Following in Peter Vermes’ footsteps, Kerry Zavagnin has begun a 12-month journey toward obtaining the highest and most prestigious coaching license in North America.
The Sporting Kansas City assistant was one of 17 professional coaches announced Friday as candidates for the second edition of the U.S. Soccer Pro Course. Vermes, Sporting KC’s Manager and Technical Director, was one of 13 members in the inaugural graduating class last month.
The Pro Course was added to the U.S. Soccer licensing structure in 2016 as part of a major effort to develop world-class players, coaches and referees. Zavagnin and his fellow applicants will now embark on a 12-month coaching education and development program that will include three collective meetings, two individual club visits from U.S. Soccer coach educators, and a final presentation.
2017 Pro Course Participants
- Paul Buckle (Sacramento Republic, USL)
- Colin Clarke (North Carolina FC, NASL)
- Steven Cooke (Colorado Rapids, MLS)
- Jill Ellis (U.S. WNT)
- Jim Gabarra (Washington Spirit, NWSL)
- Jay Heaps (New England Revolution, MLS)
- Dominic Kinnear (San Jose Earthquakes, MLS)
- Jesse Marsch (New York Red Bulls, MLS)
- Pat Noonan (U.S. MNT)
- Caleb Porter (Portland Timbers, MLS)
- Darren Powell (San Antonio FC, USL)
- Brian Schmetzer (Seattle Sounders, MLS)
- Daryl Shore (Real Salt Lake, MLS)
- Mike Sorber (Philadelphia Union, MLS)
- Greg Vanney (Toronto FC, MLS)
- Josh Wolff (Columbus Crew, MLS)
- Kerry Zavagnin (Sporting KC, MLS)
Zavagnin was selected from an extensive application process, open only to coaches working within U.S. Soccer. Every coach in the 2017 class was required to hold the U.S. Soccer A License as a prerequisite into the program.
The groups first of three collective meetings will take place Saturday through Wednesday in Los Angeles. The second phase of the Pro Course will consist of individual club visits, where U.S. Soccer coach educators Nico Romeijn, Wim van Zwam and Vanni Sartini will travel to Sporting Kansas City. While on site, these instructors will observe and assess several coaching variables, including the coach’s rapport and interactions with players, staff, fellow coaches and other individuals involved in Sporting Kansas City’s development.
Zavagnin recently signed a new contract as Sporting Kansas City’s assistant coach and has been with the club — as a player or a coach — since 2000. During a nine-year playing career in Kansas City, he became the team’s all-time leader in games, starts and minutes played in all competitions. He joined the coaching staff as an assistant in 2009 and last summer was inducted into the Sporting Legends hall of honor.