Featured Coach: Dwayne Cruz of Arlington Aces
Football.com is polling youth soccer coaches throughout the country in order to find out how things operate within their club.
We have contacted coaches from many different states in order to get their opinion on the best formations, practice habits, and player development methods in order to give other coaches more ideas to improve the quality of their club.
Our Featured Coach series continues with an interview with Dwayne Cruz of the Arlington Aces.
Cruz currently serves as the Director of Coaching for the club, and has 20 years of experience coaching the game. He is also the head coach of the Harper College women's team, and has led the squad to several apperances in the National Junior College Tournament.
You can learn more about Cruz's experience in the game by visiting his official Arlington Aces page.
1. What formation do you currently use with your team?
Cruz: 4-3-3. We feel that it helps the most with developing our players.
2. How long are your current practices?
Cruz: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
3. Ideally, how many times should a youth team practice each week?
Cruz: Three times per week.
4. What is the most gratifying feeling as a coach?
Cruz: Helping players develop their skills. We have chosen to put development above winning in our club.
5. What is the attribute that you value most in a player?
Cruz: The passionate drive to improve.
6. How would you assess the current state of youth soccer in the United States?
Cruz: Good, with room to improve.
7. What is one pressing issue in youth soccer that you would like to change/improve/address in order to help improve the game?
Cruz: Stop clubs from prioritizing winning over player development.
8. As a coach, what do you think players have learned the most from their time with you?
Cruz: The proper training habits that are needed in order to maximize their development.