Q & A With Alfonso Mondelo
For its foreign trips to non-English speaking countries, U.S. Soccer provides a “soccer” translator and this trip is no different. Spanish native Alfonso Mondelo, who was a former coach in MLS and is currently MLS Technical Director for Player Development and Scouting, will provide his expertise on the game through translation. Mondelo spoke with CoachesNet ahead of the week-long trip to Madrid to discuss the coaching education experience provided by the international workshop.
CoachesNet: What can a coach expect for attending the Madrid, Spain trip?
Alfonso Mondelo: “Coaches will attend a series of games, training sessions and lectures from coaches from the Spanish Soccer Federation and several professional teams. They will provide the U.S. coaches with a varied look at Spanish soccer and an understanding of their ideology and methodology.”
CN: Can you explain the role you will play during the week?
AM: “I will serve as a liaison between both federations and do my best to translate and communicate to our coaches the views and information and nuances that the Spanish coaches will share with us.”
CN: The group will spend time with various professional teams and coaches during their seven days. What do you hope they learn and see?
AM: “Spanish soccer is enjoying arguably the best moment of their long history, as demonstrated by the recent results of their national teams at all levels of international competition. The coaches in attendance will be able to observe a few different levels of competition as well as training sessions, where they can get some ideas and gain an understanding and insight to the Spanish approach to training and development.”
CN: Can you explain your current role with MLS?
AM: “I serve as the lead for the Player Development initiative in MLS, providing technical guidance in the creation of minimum standards and best practices for the academies. My department also tracks catalogues and stores a large database of games from all over the world to aid MLS clubs in their scouting efforts.”
CN: How do you feel educational workshops like these will assist you, Major League Soccer and its teams?
AM: “Major League Soccer’s clubs have recently started to focus on player development and its importance to the success of the league and the sport in the US. To maximize the potential of the MLS Academies it is vital to visit and learn from those federations and clubs that have a proven track record with their development programs.”
CN: Can you give an example?
AM: “Every time they step on the field youth national teams or youth teams from professional clubs compete to win. However is not the top priority that they win every championship, rather that their top players are exposed to challenging competition through which they continue to polish the players towards the ultimate goal of seeing them make their professional debut with the first team or reach the full national team.”