Soccer girl holding the ball

Top Soccer Books for Girls [Gift Ideas 2024]

Are you looking for a great book for a girl soccer fan? How about a soccer player? We have curated the best ones that you should gift. Some of them are written by coaches and write about how to be the best player you can be. Others are fiction, trying to grow the love of soccer at various ages. Soccer as the most popular sport has fantastic human interest stories and we have them, too. These are not stories about the perfect tactic, personal soccer superstar stories, or best soccer business readings. These are the best soccer books for girls that you should buy for your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, teammates, and coaches. While you are at it, pick one for yourself, too. They are fantastic!

What are the best soccer books for girls you need to read ASAP?

For players


Early teens

World Story



Everything Your Coach Never Told You Because You’re a Girl by Dan Blank

.If you’re a young female soccer player seeking an uplifting and game-changing read, this book is an absolute must-buy! Dan Blank is famous for writing many books for current youth players. However, we think that this is his best book. This book should be your personal guide, unlocking the secrets to success on and off the field. Blank’s insightful advice and motivational anecdotes are specifically tailored to empower girls. The book is her to help girls overcome obstacles, enhance their skills, and cultivate a winning mindset. Bursting with infectious enthusiasm, this book will leave you feeling inspired, confident, and ready to take on any challenge. Regardless of the gender, get this book!

Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

“Furia” by Yamile Saied Mendez is a captivating fiction book that will ignite a love for soccer in girls. The story follows Camila, a fierce and determined protagonist, as she battles societal expectations and pursues her soccer dreams. With vivid storytelling and relatable characters, Mendez’s book celebrates the power of sport and inspires young girls to embrace their passion for soccer. It’s a compelling tale that will leave them cheering for Camila’s victories both on and off the field. It is a great read for book lovers that might not even like soccer, or for soccer players that might not like reading. 

Saving the Team (The Kicks) by Alex Morgan

This is an absolute gem that early teen girls will adore, providing a perfect avenue for them to fall head over heels in love with soccer. Morgan’s impeccable storytelling effortlessly transports readers into the world of the protagonist, offering a relatable and inspiring journey. The book beautifully captures the essence of teamwork, determination, and the sheer joy that soccer can bring. This book is a must-have for any early teen girl seeking an empowering and enjoyable literary adventure that will ignite their love for soccer and inspire them to reach for the stars.

Play Like a Girl by Ellie Roscher

“Play Like a Girl” by Ellie Roscher is a remarkable and inspiring book that celebrates the global impact of girls in sports. Roscher’s heartfelt storytelling shines a light on the challenges of extreme gender inequalities in Kenya, especially in the world of sports. It is an uplifting story of perseverance and persistence to deliver opportunities for girls who live in the slums and seemingly have no hope. However, starting from 11 girls and 2 volunteers, now the soccer academy runs with 20 full-time staff (in 2017 at the time the book was released). An inspiring story, that just happen to be related to soccer! 

Kicking Off by Eve Ainsworth

“Kicking Off” is a great book that blends fiction and non-fiction elements into it. The goal is clearly to create an entertaining read and inspire teenagers to get into soccer. Happening in 1917, the book helps paint the picture of what it was like to live in the middle of a war. In a little idealistic setting, the protagonist, Hettie, is an outcast in Britain that manages her way through a rough world. However, with the right lessons of persistence and fighting spirit, this book put soccer, and the love for competition as the centerpiece of this coming-of-age story. It’s a great gift to stimulate reading books and the love of soccer!

The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner

Targeted for the youngest generation of soccer lovers, this book is illustrated to instill the love of soccer, but also open discussions about social issues. As it says in the title, the topic of the apartheid is central, as it is soccer, to the story. With only 40 pages filled with colorful illustrations, this is a great book on multiple levels. Reading it several times for bedtime stories and start seeing the layers of questions that your kids start to ask and comment on. A truly interesting book that is worth buying for the young ones!

These six books represent a collection of inspiring, empowering, and thought-provoking stories that celebrate the world of soccer and its incredible female athletes. From memoirs to fictional tales, each book offers its unique perspective on the sport. We want to encourage young girls to embrace their love for soccer. At the same time, we want to teach valuable life lessons such as teamwork, perseverance, and the power of dreams. By reading these books, we hope that young girls can find inspiration, strength, and a deeper appreciation for the beautiful game that unites people across the globe.

Kid start to play soccer

What is the Best Age to Start Soccer Career?

Are you a parent who dreams of your child scoring the winning goal in a soccer game? Who isn’t!?  Soccer scouting and recruiting today have become surreal where coaches ask 5 years old about their experience before they can join the team. You’re probably wondering what the best age for kids to start playing soccer is. Well, it’s time to lace up your cleats and create the next soccer superstar to follow! Get ready to kick because we’re about to give you the lowdown on the perfect age to start playing soccer!

Let’s Start Kicking: Best Age for Kids to Play Soccer!

If you’re eager to get your child into soccer, you might be wondering when you should start. The answer is simple: as soon as they can walk! That’s right, there’s no such thing as being too young to start playing soccer. Even toddlers can benefit from playing with a soccer ball and developing their motor skills. Plus, it’s never too early to start cultivating a love for the beautiful game.

We talked about the importance to create soccer motor skills with and without technology. Furthermore, it is even more important to make sure that the love of the game starts early. Also, you allow time for it to grow over time. There is no point, or reason, to avoid soccer and then pick a time for it before getting serious. Give time for the kids to fall in and out of love with activities and let them grow organically.

