Anson Dorrance on U.S. Soccer's good moves, its bad moves, and college success

Anson Dorrance's University of North Carolina women's team, which he has guided for four decades, faces Washington State in the semifinals on Friday aiming for a 22nd NCAA Division I title. Dorrance also coached the USA in 1986-94 as it become a world power in the women's game and won the inaugural Women's World Cup in 1991.

His influence on the U.S. national team program continued. No other college program has seen as many alums play for the USA. They include five on the 2019 World Cup-winning team: Crystal Dunn, Ashlyn Harris, Tobin Heath, Allie Long, Jessica McDonald. We spoke with Dorrance about his perennial college coaching success -- and for his opinions of how the U.S. Soccer Federation is running the women's national team program, from the new head coach hiring to the youth national program.

SOCCER AMERICA: What do think of U.S. Soccer hiring Vlatko Andonovski as head coach?

ANSON DORRANCE: Wonderful. If we're going to judge Kate [Markgraf] by the major decisions she makes, right now she gets an A+.

SA: Kate Markgraf was hired in August  as U.S. women’s national team general manager and to lead the coaching search ...

ANSON DORRANCE: I'm checking both boxes for U.S. Soccer -- I have no connection with Kate except I recruited her and of course lost her to Notre Dame -- but right now, out of the gate, A+. And Vlatko, same thing. Lots of my kids have played on all his pro teams. Everyone who played for him sings his praises. Even the kids who haven't, there was a clear lobbying effort from the elite players of the United States to have him under serious consideration by U.S. Soccer. He's one these coaches who's not only good between the lines, but also off the field in the way he treats his players, the way he respects them.

SA: When U.S. Soccer named Markgraf the women's general manager, it promoted men's general manager Earnie Stewart to the position of Sporting Director and included in his new role overseeing the women’s full national team and the women's youth national team programs. Your opinion on Stewart being in charge of the women's side?

ANSON DORRANCE: I was absolutely pissed off. That is absolutely ridiculous. In this era, for someone to make that extraordinarily sexist decision, is beyond belief. I mean where the hell have they been to make that kind of decision? It angers me.

SA: Because Stewart has no experience in women's or girls soccer?

ANSON DORRANCE: And no understanding. Not that he will deliberately do a miserable job. Of course, he won't. But he has enough on his plate as it is. Goddammit, we've got to revive that [men's] side of the house. He's got his hands full. So to give him an additional responsibility, are you friggin kidding me? No, let him do that (men's) side.

We're in wonderful shape [on the women's side], but we need to concentrate on ourselves. Obviously Jill's team going right through the heart of Europe [to win the 2019 Women's World Cup] is an extraordinary statement about the United States, but still, the Europeans are on the rise. We need to focus on staying on top, so let us do our thing.

SA: Like the men's side of the youth national team program, the women's side has several vacancies at what was once a program in which national teams at each age group had a head coach. Also, April Heinrichs left the position of Women's Youth Technical Director at the end of 2018 and has not been replaced. Do the vacancies trouble you?

ANSON DORRANCE: Not immediately. But this is where I'm excited for Kate. Because even though I think her purview is the full team, we're going to have a voice in the room. And she'll also be interested in the success of the youth national team program because the feeder system for the full team are the youth teams. And the U.S. has always done a great job bringing in younger players.

Vlatko has got his hands full with what he's trying to do. But Kate, because I'm sure she's got some freedom during the day, should invest herself on discovering who the best coaches are out there and invite them in to train the youth. Make sure that part of the culture is taken care of, because that's obviously our future.

We need player development experts sitting in the room to decide on the fate of these youth teams, how we're developing them etc., and the critical element beyond anything else is the quality of the coaches you bring into these environments.

And she should absolutely inject herself into the politics, even though I know U.S. Soccer doesn't want her to.

SA: One of the obstacles to hiring youth national team coaches was introduction of a policy requiring relocation to Chicago. Your view on that?

