Develop the skills and strategy to become a leader in soccer coaching

APPLY HERE for the 2023 program.

The United Soccer Coaches Master Coach Diploma/University of Delaware Master Coach Certificate is the highest diploma offered by United Soccer Coaches.

The 2023 edition of the program has been enhanced through a collaboration with the Scottish Football Association (Scottish FA). The first module will be held at the University of Delaware, and the fourth module will take place at the Scottish FA National Training Center, Oriam, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Along with earning the United Soccer Coaches Master Coach and Soccer Leader Diploma, candidates will be able to earn the Scottish FA C License. The Scottish FA C License course is normally a 30-hour program, but through a unique agreement with the Scottish FA, the structure will be adapted to fit into the Module 4 Master Coach course being held at Oriam in Scotland. On successful completion of the Scottish FA C Licence, participants are then able to undertake further course components to enhance their coaching qualifications with the Scottish FA at a time of their choosing. Successful completion of all aspects of the course leads to earning nine continuing education credits from the University of Delaware as well. Learn more about the Scottish FA C License.

Master Coach and Soccer Leader

The course focuses on evidence-based management principles and player development to prepare experienced coaches and soccer organizational leaders to achieve mastery in six key areas:

  1. Developing the philosophy, vision, culture and strategy for the sport
  2. Shaping environments
  3. Building relationships
  4. Structuring training and competition schedules
  5. Preparing for competition, managing the game and analyzing performance
  6. Learning and reflecting

The Master Coach Diploma, a program offered by the collaboration of United Soccer Coaches and the University of Delaware, is an excellent educational opportunity for coaches seeking growth in their skills and development in their careers.

This program is designed for coaches and soccer organizational leaders, such as directors of coaching, club general managers, technical directors, academy directors, college coaches and executive directors, who work or aspire to work at the highest level of their profession.

Program Requirements

The United Soccer Coaches Master Coach Diploma/University of Delaware Master Coach Certificate consists of four modules to be completed over a seven-month period:

  • Module 1: A six-day residential program at the University of Delaware, which will consist of lectures, group work, guest speakers and participant presentations. You will prepare for the residential module by completing an online session and reading assignments prior to arrival.
  • Module 2: Twice-a-month online instructional sessions, as well as the implementation of projects that were proposed and approved at the conclusion of Module 1. A mentor will be assigned to you to provide guidance and monitor your progress.
  • Module 3: A three- to five-day apprenticeship experience in an approved environment that entails shadowing staff, attending meetings, conducting interviews, composing daily reflection and completing a final evaluation report on-site.
  • Module 4: A seven-day residential program in Edinburgh, Scotland, which will consist of the Scottish FA C license course, lectures, group work, guest speakers and participant presentations. Participants will present the results of their projects for jury review.

Program Dates

  • Module 1: June 11-16, 2023 – University of Delaware – Newark, Delaware
  • Module 2: Summer – Apprenticeship and Scottish FA online programming
  • Module 3: Fall 2023 – Online program
  • Module 4: December 10-16, 2023 – Edinburgh, Scotland

Program Timeline

The centerpieces of this program are a seven-day residential institute at the University of Delaware and a six-day residential institute in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Other important dates:

  • April 15, 2023: Applications close or until course fills, limited to 24 participants. Acceptance notifications are provided on a rolling basis.
  • April 30, 2023: Last day to submit written request for refund
  • May 5, 2023: Final payment due
  • June 11-16, 2023: Module I – University of Delaware
  • July-August 2023: Online courses with Scottish FA/Apprenticeship
  • December 10-16, 2023: Scottish FA C License and project presentations – Edinburgh, Scotland


Program tuition of $4,799 includes a one-week residential institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, with room and board and all online and in-person instruction. Initial deposit of $1,500 is due at the time of your application acceptance. The remaining balance is due May 5, 2023.

An opportunity to upgrade the Scottish FA C License and continue your coach education with the Scottish FA will be further discussed during the course.


A full refund, less a $75 processing fee, will be provided to anyone who withdraws from the program if written notice is received by mail or email prior to April 30, 2023. A full refund, less the $1,500 nonrefundable deposit, will be provided to anyone who withdraws from the program if written notice is received by mail or email until May 5, 2023.  No refunds or program deferrals will be given after May 5, 2023.

