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Aloys Wijnker is new U.S. Soccer DA director
by Mike Woitalla, March 16th, 2017 11:55PM
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TAGS:  development academy, youth, youth boys

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Aloys Wijnker, the Dutchman who has served as U.S. Soccer Coach Educator since January 2016, is the now Director of the Boys U.S. Soccer Development Academy. He will serve as the “technical lead” of the boys DA, a role played by Director of Scouting, Tony Lepore, since 2008. Lepore will now serve as the Director of U.S. Soccer's newly established Talent Identification Department.

"The focus of the Talent Identification Department will be on improving the quality and quantity of scouts for U.S. Soccer and Development Academy clubs," said Lepore, who joined U.S. Soccer full-time as a Technical Advisor in 2006. "Our plan is to implement a scout education program that will help Development Academy clubs to develop their strategy, methods, planning and networks for identifying players."

Before joining U.S. Soccer, Wijnker was the Academy Director for Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.

"I am very excited to take on this new challenge and join the nation's leading youth development program," said Wijnker. "Our plan is to continue to work closely with Academy Directors and club leaders, providing them with support and education to help our member clubs develop their own identities, philosophies, leadership and talent identification plans. Ultimately, we want our clubs to establish their own technical plans to continue to provide environments that work to develop world-class players."



29 comments
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 10:01 a.m.
    WOW!! This is going to make a major difference in the annals of US soccer as related to Player Development. The parents who are paying through the nose for their kid's , so called, development should be happy now. This major MOVE is like switching superintendents of Public Schools of Oakland CA with Washington D.C..Let us face it is one my countrymen...I'm so emotional and proud to present another Professor of Paper Poopers, as Wiel Coerver so aptly puts it as he describes those from the Dutch National Coaching School (KNVB). After all just look at Dutch soccer that WAS known ,at one time, as a power house in the world has now become a JOKE !!! The quality of players technically and tactically has tremendously gone down hill. Dutch players abroad are no longer bought by the best teams in the world, instead they are now play for lower level teams. Cruyff has criticized the Dutch Coaching School for not teaching coaches properly for those teaching the coaches have not played at the highest level themselves, and thereby not able to teach , for example, the deeper insights of ball movements and off the ball running and other insights. This failure and loss of status of Dutch Soccer can be directly blamed on the Dutch Coaching School. But things are looking up for those dutch "paper poopers" for they can come over here to work for the US soccer program. After all , having watched recently the U.S. U20 men's games and seeing something like simple throw ins botched up because the players can't figure out or aren't smart enough to realize that thrown ins downfield where a crowd of 2000 players are waiting for the ball might not as successful as throwing it back upfield where a back is wide open. U.S. Soccer has definitely improved by leaps and bounds as far the top level , i.e. organizational, administratively, and probably there now as many driving licenses issued as coaching licenses today but as far as the product on the field that is lacking leap years behind as compared to the organizational aspect.
  1. Liane Sims
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 10:53 a.m.
    Right on Frank. I wonder how much power our entire youth program have over these soccer Journalists because no matter how bad the results, the money being spent by parents, money being made through licenses, memberships, etc. And same people just being rotated in positions of power all they get is praised. No criticism at all. Klins got railed regularly here. Is it even realistic to expect so much from our Usmnt when we do very little to change our youth national staff and therefore new ideas and improvements?
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 11:38 a.m.
    And Tony Lepore will go from Director of Scouting to Director of Talent Identification Department? And they are different how? Perhaps they have a mandate to pay more attention to Hispanic/Latino kids? Maybe that required a title change. Frank, thanks for your straightforward comments on the Dutch hire. There seems to be something in the American mindset that says that we (Americans) aren't good enough (in talent and expertise) to handle a job like Director of Boys' U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Why else do we bring in Europeans to head up our referees and even the television announcers for our MLS and national team games? I'll be so happy when the powers that be finally realize that we already have the home grown talent to handle these jobs. Let's give our locals a chance. Then again, I wouldn't mind more Dutch immigrants opening restaurants and serving rijstaffel (sp?) here in the U.S. Last time I ordered it was in Holland in 1963. I used to make it for small dinner parties. What fun! I realize it's Indonesian, but got the impression that it was embraced by the Dutch.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 12:03 p.m.
