WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SERVES AS TEACHING MOMENT FOR U.S. SOCCER CLUB DEVELOPMENT

The U.S. Women's National Team inspired a nation when they lifted the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup trophy earlier this month in France. In Chicago, the USA's exhilarating run provided an invaluable teaching moment for local players and coaches.

U.S. Soccer Club Development hosted technical workshops during the tournament semifinal and final for Development Academy club Sockers FC and coaches from Illinois Youth Soccer. Club Development Manager Vicki Linton led a tactical discussion before, during and after the matches, breaking down the game at the highest level.

For the 25 players from Sockers FC's U-15 Girls squad, it was a chance to see the game through a different lens and focus on both teams' tactical approaches. The coaches in attendance were able to collaborate and engage in high-level discussions about the four phases of the game.

"The technical workshop offered by U.S. Soccer during the Women's World Cup was a great opportunity to enjoy the game while participating in further coach education," said Liam Lacy, Director of Player Development at Chicago Rush Soccer Club. "I enjoyed talking with and listening to the presentations from the other coaches on their perspectives from the other elements of the game. I really benefited from it and think workshops like this are key for improving the overall standard of coaching in Illinois and beyond."

"I was able to take real things from the game," said Sockers' Cate Downs. "It was really fun because I got to be with my team, but it was also really helpful to have real insight from people who I know are passionate about the game."

Linton, a former assistant coach at the Women's World Cup with Australia, was able to provide valuable insight during the viewing events. Sockers FC attended the WNT's semifinal match vs. England while the coaches from Illinois Youth Soccer watched the final with Linton at the U.S. Soccer Fan Studio in West Loop.

"Vicki did an excellent job leading the workshop," said Rick Ceh, head women's soccer coach at Elgin Community College. "She shared a lot of valuable insight on her experiences as a former Women's World Cup staff coach. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. It's always great to be around fellow coaches who have a passion for growing U.S. Soccer and helping our youth."

Valuable to the coaches in attendance was the opportunity not just to listen to Linton, but to have a conversation with her and the other coaches present. Fifteen coaches attended the event as the WNT won its record fourth World Cup.

"It allowed for dialogue with technical staff and other coaches to clarify and correct or even question our own understanding," said Julio Serrano, Director of Coaching at Heart of the City, a soccer-focused charitable organization. "It's important to note that it was true dialogue not just Q and A, more in the form of questions and sharing viewpoints, I found this very beneficial and helped me continue my development on many levels."