Santos Futbol Club: About Santos F.C.

Santos F.C.

About Luis Dabo: 

The most respected coach in the state is a humble man, one who cares more about building solid citizens than victories. Dabo brought Arizona its first national youth-club boys title in 1996, but he is more proud about his team not collecting a yellow card during its title run. He also produced the only player who has represented Arizona in a World Cup, Pablo Mastroeni. Dabo was born in the African country of Guinea-Bissau and played professionally in Portugal before settling in the United States to coach professionally. He began coaching youths in 1985 and continues coaching on the grounds at Solano School, where he began in 1987. Some of the top soccer players in the world are known by one name. Say "Dabo" in Arizona, and the soccer community knows exactly whom you are talking about.

About Santos F.C.:
The Santos Club is, in part, Luis Dabo’s response to his experience as professional coach in North America . As a head coach in the MISL, Luis drafted American players who were supposedly the best available. While the players were typically strong, fast and well conditioned, they could not compete well with the foreign players on the roster because they lacked at least two important things. First, they had not mastered the basic skills of ball control. Second, they could not think for themselves. Years of being constantly coached from the sidelines had produced players who asked, “What do I Do?” rather than creating for themselves on the soccer field.

The aim of the Santos program is to have the players develop into mature, self- reliant individuals both on and off the soccer field. Some of our goals at Santos are to give our players the foundation in skills and the ability to think which will enable them to compete anywhere in the world. Our primary goal is not to win a league, tournament, or state title. While winning matches is desirable, the development of the particular abilities of each player within a team concept is much more important. An emphasis is placed on learning ball skills until they become second nature to each player. Players are encouraged to think for themselves and be creative with their skills. Winning matches should be a natural result of that process.

We believe that the Santos teams have developed a “style” of play relying on skills and creativity that have become recognized or unique. Our coaches follow a similar training regimen, adapted to the age and developmental level of their players. We believe that the Club is developing thinking and skilled coaches as well as players.

Santos Players may practice three or four week nights and on weekends. Soccer is expected to be a priority. However, the first priority for each player is his or her school work. Santos players must demonstrate to their coaches and parents that they are making satisfactory progress in school in order to maintain their status on the team. Unsatisfactory grades may result in reduced playing time on the field.