Earlier today, the Quakes announced the hiring of Alex Covelo as Director of Methodology, continuing a series of technical additions to the club as it looks to create a new foundation based around youth development. Here are five things to know about the latest addition to the Quakes technical staff:
1. Covelo is the first Director of Methodology in Quakes history. As Director of Methodology, Covelo will be in charge of defining and establishing a game development program across all levels of the Quakes soccer pyramid—from the pre-formation youth teams (U-12 and up) all the way to the first team.
Developing youth players to play in the style as the senior squad facilitates their potential transition into the first team and increases their ability to slot-in and make an immediate impact. This systematic approach to tactics is used to great success by some of the top youth development clubs in the world, such as Spain’s FC Barcelona and the Netherlands’ AFC Ajax.
2. Covelo has done this before at the top level. Prior to joining the Earthquakes, Covelo served as the head of methodology at La Liga’s RCD Espanyol and the Barcelona-based Soccer Services venture, which leads the technical programs of French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, and the Football Federations of Japan, Finland and Poland. Soccer Services is known across the world for its Ekkono Method of player development, which focuses on creating intelligent players capable of interpreting spatial dynamics, anticipating problems and creating immediate solutions for the problems that may arise throughout the course of a game.
3. Covelo chose the Quakes over European and Asian clubs. Several elite clubs in Europe and Asia were interested in recruiting Covelo, which underscores his desire to join San Jose. As Quakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli mentioned in his Facebook Live Q&A last week, the club is focused on bringing in talent, whether player or technical, that wants to be at the club and believes in its long-term project.
4. Covelo has coaching experience. From 2014-15, Covelo served as the head coach of San Marino in the Italian third division, after a stint as an assistant coach and match analyst with the club in 2013-14. He was also the head coach of the U-15 and U-19 squads at CF Badalona in Spain’s third division from 2005-08. Covelo holds a UEFA A coaching license, which is the second highest of the five UEFA qualifications.
5. Covelo speaks four languages: Spanish, Catalán, Italian and English. He’s the latest multilingual addition to the Quakes following the hiring of general manager Jesse Fioranelli in January and Head of Scouting Bruno Costa in April.