U.S. Soccer Launches New Talent Scout License

U.S. Soccer Talent Identification and Coaching Education Collaborate to Offer New Specialty Course; First Instructor Course Begins Feb. 6 in Dallas
By: U.S. Soccer
U.S. Soccer Crest - One Nation. One Team.
U.S. Soccer Crest - One Nation. One Team.

CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2019)—U.S. Soccer will kick off its new Talent Scout License program this week with the first meeting of the initial pilot course this week in Dallas, Texas. The course is designed to educate candidates to develop the competencies needed to complete the tasks of a Talent Scout: examining players, building and managing a network, reporting and self-development.

“We’re really excited to get started with the new Talent Scout License,” said Tony Lepore, U.S. Soccer Director of Boys Talent Identification. “The specialized education will really help us to improve the level of youth scouting across the country and will make a big difference in how we identify and evaluate players. The course model will also help to strengthen our network between the Federation, clubs and members.”  

“Talent identification is a key area within player development,” said Barry Pauwels, U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education. “With this course we support the process of talent identification in the country by developing the competencies of talent scouts to ensure that children can play at the appropriate level.” 

The course’s holistic approach includes two, four-day meetings, assignments and webinars. Between the two meetings, candidates will return to their home environments for a development period, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned to their own organization under the guidance of the course educators. The new license seeks to impact the talent identification landscape by empowering candidates to further scouting efforts in their home environments.

Based on their individual needs, each candidate will go through a tailored program to better execute the tasks of a scout. Scouts will learn to properly prepare for events, examine players according to organizational and U.S. Soccer talent identification principles as well as evaluate and monitor players while incorporating data. They will work to build and manage a network that can provide information on players, create and submit scouting reports, and self-evaluate to continue their own development.

“With this course, we can create more awareness and a greater understanding of the concept of soccer talent. It will challenge, motivate and inspire,” said Mirelle Van Rijbroek, U.S. Soccer Girls Director of Talent Identification. “The course involves knowing the demands of your sport, understanding the development pathways and committing to continued learning and growth. We want to impact the country in a positive way.”

The course content is centered on U.S. Soccer Talent Identification philosophy:

  • Talent can be developed.
  • Clubs must drive talent identification in their communities through networking.
  • Identification and examination must happen within the context of the game.
  • Players develop at different rates and their performance trajectory is non-linear.
  • Talent Identification is a process with long-term objectives influenced by chronological, relative and biological age.
  • Scouts must use a common observational structure and speak the same club/U.S. Soccer language.
  • Making connections with all communities.
  • A gender-neutral approach when possible and gender-specific approach when needed.

The first pilot course will meet Feb. 6-10 in Dallas and March 21-24 in Los Angeles. It will also serve as an instructor course for future Talent Scout License educators. The 25 candidates were selected from across the highest levels of youth soccer, and the group includes the six U.S. Soccer Talent Identification Managers, Youth National Teams Network Scouts as well as representatives from Major League Soccer, US Club id2 and ODP. Lepore, Pauwels and Van Rijbroek will serve as the course instructors.

2019 Talent Scout Pilot License Candidates

J.B. Belzer

YNT Network Scout (Denver)

Gordon Bengtson


Shawn Beyer

YNT Network Scout ( San Diego)

Garrett Biller

U.S. Soccer Boys TID Manager - Central

Todd Bramble

YNT Network Scout (Virginia)

Henry Brauner

U.S. Soccer Boys TID Manager - West

Rafa Brazo

YNT Network Scout (Houston)

Katie Cole

U.S. Soccer Girls TID Manager - Central

Cris da Silva

U.S. Soccer Boys TID Manager - East

Diane Drake

U.S. Soccer Girls TID Manager - East

Chris Duke

ODP (Kansas City)

Tina Ellertson

YNT Network Scout (Washington)

Alecko Eskandarian


Ian Hennessy

YNT Network Scout (Delaware)

Deejae Johnson

YNT Network Scout (San Francisco)

Gene Klein

YNT Network Scout (Ohio)

Marieke Laurens

U.S. Soccer Girls TID Manager - West

Gerry McKeown

US Club id2 (New Jersey)

Michael Moynihan

YNT Network Scout (Chicago)

Matt Potter

YNT Network Scout (Oklahoma)

Katie Schoepfer

YNT Network Scout (New England)

Tricia Taliaferro

US Club id2 (Florida)

Greg Vallee

YNT Network Scout (South Carolina)

After completion of this first pilot/instructor course, the next round of pilot courses will take place this spring in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York/New Jersey. Twenty-five candidates will be invited to each, and they will be led by two instructors and one mentor (Lepore, Pauwels or Van Rijbroek). Another set of pilot courses will take place this fall in Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco. The fall slate of courses will be the first open for applications. 

To be considered for the Talent Scout License, candidates must hold a U.S. Soccer B Coaching License and need to work within an organization’s talent identification department.