Saturday, July 9, 2011

Claudio Reyna Lays Out Plan for Youth Soccer Overhaul In America

In 2010, US Soccer named former American soccer star, Claudio Reyna, Youth Technical Director. After a year of studying programs across the world, Reyna feels that he now knows what America needs to do to improve its overall soccer development so it can compete with other countries internationally.

The United States hasn't had much success on the world stage in soccer.  In the men's national team's latest tournament, the CONACAF Gold Cup, they were outmatched by a younger, more dynamic Mexican national team.  In the latest U-17 World Cup, the American team were pummeled in the second round by Germany 4-0.

Reyna recently spoke to a group of coaches at the US Soccer Coaching Curriculum Summit in Oregon where he stressed that the status quo needed to change.  He then laid out a completely new curriculum outlining coaching techniques, age-appropriate practice plans, and the importance of the right mindset for players (team first, humble attitude).  Instead of focusing on winning, Reyna wants coaches to place more emphasis on practice for young players.

In a recent interview with Sporting News, Reyna laid out what his vision was for the future of youth soccer in America:
"It's time to look at what we're doing as a coaching force in this country and understand the big picture," Reyna told Sporting News. "The competition isn't a team from Virginia trying to beat a team from D.C. It's the world. The world is our competition. That has to be the mindset of coaches around the country, that they're part of something bigger."
If the nation of soccer coaches are going to listen to anyone, it would be Claudio Reyna, who has been one of America's most respected players internationally.  Reyna had 111 caps for the US Men's National team, captaining the squad at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He also has 15 years professional playing experience in the Premier League, Scottish League, Bundesliga, and the MLS.

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