September 25, 2022, 03:22:41 PM

Author Topic: Ex-SJU soccer standout, Brent Sancho, catches coaching bug with Rochester  (Read 1501 times)

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Offline Tallman

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Ex-SJU soccer standout catches coaching bug with Rochester
By Dylan Butler (fiveborosports.com)


Brent Sancho has enjoyed a remarkable soccer career. He won an NCAA championship at St. John’s in 1996 and competed in the FIFA World Cup 10 years later. The Trinidadian-born defender played at the highest level in Scotland and competed in England.

But one thing Sancho never thought about was getting into coaching. After all, the former Red Storm standout was still playing at a high level. Why even acknowledge life after soccer?

But then it happened. Playing for the North East Stars in Trinidad to keep fit last year with the hopes of returning to England, Sancho was thrust into the head coaching job after a rift between the team’s owner and the coach.

“The coach isn’t here today and you’re going to have to take charge of this session,” the owner told Sancho one morning.

Instead Sancho took over for the rest of the season, leading the North East Stars to a third-place finish in the TT Pro League.

“I really like this, it is not a bad thing,” Sancho said to himself. “The owner said he thought I was a natural.”

That planted the seed for the defender, who is currently serving as a player-assistant coach for the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Sancho was told of the opportunity in upstate New York by fellow Trinidadian Leslie Fitzpatrick, who plays for the Rhinos. Soon, Sancho found himself learning on the job under head coach Darren Tilley.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be working with a good up-and-coming manager who is quite meticulous and I’m sponging a lot to learn from him,” Sancho said. “It’s one of those situations where he has taught me a lot and he’s given me a lot of leeway to learn.”

When he was playing for the North East Stars, Sancho was just trying to get in shape for a return to England. The 32-year-old played three seasons apiece at Scottish Premier League squad Dundee United and for English League One side Gillingham.

Sancho figured he had a couple more good years of European soccer left in him, so he wasn’t really too interested in a return to the United States, where he played in the USL-1 for the Portland Timbers in 2001 and 2002 before bolting for Scotland. Sancho was also looking into options to play in Australia.

“It was not even in any chapter of my life at all,” Sancho said. “I didn’t think of it at all. I was thinking of playing with the idea of getting back on the (Trinidad) national team. I was trying to play as much as I could to get back into the fold.”

Plans changed, though, when Sancho got hooked on coaching.

“My agent told me that this is not a bad offer in terms of playing and coaching,” he said of the deal to join Rochester. “It was a win-win situation at the end.”

Sancho’s coaching style and philosophy comes from myriad of sources, including longtime St. John’s coach Dave Masur as well as former Trinidad manager Leo Beenhakker and Dundee’s Jim Duffy.

“When you look at it, you start thinking you need to emulate this one or that, but I’ve fallen into a niche of bringing my own philosophy,” Sancho said. “My former coaches have embedded themselves in my life, they’ve left a print. I’ve had a lot more good than bad fortunately.”

Sancho said he misses New York City, but is excited about FC New York joining USL-1 next year. He is adjusting to the slower lifestyle than he’s been used to. But, Sancho said, Rochester provides the perfect environment to learn his craft.

“It is a small town compared to places I live,” Sancho said. “It’s really given me a chance to sit back and soak up everything. It’s conducive for learning.”

In other words, it’s the perfect place to cultivate what Sancho hopes will be a successful coaching career.

“Now that I’ve got the coaching bug, I’d love to manage professionally, but I would be interested in a college job,” he said. “I’m sure it’s a bit different than coaching professionally. I would look into it.”
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Offline weary1969

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All d best meh brudder.
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Offline Big Magician

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we mad yes....

coach and play yuh fitball Brent
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Offline weary1969

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we mad yes....

coach and play yuh fitball Brent

Dis is not an association is madness.
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline Big Magician

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nice weary....nice
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Offline weary1969

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Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline soccerman

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We have enough solid, experienced and capable defenders to help us in the second round, who can help us earn a qualifying spot.....everyting good for de hour :chilling:

Offline Tallman

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Sancho’s connection to Rochester Rhinos has long history
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2009, 07:07:09 PM »
Sancho’s connection to Rochester Rhinos has long history
By Jeff DiVeronica (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)


Brent Sancho is in his first season as a player/assistant coach for the Rhinos, but his Rochester connection started about a decade ago.

He knew about the success fellow Trinidad & Tobago native, Craig Demmin, had on championship teams from 1998-2000, and he was happy when boyhood friend Mickey Trotman joined the Rhinos in 2001.

Sancho was with the Portland Timbers in 2001 when he and Trotman went home in early October to play for the T&T national team in a World Cup qualifying match.

But Trotman never played. He, his brother and two friends died in a car accident after they arrived. Only a twist of fate kept Sancho out of that car.

