Each month we feature one ASA coach to learn more about his or her background and personal story and this month we’re featuring Coach AK!
What programs do you coach at ASA and how long have you been coaching with our club?
I’m currently coaching ASA’s U18 Boys White team and U13 Girls White team. I also coach in the Futsal League during the Winter. I’ve been with the club since 2015, when my family moved to Alexandria from Sterling, VA.
When did you begin coaching? What got you interested?
I started coaching when my oldest daughter, Amber, started playing soccer on Rec teams, then eventually moved on to competitive play. She’s 20 years old now, so this was way back in the Stone Age. I’ve always loved soccer although I was more of an American football player myself. I grew up watching the game and playing mostly street soccer/pick-up games. Since I began coaching, I’ve gotten back into playing the game more frequently.
What is one of your favorite things about coaching for ASA?
I love the camaraderie among coaches, the time and effort the club puts into players and coaching education. I recently earned my C License from US Soccer, and I celebrated with a group of ASA coaches and their families at a fellow coach’s home. My other favorite thing honestly has to be the community outreach and footprint the club has. I’m proud to be a part of such an organization.
Where did you grow up and what’s your favorite soccer memory from your childhood?
I was born in Namibia, and I came to the US from Angola when I was 6. I grew up in Washington, D.C and moved to the suburbs of Falls Church at the start of high school. My favorite soccer memory from childhood would probably go back to high school. Playing in a rec game that was made up of both teens and adults. The field had more dirt than grass and I can’t tell you how much broken glass and rocks. It was so much fun! Once you got past the feeling of falling on concrete and scraping up your leg, it was the best controlled chaos I can remember. I can’t remember what the score was and I don’t think any of us cared. Oh, yeah, my cousin and I sort of may have had something to do with a burned down grass soccer field back in Namibia when we were like 4–5. That’s all I can say without a lawyer present. 🙂
When you’re not coaching what do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a stay-at-home dad, so I spend most of my time hanging out with my 2 year old daughter, Aurora. We’re already working on her soccer skills, and she has a big left foot. When I’m not with her, I love fishing, gardening, and working out. My kids got me a new Xbox for my birthday in April, and I’m taking all comers in FIFA 18. Still don’t get this Fortnite craze though.
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Who’s your soccer hero and why?!
My soccer hero is Pele hands down. Though he stopped playing way before I appreciated the game. He was my first example of an athlete that spoke Portuguese (which I’m terrible at now), looked like me, and did some incredible things with this round thing at his feet. If anything, he kept my heart always attached to the game. My second place hero is Drogba not just because he was a scoring machine but for a lot of the humanitarian work he does off the field.
And finally….give us one fun fact about yourself.
After high school I tried my hand at acting and it took being an extra in a movie—standing, sitting, waiting, taking multiple scene takes in 6 hours—that was only released to VHS for me to realize that maybe it wasn’t my calling.
Thanks for sharing Coach AK! You have a fascinating background. The selection process for Coach of the Month mostly happens internally but it should be known that Coach AK was nominated by parents who reached out of their own accord!