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Loyalhanna United Soccer Club caps successful fall season

| Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

The fall soccer season has come to a close, and few programs can boast the same success as that of Loyalhanna United Soccer Club.

Some of the highlights included, the U10 girls team, which went 7-0; the U12 girls were 6-0-1; and U14 boys finished 6-1.

Vincent Pimpinella, President of the Loyalhanna United Soccer Club and head coach of the Latrobe varsity girls team, credits their success to many different factors, including a plan set forth by PA West Soccer Federation.

“I act as the coaching director for the club, and we have an outline from U5 to U19 of appropriate activities and development as well as encouraging play in the offseason,” Pimpinella said.

Each head coach has training from US Soccer, US Youth Soccer or PA West. Others even have national or state credentials. Parent coaches also assist but are paired up with a certified coach.

“We're teaching the kids all the basic fundamentals on playing the game: passing, dribbling, receiving, heading, shooting, finishing,” Pimpinella said.

The U10 and U12 teams concentrate on technical skills versus tactical, separating their training from other organizations. Once they reach U14, the players learn more tactical skills.

“They keep the ball within their team more often,” Pimpinella said. “They are able to carry the ball as a team from defense to offense and then ultimately score goals.”

Loyalhanna sets its soccer players up for success, as most continue on to play high school soccer. In fact, some return during the offseason to continue to hone their skills.

“It definitely helps to differentiate these players from truly recreational players,” Pimpinella said. “They are still having fun. They wouldn't be doing it if they weren't having fun, but they're definitely moving in the direction of being competitive players later in their teenage years.”

Brittany Goncar is a freelance writer.

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