U.S. Soccer to offer Spanish-language coaching courses

The first coach-education initiatives to come out of the U.S. Soccer Youth Task Force, which was launched in late 2018, aim to "reduce barriers to coaching education courses to improve accessibility and expand the instructor pool."

Three "pilot programs" are already underway and will be fully implemented by the end of the year. Two of them are aimed at increasing the number of Grassroots Course instructors and expand the availability of the courses to meet the demand. One makes C-License coaches eligible to instruct the Grassroots courses. (The previous prerequisite to instruct was a B-License.) Also, the instructor course for the Grassroots courses will no longer be combined with D-license training in order to expedite the process.

The second is to up the in-person Grassroots courses from a 12:1 candidate-to-instructor ratio, to an 18:1 ratio.

The third initiative is aimed at making the C license and D license more accessible by changing the C course format from two five-day commitments to a five two-day commitment, and the D-license format from a two three-day commitment to a four day-and-a-half commitment.

“The three pilot programs were put together after collaboration with all of our member organizations across the country with the aim to find ways to increase access to our coaching courses and hopefully expand our instructor pool for the future,” said U.S. Soccer's Director of Coaching Education Barry Pauwels. “We’re looking forward to conducting these programs and then reviewing their effectiveness in detail as we look to find ways to better cater to needs of coaches across the country.”

Click above or HERE to introductory module, the first in the step in the coaching license pathway and prerequisite for U.S. Soccer's Grassroots Licensing Courses.

In addition to the three pilot programs, Pauwels told Soccer America that preparations have been underway to launch Spanish-language courses for the Grassroots Pathway. These courses are intended to advise youth coaches, but are also prerequisites for the higher level licenses.

"In January of 2020 we will announce Spanish courses for the in-person 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 courses," he said. "We are now in the last phase of translation for all of these courses. We have pilot-tested the 7v7 in-person. Those courses are going through their final revisions. We are hopeful to launch the in-person Spanish courses early next year."

U.S. Soccer has in the past provided bilingual English-Spanish coaching education. In the 1990s, U.S. Soccer hired coaching instructors to be "liaisons" to the soccer talent in the Latino community. More recently, the F license online course was available in Spanish. An example of the benefits of a bilingual approach came before U.S. Soccer made a concerted effort: New Yorker Arnold Ramirez when he taught coaching courses with English-second-language candidates included Spanish while instructing. Colombian immigrant Juan Carlos Osorio, who went on to coach the New York Red Bulls to an MLS Cup runner-up finish and Mexico to the second round of a World Cup, got his first license from Ramirez. "It was taught half English, half Spanish -- Spanglish," said Osorio.

Pauwels, who hails from the bilingual country of Belgium, joined U.S. Soccer two years ago. U.S. Soccer launched its Grassroots coaching licenses in 2018, which replaced the E and F licenses. The new pathway also provided convenient and well-produced online courses that encouraged play over drills.

Creating Spanish-language versions after the revamp started with the in-person courses.

"We envision to go through the same process with the online courses," Pauwels said. "We're aiming by the end of 2020 to have all the 4v4, 7v7, 9v9, 11v11 courses translated and acceptable for Spanish-speaking for the end of 2020. We expect to the first course to be available by the summer of 2020."


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* U.S. Soccer Youth Task Force’s Coaching Working Group
Within in the last two months, the composition of the Coaching Working Group for the U.S. Soccer Youth Task Force that was launched in October of 2018 has added Carlos Juarez, Yael Averbach, Tom Turner and Tom Condone. No longer in the group is Nick Perera from the original eight. (Perera is currently in Paraguay playing for the USA in the Beach Soccer World Cup.)

19 comments about "U.S. Soccer to offer Spanish-language coaching courses".
  1. Bob Ashpole, November 23, 2019 at 8:23 a.m.

    Not sure how I feel about "Spanish-language" coaching education "classes" for what replaced the E license. Here are the doubts in my mind:

    "Spanish language" is not bilingual. It ends up with segregation rather than being inclusive.

