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Coaching Education Platforms Continue During 2010 Spring Showcase

• Technical Advisors, National Team Staff Available to Provide Immediate Feedback to All Clubs
• AGM Features Presentation by Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna, Introducing New Curriculums

SARASOTA, Fla. (June 1, 2010) – The emphasis on education within the U.S. Soccer Development Academy is on full display at the Spring Showcase in Sarasota, Fla., continuing the programming that has been in place throughout the season. Along with the presence of technical advisors and youth national team coaches, U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna is taking in the event and introducing the new U.S. Soccer curriculum to Academy coaches.

Reyna spoke at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday evening, summarizing his plan for the growth of the sport in the United States, which is largely based on coaching education. All Academy coaches were in attendance at the presentation, which included topics from sideline behavior to the evolution of youth soccer in the past 25 years.

Following the hour long talk, coaches from all of the boys’ youth national teams discussed the philosophies of their programs, the challenges they face in their age group and some of the efforts they are currently making to address those challenges.

During the day, coaches have instant access to those same youth national team coaches, who are often right on the sidelines serving as scouts. Additionally, many Academy coaches have traveled with the national teams to get a sense of the environment that those coaches create and the level of competition at the international level.

“They’ve given us some feedback on the games, and it always helps to get it from a different point of view, from someone who’s less attached emotionally into the game,” said New York Red Bulls head coach Paul O’Donnell. “We use that to put our game plan together, as well as work on making some training sessions better.”

Craig Conger, whose North Meck SC teams play in the South Conference, agrees.

“It’s a great tool, because everyone is highly experienced,” he said. “It’s always good to have an experienced member of U.S. Soccer come in and say ‘this is what I see, this is how you can improve, these are the good things and these are the negative,’ and we can figure out where to go from there.”

Technology is also a key to the weekend, with representatives from ProZone and Interplay on site to assist coaches with their video review and analysis.

“ProZone is fantastic,” said Conger. “We know it’s the same system that the national teams use and even though we’re still working it into our program, we think the players and coaches will really benefit from the technology we have available.”

Since its inception in the fall of 2007, the Academy has provided a direct connection between clubs and U.S. national team coaches, and each season the gap becomes smaller.

The Spring Showcase is the second event of the 2009-10 Development Academy season following the Winter Showcase, which was held from Dec. 4-8 in Phoenix, Ariz. Academy Playoffs will be held at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. from June 25-29 and Academy Finals Week will be held from July 9-18 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.