As part of its ongoing effort to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States by developing world class players, coaches, and referees, U.S. Soccer is partnering with NWSL, Utah Royals FC and U.S. Soccer donors to provide the first step along the professional coaching pathway, the U.S. Soccer C License Course, cost-free to 21 NWSL players who will take the course.
Funded by individual donors to U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Development Fund, the 10-week U.S. Soccer C License course will provide the group of elite professional players a first-hand educational experience that will serve as their first step toward coaching as a profession.
"As the game continues to grow in the United States, we have a unique opportunity to develop the next generation of coaches from within NWSL," said NWSL Managing Director Amanda Duffy. "This is an exciting initiative that allows the League and U.S. Soccer to offer the C License Course specifically for NWSL players at the preeminent facilities of the Utah Royals FC."
The first in-person meeting of the course, running from Sept. 30-Oct. 7 at Zions Bank Real Academy Training Center, consists of classroom learning and field sessions. This educational phase of the course is followed by an eight-week mentorship period at each candidate's home environment. The course concludes with a final in-person assessment meeting back at Real Academy from Dec. 7-9.
The unique coaching education initiative for current NWSL players is part of the U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Department's continuing efforts to provide accessible education to all coaches, including opportunities to increase the number of female soccer coaches in the United States, NWSL and U.S. Soccer.
"Professional players have a unique set of experiences, which when translated into the context of coaching, can be developed into competencies and enrich the player development process," said U.S. Soccer Director of Coaching Education Barry Pauwels. "Through U.S. Soccer's Coaching Education program and the generous support of U.S. Soccer donors, we are excited to provide this opportunity to our NWSL teams."
The C course is the first of its kind for NWSL players and provides a positive developmental experience within the coaching environment, allowing participants to further consider their professional opportunities beyond their playing careers. Registration for the course was open to all NWSL players meeting minimum playing experience requirements. U.S. Soccer's philanthropic donors contributed to ensure each player could access the education cost-free.
"I'm really excited to begin this coaching course because I strive to be a good teacher of the beautiful game as a player and as a future coach," Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger said. "I know this is the best place to advance this journey and am grateful for the opportunity. I want to help the younger generation of footballers understand what it takes to reach their full potential, in both the physical and mental aspects of the game. It's also very important to have a good understanding from a leadership perspective, how to get the best out of young players, and I'm ready to learn those specific tools during this course."
The course will utilize the state-of-the-art meeting rooms and both the indoor and outdoor fields of Zions Bank Training Center, with players from the Real Salt Lake Development Academy participating in course training sessions.
U.S. Soccer Women's National Team head coach Jill Ellis, who completed the highest level coaching license in North America in Dec. of 2017, the U.S. Soccer Pro Course, continues to be a proponent of female coaches in the game.
"We need more women in coaching. Every sport, not just soccer. We need more female involvement in administrative decisions at any level," Ellis said. "We know we are in the minority in terms of numbers, but I think if those [people] can connect, we can be a powerful group."
Nicole Barnhart (Utah Royals)
Elizabeth Eddy (NC Courage)
Amanda Frisbie (Sky Blue FC)
Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit)
Darian Jenkins (NC Courage)
Sammy Jo Prudhomme (Houston Dash)
Haley Kopmeyer (Orlando Pride)
Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride)
Mandy Laddish (Utah Royals)
Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars)
Meg Morris (Portland Thorns)
Rebecca Morros (Utah Royals)
Heather O'Reilly (NC Courage)
Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit)
Angela Salem (Portland Thorns)
Abby Smith (Utah Royals)
Michele Vasconcelos (Chicago Red Stars)
Mallory Weber (Portland Thorns)
Tiffany Weimer (Washington Spirit)
Rosie White (Chicago Red Stars)
Beverly (Goebel) Yanez (Seattle Reign)