Meet The Cavalry FC - Youth:
Adriano Versari - Director of Coaching
We would like the soccer families of the Brazos Valley to learn a little more about the coaches and Board of Director members behind The Cavalry.
Below are some questions and answers with the our Director of Coaching, Adriano Versari. He brings to the Cavalry a wealth of experience, an impressive list of credentials, and an undeniable passion for soccer!
1. Where were you born and when did you become involved in soccer as a player? Also, tell us about your playing career.
I was born in Tuscany, Italy in a small village 2 hours north of Rome. I became involved with soccer since I was literally able to walk, not because my family was particulary into soccer but because if you are an italian kid, that’s what you are supposed to do. One thing unifies the nation….the passion for “Calcio”. As a young kid, you are expected to know the national team roster, pick the pro-team that you are going to support all your life and know how to play the game…and you better be a decent player or chances are that your social life is not going to be great. From the age of 8 until 12, I played everyday on a “soccer field” located not far from my house. Kids of all ages would gather and play the entire afternoon and week-ends. Depending on numbers, we would have a 1 vs 1 game, sometimes a 15 vs 15 or a full scale tournament with multiple teams involved. There were no weather conditions, festivities, or events that could stop that continuios game going. I did not know it then, but that was my core training.
When I was scouted by Santa Firmina, one of the best regional academies affiliated with Fiorentina, I was able to fit right into a different level of soccer. I started out as a center back but moved quickly to attacking mid and, after a few games, to striker where I played the rest of my career. I was voted best regional player 2 years in a row for the U13 and U14 age group.
When I turned 15, I was traded by San Sepolcro Calcio, where I made my first appearance in 4th division and started my twelve year semi-pro career.
High school was also another way to put more soccer into my life. We had a phenomenal team, and from 1988 to 91, we were able to collect a 2nd , 7th , and 9th place in the Nation! I am proud that my goal scoring record is still unbeaten at my school.
It was also in that period that I fell in love with futsal where I managed to play competitive until 3rd division for more than 15 years. Futsal is also the game I want to play nowadays since the 11vs11 game became to challenging for this old man.
2. What will your role/job be with The Cavalry?
I will be the Director of Coaching for the Cavalry Youth. I will oversee all soccer related activities and the development of the club, the teams, the coaches, the trainers and the players in collaboration with the Technical Director, Coach G. I will develop, operate, and supervise programs for all levels of play. I am going to be responsible for all aspects of soccer operations within the club promoting the interests of our players at all times. I will also have final approval of all hiring, assigning, reassigning, and termination of trainers, team administrators and/or club staff. I will also be implementing coaching education and development programs for the staff in accordance with the Technical Director and Youth Academy Director.
3. Tell us about your coaching background and your experiences in competitive youth soccer.
First, I should give a little overview about being a coach in Italy…The position did not officially exist unless you were hired by a professional club. Soccer clubs were non-profit entities without any kind of regulations. They were funded by the governament that did not foresee any paid positions. (The government changed the law in 2012.) The result was that just a few ex-professional players pursued that career because a normal person would end up being a volunteer coach with little hope of being able to support himself or advance in the world of soccer.…. So, in 1999, I asked around if some clubs were looking for a coach, I got the “job” right away. It was with a club, called “AC Cricca”. They had teams from U5 all the way up to “Regionali” (DA in the US ) and semi-pro adult soccer. The club merged 2 years later with another club in the area under the name of “GS Ponte” where I served as a Technical Director. During my stay, I was able to work with all age groups including U21 minor league.
Parellel to this experience, I got involved in starting and coaching a Futsal club. FC Bagnoro Futsal took off in 2000 and we were promoted from competitive 6th division to 3rd division in 4 seasons.
In 2008, I moved to Texas with my family. I discovered that there was soccer in Texas 2 years later when I registered and coached my son with CSSC U5 team. Houston Texans was my next step. I had been with the Houston program, coaching and volunteering since 2010. I am pleased to say, that, with the help of other soccer fanatic parents, I was able to play a key role in starting the Texans Youth Academy here in College Station which created the core that made possible the creation of the select teams forming Aggieland division.
At the beginning of 2017, I was appointed BVYSA doc with the resposibilities of player and coaches development as well as parents education. After completing my US soccer C license, I became involved with the ODP program where I have the honor of working with coaches and kids from diverse backgrounds.
In the Fall of 2016, I completed my UEFA B license in Italy. This experience gave me the opportunity to work with professional youth academies and 3rd division pro-socer.
I can not wait to start my new adventure next Fall in Houston, where I will start my US Soccer “B” license.
4. What are three of the biggest goals you’d like to achieve as a Cavalry coach?
I want to be able to provide the opportunity for all kids who love soccer or are curious about it to be able to play. It will take time, effort, and creativity, but I strongly believe that the Cavalry is here to provide that opportunity. I want kids and families in our community to have the transformational experience our club has envisioned since the project was conceived.
I am determined to achieve the level of soccer that European youth clubs have. The first step is having qualified coaches that are also passionate about making a difference in kids life. I want to create a learning environment where we can deliver the best and most updated training for our kids. Educating our families and making soccer part of their culture will also be a key in achieving my goal. I think that the PDL team will be a sharp turn in the direction of creating a “soccer community”. BCS kids have the same passion, ambitions and dreams that any other kid in Europe has. My duty will be nurturing them with the professionalism they deserve to make everyone the best that he can be.
Finally, my goal is the creation of long-term athletes. I want our athletes to not only to be the best soccer players they can be, but also to enjoy and promote physical activity for the rest of their lives. I want them to be leaders in our community and be equipped to inspire furure generations of athletes.
5. What do you think makes the Cavalry special for boys in the Brazos Valley?
Many things!..but above all I want to mention 3.
1. The perfect soccer pyramid is here in the Brazos Valley, from recreational, competitive youth and PDL semi-pro Houston Dynamo affiliate.
2. It is managed by people that live in our community. They are determined to create a legacy and make a difference.
3. Coach G!!! Having such a college soccer giant is a quality only few clubs in the nation can claim. His experience and mentorship will have a tremendous impact on our program.
Editor's note: Thank you, Coach Adriano! Your passion for soccer shines through in everything you do. We are so excited to have you with the Cavalry Youth. Our families are lucky you are on board with us!