Friday, June 27, 2008

Q&A with Fordham head coach Jim McElderry

Fordham head coach Jim McElderry is in attendance at the Development Academy Summer Showcase in Greensboro. He joins an assortment of college coaches looking for talent from a pool of the top young players in the country. McElderry - entering his sixth season as head coach of the Rams - has never been to an Academy event before, but he is using it as a way to evaluate players he knows, and to look for some hidden gems. He took some time off during his visit to give us his thoughts on the recruiting process. What has your experience been like so far at the Showcase in terms of your recruiting efforts?
Jim McElderry: It's a great concept. US Soccer has put a lot of time and effort into it. It's still evolving and I think they know that. It's part of the process.

US:What are some things you would like to see done better?
JM: As a college coach I wish there was more information about the kids. Sometimes it's a lot of time we spend just figuring out who's who.

US: What are you looking for when you go on these recruiting trips?
JM: Most of the time there are two different types of recruits. You've got the group of kids who contact you, and you make a point to go out and watch them play. There's also going to games and looking for players you like and trying to recruit them cold, so to speak.

US: Which type are you looking for now?
JM: There's a kid I'm watching right now that's already visited the school on his own. So we know he's obviously very interested because he took the time to do that on his own. At the same time I'm watching to see if anyone jumps out.

US: Has the recruiting process changed at all recently?
JM: Kids are starting to commit to universities earlier than before. Maybe it's a little bit different, but I don't know if it's better or worse. 

US: Are you planning on watching the finals on ESPN?
JM: Yeah, I'm not going to go out to the finals, so I'll watch it on TV. I think it's great for US Soccer and the kids.

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