USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter praises 2020 Sounders FC Sports Science Seminar ahead of second session

Gregg Berhalter

Last week, the club kicked off the first installment of the 2020 Seattle Sounders FC Sports Science Seminar, presented by adidas.

Originally slated as an in-person event in July, the organization moved quickly to shift the seminar to a video series amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Over a three-week stretch, the program will run from 12 p.m. PT to 4:00 p.m. PT on Wednesday afternoons. Each day features four, 45-minute presentations by selected speakers, followed by an hour-long roundtable discussion.

With two more sessions remaining, the club has already raised over $42,000 through registration fees for the Seattle Sounders FC Relief Fund, which directs financial support to local businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

Among the keynote speakers and roundtable participants at the first session was United States Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter.

“I think [the Sports Science Seminar] is a great thing that Seattle Sounders FC have been doing through all these years,” Berhalter said in a phone interview with “But this year in particular, pivoting and using it as a charity-based enterprise, I think is really important. I was really happy to participate, and I think it’s great work that Seattle Sounders is doing for the community.”

With featured guests like NFL great Rondé Barber, Borussia Dortmund High Performance/Strength & Conditioning Coach Andreas Beck and USMNT stalwart Landon Donovan, the first installment provided insights into how overlapping roles within an organization adopt different approaches to similar issues.

“I think it was great,” said Berhalter. “To me, the most impactful part of it was seeing the same questions from a number of different perspectives. That’s where you can really learn because you had strength and conditioning, you had coaching, you had player-facing and the management side of it. That was a really interesting way to break it down, and really insightful for the audience.”

Not only were the panelists able to share their expertise from within respective roles, they also represented other major sports leagues within the United States, revealing commonalities across industries.

“As much as these sports are different, there’s common themes that you see of successful franchises and of successful teams,” added Berhalter. “It was really impactful to hear that across different sports.”

After all the speakers made their presentations, they came together for an hour-long roundtable discussion that also featured Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer and broadcaster Steve Zakuani. With so many experts in their respective fields fielding questions, it led to a fascinating discussion that showcased how technical roles overlap and diverge from one another.

“I think that’s the beauty of these conferences: you get to hear different perspectives,” said Berhalter. “It’s about learning. In my role, it’s continually challenging ideas and challenging myself to learn the most I can. To hear these discussions, and to hear how other teams have done it, and to hear how the interaction takes place at other clubs, I think is really important.”

You can learn more about the 2020 Sounders FC Sports Science Seminar HERE.



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