Baton Rouge brings in new coach.
BATON ROUGE, LA — The Baton Rouge Capitals of the Premier Development League are proud to announce the hiring of their new head coach Helio D’Anna for the upcoming 2008 season.
“Coach L” as everyone calls him, is the current head coach of Lincoln Memorial University’s men’s and women’s soccer programs, both of which have been flourishing under his leadership the past four years. He has been named an NSCAA/Adidas Regional Coach of the Year, which puts him in contention for the National Coach of the Year award along with seven others.
Being a native of Brazil, he brings a different style of soccer to the field and is also able to parlay those connections into bringing in young Brazilian talent to play in the US.
His men’s team, the Rail Splitters, went to the Division II Championship Game this year, losing at the end of the game 1-0. They ended the season ranked second in the NCAA DII. Under his leadership the LMU men’s program has achieved:
NCAA DII Championship Game Appearances 2007
NCAA DII Final Four Appearances 2006, 2007
NCAA DII Tournament Appearances 2006, 2007
South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Champions 2007 (Co-Champs)
SAC Tournament Champions 2007
GSC Regular Season Champions 2004
GSC Tournament Champions 2005
His women’s team has also been doing extremely well, and he brings to Baton Rouge a very impressive resume. He will direct the Capitals for their second season, which begins play on May 10 & 11 at Olympia Stadium (Perkins & Kenilworth) and whose regular season culminates on July 18.
D’Anna has already begun recruiting players for the Baton Rouge team. This, along with attracting the best players in Louisiana, should result in a very strong run at making the playoffs this season in a division that includes last year’s PDL North American Champions, the Laredo Heat.
Upcoming dates for tryouts will be posted on the Capitals official web site: www.brcapitals.com, which should be in middle to late March.
“Many people don’t know this, but the last two players to win the Hermann Trophy (soccer’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) were from Louisiana. Jason Gary, who is from outside of Baton Rouge and went on to play at University of Maryland, is now with the Columbus Crew and Joseph Lapira, who is from Lake Charles, went on to play at Notre Dame,” said James Vilas, the Capitals Owner.
Lapira, who played last season with the Capitals, was recently drafted in the MLS SuperDraft last month.
“We have a lot of talented players here in south Louisiana and having the Capitals allows these youth men to play in a professional environment while being exposed to some of the best players in the country that will soon be the superstars of tomorrow,” said Vilas.
This new relationship with this caliber of coach will allow many of our local younger players who are searching for recruitment opportunities, to work with someone who has a decade of experience in the collegiate arena. Obviously, this will allow for a great expansion of opportunities to our local soccer-playing youth.