Little Feet, Big Dreams: Ideal Time to Begin Soccer Training

Now that you know there’s no minimum age for playing soccer, you might be wondering when your child should start receiving formal training. Experts recommend starting soccer lessons around the age of 4 or 5 years old. We have seen how coaches berate adult players and we have seen how they encourage them. John Wooden had about 2/3 of his coaching being instructional, and he was coaching at the college level. When they are 5 years old, probably 99% is encouragement and celebration. There is very little organization and structure on the soccer field. However, kids are able to follow instructions and have developed enough coordination to be able to kick a ball around. Plus, training at this age can help build a strong foundation of skills that will serve them well as they grow older. 

Early Bird Gets the Goal

While there’s no set age for kids to start playing soccer, many coaches agree that starting at a young age can give players a competitive edge. By the time the soccer players are 8 or 9 years old, kids who have been playing soccer for a few years will have some technical foundation of skills. Then will be better equipped to play at a higher level in a team setting. It is not random that this is the age when they start playing in teams of 7 players on the field. Before that, there are only 4 players in a fluid structure. Additionally, starting early can help develop a love for the game that will last a lifetime.

Score a Goal for Fun and Learning: Perfect Age to Start Soccer

When it comes down to it, the perfect age to start playing soccer is whenever your child is interested and ready to start. Whether they’re 2 or 12, as long as they’re having fun and learning, that’s all that matters. If they show soccer talent at very early age, that’s great. But don’t worry if they don’t – not all flowers bloom on the same day! Soccer is a sport that can be enjoyed at any age, so don’t worry too much about when to start. Just get out there and start kicking!

Whether you’re a parent or a coach, we hope this article has given you some insight into the best age for kids to start playing soccer. Get the right gear even when it’s raining or cold, and make sure the kids have fun playing soccer. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start playing soccer. Joining a team to learn or just pick up games to have fun, go for it! Grab a ball, lace up your cleats, and get ready to score some goals!

How to become a soccer scout? [Complete Guide 2023]

If you’re passionate about soccer and love to watch and analyze the game, then becoming a soccer scout could be the perfect career for you. Scouting has changed in every sport for sure, and soccer is not an exception. Scouts can go and see exciting matches around the world, but they can also see them on their TVs with the technologies today like Veo and Trace. With the right systems, such as Skillshark, they can really speed up the process of player evaluation. However, you can still see scouts of the largest clubs living in places like Croatia or Rio de Janeiro, turning every stone to find the next soccer superstar. Let’s talk about how you can take the first steps to become a soccer scout, what you will need to get further, and what the game is all about.

Step-by-Step: How to Become a Pro Soccer Scout

USSF created Talent Identification Centers across the USA. They are free one-day events for boys and girls that are 13-15 years old. The goal is to identify the biggest talent for future soccer stars for the national teams. Obviously, the first step is to identify the talent for the youth national teams. Now, that seems great in theory, but it is minute compared to what the European best clubs are doing. Furthermore, think about it – if there is a 12-year-old player who might be able to play at the national level, do you really need to wait and go to one of the identification centers? It is more likely that scouts of Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Arsenal have already watched footage of the player. Yes, scouts watch footage of the best U10 players. It truly is that competitive.

In terms of education, there is a Talent Scout License that the USSF created in 2019. It is 8-day course, split into two parts. It requires the candidate to already have a B coaching license and work in an organization that already does talent identification. For comparison, the FA has 5 levels of education for soccer scouts, the highest being for Technical Directors. The first one is free, and you should take the online course even if you don’t intend to become a soccer scout. 

The Ultimate Guide to Soccer Scouting

Now that you know what it takes to be a licensed scout, let us guide you through the steps of what it takes to be good at it.

1. You have to love soccer

Most of the games you see will not result in anything really meaningful. Warren Buffett said that when he was young he went through every single company in Moody’s to find what he wanted to buy. When asked how to handle a large number of companies in the manual, he said “Start with A”. You just have to like the process of looking at an infinite number of games and players.

2. Define Talent

The potential of a soccer player is in four sections – Technical/Tactical, Psychological, Physical, and Social. You must be able to identify and evaluate all four aspects to become a good scout. I was at a tryout once for another team in my club, looking at one player that was playing better than most of the players. As always, they were small-sided 5v5 games. Every 2-3 minutes, it will take the ball from their own goal, dribble through 3-4 opponents and score a goal. The rest of the time was walking far from the ball, kind of like what Messi was doing at the World Cup.

As a scout, I learned only some aspects – fantastic dribbler, but don’t know if the passing and receiving are good. Physically, very explosive, but maybe low stamina. That’s most of it. See the issue? You need to see the players in various settings, with high and low pressure, such as games vs practices. Or playing against both stronger and weaker opponents. The most important thing is to be true to the evaluation and be sure you know that there are gaps you need to fill.

3. Become a coach

There is a good reason that the USSF requires you to have coaching license B before you can take the scouting course. The B license means that you’ve been a coach for at least several years. Being a scout can define life paths for young people, in a positive or a negative way. So, you have to understand the day-to-day life of these players, not just the performance on game day. Ask any experienced coach about the importance of coachability, and they will have many stories of young players who never made it because they did not have the right mindset for practice and relationships with any of the coaches. Other times, the issue is the particular coach and that is a key point to see. Become a coach to get the experience you need to understand both the human and the player that you want to evaluate.

