On being named U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director:
“First of all, I’m incredibly proud to continue to represent U.S. Soccer. I’ve been involved with U.S. Soccer for a long time and this is certainly the place I want to be. In particular, now having been given that responsibility to be Youth Technical Director. It’s a great responsibility. At the same time, it’s something that I welcome and something that I think I have been preparing myself for.
On his main goals as the Youth Technical Director:
“The focus at this point would be a couple things. We want to continue to integrate all the Youth National Teams. Fortunately for me, I’ve had the experience of being with Jurgen [Klinsmann] for the last couple years. I know what the first team is about. I know how they work. I know how hard you have to work in order to help players, and we’ve slowly started to pass that down. I know that in the past two years, we’ve passed it down to the U-20s, we’ve passed it down to the U-18’s, and I think it’s important to continue to pass that down to the 17’s and the 15’s and 14’s.
“Then we need to focus on the root of the game. There continues to be nationwide a reliance on results rather than development at the younger ages. In particular, Zone 1 is an age group where there continues to be too much travel. There continues to be too much focus on the competition without attention on the individual player. That’s something in particular I’m very excited about and helping with.
“I’ve been involved now with the Youth National Teams for five or six years. I had the opportunity to work with Wilmer Cabrera a little bit. I worked with Thomas Rongen for a couple of cycles on and off. Then for the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to be a head coach, so I’ve seen the rebirth a little bit of what we are doing.
On the U.S. Soccer Development Academy:
“The Development Academy is incredibly important, and now having the younger age groups certainly helps. Not only that, we have more players involved, more people who have been in the game for a long time. The Academy has become exclusive for the best players. We have to do a better job to capture every best player that’s out there, but at this point, we feel pretty comfortable that the Development Academy has been able to see some of the best players in the country. The result of that can be seen by looking at the Youth National Team rosters. Most of the players have Development Academy experience.”