US Youth Soccer names coaching honorees

Joseph Apodaca of Manassas, Va., Keri Heedum of Cincinnati, Adrian Solca of Trophy Club, Texas, and Stephanie Coppola of Santa Fe, N.M., have been named the regional winners of the 2011 US Youth Soccer Girls Competitive Coach of the Year awards.

The national Girls Competitive Coach of the Year will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop in Boston.

The Competitive Coach of the Year is awarded to a coach for his or her coaching activities, sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and citizenship.

Girls Competitive Coach of the Year regional winners:

Region I: Joseph Apodaca, Manassas, Va.

Joseph Apodaca secured his first coaching responsibility at age 14. For the three decades since, "Coach A" has honed his coaching skills through years of military service, international experience and coaching education. Apodaca began coaching club soccer in 2004 at Prince William Soccer, Inc., and his players have gone on to success at the club and US Youth Soccer ODP levels. He currently holds a USSF "A" License.

Region II: Keri Heedum, Cincinnati, Ohio

On and off the field, Keri Heedum focuses on maintaining a positive attitude while working hard. Her Hammer FC teams train and play in an environment of joy and hard work. Heedum holds a USSF "C" License and National Youth License. Prior to her current positions at Hammer FC and Xavier University, Heedum served as a staff coach in Utah Youth Soccer State Association and Florida Youth Soccer Association.

Region III: Adrian Solca, Trophy Club, Texas

Adrian Solca wants all of his players to learn one thing, "all hard work yields a profit." Solca coaches various levels in North Texas and finds success in each, from leading his Solar Soccer Club Under-16 girls to the 2010 US Youth Soccer South Regional Championship and National Championship to guiding his U-11 girls to a league championship. A native of Romania, Solca holds a UEFA Level "A" certification.

Region IV: Stephanie Coppola, Santa Fe, N.M.

Stephanie Coppola has successfully transitioned from elite player into competitive coach and has instilled her love of the game in her players. Coppola holds a USSF "B" License and coaches at Rio Vista FC and for New Mexico US Youth Soccer ODP. As a credit to her coaching abilities, two years ago Coppola took over a second division team, which after two years will compete in the state championships.