Tampa Bay United hires Anthony Latronica as sporting director
TAMPA, Florida (Via Tampa Bay United) – Tampa Bay United Soccer Club (TBU), the youth affiliate program for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, welcomes Anthony Latronica as Sporting Director in charge of technical development and leading the organizations’ broad depth of competitive and recreational soccer teams across all five of their soccer campus locations throughout Tampa Bay.
Latronica brings 20+ years of soccer coaching experience with boys and girls of all levels and ages and a proven track record of success. As Sporting Director, he will be in charge of overseeing and developing the technical standards and culture of a soccer club that is designed to provide avenues for player growth and development. Many TBU players go on to play collegiate and professional soccer in the United States as well as abroad. Latronica’s understanding of the game, the player and the importance of motivation and self-confidence will help more players throughout Tampa Bay enjoy the various levels of soccer teams available at the TBU soccer club while providing a clear path towards reaching their own goals and development.
TBU offers boys and girls the opportunity to play in their broad-based recreational program, their competitive teams including their highly-scouted elite teams that compete in prestigious leagues such as the ECNL (Elite Competitive National League) and the USSF Development Academy. This provides a comprehensive internal development pathway for players wanting to reach their full potential.
“Having coached and competed at the highest youth international level, it has never been clearer to me what is required at the grassroots level. Working with some of the best players this country has ever produced has reinforced to me how important basic fundamentals are to developing young people for their next step,” says Latronica.
Latronica returns to South Florida where he is very familiar with the youth soccer landscape. He spent 2012-2016 as an assistant coach with the United States U-17 Men’s National Team. He worked with the last three U-17 World Cup cycles in U.S. Soccer’s flagship full-time residency program based out of Bradenton, Florida. Players attended High School and trained six days a week while living on the IMG Academy campus. Preparation consisted of competitions in Europe, Central America, South America and Asia against some of the best soccer countries in the world.
His development as a coach included coaching in over 250 matches, including 96 international coaching caps. The 22 international trips taken with the team provided extensive experience and familiarity with some of the most diverse soccer cultures in the world. Major competitions included the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Santiago, Chile, the 2015 CONCACAF World Cup Qualification in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and the 2013 CONCACAF World Cup Qualification in Panama City, Panama.
“I’m very thankful for everything Coach Latronica did not just for me but for our whole U-17 Men’s National Team. He really taught me what it meant to be a good teammate. Not just relying on talent but the togetherness of teammates and supporting each other no matter what. He had the right mix of when to have fun and when to be serious and was always there to give good advice,” says Christian Pulisic, United States Men’s National Team, and Borussia Dortmund player.
Latronica has coached at some of the finest institutions in the world and began his diverse college coaching career in 1999 as an assistant coach in the prestigious Ivy League at Harvard University. He went on to coach at Oregon State University, which at the time competed in the PAC-10 conference of champions, and was an associate head coach at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Latronica understands the importance of the college recruiting process and believes it is the cornerstone for most players at TBU.
Most recently, Latronica was the assistant coach for the United States Paralympic National Team and Head Coach for the United States U-19 Paralympic National Team. His contributions to these programs have included preparation for the Paralympic Games in Rio, a fifth-place finish at the 2017 World Championships and the Bronze medal at the 2018 Copa America which qualified the team for this year’s 2019 World Cup in Sevilla, Spain and the 2019 Para Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru.
“Working with players with disabilities that are at the top of their game, with a team ranking of #4 in the WORLD, has taught me that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, self-confidence, and a love of the game. I enjoy giving back to the game of soccer which has been so rewarding for me, both professionally and personally and I am looking forward to working with the staff, getting to know the TBU kids and their families and being a part of their soccer journey,” says Latronica.
Latronica has spent time with the U-14 Girls National Team and U-17 Women’s National Team and was U.S. Soccer’s Technical Advisor for the Frontier Division in Texas where he established the initial infrastructure for youth national team player identification on both the girls and boys side in 9 different markets.
“I have known Anthony for a long time, and he has been a massive supporter of the women’s game. He is a highly skilled professional, a genuine coach, and leader who always acts in the best interest of his players and parents. He is passionate about positively impacting player and coach development and his wide-ranging experience gives him a unique and valuable toolset that sets him apart. Tampa Bay United will benefit greatly from his forward-thinking leadership and creativity. He will certainly have a great impact on the lives of the girls and boys in the club as well as the Tampa Bay community,” says Jill Ellis, Head Coach United States Women’s National Team.
Among the new responsibilities Anthony Latronica can expect to handle at TBU are creating a cohesive feel within the organization from a technical standard of shared vision, expert coaching, player development and methodology to a communication standard of what it truly means to be a part of the TBU soccer club. “Knowing that the TBU soccer club has the ability to develop some of the strongest teams in the country for both boys and girls is really exciting,” says Latronica.