Interviews

Below are all of our interviews, with the most recent ones at the top of the list. We strongly encourage you to get involved by commenting after any of them, if you have information to add to the answers or you don’t agree. This site is built on collaboration – the more you can share, the more we can all learn.

Interviews Name Excerpt Level
Playing at and getting to the Professional Level – Wells Thompson

Wells Thompson plays in the NASL for the Carolina RailHawks. In a ten year professional career he played in over 150 games for the New England Revolution, Colorado Rapids, and Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer, as 25 games for the Charlotte Eagles in

College, Professional, major league soccer
Scoring from Free Kicks – Bartek Sylwestrzak

Bartek Sylwestrzak grew up playing the game, reaching academy level at high school while in Poland. He took particular interest in striking the ball and committed to an in-depth study of this aspect of the game. Bartek completed a Bsc in Sport and Exer

Professional, free kicks, knuckleball, topspin
Designing Training Sessions – Alex Trukan

Alex Trukan coaches at Nottingham Forest’s Academy working with their U9’s. He started playing in Poland at a local grassroots club – working up to the first team. He moved to a professional club (Polonia Warsaw), playing for their U17/18 team. At 16 A

Professional, academy, practice
The Champions league & 1v1 Breakaways – Sweden’s Carola Söberg

Carola Söberg is a goalkeeper in the Damallsvenskan – the highest professional league Sweden. She currently plays for KIF Örebro DFF who finished second in 2014, which qualified them for the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Recently they flew to Greece t

Professional, breakaways, goalkeeping, sweden
Training Sessions and Playing Styles

Melvin Boel is the International Development Coach for Feyenoord Rotterdam – responsible for all of their content worldwide. After an injury as a young player, he got into coaching relatively early, working with various amateur teams (U17-19) and for t

Professional, feyenoord, playing style, training sessions
Coaching Flank Play – Tactical Considerations

Roy Dunshee is the head coach at D3 Washington College. Previously he was assistant coach at Northwestern Univerity and spent ten years coaching at the high school level in Maryland. Roy served as NSCAA State Technical Coordinator for both Maryland and

College, d3, flank play, shadow play
Better Positioning and Priorities for your Goalkeeper

Chris Bauer is a goalkeeping director who played at some of the highest levels of the game in the U.S.. He was on the Washington State ODP team with Kasey Keller, progressing to the regional and national pools. Chris played four years at Santa Clara Un

Club, corners, goalkeeping, positioning
Coaching Free Kicks and Corners

Tommy Wheeldon Jr. is Technical Director at Calgary Foothills Soccer Club, assistant coach with Team Canada U17 Men and head coach of the Foothills U23 PDL team. As a professional he played for Swindon Town and Torquay United in England, and Calgary St

Club, calgary, corners, free kicks, set pieces
Developing Youth Soccer in Azerbaijan

Daryl Willard is the Sports Director for the Football Association of Azerbaijan. Prior to that he worked under Arsenal Legend Tony Adams at Gabala FC – also in Azerbaijan. Daryl has also worked as an academy coach at both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea,

Club, Professional, UEFA Pro, azerbaijan, grassroots, license, travel
Soccer Nutrition – What Should Players Eat and Drink?

Curt Thompson is a Certified Nutritionist and an Advanced Metabolic Typing advisor, and the author of the Soccer Nutrition Handbook. He is a motivational speaker on the subject of nutrition and regularly addresses schools, universities, businesses, spo

drink, food, nutrition, supplements
Playing for Notre Dame & the Holding Midfielder Role

Jen Buczkowski is a holding midfielder for FC Kansas City in the NWSL. She previously played for Philadelphia Independence and Sky Blue FC. As a college player at Notre Dame she won a national championship and set the record for 103 career games played

College, fc kansas city, holding midfielder, notre dame, recruiting
Groin Strains, Rehab, Ice and Stretching

Rebecca Barclay is a Physical Therapist at the English Institute of Sport. Based at Loughborough University she works with Team Great Britain athletes to help them prepare for the upcoming winter and summer Olympics. Previously she worked for the profe

Professional, groin strain, health, ice, rehabilitation
Starting a New Competitive Club

Steve Lepper is the Executive Director of St Vrain FC – the youth soccer club in Longmont, Colorado, with 45 competitive (travel) teams, and seven full time staff. Six years ago the club had no competitive teams and two rival organizations within a cit

