The Bear and the Ball

The Cal South Podcast

Cal South launched an exciting new soccer-centric podcast in 2021 titled “The Bear and the Ball.” Hosted by Nick Webster, Cal South’s current Vice-President of Adult Soccer and a former FOX and EPL broadcaster, the show seeks to inform soccer fanatics about the latest news, initiatives, and developments in Southern California.

The show is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and most other major podcast platforms. Or you can just listen to it right here on this handy listing of past episodes.

New Episodes

Click on title to read details and play each episode.

Host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-08-17

The 2022/23 season is just about to begin. The Bear and the Ball catches up with CEO Terry Fisher. Terry talks about new staff, new programs, and new ideas to create a soccer environment that is second to none.

Host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-08-10

Diogo Gama is the new Director of Soccer for Cal South. Most recently he served as SCP’s Director of Sport Projects and has been a leader in player development on Portugal’s sports scene for many years. He holds a master’s degree in youth development and a degree in sports science. At the start of his sports career, he was a professional rugby player, whose pinnacle was playing in the 2007 Rugby World Cup for Portugal.

His professional soccer experience began in 2006 when he took an internship in the Performance department for Portugal’s National first team. He then moved on to Real Madrid FC as a youth fitness coach (for their B, C, and U19 teams), and remained with the club for three seasons, when he then leapt over to the fitness coach role for Getafe FC’s first team.

In 2011, Diogo moved to Qatar to work with top tier club Al Ahli SC as their first team fitness coach. He was then invited to the same position with Qatar’s Aspire Academy, where after four months he was made the head of their Football Skills Development Centers. He also served as the methodology coordinator for the youth program run in tandem by Aspire and the Qatar National Team. In these roles for eight years, he also handled multiple projects like implementing the methodology of Independiente del Valle and was responsible for building OFC coaching courses programs as part of the Qatar 2030 strategic vision.

In 2019, Diogo moved to Sporting Clube de Portugal to become their Director of Sport Projects. Of his current position, Diogo says, “I’m the link between Sporting and the exterior world, and the strategic projects I undertake directly affect the performance and sustainability of the club. One such strategic project that we began in 2021 was our development partnership with Cal South. I started out my career on the pitch, and this experience moved me to gain the knowledge to lead people and organizations where personal development towards excellence is a common goal.”

Now a new challenge awaits!

Past Episodes

Click on title to read details and play each episode.

Host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-05-11

Coaches who plan are coaches who succeed in helping players develop a love of the game. Licensed U.S. Soccer coach (and your host), Nick Webster, gives some tips and advice on why and how coaches should plan their coaching sessions.

Host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-04-20

Soccer has always been a part of your host Nick Webster’s life. Here he talks about his early years as a player, coach, and supporter of the game. He also speaks about his time with the Fox Soccer Channel and traveling the globe covering World Cups and Euros. He’ll also delve into where he thinks soccer is going and plans for the future.

Guest: Karen Callado – PRO, NWSL & USL Referee
Episode released 2022-04-13

Referee Karen Callado talks about her journey and destinations along the way, including officiating with the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) in both the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and United Soccer League One (USL), as well as a U.S. vs. Brazil game at the 2019 Nike U20 International Friendlies, a match close to her heart.

Guests: Jim Madrid, Founder – Advance Sports Technologies, Inc.
Episode released 2022-04-06

Jim Madrid, the CEO and founder of the AST Academy, has worked with some of the biggest names in sport. However, he hasn’t focused on the technical or tactical side of athletics; instead, he has developed tools which train the body’s most powerful tool: the mind.

Jim talks about the AST mental performance platform and how it can benefit everyone… the athlete, the coach, and the parent. Today, in sports and in life, mindset is the difference between success and failure.

Guests: Terry Fisher, Cal South CEO
Episode released 2022-03-30

Last June, Terry Fisher joined Cal South as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Over the last nine months, he has changed the culture, mission, and attitude of the entire organization. With courage and determination, a new dawn has risen. Cal South is back and ready to serve the youth and adult players of Southern California. You have spoken, and we have listened.

