After last week's announcement that the American Soccer League will be starting its reserve/developmental league ASL2 I spoke to the coaches of the league's local teams to get their take. I spoke to AC Crusaders coach Jason Smith (JS) and Philadelphia Fury assistant Scott McCoubrey (SM) about the league and what are their plans are for their respective teams.
1) What is ASL2?
JS: The ASL 2 is the reserve league to the American Soccer League. The objectives of the ASL 2 is to play young American soccer players who are still at college and play them in an high level competitive environment throughout the summer. It also helps the senior professional team use the ASL 2 for talent identification for when these players are finished with college and looking to continue there playing career.
2) Why in your opinion is this a good thing for the American Soccer League?
JS: This is a good league as it keeps all the players who are at college competing at a high level throughout the summer, which keeps the player is shape and can get them in peak condition moving into their college season. This league can also provide a pathway for these young American players to move into the professional once their college career is over. Playing against high level teams up and down the east coast will be a great experience for these players.
SM: ) ASL 2 is not only a good thing for the league and its development, it is another positive step for the development of youth soccer in America in general. The league will give players the chance to perform and train in the eyes of their pro teams and others before the start of the 2015 fall ASL season. For college / high school players it will provide them with a competitive schedule and training over the summer in preparation for their season in the fall.
3) What is your coaching style?
JS: Currently being the Assistant Head Coach at the AC Crusaders my coaching style is for me to be very enthusiastic and motivating the players throughout the sessions and games, allowing my enthusiasm to rub off on the players to keep the tempo and energy levels of the session high. I'm also always on hand to provide the the Head Coach Kyle Hall with anything he needs throughout the session. We are always bouncing ideas off each other for training and games.
But moving into the Head Coach role for the Reserves will allow me to be more of an autocratic coach as I will now be making all the final team and training decision, and having Chris Mckenna and Steve Stienberg assisting me throughout the season will provide us with a good coaching staff to take the team forward, these two guys have good experience and knowledge of the game and I know we are all looking forward to the challenge and eager to go.
SM: As coach you must be a technician , a manager and a leader . Personally , I think it's very important to be honest , confident and able to adapt to create a professional environment which inspires players to learn. Players will want to go to practice , they will want to play every minute and they will play with a smile on their face. Head Coach
Joel Needham and I want to put our players in the best position possible to reach that next level , where ever it may be, and develop not just as a player but as a person.
4) What do you think of the roster you are putting together? How do you think they will do?
JS: - The roster is shaping up nicely, practice begins on May 27th where we have players coming in from a-lot of different schools. We will be a very young side but after going out to watch some of the players play for the colleges I think there should be no excuse why we should't be challenging for the title. But I guess we will need to see how the other teams are looking at we will be going into the unknown with this being the first season of ASL 2. But I know with the quality we have we will be standing in good stead.
SM: I'll be working as a coach , assisting Joel Needham as the Head coach. Joel has been working very hard putting together a squad of players. We have had a lot of interested players and I know it's been difficult for him but that's the problem you want as a head coach. The roster isn't finalised but come the start of the season we will have a team that will be willing to work , willing to learn and ready to enjoy the experience that will give them a stepping stone to the professional game.