4. Have a system and document everything

So, you’ve seen Moneyball and believe you can be Brad Pitt in soccer. The story is about the role of data analysis in scouting to give an edge in sport business. Of course, nobody dreams of becoming Jonah Hill, even though he is the real scout in the movie. Going through thousands of hours of soccer footage can be fun, but deriving data from it might not be for everybody. Then you start learning soccer statistical terms, such as xGs, possession percentages, progressive passes, tackling stats, and so on. But how do you make any sense of this when you watch 10-year-olds? You can definitely use Veo or Trace to get not only the footage but these statistics. However, it is up to you to document and create an understanding of them.

If you use a platform like Skillshark, you will not get lost in the data and will get better at both evaluating players and figuring out what matters and what doesn’t. It creates player cards and keeps the data over months, so you can see which traits progress over time. Perhaps certain aspects of the games improve or degrade, but also you will see if they are easily measurable and see their importance.

As we talked about before, statistics will tell you the Technical and the Physical aspects, but the social and the psychological, it’s up to you to evaluate. Furthermore, if you document your evaluation when a player is 10 years old, it will help you reevaluate them at age 12. It will help you evaluate the player, but also the coach – you can see if the coach had a positive effect on them. Finally, it will help you become a better scout by looking truthfully at your evaluations from 2 years ago and see if you get it right.

5. Fish where the fish are

One of the best players that I have brought into one of my teams was a 10-year-old boy that never practiced before. The parents didn’t speak good English and were not wealthy at all. Therefore, they didn’t look for a club, knowing that they cannot afford it. However, the boy played pickup games with his dad and his dad’s friends several times a week – that’s how I noticed him. When he came in, he was ready to compete with anybody and is still developing very well. It took a lot of effort to bring him into the club, and of course that was with a full scholarship. So, get out there and be in places where you normally wouldn’t be. The only way to grow is to get out of your comfort zone. You will meet other scouts, coaches and even agents of young soccer players. It will be fun! 

Your Path to Becoming a Soccer Scouting Expert

Becoming a soccer scouting expert takes time, effort, and dedication. However, it’s a very fulfilling and exciting career path. To become an expert, you need to keep learning. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, and seek feedback from your peers and mentors. Ideally, you specialize in a particular area. For example, youth development, international markets, or data analysis. Lastly, you need to build your reputation, credibility, and brand. Communicate with people by writing articles, giving talks, and networking with other experts in the field.

Becoming a soccer scout is not an easy journey, but it’s definitely worth the effort. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can start your path toward becoming a pro soccer scout. Remember, it’s not just about watching soccer. It is about making a difference in players’ lives and contributing to the beautiful game. Good luck on your journey!

Top Soccer Business Books Money Makers [Must-Read 2024]

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to run a soccer club? I am not talking about being a coach and choosing which player plays where. There is the coach decision, player trading and contracts, stadium planning, tickets and merchandise, travel arrangements, boardroom politics, brand building… So much to handle and none of it is soccer on the surface. We have put together a list of memoirs of soccer giants and soccer business books. They will show you the state and the history of the soccer business, which is massive and still growing at a rapid rate. The books dig deep into the entrepreneurship and management of the clubs. Also, they examine the human element of the sports industry. The stories are fascinating, so let’s get into them!

What are the best soccer business books you need to read ASAP?

Best Book

World View

History of PL

Failing Club


Soccer fan

“The Barcelona Way” by Damian Hughes

“The Barcelona Way” delves into the secrets of one of the most successful soccer clubs in history, FC Barcelona. Damian Hughes examines the unique culture, leadership, and values that have made Barcelona a global powerhouse. Guardiola has won 14 out of the possible 19 trophies while being the coach of the first team in Barcelona. However, it is not the results, but the culture of the club that makes this club unique. You can see it in La Masia, but also in the “alumni” today. Hughes outlines the key principles and the way the club operates. It is a useful read for winning the infinite game. You can see it as a case study of how to grow the right culture in the very, very long run. 

“Soccernomics” by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

“Soccernomics” is a groundbreaking book that uses data analysis and economic principles to explore the inner workings of the soccer world. The dynamics always changing in the world of soccer. So, the authors regularly release new editions to incorporate this news. The World Cup 2022 edition certainly looks at the first World Cup in winter and in the Middle East, as well as coming right after the pandemic. Additionally, in between the two World Cups there was a failed attempt to create the Super League. That was a fascinating development in the financial and club management world of soccer. Some people might consider it a bit drier than the other books. However, it is a must-read for those who wish to understand the economics and statistics behind soccer.

“The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports” by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg

Robinson and Clegg take readers on a thrilling journey through the evolution of the English Premier League (EPL) in “The Club.” It is fascinating how this book gives an overarching view of what Jordan’s or Dein’s books tell about their own clubs. The book tells the story of the EPL from its humble beginnings to its global dominance. It offers an in-depth exploration of the league’s transformation into a multi-billion dollar business. How fast we take things, like oligarch money or transfers of 100 million, for granted is astonishing. It is packed with fascinating anecdotes, behind-the-scenes stories, and interviews with key figures. This book captures the essence of the EPL’s rise and the impact it has had on soccer and the business world at large.

“Be Careful What You Wish For” by Simon Jordan

You might have heard of the story of Crystal Palace making their way back to the Premier League in the 2010s. It is depicted in the documentary series “When Eagles Dare”. If you wonder what has happened before then to get the club to that position in the first place, this is the book to read. Jordan became a multimillionaire at 32 after selling his company and decided to buy his neighborhood club. Unfortunately, the club got relegated and lost most of its value. Jordan looks smug and is a person that people either love or hate. Nevertheless, the book that he wrote is truly original and is a great read if you want to learn a lot about the management of English soccer clubs.

