Gateway: Sports

He might be young, but Peninsula’s new boys soccer coach is a student of the game


Alec Moore just returned home from Europe a couple weeks ago, having watched some of the world’s best soccer teams live, like France’s Paris Saint-Germain, starring international stars such as Brazil’s Neymar and France’s young phenom Kylian Mbappe. And the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur, featuring English internationals Harry Kane and Dele Alli, among others.

Moore, the new boys soccer coach at Peninsula High School, is only 24-years-old, and he’s a student of the game.

“I’ll take any opportunity I can to watch the game,” Moore said. “Soccer seems like a simple game, with 11 players, but everyone has a role to play.”

It’s part of the “Total Football” philosophy Moore wants to bring to the job. Moore has spent the last three years as an assistant to former Peninsula coach Brad Scandrett, who left the job when he moved to San Diego with his family. Above all else, he considers himself a tactician.

“The ‘Total Football’ philosophy is the idea that everyone on the field has a role to fulfill, even if the ball is on the other side of the field,” Moore said. “If my players buy into that system, it’s a really deep and enriching game.”

Moore said Scandrett laid a solid foundation for the Peninsula program. More than anything, he aims to keep things rolling.

“I think of it as evolution, not revolution,” Moore said. “(Scandrett) was always really talented at bringing people together. He always knew what to say, how to lift the spirit of the team.”

Still, Moore will try to bring his own flavor to the role.

“My style will be more of putting a name to the tactics we are trying to do in training,” Moore said. “That’s what I added, just that communication aspect. Communicating, seeing the why behind it.”

Whether it’s year-round club players, or just players who come out for the high school team in the spring, Moore wants to make sure everyone is on the same page.

“Some boys have been playing club, know the positional roles and all the lingo,” Moore said. “And some are really athletic but maybe not as technically gifted. So just bridging that gap between the different knowledge base and getting back to basics, doing the fundamentals very well.”

Peninsula High School athletic director Ross Filkins said Moore stood out in the candidate search, given his familiarity with the players and the program and his work ethic as a coach.

“He’s a real student of the game, loves to research and learn about it,” Filkins said. “He’s highly motivated to work with our kids. He knows the kids, knows the program. We wanted someone with a passion for the game, a good communicator, someone who can set the tone for the program but also somebody who demonstrated they wanted to continue to strive to get better. He checked off all those marks.”

Moore, who works as a software developer in the technology sector, said his team’s style of play will be a disciplined one.

“I think you’ll see it’ll be very disciplined, compact on defense,” he said. “And use that as the springboard for building the ball calmly. I love my teams to not change the style of play. If we’re down a goal, we keep playing our game, focusing on possession and a methodical style. Not panicking and booting the ball forward. So I think just disciplined and having consistency.”

Jon Manley covers high school sports for The Peninsula Gateway and The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner, Manley has covered the Gig Harbor sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.