CHICAGO (Aug. 8, 2017) – As part of its ongoing effort to make soccer the preeminent sport in the U.S. by developing world class players, coaches, and referees, U.S. Soccer has appointed Matt Dacey as the Boys’ Development Academy Technical Advisor for the Pacific Northwest region and Rob Elliott as the Atlantic region Technical Advisor.
In their roles, Dacey and Elliott will manage the talent identification networks in their regions, which consist of U.S. Soccer scouts who attend training, games, and Academy showcases to identify elite talent. As the next step in the development pathway, they will provide scouting reports and player-specific data to the Director of Talent Identification and Youth National Team Staffs.
Dacey comes to U.S. Soccer after serving as Technical Director for the Oregon Youth Soccer Association. He has previously been a part of U.S. Soccer, working as a National Instructor in 2017 and Network Scout in 2016. Since 1998, Dacey has been a prominent force in the Pacific Northwest soccer community, holding roles at Tualatin Hills United SC, Jesuit High School, Portland State University and BSC Oregon of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“For the first time, we have a Technical Advisor just for the Pacific Northwest,” U.S. Soccer Boys’ Development Academy Director Aloys Winjker said. “[Matt] lives in Portland, so he’s familiar with the region. With his background as a Coach Educator he will be a big benefit not only for the Academy but also for the whole youth soccer landscape in the Northwest.”
Before his time in the Northwest, Dacey held positions in Colorado as a member of the State Instructional Staff for the Colorado Youth Soccer Association and Virginia as the Director of Player Development for Virginia Rush Soccer Club.
“Representing U.S. Soccer is an honor and a privilege,” Dacey said. “The opportunity to support the clubs in continuing to build toward the future is exciting. Working alongside the dedicated and talented staff will provide great opportunities for my own ongoing professional development.
“Given the opportunity to serve as a Network Scout provided insight into the great effort of numerous individuals in improving the environment for players to develop to their fullest potential. As a coach educator, I relish the opportunity to support the Northwest clubs in their growth and development as we provide the best environment to provide the players with the greatest opportunity in the country.”
Elliott, who takes over the Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania Atlantic region, comes to U.S. Soccer after working for the New York Red Bulls as their Director of Scouting and Premier Development League head coach. As the organization’s PDL head coach, Elliott led the Red Bulls’ to a 12-1-1 overall record and runner-up finish, earning 2017 PDL coach of the year honors. As the club’s Director of Scouting since 2014, Elliott was responsible for identifying, evaluating and recruiting players for the Red Bull’s first team, USL team and Academy teams.
“Adding a TA to the East coast is big step forward for the Development Academy,” Winjker said. “Robert Elliott, with his experience at a high level, is a big benefit for the TA group and the Development Academy in the Atlantic market. I believe he can help to raise the level of the Academies in the Virginia, Pennsylvania and the D.C./Maryland markets.”
Before he became head of scouting for the club, Elliott was the head coach for the U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy club. Notable U.S. National Team players developed under Elliott’s tutelage including Matt Miazga, Juan Agudelo, Matthew Olosunde, Alex Muyl and Tyler Adams.
“I’m really excited to get back into growing the game every day in this country,” Elliott said. “And this position allows me to get my feet wet and get in on the ground and hopefully have a real impact in terms of helping grow the base of players with the end goal of producing world class players for our National Teams.
“I was in it when the Academy started, on the coaching side, with Red Bulls. I think there has been a great deal of change in the last 10 years, from the quality of play, but also from the professionalism in every aspect: from the coaches, to the players to the administrative side, all of that. It’s become a lot more professional, which I think is going to benefit the players down the road. I think the future is bright with all the initiatives that U.S. Soccer is implementing.”
All U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors are required to hold a minimum U.S. Soccer 'A' license and complete the Academy Directors Course. On a day-to-day basis, TAs support club efforts to elevate the everyday environment by providing consistent, meaningful feedback while helping identify players who deserve consideration for U.S. Soccer Training Centers and Youth National Teams. TA’s strive to create synergy and relationships with member clubs for the development of the players and the sport.
U.S. Soccer's increased focus on club and player development will ensure both TAs integrate and align with the six Sport Development departments: Development Academy, Coaching Education, High Performance, Youth National Teams, Refereeing and Membership. The Technical Advisor role will work closely with clubs to support Academy Directors and staff to achieve their goals through U.S. Soccer’s Player Development Initiatives.