ANSON DORRANCE: It's ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Why narrow your coach hiring pool down by having all these ridiculous hurdles you have to clear? We've read that [U.S. Soccer House in Chicago] is a toxic environment, so to bring them in, to infect them in the source is absolutely insane.

What we need is a benign leadership that understands that coaches can do their jobs from where they live.

And why have them move to Chicago where they're living in a tenement for the poverty stricken because we're not paying them enough? That's absolutely insane. And the hypocrisy of the people that pushed it through who fly back and forth to Holland is just beyond belief. This is something I would love to hand off to Rachel Maddow to discuss on her program to explain it to us the way she's explained so much to me about what's going on politically. Because it's absolute madness.

SA: Women's college soccer played the key role in the rise of American women's soccer as best in the world. Should U.S. Soccer be taking more advantage of college coaches for its youth national team program?

ANSON DORRANCE: They should bring them in. Swanny [Steve Swanson, University of Virginia] was with the full team [as assistant coach]. Is it a recruiting advantage? Hell, yes. Should the Federation care about any recruiting advantages? Hell, no.

U.S. Soccer doesn't have to concern itself with NCAA rules. In fact, what's interesting is every time in an ACC meeting when we bring up the prospect of having the NCAA legislate against the coaches who coach in the Olympics, like [Mike] Krzyzewski and on the national team like Swanny, the athletic directors all shoot it down. The reason is because it's incredible publicity for the colleges to have their people involved. Basically if you look at from the top, it's very positive. If you look at it from the trenches, it's not, because holy crap have we lost player after player after player to Steve Swanson because he's on the staff of a national team that's won two World Cups, and on a youth team that won a U-20 World Cup. When I collide with Steve Swanson in recruiting, it's a tough battle because of his accolades with the national teams. But U.S. Soccer should not concern themselves with our politics and they should bring in every elite college coach possible to coach at all levels for U.S. Soccer.

SA: There's the option of U.S. Soccer using college coaches part time, but as far hiring them full-time to fill youth national team positions, U.S. Soccer would have to immensely increase its pay, right?

ANSON DORRANCE: I have a huge amount of respect for a Sunil Gulati, and he once called me up and said Anson, give me salaries of the top 10 coaches in Division I. And I basically told him what it was. And I knew why he was asking me that question. He didn't tell me. He didn't have to. Obviously to bring back to the meetings to let them know, if we want to hire these guys, here's what we have to pay.

And they should pay that. Because if they want these coaches, let's pay them. We have so many elite college coaches. And let's put them in a position where U.S. Soccer is offering them a huge salary to leave their college teams because that's going to benefit all of us.

SA: What's your view on the current state of U.S. Soccer Development Academy vs. ECNL?

ANSON DORRANCE: Well, I am no longer in a full panic. Do I think the way [the DA] was rolled out was good? Or the fact that it exists is good? No. I think it was rolled out very poorly. And I think the restrictions they have are just insane. They're medieval. It's like friggin giving the men's side of the house governance over the women's side and that's just crazy.

Do I still think we should just have one group doing it? Yes. But now that it's out there, maybe I can see the positive sides of the competition between the two -- as long as we call out the DA every time they come into a home and pretend if you go with an ECNL team you're not going to make the national team. We need to eliminate that and basically any DA coach who says that and we catch it on tape picks up a $50,000 fine.

SA: You won your first national championship with the UNC women in 1981. You've won 21 NCAA DI titles since then, and we're talking on the eve of your team playing in the 2019 College Cup. How have you managed to successfully coach so many different generations of players? Surely, how players respond to coaching changes over time and many coaches who were successful in the past don't adjust.

ANSON DORRANCE: I'm a big reader. I spend all my time either reading or playing sports. I think my reading has kept me very aware of the way all us should treat people. And the different generations for me are a wonderful curiosity.

