Training and Coaching
Converging views of France-United States
on the « re-evolution » of soccer

02 february 2014 | 09:00-13:30



The main question of training in soccer is at a decisive turning point in France and in the United States.
For this reason, the French Soccer Institute (FSI) proposes to give a seminar with experts and actorsfrom both countries in order to share their experiences and make advancements in this field.
In fact, the last sporting events in France and the recent determination of the French Football Federation (FFF) indicate a deviation of the system as well as a real awareness of the necessity to act and to make positive new developments.

The exponential soccer growth in the United States and the commitment of actors such as the US Soccer Federation (USSF) and Major League Soccer (MLS) to optimize the internal organization and youth training are strong indications of the change taking place in this sport in the US. The recent MLS request for FFF training sessions for its own academies is another proof of this evolution.
Famous and international trainers, coaches, researchers and athletes from France and the US such as Jean Gallice, Daniel Jeandupeux, Carlos Bocanegra, Lindsay Krasnoff, etc., have participated in the seminar.

This meeting has allowed the basis of a new strategy, resulting from previous experiences and the enriching contributions of each culture, to be built for youth training. It is an ambitious strategy, which takes on a universal approach by adapting to each territory and its specificities.
This training will value the concept of Education-Performance in which the youth not only becomes a soccer player with the ability to adapt him/herself to any situation on and off the field, but also a good citizen.

The French Soccer Institute (FSI) is a French-American soccer organization specialized in training (youth and adults) and focuses on the « re-evolution » of soccer through values, personal development, and a sustainable development strategy.

The French Soccer Institute (FSI) functions in France and the United States, with its first location in California, thanks to a dynamic team committed to this active and innovative project: William Gallas, David Bellion, Christian Karembeu, Camille Abily, Sonia Bompastor, Jean Gallice, Daniel Jeandupeux, Claude Dusseau, Jean-François Jodar, Pierre Barrieu, etc.

Systemic of soccer’s representation and dynamic


Alexis Gallice

CEO of the French Soccer Institute (FSI)
Researcher and international expert in Sport and Sustainable Development

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International training, analysis, testimonials and experience


Lindsay Krasnoff

Historian – Center for the study of sport and leisure in society
Author “The making of les Bleus: Sport in France

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“From Crisis to Evolution: French Youth Football Development in Historical Context”
Remarks by Dr. Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff at the French Soccer Institute’s February 2, 2014 Seminar

The French system as we know it today is a byproduct of what I call the French “sports crisis” of the 1960s. The sports crisis was a sustained period of time, from 1960 through the early 1970s, in which France failed to garner athletic accolades, particularly in several key team sports, such as soccer. The sports crisis was illuminated by the poor results of the French Olympic team at the 1960 Rome Games, which failed to win any gold medals and brought home only five medals (2 silver, 3 bronze).  The catastrophe was all the more poignant because the 1960 Games were the first largely televised Olympics, thereby placing the French Olympic debacle on the world stage, beamed into the livingrooms of millions.

The new Government of France, the Fifth Republic (est. 1958), viewed this lack of athletic success as a direct contradiction to the image they tried to present to the French and the world: a revived, rejuvenated nation. Throughout the 1960s the government enacted a series of sports programs to encourage more French people (especially the youths) to play sports. Money was invested in construction of new running tracks, swimming pools, and athletic fields. Moreover, the newly created Ministry of Youth and Sport tried to foster a new sports culture amongst French youths, with very mixed results.

The realm of soccer was no different. While the popularity of the professional game grew, the French national team failed to obtain results at the international level. Les Bleus failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1962, 1970, and 1974. The team’s appearance at the 1966 World Cup was short, eliminated from the tournament during the group stage of play. Clearly, new initiatives were needed.

In 1973, the French Football Federation (FFF) appointed Stefan Kovacs as the national team manager. Kovacs made a study of French soccer and determined that one of the key problems was that players lacked technical expertise; that they executed sophisticated passes but lacked the speed required to be competitive at the international level. Training players to perfect technique and simplifying moves would likely help increase the game’s tempo. Kovacs argued for players to begin serious technical training at an earlier age, preferably before their 20s, as was often the case during that era. However, the nature of the French scholastic day created problems for this prescription: notoriously long days devoted to academics left little time for athletics.

That same year, DTN Georges Boulogne conceived the first soccer centres de formation, formation centers conceived to collect promising young players together and provide them time and space for dedicated training. The academy structure evolved over time. At first they were devoted mainly to soccer; as the average school-leaving age was 16, the centers did not recruit younger players. Several teams invested heavily in youth development in the 1970s, such as Nantes and Sochaux. However, while the FFF mandated centres de formation for each L1 team by the late 1970s, not all teams complied and many centers remained facts on paper, not in practice. It was not until the later 1980s, that this began to change.

The early centres de formation refined a generation of young players who emerged by the late 1970s to lead Les Bleus to a soccer renaissance: the Platini generation. From 1982-86, the French national team fared well in international competition—3rd place at the 1982 World Cup, 4th place at the 1986 World Cup, and 1st place at the 1984 European Championship and 1984 Olympic Games tournament. Such performances seemed to affirm degrees of success on the French model. However, the results did not last and increased calls to reform the system transformed the soccer academy blueprint into something we recognize today.

During the late 1980s, the FFF overhauled the academy system to have greater emphasis on more technical training at younger ages and thus, by necessity, some form of academic support.  The products of these changes revived French soccer during the 1990s.


