MLS NEXT Pro Coaches will Participate in Elite Formation Coaching License Program on February 1 in Paris 

Marshall and Murray

Program has played significant role in the evolution of Homegrown player development and further training of several coaches within MLS and MLS NEXT Pro

NEW YORK (Friday, January 27, 2023) – Major League Soccer today announced that 25 coaches will be participating in the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF). Made available to MLS coaches in 2013, this group of candidates represent the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL. Overall, the EFCL platform has played a pivotal role in MLS Homegrown development and the growth of several head coaches, assistants, and general managers throughout MLS and MLS NEXT Pro. The two MLS NEXT Pro coaches participating will be Tyrone Marshall (FC Cincinnati 2) and Shannon Murray (Timbers2). 

One of the most highly regarded and rigorous soccer coaching courses in the world, the EFCL will run a total of seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 – July 2024), which begins on February 1 at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, coaches will participate in club observations from February 8-15, where they will be immersed within many top European teams for one week to observe the academy and player development system. Participating clubs include Arsenal (England), Le Havre AC (France), RC Lens (France), AS Monaco (France), FC Nantes (France), Stade Rennais (France), RC Strasbourg (France), Toulouse FC (France), and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).

In addition to the seven-week commitment, the candidates will meet in smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate evaluation during two additional extended weekends over the 18 months.

“The Elite Formation Coaching License, in partnership with the French Football Federation, has already made a substantial impact on MLS player development through the rigorous education of our MLS coaches,” said Fred Lipka, MLS Vice President of Player and Youth Development. “We are thrilled to have 25 talented and diverse individuals participating in the program as these candidates will become not just experts in the player development field, but also leaders in their club and soccer communities. We look forward to these coaches mastering the information and methodology they acquire over the next 18 months.”

Coaches and front office members who previously received their Elite Formation Coaching License have laid strong coaching foundations across MLS and MLS NEXT Pro over the last decade. Notable graduates include current MLS head coaches Nico Estévez (FC Dallas), Luchi Gonzalez (San Jose Earthquakes), Wilfried Nancy (Columbus Crew), and Greg Vanney (LA Galaxy). Additionally, four current MLS NEXT Pro head coaches have completed the program; Ludovic Taillandier (Chicago Fire FC II), Erik Bushey (Colorado Rapids 2), Javier Cano (North Texas SC), and Dan Degeer (San Jose Earthquakes II – Interim). 

Among the 25 candidates taking part in this iteration of the ECFL program, Erin Ridley of the San Jose Earthquake becomes the first woman from MLS to participate in the program.

Below are the candidates from MLS who will participate in the program over the next 18 months.

2023-24 Elite Formation Coaching License Candidates
Atlanta United
Will Bates
U13 Head Coach
Charlotte FC
Patrick Daka
U13 Head Coach/Head of Development
Chicago Fire FC
Selim Talbi
U15 Head Coach
FC Cincinnati
Tyrone Marshall
MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach
Colorado Rapids
Elliot Prost
U17 Head Coach
Columbus Crew
Eric Dutt
U15 Head Coach
D.C. United
Matt Arrington
Director of Coaching
FC Dallas
Adam Wells
U15 Head Coach
Houston Dynamo FC
Jeremy Hurdle
U15 Head Coach
Sporting Kansas City
Luis Pacheco
U15 Head Coach
LA Galaxy
Sam Al-Basith
U13 Head Coach
LA Galaxy
Benoit David
U15 Head Coach
Inter Miami CF
Pedro Cavalcanti
U15 Head Coach
Minnesota United FC
Peter McDonnell
U15 Head Coach
Nashville SC
Jason Boxx
U15 Head Coach
New England Revolution
Rob Becerra
Academy Director
New England Revolution
Liam Connors
U14 Head Coach
New York City FC
Michael Dal Pra
U15 Head Coach
New York Red Bulls
Jonathan Rhodes
U17 Head Coach
Portland Timbers
Shannon Murray
MLS NEXT Pro Head Coach
Real Salt Lake
Andrew May
U17 Head Coach
San Jose Earthquakes
Erin Ridley
U15 Head Coach
San Jose Earthquakes
Steven Sosa
U17 Head Coach
Seattle Sounders FC
Brayton Knapp
U15 Head Coach
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Dan Fairhurst
U15 Head Coach