The Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks recently announced that Platini Soaf, one of the most respected and most accomplished soccer coaches on the West Coast, is joining the club. He will be training the Sharks girls U9 and U15 elite level teams to get them to the next level.
Soaf has coached for more than two decades at all levels of women’s soccer, including extensive work with U.S. Soccer’s Olympic Development Program (ODP). He has international experience in both men’s and women’s coaching, administration and training in Mexico, Brazil, France, Canada, England, Morocco, Costa Rica, Portugal, Spain and Germany. He also has a national “A” coaching license from U.S. Soccer.
Soaf is presently working at one of the top clubs in Southern California, West Coast FC in Orange County. Earlier this year he moved back to the San Diego area and lives in Carmel Valley.
“He is one of the most well-rounded coaches I’ve ever been around,” said DMCV Director of Club Operations Shannon MacMillan, who has known Platini for nearly 20 years. “He has a way of getting the most out of every player individually as well as the team as a whole. We’re honored and lucky to have him.
“The Sharks are committed to developing the complete player, on and off the field. Having a coach of Platini’s experience, knowledge and passion, and putting him with a younger team, is a testament to that commitment.”
Beside being a Region IV head coach for ODP and overseeing selection camps for 13 different western states, Soaf has worked with the UCLA women’s soccer program and Mexico’s national team at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
He also was head coach for West Coast FC’s team in the WPSL, a high-level amateur league that features top college and national-team caliber players.
Among the many players he has sent to college or beyond is Rachel Buehler, a Stanford alum and starting defender on the U.S. national team at the last Olympics and World Cup.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have Platini as my coach and mentor since I was 10 years old,” Buehler said. “He is not only an incredible technical and tactical coach with a wealth of experience at the highest levels, but his positive and passionate style has always made me feel confident and empowered. Platini helped me develop a technical foundation and belief in myself that has carried me far into the professional ranks.
“I would not be where I am today without him.”
The Sharks also recently welcomed new coaches Billy Garton, Warren Barton, Ryan Penton and Steve Gonzalez.
For more information, visit www.dmcvsharks.com