Academy Affiliate Technical Director Desmond Armstrong continued his tour of Sporting Kansas City Academy Affiliates as he made his way to Nebraska. Armstrong’s visits to Omaha FC and Sporting Lincoln came on the heels of his trip to Des Moines and Wichita in early October.
During his time in Omaha, the former U.S. Men’s National Team player had the opportunity to work with a variety of members within the club and left quite an impression.
“Coach Armstrong was fun, interesting, and very knowledgeable,” said Omaha FC Girls Director of Coaching Alex Mason. “We enjoyed his presence and insight into our affiliation as we move forward. Coach Armstrong has a story for every question and a personal experience to share. The game is in good hands.”
Omaha FC players made the most of their time with Armstrong, soaking up his insights and instruction. “I really enjoyed our session with Desmond,” said Elite-Mason player Karlie Ellis. “We worked on stretching the field with the ball and getting compact when we didn’t have the ball.”
Reflecting on their sessions with Armstrong, fellow Elite-Mason teammate Lindsey Prokop said she enjoyed Armstrong’s ability to use his playing experience as teaching moments.
“Desmond is an amazing soccer player and I’m glad he was able to coach our team,” she said. “I loved how he was able to make us laugh, but still keep us focused on the game. I hope Desmond can come out and help us again!”
With his visit to Omaha FC complete, Armstrong made the short trip south to Sporting Lincoln. The time he spent in Lincoln allowed him to gain a better understanding of the current state of the club, their technical and tactical philosophies, and their developmental system.
“I had a very engaging visit with Sporting Lincoln FC,” said Armstrong. “I was incredibly intrigued by their youth development process, specifically the application of their point system during games, which incentivized individual technical moves as they were used in real game situations by their players. Because their emphasis has been on younger ages, it will be very interesting to see how they continue to grow and become more competitive in the years to come as these younger groups grow and develop under this system.”
Armstrong at Sporting Lincoln
Speaking on Armstrong’s time with the club, Sporting Lincoln Girls Director of Coaching Jo Rosenberger had high praise.
"It was a pleasure meeting Desmond and getting some insights into the direction of the Sporting Club Network," she said. "We're looking forward to helping grow the relationship between the Academy Affiliates over the coming years."
"On behalf of Sporting Lincoln, we would like to thank Desmond Armstrong for his recent visit,” noted Brett Rosenberger, Boys Director of Coaching. “We were excited to see and discuss SKC taking the lead to be the national example of youth development and are excited to be a contributing part of what may likely revolutionize soccer in the United States.”