This is one unique soccer school that teaches the most important subjects on the planet.

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

School will be in full swing for student soccer players between the ages of five and 22 across this great nation.

While reading, writing and arithmetic are vital to the academic success of a student, we all know what is missing from the American soccer education: An elite school that focuses only on our favorite sport.

That’s why yours truly is proud to unveil the very first Michael Lewis Elite School For Wayward Soccer Players Who Really, Really Want To Learn More About The Game. The school is open to any player, game official, coach, administrator, fan and even media member who wants to expand their horizons and learn more about this beautiful game.

Tuition hasn’t been established yet, but the larger the classes, the lower it will be.

Among the curriculum and courses that will be offered:

Diving 101

Why are some players able to earn a penalty kick in tough situations and others not? Because they don’t know how to dive. Learn how to fly through the air in the penalty area and land properly without breaking any bones or pulling any muscle while having a look of agony on your face. Of course, no course is foolproof as even the best divers in the world will be booked once in a while. This limited-enrollment course will include guest lecturers. One is already confirmed – former German superstar and one-time U.S. men’s national team Jurgen Klinsmann will examine the European aspect of diving, while Brazilian standout Neymar will handle the South American philosophy and antics.

Mumbo Jumbo 206

A must for coaches and prospective coaches. Learn every cliché imaginable, especially when a tough question is thrown your way. Make sure you have that excuse when you know the blame falls squarely on your shoulders. Sound like you know what you’re talking about even if you don’t have the slightest clue. You also will get an insider’s look on how to deflect questions by guest lecturer Bora Milutinovic. This course is open to players as well. Journalists must have special permission from the team they cover to attend.

Mumbo Jumbo 505

This graduate level course is open to everyone who gets frustrated during the course of a match. Want to tell a game official that he or she is an idiot, but don’t want to get carded? Then this is the class for you. You will learn several strategic phrases and sentences in rare languages and tongues the referee will never know in a million years (unless he or she takes the course). It will help you keep your blood pressure down and your yellow card point count in check as well.

Acting 102

How many times do you see a player fouled, really fouled, but no card is given? That’s because he or she can’t act well enough to convince the referee to book the player. This course will show a player how to grimace and make the correct sounds and how to clutch a leg in pain after a hard tackle. If this doesn’t produce at least one extra yellow card by an opponent next season, you get your money back.

Finger Pointing 103

This is a vital learning experience for players who want to deflect any blame for a bad play or a goal. Goalkeepers will learn the nuances of pointing first to a teammate, even if it isn’t his or her fault, or to game officials. Former MetroStars player Lothar Matthaeus is expected to be a special guest lecturer via a live hook-up from St. Tropez. To prepare for this course, just remember the mantra: It’s never my fault. It’s never my fault. This class should be taken in tandem with Acting 102.

Hand Ball 505

This advanced course usually is popular with defenders, who are trying to find new ways to knock the ball out of harm’s way (an open goal) with their hands without getting caught, ahem, and red (card) handed. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. The class will have a special master class video from the late Argentina star Diego Maradona. Maradona, as you might remember, is the only player in World Cup history to score a goal with his hand (1986) and to stop one as well (1990). He is a fountain of knowledge on this subject.

Bench Sitting 101

The course is mandatory for all players because at some time in your career you will be sitting the pine, whether it be for subpar performances or returning from an injury. Players will learn the proper slouching posture as they watch a game. Players also can discover the secrets of sitting as far away from the head coach as possible and will learn how to mutter things under their breath without getting caught and winding up in his doghouse.

Bench Sitting 501

This is an advanced version of Benching Sitting 101. There are so many TV cameras lurking around stadiums these days that coaches must learn how to sit calmly on the bench, even if they’re forced to watch their team squander a two-goal lead with a one-man advantage in the final five minutes of a match. You can’t be squirming or biting your nails on national TV. Or worse, you can’t be smoking like a chimney like some European and South American coaches do. This class will teach you the proper etiquette of sitting with your hands folded across your chest and looking serious while watching play.

Pre-game Standing 102

Another entry-level class for all players, some of whom still must learn how to stand during pre-game ceremonies. No player wants to get caught by his coach parents, teammates or on TV while picking his nose. There are also helpful tips on how to enthusiastically mouth the words of the national anthem just in case you forget them. While this doesn’t have anything to do with the playing of the game, you certainly don’t want to look like a patriotic fool.

Goal Celebration 401

This course offers the many alternatives to celebrate a goal, whether it is doing body flops on the ground, singing and dancing by yourself or teammates or taking your shirt off to celebrate or make a statement. Guest lecturers for the shirt celebration include Red Bulls forward Clint Mathis for the males and Brandi Chastain for the females.

Soccer Statistics 101

Baffled by what is a catch and what is a punch? Trying to grasp the concept of save per goal ratio? Dying to know the difference between a first, second or third assist? Trying to figure out how many touches your favorite player gets in the center circle? Don’t know what an expected goal is? Then this class is for you. Also known as Soccer Stats, this course will examine the budding world of soccer numbers in the U.S. and the rest of the world. It also will delve into the conspiracy theory of the big four American sports, which supposedly have quashed the popularity of the sport in this country by denying soccer its proper statistics.

Visas and Other Paperwork 301

This is an essential course for any budding general manager or future front office worker so you know the basics of how and where to find the latest info about visas, green cards and other INS paperwork so you sound like you know what you’re talking about. This class will differentiate the various visas all the way back to the North American Soccer League (B-1, H-1, H-2, for example) and even look into some current events (Cuban defections, soccer players at the border).

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.