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Jaguars Fall 2-1 in State Cup Final!

Posted by Phil Nielsen at Jun 20, 2011 11:56AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Team Chicago Academy-Jaguars started off strong in yesterday’s U12 State Cup Final getting a goal less than five minutes into the match. Jasmine Ruiz hit a rocket free kick that Maddie Lambert followed in and put away the rebound.

Unfortunately, the next 20 minutes saw the Jaguars doing a lot of chasing and not possessing the ball and the Sockers were able to get an equalizer 10 minutes later. Despite a great defensive play by Hannah Davies, a Sockers forward made a great move and hit a scorching shot into the upper 90 of the far post that goalkeeper Megan Keefer could do nothing about.

The Jaguars played a much better 2nd half and had some great opportunities the best of which was a rebound attempt by Jasmine off a free kick from Emma Morgan, but the keeper was able to smother the shot.

It was a mixed bag for Team Chicago at today’s IYSA State Cup Semi-finals. While Team Chicago Academy-Jaguars beat Chicago Fire Jrs North 5-1, Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo lost a 3-2 overtime heart-breaker to Eclipse Select ECNL.

Maddie scored first for the Jaguars assisted by Jasmine, but CFJ North scored an equalizer before the interval. However, the Jaguars ran rampant in the second half.

The Jasmine-Maddie connection joined up again to record the eventual game-winner early in the 2nd half. Followed by a Jasmine brace, before Rachel capped it off to bring the final score to 5-1.

The Jaguars defense, including Hannah, Mary, Emma, and GK Megan, limited CFJ North to a few 2nd half chances. With the convincing win, the Jaguars advance to the championship game tomorrow at noon versus Sockers.

Meanwhile Botafogo got off to a great start when Hope D’Addario played Zoey Goralski in, and after dancing around the last defender and the GK Zoey was brought down for a clear PK and an obvious red card to the Eclipse GK. However, the referee only gave the Eclipse GK a yellow card, which turned out to be a vital moment in the game.

Meegan Johnston stepped up and banged the ball home for a well-deserved 1-0 lead. 10 minutes later Meegan played Zoey in, and this time she beat two defenders and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper for a 2-0 half-time lead.

3 minutes into the 2nd half Eclipse got a somewhat questionable PK to halve the Botafogo lead. And for most of the rest of the half Eclipse had the upper-hand. However, it looked like Botafogo was going to escape with a 2-1 win until the assistant referee conjured up a phantom PK for Eclipse with less than 5 minutes to go. 2-2 after 80 minutes and 30 minutes of overtime were to follow.

5 minutes into the first overtime half Eclipse got the game-winner off a Botafogo defensive miscue. And while Botafogo fought mightily to get the tying goal unfortunately it was not to be.

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Team Chicago Academy-Cosmos go Undefeated!

Posted by Phil Nielsen at Jun 17, 2011 10:01AM PDT ( 1 Comment )

Team Chicago Academy-Cosmos coached by John Rizzo went a perfect 8-0 this Spring winning their U14 IWSL division while outscoring their opponents 27-4. What makes this accomplishment all the more impressive was the fact that only 3 players were true U14s, and one player was actually a true U12.

Please, join us in congratulating the girls and coach Rizzo on a job well done.

Society Soccer will begin Monday, June 20th, and run Mondays and Wednesdays through August 3rd – except for July 4th & 6th which will be off. U7-U11 players will go 5-6:30pm and U12-18 players will go 5:30-7pm.

Society Soccer is a Brazilian 7v7 game. The main idea behind Society Soccer is to create an environment where the players can be creative with lots of touches on the ball, and lots of opportunities to score goals. There will be minimal coaching during the 60-minute on-field sessions.

This summer we are offering an additional 30-minute session each Monday and Wednesday through our great relationship with Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers.

Anny Bierman, PT, DPT, will be present to lead a 30-minute preventative program with the players. For the younger group, focus will be on dynamic stretching to prevent/treat heel and knee pain during growth spurts, as well as on speed/agility training. As with the Monday night Academy Sessions this past Spring, the older group will continue to focus on ACL prevention as well as higher-level strengthening and plyometric activities.

Additionally, Anny will be devising a summer workout program for each age group. Exercises will be reviewed during the sessions and progressed every other week. Optional equipment for the exercises can be purchased through Accelerated’s supplier at a discounted rate and shipped free of charge to PlayUSA to be picked up (please, check the Summer Equipment document on TeamPages for more information).

