Supe’s goal is to progress to semis

Joe Supe was formally introduced to the public as the head coach of the Cayman Islands Under-20 national women’s football team last week. 

Supe does not live in the Cayman Islands and is only serving as head coach for next month’s CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship, but Cayman Islands Football Association officials say his wealth of coaching experience makes him right for the job. 

“We decided to hire a well-qualified coach for the tournament in the first place,” CIFA technical director Marcos Tinoco said. “As half of the team is away at school, we decided to hire a coach that does not live in Cayman and hire two coaches to work on technical and physical aspects, while I would be doing the tactical part.” 

Those two coaches are Alexander Gonzalez and Ramon Calderon, who have been hired as full-time, permanent coaches. 

The CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship runs Jan. 9-19 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. 

Supe has trained with some of the players for a few weeks, going back-and-forth between Cayman and the United States, where he serves as head coach of the Irvine Valley College women’s soccer team in California. He will join the team on an every day basis starting from next week until the team’s CONCACAF tournament run is over. 

Supe has more than 13 years’ coaching experience, mostly at the youth and community college level. He also served as technical director for the now-defunct O.C. Zodiacs, of the former U.S. Interregional Soccer League. He also holds his U.S. Soccer “A” Coaching License. 

“It’s more beneficial for the whole program as on holidays and the final preparations when we have a full squad, we can have a complete technical staff to work with them,” Tinoco said of hiring Supe. 

While Supe’s time with the team’s players has been limited, he believes there’s enough talent for the squad to advance to the CONCACAF tournament semifinals, giving them a chance to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. 

“I’m very excited to see the group of ladies work hard,” Supe said. “And the level of energy and passion for the game, I think that’s some of the things that attracted me to come back again and work with the program.” 

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The Under-20 Cayman team (white) played a select team on Saturday. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD
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