‘World class’ coach Cesar Vega returns to Porterville

‘World class’ coach Cesar Vega returns to Porterville

Article was published in the Porterville Recorder on August 10, 2018
By Nayirah Dosu ndosu@portervillerecorder.com

Former Mexico national coach back training Chivas

The Central Valley is once again being graced with the experienced and respected presence of former Mexico youth national coach Cesar Vega Perrone, who returned to Porterville and turned a three-week vacation into training sessions for former and current South Valley Chivas Academy players.

At a training session on Wednesday evening at the Porterville Sports Complex, Chivas president Esmaldo Hernandez said that Vega, who is a family friend, had returned to the U.S. for business but grew restless early into his vacation and got the idea to get back on the pitch.

Trinidad Ruiz, a parent of a current 2005 Chiva player, said through a translator that it was an honor having the kids being trained by Vega.

“To them it’s exciting,” Hernandez said, noting that players swarmed Vega for an autograph on the first day. “To me, first of all, this is a world class coach. How often do you get to be in front of a world class coach? So the kids are pretty much excited.”

With the help of a translator, Vega explained that his love for his work, soccer and children drew him out of his vacation, and that he wanted to show them his experiences and tell his story. He added that in the players he sees “very good coordination” and “a good body for training, learning soccer”.

Vega’s return to the Valley drew in players from as far as Clovis, including two sophomore defenders from the reigning national champion Fresno City College soccer team in Porterville High School graduate, Fabian Mendoza, and Granite Hills’ graduate, Armando Gonzalez. The two both said they had enjoyed the last couple of weeks learning the technical parts of the game with Vega.

“I’m learning a lot,” Gonzalez said. “Taking in from him a lot…Just the little things, he perfects the little things. To us it might not be that important but in a game it really is. Technical-wise [Mendoza] said it. Defensively it’s really crucial. We’re both defensive [players], so he’s showing us a lot defensive-wise. How to just stand up, just the little things. It’s very important.”

On what Vega has focused on with players, Hernandez added, “These guys are more technical. They want to see technique. So he’ll have a session where he sits the kids down for half an hour and he’ll discuss the game. Basically ask them, ‘If I do this?’ See if they know the game mentally, see if they’re prepared. So he does mental and physical work with the kids.”

Vega is well known for his ability to quickly and easily scout talent in players, as well as develop them. A native of Uruguay, Vega played for his home country’s national team, including when the team played in the 1986 World Cup against Brazilian great, Diego Maradona. But his time spent with the 17-and-under Mexico national team that went from not qualifying for the 2001 World Cup to winning titles in 2005 and 2011 is some of his most known work.

“Cesar Vega a lot of people don’t know who he really is but he’s trained top players from the Mexico national team like Carlos Vela, Chicharito (Javier Hernández), (César) Villaluz, Giovani Dos Santos,” Mendoza said. “A cool story about him is that he actually cut Chicharito from the u17 national team and took someone else instead because he said that Chicharito wasn’t meant to be an outside mid(fielder) and it ended up being that it was true because he’s now probably one of the best nines (striker) in the world. A top class player now.”

Vega, who was last in Porterville training players in 2013, has also spent the earlier parts of his days in Visalia where he works with the Chivas’ other branch of players. Tonight, Vega said he will head to Oakland to do a coaching clinic for coaches, as well as training sessions for kids in the area.