Marcelo Serrano

United States Sports Academy graduate Marcelo Serrano, center, with the United States Under-17 (U-17) Men’s National Soccer Team. Serrano – an assistant coach with the team – earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports coaching from the Academy in 2011.

United States Sports Academy alumnus Marcelo Serrano has joined the United States Soccer Federation staff as an assistant coach for the Under-17 (U-17) Men’s National Team, the first age group eligible to play in Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) tournaments and qualify for the World Cup.

Serrano (Master of Sports Science degree in sports coaching, 2011) said his job is to develop the players so they can compete internationally at the highest level. The team will play in a qualifying tournament in Panama in the spring of 2017. The World Cup will follow in India in the fall of 2017.

“It is a pleasure to work with the U.S. Soccer Federation and especially with the U-17 Men’s National Team,” Serrano said. “It is very important to the future of the senior team to develop these young athletes to feel comfortable and perform their best against the highest competition in the world. My main responsibility is to assist the head coach in all coaching and managerial duties, especially the tactical and technical concepts.”

Prior to joining Team USA, Serrano worked for five years as a technical director and coach in the Brazilian Premier League and spent time in the Brazilian Football Federation as well.

“My greatest professional accomplishment is an ongoing project to master the theory and the practicum side of the game of soccer,” Serrano said. “Dealing with processes and people are keys to a great performance on the field and I will never stop trying to develop myself to reach that goal.”

Serrano earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Upper Iowa University in 2009 and earned a degree in physical education teaching and coaching from the University Center of Belo Horizonte in Brazil in 2002. He earned a Master of Sports Science degree with a major in sports coaching with an emphasis in sports psychology from the Academy in 2011.

“The education I received through the Academy prepared me to know how to build a successful sports career with honesty and integrity,” Serrano said. “The classes and the professors helped me learn how to brainstorm and solve the problems that I sometimes face as a coach.”

He said the Academy’s sports-only online approach allowed him to pursue his master’s degree without leaving the job he loves.

“The Academy’s online approach suits students who are working in the sports field and don’t want to, or can’t, leave their jobs to improve their academic resume,” Serrano said. “It definitely helped me to be able to use the knowledge I gained in the classroom and immediately be able to apply it on the field.”

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit