Major League Soccer continues its commitment to coaching education by today announcing – in conjunction with United Soccer Coaches – five days of MLS-led programming at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center from Jan. 14-18. MLS will see an enhanced presence at the United Soccer Coaches Convention with the inaugural Youth Affiliate Coaches Summit, offering elite player development and talent identification seminars to participating coaches.
The Youth Affiliate Coaches Summit is the marquee education platform of the MLS Youth Affiliate Network, launched in September 2019 in partnership with adidas, and is dedicated to improving athlete identification and development. Additionally, MLS and adidas are committed to creating a path to higher levels of soccer for youth players through increased education and competition such as Generation adidas Cup.
Technical staff leaders from MLS and six MLS clubs will guide Youth Affiliate Network coaches in a variety of courses ranging from sport psychology and talent identification to on-field goalkeeping coaching activities on Jan. 14-15. In addition to rigorous coursework and on-field sessions, Youth Affiliate Network coaches will learn best practices in using their club affiliations with professional MLS staff to better serve athletes.
The marquee event of both the Youth Affiliate Coaches Summit and the United Soccer Coaches Convention will see a keynote presentation by reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC General Manager Garth Lagerwey. The three-time MLS Cup winner and reigning MLS Sporting Executive of the Year will discuss the Sounders FC player development pyramid and the alliance with adidas as part of the Youth Affiliate Network.
Among other notable MLS sessions will be a presentation on “Application of a Principle of Play in an MLS Youth Academy Environment”, led by D.C. United academy director Dave Sanford and Technical Director Gus Teren, both of whom have participated in the Elite Coaching Formation License through MLS’ groundbreaking partnership with the French Football Federation.
Outside of MLS programming, the Professional Referee Organization continues its ongoing education of the Video Review process by once again welcoming United Soccer Coaches Convention attendees to step into the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) simulator from Jan. 16-18. The VAR simulator provides real-time video of potentially reviewable incidents with PRO officials on hand to explain the decision-making process for penalty kicks, red cards, and goals.