Five Columbus Crew SC players were the first to benefit from a coaching program launched by U.S. Soccer for professional players. Hector Jimenez, Ola Kamara, Kekuta Manneh, Adam Jahn and Josh Williams got B coaching licenses this week, as the club announced on Twitter.
The players took part in a six-week program held by U.S. Soccer and went through sessions with veteran coach and U.S. Soccer National Instructor Jay Hoffman in Columbus in order to get their licenses.
“U.S. Soccer came up with this program and we were the pilot club to do it,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “They worked together with a pro club to create a program that can give professional players the opportunity to take the B license at their own club. I think it’s a great idea, it shuts some light on the day-to-day that coaches go through but also gets the players thinking in a different way sometimes. They think about the game not from just their own standpoint but from a team standpoint.”
According to Berhalter, the players took advantage of the opportunity presented. He mentioned, though, that he could see some of the Black & Gold players pursuing a coaching career in the future.
“It’s conversations you have with players, it’s how they pick up ideas,” he added. “You can generally see the guys and how they think about the game. For this program, there is this pre-requisite of having at least five years of professional experience and I think it is guys thinking ‘What is my career going to look like potentially when I’m done? Do I want to have options coaching? If I do, I need to have this license.’”
The B license is the first step aspiring coaches need to complete to coach in MLS. After that, they need to pursue their A license and then the PRO license.