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MLS, adidas partner with Germany FA on academy goalkeeping course

Major League Soccer and adidas announced a new partnership with the German Football Association (DFB) on Wednesday to train MLS academy goalkeeper coaches and goalkeepers through a series of immersive year-long development courses.

Participating coaches and 27 players will take part in both classroom education and field instruction in Germany from July 20-26, then take the curriculum home to continue implementation through 2020. MLS has invited coaches from every club in the league to participate in the program, which is based off the German methodologies of goalkeeper coaching education utilized to good effect since 2011.

“Major League Soccer continues to be at the forefront of player development, and this innovative partnership with DFB ensures an important learning opportunity for both academy coaches and players,” said MLS VP and technical director Fred Lipka in a statement.

“With both coaches and players engaging in this challenging environment, we expect this to have a tremendous impact on the future of goalkeepers in our country and we cannot wait to see the bright future in store for the participants.”

The DFB’s goalkeeper performance course consists of three phases: First, DFB training via this month’s weeklong course in Munich, followed by development and implementation of the German framework into the daily routines at MLS academies and dialogue between DFB mentors and their MLS counterparts to guide continued growth.

The third stage is a “final DFB immersion” wherein the German mentors travel to North America at the end of the 12-month implementation period for final assessment and testing. Upon passing the rigorous course, MLS goalkeeper academy coaches will receive an officially recognized coaching certificate from the DFB.

Top goalkeepers from MLS academies will also participate in the program through the weeklong immersion in Germany. While abroad, these players will be run through on-field training sessions and classroom instruction conducted by the respective MLS academy coaches. At the end of the week, DFB experts will provide feedback, benchmarking the growth and progress of all players and coaching participants.

“We are very proud to partner with MLS. Germany is worldwide known for its goalkeeper pedigree and tradition; everybody remembers the great saves of Oliver Kahn, Manuel Neuer or Marc-Andre ter Stegen. We always improve our goalkeeping program to reach the highest level and to support our coaches and talents,” said Marc Ziegler, the DFB’s head of goalkeeping.

“I am so delighted that we have the opportunity to share our knowledge with MLS and to learn from each other. We will have an inspiring time collaborating together.”


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