AZ high school boys coach leaving to join pro team's staff

March 19, 2014 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

One of the state’s boys soccer coaching veterans just turned pro.

The hard-working Michael Rabasca of Desert Vista is now on Toronto FC’s Major League Soccer staff, joining another well-known Arizona soccer commodity, Greg Vanney. Vanney, a former Marcos de Niza, professional and U.S. national team player, was hired in December by Toronto FC.

He and Rabasca know each other and share a passion for developing young soccer talent. Vanney is FC Toronto’s assistant manager and director of its academy and picked Rabasca to become Toronto FC’s director of cognitive development.

Besides his coaching duties at Desert Vista, where Rabasca coached in six state championship games, he also worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center as an occupational therapist. With Toronto FC, Rabasca, a former U.S. Soccer scout, will get to share his two passions with Toronto’s youth academy, focusing on the cognitive and neuro development in athletes.

Rabasca left Wednesday to travel to South Africa with one of Toronto’s development teams. In April, he’ll head to France to work with Toronto’s under-14 team.

“I am very excited to be living in Toronto and working fulltime in the soccer world,” said Rabasca in an e-mail to

Jason Skoda of the Ahwatukee Foothills News was the first to report that Rabasca was leaving Desert Vista.