Houston Dynamo name James Clarkson director of youth development

HOUSTON, TX - Looking to give its youth development system a solid start, the Houston Dynamo have named James Clarkson as their director of youth development, it was announced today.

Clarkson will manage the teams' newly created youth development system. The Dynamo Youth Development System, which will officially launch operations in January of 2007, will include various levels of training programs - highlighted by an elite player academy. Details of the Dynamo Youth Development System will be unveiled in December.

"We are honored and privileged to have James on our staff," said Dynamo team president Oliver Luck. "James' understanding of the game at all levels, along with his reputation and relationships among the local youth soccer community, make him the perfect fit for this role."

Prior to joining the Dynamo, James was the South Texas Youth Soccer Association's Director of Coaching. He served that role for nearly five years. He holds a USSF 'A' and National Youth License, a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma/GK Level 2 and English FA coaching certificates. He is also a national instructor for US Soccer and US Youth Soccer.

"As a professional soccer club, we need to be in the business of developing players," said Luck. In the future, the ability of Houston Dynamo to be competitive in MLS and CONCACAF competition will depend in large part on our ability to develop local talent. "James will work hand-in-hand with STYSA and the local youth soccer community on developing local talent and finding the Dynamo's next Brian Ching."

James is originally from Wisbech, England. He played professionally with the Manawatu AFC in New Zealand during the 1995 season before returning to Wisbech in 1996 to join the Wisbech Town Football Club as the Reserve and Youth Team Coach. He came to the United States in 1997 and joined the Eclipse Soccer Club where he served as the Boys Director of Training.