GREENVILLE – The Greenville High School boys soccer program is in the middle of a weeklong soccer camp under the direction of Romanian native, Marcel Matis, a former professional soccer player.
“I did play soccer in Romania,” said Matis in his broken accent. “I moved here in 2000 playing soccer, trying to play for Cincinnati River Hawks, Cincinnati Kings. Played for the indoor team there too, Cincinnati Excite after that was Seventeen-Ninety. All my life I play soccer.”
Franklin Monroe head soccer coach Danny Diceanu is also spending the week in Greenville with his good friend Marcel.
“I do his high school now for six years and I hope he is happy,” Matis said with a chuckle.
Greenville head boys soccer coach, Mark Coppess was Diceanu’s assistant coach for the Jets before taking over the varsity job for the Green Wave in 2016.
Matis spends much of his time in the summer helping athletes better their soccer knowledge and skills.
“I do have a camp over the summer, I do my own camps,” said Matis. “I do teams in Cincinnati, I do High Schools in Cincinnati, the same thing I do over here. I’m also the director of coaching for Alliance Soccer Club in Cincinnati, on the boys side.”
“For me the focus is on the ball control,” Matis said of his camp focus. “They need to know how to play, they have to know how to control the ball, to pass the ball, the movement in the field and after that become more on the tactical side of the game.”
“For the first couple of days I’m doing just technical stuff,” added Matis. “The last couple of days we’ll work on the tactical stuff.”
Coach Diceanu has put the FM boys soccer program on the map, but it is the strong programs in the Cincinnati schools that keep the Jets from advancing to the state finals each year.
“Cincinnati is growing in soccer,” noted Matix. “Their athletes never stop playing. We have programs that go from August to August and for some of them, just as soon as they finish high school in November they start club soccer and for them, for the elite players never stop soccer.”
“It is a year around sport,” continued Matis. “Over here is a little different. Some of the kids play for only three months high school and they stop and they play other sports – over there it’s soccer all the time.”
In recent years, Cincinnati’s interest in soccer has grown leading to the strong possibility of the Queen City acquiring a MLS (Major League Soccer) team to the delight of Matis.
“I am very happy – I hope they get it,” said Matis. “I think the city deserves that. I think they are ready for it. When I came here in 2000 was not too much interest in the professional soccer, for MLS, but I think now there is a lot of interest. The fans, the kids, they are very happy with the soccer team.”
“Well you never know,” Matis said when asked if he would like to be involved if a MLS team comes to town. “You never know where life is taking you and I’ll love to be involved at some point maybe if they go to MLS. They need youth program too on the senior side, for that you never know what’s going to happen in the future.”
To learn more or follow Marcel, go to matisprosoccer.com for both the internet and Facebook or call 513-254-4101, “and I’ll be more than happy to help them,” said Martis.
PHOTO Caption: L-R Marcel Matis and Danny Diceanu. (Gaylen Blosser photo)