By Olivier Finidori, Director of Training
Recently I sent a note to our trainers and managers to clarify league rules and policies regarding suspected head injuries. We had a situation at Zube Park where a referee did not allow a player to return to the game after the player was taken off and evaluated by the team's staff trainer and attempted to return to the game. The team's staff felt it was not the referee's call. But, indeed, it is! In the event a healthcare professional is not on location to evaluate, and clear the player, the game official's decision overrules the technical staff, managers, and parents. At Dyess Park, we are fortunate to have our partners, Texas Children's Hospital's trainers on location, and it will be their decision whether a player should be able to return to play, or not, if he/she has suffered a blow. In other locations, without licensed professionals, the referee has the right to make that call. Yes, there could be various perceptions as to what a "significant blow" can be. However, and until we have professional Healthcare PT's on location, everyone should be on the same page and understand the protocol, as follows:
U.S. Soccer recommends and US Club Soccer requires the immediate removal of any player who sustains a significant blow to the head or body, who complains about or who is showing symptoms consistentwith having suffered a concussion. For events with an on-site healthcare professional, this professional will perform applicable testing–SCAT3 or Child SCAT3 and modified BESS–to evaluate players on thefield/sideline. Any player suspected of suffering a concussion will not be allowed to return to play until he/she is cleared by the healthcare professional. No coach, parent/guardian or player may overrule thehealthcare professional. Healthcare professionals are considered licensed professionals, such as an athletic trainer, certified (ATC) or physician (MD/DO), with skills in emergency care, sports medicine injuries and experience related to concussion evaluation and management. If a coach attempts to allow a player who had been removed from a game for concussion assessment and who has not been cleared to return to play by the on-site healthcare professional, the referee should:
1. Immediately stop play;
2. Direct the player to leave the field;
3. Instruct the coach to select a substitute;
4. Issue a warning to the coach.
    a. If a coach persists, the referee is entitled to take necessary disciplinary measures against the coach.
    b. The referee should include this behavior in his/her referee report to US Club Soccer.
For events without an on-site healthcare professional, no coach can permit a player who has been removed from a game for concussion suspicion/assessment to return to play until he/she is cleared by a healthcare professional. Referee responses and actions outlined above should be taken against any coach who persists in trying to re-insert the player into the game without proper clearance by a healthcare professional.

(Coaches Memo is running this another week, so trainers don’t forget them)
Stacey McDaniel
I am not big on resolutions, but a new year is always a good time to reflect on changes I would like to make.
Roland Sikinger
To lose the 15 pounds I put on during the holidays, to get back to where I started from.
James Beaty
To form a support group with Mark Hunter for Newcastle United fans. We’ll need sponsored therapy for PTSD.
Mark Hunter
To show more appreciation of everyone, after the events of the last 12 months it has brought home just how fleeting life can be and how important it is that we value the people around us who make our lives so special.
Jessie Alfaro
To set goals, plan, and execute!
Coach Flo
To refrain from frowning at referee decisions.
Coach Cy-Fair
To stick to my other resolutions for more than a week.

Dynamos trainer, watching with a parent as a teenaged player pilots the family auto into a parking space at Dyess Park: "Isn't it remarkable how quickly the kids learn to drive the car?" Parent: "Yes, especially considering how slowly they catch on to running the lawnmower and vacuum cleaner."

2015--Roli the Goalie reported to Coach Jim that his Thursday group of Steven Franke, Ethan Urrutia, Sam Dominguez, Kaylee Barrett and Payton Salinas had "worked on diving headers for when they have to make a play outside the box." Then he added: "Next week will be scorpion kicks." Recalling the image of Columbian goalkeeper Rene Hiquita's incredibly-acrobatic clearance of a high shot, along with an image of Coach Roli executing said skill, Coach Jim responded: "Let me know, please, what time you will be demonstrating." Roli's retort: "That's classified!"

CoachesMemo Jan 11 19 Lessa
Carlos Lessa, popular part-time trainer at Dyess Park, advertises the Dynamos in Brazil! #dynamosdifference

Five keepers—Mason Blais, Zac Cannon, Victoria Finidori, Andrew Lobo, and Caleb Shiery—attended Monday’s initial goalkeeper training session of 2019. “It went well,” reported trainer Roland, “except that Caleb twisted his ankle on the last save of the night.”. .Houston’s Dynamo players report to training on Monday (June 14) and open their pre-season schedule with games Jan. 26 and Jan. 29 against the Major League Soccer team's United Soccer League affiliate Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. The MLS home opener is March 2 against Real Salt Lake. . .Michael Bradley, the most veteran of all players in the current U. S. Men’s National Team now training in Chula Vista, Calif., said he has eyes on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Michael, whose 142 caps are more than all the other players in camp combined, will be 35 years old when that tournament comes around, but he’s not ready to rule it out. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to. I love to play, I love to train. The way I take care of myself, the way I live my life, my best years are still in front of me. And that’s my mentality every day.". .Mark Geiger, perhaps the most famous American referee, is retiring from active duty; he has been appointed director of senior match officials for the Professional Referee Organization (PRO). . .Join in with host Glenn Davis for the best in soccer talk on “Soccer Matters” at Radio ESPN 97.5FM Wednesdays (and various other days) 7-9pm. Call-in number is 281-780-3776 to chat with Glenn and his guests. . .To submit items for The Buzz, or the Coaches Memo, email

"Order marches with weighty and measured strides; disorder is always in a hurry."--Coach Napoleon

The annual United Soccer Coaches Convention takes place in Chicago Jan. 9-13. Formerly known as the NSCAA, which was founded in 1941, United Soccer Coaches, with 30,000 members, is the largest organization of soccer coaches in the world and its convention is the world's largest annual gathering of soccer coaches and administrators. Some 6,500 coaches and 14,000 people total are expected to attend the convention in Chicago, according to Geoff VanDeusen, United Soccer Coaches' Director of Operations and Events. "About 30% each from the youth, high school and college levels with the final 10% or so being made up of professional and international coaches," said VanDeusen. "One of the amazing experiences of the convention is walking down the halls and talking to coaches you never imagined meeting. It could be Bruce Arena, Peter Vermes, Anson Dorrance, Lesle Gallimore, April Heinrichs or one of dozens of others. At our convention, regardless of level, everybody is just a coach who loves the game."--Mike Woitalla, Soccer America

“Sport can unite, inspire, and entertain, but its ability to do this is undermined when harm comes to the athletes playing, workers building, and communities hosting these sports and events. Having been on the inside of sport for many years, my intention is to bring to life another way of working, supporting sports organizations to fundamentally improve their ability to embed respect for human rights throughout their activities. In this way, the Centre will be a powerful enabler toward realizing the full positive power of sport.”--Mary Harvey, appointed by the Centre for Sport and Human Rights as its first chief executive. Harvey is an eight-year veteran of the U. S. Women's National Team, winning the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and the 1996 Olympic Games. After retiring from international football and completing her MBA, Mary went on to serve in several senior roles in sport governances, including on FIFA's executive team as its Director of Development, the US Soccer Federation's Executive Committee and the United States Olympic Committee's Athlete Advisory Council. Recently she led the development of the groundbreaking human rights strategy for the successful United 2026 bid to bring the World Cup to Canada, Mexico, and the U. S. A small group of Dynamos' goalkeepers had the pleasure of meeting Mary Harvey some years ago when she visited Bear Creek Park during a promotional tour.

Coach Cy Fair’s brief and concise advice to his coaching mates: shun and avoid the employment of unnecessary excess extra words. Coach Flo wonders why the number 11 isn’t pronounced “onety-one.”