United Soccer Coaches Convention brings thousands of attendees to five day event

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A presenter pauses play to speak address the audience during a coaching demonstration. // Photo by Chris Ortiz

The Kansas City Convention Center played host to 7,000 guests for the United Soccer Coaches Convention. The event, which ran from Jan. 19 to Jan. 23, drew vendors, presenters, and attendees from across the globe.

United Soccer Coaches are headquartered in KC, on the third floor of Union Station. The association serves the community around soccer, from youth leagues on up to the majors, by providing services around advocacy and education.

Despite the hometown home base, this is the first time in 10 years that their annual convention has been held within the metro.

“With the national office headquartered here, there are a lot of people who work with the organization or who have worked for us in the past,” says Bailey Conklin, marketing and communications specialist for the conference. “It’s not just a great opportunity for us to reunite with the soccer community, but to bring them to this place where we’ve seen soccer—and the office—grown so much. It’s a place where we can celebrate this culmination together.”

The 800,000 square foot second floor of the convention center housed booths promoting everything from jerseys and portable lighting systems to championship rings and massage devices. Vendors traveled from Europe, including Mitre International from the United Kingdom, and A-Champs from Barcelona, Spain.

The event space included three full indoor soccer pitches, complete with artificial turf and grandstands. Demonstrations were presented across the five-day invent, covering topics as diverse as workout techniques, in-game analysis, coaching strategies, and fostering inclusivity for LGBTQ+ youth.

A new soccer-tangential sport, Teqball, was featured at the exhibition. The competition blends in elements of table tennis, yet places an emphasis on player technique over the ability to score points. Ajay Nwosu, the CEO & President of Teqball, revealed in a presentation that the sport’s goal is to be included in the 2028 Summer Olympics. Numerous professional soccer players were in attendance to lend their support—and excitement—for the launch and future of Teqball.

The event closed with a match between KC Comets and the Tacoma Stars at the T-Mobile Center.

United Soccer Coaches (formerly known as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America) was founded in 1941, and has since grown to be the world’s third-largest soccer coaching organization. Their next convention will be held in Philadelphia, PA in early 2023.

Categories: Sports