Sports

D'Almeida takes over Coupeville girls soccer program

Dan D
Dan D'Almeida
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

Dan d’Almeida got caught up in Europe’s soccer-loving tidal wave when living in Germany, now he will pass along that passion as the new Coupeville High School girls soccer coach.

D’Almeida takes over this fall for Mike Thornton who resigned to move to Texas.

D’Almeida said his “catalyst for refocusing on soccer” was his three years living in Munich within hearing distance of Bayern Muenchen in the Olympic Stadium.

He added, “During our final year there, Munich won the German Cup, the German League and the European Champions League. We were addicted to soccer as a family.”

When d’Almeida moved back to California in 2002, he started coaching and both his children started playing. He received his soccer-coaching certificate there and has been coaching year round “for about seven or eight years.”

He dabbled in soccer before the German experience, playing some in high school in the San Francisco area, though his main focus was tennis, and in intramurals while attending Cornell.

After being involved in the tech industry, d’Almeida switched careers, became a math teacher and moved to Whidbey Island when daughter Amanda, who is now a senior, was in the sixth grade.

This will be d’Almeida’s fourth year with the Coupeville program. He served as volunteer coach for two years and was the junior varsity coach last season.

The past two years he has become a strong student of the game, learning from Thornton and listening in on the coaching Amanda received at the camps she attended. He talked to college coaches and gained a “good view of what is expected.”

As for the Wolves, he said they have made “significant strides” defensively the past few years, now he would like to ratchet up the scoring with a counter-attack offense.

D’Almeida said to muster a counter attack the team will need to be in good physical condition: “It is not practical to say ‘we want to be this.’ We have many steps along the  way to get there.”

He hopes to focus on building the entire student-athlete and will encourage his athletes “to work hard on and off the field.” He noted that the first thing college coaches ask his daughter during the recruiting process is “What is your GPA?”

D’Almeida and the Wolves open the season at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, in Coupeville against Oak Harbor.

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