By now, you may have heard that assistant coach Sonny Silooy has been named as the Director of Youth Development for D.C. United, with a contract running through the end of 2014. If you do not remember his credentials, Silooy played for both Ajax and the Dutch national team, winning 6 Eredivisie titles and earning 25 international caps. More importantly for United, prior to coming to the States he spent time as a coach in the renowned Ajax academy, with two years as the coach of the U-12 team and three years as the coach of the U-19 team. By all appearances, just the person that we want in charge of developing the next generations of D.C. United players.
But there is are a few more details to be gleaned about Silooy's intentions as Director of Youth Development from an interview that he gave to Voetbal International, a Dutch newspaper. First, Silooy has been spending the majority of his time restructuring the D.C. United academy system, bringing in new coaches and looking into the curriculum at all levels of training. He is apparently trying to implement the academy styles of Ajax and Barcelona, but adapting them to the realities of the United States.
Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that Kevin Payne called Johan Cruyff, one of the best players of all time and a coach of Silooy while he was at Ajax, to see if Silooy was up to the job of running the academy. Cruyff, apparently, immediately said yes. If Payne has those kinds of connections, maybe he could bring us some players Real Madrid or the Catalonia national team!