To be the best you have to learn from the best. One of the main reasons soccer in North America – but more specifically Canada – cannot develop into a world class program is because the right people are not at the pinnacle of the soccer pyramid. We desperately need the best people for the job to be in charge because they act as magnets for the best.
To better demonstrate my point, I will use one of the best soccer organizations in the world: Manchester United. The owners of Manchester United have appointed arguably the best manager in the world, Sir Alex Ferguson, as the head of the program. Sir Alex Ferguson sets high standards for his coaching staff, for his team, for his players and for the program as a whole. He has worked very hard to morph the program into one of the — if not the — best . As a result, the best trainers, players and management are all drawn to Manchester United. The program has become immaculate and it can largely be attributed to Sir Alex Ferguson. What should we be learning from this, above all else? Put the right people in charge and everything else will fall into place.
North America has been very slow in accepting that the best need to be at the head of our soccer programs in order for it to grow. The “best” is a wide-open term that can refer to a lot of different things, so by best I mean we must find coaches, managers and trainers with world class knowledge to lead our programs. Once these types of figures are in place, a trickle down effect will occur where soccer as a whole in North America will become increasingly better because we have the best leading us. Although these types of leaders are currently not abundant in North America, there is a handfull of cases where we begin to see the right people taking the right positions. Here is a perfect example: his name is Jose Bento Vieira.
A brazilian star who has been through the ups and downs as a soccer player, coach, manager and leader, but who has co-existed with the best. I have had the priviledge of training in numerous sessions he has held and it is evident he has the capacity to change soccer in North America. Although it isn’t mentioned in his blog, he has embarked on a mission to create a soccer academy in Canada. His intent is to develop true soccer in this country and eventually abroad. Read his blog (click on his name above) and admire what he’s been through and where he aspires to go.