Coaches Santos Fuentes and Felipe Chavez provide expert coaching to a young MCSA Eagle.
MCSA Director of Coaching Shane Huff provides guidance to coaches Hector and Sebastian.
Mendocino County Soccer Academy (MCSA) is looking to enhance and grow the already strong local soccer culture by training both players and coaches.
There’s a lot of talent in our county and we’re eager to see more youth players excel and earn college scholarships. And even for those that aren’t shooting for a scholarship, we want ALL of our players to learn valuable life skills the game teaches while developing a life-long passion for soccer.
We know this all begins and ends with caring, skilled coaches.
Interested parents and current/former players are invited to learn more about MCSA’s Coaches-in-Training program by attending an informational meeting hosted by club President and Director of Coaching, Shane Huff. There will be meetings in Willits on February 25th, Fort Bragg on March 3rd, and Ukiah on March 10th.
Founded in 2013, MCSA currently serves over 500 children throughout the county via three primary programs:
Grassroots Academy is an introduction to the game by our professional staff for kids as young as four and up to twelve. We have several six-week sessions throughout the year in Ukiah and Willits.
Youth Academy Soccer League (YASL) is a fall league for the under 10 and under 12 age groups that feature teams from Willits, Ukiah, and the Coast. Volunteer coaches coach their teams with support from MCSA staff.
Select Teams consist of ten teams ranging from U10 to U19, both boys and girls. These are competitive teams that travel to play other club teams from around the region. Select team coaches have either played or coached at a high level for many years.
To support these programs, specifically our volunteer YASL coaches, we’ve developed our Coaches-in-Training program. We’re looking for interested parents and former/current players to join us in this initiative. We provide tools, guidance, and a network of support as coaches-in-training take on the rewarding task of a YASL volunteer assistant or head coach.
In addition, we’re identifying others who want to establish a career as a coach. Many start as volunteers and then become a part of our coaching staff. These coaches can earn a supplemental income while working with our Grassroots Academy and Select Teams.
“Coaches, and particularly volunteer coaches, are the backbone of a strong youth soccer community. We’re committed to attracting, training, and supporting our staff because we know that better coaches develop better players and experiences,” explains Coach Huff.
“We’re proud of the fact that we have former players such as Felipe Chavez and Junior Segura come back to our program,” says Huff. “They played at Mendocino College and earned soccer scholarships at universities in the midwest. Both received their degrees and are now back in our community as MCSA coaches. People like Junior and Felipe are great examples, and role models, for our local youth.”
Huff continues, “We’re equally proud of the many parents of kids in our program who step up to volunteer and lead a team. Coaching can be intimidating. We honor those that take the leap to help mold our kids into great players and people.”
MCSA is hosting informational meetings about the coaches-in-training program in three locations:
Willits on February 25th at 6:00 pm at the Willits Library
Fort Bragg on March 3rd at 6:00 pm in the conference room at Harvest Market
Ukiah on March 10th at Mendocino College also at 6:00 pm
We will follow up on these meetings with an “on-field” session at Mendocino College on the second or third Saturday of March. This is where coaches-in-training can observe live practice sessions run by MCSA staff.
During the intro meetings, Coach Huff will cover the basics of our programs and identify ways for interested people to get involved. In addition to being an MCSA co-founder, he has over twenty years of coaching experience at the D1, D2, Junior College, High School, and youth levels. During these intro events, Coach Huff will touch on key MCSA philosophies and prepare attendees for our ongoing training program.
Our Coaches-in-Training program is free and is designed for busy people so we’ve made it simple and fun! We encourage anyone passionate about soccer and children to join us.
In addition, for parents wanting to get their kids involved, MCSA will open registration soon for Grassroots Academy sessions in Ukiah and Willits. The Coast will be putting together a couple of U10 and U12 tournament teams. The sessions in Ukiah and Willits will run from March 23 - May 1. The Coast will run slightly longer.
Learn more about our player development pathway.