“Calling The Shots: How To Win At Football And Life” by David Dein

“Mr. Arsenal”, as called by Thierry Henry, David Dein has been pulling the strings in the golden age of Arsenal with Wenger as the team manager. Published in 2023, Dein has taken time to reflect and deliver a memoir of his time at Arsenal. He shows his struggles with the board of the club (he was a part owner), the formation of the Premier League, his dedication to women soccer, his current NGO to bring soccer education to prisons, and many more. While it is particularly worth reading for Arsenal fans, we strongly recommend this book as the book to read in 2023. It will help you understand the road of the Premier League and the philosophy of leading a club before the rich-owner money came into it.

“Soccer Thinking for Management Success: Lessons for Organizations from the World’s Game” by Peter Loge

This can be classified as a book for professionals through the lens of soccer. Loge is a professor of media and public affairs and has worked in politics of public policy. So, don’t expect a book about the role of the inverted wingback or the best way to practice the rabona. The lessons of people management, communication, leadership, decentralized ownership, and responsibility, are conveyed by a soccer fan, making them more easily digestible. We enjoyed reading it and frankly, they were more useful for our day-to-day jobs which have nothing to do with soccer. 

The intersection of soccer and business offers a fascinating realm of study, filled with valuable lessons applicable to various industries. Each of the books is a little different, providing unique perspectives on the economics, leadership, and organizational aspects of the soccer industry. Hope these pages inspire you to approach your own endeavors in a different way, with a bit more knowledge and with as much passion as you have for soccer.

9v9 Soccer Formation [Complete Guide for Soccer Coaches 2024]

In the US, there is a transition time in grassroots soccer that we play the 9v9 soccer formation. It is in the U11 and U12 age groups. This sounds fairly similar to the 7v7, where there are two years to coach the new formation before moving to a more complicated one. However, the lessons you need to teach the players and the challenges are vastly different. Don’t forget that eventually, you need to move to 11v11 where we’ll start with a 4-3-3 formation, so the lessons will be building blocks for that stage.

As we always do, we focus on the players and what they need right now. Firstly, keep in mind that at this age some of them are getting into puberty, while others won’t for a few more years. Secondly, some players have likely been coached well in 4v4 and 7v7, while others have no idea what formations are. Before you start complaining, keep in mind that even at the highest level, some players get tactics better than others. If you want the same level of background knowledge among your pupils, think about coaching tennis or chess. We are working on tactical player development with a long-term mindset.

What is the best 9v9 soccer formation?

The best 9v9 soccer formation for youth player development is 2-3-2-1, or what many of the coaches call the Christmas tree. We said it in the 4v4 guide and in the 7v7 guide, this might not be the best formation for winning the game. However, this is the best formation to coach the tactical knowledge that the players need to learn at this age. You have two years of it and we do recommend coming up with a dual system where you start with 2-3-2-1 and later down the road progress to 3-1-3-1. We’ll walk you through the reasons, as well as touch on a few other options that can be used. 

Special note: you, as the coach, will start to feel considerable pressure to win. The players will hit that level of competitiveness because of puberty. The parents are becoming restless because they have read of the superstars being widely known at this age and their kids lose games. The coaches at the club wonder if you are doing a good job, while other clubs try to steal your best players. You will have to resist this temptation and have faith in the process. It’s a developmental process and it is a dance of the coach, the player, and the parents. For everyone’s sake, if somebody doesn’t like the music they will have to change it or leave the podium.


9v9 soccer formation 2-3-2-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool


9v9 soccer formation 3-1-3-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

2-3-2-1 [Guide and Progression]

This is the formation that we recommend, as it has several benefits. From 7v7 and our favorite 2-3-1 formation, you add the 8 and the 10. The two central defenders already know well what their role is, as well as the wingers. Similarly, there is nothing completely new for the striker and the goalkeeper. However, the central midfielders become interesting now. 

Because of the hard work at 7v7, you have hopefully trained at least a main and a backup 6. The importance of the holding midfielder is that they are in two diamond soccer formation groups there – with the defenders and goalkeepers, and with the attacking players. Then the attacking midfielders have lots of freedom to act even as wingers and overlap and underlap with the wingbacks. Similarly, one time I had a team where the striker was so mobile that they acted as a winger to receive long balls on the ground and the attacking mid had open spaces. Other times they dropped to help out as a false nine. Truly an amazing partnership for that age.


Natural build-up from 7v7 and towards 11v11

Wingers are both defenders and attackers, so we develop them for 11v11 in a great way

The attacking midfielders get so much freedom and creativity, great for coaching new lessons 


Wingers have to be fast and disciplined

The skill of the two defenders has to be similar, otherwise will concede lots of goals

You need 3 dynamic and technical players in the middle, in addition to the dynamos on the wings

2-1-4-1 (attacking)

9v9 soccer formation 2-1-4-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

4-3-1 (defending)

3-1-3-1 [Guide and Progression]

The 3-1-3-1 is a popular formation and you should probably introduce it in the second year. It is a natural progression of the 3-2-1 formation we talked about in 7v7, with the addition of the two wingers. 

What we coach here is the width and the players will likely move less. When defending, the wingers and the wing-backs will be pulled in and have an overload. The biggest coaching point is to help them transition from attacking to defending quickly and to think about anticipation. 

You will likely not score much in this formation, but you also will rarely concede if you have a reliable central defender and an aggressive holding midfielder.