    A different approach would be to include at least one bilingual instructors in the A, B, C, and D courses to better evaluate, mentor and answer questions of candidates. (I suspect this is often the case, but are bilingual instructors allowed to ever communicate with candidates in Spanish?) Does USSF have Spanish language versions of the on-line grass roots courses?

    Is this just a way of providing Spanish-flavored kool-aid for coaches involved in Hispanic leagues to drink? To me this doesn't sound so much as USSF changing to become more inclusive as it sounds like USSF wanting to gain influence over coaching in Hispanic leagues.

    Finally I wouldn't be so concerned about Spanish-language courses if USSF actually had transparency on its internal decisions and didn't track whether a candidate's record contained English-language or Spanish language courses. But you know they do track which prior courses candidates took.

    I am curious about how others see this. 

  2. frank schoon replied, November 23, 2019 at 11:43 a.m.

    Bob , that is exactly how I felt reading this...<"It ends up with segregation rather than being inclusive."> and <USSF wanting to gain influence over coaching in Hispanic leagues.">
    My overal criticism is more in line with uselfulness ,overemphasis of pushing  "Coaching" in general in the development of the players ,especially on the youth level. More and more licensed coaches doesn't translate into better ,smarter technical youth players...As a matter I find the inverse to be true. But , I know, it is rewarding for the USSF when it comes to money and power.

     We have coaching courses, for 4v4, 7v7,etc tells me  how everything is being micro-managed by a bunch of bureacrats, who couldn't take on a lamppost one on one. Cruyff, someone who actually played the game and knows a little about youth development once stated that 4v4 is not a good method to teach kids soccer, for he prefers odd numbers which is more functional to learn the game, in a subtle fashion.  Now I'm not saying, you shouldn't play 4v4, if you have 8kids, go ahead  and do it but only for a little while then change the format.  

    NEXT POST


  3. frank schoon replied, November 23, 2019 at 11:44 a.m.

    Try playing 5v3 employing small goals, 3 feet wide, or I would use a soccer ball as a goal for each team. The object is to hit the ball for a point and the opponents are not allowed to stand in front of the ball to block an attempt on goal, period. Or depending how good the players are, the team with 5 players can only score by hitting the ball on a one-touch shot not on a dribble. 

    The benefits of using a ball for a goal, is accuracy in your shot or pass to the ball. The 3 players learn to play positional defense , zonal ,as well as position yourself in the pathway or lane in order stop a shot. In other words the player becomes more aware of a station behind them that can block a pass to. The team with 5 players learn to position themselves in a manner they can directly hit the ball with a one-touch shot and learn they have move the ball quicker(BALL MOVEMENT) to get the shot. What I'm saying there is a lot more THINKING involved team-wise and individually.

    What I'm saying is Coaching to me at an early  has to do more with finding, creating conditions forcing players to adjust to those conditions which they THEMSELVES ,not by a coach, have to learn and experience, for that is the way kids in my days really learned the game. You don't need a license for that, but half a creative brain....

    Allow the players , if on grass, not to wear soccer shoes but flats. This forces players to think when they run, turn ,receive in a manner that they won't slide, lose balance or fall. Street soccer players playing on concrete had a much better sense of balance then today's kids for they were forced to THINK everything they would do ahead of time. It is the 'THINKING' aspect that was so beneficial which led to players of my generation to be more savvy and street smart an more tactically aware than today's youth/players, and they didn't have rely so much on coaching instructions as they do today..

  4. frank schoon replied, November 23, 2019 at 1:04 p.m.

    Bob, check this out.
    .RICARDO QUARESMA ● Primeira passagem no Porto 2004-08 - YouTube

    Great winger, he is of age but would like to see him in MLS for kids to enjoy....These are the type of players  kids need to watch

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, November 23, 2019 at 10:13 p.m.

    Really enjoyed that clip. Couldn't help but think he was dancing. He was having fun too. How many players still laugh and smile while they play?