He and Trotman were sharing the same hotel room in Arima, Trinidad, and Mickey invited him to his mother’s house that evening. Sancho usually would go, but he was tired and not up for the 40-minute drive. He passed.

Later that night, Trotman lost control of his car on Pinto Road and, according to a police report, it slammed into a pole. By morning, the only survivor of the crash was another of Trotman’s brothers, Kenyon.

“I got the (phone) call and I just looked at Mickey’s clothes in the hotel room thinking: This can’t be true. I could have been in that car. I was in shock,” Sancho recalled.

The Rhinos dedicated that playoff run to Trotman, 26, their fallen teammate, and it remains their last championship. They also retired his “14” jersey number.

Trotman’s death is one of a few turning-point moments for Sancho, 32, in a career that has included an NCAA title with St. John’s (1997), stints playing in Finland, Scotland and England and his crowning achievement, the 2006 World Cup.

But the World Cup also included a controversial play that made the defender the talk of the soccer world for a few days.

T&T tied Sweden, 0-0, in its opener and held England scoreless for 82 minutes in its next match.

But Peter Crouch scored off David Beckham’s cross, converting a leaping header over Sancho, for the 83rd-minute lead. Although no foul was called, video replay showed Crouch pulling Sancho’s dreadlocks to win the header.

Still pictures of the play were plastered in every European newspaper.

“We are tiny Trinidad & Tobago,” Sancho was quoted as saying back then, “and there is no way that referee was going to make that call.”

The media frenzy was a circus. “Never seen that many reporters in my life,” he recalled.

And just think: After winning the NCAAs, he wasn’t even going to pursue professional soccer.

After playing for Essex (N.J.) Community College, he planned to go to Fordham. But St. John’s coach Dave Masur spotted Sancho in what he described as a Caribbean league game in the Bronx.

“You can picture the dreadlocks and all the different Caribbean atmosphere and there’s this sole white guy sitting there with his notepad,” Sancho said. “I said, ‘This guy is serious.’”

After earning his degree in psychology, Sancho worked with at-risk children in Queens. He made a connection with one boy who was trying to steer his life away from gang life. But the boy was shot and died.

“That really impacted me, so I went back to what I know, which was playing football,” Sancho said.

After a stint in Finland, the MetroStars (MLS) offered him a contract but Sancho declined. The offer was so low, Sancho called it “ridiculous.”

He played 71 matches from 2000-03 with Charleston and Portland in the USL. Then came two years in the Scottish Premier League with Dundee FC, the rival of Dundee United, where ex-Rhino Pat Onstad played.

“To play in front of that many fans, that kind of passion and rivalry,” Sancho said, “I was in awe.”

Then it was on to England’s second division, where he played for Gillingham from 2005-07.

The World Cup call wasn’t a surprise, but he never dreamed of starting. One center back got injured just before the opener, however, and coach Leo Beenhakker experimented by dropping a forward back to defense.

But he noticed Sancho’s body language in practice and asked, “Do you have a problem?”

“Yeah, I do,” Sancho responded. “I think I deserve a chance to play.”

“All right,” Beenhakker said, “you’re starting.”

Just like that.

“I think he was feeling me out,” Sancho said.

Spotting his family, including parents Pearl and Keith, with tears in their eyes during the national anthem, was “my proudest moment,” Sancho said.

He hopes his next big one is helping the Rhinos win a title.

Sancho has battled a hamstring and a shoulder injury that restricts his breathing, but he has paired nicely with Kenney Bertz.

“It’s Batman-Robin, smash-and-grab, gruesome twosome,” head coach Darren Tilley said of the chemistry between Sancho and Bertz. “Brent’s ability to read the game is just superb.”

Reading situations off the field is key, too. He was a player/coach last year for a pro team back home, an experience that got him thinking about life after his playing days.

“You need to know where to draw the line, when to put on your coaching hat and your playing hat,” said Sancho, who had a strong advocate coming to Rochester in midfielder and T&T native, Tiger Fitzpatrick. “But I’ve always admired this franchise. I know its history.”
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Offline Midknight

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Sancho’s connection to Rochester Rhinos has long history
By Jeff DiVeronica (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)


Brent Sancho is in his first season as a player/assistant coach for the Rhinos, but his Rochester connection started about a decade ago.

He knew about the success fellow Trinidad & Tobago native, Craig Demmin, had on championship teams from 1998-2000, and he was happy when boyhood friend Mickey Trotman joined the Rhinos in 2001.

Sancho was with the Portland Timbers in 2001 when he and Trotman went home in early October to play for the T&T national team in a World Cup qualifying match.

But Trotman never played. He, his brother and two friends died in a car accident after they arrived. Only a twist of fate kept Sancho out of that car.

