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New Cesena USA teams are being formed go to TEAMS section...tryouts now posted!

Cesena USA News

ODFC RTP and Cesena USA: Synergy in Action!

10/06/2017, 5:00pm EDT
By Joanne Sloane

Developmental programs are complex entities that require the allowance of guided discovery and emphasis on the “whole” player. The ODFC Rising Talent Program (RTP) is such a program as it addresses the early development phase of most of our Cesena USA players.

The RTP is broken down into two segments the Junior RTP (ages 5-6 years old) and our RTP (ages 7-9). The RTP has never deviated from a curriculum rich in coordination/balance and ball mastery. The program teaches kids vital components of the game that have nothing to do with “how fast” or “how tall” they are and EVERYTHING to do with staying fit and learning about themselves. Overcoming hurdles (literally and figuratively), learning to balance yourself through the agility ladders and side stepping around cones all play a critical part in the development of coordination, balance and fitness. All of these components are needed as players develop and build up their inventory of skills with a soccer ball at their feet.  Coaches and trainers understand that it’s all about increasing the challenges one step at a time in a methodical, thought provoking way.

The RTP also brings to the forefront another important but subtle component as it provides children the opportunity to “learn how to learn”. Just like academic learning, players need to adjust their perspective on learning and realize that the challenges that come with new concepts are fun.  Andy Vera, Cesena USA Program Director expressed his thoughts this way, “most players enjoy playing a game (any game) if it’s challenging and enjoyable…RTP and the Cesena Program utilizes these components to teach.”

All these components introduced at the youngest age groups have proven to be essential in the Cesena Program. ODFC Director of Travel Program Operations, JJ Kern said this, “all our kids that go from RTP to Cesena USA see many of the same coaches, training techniques and even teammates…the seamless transition from one program to another is one of our greatest secrets.”

For those that have had the privilege of observing the RTP in action, have truly witnessed developmental programming at its best. 

ODFC Cesena Partners With Prestigious FOXCROFT School!

09/25/2017, 1:30pm EDT
By Kellie Barella

Cesena USA Begins to Prepare For FUTSAL Season!!

The Foxcroft School was founded in 1914 by Charlotte Haxall Noland, and is a college-preparatory boarding and day school for girls in grades 9-12, located in Middleburg, Virginia. It is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools and is a founding member of the National Coalition of Girls' Schools. Foxcroft will now host the ODFC Western Futsal League (WFL) starting in January 2018.

The WFL will be the ONLY top level Futsal League in Loudoun County affiliated with US Youth Futsal and fully recognized by the USYF. US Youth Futsal is a US Soccer program with close ties to the world soccer governing organization, FIFA. ODFC is now a co-sponsor of the WFL with our partners at the Metro Futsal League and will begin operations throughout the county this coming winter 2017-18. Cesena USA teams will participate throughout the winter months in the WFL.

Andy Vera, ODFC Director of Soccer Operations said this, “We couldn’t ask for more, we have a great partner school in Foxcroft, professional facilities, top-level coaches, excellent instruction and a league recognized by USYF…we don’t concerned ourselves with being the biggest…we strive to be the best at providing a solid education to our kids. The partnership we now have with Foxcroft will expand our educational influence…”

Registration to our indoor educational programs and Futsal league will open soon!

Cesena USA has opened registration for US and International female players interested in playing for Cesena USA WPSL in 2018!

Cesena USA will once again carry a 1st team and a “primavera” group each with 20-25 players. The Primavera group will consist of ’01, ’00 and ’99 top level players. Players from the ’98 class and above will be looked at for the 1st team.

All International players must be registered in our database by Tuesday, October 31st. All locally based high school and college/university players must be registered by Tuesday, October 3rd to be considered and invited to our evaluation sessions.

For more information click here! 

Close to 70 players including a few goalkeepers from area high schools participated in our 2017 edition of the Cesena Summer Academy. The Maryland SoccerPlex Program brought together players from all around the Maryland/DC Area to spend a week with our Italian Federation Coaches.

