Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wagner climbs Bundesliga coaching ladder

It's rare that Americans get to coach in Europe, but former U.S. international David Wagner, born to an American GI and German mother, has been named the coach of Borussia Dortmund's under-23 team.

Wagner, who has coached Hoffenheim's under-17 and under-19 teams the last two seasons, says the under-23 level is a key stepping stone in German soccer. His job will to prepare young players for the first team of the Bundesliga leader. "That is the most important thing for me to do now," he said. "I am very happy with my new job."

Wagner is one of a new generation of Bundesliga coaches who have been given responsibility for player development. Germany's emphasis on youth development has paid off with an exceptional generation of young stars.

"After I finished playing, I studied sports science and biology and I finished it in 2007 and I use that in coaching a lot," he said. "All the things a fitness coach or trainer will tell me, I can speak with them on a same level. I also finished in 2007 the highest FIFA coaching license. These were the best things for me that have allowed me to become a coach and move step by step to a high level."

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