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

Cesena USA News

Billy Blake is now officially the “new” Head Coach of our Cesena USA WPSL team. He had this to say regarding his new role, “I look forward to building a program for which is not only successful on the pitch, however also one that the community, supporters, and of course our players will be proud of. I realize that there is a lot of work ahead to achieve our goals of becoming a perennial divisional title contender and a playoff mainstay, but I am optimistic that there are great things ahead for the Cesena program…and I’m proud to be part of it.”

Coach Blake has a strong coaching history and is in a unique position to have expertise in the professional and scholastic soccer coaching, organizational development, and program management. He has extensive experience in scholastic coaching to include both the junior varsity and varsity levels. He has been directly involved in soccer from club directorship to player development for over 20 years, starting his professional coaching career in 1995. Mr. Blake has an extensive and impressive coaching resume including:

  • Girls Soccer Director of Coaching and Player Development, Annandale United FC 2014-2016
  • Head Coach of AUFC Pride (2014-2016, established 2012 in GF). Highest Gotsoccer Ranking #4 VA, #113 Nationally
  • Directed 12 Girls Soccer Programs (ODSL, WAGS, CCL & NPL)
  • Directed the collegiate transition program
  • Member of USL Super Y Regional Scouting Team (Mid-Atlantic Division) 2016
  • Director of Annandale United FC Premiere Soccer Academy (Girls) 2014-2016
  • Head Coach of National Premiere League Teams (U14 & U15) 2014-2016
  • Holds a USSF “B”, UEFA “B” and NSCAA Nat. Youth License

When asked about his coaching philosophy over the years Coach Blake said this, ”over the years, my philosophy has evolved and often was subject to revisions when considering what it is I want for myself as a coach and for those around me. This evolution is vitally important to being an effective coach for players over the course of many, many years. I follow my philosophy until experiences occur that trigger me to adjust it...over the past decade I have noticed that even though my approach to coaching changed, there were always ‘key’ pillars of my philosophy that never changed. Those pillars include;

  • A Standard of Performance Excellence
  • A Reliance on Informed Decision-Making and Personal Responsibility
  • Dedication and Industriousness that Foster an Inner Self-Confidence
  • An acceptance of the belief that only through competition will the individual and team maximize their potential

We all welcome Coach Blake and begin to look forward to a new and successful future at Cesena USA!  

ODFC RTP and Cesena USA: Synergy in Action!

08/14/2018, 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. This innovative 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. 

Metodo Giovani (Young Method) of Teaching Produces Results!

05/16/2018, 1:45pm EDT
By Kellie Barella

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 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 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/coordination development. The more balanced they are the easier it is to teach them specific ball movements as they get older. We also apply what we call ball-at-your-feet or ball mastery curriculum to every session...no use teaching ball possession if our players can't control the ball”

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!” 

“Our focus is on providing players an educational base so they can learn and grow. As for our methods…well… they are applied by strong professional clubs in Italy to develop their future stars and since they are one of the strongest soccer cultures in the world...it’s more than enough for me.”

Italian Federation (FIGC) Coaches Set To Visit ODFC!

05/15/2018, 4:00pm EDT
By John Laws

Italian Federation (FIGC) Coaches are set to return for their yearly player evaluations and training!

The Cesena USA Summer Academy is specifically designed to instruct and inspire our players. This instructional program refines fundamental technical skills and reinforces functional training on the field. It is also designed to identify strength and weaknesses as our coaches encourage creative decision making with limited time and space. Italian Federation Coaches from the FIGC; Jacopo Leandri and Massimo Bonazza will conduct all our sessions. This year the summer academy is confined to the '05-'09 age groups and designed for our field players and goal keepers.

Since 2009 this program has taught our players to redirect their energy and focus as it inspires confidence for the upcoming fall 2018 league season.

Click Here For More Information!

New Partner-Polisportiva Rumagna-Cesena

05/12/2018, 2:00pm EDT
By Kellie Barella

Cesena USA welcomes a new partner in the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy and an affiliate of our sister club A.C. Cesena.

The informal agreement between Cesena USA and Polisportiva Rumagna aims to work together to promote a genuine atmosphere of collaboration and an alliance in the support of youth football around the world. The club is based in the suburbs of Cesena and has 270 player of all levels. They are proud to announce they have won a promotion to the Prima Categoria for the upcoming 2018-19 season!

Both Cesena USA and Polisportiva Rumagna are set to meet in November 2018 in Cesena!

Welcome all to the Cesena USA family!

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