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Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle Completes U.S. Soccer Pro License

By Eira Castillo, 12/16/17, 3:00PM PST


Becomes only coach to hold highest coaching license in North America and Europe

Courtesy U.S. Soccer/

Sacramento Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle was one of 17 coaches to complete the U.S. Soccer Pro License Coaching Course on Friday, Dec. 15 in Chicago. Other coaches who also received their diplomas on Friday include Seattle Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer and Toronto FC Head Coach Greg Vanney, whose teams competed in the 2017 MLS Cup earlier this month, with Vanney also taking the 2017 MLS Coach of the Year honor. The class of 2017 also includes U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis, who became the first woman to ever hold the U.S. Soccer Pro License.

Read full press release from U.S. Soccer >>

Along with being a part of such a distinguished class, Buckle also becomes the first coach ever to hold both the U.S. Soccer Pro License and the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching licenses in North America and Europe, respectively. Buckle is also one of only three USL coaches to have completed the U.S. Soccer Pro License, along with fellow 2017 graduates Darren Powell of San Antonio FC and Colin Clarke of North Carolina FC, whose club joined the USL on Nov. 16, 2017. This class was the first time the Pro Course was expanded to include coaches from NASL , NWSL and USL.

The class of 2017 completed the year-long course through in-person instruction, club visits, a final assessment, expert guest speakers and webinars during the program. Each candidate also had to attend three collective meetings and do a final presentation, as well as have two week-long visits from a U.S. Soccer Coach Educator. For the duration of the course, Buckle worked with U.S. Soccer National Coach Educator Wim van Zwam.

“Professionally, they showed so much respect to me as a head coach in terms of when Wim came in to analyze me in my working environment twice,” Buckle said. “He would always ask, ‘Can I do this? Do you mind me being here?’ And I opened every door, from the training field, to individual meetings with players, group meetings, pregame, postgame and halftime. Wim was there. So he was brought in as part of the staff. I received invaluable feedback, incredible feedback. The details that U.S. Soccer have put into this license have been phenomenal.”

Congratulations on this massive achievement, Coach Buckle!

To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Coaching Education program, visit


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