The Southeast region of the Development Academy has the advantage of being located close to the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.
The connection from the Academy to the Youth National Team system and senior National Team is a continual point of emphasis, so for Academy coaches and scouts, it was an invaluable opportunity to spend a full day recently with the U-17 MNT and head coach Richie Williams. They had the chance to see firsthand how their program works.
U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Juan Carlos Michia, who regularly scouts players and teams in the Academy’s Southeast Division, invited a group of coaches and scouts to take part in the event, and the response was strong. There were 42 coaches on hand from the Southeast, with nearly every Academy club represented.
The morning included a meeting with Michia, an introduction by Williams, and then the opportunity to watch a full training session, from the warm-up process to specific goalkeeping session work led by U-17 assistant coach Anthony Latronica.
The coaches had multiple meetings, including an afternoon presentation by Williams focusing on style of play, training sessions and scheduling.
Academy coaches and scouts also had an open conversation about systems and high-level training environments, as well as video analysis from previous U-17 MNT games.
“It was a very good experience, and I received some great response from many of the coaches who spent the day with the U-17 National Team,” Michia said. “Richie Williams and his staff did a tremendous job and were open with sharing the U-17 program’s system and methodology. It’s something that many of the coaches want to be a part of again in the future.”