7/27/2017 – Until we meet again Chris. A Coaches perspective.
Chris Malenab has been a part of the Sacramento soccer scene for the majority of his life. The former Christian Brothers goal keeper, left the playing field but continued in the game. Coaching local high school teams, he won the Sac Bee’s boys Coach of the Year in 2003. He coached at Stanislaus State and helped a multitude of Clubs and teams in the Sacramento area.
In 2013, he stepped onto the pitch to help Sac Republic hold its first try-out sessions and that quickly evolved into an opportunity to join the Republic family. Under coach Preki, Chris filled a well-earned spot on the staff as Assistant Coach. Chris had found a home.
Fast forward to transition…. Like many organizations, SRFC made a coaching change and with Preki out and Buckle in, again Chris’s talent was recognized. The team was evolving and the needs were changing. Chris transitioned to SRFC Video Analyst. This sounds like mundane task, but when done properly it hosts a treasure chest of opportunity for top sports teams. Regrettably, I have never seen his work, but I’m told Chris has the gift. Seeing the opportunities, the movements, the areas for growth and improvement all came quickly because Chris sees the game, it’s subtleties and its beauty.
Chris had a dual role with SRFC and served as their Camps and Clinics Coordinator. Thanks to our former D.O.C., Doug MacRae, SSA formed an early partnership with SRFC. We were one of a few Clubs on the ground floor as SRFC refined and developed their Clinics program. I first met Chris on some hot day in 2013 at Bahnfleth Park. I remember the SRFC players, Chris and the excitement of the SSA players as they interacted with the Clinic partners.
I think Chris and I have had a dozen interactions on the pitch in the last three years. I have always admired his ability to see the ‘small things’. Chris – “Are you meeting your training objectives? Is it working?” Me – “Not really.” Chris picks up a cone and moves it 10-15 yards to the right. Chris – “Try starting them here instead.” Wow… it’s working now! Two weeks ago, Chris – “Do you play your defenders flat?” Me – “No way!” Chris in passing – “Give them shape.“ Oh yeah, make it game like, I knew that! Always learning.
Out of thousands and thousands of ‘sports people’ in many different sports, Chris was recently recognized by Hudl in the 2017 Hudl 100. – To see the Hudl 100 click here – Pretty mind blowing that the NSCAA is blasting its members Nationally about Chris’s achievements and that same guy is out on the pitch working with our players on a hot afternoon at Conlin today.
Chris will soon leave Sacramento for his next step up in the soccer world. I look forward to seeing where his boots will land. Like many, many people in Sacramento I am better and WE are better for having spent time with him. I think I speak for many when I say it’s not a good-bye, rather “Until we meet again!” Safe travels Chris and best wishes to you and your family. – Coach Tim
That’s 12 hours of professional coaching for $95 this spring!
2016 old news…..
Just in time for the Holidays! Order your SSA Swag gear now! See your coach or manager for more info!
WHEN: Sunday, September 18th, 2016, 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. at Land Park Main
SSA picture day was Sunday September 11. Thank you to all attendees, volunteers and LPSC!
WHEN: Monday, September 5, 2016, 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m at Bahnfleth Park
WHEN: Monday, Aug. 8 through Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. daily @ Bahnfleth Park
Thursday, August 4, 2016 – SSA 16UG “Elite” fundraiser. – Simple… buy a pizza and help the team. Thank you to all who came out to support SSA and our Elite team!
SSA players arrived prior to our SSA SRFC Club to participate in a PK on the pitch
Some of the players stuck around after the match for a “picture on the pitch”.
SRFC joins SSA again in 2016 for team training sessions and coach mentoring sessions!
SSA 12UG pictured after a training session with SRFC’s Chris Malenab.
Chris is a Sacramento native and “paying it back” big time to the local soccer community.
The Sac Bee recently posted a video highlighting his role with SRFC, click here to see the video.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP CHRIS!
