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Girls Oct 06, 2012

WAGS Tournament: From New England to Northern Virginia, AIC’s Isa aims to persuade recruits

By Roger Gonzalez

Kevon Isa has quite the soccer background. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, his father coached the nation’s senior national team, and he played for the U-17 and U-20 national teams. Now living in the United States, he has brought his knowledge of the sport to New England, while also bringing plenty of success.

A fifth year assistant women’s coach at American International College in Springfield, Ma., he handles recruiting, scouting and day-to-day operations. Isa is in Virginia this weekend for the WAGS Rael Vodicka Memorial Tournament, looking to get some top prospects on the school’s radar and bring them up north.

Simply put, the guys knows how to evaluate talent. After all, coaching for Western United FC in the Massachusetts Premier League, Isa has guided the U-19 boy’s team to successful runs in the Massachusetts State Cup, including a semifinal appearance at the U-15 level. After spending most of the day at George Mason recruiting hard and taking notes, the coach had time to reflect.

“I’m very happy with what I saw,” he said. “I think the tournament has been doing well, a lot of great teams have been coming. That is why you see a lot of college coaches here, because of one reason, there are a lot of great players here. That is why we are here.”

Isa realizes most of these players never experienced the school’s name entering their ears, but he hopes that it changes.

“We are a Division II school,” Isa said. “So, you see a lot of DI coaches here. The thing I like about Division II, the kids get a balance, both academics and athletics.”

His school, AIC, which is 6-2-2 at the moment, just beat Saint Rose, the top team in the country, on Tuesday. When he got to the program, it was going through a tough spell with inconsistent results and a lack of talent Since then, the team has tied the school record for most wins in a year and also had a nice NCAA Tournament appearance. Now, while maintaining focus on the season, he is trying to get some girls on the radar and convince them to choose the Yellow Jackets. How does he do it? He shared his recruiting pitch with SoccerWire.com.

“The good thing, the snow,” said Isa with a chuckle.

“All we ask is the kids is just to come up on a tour, spend a night with the kids, see the campus, see all the team, and that is how we get our players. On top of that, we have some academic and athletic scholarships to offer, which always opens up the eyes of the parents and the kids because it helps cut down the cost of college.”

Some players opened up his eyes to the talent level down here, which the coach said is different to that of the northeast, simply because locally year-round soccer is stressed, while up north, weather often prevents that, while also stating that many kids also play other sports. He hopes that he found a few solid targets that are interested, while hoping to build off a hot start of the 2012 season.

“This year is a great years for us, we have been doing well, the kids have been working hard,” Isa said. “It helps that the coaches are attending tournaments like these and recruiting great players.”

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