I always know when something I've said hasn't sailed. And am the first one to apologize. I apologized to our goalkeeper for how I blew her up at the half of the last game. I came into the team later with her standing there and said how sorry I was for what I said.

I'm not one of these people who thinks I know everything. If I make a mistake, I apologize immediately. I'm very comfortable within the culture to adjust with them. By the same token, I'm trying to use old school values for my culture. Our core values are very traditional, they are fundamental. There's nothing new age about anything I do.

But the area I'm been very consistent with is I want to coach a team that I would want to play on. I've always hated rules. I hate rules. So I don't have any rules.

SA: How does it work?

ANSON DORRANCE: I do believe in principle centered living. ... In order to develop a real adult, in my opinion, what you have to do is teach them to make the correct choices. And the trouble with rules is, you don't have choices. All you're doing is following rules. You have to decide whether or not you're going to follow this rule, but that's not really a choice. So your whole structure is set up without you making an adult choice.

As soon as the freshmen come in, I tell them I'm going to treat them like adults, so they've got to make good choices, and they're going to be evaluated against their choices. Not just by me, but also by their teammates. So we have a system of wonderful checks and balances on their behavior. As a result, the evolution through their four years at UNC is very visible, and I'm very proud of that.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of UNC SID by Jeffery A. Camarati & Rebecca Lawson
34 comments about "Anson Dorrance on U.S. Soccer's good moves, its bad moves, and college success".
  1. Bob Ashpole, December 6, 2019 at 6:44 a.m.

    Another great interview. Thank you, Mike. Also a greatly troubling interview.

    Some might wonder whether Dorrance is overstating the role of US college soccer in producing players. He is not. US college soccer collectively not only produced the vast majority of US female internationals, but also produced many of the other nation's female internationals.

    Does college soccer have problems in respect to player development? Yes. While MLS clubs now have player development programs, I don't believe NWSL teams have player development programs.

    Training for competition is not the same as training for development. The former involves placing development of the team above development of the player. Whether a college program is focused on player development vs winning competitions I suspect depends on the head coach.

    Certainly development occurs in all programs, including NWSL clubs, but the issue for elite athletes is optimal player development so that in the long term players reach their full potential. Programs focused on winning competitions focus on short term development--how to win this weekend. This is not optimal for player development.

  2. John Polis, December 6, 2019 at 9:14 a.m.

    Good interview Mike. I always like to hear what Anson has to say because, truthfully. he's forgotten more about soccer than most people know. Good to hear that Coach is as Anson-feisty as ever. Good luck to him in quest of a 22nd NCAA title. 

  3. Ben Myers, December 6, 2019 at 9:42 a.m.

    Excellent interview by Mike with lots of good common sense from Dorrance.  From this interview, it is easy to understand Dorrance's longevity as a coach.  If only more coaches would model themselves after Dorrance, rather than letting their inflated egos hang out there.

  4. humble 1, December 6, 2019 at 9:53 a.m.

    Always good to listen to the sage.  Don't agree on his softening of the girls DA creation.  We already have an incomplete competitive pyramid in youth soccer.  It is important to look beyond the girls DA and understand how it effected youth soccer USA.  The implementation of girls DA had the side effect of the boys ECNL being created.  The overall effect of creating girls DA was to increase the polarization of youth soccer, for boys and girls and undermine the fragile pyramid that was in place.  Boys had DA and girls ECNL.  Now they are both split.  There is no league interplay.  This is bad anyway you shake it.  It was stupid, ignorant and short-sighted.  It cannot be good for the youth that they travel for miles and miles when there are perfectly good competitive games right down the street.  C'mon US Soccer.

  5. John Mullen replied, December 10, 2019 at 2:42 a.m.

    humble 1, the youth soccer scene was already fragmented before the creation of the girl's DA, you seem to have overlooked US Youth Soccer, which has by far the largest number of registered youth players.  So you have US Youth, the ECNL, and the DA on both the boys and girls sides.

