VAUGHAN, ON â€“ Anthony Toteraâ€™s special guest on this weekâ€™s TouchLine features:
- Dan Gaspar, Head Coach of University of Hartford â€œHawksâ€ Menâ€™s Soccer Team and goal-keeper coach of Portugalâ€™s National Team who just returned from the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, on his impressions of Ontario and Canadaâ€™s goal-keeper talent pool, his approach to training European and North American goal-keepers, his unique contribution to GK clinics in the form of passion, knowledge and commitment, the importance of skill over height in the art of goal-keeping, the need for high-level competition experience and expert mentor feedback in GK development, the important carry-over life-lessons which come with the GK position in terms of coping with pressure and developing the psychological strength to carry on despite set-backs, the importance of love of the art of goal-keeping in addition to the discipline, fitness, technical and tactical expertise necessary for success, prospects for Canadian players in obtaining U.S. scholarships, the difference between U.S. and Canadian National Team success and the important role of high-quality competitive leagues as well as playing and training opportunities in identifying and developing elite athletes.
In Part 2, Totera and Gaspar discuss the Portugal National Teamâ€™s experience at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, Portugalâ€™s qualification and the countryâ€™s high expectations, the strategy going into the critical game against Spain, goalkeeper Eduardoâ€™s performance, Rinaldoâ€™s near-misses and the Portugal National Teamâ€™s prospects going forward.
Gaspar brings a wealth of international soccer experience to his craft. Six years ago he served as the goalkeeper coach for European Champions FC Porto, where he helped lead the team to a World Intercontinental Championship in Japan. Regarded as one of the top goalkeeper coaches in the world, Gaspar trained FC Portoâ€™s Vitor Baia, who was selected as the UEFAâ€™s Best European Goalkeeper in 2004.
A native of South Glastonbury, CT, Gaspar made history in 1993 when he became the first American born soccer coach to accept a full-time coaching position in Europe with Sporting Lisbon of the Portuguese First Division. As goalkeeper coach, he helped lead Sporting Lisbon to the Portuguese National Cup title in 1995.
From 2000-02, Gaspar served as head coach of the Connecticut Wolves in the USL Pro League. In 2002, he led the Wolves to a New England Cup Championship as well as the D3 semifinals. Gaspar has also held coaching positions with both the Portuguese and South African national teams as well as an assistant coaching position with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars of Major League Soccer. In 1999, he served as the associate head menâ€™s soccer coach at Central Connecticut State University.
In 2003, Gaspar returned to Portugal to serve as goalkeeper coach for SL Benfica where he helped lead the team to the Portuguese Cup Championship under head coach Antonio Camacho, the former coach of the Spanish national team.
In 2009, Gaspar joined the Portuguese Football Federationâ€™s national team coaching staff in preparation for the teamâ€™s World Cup Qualifiers. Reunited with Professor Carlos Queiroz, the current Head Coach of Portugal, Gaspar had the opportunity to train Ronaldo, who is considered by many football fans and players to be the greatest striker in the history of the game.
During each of his his three stints with the Portuguese national team Gaspar coached alongside Queiroz, the former coach of Real Madrid and current assistant coach of the English Premier Leagueâ€™s Manchester United, as well as Felipe Scolari, the former head coach of the Brazilian national team that won the World Cup in 2002.
Gaspar is a technical consultant to Project 2010, a plan commissioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation to win the World Cup in 2010. He is the founder and president of the highly respected Star Goalkeeper Academy as well as the owner and director of the Connecticut Soccer School.
He holds a USSF â€˜Aâ€™ License as well as a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. Gasparâ€™s field coaching experience also includes an assistant position with the Japan League Grampus Eight in 1996. He has trained the goalkeepers of the 1996 U.S. Menâ€™s Olympic Team, the 1991 U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team, and the U.S. Menâ€™s Under 18 and Under 17 National Teams in 1998 and 1996.
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