It’s all about the love for one another and the comradely of playing for the man next to you. This is what truly ignites a program, lifts its fan base, infiltrates a winning culture and brings people together from different corners of the world. This is SF State men’s soccer, and this is what head coach Pedro Osório enforces upon his players from day one.
This will be Osório’s first season as the Gators head soccer coach, and second season as a member of the Gators coaching staff. Osório’s first season was as an assistant coach under then head coach Javier Ayala-Hil of SF State Gators men’s team.
“It was hard at first absolutely, knowing your true passion is to be a head coach when you’re just an assistant,” Osório said. “It was a little difficult, but with that, I had to take the theoretical backseat which was an approach that not only helped gauge our program but gave me time to oversee the entire game plan and method.”
He has gone on to become the new head soccer coach for San Francisco Glens. This provided an opening for Osório to become the new head coach of the Gators, a position he always thought he was meant for.
” My vision was to always become a head coach, last year was a bit of a whirlwind it was mostly just meeting the team and assisting with film for player development,” said Osório. “However, this season I will be the man at the helm, in charge of bringing that championship-caliber play back to the SF State community.”
His care and passion for his players, program and institution manifests immensely as he stalks the sidelines. He not only wants them to succeed both on the field and in the classroom, but in life, implanting compassion, respect, class and perseverance, just like the great game of soccer has to offer.
Osório epitomizes the notion of “a player’s coach,” a wonderful role model for these young players with a personable, charismatic, player-friendly approach. He brings over a decade of professional soccer experience from all over California, Latin America and Fiji. He learned from playing at the top level in several different countries about the ability to be selfless with the ball something he will emphasize this year to his soccer team.
“We probably play in the toughest conference in Division II or Division III Men’s NCAA college soccer, so we want our student athletes to have a different mindset,” Osório said. “We want them to be well-organized, well-prepared, humble and come together as a group and sacrifice all individual accolades for the greater good of the team. We all learned a lot last year together with Javy [Javier Ayala-Hil].”
The team took a new approach this off-season by recruiting international talent from all over the world such as Japan, Germany, Italy, Denmark and South Africa. The team has a close relationship with 22 nations in the world. Along with recruiting global talent, the San Francisco State Men’s team has a premise of recruiting and developing local talent such as Daly City native and Gator star Julio Gonzalez Ponce who played in the city for Mission High School.
The season kicks off Friday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. against Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, California. The Gators first home game isn’t until Friday, Oct. 4 at 12:20 p.m. against Stanislaus State. Some of the key matchups this season will be against teams down south such as Cal State Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomona and a familiar foe in Cal State San Bernardino — who bounced the Gators in playoff competition last season.