Photo courtesy of FC Boulder
Born in Guatemala, Luis Swisher grew up to have a distinguished playing career for club and country. Now, the former defender looks to help the next batch of talented young players achieve their professional aspirations.
Swisher, who will serve as a scout in the 2017 USL Scouting Network, is preparing to lead the FC Boulder U23 in their first Premier Development League campaign. The Head Coach played more than 16 years at the professional level, earning 40 caps for Guatemala Youth National Teams (Under-19, U-21, U-23) and 23 caps for the Guatemala Men's National Team.
The FC Boulder U23 will play in the Mountain Division in 2017 and will kick off their season against the Colorado Rapids U23 at 5:30 p.m. MDT on Saturday.
PDL: What interested you in leading FC Boulder?
LS: The challenge to be coaching in a great, competitive league – to give our FC Boulder youth system an opportunity to grow. Also, the opportunity to lead our players to the next level.
PDL: As a former player, what experience and wisdom do you think you can share to the many amateur players looking to make it to the professional level?
LS: Being in the game for 16 years and playing at the highest level, I’m able to share my experiences as a professional player and helping my players to reach their goals by guiding them, be a mentor and help them understand their roles in the field.
PDL: Along with serving as the Head Coach of the FCB U23, you will also serve as a scout on the USL Scouting Network. Why do you want to participate in the USL Scouting Network?
LS: It is really important to do a follow-up of all the players in the league. The USL Scouting Network works as a filter for the best players to reach the professional level. Being involved in the league, it will allow me to recognize the players that have the abilities to play at the highest level, and as a coach, it is part of my philosophy to help players get in to the next level.
PDL: Can you explain how you identify talent? For a player wanting to know what it takes to make it to the next level – to move from college/PDL to the pros – what is required physically, technically, psychologically?
LS: I like creative players with all the necessary attributes – players who are emotionally strong. This is something that affects the performance – how strong they can stay in the game mentally. All pillars are important, but tactically on how much a player can adapt to any circumstance and how good is their decision-making.
PDL: The PDL focuses on helping the development of players. Specifically, how do you help that process? What sort of coaching philosophy will you try to use and employ with the FC Boulder U23?
LS: I believe that players need to adapt to any style of play, but I’m a fan of the buildup- and possession-based style of play and a true believer on knowing my players and the opposition's weaknesses and strengths. I love to analyze and study the game so I know what I will pass along and guide my players to win games.