Top 10 Nigeria Football Foreign Legions

Football is a universal sport, and Nigeria remains the biggest exporter of talented footballers Worldwide. A bulk of these foreign legions however ends up playing for their adopted countries in place of their country of birth or origin.

The list is endless, as countless numbers of Nigerian born footballers are daily seeking greener pastures or opportunities to showcase their potential in the color of their adopted countries. Nigeria ultimately becomes the biggest loser, as it is denied of quality players through this football drain.

Muri Ogunbiyi

Muri Ogunbiyi is an attacking midfielder who once played for the famous Enyimba football club of Aba. He presently plays for the squirrels of Benin Republic.

Carlton Cole

Carlton Cole was born of a Nigerian father and a Sierra Leone mother, but presently plays for England senior National football team. He is a top striker with English Premiership club- West Ham United.

Onyewu Oguchi

Onyewu is a regular central defender in the United States of America senior National soccer team, with Nigerian root.

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Gabby as he is fondly called turned down several invitations to play for Nigeria, and opted instead to honor a call up to play for England. He has a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. He is a key member of Aston Villa F.C in the English Premier League.

Toto Tamuz

Toto Tamuz is a son of former Nigerian international footballer Clement Temile. He presently stars for the Israeli National footballer team. His mother is an Israeli. Like his father, Toto Tamuz plays in the attacking positing for the Israeli national senior team.

Dennis Aogo

Dennis is an experienced defender with the German U-19 national team. He has a Nigerian Father and presently plays for Hamburg SV in the German Bundesliga.

Rubin Rafael Okotie

Rubin is an Austrian U-21 international striker with Nigerian father and Austrian mother. His father hails from Delta State in Southern Nigeria.

Emmanuel Adebayor

The former Togolese national team captain was born to Nigerian parents in Lome, but currently playing for the Togolese National football team and Manchester City of England.

Paul Mc Grath

Paul Mc Grath is an Irish international who holds the distinct record of being the first Nigerian-born footballer to play for an adopted country, born to a Nigerian father and an Irish Mother.

Emmanuel Olisadebe

Emmanuel Olisadebe was in sensational form during the FIFA 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Korea-Japan. He is a Nigerian footballer who switched allegiance to his adopted country-Poland.

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USA v Algeria | 2010 FIFA World Cup | Match Highlights

Landon Donovan’s goal deep in injury time gave USA a hard-fought win against Algeria, which sparked scenes of joy and heartbreak.

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College soccer recruiting video USA of Sander fall 2020

College soccer recruiting video of Sander van der Sluijs, available fall 2020

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5 Soccer Coaching Secrets Every Parent Coach Should Know

1. Effort is more important than systems and tactics

Yes, we know you like to tinker with your tactics and formation in an attempt to defeat your opponents; the truth is that the effort of your players will invariably be the difference between winning and losing, especially if both teams are similarly matched in terms of ability. Instil into your players the importance of giving everything on the field and coming away knowing they have nothing left to give. Win or lose, if they give everything, they can be happy and so should you be.

2. What you know is not as important as your personality and ability to relate to your players

Any coach can improve their understanding of the game by reading the literally endless pages of advice and help you will find on the internet. Sure, if one coach knows nothing at all and another coach is very experienced, the latter guy is probably going to be a better coach. However, Not every coach has or is willing to develop their personality and approach to the game to get the best out of the kids they have under their remit.

3. Practices don’t have to be complicated

Running complex drills can be confusing for young players whilst running drills for too long gets boring. If you commit these mistakes, your players will lose interest very quickly. Your practices should be based around small-sided games and scrimmage as they relate directly to match-day situations. Of course, some drills based on individual skills are a good idea but you should aim to move into small-sided games and scrimmage for most of the practice.

4. Winning is not the goal; your focus should be on improving your players and developing their love for the game

Yes, we know that winning has become the be-all and end-all for soccer coaches at all levels, particularly in recent years. However, it should not be your focus as a coach of young players. You want them to ultimately improve and learn to love the game. Nobody enjoys losing but even if you are winning games, if you are not coaching your players in the right way, letting them express themselves and make mistakes without fear of being screamed at, ultimately they will very likely fall out of love with the game.

They need to enjoy the freedom of playing without being judged on whether they win or lose. If you encourage them at all times and focus on positive things they do rather than negatives, they will improve quicker and will enjoy just playing the game. Players improve quicker when they enjoy doing something, it is important to remember that.

5. The biggest secret is that there are no ‘secrets’!

There really is no great secret to coaching soccer. Sure, there are different lineups, tactics, playing styles and coaching methods but they are all available to every coach, seasoned or beginner, by simply searching information on the internet.

