MICHAEL ADUBATO - Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Having taken over the head coaching role for the purpose of the recent U-23 camp in Germany, New Jersey native Claudio Reyna spoke to YA about his role within the US Soccer hierarchy.

"I'm the youth technical director so I see all the teams (at all youth levels)," the former Manchester City midfielder told YA. "I've also been at every camp with the senior team since Juergen (Klinsmann) came in except this one, obviously."

Reyna gets to see the American set-up from the grassroots right up to the Men's National Team, and at the same time actively participates in the training of the up-and-coming youth players.

"I work closely with him (Klinsmann) but with great focus on the youth teams. I'm in touch with all the (youth) coaches."
"It's very important that we're sharing similar ideas. Every coach has their own personalities; that's why they're coaching the teams. Anything from a coach's standpoint, myself included, all of us, we really want to improve."

The new American head coach is implementing the same training system that he introduced to the German National Team when he took charge back in 2004. This system is a more fluid one.

"When you look at us now in the world of development there are nations that are great reference points at what they're doing. Our structure and our system are a little bit different in the US, but we need to make sure that we don't make excuses."

The former national team captain feels that the United States has a lot of resources at their disposal and should take advantage of them as they look to build a world class team.

"I think that we have to look at all the great things that we have in our country in terms of the amount of kids we play that we're developing now with the academy, a structured league where they're playing ten months and they're also training more."

And at this point for the youngsters, results aren't as important to the technical director as is developing players who will one day supplement the senior team.

"We're trying to make sure that what is actually happening on the field, the style of play, is being more towards a possession style of play and not that it's a result looking type of game at the youth level."

Having retired from the professional game in the summer of 2008, mainly due to constant niggling injuries, Reyna was able to finish his playing career back in his home state with the Red Bulls. The man from Livingston truly misses the game.

"The most fun I have is being on the field with these guys, so this week has been great being the coach of this group. The games (for them) are fun but the training is just as much fun. It has been good to see them compete and to just create a good environment."
John Mayer
Saturday January 21, 2012 2:12 pm
My kid. brand new to the ODP first year as a 99. Just got to ride the pine at the ODP regional championships for his affiliation with D3. That was what he was told at his exit interview. Not a word specifically about what he could improve on... other than moving to the same two coaches upstart D1 team that were giving him the interview. Imagine that to a 12 year old. Hey made the top made the long drives to tryouts, you paid the $900, you skipped out on your CYSA sanctioned end of season cup and teamates...but you come from a d3 program.. (which is all thats available in our remote area...see Cladio's direct comment on this) I only wish that there was a way to funnel kids to these special people at the top with out having to navigate through the money and the bias and the favoratism and the flat out inablility to know the potential that is in front of them. The real lesson here is that a kid should never....never...never be scrutinized after they make the team for playing on a lower level. If they made it... they made it for a reason. During tryouts they had no Idea that he was from a D3. They even ranked him as very strong top 18. There is much, much, more to this than I can say on here. But needless to say that much needs to be done to make things better. One kid that made the top 18 could not go because of the finances. He was the best on the field at tryouts. Sad. I guess that is why ODP is failing and everyone is going Academy and PDP.
ed c.
Wednesday November 16, 2011 2:40 pm
you get the players at a young age and mold them into your style of play. if you have 3 outstanding players with different styles they may not be able to play together. the youth camps show them a certain set-up and how the nats will go about the game. of course their clubs may obviously have a different style. there must be flexibility but overall, i think this is a good idea.
Alex G
Wednesday November 16, 2011 12:49 pm
Great to see this kind of set up in the youth system, Reyna is very well centered and I believe the US is taking the necessary steps to become a world power ,its just a matter of time and perseverance.

Good luck
Wednesday November 16, 2011 12:40 pm
I don't like our youth teams emphasis on style of play. The US more than any other team is going to get players in all different shapes and sizes, from different culturers and different nations even. We need to mold our style to fit our talents not vice versa. Additionally, styles will change over time. What is in now may not be later and whoever is running things now may be out later as well. By all means focus on improving posession skills but not to the point of rejecting talented players because they aren't "our kind of player". The Germans can afford to do that, we cant.

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