Guests: Serafin Panama Rodriguez
Episode released 2022-03-23

Serafin Panama Rodriguez has been there and done that. Growing up in Mexico City and being a ball boy at the famed Azteca Stadium cemented a love affair with the sport of soccer that has seen him become a coach, referee, and eventually a CONCACAF team liaison officer.

He’s witnessed the growth of the Mexico/USA rivalry, seen the dirty tricks the teams play on each other in the quest to qualify for World Cups, and attended the planet’s biggest event for the last four editions. As the co-founder of one of the largest adult soccer leagues in Southern California, Serafin wears his heart on his sleeve.

Guests: Joe Flanagan, Kevin Smith & Guido Sendowsky
Episode released 2022-03-09

Soccer is a physical sport and injuries are part and parcel of the game. A sprained ankle, a jarred knee, an abrasion –– all are injuries which are easy to diagnose. Concussions, on the other hand, are much trickier.

Who knows what’s happening to our brains when we get our “bell rung?” Joe Flanagan, NCAA champion with CSUDH, joins Orange Coast College head coach Kevin Smith and certified athletic trainer Guido Sendowsky to explain the mysteries behind concussions in soccer. They’ve developed a platform that can give parents and coaches an inexpensive app that can possibly save lives and keep our athletes out of harm’s way.

w/host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-03-02

As a parent, coach, and former player, winning never gets old. On the other hand, losing can suck. In today’s society, it feels like we only have time for winners; however, as a coach, I often learned the most from a loss. A few years ago I wrote a book called “Re-booting Youth Soccer 2.0: Everything You Really Need to Know But Were Afraid to Ask About Youth Soccer” (available on Amazon). Today on “The Bear and the Ball,” I’ll read from my chapter on “Winning and Losing” as it’s highly relevant as we move into the sudden death of this year’s State Cup and the highs and lows that come with knockout soccer.

Guest Ian Feuer, former EPL/MLS Goalkeeper & USC Women’s Goalkeeping Coach
Episode released 2022-02-23

Ian Feuer blazed a trail for goalkeepers in the 1990s becoming the first American to be signed by a team in the EPL, West Ham United. His story from Las Vegas to the top of the goalkeeping tree is inspiring. He left home at 16 years of age to pursue a dream, a dream he turned into reality.

This episode of “The Bear and the Ball” is a blueprint on how to get to the top of the soccer world. The journey isn’t easy but the rewards are mind-blowing.

Guests: Erin McLeod & Dr. Rachel Lindvall, Co-Founders of “The Mindful Project”
Episode released 2022-02-16

Erin McLeod is an Olympic Gold medal winner and a 4-time FIFA Women’s World Cup participant with the Canadian Women’s National Team. She is also a certified mental coach. Along with Dr. Rachel Lindvall, they have developed “The Mindful Project,” a platform which provides structured mindfulness programs and performance training for students and athletes.

With mental health now being considered more seriously at the forefront of everyday life and also in athletic performances, this episode of “The Bear and the Ball” is a must for parents looking to take their athletes to the next level.

This episode of “The Bear and the Ball” was recorded live from “Podcast Row” at the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City.

Guests: Eric Wynalda, Broadcaster & MLS Legend, with Brian Lofrumento, Entrepreneur & Author
Episode released 2022-02-09

Eric Wynalda has played over 100 times for the USMNT. He’s also played in Germany, Mexico, the MLS, and is an alumnus of Cal South. On this episode of “The Bear and the Ball,” Eric joins us along with Brian Lofrumento, a once highly touted player and successful entrepreneur, as they discuss how coaches can either make or break young soccer players. Coaching involves mentoring, leading, and loving your players, and Eric and Brian let you in on the secret of achieving all three while maintaining performance.

This episode of “The Bear and the Ball” was recorded live from “Podcast Row” at the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City.

