. Go north on Priaire to Florence, and turn right (west). Go west on Florence to Redondo Blvd and turn left. Immediately turn left again onto High, and turn left into the park. We will be at one of the two soccer fields nearest the parking lot.
How to Get to Penmar Park
A number of evening sessions will be at Penmar Park, at Rose Avenue and Penmar Avenue, in Mar Vista/Venice. Penmar Avenue is about 4 blocks east of Lincoln Boulevard.
A little background about us as coaches . . .
Rodrigo Lopes, Brazilian, age 33, 8-year Escolhina Fla beach soccer coach; has trained Los Angeles players from Pacific Coast Soccer Club in Rio de Janeiro for both June-July 2004 and 2005. Daniel Simpson, age 31, Brazilian (despite surname!), beach soccer coach, US Soccer Federation “D” License, former coach at Real Colorado youth soccer club in Denver, former trainer at Colorado Rockies Major League Soccer franchise.
. . . and a warm thanks to our ball boys . . .
We are pleased to have some of our Rio graduates of the past two summers undertake the responsibilities for our registration desk, escorting players to/from the drop-off/pick-up parking area, water station, heach hut, first aid, and, importantly, chasing down the wayward balls (!): Pedro Alonzo, Jaime Cano, and Malone Inzunza. They will be assisted by Misael Moreno, Juan Quinonez and German Sanchez. Congratulations to their team, who won their bracket games 6-0, 5-0 and 3-0 this weekend at the Pateadores Cup.
Beach Soccer in Brazil
Most boys can be found playing soccer at the beach, not on a grass pitch. Indeed, despite their lucrative contracts and extended match schedules, there is still a bit of the boy left in both Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, as in their short summer vacations they are inevitably drawn to the soccer of their youth, on the beach, but now at the posh Barra de Tijuca. If you hang around Posto 8 long enough in Barra from mid-June to early-July, in a non-World-Cup-year, you will see Ronaldo and possibly also Ronaldinho. Beach soccer is in their blood. What is even more exceptional is not that the estrellas will float in for a kickabout but that those who congregate at the beach pitches hardly seem to take notice that they are there. That may be a slight exaggeration, but the elite players certainly are not mobbed. It is if at least for the moment the Ronaldo's have rediscovered the soccer of their obscure youth. There are probably as many youth soccer schools on the various beaches as there are professional football clubs in Brazil. The largest clubs in Rio, Flamengo, Fluminense, Botafogo and Vasco da Gama, are all well represented (In Sao Paulo, the schools operate not on sand pitches but on natural pitches with little grass or artificial turf pitches where the sun has discolored the nylon blades from green to a foamy blue-grey-brown).
The biggest stylistic difference between Brazilian coaches and USA coaches that you will instantly observe is that the Brazilians teach by playing. There is very little standing-around-coaching. The Brazilian coaches just love to sweat and show-and-tell. Perhaps because they love to play the game, the second difference is that there is a significant emphasis on technical skills. Even when the focus of a particular session is something else, technical skills can be a required component. There are indeed very few American coaches who have the same emphasis on technical skills -- indeed, after Nico Marinez (a Coerver disciple) in the Los Angeles area, we cannot think of another. The third difference is that Brazilian coaches shy away from fitness for fitness' sake; fitness is achieved through playing football. The average silver-or-higher male club player in southern California has more endurance than the average Brazilian escolhina boy through about the age of 15. For sixteen year olds and up, fitness reverses in favor of the Brazilians, simply because they are playing literally every day (and are consuming fewer calories!), not because the Brazilian coach suddenly has become a follower of Ajax' Jos Geysel and Laszlo Jambor. The fourth difference is that the Brazilian coaches not only shun physical play but admonish it -- part of the reason is that a single training session may involve players from a broad age range -- it simply wouldn't work if the olders were permitted to whack the youngers. The fifth difference is that often a Brazilian coach will structure one or more segments of a training session with two to four different activities occurring simultaneously, with the players rotating from station to station with negligible downtime (and I do mean REALLY fast transitions); American coaches rarely do this. The sixth difference, and one that is tentative, may be that, despite the foregoing point, there is more repetition in the content of the training sessions, at least in the lower age levels up to 15, of Brazilian coaches. Across 14 days of training, however, you may not see much repetition; beginning in a third week, however, you may see some patterns and drills that were demonstrated in the first week.
Camiseta, not required!
Unlike some other soccer camps that force you to buy yet another t-shirt (usually disguised into the registration fee), we simply want you to have fun and have the option to buy our t-shirt (or not!). We have been very fortunate to have located Delta Apparel's Magnum t-shirt as our suppliers, and we are offering a 6.1 ounce 90%-cotton athletic heather t-shirt for just $9. If you are not familiar with Delta Apparel, they are the makers of the fashionable Junkfood label that you will find at Nordstrom's, but they also make this heavyweight, seamless-rib-knit-collar t-shirt with cover-seamed front neck, taped neck, and shoulder seams, with the short set-in sleeves needle hemmed as well as the bottom. Not bad for a $9 t-shirt. We only have a small number available in sizes Small, Medium and Large (in fact, of our first delivery of shirts, we already have sold exactly half to the teams booking closed sessions). You will also see our ball boys and some of the teams (who have booked closed sessions) wearing the official Nike Flamengo black-and-red home game jerseys, and if fortune smiles our way we may make a few of these available at a considerable discount.
We close with a tribute to the one and only Garrincha: