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17

Feb, 2021

NJYS Hosts USMNT Legend John Harkes in Exclusive Player Webinar

Feature written by Richard Leister, NJYS Contributor

Players from the New Jersey Olympic Development Program (ODP) recently had the chance to virtually learn valuable tactical lessons from U.S. Men’s National Team legend John Harkes. Lou Mignone, ODP Coaching Director, helped to guide the conversation and obtain valuable insights from the New Jersey native.

“Our ODP players received an additional opportunity to hear from another US Soccer legend,” said James Galanis, NJYS Technical Director. “John Harkes was very articulate in how he delivered his views on the characteristics of each playing position. John provided a lot of great information that will help our players better understand their roles on the field.”

To begin, Harkes walked the audience back to his roots in Kearny, N.J., otherwise known as Soccertown USA. He relayed what he perceived to be the differences between his youth career and youth soccer today, and despite his fond memories, Harkes acknowledged the developmental advantages available to players, like the Olympic Development Program.

“John mentioned that a lot of players have to deal with adversity, and I took away that it’s important to remain focused and determined at all levels,” stated Zachary Frabizio (2006).

As the first American to feature in the English Premier League with Sheffield Wednesday FC, Harkes enjoyed a storied professional career that included 90 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. During the webinar, he referenced those experiences to emphasize the importance of hard work to the audience.

“There is no secret to success,” stated Harkes. “It takes hard work, and it is always important to remember that nothing worth having comes easy. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.”

After the background context, the bulk of the conversation revolved around tactical insights, as Coach Mignone asked Harkes about the key characteristics he looks for in each position on the field. Currently the head coach for Greenville Triumph SC of USL League One, Harkes had tremendous analysis and advice to offer every member of the audience, starting with his ideal goalkeeper and ending with what it takes to be an effective striker.

“I really enjoyed how John Harkes went through every position and qualities needed in each,” explained Olivia Passero (2007 Blue). “Now, I know what I have to do to not only be successful but how to meet, and hopefully exceed, my coach’s expectations.”

This Tactical Awareness webinar is one of a series of webinars to be held this winter for New Jersey ODP participants. More than 300 players around the state tuned in and benefited from the strategic advice offered from Harkes’ success as an international soccer player and professional coach.

Registration is currently open for the NJYS Young Olympians Program, which is an introductory program for New Jersey ODP. Conducted in four regions of the state (south, shore, central and north),Young Olympians provides training in each area and concludes with a 4v4 and 9v9 tournament. Click here to find out more information.

For more information about New Jersey ODP, please email [email protected]. Additionally, make sure to like the officialNew Jersey ODP Facebook Page.

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Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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