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San Francisco Elite Academy Announce Tom Atencio as Director of Soccer Operations
By: San Francisco Elite Academy
Tom brings a wealth of experience coaching at the very highest levels of U.S. Soccer, managing premier clubs, and leading both innovation and education for top youth players. He's currently a US Club Board Member, representing Region IV (West Region). In addition, Tom offers the Academy yet another USSF "A" License coach, adding to a stellar staff that already includes four "A" licensed coaches, as well as three "B" and six "C" licensed coaches.
"I'm thrilled with the opportunity to work with the San Francisco Elite Academy, the premier youth soccer program in San Francisco," said Tom. "I was fortunate to have discussions with several good clubs in the Bay Area and California. What stood out for me with the Academy was the professionalism and vast experience of the staff, as well as the opportunity to expand on the program's efforts to go to the next level."
Tom's coaching experience spans over 25 years and includes 15 years as the Director of Coaching and Player Development for Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club & Crossfire United ECNL, in Oregon, as well as serving as a scout and camp coach for U.S. Soccer youth national teams. Tom has also worked extensively with elite players as a coach, director and scout with ECNL (Elite Club National League), U.S. Club's ID2 Program, and both Men's and Women's ODPs (Olympic Development Programs) in various regions of the country. Tom was also a one-time assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton where he helped recruit a class that went on to make a Final Four appearance in 1993.
Kevin Payne, U.S. Club Soccer's CEO, applauded Tom's appointment. "US Club Soccer has the development and growth of its members clubs as its central goal, and with that in mind, we are delighted that Tom Atencio has joined San Francisco Elite Academy as its Director of Soccer Operations,"
Tom's playing experience includes two years with the California Kickers and the Los Angles Heat of the American Professional Soccer League. He also played varsity soccer from 1984-1988 at Cal State Fullerton where in 1987 he was team captain and NCAA All Far West first team. In high school, Tom was an ODP player and an all CIF Selection player for Southern California.
Importantly, Tom's soccer educational background is as extensive as his coaching experience. Tom has forged deep connections to La Liga, having had multiple trips to Spain where he was afforded the opportunity to closely observe professional staff and training environments, including FC Barcelona. He has also had observational tours and meetings in China and Japan as well as direct work with the Korean Football Association and top Moroccan Professional Teams. Tom is has been a U.S. Soccer Youth Instructor and holds a U.S. Soccer Federation "A" License. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton.
"At the Academy, we continually focus on helping our players reach the next level," said Joe Dugan, President of the SF Elite Academy. "With Tom's appointment we are helping our program reach that proverbial next level. From players to coaches to staff, we are delighted to have someone of Tom's exceptional character and experience join our already impressive group. We look forward to working with him both on the field and in the office to help make the Academy a place every top player in San Francisco wants to be."
About the San Francisco Elite Academy
The San Francisco Elite Academy offers a comprehensive soccer program for top players, boys and girls, ages 12 to 19, right in the heart of San Francisco. Academy teams participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy model, as well as US Club's National Premier League, competing against elite teams & clubs from around the Bay Area and northern California. The Academy's program is designed to advance a player's chances of becoming an NCAA and/or professional athlete. With the most experienced and highly-licensed coaching staff in San Francisco, the Academy delivers increased high-quality training sessions and offers players more meaningful games in order to elevate the professional quality of the everyday environment and improve outcomes for the local elite youth soccer player. For more information, please visit: http://www.sfeliteacademy.org
President, SF Elite Academy