By Ryan Bailey
After spending nearly six years with FC Dallas in facility operations, and assisting the Academy and soccer operations departments, Bruno Paschoalini has joined Charlotte FC to coordinate the Academy Program. He is, according to Academy Manager Dan Lock, “the man who keeps the Academy running like clockwork.”
Hi Bruno! In your opinion, what’s the most important job to ensure the Academy program runs smoothly?
I usually say that we are the ones responsible for the backstage of the show. When watching something like a concert, you never think about the person who manages backstage, right? Your focus is on the artists. This is my job: to be unnoticeable and provide the best environment for the success of our coaches and players.
I strive to provide the best off-the-field experience possible, so our teams can focus on making their “magic” happen on the field. A good Academy Head of Operations must be a servant leader: you must know that you are there for the coaches and players.
What does a typical day at Charlotte FC look like for you?
There are several factors that make me enjoy working here, but the main one is that there is no typical day—which I love!
Of course, there are some routine tasks, but the demand is high and they come from different internal clients, which fills my day with new goals. Furthermore, there is a “rotation” of workplaces: some days I am in CLTFC’s Uptown office, some in the stadium, and others at the training complex. And, of course, on match weekends, I am working in the bus, plane or hotel.
There is a constant diversity of tasks, places and people. I really enjoy my typically untypical days!
What are your impressions of the Academy players and staff so far?
In terms of our technical staff, led by Dan Lock and Marc Nicholls, I am very impressed with their knowledge and commitment to make this club a reference in player development in the United States. The entire staff is very united, focused, and passionate about the Academy project.
The players were very well selected, and besides their talent and excitement, they seem to take pride and enjoyment from being part of the team.
I also have noticed that our technical staff is not just focused on the performance on the field, but also off it. We have great professionals who work on developing people, not just players. I am thankful to be part of this team.
Tell us about your time at FC Dallas. Did you see a lot of change and evolution throughout your time in Texas?
I worked at FC Dallas for nearly six years, and it was a great experience. I was responsible for supervising the Toyota Soccer Complex, scheduling fields for all FC Dallas Teams and visitors, coordinating events such as Generation Adidas Cup, creating reports, tracking revenue from concessions, and much more.
I always tried to get involved and do more than my job description required, so I started to help the Academy and First Team operations departments, too.
I have seen a lot of change and evolution over the years, especially in the North Texas market, where soccer is becoming huge. I had the opportunity to follow the growth of player development projects in the club, the improvement of facilities, and the creation of the USL League One team, North Texas SC.
Dallas has one of the most successful Academies in MLS. What do you think Charlotte could learn from them?
Charlotte, like Dallas, has all the tools to be successful: great coaches, promising players, committed staff, and a first-team Head Coach who likes to work with young talent.
These four pillars are very similar to those I saw in Dallas. In Texas, I noticed there was an effort to bring the Academy teams and the First Team close to each other, cultivating the perception that the dream of a professional soccer career is not so distant. In my opinion, that is the key point: everybody should work in the same direction, on the same team, towards the same goal.
Finally, how do you define success?
I like a quote from Ayrton Senna (the legendary Brazilian Formula 1 driver) that describes the path that leads to success:
“With regard to performance, commitment, effort, dedication, there is no middle ground. Either you do something very well, or not at all.”
If you really want to have the feeling of accomplishment, whether in your professional or personal life, there must be sweat. If you are half-committed, half-dedicated or half-focused, you will end up half-way towards the goal. It is simple: do your best and the beautiful feeling of accomplishment will knock at your door.