All refund requests must be made in writing to:

Office of the Registrar
University of Delaware Professional and Continuing Studies
501 S. College Ave
Newark, DE 19713
302-831-7600 |

Master Coach and Soccer Coach Curriculum

Areas of study are grouped by topic area and will include:

Setting the Vision and Strategy

  • Establishing and reinforcing program culture
  • Coaching philosophy for staff and players
  • Developing a strategic plan

Shaping the Competitive Environment

  • Establishing program benchmarks
  • Talent identification and recruiting players, staff and volunteers
  • Implementing Safe Sport policies to safeguard participants

Analyzing Performance

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Player performance testing
  • Analytics

Sport Science Practices

  • Training design and periodization
  • Sport psychology
  • Sport nutrition

Professional Development

  • Career planning
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Professional image


  • Ethical considerations in club soccer management
  • Media relations
  • Leadership and communication


Application Deadline: April 15, 2023

Admission to the program is by application. Candidates must hold a United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma, a U.S. Soccer A license or an equivalent license from an international federation. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with professional or high-level soccer playing and/or coaching. Candidates will be evaluated on their professional experiences and awards.

Applications will be evaluated for admission as they are received until the deadline, and each applicant will be notified of their status after the application review. Twenty-four participants will be accepted.

Registration details will be sent to admitted program participants upon acceptance.

We encourage applicants who may need financial support from their clubs to discuss with their clubs the possibility of partial or full funding before completing the program application.

Travel and Logistics

Please review these requirements and recommendations pertaining to travel arrangements that individual participants must make for this program.

Medical Precautions

Participants are encouraged to consider purchasing travel medical insurance if their current health insurance plan or travel insurance does not provide coverage for medical care while traveling in Scotland. All participants will be required to follow all state and local COVID guidance. Participants will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred related to COVID or other illness, or travel-related delays.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to Newark, Delaware (Module 1), apprenticeship experience (Module 3) and Edinburgh, Scotland (Module 4).

Travel for Module 1: University of Delaware

  • The program begins at 4 p.m. June 11, 2023 in Newark Delaware. All participants should plan to arrive no later than 4 p.m. on June 11. If you choose to arrive earlier, you will be responsible for your accommodations until the program begins.
  • The closest airport to the University of Delaware is Philadelphia International Airport.
  • Participants are responsible for their own travel, accommodations and meals during Module I

Travel for Module 4: Edinburgh, Scotland

  • The program begins at 4 p.m. December 10, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • All participants should plan to arrive on the morning of the start of the program. If you choose to arrive earlier, you will be responsible for your accommodations until the program begins.
  • The closest airport to Oriam, Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus; is Edinburgh Airport.
  • All participants should depart at the conclusion of the program.

Hotel Accommodations

  • Participants are responsible for their own travel, accommodations and meals during Module 1
  • The participant fee includes the cost of the hotel room, tax and meals at the Marriott at Oriam, Edinburgh, Scotland, during Module 4. Participants will share a two-queen guest room with another participant.

About Oriam Facility

Oriam is Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, based at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus in Edinburgh. The Scottish Rugby Union and the Scottish Football Association use it as a training facility, as does Heart of Midlothian F.C. for first-team training and to run its academy.

Located within the Riccarton campus at Edinburgh’s Heriot Watt University, the £33 million facility is home to a vast array of Scottish FA activities and home to its coach education program. Designed to provide an inspirational environment for top athletes, Oriam opened in August 2016 and has set a new standard for facilities within Scotland, including a FIFA-accredited indoor synthetic pitch with a viewing area that can seat 500 people. The pitch is the largest of its kind in Europe and has direct access to state-of-the-art dressing rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, a rehabilitation area and a gym area for strength and conditioning.

In addition to the indoor pitch, Oriam offers various synthetic and natural outdoor fields, including an exact replica of Hampden Park that is 116 yards by 76 yards. Thanks to the high quality of the facilities, Hampden Park has been used by the national squad for training camps across all ages and has hosted matches, including an international tournament for the under-16 level.

The Scottish Rugby Union also uses Oriam as its home of performance, and the facilities are regularly used by the likes of Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian FC, Edinburgh Rugby and English Premiership football teams for their preseason training.

The Scottish Football Association

The Scottish Football Association is renowned around the world for the high quality of its coaching education courses. Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello, Andre Villas-Boas, Nuno Espirito Santo and Shelley Kerr have all taken their UEFA coaching license courses with the Scottish FA.

The opportunity to take the Scottish FA C license course is a significant one for U.S. coaches as it represents a pathway into the UEFA coaching license pathway. Once U.S.-based coaches complete their C license with the Scottish FA, they are considered “Scottish” in the eyes of UEFA and are on the pathway to go on and potentially take the UEFA B course and then the UEFA A License course should they choose to do so.