In Virginia, we celebrated our 7th year of the Cesena Summer Academy with players from 6 of the 12 Cesena USA teams participating. Coach Max Bonazza had this to say regarding his experience, “ It was truly exciting for me to see the growth and development that these players have gone through over the past few years…I look forward to this event every year…my evaluations attest to the success and strength of the Cesena USA Program.” We all now look forward to our 8th gathering on 2018 as we get closer to our 10th year anniversary of this flagship event in our program.

A special “thank you” to all our coaches, volunteers, parents and players that made the 2017 camp a memorable experience!    

Cesena USA: “Metodo Giovani” - Following Our Namesakes Lead!

07/20/2017, 8:00pm EDT
By Cesena USA Staff Writer

“Metodo Giovani”, directly translated means “the young method”. In Italy, Cesena’s method of training and developing their youth players is well known and respected. This club philosophy stems from a deep and historically rooted belief that the true success of any club depends on their ability to develop (properly educate) youth players. At first glance this visionary type philosophy would never stand a chance. There are many perils in the way as many components need to come together if education is to stay in the forefront of the clubs vision.

Leadership- the first danger to philosophical collapse comes from the club leadership. If the club board of directors and specifically, the club president does not have a passionate (almost fanatical) belief in youth development, failure is just around the corner.

At A.C. Cesena and Cesena USA, it is evident that club leadership guides the clubs direction as it pertains to the education of their youth players. Both clubs spend a large amount of resources to ensure that programs are properly managed, continuously evaluated and upgraded when the need arises.

Structure- the club must have a method for identifying and selecting players that have the aptitude and desire to continue their soccer education. The stability of this “structure” is affected by many influences including the following:

Coaches: these individuals must be professional staff with a strong background in development. The days of using “I played in high school”, as fulfillment of a coaching requirement are long gone. These coaches are teachers by trade and education is paramount above results especially in the youth ranks. Coaches must report to a Director of Coaching (DoC) that continuously evaluates and supervises the adherence to a curriculum regardless of weekend results. The DoC must have the flexibility to add and/or remove coaches that don’t adhere to club philosophy. A.C. Cesena has the following club positions that keep this "train" on track:

  • (Direttore Area Tecnica)- Club Technical Director
  • (Resp. Area tecnica Sett. Giovanile)- Director of Youth/Program Development
  • (Coordinatore Settore Giovanile)- Youth Programs Coordinator

Cesena USA has similar positions here that keep things organized:

  • Andy Vera-Club Technical Director
  • Frans Aarts- Director of Youth/Program Development
  • Dave Sbitan – Youth Program Liaison/Coordinator

Parents: In every soccer culture around the world, the “parent component” has become the most discussed and (at times) most dreaded.  Nothing seems to be off-limits for certain individuals when it comes to their child’s soccer (football) experience. In Italy one of the many challenges stems from parents disagreeing with referee calls and letting them know about it! When it comes to the rules of the game everyone seems to be an expert including parents.

In other cultures, club directors deal with the misguided perception that payment equals entitlement.  In ALL soccer cultures, when this feeling of entitlement begins to bleed into the educational component, effects can be disastrous and undermine every aspect of the clubs direction.

The secret is to see parents and coaches as "partners" in the players (child’s) education and development not a "merchant/customer” type relationship. As coaches we MUST commit to instill in each and every player confidence in their abilities and a concept of self-worth that transcends club soccer. We must compassionately convey to them that "where" we place them and "how" we train them is the best developmental option we can provide. From parents we rely on their support and positive reinforcement; encouraging players to openly communicate with coaches and utilize each training session or game as a learning opportunity. Here as in Italy, coaches and parents must see themselves as mentors and in a role that hopefully inspires our program participants.

The “Metodo Giovani” is more than a slogan that identifies a style of teaching. It is what we live to apply every day of our lives.  Every child that ever crosses our path has a purpose and a wealth of potential.  We embrace the opportunity, tuck our warm-ups in our socks and get to work.

It is good to know that in a world that is full of “coaches” the educators shine through…in both the “old” and the “new” world!