    GINGER, don't get me wrong, we do need European expertise but not these licensed idiots. For example, the best soccer is played in Europe and the refereeing is at higher level than here and therefore I can understand bringing European refs to help and set matters straight...I can't argue with that for they have a better expertise. We should have a European announcers but not announcers but color announcers ,formers players who have played at the highest levels who can tell you the deeper insights of the game from which you can learn from instead of these idiots who have played here who but babble the obvious. The problem also is that in America , the commentary has to be positive as compared in Holland where you say what is really happening and they tell you what is bad and what should not have happened as result you are at least learning. Here a player can pass a ball that ends up in the stadium parking lot and the announcer here will say" oh, wow what a kick' instead of saying" he needs to work on his passing accuracy" The expertise that I want to see are retired players who have played at the highest and teach. For example take a great European midfielder, who is retired and hire him to teach the real insight of midfield play....for this type of insights is not to be gotten from the US Coaching school from some A-licensed Bozo.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.
    Ginger , BTW, It is RYSTAFEL,LOL
  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 1:01 p.m.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, Dmas y Caballeros, Damen und Herren, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, GRACIAS, UND VILEN DANKE many million times over, you ALL have hit the nail on the head on the topic! Indeed just how many more decades will it be before our very
  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 1:05 p.m.
    (CONTINUED FROM ABOVE) own talented home-grown coaches be given an EFFING chance??? Oh, wait, methinks that it will last as long as the current US Soccer head honcho's term is over (anyone know when this will be and who is waiting in the wings to take over the national federation???) Maybe then SG will head over and take up residence in the high confines of FIFA-land and have an office in that "hallowed" place? Like an old song used to say" ... when will it ever end, when will it ever eeend..."
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 1:10 p.m.
    Frank: US Soccer is the worst and can't develop anyone. Btw, have I mentioned Cruyff recently? (The next day, after US Soccer appoints a Dutch guy to head the DA) Frank: US Soccer is a bunch of geniuses who will develop the greatest players in history.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 2:31 p.m.
    Apparently you didn't read what Frank wrote.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 4:05 p.m.
    That's fair. I only skimmed it.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 4:06 p.m.
    I didn't realize he was being sarcastic. To be fair, what I wrote is a pretty accurate parody of what he normally posts.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 2:46 p.m.
    I think you all are being a bit pessimistic. This could simply be a routine rotation of management assignments. This is not a player training position. It is management, more involved with planning than contact with players. USSF has another Dutchman, Nico Romeijn, in charge of coaching education. I don't know how good a trainer he is, but he seems to be making some progress in reorganizing the license courses into a sensible progression. Having said that, I agree with Ginger's views.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 3:03 p.m.
    Bob, Nico Romeyn is just another professor of "paper poopers who is all about, format, methodology, structure, great administrator, good in the classroom, you name it. Bottom line, he would have difficulty trapping a bag of cement under pressure....
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 6:05 p.m.
    Frank, I agree with your view, which is probably the majority view, that we want to use the best players as coaches after they retire. The difference is that I see a role for others too. Educators, medical doctors, psychologists, sports scientists, and strength coaches all have an important contribution. The great players will have a Ph.D. in playing the game, but they won't have expertise in these other areas. The most valuable point you make is that, when it comes to how to play the game, the players should not defer to those other experts. My point is that a club needs all those areas of expertise to realize the full potential of its players, coaches, and staff. I think underneath your frustration is with those other disciplines taking control of training out of the hands of the player-coaches. I see that as a problem too.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 6:24 p.m.
    Bob, I agree , I'm only talking about 'footballing" and how to improve the level of play and skills. The rest I have no expertise on....
