2017 NSCAA Convention Makes Its Way to California
Once a year — in America — soccer reigns supreme and is the topic of every conversation. Our diverse entertainment and sports culture shifts to a soccer-centric joy at the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention and the passion for the beautiful game can be felt everywhere — in the coaching sessions, the fields, the hotel lobbies and elevators, and and of course in the bar.
Finally returning to the West Coast, the 2017 NSCAA convention promises to be one of the best ever. As the City of Angels prepares to welcome thousands of soccer coaches and experts from around the world — the countdown to the kick off on January 11th has begun and the excitement is almost palpable.
Soccer News: As the countdown to the 2017 NSCAA Convention begins, all eyes are set on Los Angeles as the“The World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Soccer Coaches and Administrators” lands in California for the first time in over 20 years.
The last time the convention made a stop in the Golden State was in 1994 when Santa Clara hosted the event. With ticket sales and reservations already stronger than last year, the 2017 NSCAA Convention is off to a great start. With a new CEO, Lynn Berling-Manuel at the helm, and a clear vision of advocacy, the NSCAA has yet to even announce its limelight speakers for this year’s event.
Why go to the NSCAA Convention? Networking, Trends and Technology. If you want to know the pulse of soccer, the convention should be on your calendar.
A list of confirmed speakers for the 2017 edition include:
- Jürgen Klinsmann, Head Coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Technical Director of U.S. Soccer, former Head Coach of Bayern Munich, former Head Coach of the German National Team, and as a player World Cup champion, European Championship winner, Olympic bronze medalist, professional player of the year in England and Germany, and multiple UEFA Cup champion.
- Bruce Arena, Head Coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer, former Head Coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, former Head Coach of college powerhouse Virginia and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
- Sigi Schmid, Former Head Coach of the Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer and former Head Coach of UCLA.
- Tim Howard, Goalkeeper for the Colorado Rapids, the U.S. Men’s National Team and an 11 year career in the English Premier League (EPL) first with Manchester United and then with Everton.
- Julie Foudy, Former U.S Women’s National Team midfielder, 1999 World Cup champion, two-time Olympic Gold medalist and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Current ESPN analyst, reporter and color commentator for soccer broadcasts.
“We are honored to have such an amazing line-up of presenters this year,” said NSCAA CEO, Lynn Berling-Manuel. “As one of the most important gatherings in the sport of soccer, we strive to provide the most inspiring, impactful and fun educational platform for coaches of all levels to learn from the best of the best.”
Looking at the lineup for past conventions, one can always assume the speakers will be great. In recently years, Sir Alex Ferguson, Pele, Landon Donovan, Jon Stewart, Moya Dodd, Jill Ellis, April Heinrichs, Tony DiCicco, Lesle Galimore, Carlos Bocanegra, Tom Sermanni, and Julie Foudy have spoken at the NSCAA Convention.
Hosted annually, the NSCAA Convention draws over 6,000 coaches and more than 11,000 attendees over five days for live field demonstrations, lecture sessions, networking socials, coaching courses. On the convention floor, visitors can walk the aisle showcasing endless rows of the latest and greatest soccer product and services.
“The NSCAA Convention offers educational opportunity for every coach along a continuum of experience and ability. Be it formal education, acquiring a diploma, semi-formal attending class and field sessions, or informal visiting with colleagues over a coffee,” said NSCAA Director of Coaching Education Ian Barker.
“What is a ‘must attend event’ for so many coaches year over year will be a fresh experience for many west coast coaches and they are very welcome.”
“L.A. 17 promises to be as deep and rich in coaching education opportunities as any NSCAA Convention to date,” said Barker. “Coaches should attend and be ready to stretch themselves in their knowledge, to be inquisitive and challenging and to be prepared to share.”
Even just attending the NSCAA Convention is exciting for soccer people — with the chance to catch a glimpse of our U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann walking down the hall. The five-day event also includes the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft and National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft.
The NSCAA and US Youth Soccer partner and together provide attendees with 250+ educational sessions — and coaches have the opportunity to earn diplomas and/or certificates. There are also awards for Coaches of the Year.
According to Shawn Chevreux, NSCAA’s Director of Marketing, the NSCAA’s historical roots are in the East and subsequently there is a larger concentration of members on the East Coast.
“The Western United States account for about 16% of our overall membership,” said Chevreux. “As a national organization looking to benefit all soccer coaches having a presence on the West Coast, we are excited to be bringing the convention to L.A.”
In past years, the NSCAA Convention has been held in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Kansas City. Every year the event changes cities although there are few convention facilities that can accommodate the vast size of this event.
“At the first NSCAA Convention, there were around 50 coaches who attended and the event has grown significantly over the years,” said Chevreux. “The 2016 Convention was our biggest yet with over 11,000 total attendees and over 6300 coaches.”
What can attendees look forward to seeing this year?
“With technology becoming ever more present in the game, we see a lot of new apps, products, and platforms that are designed to aid coaches. Perhaps one of the more innovative vendors is Airstream Innovations – they work with facilities to have Turf year round regardless of the weather because of their unique structure design,” said Chevreux.
The 2017 NSCAA Convention schedule can be viewed here.
“This event is a world class opportunity to invest in your career, your players, and the coaching profession,” said Chevreux. “Coaches from all levels of the game can come together to share and grow in coaching the game of soccer so that we can all further benefit our players and allow them to love the game as much as we do.”
According to Chevreux, here are a few examples of how attendees will benefit from the Convention:
Education – You will learn from and spend time with some of the most accomplished presenters during the hundreds of sessions that are offered. These programs will result in better coaching experiences for you, your players and overall on-field success.
Career Development/Networking – The networking alone will make an impact on your career. You will create and build relationships with new, like-minded coaches and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
The U30 (under thirty years old) Coaches Experience features activities that create a unique bond among up and coming coaches.
The Business of Soccer – The Exhibit Hall is a vibrant marketplace with more than 750 exhibitors.
Plus, if you want to explore job opportunities … there is a career fair, job board, and Exhibitor “Now Hiring” feature will bring job seekers and employers together..
How long has the MLS draft been a part of the NSCAA Convention? Since 2003.
How many people at NSCAA work on the convention? 26 National staff, 103 on-site staff, and over 300 volunteers.
Often called the biggest coaches party of the year … the NSCAA Convention is a lot more than a big party, but yes, it is a lot of fun being immersed in a strong soccer culture, even if only for 5 days once a year.