Soccer Talk: From Sheffield United to the MLS and then Murrieta Surf, Veteran Coach Steve Miles on Youth Soccer
“Seeing players develop and progress is the biggest thrill,” said Murrieta Surf SC’s Steve Myles in an interview with SoccerToday’s editor Diane Scavuzzo. Myles believes it’s the quality of play — and watching players challenge themselves and succeed — that gives the best coaches the biggest satisfaction. Myles helped take Murrieta Surf SC from a rec organization to a highly competitive youth soccer club and into the USSDA, the highest level of soccer competition in the USA.
Youth Soccer News: Steve Myles, Director of Soccer Operations at Murrieta Surf SC, is a veteran coach who has worked at every level of soccer from youth to professional.
Following a playing career in England that saw him with Sheffield United FC, Chesterfield FC and Frickley Athletic FC, Myles moved into coaching with the Sheffield United highly competitive U14 and U16 teams. Myles became an assistant caretaker coach with the first team before he made the jump across the Atlantic to help develop the sport in America.
In 2001, Myles took on the Director of Coaching position at Tulsa Thunder SC; then two years later, he was named an assistant coach with the San Jose CyberRays of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA).
After the women’s league folded, Myles joined the Santa Anita Soccer Club as Director of Coaching and then became the Assistant Director of Coaching at the David Beckham Academy in Los Angeles in 2005.
Myles joined the LA Galaxy as head coach of the U20 team and then became the U16/U18 head coach with the LA Galaxy Academy.
Myles’ final stop before taking over at Murrieta Surf SC — a Surf SC affiliate — was a two-year stint as assistant coach of the Major League Soccer (MLS) New England Revolution, under head coach Steve Nicol from 2010 to 2012. A true veteran of player development and high-level coaching, Myles brings an extraordinary level of experience and success to the pitch.
In this interview, Myles was able to give an update on Murrieta Surf SC and share his views on becoming a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Murrieta Surf SC has the Boys U-12 DA.
The team will play against Albion SC, Arsenal FC, Chula Vista FC, L.A. Galaxy San Diego, Nomads SC, Rebels Soccer Club, San Diego Soccer Club, San Diego Surf, Strikers FC and West Coast Futbol Club.
The Murrieta Surf SC U.S. Soccer Development Academy Boys U12 Technical Staff:
|Stephen Myles||Head Coach|
|Adam Skumawitz||Technical Director|
|Nicholas Soto||Apprentice Coach|
Diane Scavuzzo: At Murrieta Surf SC, how many competitive teams and coaches do you have?
Steve Myles: We currently have 40 club teams with more than 600 competitive players and 24 coaches. Murrieta Surf SC also have well over 1,000 recreational players.
Diane Scavuzzo: What inspires you?
Steve Myles: The club has grown in size but its the quality of play that gives me the biggest satisfaction.
Seeing players develop and progress is the biggest thrill.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are your goals for the club?
Steve Myles: To continue to develop a top-class learning environment that is available to every child in the valley area who has a passion to play soccer at whatever level they are at.
Also, to keep adding quality staff to the program like our new Director of Boys, Matthew Hocking who was a former Hull City FC player, Sheff United FC, and UEFA “A” licensed Peterborough United FC academy coach.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are your views on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy? Murrieta Surf SC is one of only 135 clubs that participate in the U-12 age group. How does having a DA impact your area?
Steve Myles: First of all, Murrieta Surf Soccer Club becoming a U.S. Soccer Development Academy member has been a major achievement for not only our club but the area in general.
It is a reflection of all the hard work the President Rob Hawkes, the board, the coaches and above all the players have done in the last 4 years.
We have always had the intention to provide a first-class platform for the most talented players in the whole valley where they can come together to develop and display their talents both as individuals and as teams.
I have personally always believed that there is immense talent in our valley.
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy is the highest level of play for youth in the USA.
If we as a club can provide the highest level of education and access to our players, then those who have both the passion and ability to play at that level no longer have to travel out of the area to play.
Diane Scavuzzo: With the sheer size of our country’s vast geography, do you think player identification is more difficult than in a smaller country like Germany or Brazil?
Steve Myles: The size of our country does make identification more difficult compared to smaller countries, but the introduction of the U.S. Soccer DA is certainly helping to close the gap.
Most Development Academy games are scouted by U.S Soccer scouts. I am positive that there is a massive database of names and information of every player who pulls on a U.S. Soccer DA jersey.
This is why it is extremely important that each player performs to the best of their ability each game — because you never know who is watching.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you think is the most important life lesson that you’ve learned so far?
Steve Myles: To never stop learning and trying to evolve.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice can you share with an aspiring youth soccer player who has big dreams?
Steve Myles: To always work harder than everybody else.
And, remember, there are scouts not only from the USA but from around the world watching ….
Diane Scavuzzo: Finally, what would you say to soccer parents, if you could?
Steve Myles: Just support your child.
Be positive when they win, be positive when they lose, and let them learn without pressure.
Note: Murrieta Surf SC was the first Surf SC Affiliate when Affiliate Program kicked off in 2012. Now, this club is one of the 12 affiliates extending Surf SC’s reach from coast to coast — with more than 10,000 players wearing the Surf logo on their jersey.