As part of Major League Soccer’s pursuit of becoming one of the top leagues in the world. To be one of the top leagues in the world, the league has partnered with the French Football Federation (FFF) to bring the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) to MLS academy coaches beginning in 2013. Together, the two organizations created a 14-month youth development course with the goal of providing MLS youth academy coaches with world-class training. Upon completion of the program, coaches would earn their Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL).
In the program's most recent format, coaches would participate in a one-year program, with six weeks completed in-person. The location schedule would kickoff and conclude in Clairefontaine, France. But the journey would also take coaches through MLS team hometowns, like those for Real Salt Lake, Atlanta United, Sporting Kansas City, and our own Inter Miami CF. The most recent module was hosted at the Inter Miami CF Training Center, home of the Inter Miami CF Academy presented by Baptist Health.
Major League Soccer grants one spot to each of their clubs, and each club chooses one representative to complete the program. For Inter Miami, U-15 Academy coach Victor Pastora was chosen to complete the training on behalf of the club.
The 50,000-square-foot Inter Miami CF Training Center, which boasts six natural grass fields and one turf field for its professional and youth players, was home to the latest module of the EFCL program. Pastora was, of course, present and shared how proud he felt to complete one of the modules in his home facilities.
“I think it was a very successful week. Our Academy coaches watched our sessions, they came to listen and learn. It was very positive...It was another moment where you feel very proud when you see that our players had great energy, intensity, a high level of focus and commitment and were respectful. Everybody really enjoyed working with our Inter Miami CF Academy players and they were very impressed with our facilities,” said Pastora.
“When I first started the course, I felt like a bit of an outsider. I had been part of the Club for a few months and we still were not in the training center, we didn't have the First Team, we didn't have the reserves, and we didn't have the Academy,” said Pastora. “Now, we've created one of the best training centers in the world, and we're able to now host the course. As a member, you feel like you belong. With all of my colleagues and the course directors in our facility, it was pretty special.”
Pastora also shared that he will be especially proud when he completes the program and officially earns his Elite Formation Coaching License.
“It's a process, right? It'll be a proud moment, it will be a relief. It's a very demanding license and the standards are very high,” he said.
But Pastora believes that the reward merits the hard work, and the coach also feels inclined to share what he's learned.
“The next thought will be, ‘Okay, so now that I've accomplished this, how do I give back?”...Our Academy Director Craig Dalrymple will help guide me as to how we can share some of this content throughout the season, in a meaningful way, then see how we can share some of these practices with the other Club Directors in South Florida.”
For coverage of our youth talent, you can follow our Academy’s journey online by following our Twitter account @InterMiamiAcad or via Instagram @InterMiamiCF_Academy.