Guests: Drew Rea, Men’s Head Coach at Norco Community College & Vayron Martinez, Men’s Head Coach at Bakersfield Community College
Episode released 2022-02-02

Drew Rea, Men’s Soccer Head Coach at Norco Community College, and Vayron Martinez, Men’s Soccer Head Coach at Bakersfield Community College, join “The Bear and the Ball” to talk about soccer at the community college level. The insights of these two highly successful coaches give a fascinating look into soccer at the JC level and you just might be surprised by what you hear. For any players looking to take advantage of an extra year or two before making the step towards the NCAA, this is the episode for you.

This episode of “The Bear and the Ball” was recorded live from “Podcast Row” at the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City.

Guest: Ralph Perez, Men’s Head Coach at University of Redlands
Episode released 2022-01-26

Ralph Perez is a legend in soccer here in the United States and his experience in the game is vast. Perez has been a U.S. Men’s National Staff Coach, led the U20 squad to the 1989 World Cup, served as Assistant Coach to both the LA Galaxy and the New York MetroStars, and is currently the Men’s Head Coach at the University of Redlands. Perez has seen the dramatic growth in soccer in America, and his insights are intelligent and on point.

This episode of “The Bear and the Ball” was recorded live at the 2022 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City.

Guest: Bill Songhurst, Former Manager at Leyton Orient FC
Episode released 2022-01-18

Coaching young kids is one of the most rewarding things a coach can do. Their minds are like sponges, and they have a simple desire to learn and, most importantly, have fun. However, sometimes coaches get caught inside the trap of coaching only to win. We speak with Bill Songhurst, a man who has coached at all levels of the game and who now primarily works on teaching the game to young children. His insights are a must for anyone who is working with young soccer players.

Guest: Phil Darke, Leadership Podcaster & Author
Episode released 2022-01-11

Sir Alex Ferguson is widely considered to be one of the greatest soccer managers of all time. The fact is that he did very little coaching; however, he had the art of management down to a science. Our guest Phil Darke has decades of experience in leading and he uses his vast experience to discover “How Soccer Explains Leadership” on his own podcast, using lessons from the great SAF. It involves trust and understanding what makes players tick.

Solo episode with host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-01-04

Many years ago coaches believed that a loud voice, a demanding nature, and the “My way or the highway” approach was the best way to teach sports to young children. Podcast host, broadcast, and longtime soccer coach Nick Webster learned through trial and error that a course of “guided discovery” is the tool that works best with the current generation of kids. Here are his tips for coaching “the Beautiful Game” to the youth of today!

Guest: Eric Wynalda, National Soccer Hall of Famer, MLS & USMNT legend
Episode released 2021-12-28

Scoring goals seems like it should be the easiest task in soccer, but it really isn’t. The highest-paid players in the world are the men and women who can put the ball in the back of the net with regularity. Former USMNT great, National Soccer Hall of Famer, and Cal South alumnus, Eric Wynalda was just such a player, and he gives us his insight into what makes a great goal scorer. For attackers, defenders, and goalkeepers, this is the episode that could potentially change your soccer career from merely okay to world-class!

Guest: Ali Riley, Orlando Pride & New Zealand National Team Defender
Episode released 2021-12-21

Ali Riley has represented her country, New Zealand over 140 times. She has played in World Cups, Europe, and is currently in the NWSL balling out for the Orlando Pride. She is a true product of the Cal South experience, playing her formative years in the Los Angeles area with Westside Breakers and Real So Cal, before moving to a successful college career with Stanford. Her journey to the top is one every aspiring young female player should hear.

Guest: Kevin Hartman, LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Coach & MLS Legend
Episode released 2021-12-14

This week on “The Bear and the Ball,” we have Kevin Hartman, aka ‘El Gato,’ who has won every major trophy in American soccer: MLS Goalkeeper of the year in 1999, 2-time MLS Cup Champion, 2-time winner of the US Open Cup, and a CONCACAF Champions League winner. Kevin is currently the goalkeeping coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Kevin talks about his career, what it takes to become a goalkeeper, and so much more!

