The Development Academy Playoffs week isn’t only about the games on the field – it’s part of a broader objective to connect every level of play on the U.S. Soccer pyramid from the Development Academy to the senior U.S. Men’s National Team.
Earlier in the week in Frisco, Texas, members of the technical staffs from all 78 Academy teams attended a workshop that focused on coaching education and a technical overview of the directives and new initiatives that the U.S. Youth National Teams are going through, as well as the best ways to integrate U.S. Soccer's curriculum into Academy teams.
Dave Chesler, Director of Coaching Education for U.S. Soccer, provided an introduction to the topics and a general overview of the conference before teams eventually split up into separate groups hosted by Development Academy Technical Advisors Hugo Perez, Tim Regan, Chris Brewer and U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore.
“The purpose is you’ve got representatives from all over the country, from all the conferences and divisions, and these are the key people in developing our future Youth National Team and senior National Team players,” Chesler said. “Any time you’ve got that collection of people, you want to deliver a consistent message about where we’re heading with coach and player development.”
A main group presentation provided concrete examples connecting the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team from 2012 Olympic Qualifying, the senior U.S. Men’s National Team and the Development Academy with the U.S. Soccer curriculum and theory. That was followed by smaller meetings between National Team Technical Advisors and Director of Scouting Tony Lepore with representatives of Development Academy conferences and divisions going through plans and implementation strategy between the Academy and U.S. Youth National Teams.
“One of the important components of what’s going on here is that you’ve got coaching education leaders, technical leaders and the people who are responsible at the grassroots level sending a clear message about our curriculum – which is only two years old – and how that ties in with our Development Academy objectives for style of play,” Chesler said. “Meshing those two things was a very important part of this meeting and this developmental process for the Academy coaches.”