From the Miami FC site:
Victor was born on April 8, 1975 in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Victor played high school soccer here in Miami for Braddock Senior High. He went on to play for Averette University in Danville, Virginia before becoming a coach. He has been coaching soccer for 11 years, all of which has been spent in Miami. He started as a 19 year old coaching a local AYSO team. He has coached for local clubs including West Kendall Optimist and Coral Springs Renegades. He has won 3 National Championships as well as prestigious youth tournaments like Dallas Cup, Disney Showcase, Tampa Bay Sun Bowl, Jefferson Cup and many others. He has also served as a coach for the ODP at the state, regional and national level. Victor has his USSF “A” Coaching License and plans to get his UEFA license after the Miami FC 2010 season.For more go to www.miamifc.com
Pastora has been an assistant coach since the formation of the club. He has had experience as an interim Head Coach with Miami FC, taking over in August 2007 for then-coach Chiquinho de Assis.
Robert Scorca: Many fans of Miami FC might not be aware of the political turmoil that Nicaragua was going through while you were growing up there. What was life like growing up in Nicaragua during the 1980's?
Victor Pastora: Even though my parents stayed away from politics as much as possible, all Nicaraguans lived very close to the political conflicts. We heard it on the news, and because it is a small country you would often know about someone that suffer directly from it. Also, my uncle Eden Pastora was deeply involved first with the Sandinistas and then with the Contras, this of course was reason for us to more informed and interested in the developments.
RS: What do you feel was the biggest pluses about life you learned from these years?
VP: That life is precious, we should be thankful for our health, and cherish every moment we have with our families. I also learned politicians don’t always have the right intentions, those with good motives don’t always have the conviction to stand for what they believe, and the ones that stand for what they believe are not considered good politicians. It’s a dark world, one I would not want to be part of.
RS: When I think of Nicaragua and sports, Alexis Arguello (professional boxer) and Denny Martinez (professional baseball player) immediately come to mind. What sports did you play or follow while in Nicaragua?
VP: When I grew up I was like most kids; played soccer, basketball, baseball, boxing, etc. I took swimming seriously for a few years (5-11) and did very well, but I always liked soccer the best. What people don’t know is that in Nicaragua there is a lot of soccer being played at the early ages, up to U15 Nicaraguans play as much soccer as in other Central American countries, but from U15 other countries become stronger because of the influence professional soccer has on the development of players and growth of the sport overall.
RS: When did you first become introduced to soccer? What were you feelings about the sport when you first saw it?
VP: We always played it in our neighborhood growing up. Every afternoon one or two hours. In 1986 I fell in love with it watching the world cup. I could not stop watching and playing, I am fascinated by the sport since then.
RS: What was the biggest change from playing the game to coaching the game?
VP: There is nothing like playing, coaching is the next best thing. It was a slow transition, first I did it as community service, then I wanted to do it because I felt I was helping other players the way I would have liked to be helped, then I enjoyed becoming better at it, and becoming better at it gave me the chance to succeed and to grow in the sport. The big difference is that you go from doing to telling how to do.
RS: In what ways did playing the game help you as a coach?
VP: In so many different ways, still every time I play it helps me be aware of how players feel in different situations.
RS: What position did you play in high school and college?
VP: Central Midfielder, mostly attacking Midfielder
RS: Do you favor a defensive or offensive style of play? Did the position you played have any input in this?
VP: Offensive, I understand players need to work hard to recover the ball, but the reason we defend is so that we can play. I also rather work with someone that can play and help him with the defensive aspect of his game, than work with someone who defends well but doesn't know how to play once he recovers the ball. This game is to be played with the ball, you have to be very efficient at recovering the ball, then take good care of it. Today the best teams in the world are very good at defending/recovering the ball, but the ones that win championships are the ones that have players that can make a difference on the ball.
RS: Do you consider yourself a tactical coach or a motivational coach?
VP: Both, one doesn't go far without the other. Every time I have the opportunity to learn from other coaches that have been successful, or players that have played for successful coaches, I realize coaches always have something that characterizes them. Some are good motivators, some are good tacticians, some are good scouts of talent, some are good negotiators. I work every day taking into account all those aspects, and I understand that I have to make an effort become better in every aspect.
******Be on the look out for Part II next Wednesday.******
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