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Diane Scavuzzo

United Soccer Coaches 2021 Convention Moving to Interactive Digital Experience in Wake of COVID-19

Pictures from United Soccer Coaches Convention 2020 remind us if how much has changed in just months since the pandemic was declared in March.

The statement is simple, practical, and ever so frustrating.

The annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, which takes place every January is now the latest in the casualties of the Coronavirus.

The Convention is a crowning event in the soccer landscape with high-level speakers, informative sessions, a cool exhibit floor, and endless deal-making.

In my never-ending hours with the computer screen, punctuated by the endless stretch of Zoom meetings, there was the thought of the convention in January being the celebratory moment where so many of us in the soccer world would all come together with the pandemic behind us. Looking forward to this event served as a beacon of sunshine in these dim days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A quick moment saying hello in the hotel lobby at the United Soccer Coaches Convention 2020

With the realization that an in-person convention in January 2021 is not in anyone’s best interest, United Soccer Coaches has intelligently moved this event into an interesting Interactive Digital Experience.

Keith Tozer and Anson Dorrance held a packed Field Session on the importance of Futsal at the United Soccer Coaches Convention 2020

A commendable decision, now attendees can look forward to at least connecting, learning, and hopefully deal-making, even if it digitally.

A spontaneous gathering at Capelli Sport at the United Soccer Coaches Convention 2020

Here is the statement released by United Soccer Coaches today with the announcement that the convention in Anaheim, California is canceled and the event will be digital for 2021.

Sport Psychologist Dan Abrahams at the United Soccer Coaches Convention 2020
United Soccer Coaches Statement on Convention 2021:

Due to the ever-changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of members, partners, presenters, exhibitors and colleagues, United Soccer Coaches announced today that the coaching association’s annual Convention scheduled for January 6-10, 2021 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. will become an interactive digital event.

“While the loss of an in-person event is disappointing, we are excited to deliver our Convention in this new interactive digital format for 2021,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, United Soccer Coaches CEO. “This continues as a remarkable opportunity to unite coaches and the larger soccer community across the country and around the world. Now it’s from the convenience of their own homes and will still foster a real sense of personal connection in these uncertain times.”

The annual Convention is the ultimate event for coaches of all levels, unparalleled in its opportunity for education, networking, advocacy, and recognition. All of those opportunities and more will now be delivered in an interactive digital form.

Over the course of the week, attendees will be able to choose from a wide daily schedule of lecture, field, and roundtable sessions just like they would at an in-person Convention. Sessions will be accompanied by interactive features allowing for conversation between peers and the session presenters. In addition to educational sessions, attendees will also be able to foster connections with fellow coaches through digital networking events, awards ceremonies, wellness breaks, and Hallway conversations.

“During this time of unprecedented interruption in our lives, we can always find comfort in the soccer community we are tied to.” United Soccer Coaches President Kevin Sims said. “With change comes the opportunity to create, and the association is well-equipped and committed to create an unmatched digital experience to deliver to its 2021 Convention attendees.”

More details on the Digital Convention will be unveiled soon including the Digital Exhibit Hall, Career Fair, awards, Advocacy Hour, receptions, socials and presenters from across the game.

More than its educational and informative sessions and exhibit floor, the United Soccer Coaches annual Convention is a gathering of soccer lovers who connect to share their passion for the game. As an event I have attended in person since 2012, I look forward to experiencing 2021s new interactive format.


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