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MLS NEXT Jan 27, 2023

Group of 25 MLS NEXT coaches to participate in Elite Formation Coaching License program

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer today announced that 25 coaches will be participating in the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF).

Made available to MLS coaches in 2013, this group of candidates represent the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL. Overall, the EFCL 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.

One of the most highly regarded and rigorous soccer coaching courses in the world, the EFCL will run a total of seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 – July 2024), which begins on February 1 at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, coaches will participate in club observations from February 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.”

Coaches and front office members who previously received their Elite Formation Coaching License have laid strong coaching foundations across MLS and MLS NEXT Pro over the last decade. Notable 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, six current MLS NEXT Pro head coaches have completed the program.

Among the 25 candidates taking part in this iteration of the ECFL program, Erin Ridley of the San Jose Earthquake becomes the first woman from MLS to participate in the program.

Below are the candidates from MLS who will participate in the program over the next 18 months.

2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Candidates
Club Name Role
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 U15 Head Coach
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

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