Soccer is Our Passion
“At Lee County Strikers, we strive to reflect two important beliefs in all that we do. Firstly, we believe that soccer and soccer development is more than a sport. We want to provide the best soccer training possible. We expect our coaches to continue to learn and develop themselves. As an organization, we will encourage that continually. You are invited to explore our website further to learn more about what we offer our teams and players. We strongly feel though that soccer is more than technique and tactics. It’s about learning the value of hard work. It’s about accountability — to the your coach, your teammates, and yourself. It’s about respect. It’s about character. These are the qualities that help a player reach their goals. These are also the lessons they should take beyond their playing days, no matter how far that level eventually reaches.
Secondly, we believe that soccer is the greatest game in the world and a privilege to play, watch, or coach. We want our club to reflect that joy and passion. We know that the best at
any sport, skill, or activity have that passion. The best soccer players are constantly with a ball, kicking against the side of the house, juggling in their rooms, practicing turns in the backyard. We want our club to encourage that passion. It doesn’t come from running laps or standing in line waiting to take a shot. It doesn’t come from parents or coaches yelling.
It doesn’t even come from winning games or tournaments. That’s temporary. It comes from a love of the game. There will be different levels of commitment but we want to do our best to foster that excitement. We want our club and training to encourage that passion.
We invite you to explore our website to see more of what we are about and what we offer our teams and our players as a club.”
President, Lee County Strikers
The Lee County Strikers Board of Directors is extremely proud to welcome Orlando Cervantes as our new Director of Coaching.
Coach Cervantes has been developing soccer players for over 20 years, coaching from youth soccer through the professional and international ranks. He has run and developed big soccer clubs, producing both successful players and coaches. He has coached college teams, including as an NCAA Division I head coach. Several players under Coach Cervantes’ tutelage have played in the World Cup, Major League Soccer, and other professional leagues. Many players have gone on to play and graduate at NCAA and NAIA universities. Orlando’s goal in developing players is to build trust with each individual in order to effectively teach both soccer and life skills. His belief is that each individual needs to enjoy what they are doing in order maximize his or her potential.
We are very excited to have Coach Cervantes as part of the Lee County Striker family as we continue in our efforts to provide the best soccer experience possible. You’ll soon be hearing from Coach Cervantes, but for more on his background, we invite you to read his brief bio to the right.
Lee County Strikers Board of Directors
Director of Coaching
Coach Cervantes has most recently been the Head Coach at NCAA Division I Lamar University for four seasons. He went to Lamar from Indiana University, where he spent two years as an assistant women’s soccer coach. Prior to his stint at Indiana, he was an assistant coach at Cal Poly, where he helped the Mustangs win a Big West Conference championship.
Cervantes was the head coach for two seasons at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for one season, while also serving as the school’s sports information director. Cervantes’ job as a head coach was at Holy Names University for three seasons. Cervantes led the team to a pair of top three finishes in his first two seasons.
He got his start at UC Santa Cruz in 1996 as an assistant for both the men’s and women’s teams before moving on to his alma mater, San Jose State University, in 1998 as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s soccer teams. He coached two first-round and one third-round draft picks in the Major League Soccer Draft on the men’s side and helped the women’s team qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history while capturing a WAC Championship. The men also advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to his college experience, he has served as director of coaching at Walnut Creek Soccer Club (CA), North County Soccer Club (CA), Southeast Texas Soccer Club (TX), and Pflugerville FC (TX).
Coach Cervantes, who speaks English and Spanish fluently, also has experience with the Olympic Development Program (ODP), serving as a member of the instructional staff with the California Youth Soccer Association as well as the USYSA ODP – Region IV team, and as the head coach of the California-North State ODP team. Cervantes has also been a coaching education instructor in California, Arizona, Indiana, Texas, and Florida.
His professional experience came with the California Jaguars of the United Soccer League (USL), where he was the Head Coach and Assistant General Manager responsible for player personnel and operations.
Cervantes graduated with a degree in kinesiology and minor in Spanish from San Jose State University. He earned a Master’s Degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine, Calif. He has a USSF “A” license, USYSA National Youth license, and NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.