  6. Alan Blackledge, December 6, 2019 at 9:54 a.m.

    Very good interview and insight! 

    Lost me with his quip about Rache Maddow, which tells me he doesn't know much politically! Stick to what you know...SOCCER!

  7. Wooden Ships replied, December 7, 2019 at 9:16 a.m.

    Agreed Alan. Maddow is another angry person, which Anson likes. I recall the North Carolina/NCAA position on bathrooms and locker rooms. Some people are evidently more enlightened than others. Sure do have to give him his due for overseeing one of the most successful sports programs in college athletics. 

  8. Mylene Moreno replied, December 11, 2019 at 8:52 p.m.

    Very sensible and fact-based, actually. 

  9. frank schoon, December 6, 2019 at 10:11 a.m.

    I find some agreement with Anson, as far as how he treats and handles his players on self-discipline which to me is much easier with the girls than with the boys. In my experience the women seem to have more self-control as compared to the guys who are less disciplined, and always try to cut corners. It reminds me of Johan Cruyff as a kid who always to tried to sneak into movie  theaters not having to pay,  or get free rides on the tram(trolley) without paying. He was a street urchin, streetwise and knew all the tricks, always try to cut corners in training when it came to running. You can look at it as good or bad but for developmental purposes it was an excellent character quality to have for he brought this "street-wise' smartness onto the soccer field as a player.

    This particular quality of Cruyff had as a youth, this thinking quality of how to beat the system, carried over onto the soccer field made him the soccer savvy player ,able to think quickly at any moment as the situation presents itself, whether it is beating a defender 1v1 or create tactical maneuver.  This is what I miss in women's soccer the 'soccer savviness'. They play too PROGRAMMED, too PREDICTABLE and show LITTLE CREATIVENESS.

    When Cruyff became coach of Ajax, the players ,especially the creative ones, like van Basten ,Frank Rykaard, Vanenburg, who likewise try to beat the system couldn't , for Cruyff knew all the tricks.  For example, running through the woods for a long run period, a couple of players knew the short cut, but Cruyff from his playing days employed the same short cut posted himself at the short cut sight surprising the players.

    This aspect of "soccer savviness'  as well as the techical versatility needed at moment, is something that is greatly missing in women's soccer, like the men, but is so much worse in the women's game, leading me to say that player development of womens needs to be seriously worked on. And having colleges coaches,be involved is NOT GOOD. This is not a slight on them but they are totally coming from a different direction for they basically see everything more in  team orientated concepts . For example, If I had choice to pick a coach to develop young players, and my choice was  between a player who grew up in Jamaica playing soccer, in an environment where you need 'street smarts' to survive or some licensed college coach with all his classroom paraphenalia, I would pick the former anyday. As far as I'm concerned College coaches should stay away from youth coaching, ofcourse there are slight exceptions for nothing is written in stone....

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, December 6, 2019 at 1:51 p.m.

    Good points Frank, but when you put it into context, college coaches work with U23s which in theory should be past the stage in which creativity is built and in the development stage when the focus should be on getting these independently creative players to work together as a team. 

    In short the point you made is exactly why we should want the best of these coaches for our national team program in those age brackets.

  11. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 1:59 p.m.

    Can't argue with that Bob. You're exactly right...

  12. frank schoon, December 6, 2019 at 10:24 a.m.

    The statement of Anson Dorrance that picking Ernie Stewart for position as Sports Director was sexist move, I findit appalling. Can we keep the dialoque at a more mature level without assuming that it is racist, sexist, xenophobic or whatever flavor of week term employed. Perhaps maybe watching a little  less of Rachel Maddox could help.

    I do agree Anson's criticism of deploying all the coaches one particular place like Chicago, whatever. And why we have these Idiots ,those dutch professor types to come over here.  Instead we should bring over  some real soccer greats to help out to help our youth development...

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, December 6, 2019 at 1:55 p.m.