Club, staffing, structure, youth soccer
Player Development at the Olympique Lyonnais Academy

Laurent Courtois is the head coach for the Olympique Lyonnais U15 Groupe.  ‘OL’ has one of the most successful academies in Europe, with 33 graduates currently playing in the Big Five European leagues. Unlike most regular Champions League contenders, t

Professional, a license, academy, ol, periodization, training
Playing and Getting Forward as an Outside Defender

Leigh Ann Robinson is a defender for FC Kansas City in the NWSL. She previously played for FC Gold Pride, Atlanta Beat, and the Philadelphia Independence in the WPS, and has two caps for the US Women’s National Team. Prior to playing professionally, Le

Professional, defender, fc kansas city, outside back
Training Holding Midfielders – With Lonestar’s Vic Pace

Vic Pace is Executive Director of USSF Programs at Lonestar Soccer Club, in Austin, Texas. In 25 years of coaching he has worked with club, USL Pro and college teams. At Spartanburg Methodist College as Men’s assistant he won the NJCAA National Title.

4-2-3-1, Club, holding, midfield
Better Striking and Finishing – With the NSCAA’s Neil Hull

Neil has been coaching in the US for over 18 years at the Club, High School, College, Regional Olympic Development and National levels. He holds the NSCAA Premier Diploma, USSF, English FA and Coerver Coaching qualifications.  Neil is a graduate of the

Club, finishing, nscaa, striking
Why Do Professional Players Need Agents?

Jennifer Mendelewitsch has been a FIFA Registered Players Agent for twelve years, through the French Football Federation. She has a master’s degree in law from the University of Paris X Nanterre and regularly appears as a pundit on French television (C

Professional, agent, fff, fifa
The Coerver Approach to Player Development

Panos Sainidis is Technical Director at Coever Coaching in Greece. He has a degree in physical education from the Università degli Studi di Scienze motorie e sportive (ex-ISEF) in Italy, played for a local amateur clubs in Athens for several years and

1v1, Club, coerver, greece
What to Expect on your USSF D License Course

Eric Duda is Assistant Technical Director at Massachusetts Youth Soccer, where as part of his job he teaches USSF E and D licenses. As a player he was a two year standout at Bowling Green State University who went on to play professionally for Chicago

Club, coaching course, d license, us soccer
Playing as a Target Forward – with Sarah Hagen

Sarah Hagen plays as a forward for FC Kansas City in the NWSL. Prior to that she played for Bayern Munich in Germany, scoring 38 goals in 51 appearances. She has two caps for the US Women’s National Team and played several games for the U23 National Te

Professional, bayern munich, fc kansas city, forward, sarah hagen, target
Adding Purpose to Possession – with Liverpool FC’s Matt Beard

A common concern among youth coaches in the U.S. is that we continue to develop players who are great at keeping possession in a typical keep-away game, but who struggle to recognize when and how to develop scoring opportunities from it. Compounding th

Professional, liverpool fc, matt beard, possession, women's
Adding Position-Specific Training to your Practices

Gary Curneen in the head women’s coach at D1 California State University Bakersfield. Previously he was the assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati and Wingate University. Gary holds a UEFA ‘A’ License from the Irish FA and the NSCAA Premier Di

College, position specific, soccer, training
Harnessing Social Media for your Club

Holly Schulz played youth soccer at club and high school. She studied database administration in Jacksonville, FL and is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. She has worked for Rush Soccer for three years, managing their social media, travel an

Club
How to run a Professional Academy – FC Inter in Finland

Job Dragtsma has been the head coach of FC Inter Turku in the top professional division in Finland since 2007, where he has won both cup competitions and been coach of the year. Previously he coached at AZ Alkmaar and FC Volendam in his native Netherla

Professional
A New Approach at Ajax’s Youth Academy

In the second part of his interview with us, respected Dutch coach and KNVB instructor Job Dragtsma talks about changes he has seen at the Ajax Youth Academy in Holland. Job went through the academy as a player and has been heavily involved with coachi

Professional, academy, ajax, youth
Coaching Women and Girls – Keith Boanas

Keith Boanas is the National Head Coach of Women and Girls football in Estonia. Previously he worked as Assistant Director of Coaching for the David Beckham Academy in London, spent nine years as the head coach of Charlton Athletic Women and Millwall L

