Gyau visits boyhood club to coach, be a role model


Joseph-Claude Gyau has become the player he wished he knew growing up.

This offseason, Gyau spent four weeks coaching soccer clinics for Bethesda SC in Maryland, the club where he started playing at the age of 6. The winger has become one of the youth organization’s most recognizable byproducts: a U.S. Men’s National Team player who currently plays for FC Cincinnati after years overseas in Germany.

“Everybody always thinks about how cool it would be or would have been to have a professional player be hands-on in the club that you played for,” Gyau said. “So, every opportunity that I get, I pass information on to the kids.”

Gyau visits boyhood club to coach, be a role model -

Gyau and his family are regulars at Bethesda SC. His dad, Phillip, who coaches at Howard University, is a coach for the youth club and played for the USMNT from 1989 to 91. Joe’s sister, Mia, just finished playing for Duke University.

“He’s always been extremely open to coming back,” said Bethesda SC technical director Johnathon Colton. “He’s definitely humble and willing to give back and be an example of a role model. Some of our alumni who’ve gone on to play at pretty high levels haven’t been as eager to come back and give back. It might have to do with his sister growing up in the club and his dad being a coach, but also just who he is as a person. That’s how his family raised him.”

When Gyau returned this past winter, he helped lead free sessions with drills he learned growing up and in Europe. Coaching alongside his dad and a friend, he worked with players of all skill levels, from newer youth players to those already training with youth national teams.

He said it’s great providing feedback to players, but that’s not all.

“It’s always surreal when I do go back and see some of my friends that I played with who are coaching there,” he said. “They’ll say, ‘Do you guys know who this is? This is a national team player.’ At the practices, I’ll see the kids wearing my jerseys. It’s definitely a surreal feeling.”