He and Trotman were sharing the same hotel room in Arima, Trinidad, and Mickey invited him to his mother’s house that evening. Sancho usually would go, but he was tired and not up for the 40-minute drive. He passed.

Later that night, Trotman lost control of his car on Pinto Road and, according to a police report, it slammed into a pole. By morning, the only survivor of the crash was another of Trotman’s brothers, Kenyon.

“I got the (phone) call and I just looked at Mickey’s clothes in the hotel room thinking: This can’t be true. I could have been in that car. I was in shock,” Sancho recalled.

The Rhinos dedicated that playoff run to Trotman, 26, their fallen teammate, and it remains their last championship. They also retired his “14” jersey number.

Trotman’s death is one of a few turning-point moments for Sancho, 32, in a career that has included an NCAA title with St. John’s (1997), stints playing in Finland, Scotland and England and his crowning achievement, the 2006 World Cup.

But the World Cup also included a controversial play that made the defender the talk of the soccer world for a few days.

T&T tied Sweden, 0-0, in its opener and held England scoreless for 82 minutes in its next match.

But Peter Crouch scored off David Beckham’s cross, converting a leaping header over Sancho, for the 83rd-minute lead. Although no foul was called, video replay showed Crouch pulling Sancho’s dreadlocks to win the header.

Still pictures of the play were plastered in every European newspaper.

“We are tiny Trinidad & Tobago,” Sancho was quoted as saying back then, “and there is no way that referee was going to make that call.”

The media frenzy was a circus. “Never seen that many reporters in my life,” he recalled.

And just think: After winning the NCAAs, he wasn’t even going to pursue professional soccer.

After playing for Essex (N.J.) Community College, he planned to go to Fordham. But St. John’s coach Dave Masur spotted Sancho in what he described as a Caribbean league game in the Bronx.

“You can picture the dreadlocks and all the different Caribbean atmosphere and there’s this sole white guy sitting there with his notepad,” Sancho said. “I said, ‘This guy is serious.’”

After earning his degree in psychology, Sancho worked with at-risk children in Queens. He made a connection with one boy who was trying to steer his life away from gang life. But the boy was shot and died.

“That really impacted me, so I went back to what I know, which was playing football,” Sancho said.

After a stint in Finland, the MetroStars (MLS) offered him a contract but Sancho declined. The offer was so low, Sancho called it “ridiculous.”

He played 71 matches from 2000-03 with Charleston and Portland in the USL. Then came two years in the Scottish Premier League with Dundee FC, the rival of Dundee United, where ex-Rhino Pat Onstad played.

“To play in front of that many fans, that kind of passion and rivalry,” Sancho said, “I was in awe.”

Then it was on to England’s second division, where he played for Gillingham from 2005-07.

The World Cup call wasn’t a surprise, but he never dreamed of starting. One center back got injured just before the opener, however, and coach Leo Beenhakker experimented by dropping a forward back to defense.

But he noticed Sancho’s body language in practice and asked, “Do you have a problem?”

“Yeah, I do,” Sancho responded. “I think I deserve a chance to play.”

“All right,” Beenhakker said, “you’re starting.”

Just like that.

“I think he was feeling me out,” Sancho said.

Spotting his family, including parents Pearl and Keith, with tears in their eyes during the national anthem, was “my proudest moment,” Sancho said.

He hopes his next big one is helping the Rhinos win a title.

Sancho has battled a hamstring and a shoulder injury that restricts his breathing, but he has paired nicely with Kenney Bertz.

“It’s Batman-Robin, smash-and-grab, gruesome twosome,” head coach Darren Tilley said of the chemistry between Sancho and Bertz. “Brent’s ability to read the game is just superb.”

Reading situations off the field is key, too. He was a player/coach last year for a pro team back home, an experience that got him thinking about life after his playing days.

“You need to know where to draw the line, when to put on your coaching hat and your playing hat,” said Sancho, who had a strong advocate coming to Rochester in midfielder and T&T native, Tiger Fitzpatrick. “But I’ve always admired this franchise. I know its history.”

Very interesting. Brent has been around a lot. Didn't know about the Trotman thing - life is funny.

also the part that got me was this:

Quote
The World Cup call wasn’t a surprise, but he never dreamed of starting. One center back got injured just before the opener, however, and coach Leo Beenhakker experimented by dropping a forward back to defense.

But he noticed Sancho’s body language in practice and asked, “Do you have a problem?”
“Yeah, I do,” Sancho responded. “I think I deserve a chance to play.”
“All right,” Beenhakker said, “you’re starting.”

I could only assume was KJ.
I wonder if Beenie was bluffing, as Sancho seems to suggest or if he REALLY intended to do that to replace the hole in the defence when Dog get injured.
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Offline spideybuff

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We might have to do that now, cause KJ hadda play but we have an abundance of forwards.
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