Professional
Training Tactical Defending, from AIK Stockholm

Peter Wennberg coaches for AIK Stockholm in Sweden. He has over 20 years of experience in the game, starting from working with young players at club level. He went on to coach a women’s team in the country’s top division before moving to Swedish Footba

Professional
Warm Ups, Fatigue and Injuries, from Espanyol

Jordi Escura Aixàs is a professor of sports sciences at the University of Lleida in Spain. Previously he was a physical therapist for RCD Espanyol – in Spain’s top division, UE Lleida, and Buriram United in Thailand. He was responsible for players retu

Professional
Bobby Fisk – Strength and Conditioning

Bobby Fisk is head of strength and conditioning and D1 New Jersey Institute of Technology. Previously he was assistant in the same role at D1 Xavier University. Bobby has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science, Performance Enhancement & Injury Preve

College
Integrating Goalkeepers at Training – Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole was the head coach of the Boston Breakers in the WPSL and NWSL leagues and won a national championship with them. She helped coach a national champion U23 club team with Tony DiCicco, and several college teams, including Mississippi, Rhode Is

Club
Joao Sacramento – Opposition Scouting at AS Monaco

Joao Sacramento is the Opposition Analysis Coach for AS Monaco in France’s Ligue 1. Previously he worked with the National Football Federation of Wales and was the opposition analyst consultant for Argentina during the 2014 World Cup. Joao lectured in

Professional
Improving First Touch – Aaron Metzger

Aaron Metzger has been the ECNL Director for Lonestar Soccer Club in Austin, head coach of the Developmental Academy team at Classic Soccer Academy in San Antonio, and Region III ODP Staff Coach. He is currently Director of Coaching for Girls at FC Bou

Club
Scouting Opponents and Players in Belgium

Luc Sanders was a professional goalkeeper for Club Brugge, Oostende, and KAA Gent in the Belgian top division. During that time he won the Belgian league championship and cup. He played for the Belgium National Team, and participated in UEFA Euro 1972.

Professional
Tim Hankinson on Coaching Abroad

…We had a game away in Kolkata against East Bengal. In the stadium there must have been 500 riot police with 5 foot shields, German Shepherds and rifles. In the 90th minute we tied the game and took a point. After the press conference we get on the bus

Professional
Dan Watkins – Coaching at High School

Dan Watkins has been coaching at Wheat Ridge High School for 17 years, including 6 years as head coach of the boys’ varsity program and 13 years head coach of the girls. He played club soccer at Kansas State. Outside of school he is coaching club at th

High School
Kyle Lineberger on Tactical Coaching for Younger Players

In 2014 Kyle Lineberger was State Champion and Coach of the Year for his work with a U12 boys team. He is U9-12 Boys Director at FC Boulder and previously at Stingers Soccer Club in Colorado. Kyle has been a NSCAA Associate Staff member since 2007, adm

Club
Adam Creasey – Chemistry and Communication

Adam Creasey played semi-professionally for the Colorado Rapids Reserves team, in the PDL league. He went to the University of Northern Colorado, playing on their club team and getting a degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in business administr

Club
Raymond Verheijen – Dispelling the Myths of Soccer Fitness

Raymond Verheijen is a professional coach from the Netherlands, who has been on national team coaching staffs at 4 World Cups and 4 European Championships – with the Netherlands, South Korea and Russia. He has worked with several club sides, including

Professional
Romeo Jozak on Technical Training

Romeo Jozak is Technical Director of the Croatian Football Federation. Previously he was the Academy Director of Dinamo Zagreb – recently ranked third best out of all academies in Europe. Romeo oversaw the development Luka Modrić, Eduardo da Silva, Ved

Professional
Luis Fernando Paes de Barros on Futsal

Luis started playing futsal when he was 6 years old at E.C. Banespa – a traditional futsal club in São Paulo, Brazil. He played until 18 years old when he studied sport science at São Paulo University. Luis started coaching college and school futsal te

Professional
Ella Masar – Playing Professionally

Ella Masar plays for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She previously played for Chicago Red Stars and Paris Saint-Germain in France. In 2009 she played for the US Women’s National Team after twenty games for the U21 and U2

