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U.S. Soccer to Hold Coaching Education Workshop in Spain From March 17-24

CHICAGO (March 8, 2012) – Next week, 45 coaches and four U.S. Soccer instructors will travel to Spain for a greatly anticipated coaching education workshop. This workshop will provide coaches with the wonderful opportunity to interact directly with top-level coaches, administrators and players from some of the best clubs in the world.

During the eight-day, seven-night workshop, U.S. Soccer coaches will have the opportunity to interact with members of professional coaching staffs, attend two first division La Liga games, analyze professional training sessions and visit some of the most well-known stadiums and landmarks in Europe.

As one of the top soccer countries in the world, Spain is the perfect place to host the workshop.

“They have a very rich history in the game and only seem to get better as time goes on. Having this opportunity to visit, observe and interact with some of the clubs and their national team staff will only help us to better understand their current form at the top of the international soccer world,” said workshop leader James Hoffman. “You always hope that being immersed in a soccer culture of this stature that the coaches will view it as an opportunity to enhance their coaching education, broaden their view of Spain's domestic and international game and enjoy Spain's culture, people and hospitality.”

“This is a very exciting trip for a veteran like me,” instructor Ralph Perez added. “We have always needed to do these trips to enrich ourselves with what other countries do. What better country to go to than Spain. They are the reigning World Cup champions, have some of the best national and club teams, as well as some of the best soccer being played in the world. If you want to learn, you might as well learn from the best.”

Attendees from the U.S. will depart on Friday, March 16, on an overnight flight to Spain. The first part of the workshop will be located in Madrid, allowing access to the numerous professional clubs in the region. During the first part of the workshop, the agenda includes attending a game between Real Madrid and Malaga CF, presentations by the Spanish Federation, as well as visits to professional clubs. Participants will also be staying at the City of Futbol Hotel while in Madrid, home of Spain’s National Soccer Team.

The second part of the workshop will begin on Tuesday, March 20, when coaches depart their hotel for Barcelona, where they will stay for four nights before departing back to the U.S. on Saturday, March 24. In Barcelona, the coaches are scheduled to observe an Espanyol Academy training session and attend a La Liga game between FC Barcelona and Granada CF.

“These international workshops allow the coaches to experience the game from within each country’s unique culture,” said Hoffman. “Participation allows each coach the ability to increase his or her reference points in making coaching decisions and comparisons between our game here and abroad. I know the days are going to be very full, not only in our workshop programming, but also in trying to experience the culture and history of this wonderful country and its people.”

The Coaches Department at U.S. Soccer is very excited for the upcoming workshop and all the unique experiences it will bring.

“U.S. Soccer Coaching Education should be applauded for its effort taking coaches abroad to countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Holland and of course Spain,” Perez said. “These workshops will only help with our development in coaching here in the U.S.”