Ricky grew up playing highly competitive soccer in Northern Virginia with various top level teams including Alexandria. Ricky currently holds his USSF “C” License and a NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Diploma. He also has NSCAA Diplomas in Attacking Principles of Play, Defending Principles of Play, and Small Sided Games, and was the lead instructor for the MSI Coaching course.
Ricky began coaching in 2010 and joined Total Futbol in 2012. He is currently the head coach of Herndon Thunder Red 02 and FPYC United 01 as well as the assistant coach for Herndon Thunder Black 02 and Herndon Hurricanes Black 03. Under Ricky’s direction his teams have won numerous club tournament championships.
Ricky graduated in 2010 from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He is now working as the Director of Marketing for Total Futbol to promote the various programs and further expand the developmental opportunities for players.
Ricky’s Coaching Philosophy:
“I strongly believe that winning is not the primary goal, but rather the outcome of our hard work, determination, preparation, and our tactical and technical execution. I stress the importance of the aforementioned qualities to my players so that they may carry over not only in soccer and team sports, but into other aspects of their daily lives as well. I believe in not only developing strong athletes, but strong people who will be pillars in their communities and an example for others.”
Q&A with Coach Ricky
Why do you love soccer?
Soccer has been a huge passion of mine since I was first given a soccer ball as a present at Christmas. There are so many things I love about soccer: I love the team-based aspect, on and off the field; I love how easy it is to play a game—all you need is a ball and a couple of sticks or shoes to mark out a goal; and I love how anyone can play, regardless of size. The greatest players in the world aren’t the tallest, strongest, or fastest players. Soccer is a game you play with your mind, your feet are just the tools. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world for a reason.
What is your favorite memory as a player?
There are so many great memories I will always cherish, but the one that has meant the most over the years was being chosen as the captain of the team by my teammates. This was a huge honor and privilege that has helped shape the person I am now. The way I carried myself and set an example as a captain has transitioned into how I try to be as a coach.
What is your favorite memory as a coach?
I love the big games with last minute finishes. Nothing is more exciting than a game where the bench clears out onto the field as the
team celebrates together. The moments that will stick with me most however, are when I hear one of my players tell me how much of an impact I’ve had in their lives. These are the memories I will never forget.
"The greatest players in the world aren’t the tallest, strongest, or fastest players
Soccer is a game you play with your mind, your feet are just the tools."
What is the main difference between soccer in the U.S. and internationally?
I think the biggest difference is the amount of pick-up and free play there is internationally. I am always amazed at how much soccer is played in the streets of other counties. I believe this unstructured free play contributes to the creativity instilled from a very early age which expands throughout their soccer careers.
What advice do you have for young players?
Work hard. A quote that has stuck with me since I was young is, “hard work beats out talent when talent fails to work hard.” Hard work mixed with believing in yourself and a passion for the game will take you to the places you want to go.
Do you hope your child plays soccer? Why?
I would love for my child to play soccer. Soccer has done so much for me; It has provided lifelong lessons, friendships, and memories that I hope my child can experience as well.
"I love the big games with the last-minute finishes. Nothing is more exciting than a game where the bench clears out onto the field as the team celebrates together."
Coach Ricky is shown with his Herndon Thunder Red team ('02) after they finished as champions in their bracket of the 2017 PWSI Icebreaker Tournament.
Coach Ricky (in the red circle above) has been playing soccer since he was a child and received his first soccer ball as a Christmas gift.