It is ultimately down to the player to develop a deep connection with the game, with the ball. As a coach, you can facilitate that and so you have a big responsibility on your shoulders. Encourage your players, give them freedom, teach them to play with pride, passion and integrity and to respect their opponents and the match officials. Finally, remember that kids soccer is a players’ game, not a coaches’ game.

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How The USA Could Lineup at the 2026 World Cup

From Premier League star Christian Pulisic at Chelsea to former MLS sensation turned Champions League regular Tyler Adams at RB Leipzig, HITC Sevens takes a look at how the USMNT – United States men’s national soccer team – could lineup when they host the 2026 FIFA World Cup jointly with Mexico and Canada.

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If Soccer is the "Beautiful Game" Then Baseball is the Most "Perfect" Game

The world worships the game of «futbol», which in America we call soccer. While soccer has enjoyed phenomenal growth as a popular sport for male and female children, and at the high school and college levels, the game has not succeeded on the professional level in the United States. In the rest of the world, however, soccer is the most rabidly followed of all sports.

«Futbol» has been ordained the «Beautiful Game» by the soccer mad fans addicted to the game. Because the use of hands to control the ball is not allowed, the game requires immense foot/eye co-ordination, speed, balance, aggression and a chess-like strategic vision of the complete field of play. The flow of the game, which can seem slow to casual observers, is part of the beauty of the game which heightens the passion the sport enjoys among its rabid followers.

I have lived in Europe and travelled widely, including second and third world countries. It is an amazing sight to see a country completely mesmerized, the population, men and women, old and young, glued to television screens, as key matches are contested. Games between clubs from different countries create an unbelievable outpouring of nationalism.

Soccer is a beautiful game. And if that claim is true, then I believe baseball is the perfect game. The pace of soccer and baseball are similar in that much of the play is spent in preparation for the difficult tasks of scoring, goals in soccer, runs in baseball. Both are total team games, and yet, both require individuals to perform at high levels. The shortstop in baseball is completely alone when attempting to field a hard hit ball, but he needs other players to perform their roles in order to throw out base runners.

The symmetry of baseball is amazingly perfect. The game has been idealized to have been invented by Abner Doubleday in an upstate New York field in the mid-19th century. Maybe, maybe not! However, whoever really crafted the rules of the game designed a field of play with perfect dimensions. The dimensions actually increase the drama of virtually every pitch and play.

Imagine if bases were closer, or further, than 90 feet apart. The bang-bang play at first would almost never happen. If bases were closer the stolen base would be automatic, even for slower runners. The bases are laid out in a diamond, which provides a perfect path for runners to pursue and fielders to target. The pitcher’s mound, a small hill, is 60 feet, six inches from the point of home plate. If the rubber on the mound, which the pitcher uses to gain purchase and leverage while throwing to the batter, were closer than 60′, 6″ the batter would have almost no chance of ever hitting the ball. If the rubber were further back the hitter would enjoy an unfair advantage.

The strike zone is designed to balance the opportunity for the pitcher and hitter to succeed on a competitive basis. Three strikes and the batter is called out; but an at bat can be extended indefinitely by fouling off pitches. Four balls and the hitter earns a free pass to first base, thereby forcing the pitcher to throw strikes or give up base runners which can lead to runs scored.

The most wonderful thing about the game of baseball is best described by the great Yogi Berra’s famous statement, «it ain’t over ‘til it’s over»! Unlike every other team sport there is no time limit in baseball. The game does not end until the last out of the ninth inning is secured. It is possible, and does happen regularly, that a team can be seemingly so far behind in the run count that the outcome of the game seems inevitable, but a few hits, a few walks, an error and all of a sudden there is hope that the outcome will be reversed.

Spring training, baseball on radio, hot dogs and beer at the park and the opportunity to enjoy a game played at a leisurely pace on a warm summer night while kibitzing with friends all make baseball the «perfect game». It is every bit as beautiful as soccer, but played well, there is no sport as perfectly crafted and structured as baseball.

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Bus Greeting of the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team (CANMNT) ahead of CAN-USA – Jan 30th 2022

Live from Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton Ontario, watch as players and staff of the Canadian Men’s National Soccer team are greeted by some VERY excited fans that are happy that our team! Canada has only qualified for one World Cup ever (1986), is now leading CONCACAF after 9 games apiece.

Canada took on the USA and for the first time in 41 years, we defeated them in a World Cup Qualifier 💪🏼

And after our 2-0 victory over the USA with goals by Larin and a Canadian FIRST from Adekugbe , the celebrations post-game were just as excellent 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

Watch Part 1 (the bus arrival) here!

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Cooling Vests to Protect Football Players from the Heat

It is August. It is summer. It is hot, and it is kick-off time across the country as pre-season football practice begins. Players will expect to get hot and sweaty, as their coaches attempt to whip them into shape. However a combination of hot/humid weather, tough conditioning drills and players unaccustomed to practicing in the heat, can make August a deadly and dangerous month.

Despite all the warnings, the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research reports that 24 football players (19 high school, 3 college and 2 professional) have died from heatstroke since 1995.

The main problem associated with exercising in the hot weather is the water loss through sweating. However drinking water is simply not enough. In extremely hot weather the body will sweat at a rate faster than water can be absorbed into the system. So how can we reduce the amount of sweating, while at the same time help the body to regulate its core body temperature?

The answer is the Arctic Heat Body Cooling Vest. A lightweight cool vest which will not only help to protect athletes from heat related illness, but it will also allow athletes to work harder for longer.

The Arctic Heat cooling vest was originally developed for football players in Australia and it now used by International teams in every other major football code in the world. Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer and Australian Rules Football all use the cooling vest to protect their athletes and to improve their performance. It was also used at the Athens Olympics by all the major sporting countries, including many of the USA teams. The military in Iraq are even using the Arctic Heat cooling vests.

«The Arctic Heat Cooling Vest, designed for football, will legally improve performance and will also help protect an athlete’s health,» said Dr John Surie, President of Arctic Heat USA.

The ice cold cooling vest can be worn underneath playing uniforms, it can be used as a pre-cooling device before conditioning drills, and it can be used as a recovery tool in between or after sessions.

Yet enquiries from local football teams have so far been limited. «There seems to be a different mentality in football that you have to run players hard and make them sweat, in order to toughen them up. We believe it is better to cool down and fire up athletes. Most other sporting codes in the world now agree with us,» said Dean Sainsbury from the Arctic Heat company.

Arctic Heat has also developed a range of unique cooling blankets and cooling caps which can be used to immediately treat players who have overheated. «The cooling caps can be used during a game to cool players down. When they come to the bench they can remove their helmets, put the cool cap on, and cool down,» said Dr Surie.

The lightweight Arctic Heat Cooling Vest uses a two stage cooling process. The vests contain a gel-like substance that can be frozen or chilled. The cooling vests are manufactured using Woolmark’s Sportwool, a special body cooling fabric which incorporates Vapor Management Technology, helping to wick moisture away from the skin, allowing the user to keep dry.

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Soccer City, USA: Refugees Welcome

In episode seven of The Movement presented by AT&T (Season Two), host Calen Carr travels to Portland, where the Timbers and NWSL’s Thorns, both owned by Merritt Paulson, are making diversity, inclusion and acceptance hallmarks of their clubs.

Calen Carr, the host of The Movement presented by AT&T, is a former MLS forward for the Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire.

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Soccer Rules – Offside

The Purpose of the Offside Rule

The purpose of the Offside Rule is the same in Soccer as it is in hockey — to prevent «cherry-picking» by a player who camps in front of the other team’s goal. Without the Offside Rule, Soccer would be a large field game of ping pong, filled with long kicks and alternating mad scrambles from one end of the field to the other. By preventing any «offside» player from participating in the game, the rule puts a premium on dribbling and passing, rather than long kicks. This promotes teamwork, which, in turn, encourages quick switching from one side of the field to the other, and compresses the action to a smaller area of the field — usually about 30 or 40 yards long. The end result is that all the players stay closer to the action, and everyone has a better chance of participating in the game.

The Offside Rule:

«Offside Position»

A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by interfering with play, or interfering with an opponent, or gaining an advantage by being in that position.

Law 11 states that a player is in an «offside position» whenever «he is nearer to his opponent’s goal than both the ball and the second last opponent,» unless «he is in his own half of the field of play.» Put more simply:

— No one is «offside» in his own half of the field.

— No one is «offside» if even with, or behind the ball.

— No one is «offside» if even with, or behind two or more opponents.

In addition, there are three major exceptions to the offside rule. Anyone receiving a ball directly from a throw-in, a corner kick, or a goal kick, cannot be «offside.» So, if Sally receives the ball directly from her teammate’s throw-in, it doesn’t matter if she is in an offside position. The fact that it was a throw-in means that the play was not offside. However, if she flicks the ball along to Jane, who is even further downfield than Sally was, Jane can be offside, since she received the ball from Sally, rather than from the throw-in. The same holds true for corner kicks and goal kicks, as well. If the ball comes directly from the restart, the play cannot be offside; but once the first player receives the ball, the «offside» rule comes back into play.

«Involved in Active Play»

Contrary to some popular misconceptions, it does not violate the rules merely for a player to be in an offside position. The violation comes only when an «offside» player becomes involved in the play. So the referee — or the assistant referee on the sidelines — who allows play to continue even if everyone can see a player well beyond the offside line is probably not missing anything. Rather, they are applying the rule correctly, by letting play continue until the player in the «offside position» becomes «offside» by getting involved in the play.

