Interview with Tony DiCicco
U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team Head Coach
What are your responsibilities?
My responsibility as U20 National Team coach are twofold. One to win the World Cup since we have not done so since 2002 at this age level and secondly, to develop players for the full national team (WNT).
What are your goals for the future for your team?
This age group is vital to feed the WNT with new and exceptional talent. This international experience and test against the rest of the world is unique and a great test and opportunity for development
How long does the pre-season last? (In days prior to first game)
The U20 World Championship cycle is two years. Every two years there is a World Cup at this age group. So, the pre-season is long and the times to peak are, first during CONCACAF qualification and second, at the World Cup.
What positions are you hoping to upgrade next year?
Areas within the team and program that need to be upgraded is scouting for the best players….sharing of information from this team to the youth soccer community and an addition of a technical coach.
How do you plan to address weaknesses in the future?
Upon completion of the event I will do a post event summary and address what went well and what needs to be addressed.
What is your ideal number of players on the roster for the season?
For events the number is 20 or 21 but for a realistic number as a pool it should be 30-36.
What is the minimum number of players the coach should have available for the whole season. His final roster should have how many keepers, how many defenders, how many midfielders and how many attacking players.
For some events we travel with 18…which means 2 keepers and 16 field players. For World Cup events, the roster is 21 and we travel with 3 goalkeepers.
How did you get into the soccer business and what is your background?
I played high school, college, amateur and professional soccer. Afterwards, I opened up a soccer retail store and started my camp business. Coaching was always part of the equation and I was in the right place at the right time and moved up the ranks.
Do you have any advice for someone who wishes to enter this field or to advance their career?
Be a volunteer, get mentored whatever but get around the best…learn and keep learning…develop your own philosophy and adjust when and as needed.
Working with youth is and not coaching in the World Cup or Olympics is hopefully my greatest legacy.