No. 1 Soccer Camps sits down with our College Prep Director Eddie De Souza and talks about his coaching philosophy, influences and style of play.
No. 1: What is your goal each week at camp when working with young American soccer players?
Coach Eddie: The American players have two characteristics that attract me as a coach: mind set and dedication. Those two qualities motivate me as an Educator. My goal is always to instigate passion and love for this game. My priority is to teach confidence – it will bring freedom and consequentially unpredictability to the game. Players are the ones making decisions on the field; they are playing the game. To become better, repetition is necessary, technical aspects need to be performed over and over. In addition, I like to add pressure to almost every session; the game is about solving problems under pressure. Finally, I am a true believer that the more you play this game, the better you will become and of course incorporating the basics: passion, dedication, confidence and talent helps players achieve this.
No. 1: As a former professional player and coach from Brazil, who were some of the Brazilian greats who influenced your coaching philosophy?
Coach Eddie: Tele Santana (former Brazilian National team player -World Cup 1982 in Spain and 1986 in Mexico – and coach at Sao Paulo football Club) has been my biggest influence. His ability to read the game and his style of football is the one I most admire. Santana was one of the first coaches in Brazil to “print” the Brazilian methodology: 1. ball on the ground; 2. minimize touches; 3. diagonal penetrations and passes constantly switching the point of attack; and finally 4. “freedom and creativity” especially in the final third. I grew up watching Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Eder, Junior, Leandro, and Cerezo.
Luis Felipe Scolari (current National team coach and World Cup winner 2002), I would say is my second choice, especially for his way of motivating, engaging and helping his players buy into “ the family”. I too believe it is crucial for a team to respect the coach and admire each other for their strengths. Scolari is from my state back in Brazil. He was a head coach at Gremio Football Club which was the first team I played for at the U-17. I had a chance to meet him and hear his speeches about football several times when I was a player and later when I became a coach. He definitely has a combination of being aggressive and at the same time kind and soft with the players that makes him so respected.