Best and Worst Club Coaches in AZ

Discussion in 'Arizona Scene' started by Sweeper, May 24, 2019.

  1. Sweeper

    Sweeper Well-Known Member

    We have a lot of different threads that talk about different leagues, private trainers, etc. But the main player development comes from the club coaches that the players train with from August-May.

    Let's list the best and worst of the club coaches.

    Kelly Cagle - Rising. Kelly is probably one of the most experienced club coaches in AZ with her professional and college coaching experience. Very positive coach during practice and games. Relates well with parents.

    From a previous thread:
    Thomas Anderson - Del Sol
    Dave Shaffer - Sereno
    Andrew Bellemen - CCV
    Joe Waggoner - Sereno. Joe deserves a special mention for a level of uselessness that I did not know existed until I watched him coach.
    Daenerys and steelerfeever like this.
  2. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Only one good one? :)
  3. Upper90

    Upper90 New Member

    Wow, this should be an interesting one to follow....there are a few good ones either my kids have had or close friends have commented on...and some really atrocious ones as well.
  4. SmashBros

    SmashBros New Member

    I really like Paul Lester at SC del Sol. In my opinion, he's one of the best. I just wish he coached boys too.

    There are far too many bad coaches to name.
    Soccer Dad likes this.
  5. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Here are some coaches that come to mind as being good to excellent in my opinion:
    Lindsey Johnson - Thunder
    Mike Briseno - Thunder
    Beny Sanchez - Thunder
    Gil Navarro - Brazas
    Yago Silva - Brazas
    Ryan Purtell - Classic
    Alberto Milan - RSL
    Jimmy Deutsch - RSL
    Paul Rideout - RSL
    Fadi Barakat - AYSO Challenge
    Harold Calvo - NSFC AZ
  6. GKdad

    GKdad Active Member

    I am actually quite shocked that this thread did not devolve into a firestorm of venom being hurled at coaches valleywide....
    Soccer Dad likes this.
  7. SoccerDad

    SoccerDad New Member

    Always been impressed with Davidovic at RSL. Agree on Paul Lester. Chapman (I think he's at RSL) is strong as well.
    Robert likes this.
  8. aginaz

    aginaz Active Member

    Pretty good list. One of the top coaches I've seen is Kate Norton (FC Tucson). I just looked her up and she's now moved to Surf SC. Too bad for Tucson.

    Other notable coaches I'd add:

    Tommy Hurdle (Premier)
    Keith Jones (SCDS)
    Kaue Martins (Brazas)
    Andy Chapman (Rising)
    Diego Walsh (RSL)
  9. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    This thread is very constructive! I am sure many of us have experienced a bad coach through the years. I am sure this will help those new to the Arizona and those who are not aware who is good and who isn't. This is crucial because having a bad coach for an entire season isn't a fun experience at all. It could have an impact on your child's development, so finding a good coach is extemely important. There is a little luck involved since some only coach boys. Others may coach just girls. Age groups are another one. It does suck to watch a practice and see a coach that does wonderful things while you are stuck with a person that has no clue or doesn't care.
    Daenerys likes this.
  10. Sweeper

    Sweeper Well-Known Member

    Here is a consolidated list of the Best and Worst Coaches.

    Fadi Barakat (AYSO Challenge)
    Gil Navarro (Brazas)
    Yago Silva (Brazas)
    Kaue Martins (Brazas)
    Ryan Purtell (Classic)
    Paul Lester (Del Sol)
    Keith Jones (Del Sol)
    Kate Norton (FC Tucson – no longer coaching in AZ)
    Harold Calvo (NSFC AZ)
    Tommy Hurdle (Premier)
    Kelly Cagle (Rising)
    Andy Chapman (Rising)
    Vlastimir Davidovic (RSL)
    Alberto Milan (RSL)
    Jimmy Deutsch (RSL)
    Paul Rideout (RSL)
    Diego Walsh (RSL)
    Lindsey Johnson (Thunder)
    Mike Briseno (Thunder)
    Beny Sanchez (Thunder)

    Andrew Bellemen (CCV)
    Thomas Anderson (Del Sol)
    Dave Shaffer (Sereno/RSL)
    Joe Waggoner (Sereno/RSL)
  11. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Active Member

    Great coach and even better person George Okallo (CCV). he still reached out to my daughter after she left the club to see how she was doing and still tried helping her with the college recruiting process. went to the hospital when my daughter had ACL surgery. He even had NWSL & USWNT players that he trains call or visit players who tore ACLs to talk about the recovery process. Paul Lester (SCDS) was also a really good coach. I have also heard really good things about Alan Watson (SCDS) but kids never played for him
  12. SmashBros

    SmashBros New Member

    I wouldn't include Vlastomir Davidovic (RSL) on the list of best coaches, but that's just my personal opinion. Not sure what he did at RSL, but my interactions were all while he was with Valpo.
  13. AZloudmouth

    AZloudmouth New Member

    I'll add, only based on direct experience.