Certified athletic trainers will also be on hand to perform free injury screens from 5-7pm each Monday and Wednesday at Play USA. All Team Chicago players and family members are welcome to take advantage of this service, both for acute injuries and nagging aches.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call 630-428-1503 or email We look forward to a safe and fun summer!

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A Stoplight Guide to Supplements!

Posted by Phil Nielsen at Jun 15, 2011 4:22PM PDT

By Dev K. Mishra, M.D.

A “supplement” by definition is something you would take in addition to whatever you would eat or drink in the course of your normal diet.

Examples of supplements can range from commonly used and safe substances such as multivitamins, to generally safe performance improving substances such as creatine, and then to unsafe items such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

There is another class of substances beyond these called Performance Enhancing Drugs, which include anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. And yet another type of abused drug would include medications that are prescribed for proper medical reasons but are then abused and used in inappropriate ways.

Ritalin, commonly used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is reported to improve focus or cope with jet lag in athletes.

For the purposes of this post I would like to focus on substances that typically would not require a prescription. Unfortunately, that does not mean they are all safe, and in fact the most dangerous substances are surprisingly easy to obtain in your local community or on the Internet. One of the biggest problems is that the supplement industry is unregulated so it is very difficult for the person using the supplement to be sure of the quality. Some supplements can contain a number of very unsafe ingredients.

Many young athletes are using and experimenting with substances supposedly useful to increase strength and muscle mass, improve endurance, and give them an edge on the competition. The pressures to use measures to improve sports performance are significant, and I expect these pressures only to increase as the years go by.

So let’s take a practical approach to supplements and let me provide a very simple “stoplight” guide to common supplements.

Generally Safe Supplements Used For Dietary and Nutritional Support
Most of these items would be safe for young athletes to use but there may be some instances where it would be wise to check first with your physician before use. For example, it’s possible to take too many multivitamins, too much protein powder, or eat a protein bar containing nuts when you have a peanut allergy. There’s evidence that taking a daily children’s multivitamin is a good idea for most kids.

  • Daily multivitamin.
  • Calcium.
  • Sports drinks containing protein and multivitamins.
  • Protein powders (obtain from a nationally reputable supplier).
  • Fruit smoothies with protein boost or vitamin supplement

Probably Safe Supplements For Muscle Recovery and Increased Energy
In this category I would include creatine, used for muscle recovery and muscle mass gains; and naturally occurring stimulants such as caffeine, guarana, some B-vitamins, and kola nut.

Let me first be clear on one thing: there is no published credible research on the safety of creatine in adolescents or teens. Having said that, most trainers and physicians who take care of young athletes generally report that there are no “serious” side effects from creatine use, but stomach upset, dehydration, and muscle cramping are fairly common. Creatine use is probably fine, but check with your child’s physician before starting use.

Caffeine is another substance that falls into this intermediate category. Caffeine is found naturally in more than 60 plants and of course it’s found in coffee and sodas. For adults there is an upper limit on the amount of caffeine legally allowed in competitions such as the Olympics but again, we have no established limits for caffeine use in adolescents or teenagers.

Caffeine is a tough substance to avoid because it’s found in so many things so the best you can do is to read labels and use as little as possible.

Unsafe Supplements – Definitely Avoid
This category includes substances for which we have solid medical evidence of potential harm from use. I would also place prescription medications being used for reasons other than they were prescribed here.

For example, using Ritalin to improve focus or concentration in an adolescent without ADHD, or using an asthma inhaler to improve airway opening in a teen without asthma could lead to very serious health consequences.

What follows is just a tiny list of the most commonly abused substances. Literally hundreds of “performance enhancing drugs” and other substances are on banned substance list of most organized competitions. Most professional sports league, the Olympics, and the NCAA have strict screening and penalties for illegal substance use, and some state High School associations are also starting random drug screening. If you have any question at all check with your physician but you should avoid all of these:

  • Anabolic steroids.
  • Human Growth Hormone.
  • Androstenedione (Andro).
  • Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), ephedra (Ma Huang).
  • 19-norandrostenedione (19-Nor).
  • DHEA (dihydroepiandrostenedione).
  • Ritalin for use in individuals without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
  • Asthma inhalers in non-asthmatics.

(Dev K. Mishra is the creator of the injury management program for coaches. He is an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Burlingame, Calif. He is a member of the team physician pool with the U.S. Soccer Federation and has served as team physician at the University of California, Berkeley. This article first appeared on