Current and Former Professional Players Highlight "B" License Course at The Home Depot Center
CHICAGO (Dec. 23, 2008) – The largest collection of current and former professional players participated in a U.S. Soccer “B” license coaching course from Dec. 10-18 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. With assistance from Major League Soccer Players’ Association, U.S .Soccer arranged the coaching course around the Major League Soccer calendar.
U.S. Soccer National Staff Coaches Roberto Lopez and Rene Miramontes ran the nine-day National “B” License Course, which is designed to introduce concepts that are targeted toward coaching players age 16 to college level. The National “B” License focuses on recognizing the principles of the game and its technical applications in 9v9 game situations.
Out of the 31 participants, 29 were current or former professional soccer players. Cobi Jones, Kasey Keller, Alexi Lalas and Claudio Reyna, four of the top 12 all-time cap leaders for the Men’s National Team, attended the course. In total, the players in attendance earned 592 caps for the Men’s National Team.
ussoccer.com all_access Video: The Pros Get Schooled - National B License
“The main goal of the week has been showing the difference between playing and instructing,” said National Staff Coach Rene Miramontes. “The structure is organized so that these guys can get their coaching points and get their teaching in within the frame of the game, but in a sequential and organized kind of a way.”
Throughout the week, the instructors give candidates practical lessons on setting up individual training sessions, as well as building towards game day.
“You’re used to just being told what to do, said Keller. “You can see the points, but then how do you put it all together and find that progression starting from a warm-up and getting to a game. For me it has been very informative.”
The curriculum focuses on specific topics such as midfield defending, finishing, goalkeeping, and other technical and tactical aspects of the game. Candidates are then required to devise and conduct training sessions on their own. The course also provides training in nutrition, strength and conditioning, and sports psychology.
“As a player you do not often see the big picture, and I think the best part of being here this week as a former player is understanding to see more then just your own area of the field or the position you play in when you out there,” said former Men’s National Team captain Claudio Reyna. “It has been very informative, very educational, and a lot fun, but above all it’s just seeing the overall big picture when you are on the sidelines and also running a training session leading up to a game.”
The candidates were also given special presentations by U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley and the Director of Scouting for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Tony Lepore.
With so much experience at the professional and international level, the transition of players into the coaching ranks can only be a benefit to the future of soccer in the United States. While not all great players make great coaches, the nine days in Carson demonstrated that there is plenty of talent to develop.
“I think what I have been most impressed with is how willing they are to learn, how humble they have been, and what an interest they have taken in the coaching organization side of things,” said the lead instructor for the course, Roberto Lopez. “We tried to have the players take from their playing careers and transfer that into organized and structured training sessions. They have all had terrific experiences, and I think we can all agree that having them take part in this course and continue with the game is in our sport’s best interest.”
List of attendees
Sacha van der Most van Spijk