By NEEL KHATTRI
Four new coaches at Pinewood. They have different levels of experience, different backgrounds, and different ways they fell in love with the game. There is Head Coach Aidan Roberts, Assistant Coaches Daniel Espinel and Jake Tracy, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Dominic Cava. These four have taken over the Pinewood coaching staff for the boys varsity soccer team.
Roberts has had a different journey than most people. An alumnus of the class of 2002, Roberts remembers when he put on the jersey of his favorite team, England, as a kid. After playing soccer at Pinewood under former Coaches Tom Skousen and Michael Tetzlaff, as well as club soccer, Roberts decided not to focus on soccer in college, focusing instead on other areas of the college life. Eventually his journey led him to coaching the Stanford’s Men’s Club Soccer Team, and now Pinewood’s soccer team.
Espinel hasn’t always loved the game like the other coaches. Despite being forced to play as a kid, Espinel didn’t really admire the game until the U.S.A. vs Germany game in 2002. The journey to coaching at Pinewood for Espinel wasn’t always his favorite, but eventually, Espinel played at Stanford University. He now hopes to spread his knowledge of the game to others. Despite not loving the game as a kid, Espinel has one memory of scoring the game winning goal against a school rival within the last minutes of the game.
Tracy has had a long experience with soccer. Starting as a kid, Tracy began playing soccer in 1995 at the U5 level. Over time, as he improved, he ended up winning the state cup and making it to the Region I semifinals with his club and ODP team, all in his junior year of high school. After playing at Swarthmore for four years, Coach Espinel later moved to Stanford where he began playing under Roberts.
Though the new coaches at Pinewood have different loves for the game, at the end of the day, they are four friends who want to spread their knowledge to the next generation of soccer players.