REYNA DISCUSSES YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Having taken over the head coaching role for the purpose of the recent U-23 camp in Germany, New Jersey native Claudio Reyna spoke to YA about his role within the US Soccer hierarchy.
"I'm the youth technical director so I see all the teams (at all youth levels)," the former Manchester City midfielder told YA. "I've also been at every camp with the senior team since Juergen (Klinsmann) came in except this one, obviously."
Reyna gets to see the American set-up from the grassroots right up to the Men's National Team, and at the same time actively participates in the training of the up-and-coming youth players.
"I work closely with him (Klinsmann) but with great focus on the youth teams. I'm in touch with all the (youth) coaches."
"It's very important that we're sharing similar ideas. Every coach has their own personalities; that's why they're coaching the teams. Anything from a coach's standpoint, myself included, all of us, we really want to improve."
The new American head coach is implementing the same training system that he introduced to the German National Team when he took charge back in 2004. This system is a more fluid one.
"When you look at us now in the world of development there are nations that are great reference points at what they're doing. Our structure and our system are a little bit different in the US, but we need to make sure that we don't make excuses."
The former national team captain feels that the United States has a lot of resources at their disposal and should take advantage of them as they look to build a world class team.
"I think that we have to look at all the great things that we have in our country in terms of the amount of kids we play that we're developing now with the academy, a structured league where they're playing ten months and they're also training more."
And at this point for the youngsters, results aren't as important to the technical director as is developing players who will one day supplement the senior team.
"We're trying to make sure that what is actually happening on the field, the style of play, is being more towards a possession style of play and not that it's a result looking type of game at the youth level."
Having retired from the professional game in the summer of 2008, mainly due to constant niggling injuries, Reyna was able to finish his playing career back in his home state with the Red Bulls. The man from Livingston truly misses the game.
"The most fun I have is being on the field with these guys, so this week has been great being the coach of this group. The games (for them) are fun but the training is just as much fun. It has been good to see them compete and to just create a good environment."