Former Florida Tech Soccer Midfielder Gerardo Valerio Coaches Honduras National Team at World Cup
By Florida Tech Sports Information // June 16, 2023
Honduras National Team faced Gambia, Korea Republic and France
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Former Florida Tech men’s soccer midfielder Gerardo Valerio ’06 recently led the Honduras Men’s U20 National Team in the U20 World Cup in Argentina.
Valerio and the Honduras National Team faced Gambia, Korea Republic, and France in the group stage.
“It was an amazing and productive experience for my coaching career,” said Valerio. “The energy felt in this high-level competition was intense and positive. We played against some of the next soccer greats and countries that have highly developed programs.
“From a competitive standpoint, this was Honduras’s best presentation in a World Cup thus far.”
Trailing against Gambia, 2-1, Honduras headed the ball into the net to tie it up. However, after a video review, the goal was overturned as the replay showed the striker was marginally offside, giving Gambia the 2-1 win.
Honduras and Korea Republic played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Mendoza in a game that saw Honduras be reduced to ten men in the first half, take a 2-0 lead, only to concede two second-half goals to ultimately secure a hard-earned point against the 2019 runners-up.
In the third game, a must-win game to advance to the quarterfinals, Honduras’ produced an astonishing first half to take a 1-0 lead into halftime. France, whose roster featured several players who are in the academies of some of Europe’s finest clubs, came out strong in the second half to defeat Honduras 3-1.
“It was not only a great experience competing in Argentina, but also the intense weeks of training and preparation leading up to the World Cup.
“Prior to the cup, we spent every other day observing the performances in the First Division and Reserves games of all the eligible players. This was an enriching experience for my career.”
Valerio began his coaching career during his time at Florida Tech. He began coaching youth teams in Palm Bay and Melbourne Beach in 2003. Valerio made several coaching stops along the way before becoming the founder and head coach of the Third-Division team Real Tegus in Honduras in 2016.
Valerio was a member of the Florida Tech men’s soccer program from 2002-2005. During his career, he appeared in 62 games, recording 32 points on 12 goals and eight assists as a midfielder.
“My time at Florida Tech has played a valuable role in my success as a coach and, more importantly, my ability to be an influential leader within my community. I not only teach the sport but introduce values like perseverance, sacrifice, respect, effort, creativity, and many others to all my players. I credit this to my time at Tech.”
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