Director of Coaching, Academy Boys, SF Elite Academy
- USSF National 'A" License
Eddie Soto is the Academy’s Director of Coaching for the Boys and the head men’s coach at the University of San Francisco. In addition, Eddie is the head coach of the U.S. Beach Soccer National Team, which participated in FIFA's Beach Soccer World Cup for the first time since 1997.
Eddie has led the USF program for four years and was names 2017 WCC Coach of the Year for his stellar 2017 season, which saw USF claim a West Coach Conference championship and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a first-round win over Cal. It was the Dons first NCAA appearance in over ten years. The 2016 campaign was highlighted by a victory over defending NCAA National Champion Stanford, a team that would go on to repeat as champions again in 2016. The 2015 campaign saw Soto’s young squad endure a challenging non-conference slate – one that featured road contests at No. 23 Penn State, No. 4 Stanford and No. 21 New Mexico, among others - to find themselves right in the thick of the WCC title race up until the final match of the season. In his first season in 2014, Soto helped guide the Dons to their first winning record since the 2006 season, finishing with an 11-6-2 overall mark. USF tied for second in the West Coast Conference standings with a 5-2-0 ledger, just one game behind conference champion San Diego. USF served early notice it was a program to be reckoned with when the Dons upset No. 21 Wisconsin in the season opener in Madison. Just a few weeks later, USF earned its second victory over a ranked opponent with a 1-0 victory over Florida Gulf Coast at Negoesco Stadium.
In 2016 six of his players earned All-WCC honors, and eight of his student-athletes were recognized with that honor in 2015. 10 USF players earned All-WCC recognition in Soto’s first season, including first-team selections Miguel Aguilar and Danny Kirkland. In January, 2015, Aguilar was selected in the first round of the MLS Draft by the D.C. United with the 17th overall pick. Similarly, David Romney was signed by the L.A. Galaxy II following his USF career, and later by the L.A. Galaxy on Aug. 5, 2015.
Prior to USF, Soto spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at UCLA, helping guide the Bruins to four Pac-12 championships and eight NCAA Tournament berths, including three quarterfinal appearances and two trips to the College Cup (2006 and 2011). The Bruins also compiled a 44-6-10 conference record over Soto’s last six seasons with the program. During Soto's coaching tenure, 17 Bruins were selected in the MLS draft, including seven first round picks.
In 2013, Soto’s final year at UCLA, the Bruins finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the country by the NSCAA and College Soccer News and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins finished with a 12-3-5 overall record and a 6-1-3 mark in the Pac-12 and defeated four top-3 opponents during the course of the season, including top-ranked Indiana and California. Six Bruins earned All-Pac-12 honors, including junior midfielder Leo Stolz, who was named the conference's player of the year and was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy awarded to the top player college soccer.
In addition to his coaching duties at UCLA, Soto also served as the head coach of the U-18 L.A. Galaxy Academy team. He took over a last place Galaxy squad midway through the 2011 season and in just one year led the team to the U.S. Development Academy SoCal division title in 2012. Soto also helped coach the Galaxy U-17s to the 2011 adidas Cup championship and also served as an assistant coach for the U-16 Galaxy Academy team that won the 2011 National Championship.
Soto’s accomplished coaching resume includes 20 years on the club level with the U.S. Developmental Academy, Southern California Developmental Soccer League (SCDSL) and the Coast Soccer League.
One of the country's top players as a collegian at Cal State-Fullerton, Soto was a two-time All-America selection (1992 and '93) and ranks as the No. 2 scorer in Titan history, totaling 96 points and 38 goals from 1992-94. He still holds Fullerton’s single-season record for goals in a season with 18, set in 1994. In 1993, he led the Titans to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in school history and a quarterfinal appearance the following year.
In 2007, Soto was named to the Mountain Pacific Soccer Federation's 15-Year Anniversary first team.
Following his graduation from Cal State Fullerton in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in kinesiology, Soto was selected in the initial MLS Draft in 1996 by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars and again in the 1998 supplemental draft by the San Jose Clash. He also played professionally for the Orange County Zodiac of the A-League and the Los Angeles Cobras of the USISL before ending his career with the USA Pro Beach Soccer Team.
Soto was a two-time Parade All-American and the 1990 CIF 3-A Player of the Year at Cerritos (Calif.) High School. He was also a member of the NHB Futbol Club that won the 1991 national championship and a member of the U.S. U-18 and U-20 National Teams.
Eddie and his wife, Stephanie have three children, Fabrizio, Wyatt and Isabela.