There are three — and only three — situations where someone in an offside position is penalized for being «offside.» All of them, however, require participating in play from an offside position — or, in the wording of the rule, becoming «involved in active play» in one of three ways:

— Interfering with play

— Interfering with an opponent, or

— Gaining an advantage by being in an offside position.

The easiest example of «offside» comes when an offside player receives a pass from a teammate. In this case, he is directly «interfering with play» because he got the ball. Other examples of the same principle apply this same logic, but seek to spare the players a few steps, or the coaches and fans a few heart attacks. So, if one or more attackers is trapped offside and running to play the ball, the play will be «offside.» On the other hand, if an offside player removes himself from the play — pulling up, for example, in order to let an onside teammate collect the ball — an alert official will allow play to continue. And if the ball is going directly to the keeper, the officials will usually let the players keep playing.

While it is not an offense to be in an offside position, a player who never touches the ball may nevertheless affect play in such a way as to be penalized for being offside. The offside player who runs between an opponent and the ball, for example — or one who screens the goalkeeper from a shot, or interferes with the keeper’s ability to jump for, or collect the ball — violates the offside rule by participating in the play. But this sort of participation does not come from touching the ball. Rather, it comes from interfering with an opponent’s chance to play the ball. In this case, once the assistant referee sees the participation, the appropriate response is to raise the flag. But, if the offside player pulls up, steps to the side, or clearly indicates that he is removing himself from the moment’s active play, the alert official will simply allow play to continue.

Among the trickiest things to spot — either as a spectator or an official — is the player who exploits an offside position to gain an unfair advantage. This does not mean that the player is «gaining an advantage» by avoiding some extra running on a hot day, however. Instead, it means that the player is taking advantage of his positioning to exploit a lucky deflection, or a defensive mistake. So, if an offside player is standing to the side of the goal when his teammate takes a shot — but does not otherwise interfere with play or inhibit the keeper’s chance to make the save — then he is not offside…and the officials will count the goal. But if the ball rebounds, either from the keeper or the goalpost, and the offside player bangs the rebound home — the play is offside, and the goal will not count, because the player is now gaining an advantage from the offside position.

«The moment the ball touches, or is played, by a teammate…»

The Offside rule is the source of more controversy than any other rule in soccer. Partly, this is because there are at least two critical moments of judgment in every offside call, or no-call. The second of these, the moment of participation, is often easy to see: that’s usually where the ball lands and the players are playing, and that’s where everybody is looking. But the first «moment of truth» is usually away from everyone’s attention, because what determines the «offside position» is the relative position of each player at the moment the ball is struck.

Players touch the ball a lot during a soccer game, often in quick succession. And soccer being a fluid game, on a good team each player is constantly in motion. This means that the first moment of judgment — determining whether any players are in an offside position — is constantly changing, and the relative position of the players will often be very different from one moment to the next. Yet the officials have to keep it all straight, and have a heartbeat or less to take a mental snapshot of the players’ positioning at one frozen moment in time — the moment the ball is played by a member of one team — in order to judge whether an offside member of that team subsequently moves to play the ball, interferes with an opponent, or gains an advantage from being offside. From the official’s perspective, the game is an endless series of these snapshots, because each new touch of the ball redetermines the offside line….and the official often has less than a heartbeat to make the decision.

The important thing to remember is that the moment of judging «offside position» is different than the moment of judging participation. And this is true whichever direction the players are moving. An offside player who comes back onside to receive the ball is still offside; to avoid the call, he cannot participate until another teammate touches the ball, or his opponents manage to collect it. On the other hand, a player who is onside will remain onside, no matter how far she runs to retrieve it, and no matter where the other team’s players move in the meantime. So, if Steve is onside when Tom kicks the ball forward, it doesn’t matter if he’s twenty yards behind the defense when he collects the ball. The play will be onside…because he was onside at the moment her teammate passed the ball. And if Steve is onside…but Frank is offside…then an alert official will wait to see which one of them moves after the ball — because if Frank takes himself out of the play, and lets Steve collect it, then play can continue because there is no offside violation.

Soccer Officials and Offside

The offside rule has been part of Soccer for a long time, sparking arguments and controversies since its inception. But its purpose is simple: to prevent «cherry-picking.» Since it is an important part of the game, the referees will enforce the rule to the best of their ability. But when they rule a play offside — or let play continue, because they saw no infraction — they are not doing it out of spite, or to hurt one team or the other. Rather, they are doing so regardless of which team it hurts or benefits, simply because the rules require it.

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