Introducing Antonio Guadarrama
Antonio Guadarrama is joining the PRSC trainer staff. Take a minute to get to know him. Welcome to the club.
Playing Experience: I’ve been playing since age 8 and have had the luck to play semipro for the Elmwood Park Maroons and trained with a professional organization in Jalisco, Mexico. I was the franchise owner for a club in Waukegan’s Men’s Premier league which I successfully ran for 11 years. I continue to play at a competitive level in several men’s leagues.
Coaching Experience: I started coaching rec teams and at the High School level in 2007. I became a licensed club coach in 2011 and have worked with Chicago Pegasus, Chicago Fire Jr’s, Lake County FC, FC-1 Academy and FC Hawks. I’m currently involved with the Olympic Development Program whom I’ve been working for since 2016.
Licenses / Coaching Education: I’ve obtained the National D and C licenses under the USSF. I have the Advanced National Diploma as well as several mini diplomas under the NSCAA. I also received diplomas for La Liga Methodology Course levels 3 and 2 for U.S. Club soccer and am currently working on obtaining my B license for the USSF.
Personal Bio: Soccer has been a part of my life since age 8. I was first introduced to soccer by reading a book on Pele whom is my favorite player of all time!
Though I never watched a match with Pele as a kid, what I read was enough to inspire me to want to be like him and I tried everyday to imitate him on the playground.
My favorite team of all time is Santos Lagunas from the Mexican league who is the current champion. My favorite time to watch the game is during the World Cup, but I also like to watch Champions league and Liga MX games.
My dream is to be a national team coach for a World Cup team someday.
Feature: PRSC Referee Program
Development opportunities within PRSC are not limited to players on the field. PRSC boasts one the the best referee programs in the state, producing high school, college and amateur referees.
"I think we do a great job," said Jim O'Donnell, a local referee assignor who runs the PRSC program with his wife Marty. "We have produced some very good refs."
The program begins with 7th graders who attend a 4-hour training class in the spring and become Assistant Referees (AR) for travel matches up to U10. After a year as an AR, an 8-hour training class certifies individuals to become center referees in the House League. Eighth graders also can take a United States Soccer Federation class which certifies individuals to be ARs for PRSC travel matches (all ages), center ref for PRSC and other club's matches and center ref for all House League matches.
Declan Cannon, a Junior at Colorado School of Mines, started with the program 8th grade as a center ref for House matches. He attended the USSF Grade 8 Clinic and progressed to a ref for younger age travel matches. This experience allowed Cannon to move up to higher level local travel matches, often as a center ref for U15 and U16 matches at the end of high school.
"With each year comes higher level games which become more fun to ref," said Cannon, who was the PRSC Referee of the Year in 2016. "By the end of high school I was traveling to nearby tournaments to referee for many different age groups."
O'Donnell says the key to the success of the program is the referee coaching program which was established in 2000. Referee coaches are paired with young referees, attend matches they work, offer feedback, correct errors and, most importantly, provide encouragement. This committee meets at the end of each season to evaluate all PRSC officials and make recommendations on which officials should advance to more challenging assignments.
"The Referee Coaching Committee is a key component in instilling confidence and overcoming fear for beginning officials," O'Donnell said. "Ongoing support ultimately makes our local referee program one of if not the best in the area."
Cannon has simple advice for anyone who is in the program. He also offered one additional benefit of being a referee.
"Listen to your mentors," he said. "They will watch you and give you great pointers on what you can improve on. Everyone is the program is there to help. You should always feel comfortable reaching out an asking questions."
"The money also is really nice," he quipped.
Anyone interested in more information about the PRSC referee program can contact Jim and Marty O'Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-696-2343. Information also is available at www.prsoccer.com.