Development of a natural 10, which is the hardest position in attacking

We look more compact and solid in defense

Width is created naturally, with many players helping switch the ball from side to side


The goalie rarely plays with their feet

The wide defenders will attack less often

There is less opportunity for players to be creative except for the attacking midfielder

3-3-2 (narrow 3-1-3-1)

After you’ve coached the other formations, there is one thing that we have rarely coached and that is a partnership in the attack. Sometimes, you might want to play with two strikers, to show what it might look like. More likely, the reason why we want to play with two strikers is to pin down 3 or 4 defensive opposition players. If the opposition plays something like 3-1-3-1, then playing with two attackers can really keep all the back 3 and the holding mid back. 

We consider the 3-3-2 to be a variant or a progression of the 3-1-3-1. It is great for coaching the second striker role of overloading attack or midfielder.

Path forward for the 9v9 Soccer Formation

4v4 Formation by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
8v8 Soccer Formation 2-4-1
9v9 soccer formation 2-3-2-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
6v6 Soccer Formation 2-1-2
7v7 soccer formation 2-3-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

This is the full guide on how to coach the two years of 9v9 in youth soccer development. The ideas of roles and responsibility, team cohesion, solidarity, tactics, and strategy, are formed here at this age. It is important to have a system and to discuss it with the players collectively and individually. It will make you learn better approaches as a coach, but also it will make the players think about making a contribution to the team in whichever role they have at the moment. That mindset will set them up for success in every field in life. 

The guide explains how to use the 2 years of 9v9 to develop all positions that you might need for the 11v11 formations. Some soccer clubs mandate their youth level to play the same formation as the senior team. However, at 11v11, every formation is a fair game in our books. We will go deep into some of those formations and how to use them for teaching valuable lessons, which is the goal of youth soccer development.

How to become a soccer referee? [FULL Guide 2023]

If you’re passionate about soccer but need to manage the playing time and contact, it’s time to become a soccer referee. It is a great way to stay involved in the game, and if you never played then get involved. It is not only a great way to stay fit and active but also a great way to earn some extra cash. The reason why it pays well is that not everybody wants to become a soccer referee. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of becoming a soccer referee. You should try it and if you love it at the end, just shoot us a thank you note!

College football referees discussing, Texas“/ CC0 1.0

Ready to Blow the Whistle?

First things first, before you can become a soccer referee, you need to make sure you have the right mindset for the job. As a referee, you need to be confident, assertive, and able to make quick decisions on the spot. You also need to be able to handle pressure and criticism from players and coaches, while still maintaining your authority on the field.

Did you read between the lines? People will yell at you when it’s not your fault!!! We’ve seen parents yelling at referees because their kid slipped on the ball instead of kicking it. An adult player screamed at a referee that he is “ruining soccer and the world”! Yes, they sometimes shake hands at the end, but the behavior can be surreal if you haven’t played much and don’t understand why people act that way. This is the main reason why people don’t want to be referees. However, if you think you can brush that off, keep reading!

Steps to Become a Soccer Referee

To become a soccer referee, you’ll need to complete a training course and obtain a certification from your local soccer association. The cost is about $99 but can vary sometimes – check USSF. The total time is about 6 hours to complete, half of which is in person. As we said, referees are treated almost like an endemic species. In addition to the payment for each game, many clubs cover the cost of the license (and future licenses) if you commit to their club. This means that you will ref a certain number of games, which is about 20 per year, for that club. To make it fair, that also means that you will not be the referee for games of that club.

Do you know the one requirement for becoming a soccer referee? Being 13 years old. That’s it! 

Game On: Refereeing Techniques

As a referee, your job is to ensure that the game is played fairly and safely. This means that you need to know the rules of the game inside and out. At the grassroots level, i.e. the youngest competitors, there are variations in the rules. For example, the size of the field, the number of players on the soccer field, and even some other rules vary. They sometimes play with a buildout line and no heading, for safety reasons.

I always bring both coaches before the game to go over these rules, as they often coach multiple teams and don’t remember them. At the lowest levels and with the youngest groups, some rules are made up on the spot. Foul throw-ins are ignored or I ask for a retake. To be a successful referee, you need to be able to read the game, anticipate plays, and stay focused on the action at all times. Remember you manage the players, coaches, and parents, and really you are managing their frustration. 

Winning in the World of Refs

Becoming a soccer referee is a great way to get involved in the game, stay fit and active, and earn some extra cash on the side. It’s also a great way to develop your leadership and decision-making skills. As you gain more experience and confidence as a referee, you can work your way up to higher-level games and earn more money. The levels of the referees are:

Grassroots – this is what we talked about so far. 6 hours of training, 13 years of age, and you are good to start.

Regional – it is a big step from the grassroots level. You need 3 years of referee experience, 50 games as a referee, 25 games as an assistant referee, and 18 years of age.

National – at this level the requirements get even more serious. You need 2 years as Regional Referee, with 40 games as a referee and 25 games as an assistant referee. From this level up, you are invited to take the course and cannot just apply for it.

We are not going through the upper levels of Emeritus, Pro, and FIFA. If you ever get into those categories, you should contact us for a profile interview. At that level, we are not talking about a small side gig, but a different level of commitment. So if you’re ready to blow the whistle and become a soccer referee, now is the time to take the first step and sign up for a training course.

9 Best Soccer Side Hustles (if you don’t play)

If you love soccer and want to earn extra money doing what you love, then you’re in luck! There are plenty of soccer side hustles out there that can help you make some extra cash. If you still play and try to make it, keep doing that! We are cheering for you and want to see you sign that big contract! However, if you no longer play the game, you can still earn money from soccer-related activities. Being around the game helps you stay fit and from time to time have a shot at the goal. You know, just to show off. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best soccer side hustles that you can start today. We are looking at non-fulltime opportunities only, meaning gigs you can do in your spare time on weekends and evenings to supplement your income.

