DICK’S Sporting Goods Park will host 25 coaches from around the league this week for the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF).
Among the 25 coaches taking the course is Rapids U-17 Academy coach Elliot Prost. Prost will represent the Colorado Rapids in the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL, a course that has played a pivotal role in MLS Homegrown development and the growth of several head coaches, assistants, and general managers throughout MLS and MLS NEXT Pro.
The EFCL will run a total of seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 – July 2024), which began on February 1, 2023, at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, the coaches participated in club observations from February 8 to 15, where they were immersed within many top European teams for one week to observe the academy and player development system. Participating clubs included Arsenal (England), Le Havre AC (France), RC Lens (France), AS Monaco (France), FC Nantes (France), Stade Rennais (France), RC Strasbourg (France), Toulouse FC (France), and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).
In addition to the seven-week commitment, the candidates will meet in smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate evaluation during two additional extended weekends over the 18 months.
Coaches and front office members who previously received their EFCL have laid strong coaching foundations across MLS and MLS NEXT Pro over the last decade. Among these coaches is Rapids 2 head coach Erik Bushey who completed his EFCL with the 2022-23 class while serving as the inaugural coach for the MLS NEXT Pro side.
As a part of this week’s training sessions, the 25 EFCL candidates will participate in field sessions with the Rapids Academy’s U-14, U-15 and U-17 teams. The Rapids Academy coaching staff has also been invited to observe training sessions and classroom activities throughout the week.