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Cesena USA Management

Program Director: Andy Vera

Program Liaison: Dave Sbitan

Director of Goal-Keeping Programs (Italy): Massimo Bonazza

Director of Educational Programs (Italy): Jacopo Leandri


ODFC Affiliate Personnel

President/Chairman (ODFC): Andy Vera

Vice-President/Vice-Chairman: Dave Sbitan

Director of Administration: Chris Campbell

Director of Travel Team Operations: Billy Blake  

Club Technical Director: Armin Sepehri 

Program Liaison (ODFC-Cesena USA): David Sbitan  

Grassroots Program Manager: Vacant

Cesena USA Organizational Background

The Old Dominion Football Club (ODFC) and CESENA USA has consolidated the experience developed by its own technical staff and the experience acquired from the A.C. Cesena technicians to create a unique learning environment for our youth players and coaches. 

This “elite” travel soccer portion of the Old Dominion Football Club (ODFC) is a consolidation of efforts and strong working relationship between two youth focused organizations. CESENA USA is fully committed to bringing an advanced player and coach education system to our area members.

Both A.C. Cesena S.p.a and its’ US based affiliate CESENA USA have identical developmental philosophies which clearly puts an emphasis on structured and methodical soccer education. Both organizations have highly trained and accredited staff most holding coaching credentials from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and European Football Association (UEFA) and licenses form organizations within the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

CESENA USA will work closely on a yearly basis within its academy structure to identify quality players and possibly fill the ranks of the Italian professional league or its respective youth systems.

CESENA USA has also committed to working closely with A.C. Cesena S.p.a senior developmental staff to provide learning opportunities for youth coaches as the demand for “higher learning” continuous to increase.

Cesena USA provides:

·         Introduction to all our players and coaches utilizing a proven structured learning methodology

·         A.C. Cesena shares with Cesena USA years of developmental education experience and internationally certified staff to bring unique learning environment to ODFC youth players and coaches

·         Professional staff/International Educational Resources

·         Premier training facilites

·         Continued review/evaluation from both Cesena USA and A.C. Cesena staff

·         International exposure for Cesena USA players

A.C. Cesena and Cesena USA On Same Page When Training!

An interview with Cesena USA Program Director, Andy Vera.

How has A.C. Cesena and their “brand” of teaching influenced you in developing your program here in the US?

“I’ve been affiliated with this great club (A.C. Cesena) since 2009…during that time I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great mentors at the club…great coaches that have demonstrated to me excellent teaching techniques…the same “Metodo Giovani” (Young Method) utilized in Italy is applied here at Cesena USA…we use the exact same teaching methodology as our Italian partners”.  

Who applies this “method of teaching” at ODFC Cesena?

“All 12 of our Cesena USA Coaches and Trainers utilize the same method of teaching. We utilize teaching/training aids brought here from Italy to put together structured…progressive training sessions.”

If you had to breakdown the Cesena Method into understandable teaching objectives, what would they be?

“There are areas of focus which include; la sensibilizzazione (Coordination and elasticity), la guida e la difesa della palla (Control and protection of the ball), la finta e il dribbling (feinting/dribbling), il ricevere e il caciare (passing/receiving) and il colpo di testa (heading). At any given session some/all these areas are addressed by specific exercises introduced by our staff.”

At what age groups do you begin applying this methodology?

“Well we start with our under-6 and under-7 year olds and utilizing progression we increase the challenges as they get older to promote growth and development. One of our central objectives at this age is their motor skill/coordinative development. The more balanced they are the easier it is to teach them specific ball movements as they get older.”

What do you say to those that may question your methods and doubt their validity?

“All those that know me are well aware I don’t pay much attention to critics…or what other clubs/programs are doing. Each club has the responsibility to apply a documented method of teaching (a methodology)…many DON’T…we make sure we do!”  

“I focus on providing players and educational base so they can learn and grow. As for our methods…well… they are applied by a Serie “A” (professional club) in Italy to develop their future stars and since they are one of the strongest soccer cultures in the’s more than enough for me.”