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The Inter Miami CF Academy presented by Baptist Health announced today that it will launch a U-16 team beginning next season, August 2022, ensuring age-specific attention for every age group from U-12 to U-17. The Club also announced the hires of two new Academy staff members, U-16 head coach Ihor Dotsenko and Academy goalkeeper coach Cameron Sauro.

“The U-16 age group is important because it bridges the gap between the U-15s and the U-17s. When players graduate from the U-15s they have been going into a double birth year age group and some players aren’t quite ready for that big step and their development can get negatively impacted,” said Academy Director Craig Dalrymple. “The U-16 group enables us to accelerate the development of those players that aren’t quite ready to step into U-17 fútbol directly after their U15 season. It’s going to be a very important piece of our structure and fills in the gap to ensure we get age-specific attention to every age group from U-12 to U-17.”

Dotsenko joins the Club after a stint as the Director of Coaching at the Metropolitan Oval Academy beginning in 2020. Prior to that, he served as a Technical Advisor & Club Development Manager for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) from December 2017 to April 2020.

Before joining the USSF, Dotsenko held a number of positions for the Richmond Kickers, first serving as the team’s head coach in 2007, assistant head coach from January 2011 to December 2013 and Technical Director from December 2003 to December 2017. From August 2014 to December 2017, he also served as Academy Director for the Richmond United Academy. Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Dotsenko played at the professional level for eight years, including two stints with the Kickers.

“Ihor comes to us with a wealth of experience. He’s got every coaching license imaginable in the U.S. and he also has a European background and licensing. He has worked for the U.S. Soccer Federation, he’s coached players at every age at the highest level, he’s very familiar with this area, and adds value to our existing coaching group. We’re excited to have him in,” said Dalrymple.

Sauro, meanwhile, will join the Club in January to work alongside current Academy goalkeeper coach Ricardo Lopes. He will also serve as an Academy goalkeeper coach for all age groups, but will work closely with the U-16s and U17s.

He will join Inter Miami following his time as the Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach for Florida International University beginning in March 2020. He also held the position of Academy Goalkeeper Coach for Miami Rush Kendall SC beginning in 2020. 

Prior to that, Sauro was the Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at East Tennessee State University from June 2019 to Marsh 2020, Assistant Women's Soccer Coach at Southwest Minnesota University from January 2018 to June 2019 and head coach of the Marshall United Soccer Association from March 2018 to May 2019. Sauro also brings playing experience, including four years at King University from 2012 to 2016.

“Cameron is at an earlier journey in his coaching experience. He currently coaches at FIU and spent some time with MLS NEXT club Miami Rush Kendall SC as a goalkeeping coach in the academy. He’s going to come in and compliment the experienced skillset of Ricardo Lopes. Between the two of them we feel we have a nice blend of goalkeeping coaches,” said Dalrymple.