Ricardo Clark’s journey from a young prospect to youth development with Vancouver Whitecaps FC | Charles Bohm

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“I felt it was the right time for me to join the staff here in Vancouver. They have a lot of young talent, and part of my role is to help develop that talent, in terms of individual development and coaching and everything associated with that,” Clark told MLSsoccer.com then. that he was working through Canada’s quarantine process before joining the pre-season ‘Caps in person.

“It was something that intrigued me. It was a place where I felt I could be effective, depending on what they needed. And that was something that I was passionate about.”

The Whitecaps started last season with the youngest roster in the league and more than half of their current squad are 23 or younger. Their sprawling network of young affiliates across Canada fuels an ambitious academic system, whose biggest – and most profitable – product is global sensation Alphonso Davies. Now Clark has arrived to do his part and carry on the legacy passed on to him over the years by distinguished managers like Bob Bradley, Dominic Kinnear, Christoph Daum and Gregg Berhalter.

You could say that Vancouver’s gain is Dynamo’s loss. Clark has spent most of the year since retiring working with a range of teams and players in the Texas club’s recently revamped youth structure. This helped shape his vision for the next steps in his career.

“Joining the Dynamo academy and working with multiple age groups from U-13s to U-19s, through everything I’ve learned I relate more to older players and I relate more to the professional environment”, he explained. “So that’s what I turned to. The last part of my youth coaching experience was focused on connecting with these young players in this special environment – doing individual development, whether it was pitch work, video analysis or just conversations on the coaching/mentoring aspect.

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