New coach looks to rejuvenate soccer team

David Linenberger has been appointed as Palomar men soccer team’s new head coach ahead of the 2017 season with the hope of inspiring the Comet’s to join the top ranks of Southern California’s collegiate soccer while moving away from their history of struggling in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Linenberger has over 30 years of professional experience in sport management and chief technical directorial positions.

As a former member of the United Soccer Association technical directing team Linenberger possesses an incredible amount of coaching knowledge and managerial vision that our team really needs to get back on the top level, says Paulo Espinoza, the men’s assistant coach.

“I grew when soccer was just starting in this country with the old North American Soccer League. I was lucky to grow up in a city with a professional team with the Dallas Tornado,” Linenberger said.

He played on a true club team, the Texas Longhorn Soccer club, as a youth. He participated in the club’s development projects including traveling through Europea in the summer and youth production training for about two years before going on to play in college at San Diego State University.

“I was a product of the American soccer culture and environment,” Linenberger said.

Linenberger started his coaching tenure through academic ranks of youth, state collegiate, and national league championship; America’s traditional league format known as “American Soccer League Federation” during the late 1980s. He collaborated with many professional technical staff and leading national players in order to expand the youth academic system.

His mission coming to Palomar is to organize a strong unit of student athletes to compete at the collegiate level, while ultimately focusing on completing their college program.

“When I was hired last spring the mission I was told was that we had to matriculate freshmen to sophomores, to rebuild the program, and get back to some winning ways and have it to be a positive reflection in the community and that is my ambition,” Linenberger said.

Linenberger’s first collegiate coaching role was for the Sacramento State soccer team in 1986. He led the team to two semifinal appearances in the state championship during his four years spent at the university.

He went on to spend a few years serving as a chief soccer program analyst for many high schools across the state until 1998.

Linenberger underlined how Palomar can still be a path to professional soccer even though it typically is the responsibility of the club league system to develop players into pros.

He further emphasized how college athletics encourage the growing passion for a sport, but its priority is still to lead the way for educational achievement.

“Like every soccer country in the world, the major clubs take care of youth development of future pros, I don’t think it is the college’s mission to perform such a task, although there will be always a group of kids coming out of college to become professionals later on,” Linenberger said.

His sharp distinction between the youth system in the U.S. compared with those in European and Latin American regions is the depth and structural vision of those programs.

“I worked with many national youth teams and by seeing their environment compared to the kids in Europe and South America, the difference is that their kids practice with professionals but we don’t have it here,”Linenberger said.

While remaining optimistic about the expanding role of soccer context at the collegiate level, Linenberger equally argues a realistic limitation to what it can offer to students in terms of pursuing professional career.

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Staying on as Palomar men’s soccer coach is ideal for the Dallas born coach as he has already enjoyed coaching at this level quite awhile over previous years and he is determined to inspire Palomar’s men soccer to find winning ways.

Abtin Mohammadi

Author: Abtin Mohammadi

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