25 MLS coaches to participate in MLS’ Elite Formation Coaching License program
24 men and 1 woman participate in the program – Erin Ridley of the San Jose Earthquakes becomes the first woman from MLS ecosystem to be in this EFCL.
Twenty-five coaches from across the Major League Soccer ecosystem will soon participate in the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF), the league announced Friday.
Made available to MLS coaches in 2013, this group of candidates represents the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL. The platform has played a pivotal role in MLS Homegrown development and the growth of several head coaches, assistants and general managers throughout MLS and MLS NEXT Pro.
Many of these youth soccer coaches may be familiar having coached at top youth soccer clubs and colleges around the country. For example, Benoit David was with San Diego Surf Soccer club before joining LA Galaxy.
2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Candidates
|Atlanta United||Will Bates||U13 Head Coach|
|Charlotte FC||Patrick Daka||U13 Head Coach/Head of Development|
|Chicago Fire FC||Selim Talbi||U15 Head Coach|
|FC Cincinnati||Tyrone Marshall||MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach|
|Colorado Rapids||Elliot Prost||U17 Head Coach|
|Columbus Crew||Eric Dutt||U15 Head Coach|
|D.C. United||Matt Arrington||Director of Coaching|
|FC Dallas||Adam Wells||Jeremy Hurdle|
|Houston Dynamo FC||Jeremy Hurdle||U15 Head Coach|
|Sporting Kansas City||Luis Pacheco||U15 Head Coach|
|LA Galaxy||Sam Al-Basith||U13 Head Coach|
|LA Galaxy||Benoit David||U15 Head Coach|
|Inter Miami CF||Pedro Cavalcanti||U15 Head Coach|
|Minnesota United FC||Peter McDonnell||U15 Head Coach|
|Nashville SC||Jason Boxx||U15 Head Coach|
|New England Revolution||Rob Becerra||Academy Director|
|New England Revolution||Liam Connors||U14 Head Coach|
|New York City FC||Michael Dal Pra||U15 Head Coach|
|New York Red Bulls||Jonathan Rhodes||U17 Head Coach|
|Portland Timbers||Shannon Murray||MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach|
|Real Salt Lake||Andrew May||U17 Head Coach|
|San Jose Earthquakes||Erin Ridley||U15 Head Coach|
|San Jose Earthquakes||Steven Sosa||U17 Head Coach|
|Seattle Sounders FC||Brayton Knapp||U15 Head Coach|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Dan Fairhurst||U15 Head Coach|
The EFCL will span seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 – July 2024), beginning Feb. 1 at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, coaches will participate in club observations from Feb. 8-15, where they will be immersed within many top European teams for one week to observe the academy and player development system. Participating clubs include Arsenal (England), Le Havre AC (France), RC Lens (France), AS Monaco (France), FC Nantes (France), Stade Rennais (France), RC Strasbourg (France), Toulouse FC (France), and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).
In addition to the seven-week commitment, the candidates will meet in smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate evaluation during two additional extended weekends over the 18 months.
“The Elite Formation Coaching License, in partnership with the French Football Federation, has already made a substantial impact on MLS player development through the rigorous education of our MLS coaches,” said Fred Lipka, MLS Vice President of Player and Youth Development.
“We are thrilled to have 25 talented and diverse individuals participating in the program as these candidates will become not just experts in the player development field, but also leaders in their club and soccer communities. We look forward to these coaches mastering the information and methodology they acquire over the next 18 months.”
Notable EFCL graduates include current MLS head coaches Nico Estévez (FC Dallas), Luchi Gonzalez (San Jose Earthquakes), Wilfried Nancy (Columbus Crew), and Greg Vanney (LA Galaxy). Additionally, four current MLS NEXT Pro head coaches have completed the program.
This year, Erin Ridley of the San Jose Earthquakes becomes the first woman from MLS to participate in the program.
MLS Press Release