Head Coach Carlos Somoaono is entering his second year at the helm of the North Carolina men’s soccer program after arguably the most successful season in school history.
Somoano became just the second first-year head coach in NCAA history to lead his team to a national championship as the Tar Heels posted a 21-2-3 mark en route to the 2011 NCAA title.
For his efforts, Somoano was named the 2011 National Coach of the Year by Soccer America.
The Tar Heels became only the second team in Atlantic Coast Conference history to claim the treble in a single year by winning the ACC regular season title, the ACC Tournament crown and the national championship.
In addition to his national coach of the year honors, the ACC coaches also pegged Somoano the top head man in the ACC for 2011. Somoano joined former Carolina men’s coach and current Carolina women’s coach, Anson Dorrance, as the second coach to be named the ACC Coach of the Year in their first year on the job.
Several Tar Heels earned national recognition in 2011 under Somoano’s watch with Matt Hedges, Enzo Martinez and Billy Schuler earning All-America honors. Another Tar Heel, Ben Speas, was also named the National Player of the Year by Soccer America.
Five Tar Heels earned All-ACC honors in 2011 with Scott Goodwin, Matt Hedges, Enzo Martinez and Billy Schuler being named first team and Kirk Urso joining the second team. Mikey Lopez, Jordan McCrary and Boyd Okwuonu were all named to the ACC All-Freshman Team, while Hedges and Lopez earned Defender of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.
The Tar Heels also excelled in the classroom with Scott Goodwin, Rob Lovejoy and Kirk Urso earning ACC All-Academic Team honors in 2011.
While an assistant at Carolina, Somoano helped recruit six top 10 recruiting classes and watched over one of the most successful periods in school history. The Tar Heels advanced to three consecutive NCAA College Cups, including the 2008 National Championship game, and amassed a 118-52-27 record under Somoano’s watch.
Somoano helped lead the Tar Heels to nine All-America honors and 41 All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, including the 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year, Jamie Watson. Twelve different Tar Heels were named to the All-ACC Academic Team for their work in the classroom and on the field, including 2010 ACC Men’s Soccer Academic Athlete of the Year Kirk Urso.
Somoano also played a key part in developing the Tar Heels into professional soccer players helping lead 19 former players into Major League Soccer. David Stokes, Dax McCarty, Michael Harrington, Zach Loyd, Jalil Anibaba and Eddie Ababio have all been MLS SuperDraft selections under the tutelage of Somoano.
Three former Tar Heels who played under Somoano have represented the United States in the past few years as Dax McCarty, Logan Pause and Zach Loyd have all been called upon to represent their country.
Somoano was named a Top 20 Assistant Coach by College Soccer News six times in his career as well as the NSCAA South Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010. In addition to his work with the Tar Heels, Somoano has coached 16-to-18-year old boys with Raleigh’s Capital Area Soccer League since 2002. He has guided three different teams within this age group to a total of five straight state titles and three Disney Soccer Showcase championships. Somoano also served as the United States Youth Soccer Region III Staff Coach in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and was responsible for selecting and coaching ODP state team players. He also served in a similar position in Region I from 1999-2002.
Additionally, Somoano serves as a scout for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. In 2009, Somoano was the head coach for the U-16 CASL Chelsea Academy, where he led his team to the National Championship week. He was named the 2009 US Soccer U-15/16 Development Academy Southern Conference and National Coach of the Year. Somoano came to Carolina from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was an assistant coach for six seasons. Prior to his stint in Richmond, he was an assistant coach at Eckerd College from 1992-95.
Somoano received a Bachelor of Science in biology (concentration in pre-medicine) from Eckerd College in 1992. He then earned a Master’s of Sport Management degree from the University of Richmond in August of 2000. Somoano earned four letters in soccer at Eckerd College and was a two-year team captain.
Somoano is married to the former Martina Nedelkova, and the couple has two daughters and a son: Sofia Kathleen, born May 6, 2006, Gabriela Martina, born Dec. 24, 2007, and Alexander Luis, born April 24, 2011.