Miha Kline shares how Barca evaluates young players
Miha Kline is the Director of Recruiting and Soccer Operations at the Barca Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona. This is the only full-time residential US Soccer Development Academy that is affiliated with an internationally recognized professional club.
Miha’s impressive resume includes working as the Director of Recruiting and Business Development at the Grande Sports Academy and Internships with the MLS, the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Florida and the Puma Peak Performance Soccer Academy in Massachusetts.
What traits do coaches and scouts look for in a young player to determine if they have a chance to be good enough to play professionally?
The first thing we look for in a player is his understanding of the game, his soccer IQ and their decision making.
The next trait that is very important is their technical ability, first touch and passing range.
Third, is the one thing that players can always control and that is their effort and their attitude in training sessions and in games.
Those are probably top of the list, however another extremely important thing we most certainly look for in players when we’re talking about the potential candidates for our residency program is their character, behavior, values, respectfulness, etc. Lastly, I would say, coachability.
How does a player balance between standing out, possibly showing-off and maintaining a team approach to playing? -Other than technical ability, what measurables do you look for when scouting a young player?
I’ve mentioned some of the things we look for in a player in my previous answer. We always tell players that attend our ID camps to first and foremost always be who they are. Don’t try to be a player you think we want to see or are looking for.
Show us who you are as a player, the things you’re good at. For example, if you’re a really good defensive midfielder that is strong in tackles, good at taking the ball away and has good ball distribution, then don’t try to stand out by running with the ball and dribbling past 3,4 players.
Be yourself. We all make mistakes, and if you have the correct attitude you learn from those mistakes and get better. You have to constantly strive to learn and improve as a player and as a person. And always show real effort and good attitude at all times.
We always evaluate players for the things they’re good at, what qualities can they add to our team and how do they fit in. Are they good teammates? Are they good leaders?
It’s also important for players to respect the game, respect their teammates, coaches, referees. Respect is one of the most important core values at Barca Academy. For our residency program we scout and recruit good players AND good young men.
What options are there for a player to get noticed, if there are no DAs nearby. What do soccer academies in the USA, such as Barca Academy, look for when determining if someone has potential to become a part of their program?
See above. Also…. Even if a player is not currently on a DA team, he is most likely playing for a club and will be attending various tournaments with that club.We scout many tournaments and showcases, and then invite quality players to train with our teams at Barca Academy or to one of our ID camps.
Players are always able to sign up for Talent ID Camps or summer camps to get trained by our staff and evaluated as a potential candidate for residency.