  1. Luis Gonzalez
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 3:36 p.m.
    I've said it soooooo many times.....We need to start bringing in South Americans to coach and help develop our talent.....Every weekend, no matter what league, no matter what team, it's the South American players that are difference-makers.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 3:38 p.m.
    I have no problem with that either. Just get rid of these administrators and educators of soccer. This bunch has found a gold mine on how to make money!!!
  1. Liane Sims
    commented on: March 17, 2017 at 11:17 p.m.
    Thx Luis. Why is it so hard for so many to admit to that? It is extremely evident throughout the world. The SouthAmericans with limited resources, compared to Europe and Usa develop much much better players. Go to players to be exact.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.
    The only thing we can hope for is improvement. Don't know the new guy but do know Lepore. Tony has the knack for identifying players with great potential who are handed over to the younger national team coaches only to be thrown under the bus and discarded because the coaches lack the ability to coach them. Look at the u15,16 and 17 boys and you will so a ton of very skilled players who were looked at but thrown aside because they didn't play the full speed ahead get to the goal as fast as you can useing brute size players. Skill thrown to the side. If a player had skill and was creative out they go because these coaches did not know how to handle it. I would hope that both Tony and this new guy go back and look at what has happened in this age group and reconsider. If we don't have players that are creative and can handle the ball we are dead at the international level. We have quality players. What we don't have are coaches that can coach them.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 19, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.
    Fan ,it is not a question of coaching them but giving them guidance and tips. Any idiot with an A-licences is qualified to coach, that is the problem. At Ajax real coaching begins with the A-team, up to that time it is all guidance making the player better ,technically as well a team player. For example, as I have stated before, seeing the Men's U20 team waste throw ins downfield because of so many players bunched up waiting for the ball instead throwing back up field to an unguarded teammate, this particular aspect of the game has nothing to do with coaching.But what is dumbfounded to me is that these players who are adults are your better players, who have obviously come from the better teams and coached(using the word loosely) and trained by better so called coaches ALL THESE YEARS, are still unable to understand what is more of a productive thrown in. Has anyone ever explain that to them. Are they so robotic to not even figure this out themselves. And if I were Ramos and saw how those throw ins were wasted, I would have said something and corrected it....very puzzling to me????
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 12:35 p.m.
    Fan. Here is the problem those individuals are not creative players themselves, in their playing days( if played at all,who knows what level that was) In order to have the kids to play creatively is to have a retired player who was know for being a creative player on the field; for example, I'm just throwing some names around a Van Basten, El Magico, David Ginola, Vanenburg( watch on Youtube" Gerald Vanenburg-Van Straat tot Stadion" watch the whole tape and fast forward the interviews). You need some former creative player running the show and issue what should be done.This is the point I'm trying to make is that these "Paper Poopers" that US soccer hires are professor types who are good in the classroom more involved in teaching methodology, structure,etc. This is why Wiel Coerver accused the Dutch National Coaching School of not being able to teach the necessary skills to players and proved it by Creating his system of teaching skills. Coerver stated that these types are boring and are good at talking to a potted plant. The coaches coming from the coaching schools are unable to teach skills and development and they are not creative......But they are creative in making new coaching licenses as if that is going to do it. People have to wake up to the fact the parents are throwing away a lot of money on getting their kids developed.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 1:50 p.m.
    Frank the only thing I can say is DITTO "
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 4:23 p.m.
