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The Evolving Landscape of Soccer from the Youth to the College to the Pros


Join us for an opportunity to bring the Southern Arizona Coaching community together for a chance to meet players, coaches, technical directors at all levels of the game to discuss:

  • Provide insight into professional training & game day environments
  • Gain insight into objectives, strategies, & performance indicators in executing training sessions
  • Learn best practices & helpful tips to promote & integrate top young talent towards the pros
  • Understand evolving soccer landscape & new pathways from youth to adult/pro soccer

A 45-minute discussion featuring panelists from:

  • USL Pro Academy Technical Director, United Soccer League, Liam O’Connell
  • Former FC Tucson PDL Player, FC Tucson Pro Academy Coach & First Team Assistant Seba Penida,
  • Becca Moros, Head Coach, University of Arizona Women’s Soccer
  • Head Coach and Technical Director, Danny Cruz & James O’Connor, Louisville FC (USL Championship)
  • Player Pathway – past vs. present/future
    • What was the “pro pathway” like when you were a player?
    • What were some of your biggest challenges in becoming a pro player?
    • What makes you so optimistic about the future?
  • Landscape of youth soccer
    • How has the youth landscape changed over time?
    • What set-up do you feel is the clearest path to the pro level?
    • How do you think youth & pro clubs can work together?
  • Your USL club’s pro pathway
    • What makes it unique?
    • What culture/values are you looking to instill at the club?
    • What are your expectations as a staff member?
    • What do you look for in young players?
  • The current state of college soccer
    • What efforts should these players be putting in towards being recruited to play college soccer?
    • Can a young player still make it as a pro player after playing college?
    • What should a player consider in deciding on a potential school, especially if they still have an interest in making it as a pro?
  • General advice for a young player with potential
    • What advice would you give a young player at this event, who is hoping to be seen & promoted to a higher level some day?
    • How should a player act on/off-field in an environment they are being watched? (trick question: “never know who’s watching”)
    • What advice would you give on overcoming adversity & facing challenges in pursuing your pro path?
    • What character/personality traits do you look for most in assessing talented young players for the next level?