  6. Derek Mccracken, November 23, 2019 at 9:58 a.m.

    Glad to see USSF is trying to make ammends for their snafu of overlooking Spanish-Americans for coaching and administrative positions. As the poster above pointed out, there are some questions about this specific program, but at least it's a step USSF is showing it wants to make ammends and be more inclusive. Hopefully they work hand-in-hand with the Hispanic-American community to determine what they actually need, rather than the USSF guessing what they need and throwing a bunch of programs at them that is created by non-Hispanic USSF administrators. 

    Bottom line: Glad to see a first teeny step forward. Hope to see some big steps in the future, created with actual colloboration with the Hispanic-American community.

  7. Arnold Ramirez, November 23, 2019 at 11:06 a.m.

    We actually started giving the D license in Spanish in the early 1980's at Long Island University but in the early 1990's (we) John Ramírez , Dr Lucenko and I gave the D license as a bilingual course.  Miguel Company who coached the National Team of Peru took the D license with us. So did Juan Carlos Osorio and many former Peruvian professional players.

  8. Ric Fonseca replied, November 23, 2019 at 1:58 p.m.

    Arnold, well so it is back to reinvent the wheel, ed h wott?? For those of you who don't  know or remember, we did have a or what we thought was a national LATIN AMERICAN SOCCER COACHES ASSOCITION - LASCA - and ccx even offered some bilingual coaching courses through USSOccer n the former NSCAA.  Many LASCA members came n went, n the association was subsumed by the NSACAA and the group "faded" into the sunset.  I won't  beat the dead or asleep horse, but it would behoove US Soccer to reach out. To others beside CarlosJuarez, eg Rene Miramontes, Joe Supe, Frank Parodi, Rick Sn Martin, even Lou Sagastume, use them as resources and to tap them for anything n everything "Latino "

  9. Ric Fonseca replied, November 23, 2019 at 1:58 p.m.

    Arnold, well so it is back to reinvent the wheel, ed h wott?? For those of you who don't  know or remember, we did have a or what we thought was a national LATIN AMERICAN SOCCER COACHES ASSOCITION - LASCA - and ccx even offered some bilingual coaching courses through USSOccer n the former NSCAA.  Many LASCA members came n went, n the association was subsumed by the NSACAA and the group "faded" into the sunset.  I won't  beat the dead or asleep horse, but it would behoove US Soccer to reach out. To others beside CarlosJuarez, eg Rene Miramontes, Joe Supe, Frank Parodi, Rick Sn Martin, even Lou Sagastume, use them as resources and to tap them for anything n everything "Latino "

  10. Ric Fonseca replied, November 23, 2019 at 1:58 p.m.

    Arnold, well so it is back to reinvent the wheel, ed h wott?? For those of you who don't  know or remember, we did have a or what we thought was a national LATIN AMERICAN SOCCER COACHES ASSOCITION - LASCA - and ccx even offered some bilingual coaching courses through USSOccer n the former NSCAA.  Many LASCA members came n went, n the association was subsumed by the NSACAA and the group "faded" into the sunset.  I won't  beat the dead or asleep horse, but it would behoove US Soccer to reach out. To others beside CarlosJuarez, eg Rene Miramontes, Joe Supe, Frank Parodi, Rick Sn Martin, even Lou Sagastume, use them as resources and to tap them for anything n everything "Latino "

  11. John Soares, November 23, 2019 at 2:42 p.m.

    I too question the idea..Except.
    IF the course is offered in Spanish to facilitate future coaches that are not yet proficient in English, especially reading.
     BUT communication on field is required to be in English....everybody wins.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, November 23, 2019 at 10:19 p.m.

    John, I cannot help think that you don't get around much. Speaking Spanish on a US field in an adult match is common enough that I know most of the Spanish phrases used.

    Bilingual is good. Bilingual is inclusvie. I wish that I was fluent enough that I was to read Spanish coaching books and articles in the original language instead of being frustrated by English translaters who translate soccer books in between romance novels.

  13. John Soares, November 24, 2019 at 2:52 p.m.

    Actually I speak enough Spanish to get by.
    You missed my point.
    I met English as the instructing language.
    With obvious exceptions.
    Ofcourse Spanish and other languages are spoken on the field.
    As for the phases you hear...
    You might want to think twice before repeating them:)

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, November 24, 2019 at 4:12 p.m.

