Renowned Brazilian soccer player Marcia "Tafa" Tafarel to head children’s program at COPA Soccer Training Center

WALNUT CREEK, CA, 1/11/2019 - COPA Innovation Laboratories (“CIL”) has named internationally-renowned Brazilian soccer player and coach, Marcia Tafarel, or “Tafa” as she is known locally, to help build the children’s program for COPA Soccer Training Center (“COPA STC”).

As Program Manager for COPA Kids, Tafa will be responsible for the development and implementation of age-appropriate training regimens and program activities for the youngest COPA STC players – programs that not only introduce game fundamentals, but also instill a love of the game, provide socialization and teamwork skills, and build a strong foundation for further training and competitive or recreational play. 

“We are honored to have a coach of Tafa’s professional and moral caliber on our team,” said CEO Mark Hall. “Her extensive soccer knowledge and coaching experience, combined with her insight on player development and her desire to instill a passion for soccer and an active lifestyle in even the youngest players, align perfectly with our vision for COPA STC.” 

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Named one of South America’s Five Best Women Footballers of the Century in 1997, Tafa has more than 25 years of soccer playing experience and nearly 20 years’ experience as a coach. As a member of the Brazilian Women’s National Soccer Team from 1991-1996, Tafa played in two World Cups - China in 1991 and Sweden in 1995 – and in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She spent the next several years as a winning futsal player and U20 women’s coach for the SABESP Association in Sao Paulo, where she was selected as “Best Coach” by the Paulista Futsal Federation. 

Tafa is well-known to elite East Bay soccer players and their families, as a girls’ coach for the Diablo Futbol Club and the Walnut Creek Surf Soccer Club, and as a longtime referee for the Diablo Valley Futsal League.

In 2004, Tafa relocated to the US to play for the Women’s Premier Soccer League (“WPSL”) as a member of the California Storm in Sacramento and moved on to become a full-time soccer coach and mentor. Tafa served as an assistant coach for the Las Positas College Women’s Soccer team for three years and spent thirteen years coaching premier level girls’ soccer, first with the Diablo Futbol Club in Concord and the last three with the Walnut Creek Surf Soccer Club. From 2013 to 2018, Tafa also served as the head soccer coach at Community Youth Center in Concord, working with underprivileged boys and girls aged three to eighteen, building their confidence and imparting the value of discipline, academic excellence, and respect for others, along with her vast soccer knowledge.

Tafa holds a United States Soccer Federation (“USSF”) Class B national coaching license and is authorized to referee futsal up to the national level, as well.  She also holds a degree in Physical Education, and certificates in Coaching and Sports Medicine, from Las Positas College.