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Coaching Education

Earthquakes’ Almeyda to Give Tactical Breakdown at Symposium

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One of the biggest stories of the 2019 Major League Soccer season has been the dramatic turnaround of the San Jose Earthquakes who finished in last place in the league last year, but currently stand just two points outside of the playoffs roughly a third of the way into the campaign.

The only major addition between the two seasons: new head coach Matias Almeyda, who will be one of the headline speakers at NorCal Premier Soccer’s June 28-30 Summer Coaching Symposium, due to take place on the campus of Stanford.

The two-time World Cup veteran has enjoyed a storied managerial career thus far despite being just 45-years-old.

In Argentina, he helped River Plate return to the top division after their shocking relegation before doing the same with smaller club Banfield.

From there, he moved onto Guadalajara, where he helped Chivas win one league title, two cup titles, and the 2018 Concacaf Champions League.

Now, he’s taken MLS by storm using tactics that have confounded opposing squads, some that he’s sure to share with those who attend them symposium in a preview of San Jose’s California Classico match against the LA Galaxy.

“I don’t think I coach a certain style of soccer, I just have a certain way of living,” Almedya said. “I can tell you how I live. How I live my life is how I live soccer. I don’t separate my way of life with how I feel about soccer, training, making a decision, talking to the players. I’m a certain way and I try to be the same way in sports and in my work, which is soccer.”

“I love what I do, I do it with complete sincerity, a lot of professionalism, but I’m never sure if I do it good, average, or bad. I do it with love,” he added. “In that regard I am calm because I give it my all. But giving it our best is still not enough, so we have to be persistent, double down and go for more.”

But for the Earthquakes, it won’t just be about granting NorCal coaches the access to one of the sharpest minds in the game, it will be about helping the game grow overall, which can only have positive consequences for both San Jose and Northern California.

“I think we can contribute to the development of the players here in the Bay Area. In the last two years our soccer operations team has put the club in a position in order to look at how we can support a single player, not just a number of players, but one player at a time in order to succeed in order to make it to the first team,” said Earthquakes General Manager Jesse Fioranelli. “For that it takes a lot of resources, lots of people. As a matter of fact, if I look at the 15, 16, 17-year-olds that we have inside the Academy that might have a Homegrown contract or not, they are actually being taken care of more than the 25-year-old, the 30-year-old on our first team roster.”

“That’s how I think we can contribute, trying to put them in a position to succeed, whether that be in mentoring them, whether that be in strengthening them, whether that’s by inviting them to first team trainings, which is something that happens almost on a weekly basis,” Fioranelli added. “That’s how we want to contribute, and I think that we are not alone in this, we would like to do this with the Bay Area clubs with which we intend to have a stronger relationship in the years to come.”