Billed as the “Soccer Party of the Year,” the 2014 National Soccer Coaches
Association of America certainly lived up to its name. It provided many interesting learning avenues and as always a plethora of coaches who had not seen each other since the previous convention in Indianapolis or longer.
Starting with the MLS SuperDraft on Wednesday, the convention got off to an exciting start with many young future professionals waiting to see where their careers would take them. A multitude of coaches and general managers could be found shuffling through scouting notes to determine what to do if their identified player was picked or in the case of the Philadelphia Union trading up to get the player that they wanted, goalkeeper Andre Blake of the University of Connecticut.
After the excitement of the draft it was on to one of many sessions that were
highlighted with everything from incorporating social media to building your team in the format of Bayern Munich. Once again the opportunity to learn and pick up new thoughts, ask questions and see that some of the things that you are currently doing are being done by some of the top professionals, was refreshing and an opportunity not to be missed. As always the exhibit hall was flowing with vendors with new concepts from coffee flavored cereal to the many different sports equipment companies trying to gain an advantage in the apparel market and the ever interesting new technologies created to better analyze player performance and well-being.
The NSCAA Convention brings out the massive camaraderie between coaches of all levels. People are reacquainted and new acquaintances are made which can only continue to grow the game in the right direction and continues to prove that soccer has its place on the U.S. sporting landscape.