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2008 National Champions
09-13-2007, 11:38 PM
This is from the latest issue of Men's Health (October):

Chad Johnson

Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

Part-time Soccer nut

Link (

"I call it 'acting a fool,' " says Chad Johnson, describing his touchdown dances and flair for the dramatic. "And it all began when I was a 4-year-old soccer player."

Johnson, the Cincinnati Bengals' all-world wide receiver, was raised in a Miami household that lacked the funds for peewee football registration. So he played soccer instead. As an offensive-minded forward with speed to burn, he was a perfect fit for a sport that celebrates the individual.

"All I wanted to do was shake defenders," says Johnson. "It's the same mentality I have as a wide receiver, using skill, flash, and tricks to embarrass opponents."

When he entered high school, Johnson was forced to choose between soccer and football, as the seasons overlapped. He made the decision with his head, not his heart. "Soccer is the most challenging game I've ever played, but it couldn't have generated the income I earn today."

Still, you'll always find a checkered ball in Johnson's NFL locker. "I pull it out before games and during practices to improve my foot speed and transitional skills," he says. "My teammates respect it. They know I'm working to better myself and not just playing a game."

Johnson's Soccer Secrets

Aim High and Tight

In a recent study, Hong Kong researchers found that goalkeepers rarely stand in the center of the goal. They favor one side, hoping to bait the oppo-sition into kicking toward the open side, which in turn enables them to anticipate the shot. Eliminate this advantage by aiming your shots at the corner above the goalkeeper's head. "Top corner shots can't be stopped. It's the best way to score a goal," Johnson says. A soccer ball's sweet spot: bottom right (if you're right-foot dominant). Strike it with the top of your big toe.

Keep Your Feet Moving

Johnson uses a classic soccer drill to increase his speed on the football field. Here's how to do it: Place a soccer ball a foot in front of you. Jumping quickly, alternate touching your big toes on top of the ball, without kicking it forward. Do this for 40 seconds, rest for 60 seconds, and repeat twice more.

Give Your Workout a Kick

Here's why you should buy a soccer ball: "The faster I can run while controlling the ball, the more agile I'll be while not kicking one," says Johnson. That's because soccer conditions your feet to switch smoothly between sprints and cuts. "It's all about making your lower body move in different ways," he says. For a great conditioning and sports workout, trade your 30-minute jog for 10 minutes of intermittent sprints while dribbling a soccer ball. Simply sprint with the ball for 20 seconds, rest for 60 seconds, and repeat seven times.


09-14-2007, 11:20 AM
Awesome article...I think you should put it up in the football board too for the haters.

09-14-2007, 11:26 AM
Never said soccer wasn't good for football players to play. Helps agility, footwork, stamina etc.

09-14-2007, 11:35 AM
good read......I knew I liked Ocho Cinco for a reason.

rolling baby
09-14-2007, 04:03 PM
I should point out that being the best athlete doesn't necessarily mean being the best soccer player (which puts ALOT more emphasis on skills and technique).

09-15-2007, 05:21 PM
I should point out that being the best athlete doesn't necessarily mean being the best soccer player (which puts ALOT more emphasis on skills and technique).

True, but it's a mouth-watering prospect of how badass the US could be at soccer if our atheletes would focus on it, rather than the traditional sports of (american) football, baseball, and basketball.