Crew SC Academy Team

Crew SC Academy's Cross & Suarez begin 14-month educational program in France

NEW YORK, NY – Major League Soccer today announced the third iteration of its groundbreaking partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF) that provides MLS youth academy coaches with world-class training through a 14-month youth development course resulting in participants earning their Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL).

Columbus Crew SC Academy Head Coach Ben Cross and Director of Methodology Oscar Suarez will represent the Black & Gold in the program.

Created in 2013, the partnership has already seen more than 40 coaches graduate through the program and earn their EFCL license. The initiative places participants through an MLS customized program incorporating features unique to their regions allowing coaches to better serve their respective club needs, while providing the same course and training demands the FFF mandates of its domestic coaches.

The partnership with the FFF promotes an exchange of best practices and experiences in youth development. Program methods include on-field training sessions, classroom instruction and development of strategic academy growth through seminars with academy directors and coaches from the various international clubs and federations participating.

“Major League Soccer is committed to becoming a leader in the area of player development, and the continued partnership with the French Football Federation provides an important learning opportunity for MLS youth academies,” said MLS Executive Vice President of Competition & Player Relations Todd Durbin. “Since announcing the partnership four years ago, we have already seen its tremendous impact on our youth academy system and we are incredibly excited to continue that process.” 

The EFCL program consists of three parts:

  • FFF course with two weeks of intensive field and classroom instruction at the Clairefontaine national training facility in France and an additional five weeks of domestic training in the United States and Canada
  • European Club Observations – One week of immersion at an international youth academy at one of the following clubs: Olympique Lyonnais, Toulouse, Guingamp, Atletico Madrid, Malaga, RCD Espanyol, RB Leipzig
  • Integration of the Program with MLS Academy – Creation and/or modification of the Club’s youth curriculum and evaluation system for the development of players

The EFCL program begins on April 29 in Clairefontaine for six days of training followed by a week of European club immersion where coaches will receive rigorous hands on instruction from club management on training styles from top to bottom of the academy. Following several installments of coaching sessions in the United States and Canada during the following months, participants will return to Clairefontaine in June 2018 for a final week of instruction and the conclusion of the program. 

In addition, a landmark partnership with Spain’s La Liga will give EFCL-certified coaches and current MLS academy directors an opportunity to receive continued education in conjunction with some of the leading academies in global soccer. In total, 18 MLS academy directors and EFCL-certified coaches will participate in the 10-day educational program learning from top academy coaches and sporting directors from internationally acclaimed clubs on topics including strategic youth development, scouting, and athletic development.

“This tremendous partnership is the first step in developing a special relationship with La Liga and Spanish clubs based on mutual respect and giving both Spanish and American and Canadian coaches the opportunity to share their best youth development practices,” said MLS Technical Director of Youth Player and Development Fred Lipka. “We look forward to seeing our youth academy directors and coaches take these invaluable experiences and adapt them to Major League Soccer.”  

The La Liga continuing education partnership includes observations and seminars with French Ligue 1 clubs OGC Nice and AS Monaco along with Spanish La Liga clubs Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Malaga. In addition to the hands on immersive courses with each club, participants will also receive coaching seminars at the FFF Excellence Preformation Center in Marseille.

EFCL MLS CLUB PARTICIPANTS

Atlanta United

Matt

Lawrey

Chicago Fire

Francisco

Murguia

Colorado Rapids

Chris

Cartlidge

Columbus Crew SC

Ben

Cross

D.C. United

Nathan

Kish

D.C. United

Dave

Sanford

FC Dallas

Chris

Hayden

Houston Dynamo

Scott

James

LA Galaxy

Mauricio

Cienfuegos

Minnesota United FC

Tim

Carter

Montreal Impact

Serge

Dinkota

New England Revolution

Patrick

Ouckama

New York Red Bulls

Simon

Nee

Portland Timbers

Ryan

Miller

San Jose Earthquakes

Eder

Quintanilla

Seattle Sounders FC

Chris

Little

Sporting Kansas City

Declan

Jogi

Sporting Kansas City

Kelly

Findley

Toronto FC

Michael

Stefano

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Adam

Day

LA LIGA CONTINUING EDUCATION PARTICIPANTS

Atlanta United

Tony

Annan

Chicago Fire

Cedric

Cattenoy

Colorado Rapids

Bryan

Crookham

Columbus Crew SC

Oscar

Suarez

D.C. United

Ryan

Martin

FC Dallas

Luchi

Gonzales

Houston Dynamo

James

Clarkson

Los Angeles FC

Todd

Saldana

Montreal Impact

Philippe

Eullafroy

Orlando City SC

David

Longwell

Portland Timbers

Larry

Sunderland

Real Salt Lake

Martin

Vasquez

San Jose Earthquakes

Chris

Leitch

Seattle Sounders FC

Marc

Nicholls

Sporting Kansas City

Jon

Parry

Toronto FC

Laurent

Guyot

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Craig

Dalrymple

Major League Soccer

Tommy

Wilson

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