Lassen Community College has found themselves a new head soccer coache, Juan Paolo. He will be coaching both the men’s and women’s teams this season.
Coach Paolo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States in 1962.
In 1968, Paolo made the United States Olympic Soccer team and four years later, he made the Los Angeles Aztecs professional soccer team, competing in the North American Soccer League for a year, which was part-owned by legendary artist, Elton John.
From 1973 to 1983, he played for the Alitalia Soccer Club in the Greater Los Angeles Soccer League as a player/coach.
Paolo was named the head coach at Palmdale High School in the Antelope Valley in 1989. He remained at Palmdale until he was offered the women’s soccer head coaching position at Cal State University Northridge, where he guided the school to the Division 1 level from D-2.
In 1984 Paolo became a USSF referee officiating high-level games and serving with the national program. He was also an assistant for the USA’s U-20 team that competed against Honduras and Mexico.
Following that stint, he was named head coach for the girl’s soccer team at Highland High School, guiding them to four straight championships, and earning a number two state ranking.
Paolo returned to Antelope Valley to accept a position at Pete Knight High School in Antelope Valley where he coached the boy’s squad to four consecutive division championships.
In 2018, the team earned a number three ranking in the country.
Paolo has served as the president and assignor for the Antelope Valley Soccer Referee Association for 25 years, overseeing all levels of play from club to college, semi-pro and recreational.
Paolo told the Times, “I got here from Los Angeles on the 24th of July and little by little the players have been coming in, a lot of them from out of the country. There’s great chemistry and they’re all great teammates. In this two weeks I have not seen one problem with any of them, the way they communicate and the way they carry themselves on and off the field.“
He continues, “It almost seems like they’re on a mission, especially the ones who were here last year and went through a real tough time. I enjoy seeing them work hard, being on time and trying to stay late.
“When I came here I did not know what to expect and now I am pleasantly surprised, and I know with hard work and dedication we are looking to have a great season so we can go ahead and put Lassen soccer back on the map”
Look for Paolo and his Cougars starting their season Saturday, Aug. 17 when they head to Redding, California to take on Simpson University.