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SCAA - South County Soccer

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27

Oct, 2020

SCAA Soccer Welcomes 2 New Coaches

The South County travel soccer staff has expanded this fall with the addition of 2 new coaches, Roberto Picha and Abby Benner. Although coach Rob and coach Abby bring different levels of experience to the club, they both bring a passion and excitement for the game and for helping young players develop their skills.

Roberto Picha
Coach Roberto Picha is leading the SCAA 2009 Boys Green Team (Under 12 Boys) this year. Roberto is from Arequipa, Peru, where he grew up playing street soccer and eventually joined an organized local club “River Plate MM” at age 11. He played in a high school league, and at age 18, joined Cesar Vallejo in the 3rd Division in Miraflores. He quickly ascended to the 2nd Division, and was then recruited to play in the 1st Division for a town outside of the city. Roberto usually played as a defender most frequently as a left fullback.   Roberto eventually played in a college league back in Arequipa. At age 22, Roberto emigrated to the United States, where he continued to play in several northern Virginia leagues, eventually playing more college ball at the NCAA Division II level for four years.

Roberto first coached a Rockville, Maryland high school girls team in 1993, and the experience was an eye opener as he saw the critical need for players to understand the most basic elements of soccer. He has added those experiences and observations to his coaching over the past 15 years as he coached both NCSL and EDP teams with Burke Athletic Club, often times raising the players from rec level soccer to higher levels of competitive play.

Coach Roberto’s goal as a coach is to instill the passion of the game in his players. He works diligently to develop their technical ability, tactical awareness of the game, and above all, their individual creativity. He believes no game is played the same way twice. Roberto feels moving to coach at SCAA was a great decision, and his personal goal is to contribute his many years of experience to the program here. And he has already contributed a tremendous amount of time coaching not only the U12 Boys team, but with other teams across the club at the rec and travel levels.

Abigail Benner
Coach Abigail (Abby) Benner is an English teacher at South County Middle School. Originally from Connecticut, she has over ten years of experience playing soccer at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels. While in Connecticut, she played for several different premier clubs, gaining experience under many esteemed coaches across the region. She spent several years training with the founder of [Keeperstop.com](www.keeperstop.com), where she developed her skills in high intensity sessions focused on building a strong mind and body.

As a coach, Abby focuses on developing keepers that are ready to give 110% both in training and in games, creating explosive goalies with fast reactions and strong hands. Abby loves connecting with players of all ages. Her experience in the classroom working with students’ social and emotional needs is translated onto the field. She loves to create innovative and fun sessions that push players to work hard, be creative, and take their training to the next level. She has even been known to hop in the net and dive along with her players from time to time. Overall, Abby’s passion lies in shaping energetic keepers who can tackle challenges both on and off the field.

The SCAA soccer community is excited to welcome coach Rob and coach Abby to the club, and look forward to their contributions. If you see them on the field, make sure to say hello and welcome!