One of the really great things about being at the NSCAA Convention is that it brings together people who represent many different parts of the American soccer landscape.
If you are relatively new to American soccer, then the names Earnie Stewart, Claudio Reyna and April Heinrichs might not mean much to you. But if you've followed the sport for a while, you know that each of them could be the subject of an entire chapter in the history of the game in this country.
As the MLS SuperDraft wound down yesterday, I noticed that Stewart and Reyna were standing at the back of the hall. So I approached them and was able to get exclusive interviews with both legends of the U.S. men's national team. You can listen to those conversations in the audio player at the bottom of this post.
Heinrichs was the coach of the U.S. women's national team at the 2003 World Cup, and last week was appointed as the U.S. Soccer Federation's technical director for youth women's soccer. Yesterday morning, she and newly-appointed USSF women's youth soccer development director Jill Ellis held a question-and-answer session with reporters.
Ellis is not as familiar a name as Heinrichs, but she has plenty of coaching experience. She has managed multiple U.S. women's youth national teams, spent some time as an as sistant to current women's senior national team coach Pia Sundhage, and most recently has been the women's soccer head coach at UCLA.