I’ve had the privilege of coaching Gaba the last 2 years on the women’s varsity team at SkyView Academy and can honestly say she is the leader of our team. Not only was she the captain this year, along with gaining all-metro all-star honors in our league, but she leads by example on and off the field. Gaba’s ability to lockdown and tackle attackers, along with verbally directing the defense continues to excel as she progresses. Her speed allows her to get into great defensive positioning but also gives her the ability to push up on offense and contribute to the attack when possible. Her foot skill, composure on the ball and vision provides her with the capability to play out of the back into our midfield, retaining possession. Gaba has a great first step to the ball along with accurate anticipation to help read an attack or a players body positioning to know when to commit to a tackle. One of the biggest compliments I can say about Gaba is the bigger the game it is, the more she steps up and takes control. She rises to the occasion undoubtedly and relishes the competitiveness. She is a great soccer player, tenacious defender and unquestionably has the ability to play at the collegiate level.
gabriela Palazzo 2017
18 years as a high school and club soccer coach, played collegiately at Metro State and Yavapai (JC National Championship), played 1 1/2 years in Germany, assistant coach at Metro State, ~ 100 players trained that went on to play in college including several professionally
Gaba is a very good defender at RB or CB that has good feet and reads the game well. She defends very well on the ground. Is aggressive, not shy, and a strong tackler. Her passing is accurate, and she plays a very good long ball. Has the ability to keep the ball and dribble. Her distribution and decision making can grow, but I feel that is partly a product of Gaba being in an environment at times previously where the goal was simply to get the ball out of harm’s way rather than possessing and transitioning if possible. I believe she has made a lot of progress here already and will continue to do so on into college. While she is strong on the ground she must continue to work in the air. Gaba has leadership potential, handles failure, is quick to be coached and has a strong work ethic. She will often stay after practice. She maintains growth potential in front of her -she has already gotten so much better both technically and tactically. She is not the type of player that will stand out immediately at an ID camp, but she is a gamer. When we played in North Carolina recently we faced top level teams yet were never worried about her. In fact, I don’t think we’ve seen a goal from her side all season. She does something every game – e.g. the time she was playing RB and we were down 1-0 with 3 minutes left and she pushed the ball up the right send and played a great ball in front for a tying goal – I didn’t know she was capable of that and we sure didn’t teach her. Gaba is a great kid with a great attitude from a strong, supportive family and she will be very successful in college.