Chris Taylor has returned to coaching at WSA after a departure in 2011 when he was drafted by the MLS Portland Timbers. Taylor, who was a collegiate standout at the University of Tulsa, joined WSA's coaching staff in 2009, assisting the 97 boys Red team in his "spare time" during his collegiate career. Taylor was selected 22nd overall in the 2011 MLS draft, and in spite of his ties to the WSA 97 Boys program, left to pursue his professional playing career, before recently returning.... Read more click here...
CHRIS TAYLOR RETURNS TO THE SIDE
Former MLS and Collegiate Standout to Lead WSA 04 Boys Program
Chris Taylor has returned to coaching at WSA after a departure in 2011 when he was drafted by the MLS Portland Timbers. Taylor who was a collegiate standout at the University of Tulsa, joined WSA's coaching staff in 2009, assisting the 97 boys Red team in his "spare time" during his collegiate career. Taylor was selected 22nd overall in the 2011 MLS draft, and in spite of his ties to the WSA 97 Boys program, left to pursue his professional playing career. Injury forced his career shortened, but Taylor's return to Oklahoma has been welcomed by The Side, as he joins the WSA 04 boys staff for the 2014-15 campaign.
Taylor will join a strong WSA 04 boys program which has already etched itself among the top younger boys programs in the state of Oklahoma. The WSA 04 boys team will transition to competitive soccer this Fall, and appears to be achieving the standard set by what is arguably the best boys program in the state of Oklahoma, and indisputably the most tradition rich program in Oklahoma.
Taylor will lead the WSA 04 Boys program alongside coaches Matt Weeks and Jimmy Gibbs. "We discovered a coaching gem in Chris Taylor four years ago. It was very fortunate that Richard Shaugnessy and Wes Branstetter pursued Chris for our program. He is driven to be excellent. It's no mistake he made it to The League with his drive and his conviction. This coupled with his game insight, teaching skill, passion for sharing the game with youth, patience with youth, all combine to make Chris a remarkable addition to our staff," reports WSA Director of Coaching, Roger Bush. "We were all so happy for Chris in 2011 when he was drafted by one of the United State's top professional sides. I'd say we may have been just as happy earlier this year when we learned he'd be on his way back to Oklahoma!".
Taylor led the Timbers reserve side to a second place finish in the MLS reserve league schedule in 2011, his rookie year. In that year he started and played in matches against Chivas USA, West Brom (English Premiere League), Club America (Mexican "premiere" League), AFC Ajax (Dutch "premiere" league). In each of his year's playing for the Timbers Taylor tallied assists, which is something he'd been doing since his prep days at Casady High School where his 138 career points were a foreshadowing for his collegiate and pro careers. Taylor helped NOKC Padova '89 earn five Oklahoma State championships before arriving at the University of Tulsa, where he started 82 matches (almost unheard of career collegiate stat) and led TU to 4 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Taylor was an All-Conference and All-Region player for TU, leading the team to C-USA finals in 2010. He was a perennial assist leader in the conference, playing roles across the back-4 and also in the holding midfield for the nationally acclaimed Golden Hurricane soccer program.
Chris Taylor w/ Portland Timbers prior to kick-off, pictured bottom row, center.
Taylor has had a keen drive for coaching for a long time. In fact he coached a top youth club team in Portland alongside his playing career. "Chris's professional playing background only accentuates an already great checklist of skillsets he possesses for coaching. To be able to draw on the experiences from having played professionally, and combine that with the game insight and natural teaching and leadership skillsets, is a remarkable collaboration and melding of all the right tools for a great coach."
Taylor previously helped lead the WSA 97 Boys Red team. That team has consistently been ranked among the top 3 teams in their age division the past three years. The team reached the state finals in 2013, and has a crop of top collegiate prospects who played under Taylor during their formative years. Taylor's influence on the success of the WSA 97 boys program was obvious.
"Most importantly we have remained impressed with Chris' perspective on youth sports. He has a keen sense of awareness of the right priorities, the emphasis on player development, and motivations that are pure and genuine for giving back to the game on behalf of children."
The WSA 04 boys program will be hosting open training sessions throughout the month of May. Any players interested in attending can contact the 04 boys coaching staff: Chris Taylor: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Matt Weeks, email@example.com, Jimmy Gibbs, firstname.lastname@example.org.