Christian Fuchs met Michael Holzer when he was playing for NY Cosmos B team. Read how the local coach ended up on a trip to Leicester City.
Local Coach Michael Holzer Receives Leicester City Trip From Christian Fuchs
By Ralph Chery
It’s been three years since Leicester City F.C. pulled off one of the most compelling seasons in sports’ history, conquering England as major underdogs.
Millions of soccer fans around the world dazzled at the English side’s unreal accomplishment. The thought of experiencing what’s in the inside of this new power-club wouldn’t even pass the minds of most fans, including Michael Holzer, a German native who was then playing for New York Cosmos B.
“If someone told me I would be visiting Leicester City one day, I would be like ‘What are you talking about?’” Holzer said.He was just another semi-pro player in the U.S. Holzer’s shot at the pro level was slowly fading away as he was then a 25-year-old player on Cosmos’ B team. That’s when he started thinking about coaching.
Fast-forward to now, Leicester is excitingly back in the talks of winning the PL, sitting in second place. And Holzer is actually coaching his first men’s team as a 29-year-old, Fox Soccer Academy, in Warwick, N.Y.
Coaching his first men’s team earned him an unthinkable wish. Holzer is going to visit Leicester on December 18 for nine days. He will shadow the club’s head coach, Brendan Rodgers, participate in training sessions and attend their matches against Liverpool F.C. and versus Manchester City F.C.—couldn’t pick a better time.
“If someone told me I would be visiting Leicester City one day, I would be like ‘What are you talking about?’ It’s actually somehow going to happen,” Holzer continued.
He raised his voice a bit: “And I’m going to be there. I’m so happy. To actually stand on the field with the gear and just watch the sessions, to see the intensity live, right in front of my eyes. That’s just something you dream about as a kid to be with all these players, especially now when they’re doing so well in the Premier League.”
How did the unthinkable happen for the young coach?
FSA was founded by Leicester’s left-back Christian Fuchs. Fuchs extended his organization to the U.S. this summer in New York. It started with a men’s team at the semi-pro level in the United Premier Soccer League.
Fuchs needed a coach for his side’s inaugural season. He went on CoachUp. One of the first names the defender came across was Holzer’s. Although he had been coaching for just over a year, Holzer was one of the best soccer coaches in New York on CoachUp. He led Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. U-15 side to a regional final in June.
Christian Fuchs gave the young coach a three-month trial that started in late August.
The club’s opener was a home match versus Real New York F.C. at Hudson Sports Complex on September 7th. Fuchs was in attendance. FSA lost to Real New York, 2-1. Holzer quickly turned things around.
FSA blew past Mass United, 5-0, in their second encounter, then beat NH Bobcats F.C., 7-0, before blanking Krajisnik F.C., 2-0. Meanwhile, Fuchs was watching all of the matches online.
“He actually watched all the games on the live stream so he’s really fanatic about it. It’s his baby, you know,” Holzer said. Not only did the Austrian watched all the matches but he was also in daily contact with Holzer. FSA finished the season with a 6-1-1 record and won the Northeast Conference Empire Division.
“I couldn’t imagine us winning our first ever season—a team that has never played before. That was quite an achievement. I’m still proud about that. No one expected it at all,” Holzer said.
Because of Holzer’s success during the season, Fuchs trusted him to start the academy in late October.
“It always takes some time for anybody joining a new organization to settle in, but Michael had no problem doing so,” the left-back told the club.
“He is a great addition to our FSA family and I can’t wait to have him over in the UK.” Holzer also won the 2019 MAAC Men’s Championship as Iona’s assistant coach. He dreams of coaching at the professional level. The European will look to absorb as much as he can from Rodgers, a coach he’s very fond of.
“I want to see how his coaching style is in the training sessions, how he communicates with the players, how his tactical approach is,” the New York resident said.
Needless to say, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime for Holzer. Doors do open for young coaches in America, and all the German needed was a strong start in his coaching career and a CoachUp profile.