Over the 20 year history of Atletico Santa Rosa Soccer Club there have been vital team members
who have played an instrumental part in helping grow the culture of soccer in Sonoma County.
Whether it be by assisting in the development of players, volunteering time to maintain club
facilities proper or serving as mentors, Oscar Deniz, an ASR coach for over 17 years is one of
those key figures who has impacted lives in more ways that he can imagine.
“We have accomplished a lot of good things in those 17 or 20 years. We have players who have
moved on to the professional level, we have a lot of players who have gone to college and have
got better opportunities.” Said Deniz, the current manager of ASR’s MLS Next 2008 side.
Opportunity is what Atletico built its foundation on, opening its clubs doors to any child who
wants to play the beautiful game no matter their race, gender or family income. Deniz has
experienced the organization’s vision of “no player left behind” fully flourish throughout his
“Oscar taught me to go into every game the same way every time. Regardless of the opponent,
who is watching, and what is happening off of the field. He proved that the most important
attribute to being a great player is constant focus.” Mentioned Charles Janssen, who played under
Deniz before playing collegiate soccer at UC Davis.
Beyond the tactics, Oscar’s approach of guiding the player rather than simply giving orders is a
unique trait that links him with the athletes he has worked with. His passion for the game and
ability to communicate both on and off the field consistently for over 17 years is a major part of
the impressive progression the club has made, particularly with athletes who perhaps in many
other communities may have never gotten the opportunity to form part of a club or in this case a
soccer family. In total 44 have gone on to play collegiate or professional soccer, all of which
Deniz communicated with on a weekly basis.
“I never thought the club would grow this big or this strong for so many years but I think we
have done a good job.”