It is safe to say that one of the biggest surprises this year has been the play of Olmes Garcia. No one really had a clue who this kid was when RSL signed him and even the team didn't expect him to make the impact that he has this year. But one of the people that knew of Garcia's potential when he came to the team was RSL Head Scout Andy Williams. I recently had the chance to talk to Williams to talk about all things scouting with the team.
Ever since it was announced that Williams would be taking on the scouting role in the front office, I had wondered what his job responsibilities were. "I filter through all the potential players that agents send to the franchise." Williams said. " I filter through the crappy ones and come up with a list of players that potentially could help us. From there that list goes to the coaching staff and they will take a look at them. We then review to see who should stay and who shouldn't stay on the list. We keep track of those players for a few games or watch their previous games."
"Another job I have is looking at college players that will be coming out next year in the draft, or in the next few years. We will keep track of them for a couple of years." Williams continued, "I also follow our academy players down in Arizona. I see who is playing well. if we need bodies for reserve games I will invite them to train with us."
I was curious to see what Williams used to identify potential players with the team. I was wondering if he used any type of statistical analysis in his scouting. "For me it is strictly watching the games. I am not into the data stuff...I just watch players."
Our conversation turned to the finding of Olmes Garcia. "We were actually looking at another player on his team. As we were watching more games we kind of saw him and kept our eye on him. The player that we originally wanted ended up going to another team so our focus turned to Garcia." That turn of events worked out very well for RSL as Garcia has become a bright young star for the team.
When asked about traveling overseas to scout players Williams said "I don't go overseas at the moment. All the traveling that I have been doing has been more the college stuff. I normally will travel about once a month." Williams also doesn't handle scouting opposing teams. "The other coaches do more of that. Miles (Joseph) CJ (Brown), and Jeff (Cassar) tend to break down videos of the opposing teams.
I mentioned the fact that I had seen Williams participate a lot with the coaches at team practices and asked if coaching would be something that he would like to do more of in the future. "About two months ago, Jason (Kreis) came to me and said he wanted me at all practices. I am not sure what he has in store for the long run. I enjoy being out there and watching the guys more than last year. I am involved more with practices and am learning that part of the field."
Whether Williams continues as the Head Scout or moves full time to the coaching staff, he is a value to this organization.