What are the best soccer side hustles?

Soccer referee  

Sports referee“/ CC0 1.0

Instant pay

Get yelled at

Adult league organizer  

Soccer Field” by Abigail Keenan/ CC0 1.0


Hard to start

Soccer photographer  

Photographer Photo” by Burst/ CC0 1.0


New clients

Be a Soccer Referee ($20-$50 per hour)

It’s all about supply and demand, and there is a very low supply of soccer referees, so the payout is good. If you have a good understanding of the rules of soccer and can remain calm under pressure, then becoming a soccer referee could be the perfect side hustle for you. Referees earn differently depending on the level of competition and their experience. You can start by officiating games at the youth level and work your way up to more competitive games. Assistant referees are also paid and have way less pressure to perform well. The fitness you get by being a referee is just a bonus and there is no chance of injuries.

Organize an Adult League ($-$$$$)

If you have good organizational skills and can bring people together, then organizing an adult soccer league could be a great option. It’s usually an evening and/or weekend activity, so it can definitely work as a great side hustle. You can charge teams a fee to participate and more or less break even with that, plus a little bit of earnings. Then you can make the big bucks from sponsorships and concessions. This is a great option for those who enjoy working with others and want to create a fun and competitive environment for adult players. Note that it might take some time to get it going and several seasons before you start making real money. Organizing a youth league is a different 

Photographer of Soccer Players ($50-$500 per hour)

Parents want great photos of their kids to brag to their friends? Yes. Players want photos and videos for their social media or college applications? Yes, please! Clubs want pictures for their website? Cha-ching!

If you like taking photos or filming, this is a great side hustle. It takes only a bit of time and the huge bonus is that you work only in good weather. Think about it – nobody wants their photos taken when it’s raining. Most of the other side hustles are rain or shine, but not this one. Also, when there is a tournament, the per-hour rate is just amazing.

Be a 1:1 Soccer Coach ($30-$100 per hour)

If you have experience playing soccer and enjoy teaching others, then becoming a 1:1 soccer coach could be a great option for you. You can charge anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour, depending on your level of experience and the level of coaching required. This is a great option for those who enjoy working with individuals and can tailor their coaching to a specific player’s needs. At the very young age, it’s all about being an animator and it can look like you are a babysitter. But if you like working with kids, go have fun and get paid very well for it.

Be a Youth Team Soccer Coach ($2000-$5000 per year)

If you are just starting your path of coaching soccer or are experienced, and enjoy working with young players, then becoming a youth team soccer coach could be a great option. You can earn anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per season, depending on the level of competition. This is a great option for those who enjoy working with teams and can help players develop their skills while also having fun. Also, it often works great with logistics if you have your own kid on the team. The commitment is definitely higher than individual coaching and it can be more complex, too. Find a good club that is managed well and that takes care of most of the headaches.

Ghost-writing for Soccer Stars ($25,000-$250,000)

We love reading the stories of famous soccer players, coaches, agents, referees, scouts.… But let’s face it, even the books that claim they are autobiographies are not written by them. Many of these folks are great at telling a story – they have to sell a story to the players to join their team or hire them. However, when it comes to writing books, they always hire professional writers. If you like writing and you like the topic of soccer, this is a great side hustle to really dig deep into some of the life stories. Almost all of them have human interest stories, especially the US soccer stars, and are very relatable, so it is fun to explore those areas from a different angle.

Filming Games and Analytics ($50-$150 per hour)

If you like analytics and data, then helping the smaller teams is an option for you. Veo and Trace are the most obvious options for recording and streaming sports. Often the clubs are too small to afford this kind of camera. While there is an upfront cost, it is easy to quickly make your money back. All you need to do is get several teams to agree that they will pay you for filming their games or even streaming them. Parents are happy to pay for videos of their kids to share with them, send them to professional coaches for feedback, or just send them to their out-of-town families for bragging rights. It takes some time to make connections, but after you set the camera, you can just sit in your car drinking cocoa while everybody else is freezing outside.

Writing Soccer News ($10-$100 per article)

If you are just a passionate soccer enthusiast at home and don’t want to step outside of your laptop, there is an option for you. Turn your love for the sport into a fulfilling side hustle by writing articles twice a week for soccer news platforms. Look at the video of the game in your PJs and share your insights and analysis… still in your PJs! You can write match recaps and player profiles to tactical breakdowns and transfer rumors. The most amazing thing – you can just write about your own favorite team. If you want to write formally, that’s fine. If you want to write rival banter, there will be an audience for that, too. As long as there are people interested in reading, it’s a great side hustle that rarely feels like work.

Organize a youth summer camp ($500-$3000 per day)

If you have experience working with children and enjoy creating fun and educational programs, then organizing a youth summer soccer camp could be a great option. Parents try to get their kids enthusiastic by getting them all the soccer toys when they are young. However, they need more peer support as they get older. You can charge parents a fee for their children to participate and earn money from sponsorships and donations. This is a great option for those who enjoy working with youth and want to create a positive and memorable experience for young soccer players.

The soccer side hustles future

In conclusion, there are plenty of soccer side hustles out there that can help you earn extra money doing what you love. Most of us would watch, play and talk soccer for free and have done most of our lives. They say “Do what you love and you won’t have to work another day in your life”. Whether you prefer to work with individuals or teams, adults or children, there is a soccer side hustle that is perfect for you. So why not turn your love of soccer into a profitable side hustle today?

