John L. Franco, Head Coach
Coach Franco’s coaching philosophy is to help players improve their skills as individuals under the umbrella of a team concept. What he admires most in any player is the ability to help others. He believes that if a player thinks he or she is good, they should help others get better. He admires a player that has the ability to win the ball back after a turnover or a mistake is committed.
With many years experience as a player, and having coached adult teams and youth teams at all levels, these days he enjoys coaching Class III teams. For Coach Franco, the pleasure of coaching is to see kids improve; it does not matter at what organizational level they play.
Youth Coaching Experience:
John Franco comes to the MVLA Nightmares with 28 years of youth soccer coaching experience. He started coaching youth soccer for Sunnyvale United in 1979. In his second year as a youth coach, his Sunnyvale U10 Boys team won the State Cup Championship. This was the first time a District II team had won a state title.
Over the years, John Franco has coached a number of boys and girls teams in Sunnyvale, De Anza, MVLA, and the Palo Alto soccer clubs. He has been part of four different teams that made it to four State Cup Finals (Division I), winning two finals with Sunnyvale teams and losing two (a DeAnza U17 girls team and the U16 MVLA Jammers).
For the past 20 years, since 1987, Coach Franco has been involved with a great soccer program at Saint Francis High School. The first 16 years were with the Varsity program and the last 4 years have been with the FROSH/JV program. During Coach Franco’s tenure with Saint Francis, they have made it to eleven CCS finals. They won seven CCS finals with John as the Assistant Coach. In 2002-03, as Head Coach of what he describes as an outstandingly talented team, Coach Franco led Saint Francis to another CCS Championship. He was voted the San Jose Mercury News Coach of the Year in 2002-03.
Other Coaching Experience:
Prior to coaching youth soccer, Coach Franco coached adult teams in the Peninsula Soccer League. This included Mens and Womens teams, with many college players as part of those teams.
John Franco played club soccer in Vancouver, B.C. for several teams. As a semi-pro player, he was part of the Vancouver Columbus Carling team that was Canadian Champion in 1964. In California, he played in the Peninsula Soccer League, and also played for San Francisco’s Greek American team.
John Franco holds a United States Soccer Federation, National Coaching License C/D along with a UEFA level A from the Football Association of England. He has participated in coaching clinics led by Dietmar Cramer, the famous German National team coach, and participated in a one-week advanced coaching course with the English F.A. He holds a Double-Goal Coach certificate from the Positive Coaching Alliance of Stanford University.
Youth Coaching Experience:
Natalie Bostrom has coached Saint Francis High School Women’s Soccer for seven years — two years coaching the Freshman Women’s team, and five years with the JV team. In addition to these seven years of titled coaching, Natalie grew up in a coaching household and learned throughout her life how to teach and motivate young players. John Franco and Natalie work as a father-daughter coaching team for both the MVLA Nightmares and the SFHS Womens Frosh/JV Soccer teams. This partnership provides a high degree of consistency and support to the training and gametime environment.
Coach Bostrom comes from a family where soccer is not a status symbol, but a way of life. Growing up, she played many years of club soccer, later attending Saint Francis High School, where she was recruited onto the Women’s Varsity Soccer team as the starting sweeper, a position she held until she graduated four years later. From there, Natalie moved on to college and was the starting sweeper for the UC Davis Women’s Soccer team (NCAA Division II) for two years.
Coach Bostrom has two children, both girls, ages 8 and 6.