Every year at the Development Academy Showcases, scouts from all over the world come to get a look at some of the country’s most talented players. There were more than 300 scouts from Major League Soccer teams, colleges and foreign clubs at the 2010 Winter Showcase in Phoenix, Ariz. U.S. Soccer employs its own armada of scouts, with a total of 65 being used throughout the country to help identify and mentor the top youth talent.
At the 2011 Winter Showcase, U.S. Soccer has brought in a group with a wealth of professional and international experience. There are nine former professionals on scouting duty, including former U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS players and head coaches.
“Our scouting network is built with the idea of covering all the regions of the country with top level coaches and former players.” said Director of Scouting Tony Lepore. “They bring expertise, experience and a keen eye for talent to the program. It certainly adds a huge measure of credibility with the Development Academy coaches and players to know who is watching them.”
Amongst the scouting corps here in Florida are three former Men's National Team players, four MLS veterans and two MLS Cup winners. Chris Armas,a first-time scout, was a midfielder for the U.S. MNT from 1998-2005 during which he earned 66 caps and scored two goals. Brian Maisonneuve played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as the 1996 Olympic Games.
Bob Gansler and Manny Schellscheidt are former MNT head coaches, Gansler from 1989-91 when he coached at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and Schellscheidt in 1975. Both will be responsible for player identification as well as mentoring coaches at the 2011 Winter Showcase. Gansler - a member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame - was the head coach of the Kansas City Wizards from 1999-2006, winning the MLS Cup and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the team, while Schellscheidt has coached almost every level of the youth national teams.
Armas, Maissoneuve, Chris Peay and Dave van den Bergh all played in the MLS, Armas and Peay winning the MLS Cup with their clubs. Greg Andrulis was an MLS assistant and head coach with the Columbus Crew from 1996-2005.