4/2/07

Juan Osorio - Persistence

Last night when I was surfing through the channels that we got with our new cable TV package I came upon a soccer game from the top division of play in Columbia. At first I could not identify who was playing because the graphics were obscured by some advertisements. Then I found that it was two teams from the capital of Columbia, Bogota, Millionares versus Santa Fe. A good friend of mine is the coach of Millionares, his name is Juan Osorio. Juan is one of the amazing individuals I have ever met. His passion for soccer and his devotion to learning is off the scale. This guy spends every waking hour learning and working to be a better coach. Juan is in his first season as the head coach/manager of Millionares, one of the top teams in Columbia. Before that Juan was first the conditioning coach and then the assistant coach with Manchester City in the English Premier League. While there Juan did a fantastic job of keeping the players healthy and fit. Before that that Juan was an assistant coach with the then New York Metro Stars (Now the Red Bull) in the MLS. This is a guy who has paid his dues. He came to this country from Columbia not speaking a word of English. To learn English he memorized eight to ten words a day out of the dictionary. He played at Southern Connecticut, where he graduated and then went on to get a Masters in the Science of Football from Liverpool John Mores University. While at John Moores Juan observed and charted practices from all the top teams in England in Europe. From this he further refined his system and the structure and organization of practices. He refined the pre game warm-ups and even structured a warm-up before the second half of play, something not done in soccer. He developed a dynamic warm-up routine for the players who were substituted into the game. Maybe one of the highlights of my friendship with Juan was a dinner with he and Dr. Joe Vigil. Joe is intense, but Juan would not let Joe eat he had so many questions. Juan was working on structured small sided games with specific conditions to accomplish specific fitness goals. He wanted to know what systems were being taxed, lactate levels, effect of varied work to rest ratios. He developed a system based on this that is really neat to see. It is so neat to see Juan get this opportunity. He was a finalist for several head coaching positions in the MLS, but I think his intensity scared people off. He really could have helped American soccer and we need it. The Arena mafia will not advance the sport. We need more Juan Osorios. The soccer his team played was direct and attractive, oh by the way they won the game 4 – 2. Our lose is Columbian Soccer’s gain. Keep up the great work Juan

1 Comments:

At 4/3/07, 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vern,

Has Juan published any of his research?

I would be very interested to read it if he has, especially his work relating to small-sided games.

Thanks,

Iain Milligan
iamilligan@hotmail.com

 

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