The Bear & the Ball Podcast

Airing Tuesdays via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and CalSouth.com

Stay tuned for soccer talk, analysis, news & updates, and some special guests throughout the year!

2024 Season - Episodes

2023 Season - Episodes

LINDA FLANAGAN is a freelance journalist, researcher, and former cross-country and track coach. A graduate of Lehigh University, Flanagan holds master’s degrees from Oxford University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and was an analyst for the National Security Program at Harvard University. She is a founding board member of the New York City chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance.

On this episode of Cal South’s “The Bear and the Ball,” Nick and Linda go deep into how we can make youth sports fun, and take out the all-consuming pressure of trying to get to the next level.

Peter Frintzilas is a technology executive and the CEO of TeamSnap, the application that every parent can’t do without when it comes to the match day soccer experience. On this episode of the Bear and the Ball, Nick talks with Peter about the origins of TeamSnap and where it may go in the future.

Shay Haddow is an expert coach and speaker on confidence and mindset for female athletes. Having worked with hundreds of young female athletes and college teams from across the country, she’s empowered girls from all walks of life to strengthen their self-belief to play and live confidently

As the founder of Alpha Girl Confidence Academy, host of the Alpha Girl Confidence Podcast, and author of the best-selling book “She the Confident,” Shay is widely regarded for her insights on confidence and mindset by soccer parents and coaches around the country.

Don Williams has been helping aspiring soccer players get to the promised land of college soccer for decades. In this episode of “The Bear and the Ball,” he breaks it all down. The process is a lot easier than it’s made out to be, however, there are some hurdles that must be jumped correctly.

If you want to go to college and play soccer, if you are a parent that thinks your child can play college soccer, then this is the episode for you.

Bryan Alcantara is a coach educator for U.S. Soccer delivering education for USSF Grassroots candidates. He’s also a dad who is passionate about his daughter enjoying the game and is constantly thinking about how the game is the teacher; however, data, whether you like it or not, is also a teacher.

As a director for Track160, one of the most innovative platforms on the market today, Bryan and Nick spar on the age-old question “What tells the truth – the eye or the data?” on this episode of “The Bear and the Ball.”

Neil Crawford is a soccer dad, coach, and founder of Anytime Soccer Training. Anytime Soccer Training is a comprehensive online soccer training app with thousands of 100% follow-along training sessions. Neil tells host Nick Webster his story…
SoccerParenting.com provides a wealth of information, resources, and educational materials aimed at supporting parents in understanding the various aspects of youth soccer. SoccerParenting.com co-founder and former pro player Skye Eddy joins host Nick Webster discuss how to discover the secret of soccer parenting.

The Bear and the Ball welcomes back the founder of the AST Academy, Jim Madrid. This week we delve into the power of building culture and affirmations.

