Meet the new coach!


D'ajahnae Croft

Morelia Lara is a 2018 PMA graduate and now college student at The University of Illinois at Chicago. Even with her busy schedule, she still manages to make time for the sport she loves. This time, however, she’s not the player. She’s the coach.

Many PMA graduates come back to work here. Most just want to give back to the school that gave them so much.

“It feels memorable to be back as it often brings back memories of when I was on the soccer team at Phoenix. Sometimes it feels a bit weird to be back since I’m not a student here anymore, but overall it excites me to be a part of a team again and be able to coach a team I was once a part of,” said Lara.

Although Phoenix cadets are excited for Lara to be back, many are wondering how this happened. Lara was such an outstanding player that she was asked to be the JV coach.

“I was offered the position by the head coach, Otto Rodriguez. I accepted and continued the CPS process of becoming an employee,” said Lara.

Being an athlete takes a lot of hard work in all categories, not just your sport. Lara is confident that she’ll be able to steer the girls in the right direction.

“My plans for the team this year are to provide a safe and positive environment for the team so that we are able to practice soccer strategies efficiently and by building strong chemistry and teamwork. I plan to focus on improvement in not only soccer performance, but also attitude, motivation, and sportsmanship,” said Lara.

Coming back to PMA and becoming the coach hit close to home for Lara. Her love for soccer, motivation to do better and drive will allow her to be successful, which will make her team successful.

“I am extremely excited to continue my soccer career through my players. Soccer has been such an important part of my life throughout my high school experience and I feel lucky to be able to continue to address my passion and love for soccer through coaching my girls and seeing them grow with the sport,” said Lara.

Since Lara was once a player and is now a coach, she knows the challenges from both sides. So reasoning with the girls won’t be an issue because she was once in all of their shoes.

“I feel that my biggest challenge will be getting the players to become committed and motivated to the sport and their team. Yet I feel confident in my players and am here to support their every decision,” said Lara.

Coaches want their players to be in the right mindset and stay motivated. There’s always room for improvement and a chance to get a better understanding. Lara realizes that her team will not be perfect but she plans to lead them in a way where they feel like they’re number one, even if they technically aren’t.