Coach Spotlight ft. Carlos Gardea

A new series where we feature our club coaches and take an in-depth look at their style of play, outlook on developing players and their goals for their teams this season. Through this series, you can take a closer look at the top-tier coaches who are focused on developing your athlete year round.

Carlos Gardea

This week, we focus on Boys coach Carlos Gardea who’s been with the club for nearly 4 years. CJ has received his U.S. Soccer E, D and C licenses.


B12 FC I B09 Pre-Academy I B08 Pre-Academy



The Interview

CJ, what goals do you have for your teams this season?

“The goals this season for my 08’s are to win League Flight 1 and finish top 2 in CRL. My 09’s goals are to win our SCDSL Flight 1 league and to finish top 4 in CRL. My goals for my 2012 FC team are to make sure they develop properly and win the majority of their games, but make sure they’re developing and having fun!”

What is your approach to developing players?

“My approach to developing players is making sure they are put in an environment that is challenging, high intensity, and where they are put in uncomfortable situations. I believe players are supposed to be challenged and more importantly taught the right things from the wrong things. For me, it’s also important they are developing to their fullest potential and are developing as young men as well.”

What is your preferred system and style of play?

“My boys play 9v9 so I usually have a 3-2-3 or a 3-1-3-1 formation.”

Our style of play consists of being possession based, high pressuring, and a compact/disciplined defensive team. We are a team that works extremely hard for every result, and we keep a grit and grind mentality.
— Carlos Gardea

What is your approach to playing different positions?

“I think it’s important for players to be able to be versatile in being able to play multiple positions. I believe it makes you more valuable and a more complete player if you’re able to play multiple positions effectively .”

Is there a coach, professional or local, that you see as a role model or inspiration?

“I do look up to a few people, one of my biggest role models is a great friend of mine named Josh Hill, he’s a local guy from our area. He’s the same age as me and is an assistant coach at San Diego State. He does everything the right way and is very persistent to achieve the things he wants to achieve. It makes me hungry for more and makes me think anything is possible and that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. Not only is he a well respected coach, but he’s an even greater guy. And that’s important to be able to be a great coach not only but also a great human being outside of the field. Another person who I have really been looking up to is our DA Director at the club Brent Broadhurst, he’s currently my mentor during the licensing process for my coaching education, he’s also my current mentor as I go through the apprentice program for the boys DA program, he handles and goes about everything the right way and is well respected in our area.”

What team building activities do you like?

“I like to do a variety of things such as going to the beach as a team, we do laser tagging, pizza parties, attending local collegiate/pro games, and potlucks/team dinners.”

If you had to pick one professional player for your athletes to study/watch highlights, who would it be?


Edwin Torres