Jim Madrid, the founder of Advance Sports Technology, AST, joins the Bear and the Ball to discuss the importance of one of the most powerful words in life, namely TRUST. Over the next few months, Madrid will dig deep into the AST fundamentals and principles for helping you, and your teams reach goals that they never thought would be attainable. This series is a MUST for players, coaches, and parents who are serious about changing their lives in a positive direction.
Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Derek is a lifelong south Florida sports fan, and has been working in soccer/sports as a graphic artist since 2008. His stops have included Miami FC (USL1), the Florida Marlins (MLB), Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL), and North American Soccer League, as well as creating custom logo designs for clubs and leagues across North America, such as Atlantic City FC, Boca Raton FC, New Orleans United, 1812 FC Barrie, the Florida Gold Coast League, and more.
Ryan Jorden has been the Head Coach of the UCLA Bruins for 4 seasons and in that time he has transformed the men’s soccer program. Jorden has reached the top of the collegiate soccer tree and has done it the hard way earning every step of the ladder. On this episode of the Bear and the Ball, he talks about his journey from graduate assistant coach to starting a program with a blank page. He also discusses the make-up of a collegiate player. If you want to coach or play at this level, the next 50 minutes are a must for your development.
Peter Moore has a long and storied history in the sport, having played professionally and served as CEO of Liverpool Football Club, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment division, and head of EA Sports’ game division. Peter’s lifelong dedication to the game he loves continues with Santa Barbara Sky FC. After founding the club in 2022, Peter is preparing for life in the USL League One for the 2024 season. On this week’s episode of the Bear and the Ball, Peter discusses his experience in the game and how Santa Barbara Sky FC is shaping up for its first season in the USL. 
Scott Juniper is the All-Time Winningest Coach in UC Irvine Women’s Soccer history! His Anteaters have developed the reputation of “Giant Killers”, beating USC and UCLA in the NCAA tournament! Juniper has built a program that rivals the biggest and the best in the United States. On this week’s episode, Nick and Scott talk about the culture and mindset he’s instilled in his players to compete at the highest level!
Former USMNT star, Eric Wynalda has seen many different sides of the game as a player, coach, and broadcaster. Now as a parent, he has the joy of watching his children play. Recently his 14-year-old son was hospitalized after a violent play that has no place in youth soccer. Today on the Bear and the Ball, we discuss the root of violent play from the player, teammate, coach, parent, and administrator. If you love this game, you must pay attention because the game needs to change and that only happens through you.
Paul Spacey is the Director of Coaching for FC England, a small boutique club based on the westside of Los Angeles. In this episode of the Bear and the Ball, he talks about the philosophy of the club and how he can compete with some of the bigger names out there. His approach is highly relational and an example for all DOC’s.
Christian Miles has been a voice of soccer since 1997. Beginning his career at Fox Sports World, Miles has traveled the globe calling games from every major and minor league. He describes his journey in the business of play-by-play calling. The challenges, the great moments, and the incredible personalities that make up the beautiful game. For anybody pursuing a career in this fascinating environment, this is the episode you’ve been waiting for.
Margueritte Aozasa is making the most stunning impact on women’s collegiate soccer the game has ever seen. From multiple NCAA titles as an assistant at Stanford University to winning the title as Head Coach of the UCLA Bruins in her first season, Margueritte is changing the game. On today’s Bear and the Ball, we relive the dying seconds of one of the most dramatic NCAA finals ever played, we go on a journey from club soccer to Santa Clara, and we find out what makes this unique coach and her amazing staff tick.
George Kuntz has been a presence on the Southern Californian College coaching scene for over 4 decades. From Cal Lutheran, Pepperdine, UCI Irvine, and now Cal State Fullerton, Kuntz has built programs from infancy to powerhouse. This week the Bear and the Ball discovers the journey, and what it takes to reach the pinnacle of collegiate coaching.
On this episode of the Bear and the Ball, Ben Thomas, Head Girl’s Coach at Windward High School describes how to build a high school soccer program from the ground floor. The culture, strategy, and rhythm of the season are discussed in detail. If you have the ambition to be a head coach or are already on the journey and looking for the best advice, this episode is the one you want to hear.
Steve Sampson has done it all. Head coach of the USMNT and Costa Rica. Winner of the double, MLS Cup, and US Open Cup with the LA Galaxy, and champion of the NCAA with Santa Clara. Sampson has just spent the last month in the center of the soccer universe, Qatar. He joins the Bear and the Ball and shares his thoughts on the World Cup in Qatar, the USMNT program, and what it will take for the United States to produce its own Messi or Mpbabe. This interview is a must for any serious fan of the beautiful game.
Behind every team are the unsung heroes that make it all work. At the home of MLS Cup Champions, LAFC, equipment manager Oliver Curry, makes sure that his players run out at the Banc of California Stadium feeling great, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for an incredible story that began playing the beautiful game in Cal South. On this episode of the Bear and the Ball, go on a journey with a young man who has and continues to live the dream of soccer.
The 2022 World Cup was a tournament for the ages. United Soccer Coaches Master Coach and Soccer Leader takes a look back at the competition and identifies some trends and actions that can relate to the youth game.

The 2022 World Cup was a tournament for the ages. United Soccer Coaches Master Coach and Soccer Leader takes a look back at the competition and identifies some trends and actions that can relate to the youth game.

Past Seasons

Host Nick Webster Episode released 2022-10-26 Jim Madrid the founder of AST Academy has been discovering, leading, and learning about the power of mindset for over four decades. In that time he has worked with world-class athletes and organizations to change lives. On this episode of the Bear and the Ball, Madrid unearths more insight into the most powerful component on earth, your mind.
Host Nick Webster Episode released 2022-10-11 Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski are redefining what it means to play as a striker. These two giants are at separate ends of their careers but what they both possess is an unquenchable thirst for scoring goals. Cal South Alum, Eric Wynalda, knows a thing or two about finding the back of the net having scored 34 times for the USMNT and Major League Soccer’s first-ever goal. Today, Eric breaks down what makes these two men so special. For anyone who wants to know what makes a goal scorer tick, this episode of the Bear and the Ball is for you.

Host Nick Webster
Episode released 2022-10-04

Itzik Rapaport has played soccer at the collegiate Division 1 level. In 2005 his school made it to the final but Itzik was at home watching on TV despite being one of the best players on the team…why? He wasn’t strong enough mentally. This made him go on a journey and his story is fascinating.

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!
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.