4v4 soccer formation [Complete Guide for Soccer Coaches 2024]

In the US, the first time there is any structure and roles for the grassroots soccer players is when we play 4v4 soccer formation. It is in the U8 and younger age groups. So, before we jump into it, please remember that this is not about revealing secrets on how to win every game because of the tactical soccer genius that deserves folk songs. The score really doesn’t matter and it’s all about falling in love with the game and learning something new. This is the first time that players hear about a position, so just ease them in and ask them to think about it. The next transition is to 7v7 and they will have two years in that format. We are using these formations just as platforms for soccer development over the long term.

What is the best 4v4 soccer formation?

There is no one best formation for winning the game. However, mentioning positions is important for the players to start thinking about them. If you coach the team for a year, we recommend trying both basic formations and also rotating all the players through them. It will give you an idea of what their personalities are and how they might develop over time, especially as you move to develop the roles in a 7v7 structure. The two formations are 1-2-1, in somewhat of a diamond shape, which will be used throughout the soccer careers of these very young players; and 2-2, i.e. the square.

1-2-1 (Diamond)

4v4 Formation by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

2-2 (Square)

4v4 soccer formation 2-2 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

1-2-1 [Guide and Progression]

Start with this formation. Why? Because it is easier to teach. In a way, the players can have half of the field blocked. The striker can stay only in the top half, and the defender only in the bottom half. The left winger is only on the left half, and the right winger is only on the right half of the field. Those are the only instructions you need to tell them to get the ball moving.

This is the first time the players will start complaining or moving out of position. Make sure you rotate everybody in all positions. You don’t want players to feel like they will play in a position forever. However, demand that they try their best – “I don’t know how to defend” is not good even at that age. Ask guided questions about what the roles are in different positions as you keep coaching and you’ll get there before you know it.


Easy to start coaching

Great foundation work for the development of future roles, especially in 7v7


Too reliant on a single defender

The striker is the only one with true freedom of movement

2-2 [Guide and Progression]

Let’s say after 5-10 games the players understand the formation. Now, you decide to change it – what? Do not forget that if the previous formation is the first time that the players hear about formations. So, this is the first time they will experience changing it. We have changed formations on the fly when we play, but we don’t remember when we first heard about it.

The square formation is good because it teaches new things. First of all, it teaches cooperation – the two defenders have to cooperate. Secondly, it teaches the fluidity of movements. The two wingers sometimes can come to the middle and other times stay wide. Even one of the defenders can move up and act as a central mid, no issues there.


Players learn to communicate better

The two central defender formation is a great buildup for our 2-3-1 formation in 7v7


This formation is likely less effective, so players will be a bit more frustrated

Harder to coach, as there are a lot of nuances

The 4v4 soccer formation goal

4v4 Formation by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
8v8 Soccer Formation 2-4-1
9v9 soccer formation 2-3-2-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
6v6 Soccer Formation 2-1-2
7v7 soccer formation 2-3-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

This is the full guide on how to coach the tactics of 4v4 in youth soccer development. It might look short and it should be. The focus on tactics should be minimal at this U8 and younger age. You should focus on technical excellence in soccer development at this age. Of course, get the player to think about their roles and talk to them about it. However, keep it simple and honest, and make sure they are trying their best in every position they play.

7v7 soccer formation [Complete Guide for Soccer Coaches 2024]

In the US, there is a transition time in grassroots soccer that we play the 7v7 soccer formation. It is in the U9 and U10 age groups, also known as the Development League. This structure is the first time that players start to stick to a position, so it is important to understand them and coach the right lessons. This is the transition from 4v4 and it is the path to 9v9, so that should be considered when choosing the formation. We are using formations for player development and the long-term plan in mind.

What is the best 7v7 soccer formation?

There is no one best formation for winning the game, as we talked about in the 4v4 guide. However, as you have two years of development at this age, we recommend doing the 2-3-1 for one year. This includes the 4-1-1 and 2-1-3 variations. Then in the second year, give 3-2-1 a shot to see if there is a natural central defender and to test the waters of playing with two central midfielders. That will help the transition to 9v9 where both 3-1-3-1 and 2-3-2-1 will be possible with the player development that you have.


7v7 soccer formation 2-3-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool


7v7 soccer formation 3-2-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

2-3-1 [Guide and Progression]

This is the formation that we recommend, as it has several benefits. Compared to 4v4, we have new positions in 4, 5, and 6.  The two central defenders are starting to build a partnership with each other, and with the goalkeeper. The central mid is really starting to develop and the best player will be placed there. 

Start with this 7v7 soccer formation and let the players learn at least two different roles. The roles are defender, winger, central mid, and striker. Then try the variations of the formation to adjust to the players and the situation. There are two variations to this one – 4-1-1 and 2-1-3, depending on the role of the central midfielder.


Goalie plays with their feet and makes decisions, as there is no one defender in front of them

Wingers are both defenders and attackers, so we develop complete players

The central midfielder can be trained as both a defensive and attacking midfielder


Wingers have to be fast and disciplined

The skill of the two defenders have to be similar

The central midfielder takes lots of responsibility and it is possible that nobody on the team can play that role proficiently

4-1-1 (defensive 2-3-1)

7v7 soccer formation 4-1-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
Created by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

2-1-3 (attacking 2-3-1)

3-2-1 [Guide and Progression]

The 3-2-1 formation is the other logical choice and we recommend using that to supplement for what the 2-3-1 formation cannot teach. Remember, we are using these formations to coach, not just to win games.

There are multiple reasons why this formation can work well, but the biggest one is if there is a natural best defender and if there are two central midfielders that can split the duties and balance each other. If at 9v9 we use our favorite 2-3-2-1 formation, then the two attacking midfielders are the two attacking midfielders from here.


