Ricardo David Páez, an ex-Venezuelan international became the new U-17 coach for the Lions after Montverde Academy reach an accord with Orlando City to be in charge of the Development Academy program in the U-15, U-17 and U-19 boys age group.
"I already started as U-17 coach for Orlando City, which for me is the most important thing done so far (in
the US). Everything I've done before was to be able to get to this", said Ricardo, before pointing how important is Montverde Academy as a soccer institute, because of the +18 young players that reached professional soccer after developing his capacities in this school.
As an offensive midfielder, the former “vinotinto” represented Venezuela for 64 international matches, scoring 7 goals in various tournaments, including South American Qualifiers and Copa América. For clubs, Ricardo played for many different teams across the world, being Boca Juniors (Argentina), Standard Liege (Belgium) and América (México) the most famous ones.
On the other hand, his new role as a professional manager begun with success after winning the Sunshine Conference in 2016 with Miami United in the National Premier Soccer League and coaching talented players as former Brazil international Adriano and Honduran international Julio “Rambo” De León. In relation to his Miami United experience he said: "It was important because I had to couch prestigious professional soccer players like Adriano and some other Brazilian players".
After his Miami’s experience, Ricardo went to Montverde Academy to become part of the staff and bring his professional and international experience to help develop young players’ capacities on the pitch.
Definitely, the next challenge for the Venezuelan is to look forward for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League and improve Orlando City’s U-17 team that is currently in 9th position of the southeast group table. Next match-day is Saturday, January 27th, against Kendall SC U-17.