Major League Soccer is a fast-growing sport in the United States. With 28 teams, there is a good opportunity to manage a high-level soccer team without looking to the leagues overseas. But to manage an MLS team requires a few skills. Here are the top four skills you should develop if you aspire to manage a team at the country’s highest level.

1. Adaptability

Managing an MLS team is an exciting career, in part because every day brings a new challenge. That’s why being adaptive is a crucial skill to have in the profession. Whether you are working with the players and coaches or building up the team’s brand, you need to be able to think on your feet. Additionally, the soccer season will no doubt have its ups and downs. Being flexible enough to adjust your team’s focus is important to keep players and fans happy.

The ability to be adaptive also comes in handy when modernizing systems. As a manager, you deal with a lot of paperwork around compliance and taxes. Staying open to technology advancements like 5G core networks can make this tedious part of the job easier and more efficient.

2. Strong Leadership

As a manager, you are a leader in the franchise. Having good leadership skills is important to your success. Many of the skills listed here are intertwined with leadership, but there are several more ways to be a great leader. For example, being empathetic helps you better understand your colleagues and build trust in your organization. Understanding how to motivate people is also a useful trait for an MLS manager. A great leader often leads by example, so understanding the values of the team and striving to exemplify them will make you a strong leader in the eyes of your team.

3. Clear Communication

With so many different stakeholders involved in an MLS team, a manager must be able to communicate clearly and effectively. According to a study by European Leaders, communication breakdown leads to employee disengagement and even poor performance by athletes. As a manager, you are responsible for pushing the franchise’s vision forward. This requires not only collaboration with the likes of the team owners and coaches to create it, but also communicating the vision to all members of the organization.

Both written and verbal communication skills are vital to the success of the team. In your work, you may need to make public-facing comments at press conferences or provide information to your public relations and marketing team. Having clear communication skills will make you a respected MLS manager.

4. Organization

As with any job, being well organized is a skill that will save you time and money. You will have many duties as a manager, and each may require its own system to operate efficiently. For example, you could set up a monthly habit of auditing ticket sales or travel expenses. The less time you can spend on figuring out how to get started on a task, the more time you can spend doing the task itself.
You may also need to organize your time. As a manager, you may be pulled in many different directions, so organizing your duties by priority is important to be sure the key functions of the team stay operational. Keeping your meetings organized and efficient is just as important as the content of the meeting. Delegation is also a great tool to use for the more menial aspects of team management.

Taking the time to understand what makes a great Major League Soccer team manager will set you up for success. These skills are essential if you are interested in a management career in the U.S. soccer world.