Exciting times for Valente

The recent holiday season was a very exciting one for Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Alfredo Valente and his family. In early morning hours of Wednesday, December 19, Valente’s wife Kristen gave birth to a six pound, 12 ounce boy named Noah. “It was awesome,” the 27-year-old proudly told whitecapsfc.com. “It brought a smile to all our family’s faces, that’s for sure. Everyone was really happy and Noah got completely spoiled by everyone at Christmas time.” While Valente gets used to fatherhood for the first time, the midfielder has remained busy during the Whitecaps off-season. The former Canadian youth international is always keen to give his time to local community causes, having appeared at several events in recent months. He admits being involved in the community is always rewarding. “This weekend, I’ll be taking part in Perry Solkowski’s Propects Supercamp, which will be a great event,” the midfielder said. “The following week, I’ll be participating in the Skate for a Cure for the Michael Cuccione Foundation at General Motors Place, which is something that I have supported over the last number of years.” Valente also contributes back to the local soccer community through his work as head coach of the Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club. With 3,000 registered players, Valente helps oversee the boys programs at the club, while technical director Sara Maglio - who is the wife of Whitecaps left fullback Steve Kindel - is in charge of the girls programs. Valente expects the early months of 2008 to be a very busy time at Metro-Ford. “It’s a full-time job that I make part-time during the spring when I return to the Whitecaps,” the midfielder said of his coaching role. “There’s evaluations, coaching selections, and programs to run in the spring, so the early months of the year are a very busy time. I think the big thing for Sara and I is we enjoy working with the kids in the community and hopefully seeing some future soccer stars that may not only play for the Whitecaps, but also for Canada at some point. We’ve got quite a large number of boys and girls players in our club that are involved in the Whitecaps Prospects program, which is good to see.” Though the new season is about three months away, Valente is looking forward to the 2008 campaign under new head coach Teitur Thordarson. “It’ll be an interesting change,” Valente said. “Teitur will have to get a feel for the North American game, but I think there will be a lot of buzz and excitement from the fans. Obviously, the club will be looking to have a little bit more of an attacking style of soccer this coming season, but at the same time, your best attack is making sure you are solid defensively. There will be some new faces next season, and having been here for a few years, it will be important that the team gels quickly. In our league, you can give away a few results early in the season if you are struggling and that could end up hurting you at the end of the year, so it’s important that the new players are on the same page nice and quickly.”