West Coast Soccer Club director Troy Dayak appears to push himself as a coach like he did when he was a fiercely dedicated player.
The results for his Livermore club speak for themselves.
Last month the under-15 West Coast Wild girls squad won the championship of the Central Valley Magic Cup -- earning its fifth cup title of the season. The Wild moved into the No. 1 ranking in the state: an "incredible feat with all the giant clubs out there," Dayak said.
Remember that Dayak's club is just two years old. It's a soccer toddler with razor sharp baby teeth.
How dedicated is Dayak?
Well, the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame inductee and a former Livermore High football and soccer star saw 14 games during the Magic Cup, including coaching 11 games personally, during a "crazy weekend of soccer," he said.
Last year the under-16 West Coast Kryptonite girls team won the championship at the U.S. Club National X Cup Showcase. The Wild recently took first at the prestigious Mustang Stampede.
While he enjoys success, Dayak seems more like a soccer professor than a win-obsessed coach.
Then again, he's not in this simply for the pizza parties.
"I'm teaching kids that you're competing in the highest level," he said. "We're not playing recreational soccer. We're not playing for ice creams. You're competing."
Dayak, also a technical adviser to the Earthquakes Youth Academy, has quickly assembled a staff of top coaches. He is looking for a complete program.
"There has to be four pillars of soccer: technical, tactical, psychological and physical," Dayak said of his philosophy. "So when players get to me, all the coaching staff understands that they need to be proficient in those four pillars, and they need to have a mechanism with West Coast. Players need to be instilled in that at a young age. It's not win-at-all-cost by any means."
In his first week on the Quakes Academy staff last year, Dayak mentored four youth players on a 10-day trip to London. The group trained with the Tottenham Hotspur Under-16s. He also studied storied clubs Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea Academy.
During a 16-year career as a pro player, Dayak, aka "The Beast," helped the Quakes win two MLS Cups. The 1992 Olympian and 1991 Pan American Games gold medalist overcame a litany of injuries to be named MLS Comeback Player of the Year in 2001.
Quakes general manager John Doyle, the director of coaching with Mustang Soccer, describes Dayak as a "winner who has shared in some of the great moments in the Earthquakes' history."
Moveover, Dayak takes great pride in sending West Coast players to collegiate and pro programs. Sounds like a win-win for Tri-Valley soccer.
MARQUEE BACKS, ANYONE? The resilient Amador Valley football team (2-1) will face a marquee running back for the fourth time. The Dons have had to combat Freedom's Joe Mixon, Concord's Olito Thompson and Dublin's Ondre Rudolph in three successive weeks.
Now, after the bye week, the Dons will combat California ace runner Karris Johnson in their East Bay Athletic League opener Friday night, Sept. 21. Even with the heavy work load, Amador has managed two gritty victories. The Dons beat host Dublin 21-13 on Sept. 7, when Rudolph ran for 212 yards.
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