NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer is sending its youth academy coaches to study abroad.
Personnel from teams in North America's top pro league will visit France's national training center in Clairefontaine. Coaches from the French soccer federation will teach the same player development skills they use at the club level there. Material from MLS, as well as the U.S. and Canadian federations, will also be in the curriculum.
The program features two weeks of immersion at the international youth academies of top European teams, including Real Madrid, Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain, Stuttgart and Athletic Bilbao.
As part of the arrangement, French officials will visit the sites of MLS teams to review youth academy procedures, and help coaches qualify for elite coaching licenses.