Ryan Lazaroe Making a Difference with the New Orleans Jesters and USA Blind Soccer National Team
USA vs. Canada has become one of the biggest rivalries in the Concacaf region, and New Orleans Jesters associate head coach Ryan Lazaroe is excited to be part of it as a member of the USA Blind Soccer National Team coaching staff.
“Our immediate short-term goal is to perform well in our first international friendly and to continue to strengthen our national team at domestic camps,” Lazaroe said. “Obviously, our long-term goal is to do well not just leading up to Los Angeles 2028, but also get Team USA ranked at an international level and build blind soccer from the grassroots up.”
Lazaroe has become a strong advocate for blind soccer and what it can offer to the soccer community.
“Blind soccer has been around since 2004, and it is the fastest growing paralympic sport in the world,” Lazaroe said. “We are very fortunate as a nation to be able to say that we officially have a new national team, and we look forward to showing the world and our country what we’re made out of.”
USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team Head Coach Katie Smith is happy to have Lazaroe as an assistant coach with the program.
“Coach Laz has been an incredible asset to the coaching staff,” Smith explained. “He is constantly connecting with the athletes and creating individualized development plans for each athlete to be successful. He is dedicated to USABA’s mission and is willing to do whatever it takes to create a successful national team. His coaching expertise makes him indispensable to this team.”
Lazaroe has experience at every level of the game, and the opportunity to coach at the national team level should have come as no surprise to anyone.
After a decorated playing career at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Lazaroe has held numerous positions including Director of Coaching for Slidell Soccer Club, Director of Coaching Education for the state of Louisiana, Region III ODP head coach, assistant coach with the Sewanee: The University of the South, high school coach with Northshore High School, coaching instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation and United Soccer Coaches, and head coach with the SuperClubs National Team.
Lazaroe currently holds a variety of coaching credentials, including the USSF A License, NSCAA Premier Diploma, UEFA B License, FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine, ISSA Strength & Conditioning Certification, NSCAA National Goalkeeper Diploma, NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, Coerver 1 & 2 Diplomas, and NSCAA Futsal Level 1.
Lazaroe’s time with the Jesters in the NPSL has prepared him for the opportunity to coach at the next level.
“Both programs operate at an extremely high-level, both on and off the field,” Lazaroe noted. “Having worked for the Jesters for over 10 years, I’ve been very fortunate to see how a successful team operates and the logistics needed to function professionally. That experience has helped me to be able to contribute some of that with the blind national team.”
Jesters head coach Kenny Farrell, who also serves as NPSL Chairman, was thrilled to hear of Lazaroe’s opportunity to coach with a national team.
“It’s a well-deserved honor for Ryan and for the Jesters to have such an influential part of the New Orleans Jesters’ coaching team as part of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes organization,” Farrell said. “Ryan is a superb coaching talent, and we could not be any prouder of him.”
Lazaroe’s style of coaching has allowed him to experience success at every level of the game.
“I would like to think my coaching is very flexible in nature,” Lazaroe continued. “We constantly expect our players to be able to adapt in different situations, and that is what I expect of myself when I coach different programs. Each program that I work with demands different challenges, and I must be able to adapt to each environment to be successful.”
Regardless of the setting, the success of his players is always first and foremost in Lazaroe’s mind.
“The most rewarding aspect for me is to be able to work with such unique and talented players from all around the world,” Lazaroe concluded. “The stories from each player within both programs is unbelievable. It is truly an honor to be able to work with these players to help them excel and get to the next level.”
Photo Credit: Brian Hernandez