The Baltimore Bays Chelsea Academy Teams Open Play up this Weekend against neighboring DC United Academy.
U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting, Tony Lepore, On Developing Youth Players
Tony Lepore: A collective effort is crucial
“I supervise eight full-time technical advisors located in key markets throughout the country and about 100 per diems who make up our scouting network,” Lepore said in a USSoccer.com interview. “Along with the technical advisors, we oversee, we support, we push, we scout, and we serve as compliance officers for about 10 Development Academy clubs each.
“There are now about 100 academy members, including the U-14 age group. We get to know them intimately and provide the technical direction for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy league.”
The staff also scouts “meaningful events” and runs Training Centers.
“Last year we collectively scouted over 2,000 matches and ran over 200 Training Centers,” Lepore said. “The idea is to connect this scouting network and the TA’s as closely as possible with the youth national team staff. As part of that, I oversee our database, which is the central location for every match report and every player evaluation.
“We have weekly scouting calls with the youth national team staff, and the Technical Advisors are part of the youth national team staff now. Every youth national team age group has a Technical Advisor as a head coach or an assistant, which strengthens that connection. We also have to oversee our video library of all the youth national team and Academy matches because we use video for a lot of our scouting now.”
Lepore’s message for America’s youth coaches:
“I think the message goes back to how important it is for us to have a collective effort and realize that we all work for U.S. Soccer. It’s about helping our nation’s players be better rather than just coaching a team. As youth coaches, we need to recognize that we develop players, we don’t develop teams. Individual development is above everything else.”
Read the entire Lepore interview -- which covers his soccer background as a player and coach, the recent performances of his U-15 team, and the evolution of the Development Academy, which enters its seventh season and has launched a U-13/14 league and a futsal component -- HERE.