    Frank, I find it sexist too. Stewart has no experience or knowledge of women's soccer, yet he was "promoted" into a position without any search for better qualified candidates.

  14. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:04 p.m.

    Bob, I''m not a fan of Earney Stewart. He shouldn't have been given this job in the first place just on merit, he screwed up before...I think he got kick upwards in the hierarchy. I have no idea what this new job entails or necessary the qualifications are ,so I'm not going to say he shouldn't get this job before I understand  what is needed. But I certainly would  not have picked him

  15. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:10 p.m.

    Bob, Marc van Basten has come out with book this week. I was looking to see if it were in English but isn't. I will read it when I get to Holland this summer. I called up Holland yesterday to inquire whether the book "Voetbal"  written by Cruyff is printed in English, it isn't. I emailed the Cruyff foundation and hope to get an answer as to why not. Bob this book is the 'bible' of soccer, it has everything in it. I've got it in dutch but I was trying to get it for you if it were in English....

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:15 p.m.

    Thanks Frank. I could learn Dutch, but then I would still not understand it well enough because I lack the cultural context. You are bilingual so you know exactly why the cultural context is so important to communication.

  17. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:28 p.m.

    If this book was translated ,it would be the best sold book here. It has everything and he keeps it so simple...

  18. mark courtney, December 6, 2019 at 12:05 p.m.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I have to ask. Yes NC has a winning record but anyone notice the quality of play that persists?
    I sample about a dozen or two woman’s college games a year on TV ... and after about 10 minutes I change the channel. Not enjoyable to watch. The simple problems of bad passes, senseless runs w the ball and lack of 1v1 attempts ... in simple terms so many times a player/team has a turnover. But since both teams do this ... it’s the accepted method. Sure, someone will win eventually. 
    This sounds harsh to some I’m sure but. Now yes our National team does well ... but really compare their overall quality with say Japans quality. Japan does so many more things much better ... so overall their development is ahead of ours I would argue. They have had much success. 
    So I have watched UNC play several times but it’s obvious that athletic abilities are above the technical abilities. Yes they win but it could be better.
    If one thinks this is not accurate I’ll offer another perspective. Currently the men’s NCAA tourney is progressing. Again I’m watching many games as well as several regular season games. Hard to watch for the most part. Now it is pleasant  to see a team play a nice style once in awhile. So at times this happens but it’s rare. I always think back to the first SA article where Tom Howe stayed “ I can’t stand college soccer ... except for Akron” ... when Akron was playing well under Porter. I don’t think things have changed much. 
    So interestingly, as I have been watching the men’s college play I watched/recorded most U17 WC play. Most of these games are so much better than our College teams, players and quality of play. Yes they are the best from their nations but they are still in HS. Most of our college players will never be as good as the young players. 
    So I’ll argue we still have a long way to go in this country for both men’s and woman’s play at every level. 
    There will always be a winner in any game but sometimes “winning is a good deodorant.”

  19. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 12:13 p.m.

    Mark,<"I sample about a dozen or two woman’s college games a year on TV ... and after about 10 minutes I change the channel. Not enjoyable to watch">...You're not the only one!!!!!!!! 
     I watch these games as way to teach what you shouldn't do...

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:12 p.m.

    Mark, I don't see what you are getting at. Are you trying to rebut what Dorrance says because you don't like the way most college soccer is played? I am not impressed with Dorrance's win record. What impresses me is that 90 of his players went into the national team program. I don't care what ability explains that success, talent identification, player development, or even just the ability to put together a great coaching team.

    For better or worse, Dorrance is very much the architect of how our WNT plays today. While his teams may not play pretty, I can see how he uses Dutch Style principles of play in his system. More importantly he has for decades advocated clubs and schools universally use the 343 system and its 1v1 matchups as the cornerstone of youth development. (Focusing on playing a numbers up defense is the opposite.) Unfortuneately virtually no one listens to his views, but that isn't his fault. 

  21. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:26 p.m.

