The Chicago Fire first team wasn’t the only part of the club down in Ave Maria last week. For the second straight year, YESsoccer, the official camps and training partner of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, put on a Regional Talent School for the Florida Fire Juniors over the weekend. I spoke with YESsoccer COO Matt Brown to see how it went.
Jeff Crandall: Talk about the circumstances behind going to do a Regional Talent School in Ave Maria this past weekend.
Matt Brown: First and foremost our goal was to support and interact with the Florida Fire Juniors program and to offer a realistic Fire Player Development experience for the Juniors players down there. It also gave the Fire's first-team players the opportunity to represent the Chicago Fire brand, and YESsoccer the chance to expose the Juniors players to some of the top-level coaching we are doing in Chicago.
JC: How did the sessions go?
MB: The sessions were fantastic. We were very pleased with the standard of the players we got to work with. With the High School combine going on, we were working with the younger players, typically 8-12 years old. We held technical sessions to work on footwork and ball manipulation, so that the players are comfortable with the ball at their feet in every situation.
JC: Are there opportunities to run Regional Talent Schools in other Fire Juniors clubs?
MB: Right now we’re working with the CFJ affiliate clubs in and around Chicago, and outside Chicago we’re working with the Kentucky, Louisiana and Michigan Fire Juniors. This is the second time we’ve had the opportunity to work with the Florida club, and we look forward to talking with their board about developing more interactions with the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.
JC: As the weather begins to get warmer, could you talk about what’s going on for Chicago Fire Camps & Training coming up this year?
MB: We're always looking to offer programs and services to all levels of players, year-round. Right now we are running Regional Talent Schools in five different Chicago locations. As those programs have sold out, we’ve also established 4-week programs that players can sign up for that are available online now.
At this time of the year they’re of course indoor programs, but we’re always excited about our spring RTS programs and summer camps all over the Chicago market.
We'll also be announcing our 2013 Super Y and National Talent Center opportunities soon for this summer. Interested players and parents can reach out to our Emerging Talent Program coordinator, Ashley Wormall, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find the training opportunity that's right for them.
YESsoccer COO Matt Brown with Chicago Fire SC new signing Jeff Larentowicz