By Russell Zazueta
Head coach Tessa Troglia of the East Los College women’s soccer team reveals her ingredients to life thanks to soccer.
Troglia has an extensive background in soccer as a player and coach.
Early on, Troglia proved to be a tremendous young athlete at La Serna High and Cal State Los Angeles. She was an assistant coach for Cerritos College when they were State Champions in 2007. She has also coached for her alumni school, La Serna High, since 2002, granting them a CIF championship in 2008.
In 2006, she flew abroad to play for F.C. Girona, a division I women’s professional team in Spain, where she lived for roughly six months. Back home, she played professionally with the WPSL Rampage from 2008-2009 and the WPSL LAFC in 2010.
But before she could ever dream about that future, it sat on the balance next to her parent’s divorce her first year of high school, leaving her in a split household to grow up.
A native of San Bernardino, California, Troglia explains, “I didn’t spend the quality time that I was able to with them [parents] unless we were going on family vacations or having family dinners which were planned . . . I cherish those moments.” Just because her parents divorced, it didn’t mean her affinity to soccer crumbled too.
In fact, her parents have been her biggest supporters in her coaching career according to Troglia.
“My brother and sister will make fun of me and tell me to get a real job, you know, kind of tease me, but my family, my mom and dad, have always been supportive of me,” said Troglia.
Troglia goes on to say, “I think they’re proud of me because some people don’t realize that coaching can be a career . . . I love what I do, and my parents are very happy and supportive of me.”
Her parent’s support never dwindled after their separation, and she’s been grateful for it. Soccer acted like a beating pulse that kept her mind focused during those rough times.
Troglia attributes soccer as being, “so much more than the game.” Soccer has built her character on and off the field. When’s she off, soccer has taught her to be committed to whatever she does in life. “The effort that you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it,” she says.
Soccer is a way of life in Troglia’s eyes and verifies that by saying, “Not everybody is going to have the opportunity to play professional, but there are so many lessons within the game that you can gain, and for me, it helped me build character and kind of find who I am and be the teammate that I wanted to be.” Her sincerity came from her own extensive experience and she said it with an ardent passion, holding a soccer ball gleam in her eye.
Troglia’s journey then led her to become ELAC’s women’s soccer head. “A close friend of mine from another college told me there was an opening. I didn’t know what to expect so I came and I talked to Al… as part of an interview.” Al Cone is the current Athletic Director at ELAC and he said, “I think the world of coach Troglia. I think she is a phenomenal head coach and we’re fortunate to have her here.”
Four years after that interview, she continues to coach for ELAC and impels her team to win. She says, “I’m thankful that I’ve been able to make playoffs three years in a row, to change the program around . . . that I’ve impacted these girls’ lives to get good degrees and expect more of themselves.”
Troglia admits since her parent’s divorce she’s grown stronger as a person. She uses her experiences of growing up in those rough times to help guide her players and make them realize that the decisions they make will impact their lives forever.