In recent weeks there have been meetings at multiple levels between a group that includes OSA Soccer Academy and AC Seattle owner / operator Giuseppe Pezzano, who is exploring developing the sport further in Tacoma, and soccer-related Tacoma groups. Reports suggest Pezzano’s group have talked with local parks officials in regards to land use. FC Tacoma confirms that they are now the new ‘select arm’ of NorTac Soccer Club, replacing Sparta.
Paolo Mottola was recently named Executive Director of NorTac and Sparta. He tells goalWA.net that “After meetings with the Board of Directors of North Tacoma Soccer Club and OSA Soccer Consulting, we were able to come to an agreement and form a partnership. FC Tacoma was established to replace Sparta as the select arm of the club. It was important to start fresh and bring a new identity and brand to the community.”
Youth and much more
There are a lot of moving pieces to the FC Tacoma story. Craig Vincent, who is establishing the women’s club Tacoma City FC, has been following the events and posting updates on his club’s Facebook page. Vincent directed us to Pezzano and Mottola for matters concerning FC Tacoma. He also posted, “Keep your eyes open for FC Tacoma because it will be in our lives far sooner than most expected. Teams will range from young youth through a professional men’s team and women’s team and we’re very fortunate to be able to merge our program into the FC Tacoma vision to develop players that will help populate the FC Tacoma women’s team in the future.”
It is possible that the AC Seattle women, who moved this year from West Seattle to Starfire for home matches, might be the FC Tacoma women’s team in the future, and that FC Tacoma could look to the NPSL for a men’s side over time.
Mattola is focused on the first steps, though. He wants to talk about the youth side of FC Tacoma first.
“Members of the Board of Directors of North Tacoma SC approached me in late March to help steer the club into a healthier player development model,” he tells goalWA.net. “After I was hired as Executive Director, I spent time looking at the select program, Sparta. Like many select clubs, there is too much to do, and too few people to do it. Sparta has Coaching Director Tony Crudo and a group of good coaches holding things together, but player retention was becoming an issue for the club.”
Mottola then reached out to OSA soccer and Pezzano, and that’s where FC Tacoma gathered even more momentum. “I approached OSA Soccer Consulting owner Giuseppe Pezzano about bringing in ACF Fiorentina’s proven player development methodology to the club. Giuspeppe has a close relationship with ACF Fiorentina, an Italian professional soccer club based in Florence that competes in the Serie A league. As part of Giuseppe’s staff at WPSL AC Seattle, I knew how passionate he is about the game and the development of youth soccer players in our region. I feel a relationship between ACF Fiorentina will help us implement a specific curriculum for players and coaches different from other local clubs. We can also better attract and retain players because of the appeal of being affiliated with a world-class Italian soccer club.”
Mottola says Pezzano will look towards talent. The OSA owner is also an Italian player agent who has brought multiple players into MLS for Montreal Impact. “Giuseppe will be focused in the area of coach and player development. I will begin the coaching development piece by working with Professor Vincenzo Vergine the Technical Director of ACF Fiorentina in Florence next week. This will be followed by Fiorentina’s staff visiting our club June 6-8 to offer instruction to the coaches of FC Tacoma. These are just the first steps.”
Mottola is amazed at the pace of developments. “This transition is quite incredible. The receptiveness of all the coaches and administrators of North Tacoma SC has been tremendous. It’s a mutual commitment to community and player development. Giuseppe is currently working with land development entities to bring a state-of-the-art soccer facility to Tacoma.”
FC Tacoma dreams of getting a Starfire-like stadium and soccer complex for the city, something in desperate need and long overdue.
“We all know the northwest is a soccer mecca. It’s Tacoma’s turn to shine,” says Mottola.
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