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Kicking it around

Andrew Kushner

WOODBURY UNIVERSITY -- Former U.S. Men’s Soccer Coach Steve Sampson

has seen and assessed his share of young players over.

From the youth leagues to the premier organizations, Sampson knows


talent when he sees it.

Sampson was on hand Friday at Woodbury University to do just that,

looking over players from the American Global Soccer School based at the



Along with current Tampa Bay Mutiny player Cesar Alvarado, Sampson

came to the school after being asked by AGSS Director Afshin Ghotbie.

Members were given a chance to showcase their skills in hopes of

getting noticed for a spot on the U.S. Junior National Team or the Men’s

National Team.

Sampson, who coached the Americans from 1985 to 1998, was pleased with

what he saw.

“This is such a great program,” said Sampson. “Ten years ago these


kids might have been overlooked for the National Team.

“But with the help of programs like this, as well as schools like

Afshin’s, these kids are getting the exposure they deserve.”

Ghotbie said having Sampson at the event was a honor.

“This is really something nice,” he said. “To be able to have Steve

come out here is really going to be helpful for these kids.

“Hopefully, some of these players will get noticed and get a chance to

play at the national level.”


Blake Lyon, who trains and also coaches for AGSS, was also pleased

with the clinic.

“This is really a great opportunity for these kids,” he said. “To be

able to work out with someone like Steve -- as well as players like Cesar

-- is something that will really help these kids understand were they

need to be, to be able to play at the highest level both nationally and