Last weekend, the goalkeepers for the SFDS soccer teams began wearing jerseys to honor the memories of two former coaches: Anthony DiCarlo and John Keane.
Coach DiCarlo adored his three daughters: Maria, Daniella and Ariana, and he coached all of them. He loved SFDS Soccer and created the “Tidal Wave” logo that still adorns the player uniforms and can be seen on soccer gear throughout the peninsula.
While coaching SFDS Soccer, Coach DiCarlo also worked with other parents, to help create Kosmos Soccer. The club has grown immensely, since its inception, and is now known as TST. Coach DiCarlo also coached at Fontbonne, where one of his daughters, Maria, was on the team.
Maria has fond memories of her dad’s affinity for the SFDS soccer program. “Every weekend, my dad was at the Fort Tilden fields. Lining them, cutting the grass, putting equipment in the sheds, fixing the goals. You name it, my dad did it.” … “He was always looking to design new SFDS gear for kids to wear. Sweatshirts, hats, jackets, patches. When Kathleen (Tomassetti) had the idea of goalie jerseys, as a tribute to him, I knew it was perfect!”
Coach Keane has five children: Aiden, Lily, Dylan, Finn and Emma, ranging in age from 6-18. Over a span of 15 years, he coached four of their SFDS Soccer teams. Coach Keane’s first team was with 3-year-olds, in Pee Wee Soccer. He often compared this experience to herding cats.
Coach Keane eventually coached SFDS Soccer and loved it. The energy and devotion he showed the children he coached left a lasting impression.
“Coach Keane was my first soccer coach,” former player, Giovanni Mazzola, said. “When I changed parishes, after Sandy, I was new and didn’t really know anyone. He made me feel really comfortable and always encouraged me. We weren’t the best team, but he made sure we had a lot of fun and felt good about ourselves.”
“Even when John wasn’t the coach he offered to help out, or cover practices, or games, if needed.,” Coach Keane’s wife, Cristi, said. “He was not actually a soccer player, and knew little about the sport, but he was a loving and involved dad, who always wanted to be there for his kids. We joked about him starting with ‘Soccer For Dummies’ and learning the sport inside out. He’d get a big kick out of seeing his name on those jerseys, and it means a tremendous amount to our entire family.”
As the SFDS players take to the field this weekend, not only will they carry the names of these two men on their jerseys, but they will also be carrying their spirits. Thank you, Coaches DiCarlo and Keane, the lasting impact you have left on our soccer program and our children, is immeasurable.