Guest: Frances Jones, Athletic Director at Windward School
Episode released 2021-12-07

Former world-class 800-meter specialist, athletic director, mother, and Master of Arts student, Frances Jones joins “The Bear and the Ball” to talk about coaching and leadership. In her current role as athletic director at Windward School in Los Angeles, Jones shapes the future, and her expertise in leading today’s youth is unparalleled. For anyone in a leadership position or striving to be a leader, this episode of “The Bear and the Ball” will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

Guest: Allie Jara, University of California–Riverside Assistant Women’s Coach
Episode released 2021-11-30

Allie Jara, is the assistant coach at the University of California–Riverside (UCR). She has also played soccer and the D2 and D1 level, experiencing highs and lows. In this episode of “The Bear and the Ball,” Allie gives her wisdom on playing at the highest level and on her journey toward becoming a coach. For women who are passionate about soccer and want to grow into the sport, this is a “can’t miss” episode.

Guest: Anthony Pisicoli, Cal South Vice-President of Youth Soccer
Episode released 2021-11-23

Anthony Pisicoli is the Vice President of Youth on the Cal South Board of Directors. A self-proclaimed soccer fanatic and father to a very talented goalkeeper, Anthony has been involved with the game for over two decades. In this episode of “The Bear and the Ball,” he shares his thoughts on the youth soccer landscape here in Southern California.

Guest: Greg Rubendall, Livermore Fusion DOC & USSF Instructor
Episode released 2021-11-16

Greg Rubendall has been on the youth and adult coaching scene his whole life. As the Director of Coaching for the Livermore Fusion and an instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation, Greg has heard of every reason why people step into the coaching world. On this episode of “The Bear and the Ball,” he names his top ten reasons why people become coaches.

Guest: Kat Scardino, M.Ed., CMPC – Mental Performance Coach
Episode released 2021-11-09

As coaches we train the 4 pillars – physical, technical, tactical, and mental – but how much time do we really spend on training mindset? Kat Scardino is an expert in working with athletes to achieve their best. This vital skill is often the difference between winning and failing in life and on the field of play, and is why this is a “must listen” episode.

Guest: Joey Hoffman, Cal South Pro+ ODP Coach
Episode released 2021-11-02

Joey Hoffman has had a remarkable coaching career. He’s been a director of coaching at clubs throughout Southern California, he’s won multiple ODP national titles, he’s served as an assistant at Loyola Marymount University taking the school to the NCAA tournament, and he took the Philippines to within a whisker of World Cup qualification. He has a wonderful story to tell about the ups and downs of working in this beautiful game.

Bernie Towers, Coast Soccer League President
Ben Nicholson, President of Santa Monica Surf
Juan Guzman Jr., Cal South SRA & former FIFA referee
Episode released 2021-10-26

Referees are in short supply and the reasons are complex, however, we can all play a part in making the game more attractive to the next generation. Bernie Towers, President of Coast Soccer League, Ben Nicholson, President of Santa Monica Surf, and Juan Guzman former FIFA referee join your host Nick Webster to discuss how we can change the dynamic that threatens to complicate the sport we all love.

Guest: Bernie Towers, President of Coast Soccer League (CSL)
Episode released 2021-10-19

Bernie Towers is the President of Coast Soccer League, one of the biggest youth gaming leagues in the United States. In this episode, he talks about his background, how we can help referees, and his hopes and dreams for the beautiful game in Southern California.

Guest: Steve Hoffman, Cal South Technical Director and Head Coach for Ventura College Women’s Program
Episode released 2021-10-10

On this episode of the Bear and the Ball, Vice President of Cal South, Nick Webster, catches up with one of the legends of the Southern California coaching community, Steve Hoffman. Steve is the Technical Director for Cal South and the Head Coach for the women’s program at Ventura College. He has helped players and coaches reach the highest levels of the game.

Guest: Juan Guzman Jr., Cal South State Referee Administrator & Former FIFA/MLS Referee
Episode released 2021-10-06

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a referee, well, wonder no more as Cal South SRA, Juan Guzman tells us about his career and how you to can become a top-level referee, plus so much more!

Guest: Terry Fisher, Cal South CEO
Episode released 2021-09-28

Cal South is back and better than ever. Catch up with new CEO and soccer innovator, Terry Fisher as he brings you the latest news from the country’s best youth and adult soccer association.