We develop two central midfielders that can work well together

The central defender is well-developed and likely develop a great communicator

The central midfielder takes lots of responsibility and it is possible that nobody on the team can play that role proficiently


Being a goalie can be very boring, as the defender took some of the responsibilities

More often than not all three defenders will stay back, so we’ll attack with only three players

The players in the middle will have much more of the ball and we will lack quality development of the team


This is the natural attacking formation of 3-2-1. Ideally, only one of the wingbacks will help on the attack, while the other one will shift to the defense. At this age, it is great to try and coach that. 

Unfortunately, this is what we have seen the formation looks like when U9 or U10 players are put in this structure. It lacks natural variations of triangles and diamonds, and playing possession soccer is almost impossible. 


4v4 Formation by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
8v8 Soccer Formation 2-4-1
9v9 soccer formation 2-3-2-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool
6v6 Soccer Formation 2-1-2
7v7 soccer formation 2-3-1 by Rondo Coach Formation Tool

This is the full guide on how to coach the two years of 7v7 in youth soccer development. We focus on what skills our players need to develop through the games as experiences. We develop wingers and wingbacks that are fast and responsible. We develop defenders that can operate alone or in partnerships. Our goalies are good with their feet. The striker press the line high, while having freedom to go on the wings. Finally, we develop the central midfielders in both offensive and defensive duties. Our goal is to develop complete players and this is the complete guide on how to do that in 7v7 soccer formations, appropriate for the age. 

Top Soccer Agent Books – The Dealmakers [2024]

Ready to dive into the wild world of soccer agents? Honestly, we’ve never heard of anybody dreaming of becoming the next super agent, but many want to peek behind the scenes of player representation. Let’s be honest, nobody will ever say that the soccer life story is by an agent. However, the stories that these agents have are fascinating. For one, all of them have kind of randomly entered the world of being agents. Secondly, they are all dancing on the edge of being secretive and exclusive with their stories, all at the same time!! From jaw-dropping negotiations with club management and players to player management secrets, these books are a must-read for anyone interested in the glamorous and sometimes bizarre universe of soccer representation.

What are the best soccer agent books you need to get your cleats on?

Mino Riaola

Super Agent

Jorge Mendes

Ronaldo’s Agent

Erkut Sogut

One Client Agent

Jon Smith

History Agent

Leigh Steinberg

No-soccer Agent

“The World Of Football Agents And Business Of Soccer” by Mino Raiola

If you ever wonder about the influence of Mino Raiola, recall that  Ibrahimovic mentioned him in his retirement speech in front of a full stadium: “This is for Mino Raiola”. Fortunately, Raiola published this exhilarating read before his death at age 54. In his 30-year career, he managed the likes of Nedved, Pogba, and Haaland. The writing style and extensive knowledge of the industry make this book a must-read for both football enthusiasts and aspiring agents. It is full of anecdotes, practical advice, and remarkable insights into the negotiations and deals behind the scenes. This book is a delightful treasure trove for anyone eager to gain a deeper understanding of the complex and exhilarating world of football.

“The Secret Of A Done Deal” by Jorge Mendes

Fascinating read from one of the most powerful agents in the world. Starting with Nuno Espirito Santo as a player, the career of Mendes is fascinating and crucial for the development of Portuguese soccer. He represented most of what Porto was when they won the Champions League, from Mourinho to Carvalho and Tiago. A super agent will not be complete if it doesn’t have a superstar – Cristiano Ronaldo. Now imagine if you have a book with insights into these deals, showing both tactical and strategic thinking. Get the book, you won’t regret it!

“How to Become a Football Agent: The Guide” by Erkut Sogut

Erkug Sogut handles only one client – Mesut Ozil. Unlike other cases when there is a family connection, Ozil hired Sogut for his background as a lawyer and his similar background as a second-generation Turkish immigrant in Germany. Ozil’s brand is very tightly coupled with this heritage and Sogut manages both the legal aspect and the strategic thinking. It is truly a different kind of book to see the relationship of a low-key agent that handles this in a very professional manner. Sogut is still very young and we might see more superstars coming through his agencies. For now, it is a unique book to read and we strongly recommend it. 

“The Deal: Inside the World of a Super-Agent” by Jon Smith

Definitely an original book, but perhaps a bit outdated. Unlike some other agents on this list, Smith’s best-known client is still Maradona. Smith discusses the issues and concerns that soccer clubs and agents face, especially when it comes to financial regulations. As with other agents, the ego glows strongly, but perhaps PR packaging, in this case, was skipped. For those that can stomach the honesty, it is a great direct read. For the idealists, maybe it would be better to skip this one and focus on the ones that focus on the good stories of everything working out fine.

“The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game” by Leigh Steinberg

One non-soccer book on the list is Leigh Steinberg’s “The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game.” Steinberg spills the beans on his incredible journey, from representing individual players to pulling off mega-million dollar deals that make your jaw drop. This is the agent that is the inspiration for the famous movie Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise. Don’t get us wrong, the world of soccer is very different than the world of football, especially in the USA. However, it is an entertaining read and an interesting perspective. Get ready for an adrenaline rush as he shares mind-blowing stories and practical tips that will make you feel like you’re sitting at the negotiating table with him.

In a nutshell, these books are the MVPs of soccer agent books. They deliver a mix of adrenaline, secrets, and laughs that will keep you entertained from the kickoff to the final whistle. They are biographical and tell the true stories from the view of the super agents. So grab your favorite soccer jersey, settle into your comfiest chair, and get ready to score big with these epic reads!