    Bob, don't forget, Anson doesn't really have to recruit, for all the best players , nationwide, tend to want to come UNC. The school has a reputation and besides he has a lot of good connections along a pro women's team in the area. What good players wouldn't want to take advantage of this opportunity of not going to UNC.....His coaching job is made very easy, perhaps he needs to deal more with egos more so than anything else, other than that. I can only fault him for not playing a more higher level of quality of game considering  the talent he has....and that is how I judge a coach on

  22. Danny Cruz, December 6, 2019 at 12:52 p.m.

    Danny Cruz 
    Mike, great interview! It's ok that we all have our opinions of what people have to say or do. But there  are things that people can't argue about, what he's done and the experience he brings to the table. I've known Anson since the 80's - I used to take my girls teams from California to his camps. There is an obvious difference in the soccer culture from the East Coast to the West Coast. Anson has seen the good, bad and ugly side of this game and has kept up with it for 5 decades. I think we all can say Anson has a pretty good blueprint. Something we all can learn from and the more we have these open "round table" type discussions without people taking it personal, the better we'll understand how to develop our players. We are living in a PC world today and that is difficult for old school coaches- I give props to those who are still standing and developing, being successful and spreading their knowledge to the new generation of coaches. We should take what we can that still works (from the old schoolers ) and add to it for the changes that we need to become a true powerful soccer nation. 

  23. Ron Frechette, December 6, 2019 at 1 p.m.

    I love to read an interview that has open and direct answers. Coach Dorrance does not hold back much - glad to see it. He will make friend and enemies with his statements and that is a good thing as you don't have to figure out where he stands on a topic.

    His comment about owning up to his mistakes and showing his players and staff how to appoligize and move on - to me is very important. Not trivial in life let alone with a leader.

    As to his calling out US Soccer for their mistakes - Erine Stewart for taking charge of the women's side is a mistake. Too much to learn, women/girl's side of US Soccer needs attention but not the same formula as the men's/boy's side - haven't that been proven over the last 30 years of results!

    What I watch with the Women's college games is the need to have a different set of skills (longer driven balls that are passes not just hit into areas, taking the ball out of the air on the run, etc...) than what the players can execute. Setting up a game plan to need those skills and the players not having them - make for a very ugly game. This goes for both the Men's and Women's side of the beautful game. This lack of skills falls back on the coaches at the youth level not teaching/instructing/correcting those technical problems. Without the proper technique it does not matter what system/style of play you want - they will all look ugly when pressure is applied.

  24. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 1:08 p.m.

    Ron , I agree on what you say and specifically Ernie Stewart shouldn't have been picked for he did a lousy job previously as well. Those are all valid criticisms and definitely has merit but don't come about employing Sexism BS, that is something we don't need to stir up. When you bring up sexism does that imply that  a woman should have been chosen for the job, if so, then if so that  is really sexism.

  25. Bob Ashpole replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:25 p.m.

    Frank, my calling it sexism doesn't imply that a women should have been chosen for the "new position" that Stewart was promoted into.

    It implies that the top job was taken away from a female GM and that no women was considered for the top job. 

  26. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 2:34 p.m.

    Bob, I don't know if ever a woman was considered or if there were but lacked certain qualifications that Stewart has for this job, but than again I don't know what this job entails for qualifications does gender really have anything to do with it at all

  27. Justus From SoCal, December 6, 2019 at 1:03 p.m.

    "Do I still think we should just have one group doing it? Yes. But now that it's out there, maybe I can see the positive sides of the competition between the two -- as long as we call out the DA every time they come into a home and pretend if you go with an ECNL team you're not going to make the national team. We need to eliminate that and basically any DA coach who says that and we catch it on tape picks up a $50,000 fine.

    There you go, nail on the head coach!!!! Also, please add the Training Center lie. $100,000 find slapped on any Doc of a DA that lies to 11 year old and her parents saying the scouts have been asking about her and wonder why she isn't there and they need to leave their non-DA Club now to be scene by the YNT scouts.  

