[YOUTH]Dave Sarachan, former Chicago Fire head coach and U.S. World Cup assistant coach, has been named Scouting Manager of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
The appointment, along with the hiring of Tony Lepore andRaul Diaz Arce, is part of U.S. Soccer's aim to ensure that players on the 64 clubs competing in the Academy league are being closely evaluated for national team selection.
Sarachan, who assisted U.S. coach Bruce Arena at the 2002 World Cup before a five-year stint with the Fire, will oversee current U.S. Soccer scouts and the expansion of the scouting network.
"The charge is to continue to get quality people out in the field," says Sarachan. "Teams are going to be watched."
Since the Academy league kicked off in September, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulatisaid that 75 to 80 percent of the Academy games were seen by a national scout or a member of U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley's staff.
"Ideally, you'd like to see every game," said Sarachan. "The aim is to catch everybody in the country. We'll put all the information together in a data base and keep track of everybody."
The scouting is also supplemented with video of the games.
Lepore and Diaz Arce have been hired as full-time Development Academy Scouts.
Diaz Arce, a former El Salvador international and seven-year MLS player, was most recently assistant coach of the U.S. U-17 national team.
Lepore, an assistant coach with the U.S. U-15 national team and U-14 National Identification Camps, was Director of Coaching for New Hampshire Soccer Association and Seacoast United (N.H.) Director of Coaching.
U.S. Soccer is planning on hiring another full-time scout. Current per diem scouts include former D.C. United star Marco Etcheverry and former U.S. national team great Hugo Perez.
Former U.S. U-17 head coach John Hackworth, currently Bradley's national team assistant coach, is the Development Academy Director.
In addition to running the scouting department, Sarachan, along with Hackworth, will also oversee training and evaluating of club coaches in the Development Academy.
"The other charge for us," says Sarachan, "is to continue to watch the trainings and make sure that that environment for the players is a good one."
The 64 clubs, who field teams at the U-16 and U-18 levels, are divided into
eight regional conferences.
"Within each of those conferences," said Sarachan, "not only the full-time people, but a team of per-diem kind of coaches -- coaches who have a good eye -- will scout players."
Men's National Team Staff coaches who have been part of the scouting system since the Academy's launch are Roberto Lopez, Juan Carlos Michia and Rene Miramontes.
Sarachan says the club coaches themselves are also consulted for player evaluation.
"Obviously they may be a little biased in what they think," he says, "but I still think it's important to include them, because they're with the players every day."