Matthew Robinson, Director

Matthew J. Robinson is a professor and the director of the sport management program at the University of Delaware and the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP), funded by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity fund.

Robinson served as the director of sport research for the Center for Applied Business and Economics Research (CABER), where he has consulted with the United States Soccer Federation and several professional franchises and leagues. He helped create the United Soccer Coaches Director of Coaching program, which has trained over 1,000 coaches since its creation in 2005.

The author of the two highly successful sport management texts, Sport Club Management and Profiles of Sport Industry Professionals: The People Who Make the Games Happen, has written over 25 academic articles and made over 120 national and international scholarly and professional presentations.

Ian Barker, Academic Director

Ian Barker serves as a staff instructor for U.S. Soccer’s coaching education program, teaching both state and nationally hosted residential licenses. He served as the men’s soccer coach at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and assistant coach of the University of Wisconsin men’s team from 1989-97.

He has also instructed the National Youth License for US Youth Soccer. From 1997 through 2007, he served as director of coaching and player development for the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA), where he co-developed Parents and Coaches Together (PACT), a training program designed to create a more positive soccer experience for players, coaches and parents.

Barker has also served as technical director for International Sports Connection, part of a team funded by the U.S. State Department to assist in the creation of a youth soccer system in Uganda. Through this program, he has educated nearly 400 Ugandan coaches.

Andrew Donnery, Master Coach and Soccer Leader Staff

Andrew Donnery has extensive soccer experience as a player and directing coaching activities both in England and the United States. Donnery has worked with several U.S. organizations, including the Cape Fear Soccer Association, the Wilmington Hammerheads professional team, and Coastal Carolina Soccer Camps, and has consulted and presented to over 70 organizations and 100-plus conferences in the U.S., United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

He has also acted as a coach educator and instructor for the United States Soccer Federation and worked with the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association as a member of its Olympic Development Staff. He has served as a committee member with the NCYSA Academy Committee and the NCYSA Coach Educators Committee. Donnery obtained a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology from Liverpool John Moores University and has recently earned a master of business administration from the University of Liverpool.

He holds numerous coaching qualifications, including the following: UEFA A License, UEFA International Coaching License, UEFA 12-16 Youth License, UEFA 17-21 Youth License, USSF National Youth License, NSCAA Premier License, NSCAA Master Coach Diploma, NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma and the English FA Academy Manager’s License. Donnery also wrote a book, Let the Kids Play, designed to put the fun back in the game with a collection of enjoyable, stimulating and developmentally appropriate exercises for young players.

Over the years, he has placed players into Division I college programs, state and regional Olympic Development Programs, and the U.S national team. Donnery served as the state ODP director for Cal North and designed the third largest league in the country. He currently directs the NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma and co-authored the NSCAA Advanced DOC course. In 2014, he was appointed as a technical advisor to Bermuda FA Academy and coached the U17 Bermuda FA team. Donnery is currently the CEO of Elk Grove Soccer and the Fresno FC U23 head coach.

Ian Donnelly, Scotland Site Coordinator and Tutor

Ian Donnelly has been immersed in the area of performance analysis in soccer for more than 20 years, both as an analyst and in the development of video analysis technology for coaches and educators. He is an integral member of the International Society of Performance Analysis in Sport (ISPAS) and has been at the forefront of the growth and development of performance analysis at all levels of the game.

With a background in both education and coaching, Donnelly was instrumental in the development of the world’s first interactive video analysis technology for coaches in the early 1990s and continues to lead the way in analysis technology in his current role as CEO at Performance Innovation.

Donnelly has worked extensively in providing analysis support and expertise within a range of sports at Olympic and high performance levels. However, it is in soccer that he remains most heavily involved, working to enhance coaching and player performance at every level of the game—from national and professional teams to grassroots.

In the area of coaching education, Donnelly has made over 80 national and international conference and professional presentations. He provides analysis expertise and support to national associations and world governing bodies around the sporting world and works extensively with United Soccer Coaches in the U.S.

Jeff Schneider, Associate Director

Jeff Schneider is an instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware. He is also the coordinator of UD’s strength and conditioning education program and the director of strength and conditioning and athletic training at UD’s High Performance Training Center.

Schneider is the assistant director of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP), and he has worked with numerous national, world and Olympic figure skaters. Schneider graduated from UD with a master of science with a concentration in exercise physiology. He holds certifications form both the National Athletic Trainers Association and the National Strength and Conditioning Associations.

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Jeff Schneider

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