    John, I didn't miss your point. I disagree with it. There is no advantage at all in requiring a coach to only speak English "on the field." Coaches should be free to communicate in whatever socially acceptable and lawful manner that they choose. Imposing a rule only takes away the coaches discretion. It is a corporate manager's first resort when they don't trust the competence of people doing a job. I don't think much of corporate management today. Of course I only dealt professionally with management failures, so I probably have a bit of a skewed view.

  15. John Soares, November 24, 2019 at 6:21 p.m.

    Bob, we may be "arguing" different aspects!?
    ***A lonnng time ago while coaching a youth team that included several Latino kids that spoke English.
    I noticed that they only spoke Spanish when they had something derogatory to say. Before I put a stop to it I actually talked to their parents first. To explain what and why I was doing. Not only did they agree with and support me a couple offered to take disciplinary action...I  asked them  not to, wanted to keep it a team "thing". That year we went undefeated and won Spostman Team award.
    I have been on both sides of the issue...English is my second language. There is never a "One size fits all"....inclusive comes in many forms.

  16. frank schoon replied, November 24, 2019 at 10:25 p.m.

    John, it is not the various languages being spoken but the attitude that causes one to express language in a negative tone. Perhaps it would have been better to explain to evoke negative criticisms for everyone makes mistakes including those who out negative critique; instead show the benefits of being positive.  

  17. David Ruder, November 25, 2019 at 12:44 p.m.

    How will these kids ever intergrade into American life if they can't speak American English?  You will teach them how to play soccer and lose them to play for a Spanish speaking country. 

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, November 25, 2019 at 2:05 p.m.

    First off, soccer is a sport not an academic subject that you teach students by instruction.

    Second to coach requires communication. Coaching soccer should be about a lot of things but there are schools to teach English.

    Third, if USSF paid more than lip service to diversity, playing for the US MNT would be more attractive. I assume that you are talking about US citizens deciding to play for Mexico. I cannot see how to link bilingual US coaches with US players electing to play for other countries.

    IMO players go to other countries because the US MNT plays ugly soccer and hires coaches who value physical size over skills and smarts. Take how the US treated Jose Torres, an excellent holding midfielder. They used him everywhere but holding midfielder. Then he dropped from the picture after JK took over from Bradley. It isn't just about who USSF doesn't select. It is also about what happens to the players that they do select. If you commit to the US because you believe in some of the coaches there now, that doesn't mean that you won't get dropped for a European player brought in by a new coach who likes German soccer and players.

    This isn't meant to be a negative comment about JK. It is intended to explain why some players don't choose to commit to the US. Nobody wants to get a cap and then be left out of the picture. Depending on where we are in the cycle, another factor is who wants to play for a nation that didn't qualify for the finals?    

  19. humble 1, November 26, 2019 at 9:25 p.m.

    There are many many adult immigrants from latin american that are very good and qualified soccer coaches that do not speak english well enough to get their licences which their clubs need or want.  I know several.  They were some of my sons best coaches.  My son's first language is Spanish, so their english was never an issue for him, but it was for others, but this in not the point.  Even given their struggles in English, they are often the best coaches and having the basic licences gives them a path to get that credential and make a living.  As it relates to the latino leagues, I know how these work, this is not for them.  Most coaches are parents of kids on the teams and that's as far as they want to go.  Some do try and cross the line - to the pay-to-play world - then they need the credential.  Many of the guys that try and coach in the pay-to-play world, already have their licenses abroad, but they are not transferable.  (If you don't know about the license transfer stumbling block, look it up, it's pretty astounding, but that's another topic.) The three guys I know, all made careers of over a decade as professionals all over the America's two of the three were had National Team caps.  One had his pro A license from a South American country and had coached there in their top pro league, but came here and could not even coach youth soccer!  High time they got the spanish language testing ramped up there are plenty of coaches and kids that will benefit. 

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