SeaWolves Ready For Season Opener
The Orlando SeaWolves today announced the coaching staff for their inaugural Major Arena Soccer League season. At a press conference at Dave & Busters in Orlando, General Manager Chris Kokalis introduced new Head Coach Tom Traxler, Assistant Coach Piotr Sliwa, and Performance Coach Charles “CJ” Gonsalves. Per team and league policies, terms of the agreements will not be disclosed.
Traxler, 49, has most recently been serving in the capacity of broadcast analyst on TV and radio for Orlando City of Major League Soccer. Tom, who resides in Oviedo and has one son Riley (22), has an extensive background in soccer and was member of the Tampa Bay Rowdies organization from 1989-1993. Tom has served in a variety of coaching roles for the past 23 years and is highly recognizable in the Central Florida Soccer community through his time as Director of Coaching for FC America, and for the past 12 seasons at Winter Park HS, where he has guided the Wildcats to numerous titles on the way to becoming the winningest coach in that school’s history.
Sliwa will take on the dual role of player/assistant coach. The 32-year old, four-year veteran MASL goalkeeper is currently the Men’s and Women’s Soccer Head Coach at Triton College in Illinois. On the field Sliwa will work as a tandem with fellow SeaWolves goalkeeper Rainer Hauss. On the bench Sliwa’s indoor experience will be an invaluable asset to Traxler.
Gonsalves has many certifications in the field including: CSCS, ATC, FMS, and FMT Level 1 & 2. He graduated from Henderson State University with a B.S in Athletic Training. CJ has worked with the Venezuela national soccer team, NFL Pre-Season Program, SMU Women’s Soccer, NFL Combine, and the Eagle Fund/Special Forces, and began working with Orlando City Soccer Club in 2013 while also managing a sports performance facility. After departing Orlando City in November of 2016 he became the Performance Manager at BodyTech Performance in Oviedo Florida.
Traxler will hit the ground running as the team is set to begin training camp on Friday at XL Soccer World in Orlando. “I am really excited about getting to know all the players and formulating a system that maximizes their collective talents,” said Traxler. “Piotr knows the intricacies of the arena game and his familiarity with the MASL will shorten the learning curve, and CJ will get the players fit and keep them in good working order.”
“I think we have assembled a talented orchestra and now we have our conductor,” said Kokalis. “Tom has a good soccer mind and can also be a ‘face’ of our team, as a prominent member of the local soccer community.”
Orlando will host the International Challenge on November 10. The Brazilian U-21 National Minifootball Team will take on the Colombian National Minifootball Team at 3:05pm followed by Brazilian National Minifootball Team against the SeaWolves at 7:05pm at Silver Spurs Arena. Tickets are on sale now.
The SeaWolves will play 12 home games and 12 road games in the league’s regular season. The MASL represents the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world. Season tickets are on sale now starting as low as $10 per game. Go to http://www.orlandoseawolves.com/tickets to reserve yours today.