October 10, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
After three weeks of being out, Chivas USA's Youth Development Academy Director Sacha van der Most is back in Los Angeles and has returned with a greater knowledge to keep the Red-and-White program moving forward. Van der Most spent the past three weeks in France along with the rest of Major League Soccer's Youth Academy Directors as part of a League-wide partnership with the French Football Federation to improve youth soccer in the United States.
"The whole trip was very informative," said Van der Most upon his return to the StubHub Center. "There was two weeks, two sessions of five days where we were in Clairefontaine, the national training center for the French Federation."
While in France, Van der Most spent the majority of his days and nights in the classroom, learning the French Football Federations ways of advancing their youth soccer programs, getting a first-hand look at training sessions of the national U14 team, and hearing from five guest speakers from around the world on how to improve the youth programs.
In his previous trip, Van der Most was able to explore the training site of Athletic Bilbao's Youth Academy. But this time, the Chivas USA executive travelled to the south of Belgium to visit the Youth Academy facilities of Standard de Liege. There, Van der Most got full access to the team's facilities and training sessions. As an observation, Van der Most noticed that the Belgium club's academy teams counted with their own facilities that included training fields, locker rooms, and also their own hotel for pre-game concentration, something that the Youth Director wants to see in Chivas USA.
"They are a very good example for our Youth Development program," Van der Most said. "They have focused very much on their Youth Development program. They have players that they have developed that play with the national team.
"We're making steps forward; we're doing much better than we were five years ago and even two years ago. But we need to make big steps going forward to improve, primarily in facilities. The complex that they have over there is completely amazing," Van der Most finalized.
Prior to this trip, Van der Most had taken part of two previous trips; the first was to France for the initial program kick-off, and the latter was in Denver, Color. in early June. The Chivas USA Youth Development Director will have a few more trips ahead, as the program concludes in May 2014.
For all other news and updates on Chivas USA's Youth Development program, follow us on Twitter: @ChivasUSAYouth & @cdchivasusa .
Fondy focuses on better showings
In a little over a month with Chivas USA, forward Matthew Fondy has already collected a pair of debuts, and done some of the biggest stages Major League Soccer has to offer.
The 24-year-old Northern California native celebrated his first career start in the third leg of the SuperClÃÂ¡sico against cross-hall rival the LA Galaxy last Sunday before a crowd of over 21,000 at the StubHub Center. Fondy also logged his first minutes in arguably the League's toughest setting for a visitor - Seattle's CenturyLink Field in front of 30,000-plus on Sept. 4.
Having played for the LA Blues as part of the USL-PRO the previous two seasons, Fondy got his first taste of League action in very unforgiving and challenging settings, which the UC Santa Cruz product says he liked.
"I definitely like that about it," the striker said. "You're thrown into the fire and the next time you do it it's going to be a little bit easier, you're going to feel a little more comfortable and I think my confidence will reflect on that."
Sunday's debut in Head Coach Jose Luis Real's starting 11, however, was not ideal, as the Rojiblancos were routed in the derby finale. Fondy managed to get into range in the fourth minute and square up to goal to get off a strike, but the threat was turned away after being deflected. After that, the Red-and-White could not produce enough promising looks in their attacking third and conceded the final scored in the last minute of regulation.
With two games remaining in the season, Fondy says he is eager to continue to work and become one of Real's go-to players game in and game out to produce goals and assists. Sunday's match was not the first time playing alongside fellow striker Erick Torres since his arrival, but it did mark the first time Fondy started in a 4-4-2 formation up top with "Cubo," which he hopes will be the beginning of the duo's run.
"It was definitely a tough game where [Galaxy] held most of the possession, so it was hard to show a lot of what we worked on and our best attributes and show what we do. Hopefully next time Cubo and I can show a little of our creativity and our bond that we have been working on."
Nevertheless, Fondy says the environment at SHC was something he could not ignore and served as yet another step in him solidifying his place on the club.
"I think most players would agree that your focus is on the game mainly and you try to block all the other stuff out. But walking out into the stadium was definitely humbling and a dream come true," Fondy said.
Up next for the striker and the Goats is the squad's final road match when they travel to battle Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Rio Tinto Stadium beginning at 6 p.m. (PT).
MiCoach: An Ally on the Field
For years, physical strength trainers have leaned on personal monitoring and supervision of training activities to evaluate and the benefits the activity on athletes. From a simple stopwatch to a heart rate monitor with GPS, monitoring and measuring systems have been and individual tool. And by it-s personal use, the compiling and processing of this data in soccer teams with more than 27 players on training, has been an slow process that involved a lot compilation and analysis time for physical strength trainers.
MiCoach Elite from Adidas, is the first non invasive portable system of its kind that analyzes, process and provides real-time physical insights of a player or a team during a practice or a game. MiCoach recollects information from power, speed and distance to heart rate, acceleration and field position, throughout a Player Cell that connects to a medium compression shirt worn by the player.
The use of MiCoach Elite for Chivas USA has serve to improve in creating and planning specific training sessions to the needs of the players. Armando Camacho, Physical Strength Trainer of Chivas USA, knows that having this information of players instantly is an advantage to analyze and evaluate their performance.
"The advantage is that in one system we have all the information we need in a practical way," said Camacho. "This way we analyze every player if in fact trained with the intensity that was programed, and if was not completed with this intensity, know what went wrong or it there were things missing on training."
With a fast information compiling system Camacho knows that physical demand and changes during a training session can be done instantly.
"Players can analyze what they are doing right and have a feedback on their training session, and I can show players how personal and group their physical training is going and the improvements that are happening," said Camacho.
MiCoach is currently being all MLS teams with the goal of monitor and improve performance of players and use this as an advantage against a rival in every game.
Chivas USA kick off work week ahead of international friendly
Chivas USA returned to the pitch Thursday morning to kick off their work week. Despite having a bye week to accommodate the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the Rojiblancos will host the New Zealand Men's National Team at the StubHub Center's Track and Field Stadium this Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. (PT).
The morning session began with a team jog and stretches before moving on to complete a series of flexibility work including hip rotation and various leg movements for added warm-up. The group then ran through a distributing drill that consisted of running alongside a teammate for approximately 15 yards while setting one another up for a short first-time side pass.
Afterwards the squad was split into two groups, with Strength and Conditioning Coach Armando Camacho leading one of them for supplementary agility work. Players completed a change-of-direction drill in which they would explode upon indication from cone to cone positioned at about seven feet of space in between. Meanwhile, the second group participated in a distributing drill under the instructions of Head Coach Jose Luis Real and his assistant coaches.
The groups then reunited to culminate training with a nine-on-nine scrimmage in reduced space for approximately 45 minutes. After a final cool-down session and set of supplementary stretches, the team was dismissed for the day. The Goats will hold a final training session on Friday at the SHC's Field 6 ahead of their exhibition against the All Whites.