Professional
James Davies – Hosting a Tournament

James Davies grew up in Nottingham, England and is a club director at FC Boulder. He has over ten years experience as full time staff coaching club soccer in Colorado. During that time he has developed two major tournaments – one aimed at lower level c

Club
Jaime Morrison – Maintaining Control

Jaime Morrison is in his 11th year coaching elementary school physical education. Additionally, he has coached a variety of sports for 15 years, including several as an assistant coach in club soccer. He also is a professor for future P.E. teachers at

Recreational
Ged O’Connor on Coaching D2 College

Ged O’Connor has been head coach at Division 2 Saint Leo University for eight years after four years as an assistant coach there. He has a combined record of 89-48-9 and led Saint Leo to four NCAA Tournament (2006-2009) appearances and an SSC Tournamen

College
Jared Spires – Managing a Large Club

Jared coached both club and high school teams in Fort Collins and received High School Coach of the Year honors before moving to Real Colorado: becoming director in 1999.  He has worked closely with what is now the Colorado Soccer Association, as an ad

Club
Stuart Hilton – How to be a Club Director

Stuart Hilton coached from a young age, growing up in Liverpool in England. He has a degree in Coaching Science from John Moores University and a degree in Science and Secondary Education from the University of Oklahoma City. Stuart played at various l

Club
Brian Contreras – Planning and Running a Practice

Brian Contreras is the Director of Coaching Boys for ages 13-15 at Pride Soccer Club, in Colorado Springs. He holds the USSF A license and coaches teams in the Region IV Olympic Development Program. As a player Brian was a U19 National Champion and pla

Club
Wes Knight – NASL Pro

Wes Knight played for FC Edmonton in the NASL (North American Soccer League) – the second tier in the American Soccer Pyramid. He played club soccer in Greenville, South Carolina was recruited to the College of Charleston where he was voted first team

Professional
Lauren Meehan – Club Social Media

Lauren grew up in Vail, Colorado where she played for Vail Valley Soccer Club. She moved to Florida during her junior year where she attended the IMG Academy. She played Division 1 soccer at Northeastern University and also played for the Bradenton Ath

Club
Mike LeClare – Working with Players and Parents

We talk to Mike LeClare about team building activities, improving team spirit and managing the player and parent groups. Mike “Squid” LeClare grew up playing club in Denver before coaching teams at Colorado United and Broomfield Blast. He still plays o

Club
Shane O’Neill – Playing MLS and US National Team Soccer

Shane O’Neill currently plays as a center back for the Colorado Rapids in the MLS and was voted Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, despite missing nine games through injury. He was signed by them from their Development Academy in 2012 and has become

Professional
Nikki Marshall – Playing in the National Women’s Soccer League

Nikki Marshall currently plays for the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League. She was voted 2014 defender of the year and had a call up to the US Women’s National Team camp earlier this year. Nikki is a versatile defender who can play a

Professional
David Saward – Coaching and Playing D3 College

David Saward has been the head coach at Middlebury for 30 years. He has led the team to 25 postseason appearances, including ten NCAA tournament appearances. He has more wins than any other coach in Middlebury soccer history with a career record of 315

Club
Matt Fannon – Playing at a D3 College

Matt Fannon played for Division 2 Davis and Elkins University after time at academies in Darlington and Nottingham Forest in England. He got his NSCAA Premier Diploma and coached youth club teams, before becoming Assistant Coach at Regis University. Af

College
Hardy Kalisher – A More Advanced High School Soccer Program

Hardy Kalisher is responsible for the entire boys’ soccer program at Boulder High School. He is the school’s longest running and most successful boys’ soccer coach. Under Hardy the team have reached the Colorado State Playoffs six years in a row, inclu

High School
Brian Crookham – Running an MLS Academy

Brian Crookham is the Senior Director of Soccer Development for the Colorado Rapids. He is responsible for all of the club’s programming related to player development, including the MLS Academy, the Colorado Rapids Adidas Alliance and the Club’s USL Pa

Professional
Tony McCall – Playing Division 2 College Soccer

Tony McCall is in his sixth season as head coach of the Regis University men’s soccer program. He led the Rangers to the NCAA Elite 8 and a 14-4-1 record in 2013.  He was rewarded for his team’s success by earning his second straight Rocky Mountain Ath

