Soccer Innovation Summit Agenda


Jason deVos (Canada Soccer Association Development Director) 

Mark O'Sullivan (AIK coach and player development and education)

Jason and Mark discuss the why, what and how of changes in approach to player development they are introducing at club level in Sweden and on a national scale in Canada

12.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: Nurturing a lifelong love of the game  
Skip Gilbert (CEO US Youth Soccer)
12.10 PRESENTATION 2: Creating a league based on the wishes of the players not the adults  
Lesle Gallimore (Commissioner GA League)
12.20 PRESENTATION 3: College Soccer's role in the development pathway  
Becky Burleigh (Florida Gators Head Coach)
12.30 PRESENTATION 4: Why a grassroots youth club became part of the New York Red Bulls MLS Affiliates Program
Steve Freeman (Black Watch Premier CEO/Sporting Director)
12.40 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: Building a player development pathway that promotes the growth of the game at all levels 

- Key steps to stabilising and connecting grassroots, college and pro soccer post-Development Academy
- Identifying the key developments needed to drive a thriving and supportive soccer ecosystem

14.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: Reducing risk in recruitment using big data
Victor Orta (Director of Football - Leeds United)
14.10 PRESENTATION 2: Creating an objective recruitment process through video analysis and data
Jack Dodd (Director of Scouting Operations - Toronto)
14.20 PRESENTATION 3: Using qualitative data to assess player potential
Lutz Pfannenstiel (Sporting Director  - St Louis)
14.30 PRESENTATION 4: How US Soccer identify and monitor players for Youth National Teams
Mirelle van Rijbroek (Director of Talent ID  - US Soccer)

14.40 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: How Technology and Big Data Can Support More Efficient Talent ID and Recruitment 


Tom Sermanni (New Zealand Women's Head Coach)

Rhian Wilkinson (England Women's Assistant Coach)

Former USWNT head coach Tom Sermanni in conversation with Rhian Wilkinson discussing the role of assistant coaches, how they are viewed by players, the coach pathway in women's soccer, adapting to different roles, and managing players and support teams.

12.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: Le Havre's Game Model Approach to Designing Training Drills
Michael Bunel (Academy Technical Director - Le Havre)
12.10 PRESENTATION 2: Seattle's evidence-based game model and situational referenced coaching methods
- Using match data to identify positions of maximum opportunity
- Improving decision making through principles of the play reference points and game cues.
Chris Little (Head of Coaching - Seattle Sounders)
12.20 PRESENTATION 3: One-to-one approach to creating dynamic, explosive players
Saul Isaksson-Hurst (Head Coach -
12.30 PRESENTATION 4: Progressing player perception and the decision making process through small-sided games
Eduardo Oliveira (Head Coach - Fluminense U20)

12.45 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: Drawing context from the game to develop individual player skills and decision making 

- Focusing on position specific scanning, movement and action

- Identifying physical and technical skills required to win one-on-one duels

14.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1:  Designing High Intensity Position Specific Training Drills using Match Data
Jack Ade (Head of Academy Sports Science - Liverpool)
14.10 (EST) PRESENTATION 2: How to elicit desired physical outcomes from training variables
Alex Calder (Head of Sports Science - Houston Dynamo)
14.20 (EST) PRESENTATION 3: Design of small-sided games to replicate match demands
Andrea Riboli (Sports Scientist - University of Milan)
14.30 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: Use of player tracking to inform and monitor training sessions
12.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: Key Coaching Roles in Developing Promising Youth Talent into Senior Players
Tommy Wilson (Academy Director - Philadelphia Union)
12.10 PRESENTATION 2: Developing the Physiology of Youth Athletes
Skylar Richards (Director of Physiology and Science - Orlando City)
12.20 PRESENTATION 3: How FC Utrecht players want to be coached 
Jan van Loon (Head of Coaching - FC Utrecht)
12.30 PRESENTATION 4: Evaluating Technology to Fit the Needs of Your Club and Players 
Thomas Harris (Assistant Academy Director - North Carolina FC)

12.40 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: How player development is evolving to meet the needs of the digital generation

14.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: Key Pillars in Building A Club Identity
- Understanding what connects us and where we are going
- How does it translate onto the field
Marc Nicholls (Technical Director  - Charlotte)
14.10 PRESENTATION 2:An holistic approach to keeping players healthy and match fit
- Nutrition and Recovery plans to keep players on the field
- Developing player ownership of recovery and nutrition plans, not just asking them to buy into it or follow instructions.
Gavin Benjafield (Director of Performance - LAFC)
14.20 PRESENTATION 3: Application of a mindful sports performance enhancement programme at Southampton
- Importance of flexibility and integration (culture change not parachuting in)
- Progressing sessions from psychology lab, to gym and ultimately the pitch
Amy Spencer (Sports Psychologist- Southampton)
14.30 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: The language and process of creating and evolving football cultures


Tom Byer (Soccer Starts At Home)

Author and coach Tom Byer discusses why he believes soccer should start at home with ball mastery from the ages of 2-5, and the science associated with this which suggests advantages to learning, cognitive growth and the parent/child relationship.


12.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: Creating A Player-Centric Elite Youth Development System From Scratch
- Defining who you are and creating development cycle that delivers your vision
- Structuring a game model with clear core principles to enable coaches to execute the strategy  
Dr Juan Delgado (Academy Director - Austin FC)
12.10 PRESENTATION 2: Specialist Coaching Integrated into a Department of Methodology in Team Sports
- Creating a culture and process that makes the player the driver of their development   
- How specialist coaches and sports science staff can come together to design individualised training programmes
Fabian Otte (Goalkeeper Coach - Burnley FC)
12.20 PRESENTATION 3: Creating Integrated High Performance Departments That Meet Your Club's Needs
- Understanding how function determines structure and not the other way round  
- Returning investment in high performance: Accountability for delivering increased capacity, player readiness and player availability  
Clive Brewer (Former Head of Performance - Columbus Crew)
12.30 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: Organisational structures and methodologies that maximise player and coach potential 
14.00 (EST) PRESENTATION 1: The relationship between player retention and parent engagement 
John Barata (CEO & Director of Coaching - Legacy SC NE)
14.10 PRESENTATION 2: The Evolution of Parent Relationships within a Pro Development System 
Larry Sunderland (Director of Player Development - Cincinnati FC)
14.20 PRESENTATION 3: Understanding how attachment shapes our identity
- The importance of creating safe, secure environments in the learning process 
Dr Suzanne Brown (Clinical Psychologist- Emotionally Connected)
14.30 INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION: Understanding the importance of the coach/parent relationship in player development