Toronto FC Academy director Anthony Capotosto was one the presenters at the United Soccer Coaches Convention on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The convention was a digital event this year, and featured speakers such as Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho and US Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter. Capotosto’s presentation was entitled: Toronto FC Academy: An In-Depth Look at Set Pieces.
“Set pieces are moments of the game that are not typically discussed in great detail as far as youth development is concerned,” Capotosto said. “ I highlighted a case study of the 2019 Generation Adidas tournament and drew comparisons with data on set-pieces from the top professional leagues around the world. I also highlighted how we analyze, implement and teach set-pieces in the Academy.”
Capotosto, who is in his third season as the TFC Academy director, elaborated on the way the Academy goes about its set piece work.
“We’ve taken a more active approach with our opposition scouting and data analytics to extract trends for how teams set-up defensively on set-pieces,” Capotosto said. “Through this analysis, we are able to come up with recommendations as to how to approach our attacking set-pieces.”
The Academy staff use video analysis to create clips and still-shots with annotations to highlight tendencies and make the information as clear as possible for their players.
“We’ve also created Principles for our attacking and defending set-pieces as well as a methodology to teach set-pieces across the various age groups,” Capotosto continued. “We’re looking at examples from the sport of basketball and seeing what transferable skills can be implemented in our environment.”
To be included among the 50 educational sessions, presenting alongside highly esteemed coaches, was an experience Capotosto will not soon forget.
“It was a honour to participate in the USC digital convention and to share some of the work we’re currently doing in the Academy,” Capotosto said. “The content of the presentation was a collaboration from all our Academy coaches who have done a great job of raising the standard of our curriculum – which includes how we address set-pieces in our program. We’re proud to have represented TFC and to have contributed to the development of coaches from across North America and beyond who participated in today’s session. We look forward to having the opportunity to share more of our Academy content at this convention in future years.”
For a full list of the sessions, visit https://unitedsoccercoachesconvention.org/2021-presenters/