    Tommy M. SCDS
    Pete L. SCDS
    Leila M. Rush
    Barb C. various
    Ally M. SCDS

    Keith J. SCDS
    Paul L. SCDS
  14. loco about soccer

    loco about soccer New Member

    These are good recommendations. Please keep in mind though what is the best for one player can be the worst for another player.

    And, also, coaches are human. They have had years and good years. They go through stuff too which affects their coaching.

    Our worst year was with some of the coaches you listed as the best, the most experiments and so forth. The coach did not get my kid. My kid was not valued by the coach and the consequently sucked at playing soccer. Maybe they should have not been on that team? Who knows.

    The point is...every try out, parents need to flat out ask the you feel that my child’s playing ability will be an asset to this team. If the coach who may be awesome to most cannot give you a direct answer, then you need to cut your losses ahead of time and move on.

    The best coaches in soccer are good at what they do. They are save, innovative, know how to motivate players, and focus on assigning players where they play their absolute best. If your coach is not seen as an asset, then they truly will not benefit from their coach. The end.
  15. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Active Member

    I agree and thats why i left off bad coaches. we had one coach the fit and personalities was not right for my daughter. I didnt want to blast him because he didnt work for my kid but know he has worked for many others.
  16. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Great advice!
  17. tjinaz

    tjinaz Active Member

    To expand upon coaches being human. Some of the good coaches may simply be too busy with their life to give the team their full attention. Promotion at work, family health issue, marital problems etc. They are people. While it sucks for the team just because they are a paid coach doesn't mean this is the most important thing in their life. While unfortunate it is understandable. What i don't like is when the coach does everything for one team and doesn't seem to care about another, or just does the requisite drills and goes through the motions. I have seen where the club forms additional teams due to numbers and just assigns a coach. The coach didn't plan on being there but hey.. there is money to be made so here you go. That is the worst, coach isn't motivated so how do they create a good team?

    Another aspect of good Coaching is honesty. Give an honest appraisal. If my kids needs a ton of work and you don't have time recommend a side coach or camp to help them get better. Don't tell me my kid is great then don't recommend them to the next coach in line. Be honest in your player sections too. Seen plenty of coaches spend extra time with players not because they show potential but because they are friends with the parents or the family is prominent in the club. They get extra opportunities others don't not due to their effort or ability but due to connections. That is the worst and a good way to make kids quit. Tell them "practice hard and good things will happen" then they see a sub par player get promoted over them due to connections. The kids know who the good and bad players are and when a selection is dishonest it not only hurts the non selected player but the others as they doubt the integrity of the system. Sure its a good lesson in how life isn't fair but.. its rough.
  18. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Yup, witnessed everything you described over the years with club soccer. All you can do is move on and have your son or daughter keep trying and to keep working at it. The key is to support them and I would also say protect them from the negative things that can impact their love of the sport as best as you can. I have witnessed abusive coaching practices and seen a culture where players do not respect one another at all with constant fighting and bickering. Now I don't want to make it all negative either. There have been wonderful times as well. Parents just have to be aware what is going on with their children's lives rather than being tethered to a cell phone.
  19. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Active Member

    Every coach has his group of favorite players for one reason or another so watch how the coach treats the kids who are not in that group.
  20. Youtube guy

    Youtube guy Member

    Coach V over at Valpo/RSL is god awful. The guy has no sense on how to treat kids. He thinks because he takes some online classes that he’s a pro. Many of the players and parents at RSL are extremely happy he has moved on. I mean, it says it all. His “team” won state cup at the 06 level and he’s not returning. Let’s not consider this guy in the “best” category.

    I agree with,

    Don’t care for the rest. There are a few coaches you are missing that aren’t considered “pros”. There are a few west side guys who I’ve watched coached and you can tell the players respond very well to them. I think coaches sell parents that they are “pros” just because it’s their full time job. A lot of the better coaches I’ve seen have other careers and do coaching for the love of the game.
    SmashBros and steelerfeever like this.

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