    FAN, I'm making fun of these professorial, pedantic types in this situation, only because this is what US soccer is relying on. I understand the creative people are not good with methodology and structure and therefore we need to blend the situation for you can't just rely on the creative to carry out the creative directives. Even Cruyff a very creative player admits we need a structure in order to carry out the creative aspect. Currently the US soccer program as well as the pro academies can talk all they want about developing players but in the end it all comes down to size and speed for them. And this is where US soccer is going wrong. Look at great players like Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Neymar, etc as examples,for they lack size and are not known for speed or brutes ready to fight. None of these great players are reflective of this Neanderthal and Knuckledragger mentality reflective of the US soccer program in how they choose their players. First of all US soccer is incapable of understanding that it is not size and athletic speed but speed in modern soccer has to with fast ball handling skills and quick thinking (anticipating and thinking a step or two ahead, coming to the ball not wait for it, and know where the ball goes next before receiving it) which none has to do with athletic size or speed of the player. Those factors makes the game go faster, not athletic speed and size. In other words allowing the ball do the running is faster than any player. Unlike the Knuckledraggers who run US Soccer here see speed in running fast. Ajax's players, the youth , aren't picked because of their size and speed but technical skill for it is technical skills allows one to move the ball faster ,which obviates duels unlike in US soccer every other pass leads to a 50/50 duel. This is why Cruyff states that the more you rely upon running the dumber the player. And this is why Ajax like Barcelona are not good at fighting duels because of the type of players(small and technical) and therefore they play a smart game that allows for less duels, by how they pass the ball Ticki Taka, position off the to ball and allow the ball to move fast.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 4:52 p.m.
    Fan, in order to allow produce more creative players the following has to happen.One, from the top a creative player has to be instituted.( Can you imagine Gerald Vanenburg running the program with Aloys Wynker to providing the structure); Two, change the way soccer is played that allows for more technical aspects,4-3-3, emphasizing technical skills not size and speed, better positioning off the ball to allow quicker ball movements, faster ball handling skills, etc. Three , create a course for coaches to be familiar with all the greats of soccer for there are so many they haven't heard of and what they were good at ;the how's and why's in the changes of the tactical systems and the technical effects upon the players, and a history of evolution or rather the involution of technique. The coaches need to understand the changes of the game in regards to technique and tactics, which makes for being able to read the game better. The youth up to the age of 12 should be free from tactical garbage and allowed to experiment in order to grow as individuals...a la street soccer environment. Certain Tournaments should be instituted that winners are judged by which team plays the best soccer and not just who wins. For any idiot coach can get some big ,fast ,tall knuckle draggers on his team and win... for it has nothing to do with soccer. The US soccer needs to install a thinking mentality in youth program of stressing good soccer like Barcelona does at their academy, where the word winning is never mentioned but 'playing good soccer"
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 5:28 p.m.
    I am talking about boys here. I don't have a clue concerning the girls operations. When you see coaches of the national teams at the u15,16 and 17 level standing on the sidelines during a game telling a kid who has just received a pass what to do with the ball you have taken the thinking part of the game out of the hands of the player and killed any chance of a player being creative. This is the crap US soccer puts up with and I guess promote. I have seen it over and over at the club level so I have to think it's part of the program. I was in in England last year at the West Brom Albion academy watching their academy games and not one time did I hear a coach shouting instructions to players while the game was in progress . Go to a club game here are national team game at the younger ages and it's almost embarrassing watching these coaches during a game.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 9:34 p.m.
    Fan, yup, that's an additional problem also. The old generation like mine back in Holland stated that today's players don't think the game and look for coaches to tell them what to do as compared to the old generation who learned the tricks of the trade playing street ball and where there were no coaches telling you what and what not to do. Also there was a hierarchy among the players of which the best on the field ruled the roost and they decided during the game what to do if something went wrong not the coach.
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: March 18, 2017 at 10:02 p.m.
    The sad part is that if the kid ignores the coach and makes a move with the ball in an attempt to be creative out of the game he comes and in many cases his future with the team is limited. If he fails to play like a robot the coach is offended, the kid pays the price and US Soccer takes another step backwards.
  1. Liane Sims
    commented on: March 19, 2017 at 9:35 a.m.
    I know of kids that were deemed good enough to be a starter on our National Teams but were excluded all together simply because they were not able to be part of a DA. What purpose does that serve?
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: March 19, 2017 at 11:10 a.m.
    Liane when someone is able to figure out US Soccers method for picking out the best I hope someone lets know. The politics in the organization is so obvious.

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