Laurent Courtois

Professional soccer player
LA Galaxy, Chivas USA, Levante UD, West Ham, Olympique Lyonnais

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I played soccer for life of course

I played In the streets mostly with my friends way before playing in a club or even with people we didn t know, everything what good to start a pickup game

Playing with growned up guys, get smashed on the ground, cry a little, get up and try this new trick again over and over

every days after school every week ends,

life was good…[…] I was part of a study/sports program but I was already thinking (and told) to focus on being a Professional soccer player, plus with the International appointments with France U15 U16 youth tournament/games, I lost track of school pretty fast. And I didn t mind at all. I was the best soccer kid of the country  at my age. Between 15 and 16 years old I had a back problem who kept me out of the fields for almost a year. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong, I was already fearing not making it as a pro and even that I had stop playing at all. Already feeling to have no choice but being succesfull in soccer, successfull for my family and me. […] US gave me the opportunity to work on fields that I thought impossible for me since I don t have a real general educational background, specially for France where the requirement to even try anything is such a strict area. I know it sounds cheesy but where I felt I had no way out in France, US system gave me hope, hope that I could be a personal trainer and a soccer coach and some day actually become good ones eventually…I now think that I have a lot to offer to kids technically, mentally, specially all the things that nobody told me about this sport, world and business.[…] I am telling my little and boring story for a reason; I am the typical product of soccer in France.

-Started from the bottom like Drake, ..Then, Obsessed to make it

-Turned Rich and show off (..Now poor. For reasons you don’t want to know.)

-Ending my professional life and kind of lost in my options, like in a bubble for 20 years and with a brutal wake up call…if not a pro soccer player anymore, who am I ?

Like broken toy in a way. […] France is a huge soccer talent factory and also wasting a lot players/people’s career

CEO French Soccer institute Alexis Gallice recognized all those things not only in me but in the French youth soccer system in general. He also recognize a missing link between the college and academic system to the professional world in US. More important he’s convinced that education should not be jeopardized. Au contraire, education should be the base of every kid s life and IS the base of the FSI philosophy.

Education and Soccer.. what more can u ask for ?



Carlos Bocanegra

Professional and International soccer player
110 caps in USA MNT
Rennes, Saint-Etienne, Glasgow Rangers, Santander, Chivas USA


The US system has many advantages because It has allowed to me to have a professional career and to study at the same time.

I have been lucky to have the chance to play soccer at the international and professional level. I watched my first soccer game on TV when I was 17. I played different sports before soccer and I had great skills in each ones : base-ball, US football, etc. I chose soccer because a lot of my friends were playing already.

It’s very important to have several sports experiences to become a good athlete, a good education for your level of play and to anticipate the after-career.

A good balance between both is the best environment to succeed not only in soccer but in life in general

I lived a great experience abroad : France, Great Britain, Spain, etc. I learnt a lot in France with a different approach of coaching and a high experience in training. We have to learn from each other.

The organization of the soccer in US is changing and improving. There are a lot of talents, energy and dynamic. Make the link between all the actors and environment is the challenge to reach the step further.

This seminar, with the commitment of several entities, is a good example of the collaborations which will benefit the organizations, the coaches, the players.




Training strategy and contents


Daniel Jeandupeux

Ex National head coach of the Swiss National Team
Head coach of Toulouse, Strasbourg, Caen, Le Mans (French Ligue 1)
Manager General and specialadvisor of the President of Le Mans

Contact :


Without performance, the professional soccer player can’t stay at the highest level.

Without result, the professional coach is out of the soccer business system quickly.

I have been lucky to stay in the highest European soccer leagues from 1967 to 2012 even my carreer has known highs and lows.

I have coached some World Champions, European Champions and plenty of International players. I have visited a lot of great coaches World Champions, Intercontinental or Libertadores Cup, and European Champions League winners as well.

I have been in touch with trainers less known but with a huge expertise who have pushed me on the way of  the performance and education concept : where there great trainers (coaches), there are great players.

The French Soccer Institute (FSI) has the same philosophy, the same vision of soccer and uses the same pedagogy to teach it. This is one of the reason of my committment to this great collective dynamic.




Jean Gallice

Ex-trainer French Football Federation (FFF)
Ex-National head coach of French National Youth Teams
U19 European Champion
Trainer of : Hugo Lloris, Yohan Cabaye, Yoann Gourcuff, Abou Diaby, Younès Kaboul, etc.
Study for the FFF : “Diagnosis, conformity, analysis and recommendations – Youth training centers and school sport sections” (2012)

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Ludovic Taillandier

UEFA A license Youth specialization (FFF)
Director of Amiens Sporting¬ Club Academy (France)
Former professional soccer player ¬at PSG (France)
French Soccer Institute (FSI) Technical Director

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Systemic of soccer’s representation and dynamic


Jean Gallice

Ex-trainer French Football Federation (FFF)
Head of FFF coaches training on physical preparation
Co-writter FIFA book “Small-sided games and integrated physical preparation” (2013)

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Integrated physical preparation :
small-sized games and athletic exercises on the field


Jean Gallice

Athletic trainer French Football Federation (FFF)
Head of FFF coaches training on physical preparation
National head coach of French National Youth Teams
Co-writter FIFA book “Small-sided games and integrated physical preparation” (2013)

Contact :



Laurent Courtois

Professional LA Galaxy
USSF License B

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Photos report


FSI Contacts


CEO and Manager : Alexis Gallice

Head of Technical Committee : Jean Gallice

Technical Director : Ludovic Taillandier / (949) 303 6727