Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was one of 13 professional coaches from Major League Soccer and the U.S. Youth National Team programs to complete the first U.S. Soccer Pro License Coaching Course on Saturday in Chicago.
The U.S. Soccer Pro Course license is the highest and most prestigious in the country and was bestowed after a 12-month collaborative program. Until Saturday, the highest level of licensing attainable was a U.S. Soccer A license. The Pro Course was added to the U.S. Soccer licensing structure as part of an ongoing effort to develop world-class players, coaches and referees.
“This is a great initiative and it is pretty special to be the first group,” said Vermes, who was one of eight MLS coaches in the inaugural graduating class. “We realized quickly that we are all doing the same thing and we all have the same challenges. The course itself, the lectures and the guest speakers were phenomenal. Going through a course like this, with ideas around leadership and problem solving, was very good. In the end, the better our coaches are, the better we are going to be at developing players.”
Pilot Pro Course Participants:
- Gregg Berhalter (Columbus Crew SC, MLS)
- Jeff Cassar (Real Salt Lake, MLS)
- Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union, MLS)
- John Hackworth (U-17 Men’s National Team, U.S. Soccer)
- Jason Kreis (Orlando City SC, MLS)
- Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids, MLS)
- Omid Namazi (U-18 Men’s National Team, U.S. Soccer)
- Ben Olsen (D.C. United, MLS)
- Oscar Pareja (FC Dallas, MLS)
- Tab Ramos (U-20 Men’s National Team, U.S. Soccer)
- Sigi Schmid
- Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City, MLS)
- Richie Williams
Coaches progressed through the course with a combination in-person instruction, club visits, expert guest speakers, webinars and final assessments during the year-long program. Each coaching candidate embarked on a customized program based on their particular needs, participating in several group meetings and individual visits. Topics throughout the course ranged from off-field leadership to on-field tactics and everything in between.
“The addition of the Pro course helps raise the bar by setting a new standard for current professional coaches and coaches aspiring to be professionals,” said Nico Romeijn, U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education who led the course. “We hope to continue to build on these opportunities and create a world class learning environment for our domestic coaches at the professional level and all levels.”