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U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Department Announces Grassroots Pathway Initiative

Eight New Grassroots Licensing Courses Will Focus on Coaching Fundamentals with Respect to U.S. Soccer’s Player Development Initiatives

CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2017) – U.S. Soccer has announced eight (8) new grassroots level coaching courses to be introduced in early 2018. These courses will be focused on empowering coaches through experiential learning and a player-centered approach. The course options will relate directly to small-sided games and the respective age-groups outlined in the Player Development Initiatives.

The new Grassroots Licensing Courses will consist of four (4) in-person experiences and four (4) online experiences. Prospective coaches will have the option to engage in any of these new courses – in any sequence – after completing a free introductory module provided by U.S. Soccer. 

“This new, a-la-carte approach is meant to empower grassroots coaches to access education – relevant to their needs and specific coaching environment – immediately through these new low barrier opportunities,” said Frank Tschan, Director of Coaching Administration. 

In addition to the eight (8) new opportunities, the D course has also been updated in accordance with the revamped approach at the grassroots level. “Over the last 12-months, U.S. Soccer has worked with its members to organize, study and pilot these new opportunities. This has been an immense project initiated by the Federation and its importance cannot be understated. The game is founded at the grassroots level; these courses will help ensure fun, enjoyable and developmentally appropriate environments.”

Concurrently with the roll out of the new courses, the current F and E courses will transition out of the U.S. Soccer Coaching Pathway. These licenses will still be recognized by U.S. Soccer and both certifications remain relevant as a means to advance within the pathway. As demonstrated in the past, member organizations will be empowered to organize and host the in-person grassroots courses and the updated D course on behalf of U.S. Soccer. More specific information on the newly formatted grassroots courses, including format and scheduling, will be released in early 2018.

2018 U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Grassroots License Pathway

“To continue to improve the state of soccer in the United States, we must continue to improve the players in our country. This begins with our coaches and there is not a larger or more impactful group than our coaches at the grassroots level,” said Director of Coaching Education, Nico Romeijn. “These new introductory courses will provide a supportive approach to teaching and coaching players at 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11. Whether you are the unfamiliar parent volunteer, the transitioning player or a veteran coach, you should be able to walk away from these courses with more knowledge and a better understanding of how to effectively develop your players.”

Digital Coaching Center

The U.S. Soccer Digital Coaching Center (DCC), is a state-of-the art online educational platform. The DCC allows coaches to create a personal profile, register for courses, communicate with technical staff, take part in online courses, create session plans with an online graphics tool, access an archive of U.S. Soccer training sessions and much more.

All Grassroots courses are hosted in the U.S. Soccer's Digital Coaching Center.



  • Building from the Grassroots Courses
  • Based on all four game models (4v4, 7v7, 9v9, 11v11) and Play-Practice-Play
  • Purpose is to facilitate the improvement of the grassroots coach in all six tasks of a coach:  Coaching Games, Coaching Training sessions, Managing the Performance Environment, Leading the Team, Leading the Player, Leadership
  • Focus on learning how to design, execute, and reflect on a Play-Practice-Play training session
  • Candidates will now have to coach at least one on-field training session with youth demo players during the course (current plan includes each candidate receiving an opportunity to get on-field practical experience during both weekends)
  • Course takes place over two weekends, with field and classroom sessions each day. The first weekend runs Friday-Saturday-Sunday, the second Saturday-Sunday
  • There is a Development Period of at least 10 weeks between the two course meetings


The C Course focuses on the core concepts of coaching.

All licenses at the C level and above are administered and approved by U.S. Soccer Coaching Department instructors.


In order to register for the U.S. Soccer C course, all candidates must meet the following pre-requisites:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have held a U.S. Soccer D license for at least 12 months
  • -OR- meet the waiver guidelines
  • Currently coaching

Interested candidates who wish to apply based on a waiver must submit an application directly to the hosting organization.

Course Structure

The C course consists of two course meetings separated by a development period. The total course duration is approximately 2-3 months.
National C

Tasks of the Coach

  • Coaching Training Sessions
  • Coaching Games
  • Leading Players
  • Leading the Team
  • Managing a Performance Environment
  • Leadership


The National B License is the minimum standard for coaches in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy

The B Course focuses on the principles of long-term player development and developing a team.


In order to be considered for the U.S. Soccer B course, all applicants must meet the following pre-requisites:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Have held a U.S. Soccer C license for at least 12 months
  • -OR- meet the waiver guidelines
  • Have 3 or more years of coaching experience (any level)
  • Currently coaching
  • Currently working in appropriate soccer environment for the course content
  • -OR- have the opportunity to work with a team of the appropriate level for the course content in order to complete the assignments (internship, etc.)

The B Course requires a comprehensive application from all interested candidates. The application must be submitted through the Digital Coaching Center.


For the U.S. Soccer B course, candidates will be expected to complete their assignments while working with a team playing the 11v11 game.

Course Structure

The B course consists of three course meetings separated by two development periods. The total course duration is approximately 4-5 months.
National B

NATIONAL A-YOUTH: The A-Youth License also requires a comprehensive application from all eligible candidates who must have held the B License for at least six months, and have access to a team of elite youth players in a high-performance environment. The course focuses on the development of the potential professional player. The course includes four meetings separated by three development periods and takes approximately five to six months to complete.

NATIONAL A-SENIOR: The A-Senior License requires a comprehensive application from all interested candidates who must have held the B License for at least six months, and have experiences and access to a team of senior players in a high-performance, result driven environment. Coaches in this course should be working with professional players or potential professional players. The course consists of four meetings separated by three development periods and takes approximately five to six months to complete.

PRO: The Pro License course is currently an invitation-based course and is the highest level license offered in North America recognized by FIFA. Thirteen professional coaches completed the first Pro License in December 2016. Those interested can learn more about the journey of the course’s first graduating cohort here

Follow the U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Department on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the various course opportunities through a series of feature articles over the coming months.

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