Dean Matacchiera (Matt-uh-cheer-uh) has never been sparse in his understanding of the game of soccer, neither has he been scarce in his execution of success on the pitch as a coach.
Growing up in Rochester, New York, Matacchiera was immersed in the culture of soccer before it grew into popularity in the United States. He played for the Celanese Social Club growing up, a team that was mostly supported by the Social Club similar to OEFC’s organization. He was also able to spectate the sport.
“We had the Rochester Lancers in the old North American Soccer League (NASL),” Matacchiera said. “I got to see some big names play even if it was at the end of their careers, including Pele, Giorgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer and Clyde Best.”
The breadth of Matacchiera’s coaching knowledge spans far across the United States. In addition to New York, Matacchiera has lived in Boston, Denver, Washington DC, California and Wichita, Kansas. Matacchiera has coached at every location but notes the success of OEFC’s youth program compared to other clubs.
“The best thing about OEFC is that no kid is left behind,” Matacchiera said. “At all the other places I coached and played, kids got cut with no place to play. At OEFC, we provide not only a place to play, but a great coach who genuinely cares about helping the kids.”
Matacchiera coaches the OEFC Central 03 Boys Navy team. As a full-time engineer at Boeing, he has to balance a demanding professional life, his team and his family.
“As much as being an engineer has helped me as a soccer coach, being a coach has helped my engineering career,” Matacchiera said. “Being an engineer, you must be very organized and detail-oriented. You also put a great value on continuous learning. Soccer coaching has helped me in dealing with a variety of people and really brought home the benefit of teamwork. In fact, when I was in management at Boeing most of my employees called me coach.”
Matacchiera helps his team keep the real world in perspective. He understands that most of his kids will have a normal lifestyle and attempts to teach them life lessons while training them as athletes.
“If asked what is the one thing I want my players to take away from their time with me it is that, “If you work hard, you may not become the best but you will definitely get better at anything you do,” Matacchiera said.
The OEFC Central 03 Boys Navy team recently won the 2018 Beat the Heat tournament under Matacchiera. With his system finding success, he has also enjoyed the memories that come with it.
“My favorite memory so far at OEFC occurs regularly,” Matacchiera said. “Every week I run into parents and players in the club who come up to me just to say hello. They know how much I truly care about the kids as people and not just as soccer players.”