Interview with “new” ODFC Cesena USA – WPSL Head Coach, Andy Vera:
Well so much for “retirement” right? What prompted you back to coaching?
“Exactly…It’s interesting because sometimes when you’re not looking things find you…I truly wasn’t looking to coach this team or any other but I’m also not one to turn down a challenge when it crosses my path. I’m also deeply committed to our club (ODFC) and the Cesena Program specifically. Loyalty to a club means that you do whatever you need to do to help your colors…that badge on your chest.”
Has anyone discouraged you from taking on this role?
“Yes everyone including myself! (Smiles)…I take in support from a small circle of people and I try to surround myself with talented, smart, loyal individuals. I have a great assistant in Dave Sbitan whom I’ve known and worked with for many years. His ability to work behind the scenes to make sure players are ready to play is invaluable. This will make my job easier as I can focus on what I need to do.”
How does the overall roster look for the upcoming season?
“One of the objectives of the Cesena USA Program as a whole is to build players starting at the youngest age groups. We will have a good mix of young players and very experienced ones on the roster.”
What do you consider your biggest “team” challenge this upcoming season?
“In my opinion the challenges with a group like this is ensuring that we have the right chemistry...They’re all very talented players…more than coaching them we need to manage them to achieve the most favorable outcome every game. We don’t have much time to make things CLICK with these players...we begin working together 2 weeks before our first game…so the team-building aspect has to happen quickly.”
What do you know of the opponents in your division?
“I can tell you I’ve researched their history and they are developmentally strong clubs throughout the Mid-Atlantic Conference…we will be challenged and tested there is zero doubt about it. Our conference (Mid-Atlantic) is divided into the Keystone and Colonial Divisions…we play in the Colonial against tough, tough teams.”
How will you face each one of these tough teams?
“Just like any coach confronts his opponents…confident in the work done at training and a strong belief in the players he has on his roster.”
What are your thoughts on the WPSL as a whole?
“It truly is an incredible organization of tireless staff that don’t mind doing what it takes to give all these wonderful female athletes an opportunity to showcase themselves every summer. The league history and the players that have come through the league speaks for itself.”