Recently, Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin was among one of 13 professional coaches to complete the first-ever U.S. Soccer Pro License Coaching Course. This new license is regarded as the highest and most prestigious coaching license in the country.
A collaborative pilot course that took place over the last 12 months, Curtin earned his license along with a group of Major League Soccer and U.S. Youth National Team coaches, including Columbus' Gregg Berhalter, Sporting KC's Peter Vermes, Dallas' Oscar Pareja, Real Salt Lake's Jeff Cassar, Orlando's Jason Kreis, Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni and D.C. United's Ben Olsen, among others.
From the U.S. Soccer website:
The U.S. Soccer Pro Course represents the highest form of soccer licensing offered in North America. Until Saturday, the previous highest level of licensing obtainable in the U.S. was an ‘A – Senior Course’ or ‘A – Youth Course’, intended for candidates working with high-performance senior level and high-performance elite youth players, respectively. The Pro Course was added to the U.S. Soccer structure of licensing to complete the pathway from the grassroots to professional coaching.
The two primary objectives of the Pro Course were for each coach to accomplish a custom, individualized plan and for the collective unit of coaches to set new standards for the next generation of coaches. The group accomplished the course objectives through a variety of processes including in-person instruction, club visits, small-group meetings, examinations, expert guest speakers and webinars during the year long program. Each candidate took on a tailored program based on an assessment of their needs, undergoing multiple group meetings and individual visits, while topics such as leadership and team tactical periodization were highlighted throughout the course.