Each month we feature one ASA coach to learn more about his or her background and personal story and this month we’re featuring honorary Coach Johnatan! As a former ASA player, Johnatan has returned to the club for the past two summers while on break from college to both work in our office, coach at soccer camp, and fill in for other coaches as needed.
What programs do you coach or are you involved in with ASA? How long have you been participating with us?
I coach the summer camps for ASA and I occasionally cover for an Academy coach who is not able to make a game. As a player, I played with ASA from when I was a U9 all the way to my U19 year. As a coach, I began coaching summer camps the summer of 2014 and I have worked as a coach every summer since.
When did you begin coaching? What got you interested?
I began coaching the summer of 2014. I was still a player who just wanted to learn more about soccer and try new things. I was given the opportunity to help out with summer camps that summer and I also got a coach’s license.
What is one of your favorite things about coaching and being part of the ASA community?
I’ve enjoyed getting to meet all the different personalities of players at ASA. I’ve coached kids ranging from 4 years old to 14–15 years old and it has been interesting getting to know the players and their passion for soccer. As someone who has had the opportunity to be an intern in the office I have seen how unified the ASA community is and how they are able to help out any family regardless of their situation. The ASA community has had my back and they have provided my family and I many opportunities.
Where did you grow up and what’s your favorite soccer memory from your childhood?
I am an Alexandria native, and currently go to school at the College of William and Mary. ASA was the only club I played for. As a player my favorite memory was when I first made my high school soccer team. There were more than 100 players trying out for the JV and Varsity teams and as a freshman in high school it was very intimidating seeing this. After a long week I received the good news that I had made the JV team and in later years to come I would make the varsity team with a bunch of guys who I had been playing with for years. As a coach, I was given the opportunity to coach my brother’s U12 team during a Memorial Day weekend tournament this year. I was thrilled to coach a team who I had seen grow up over the years and as a passionate soccer lover it was a great feeling to coach a team to an 8–2 win.
When you’re not coaching what do you like to do in your free time?
My life revolves around soccer—if I am not coaching, I’m playing pickup soccer with friends and if I’m not playing I’m watching soccer on TV. I’m a very passionate person and it is shown in my love for soccer.
Who’s your soccer hero and why?
My soccer hero is Kaka. He is a Brazilian player who played with A.C. Milan, Real Madrid and Orlando City. I enjoyed watching him gracefully dribble through defenders, his style of play was mesmerizing and the fact that he always played with a smile made him a joy to watch. One of my earliest memories of watching him play was when he won the Champions League with Milan in 2006.
And finally….give us one fun fact about yourself.
Throughout my life I had got a fair taste of every position there is to play on the field but my favorite position was playing goalie. When I first played goalie as a kid my first ever pair of goalie gloves were actually a pair of oversized brown gardening gloves.
Thanks for another great summer Nuñez! Good luck at college this Fall. We love for our former players to get involved with our coaching community and encourage anyone who’s interested to reach out and ask us about opportunities.