Read this great story on ssa player Ku’ulei Osako
I bolded some amazing comments by Ku’ulei that speak volumes of “development beyond the pitch”. This is an EXCELLENT read for players of all ages, parents and coaches.
congratulations ku’ulei !!
FOOT LOCKER SCHOLAR ATHLETE: On April 22nd, at a surprise event at Kennedy High School, Ku’uleialohamae’ole “Ku’ulei” Osako was presented with a $20,000 Foot Locket Scholar Athletes scholarship. The 20 high school college-bound seniors that received this year’s award were selected from 37,000 nationwide applications.
Ku’ulei was very surprised to learn that she won this award at the surprise event. Prior to the ceremony, she only knew that she was a top 50 finalist. Ku’ulei explains, “I didn’t hear anything back for a while so I just thought that I didn’t get it. A month later I found out that I was chosen as a winner and I was completely in shock. The Kennedy Staff and Foot Locker Representatives threw a surprise ceremony with all of my friends, coaches, and family. I was astonished!”
A graduating senior, Ku’ulei will definitely be attending college after high school. She hopes to major in Molecular Biology/Cell and Developmental Biology at UC Santa Barbara. Ever since her Molecular Biology course during her freshman year, her interest in studying biological sciences has increased significantly. Her career ambition is to be a part of stem cell research and hopefully to find work in that area.
Besides playing on the varsity soccer team, Ku’ulei plays for the Sacramento Soccer Alliance competitive soccer program. She explains, “I’ve played on Team Heat for two years and it was a critical piece of my soccer career. With the help of my wonderful coaches, Carlos Contreras, Pat Kitt and Anya Lawler as well as outstanding teammates, especially my best friends Jamie Seaton and Maya Kitt. I was able to learn and appreciate a lot more about the game of soccer and myself. This team will always be a big part of who I am and who I will be in the future.”
Ku’ulei was born in a small, desert town of Apply Valley, California. She grew up there and attended Sycamore Rocks Elementary and Sitting Bull Middle School until 6th grade. After 6th grade her family picked up and moved to Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii where she attended Hilo Intermediate for 7th grade. She notes, “Hawaii was a beautiful place however being a So-Cal family at heart, we knew the mainland was a better fit for our family.” Her family then came to Sacramento where she attended Sam Brannan Middle School for 8th grade.
She has two favorite subjects in school. One is math and the other is science. Ku’ulei has nothing against the other subjects, but explains “I find it easier to stay awake in these classes. I think it is so amazing to be able to take a calculus problem or a scientific theory and apply it to your own life. Everywhere you go there is science and there is math; in the air, on the streets, your body itself is a math and science problem. It’s an endless journey that continuously unravels mysteries around and inside us. I want to be a part of that.”
In addition to her academic and athletic accomplishments, Ku’ulei has found time to coach an Under 10 girls recreational team for the Greenhaven Soccer Club. She reflects, “The experiences it brought were very insightful. It’s incredible to watch younger kids learn and work so hard at such a young age. It reminds me of where my passion for the sport began and to be able to share that passion with the youth that will move on forward is an absolute privilege.”
Ku’ulei’s life has undergone many ups and downs. She advises, “Although I’ve experienced mostly the downs, there is nothing that I would change about my past or background. The challenges that I’ve had to face have provided me with life lessons that are worth more than any lesson taught in a classroom. I’ve never had anything handed to me and an easy way out has never been existent. I’ve worked hard for everything in my life and fought endlessly through tears, pain, and stress.” Ku’ulei’s Foot Locker Scholarship award is proof that hard work does pay off and you can do anything you put your mind to. She is thankful to her family for always supporting her. “Everything I do is for my family and it feels so good to have made them proud,” says Ku’ulei.
Ku’ulei – your SSA family congratulates you on your achievements, spirit and maturity. Your words are inspirational and your story serves as a model for many! We wish you nothing but good wishes on your “endless journey”.
“May the sun always be at your back so the path in front of you and your future always be bright.”