Academy News

NEWS: Quakes Academy Coaches Erin Ridley and Steven Sosa to Participate in Major League Soccer’s Elite Formation Coaching License Program

erin and sosa

San Jose Earthquakes Academy U15 Head Coach Erin Ridley and U17 Head Coach Steven Sosa will participate in the Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL) program in partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF). Following a Major League Soccer announcement last week, the two Quakes coaches are among a 25-participant pool selected by the league for the program.

Ridley and Sosa join Quakes Head Coach and notable EFCL graduate Luchi Gonzalez as members of the program.

Made available to MLS coaches in 2013, this group of candidates represents the fifth class from MLS to take part in the EFCL. The platform has played a pivotal role in MLS Homegrown development and the growth of several head coaches, assistants and general managers throughout MLS and MLS NEXT Pro.

Erin Ridley’s 15-year coaching career has overseen the development of numerous college standouts, U.S. youth national team players, and professional players under her tutelage. Leaving a mark of success at each program as a Division I college assistant coach, Ridley’s teams have captured three different NCAA conference championships as well as an NCAA Tournament College Cup appearance. Beyond her 11 seasons of college soccer, she has also worked with nationally ranked club and nationally ranked high school programs, state and region Olympic Development Programs, and with the U.S. Soccer’s U17 Women’s National Team staff. She also spent two seasons serving as head coach of the semi-pro WPSL Chattanooga FC Women, earning Southeastern Coach of the Year honors in 2018. Most recently, Ridley came to the Bay Area to lead the San Jose Earthquakes Girls Development Academy, where staff were named the 2018-19 US Soccer DA West Conference Coaching Staff of the Year. Ridley also represented the Quakes Academy at the 2019 NorCal Soccer Symposium as an on-field presenter.

Steven Sosa was a first-team All-Big West selection as a senior at UC Santa Barbara in 2001 after helping the Gauchos to their first-ever Big West championship. Steven prepped at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, Calif. where he was a two-time NSCAA All-American selection and played on the US Youth National Team. He gained international playing experience at a young age as a member of Sparta Rotterdam’s U13/14 youth team in Holland. Upon returning to the United States, he was selected to play for the U-17 US National Team (CONCACAF and the World Cup) scoring goals in matches against Honduras, Costa Rica and Jamaica. Before entering UCSB, Steven went back to Holland to play for first division club SC Heerenveen U18/19. Upon the conclusion of his playing career at UCSB, Sosa returned to Marin County to begin his coaching career.

The EFCL will span seven weeks over an 18-month period (February 2023 – July 2024), beginning Feb. 1 at the famed INF Clairefontaine outside of Paris. After completing a week of sessions, coaches will participate in club observations from Feb. 8-15, where they will be immersed within many top European teams for one week to observe the academy and player development system. Participating clubs include Arsenal (England), Le Havre AC (France), RC Lens (France), AS Monaco (France), FC Nantes (France), Stade Rennais (France), RC Strasbourg (France), Toulouse FC (France), and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany).

In addition to the seven-week commitment, the candidates will meet in smaller regional camps for field instruction and candidate evaluation during two additional extended weekends over the 18 months.