College
Danny Sanchez – Coaching and Playing Division 1 College Soccer

Danny Sanchez has coached at all levels of college soccer and is the current head coach at the University of Colorado. We ask him about what he looks for when recruiting players and how coaches can get in to working at university. How happy have you be

College
Justin Dudley – Concussions, ACL Tears and Other Injuries

When you played, did you have experiences of teams who were not cohesive on or off the field? JD: In college (Simon Fraser University) the players would hang out together outside of games and practices. On the field we were a much better team. If a pla

Medical
Gabe Massine – Coaching Abroad

Gabe Massine recently took up a teaching position at an American school in Kuwait. In a year there he coached the high school boys’ junior varsity team and created a soccer academy program for 3-5th grade girls. We sat down with him to discuss how thin

High School
Mike Freitag – State Technical Director

I’ve read plenty of horror stories about coaches who take over from Hall of Fame-caliber guys. What was your strategy for taking over from Jerry Yeagley at Indiana? MF: I think the transition was easy because I was his assistant. Jerry was my mentor; I

Club
Jeff Carroll – Club Director

Jeff Carroll grew up playing for two different clubs: Northglenn Thunder and Club Columbine, which became Rush. He played on a B team until he was 14 and then played for the top team at Northglenn for two years then went to Rush and played on a state c

Club
Simon Orrell – Coaching a Club Team

Do you have a specific type of team you work best with? SO: I enjoy working with girls, anywhere from 10-13 years old. At that age they are like sponges; you can teach them the basics which seem to get forgotten a lot. Who in the world of soccer have y

Club
Ryan Henkel – U9-12 Academy Director

Your state recently changed to offering small sided games at the U11 age group. Were you in favor of the change at the time? I was. But I was also skeptical because without everyone being mandated to play it at the same time I wasn’t sure that the comp

Club
Brett O’Connor – Club Director

Brett O’Conor played soccer at Northwest Nazarene University – a Division 2 school in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), in Boise, Idaho. After graduating he got involved with Colorado Rush as a team coach and staff goalkeeper trainer, the

Club
Harald Heinrich – Club Director

When Denver Soccer Club and Aurora Soccer Club merged in 2006 to form Colorado Fusion, Harald became the director of the Boys’ Academy program and has since added the Girls’ program to his responsibilities and oversees all technical programs at Fusion.

Club
Micah Loring – Club Director

What does your current job involve? Mostly my job is to set up and run the competitive side of the club. I started as a coach of a team, then became goalkeeper coach for a small section of the club. That grew into a part time goalkeeper coach position.

Club
Dave Shaffer – Club Coach

Which coaching course did you most enjoy taking? I probably enjoyed them more the higher I got through them. I liked the USSF A license course and the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. I think the NSCAA and USSF are two organizations on different paths.

Club
Steve Cogley – State Director

What do you do now? Now I am the Director of Coaching for South Dakota. I am also working through a merger between Aberdeen Soccer Association and its competitive club called Northern Blast, to form Hub City Soccer Club. I was asked to be the technical

Club
Jeff Frykholm – Club Executive Director

What is your soccer background? I grew up playing in Colorado Springs. I was at one of the very first competitive clubs, on the ground floor of Colorado Youth Soccer. At the time it was called the Colorado Springs Americans, then the Chargers and I don

Club
Dylan Thompson – Playing Division 3 College Soccer

Dylan Thompson played soccer from age 6, turning competitive at 11 he played on the second team in a relatively small suburban club. He attended a strong academic charter school and worked his way on to the varsity team in his freshman year. The school

College
Stan Jozwiak – Coaching High School Soccer

Stan Jozwiak has been coaching Fairview high school boys’ soccer for 33 years. He taught Social Studies for 30 years prior to retiring from the classroom in 2010. He grew up in New York where he played scholastic soccer at Syosset High School and colle

High School
Caitlin Updyke – Playing Division 1 College Soccer

Caitlin Updyke started playing soccer at a young age and played competitive travel soccer for a small community club. She attended her local high school, playing on the varsity team from her freshman year. The school competed at the 4A level (where 5A

College
Martin Maybin – Playing Division 2 College Soccer

Martin Maybin is a senior and captain at Regis University, where he has played for four years. He was awarded the RMAC Preseason Player of the Year, Daktronics Second Team, and NSCAA Third Team All-America honors in 2013. He ranked second in the RMAC w

College