Courtois, working towards the future
Last season, we met Laurent Courtois as Chivas USA midfielder by day, and business entrepreneur by night. And now the Frenchman has expanded his horizons and earned his U.S. Soccer Class ‘B’ Coaching License in early February.
Before arriving to Chivas USA mid-season in 2011, the 34 year-old midfielder had not thought what he wanted to do after retiring as a professional soccer player. It was former Chivas USA coaches who gave Courtois the idea of earning a coaching license, although he does not have plans to retire any time soon.
“Even though everything was not perfect, and it wasn’t going the way we thought it would, I tried to do the best of everything,” said Courtois. “Jim Liston, Greg Vanney and Robin Fraser gave me the perspective of what can and can’t be done.”
Now working under the direction of coach Jose Luis Sanchez Solá, also known as ‘El Chelis,’ Courtois is getting another perspective at coaching and is taking notes of everything he learns from the Mexican coach.
“I’ve been a professional for so long, and I’ve never seen a coach fight for a player to have a good atmosphere for their family so that they only focus on the field,” Courtois said. “In what we’ve accomplished in one month, I’m very curious to see what we can accomplish in the league.”
Courtois’ plans and focus are on one thing: Chivas USA. So far in preseason, Courtois has been key in the Red-and-White’s unbeaten streak, playing in five games (three starts). In Friday’s match against Colorado Rapids in Las Vegas, Courtois was subbed out after suffering a minor hamstring injury. Since then, Courtois has trained separately from the group, but continues working to be at his best for Opening Match on March 2 against Columbus Crew.
“We have a good group, a good coach and I wish we could get into a playoff spot because one thing is certain, anything can happen in the playoffs,” Courtois said. “With confidence, anything can happen, so hopefully we get the results that we work hard for.”