An Interactive Digital Event: January 11-15, 2021
With José Mourinho, U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, two-time FIFA World Cup Champion and Former USWNT Head Coach Jill Ellis, U.S. Soccer Coaching Development Educator Karla Thompson, and an outstanding line up of presenters, the United Soccer Coaches 2021 Digital Convention kicks off next month. After a year like this, with its unprecedented hurdles, postponements, cancelations, and worries, the real bonus to the 2021 Convention is connecting with others in the soccer industry.
The game hasn’t changed, just the game plan!
This is the new tag line for the United Soccer Coaches Convention. The Convention is the annual event with the who’s who of today’s soccer world in attendance.
It is the event we all wait for and look forward to all year. Whether it is the coaching educational sessions or the vibrant impromptu meetings that can alter a career, the United Soccer Coaches Convention is a must-attend event — and one that does not require any travel this year.
Offering educational opportunities to earn a Professional Development Certificate, social functions, networking events, digital exhibit halls, and award presentations — all without the hassle or cost of traveling and leaving your home.
One silver lining of this year’s digital convention is the ability to hear José Mourinho who has never been able to attend the United Soccer Coaches Convention before because of his English Premier League or LA LIGA game schedule. One of the most acclaimed head coaches ever, Mourinho is the head coach of Tottenham Hotspurs and the two-time winner of both the Champions League and Europa League. Mourinho has also coached Porto, Real Madrid, InterMilan and Manchester United.
Other presenters include Anson Dorrance, Amanda Cromwell, Peter Vermes, Karla Thompson, George Chiampas, Julie Foudy, Jesse Marsch, Laura Harvey, Jon Parry, Brandi Chastain, Steve Hoffman, Carrie Taylor, Hubert Busby Jr., Dr. Colleen Hacker, John O’Sullivan, Emma Hayes, Giovanni Savarese, Yael Averbuch West, Dan Abrahams, Lesle Gallimore, Sean McCafferty, Kelvin Jones, Kristine Lilly, Ian Barker, and many others.
From topics such as Accelerating the Individual Development of Top Talents, Presented by New York Red Bulls to The Role of the Modern Day Coach: Creating a Culture of Excellence and FC Bayern Campus – Optimizing Youth Player Development along with 1 on 1 with Hank Steinbrecher, the line up is captivating and compelling.
The Convention will be refreshing for a pandemic fatigued and weary audience of soccer people.
Geoff Van Deusen is Director of Operations and Events at United Soccer Coaches. Responsible for the Convention for the largest soccer coaches association in the world, Van Deusen said the most challenging aspect of producing the event during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t lining up the presenters but educating people on what the event is going to be like.
“This is going to be nothing like anything that you have experienced before.”Geoff Van Deusen, Director of Operations and Events at United Soccer Coaches
“This will not be like another zoom session or a series of virtual meetings,” said Van Deusen.
“The convention will be an interactive collection of soccer minds like no other, with opportunities for people to break off and network — even form small groups and chat privately. This year has opened the door for United Soccer Coaches to reach out to the very best people in soccer. We are able to deliver content and coaching educators who were not available beforehand. Jose Mourinho is able to join us even though he is in season and this would never have been possible before.”
United Soccer Coaches has even built two TV-like studios with six different sets for on-site commentating and interviews. LIVE from Kansas City, this new epic center of the convention will be hosted by Dean Linke with five studio hosts and should resemble FOX or NBC sports’ studios. In-studio features will include drop-in guests, analysis of recent sessions, contests, historical moments — Did you know 2021 is United Soccer Coaches’ 80th anniversary?
One other advantage of the digital experience is scheduling one-on-one meetings without concern for where the meetings are. Just like last year, you have face-to-face discussions, but now people don’t have to rush from one end of the Exhibit Hall to the headquarters hotel and back.
“Once you register, you should create your own personal profile, and you can start networking,” said Van Deusen. “You should make your schedule for the week with reminders, and this year, if you miss a session, you can go back and watch it whenever you like.”
Once you register for the Convention, you receive year-long access to nearly 60 education sessions. A huge plus, now you can go back to check out your favorite sessions and not have to worry about taking notes.
“I am excited for the 2021 convention because for the first time ever I can watch all the sessions on my own schedule,” said presenter John O’Sullivan. “There are so many incredible presenters on topics that I am fascinated about and I can’t wait for it to start.”
The Digital Exhibit Hall will be open for attendees to explore and set appointments and each exhibitor will have a branded custom landing page and be listed in the 2021 Buyer’s Guide Digital Publication.
“We are excited that United Soccer Coaches have been so creative to create this digital conference,” said Loek van Zijl, Founder and President of Premier International Tours. “The Digital Exhibit Hall will be a totally new experience and I look forward to see how it works. We have exhibited at the Convention since the 1980s — I think it is close to 40 years and we are proud to be a strategic parter.”
Unlike other Zoom meetings and seminars, the United Soccer Coaches Convention promises a real connection and conversations with your fellow attendees, partners, sponsors, and exhibiting companies. Yes, the connections will be virtual but being immersed in this digital environment with one-on-one scheduled video meetings, and easily arranged quick chats is an intensely valuable experience.
The cost? $199 for the five-day digital event. As always, the annual Convention is a perk of membership with United Soccer Coaches. If you are not a current member, a one-year membership fee ($125) will be added onto your registration.
“This is an unbelievable coaching education at an incredible price — live or post-event, and an amazing way to build your coaching library,” said Van Deusen. “You will not be able to find better coaching education content anywhere in the world.”
The 2021 Convention was originally planned to be held in Anaheim, California. Next Year the 2022 Convention will be held in Kansas City.