  28. Ric Fonseca, December 6, 2019 at 3:02 p.m.

    Thanks for the article Mike W.  One factor for AD getting and having most of the women player's "creme de la creme" was/is obviously his record.  However, I vividly remember when I got my feet wet on soccer pitches in Nor and So Cal collegiate/university pitches, one very specific "NO-NO" was the NCAA's threats of athletic/coaching threats that if you coached outside your season of competition, say in a high school, club, or whatever level, you would be exiled from your coaching position and labeled as a "non-comformist."  Ironically, about that same time Coach AD began his quest and string of collegiate victories, and yes, elevating the women's game.  However, I often wondered just how he was able to get the talent, his being able to coach outside the regular season of competition and also named the HC for the US WNT, and yet the so-called venerable NCAA allowed him?  There's mention of Coach K (basketball) with similar connections, and yet the NCAA says nothing?  Obviously, their positions as head coaches of US National teams, soccer or basketball, brings "fame and fortune" not not so much (really?) for the coaches but for the NCAA.  Now imagine the following:  in late '79, I finished the season with my first NCAA Div II university team; a local high parochial school was searching for a coach and as soon as possible as the high school season in certain parts of SoCal begins just around thanksgiving, so they reached out to me for advice, however after two weeks no no luck, they offered me the position.
    Mind you again, the season is relatively short ending around February, so after considering all factors, I did my due diligence and told them I'd have to check with my AD, which I did, and he summarily told me, the university or a lowly and local parochial high school team, cuase i'd have to check with the NCAA, yad-yada.  Seeing the writing on the wall, I obviously kept the university position but continued to look for a coach for that high school, which I did.  My point here is that while coaches such as Coach K, and AD, lead great programs, the NCAA seems to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, as is the usual wont and hypocricy of this intercollegiate athletics dictatorial group.  And BTW, I am a Bruin, and I will hopefully catch the final four on TV, especially since three of the four are from the Pac 12 Athletic Conference.
    And lastly, kudos and thanks to Coach AD for calling it like it is vis-a-vis US Soccer and its blind myopia, oh, and a final question, is Mr. Cordeiro still president?  Haven't heard much about or from him!!!   

  29. frank schoon replied, December 6, 2019 at 3:21 p.m.

    Ric, good stuff...

  30. Bill Dooley, December 6, 2019 at 4:36 p.m.

    The US Soccer Girls DA Winter Cup is next week, all week. This will require all the U-15s and above  to miss an entire week of school that is, for most of those athletes, the week before end-of-term exams, if not actually incorporating the exam period.  

    How bad and near sighted this?

    If U.S. Soccer were seeking to intentionally be so thoughtless and disruptive of these players' lives, what exactly would they be doing differently?

    There’s a session at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in January being put on by the talent identification "brain trust" from US Soccer.  It might be a place for some probing questions.


  31. Bob Ashpole replied, December 7, 2019 at 1:03 p.m.

    The scheduling insanity is found at every level of elite women's soccer.

    The College Cup Final is played with only one day of recovery for the teams after the semifinals.

    The Olympics has a ridiculously exhausting schedule and limits rosters to 18 players. 

    FIFA is discussing adding more teams, which means more matches, to already too fatiguing schedules.

    In both events the physical requirements require extensive use of the bench and forces players to play fatigued. None of that is conducive to good play.

  32. James Madison, December 6, 2019 at 6:05 p.m.

    Great interview.  Wonderful for it not to be censored.  The only additional question I wish Dorrance had been asked is how he regards licensing requirements imposed on DA coaches.

  33. Larry Chen, December 7, 2019 at 4:08 a.m.

    Nice read!

  34. R2 Dad, December 8, 2019 at 1:32 a.m.

    Thank you Mike and AD for a thorough interview and honest responses--very refreshing.

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