Newark NJ April 9, 2014
By Jason Bernstein
Bill Gaudette got his first taste of coaching more than a decade ago when he was in college, playing goalkeeper for St. John's University.
"It gives me a different aspect of the game and I like to give back a little bit and help out some of these young kids," Gaudette said. "I've been fortunate enough to play for almost 10 years so I have a lot of experience and it's nice to give back."
Gaudette's playing career recently came to an end due to back and hip injuries, but his passion for the game and teaching remain as strong as ever. This spring, Gaudette will continue with his coaching career as the new Goalkeepers Coach for the Jersey Express. Gaudette will be coaching alongside his former St. John's teammate and current Express head coach Jeff Matteo.
"Jeff and I have stayed in contact. We were able to communicate when we played in MLS and stay in touch," Gaudette said. "We've always stayed in touch and as soon as he knew I was settling down and thinking about not playing anymore, he reached out to me pretty quickly."
"I've known Billy for 15 years and had the privilege to play with him at St. John's," said Matteo. "Billy brings a higher level of experience and a training intensity that these goalkeepers haven't seen. His training sessions are well organized and demanding which will only enhance our environment for these players this summer. We are lucky to have such a seasoned professional on board with our staff."
After St. John's, Gaudette had an eight-year professional career that started with the Columbus Crew (2005-07) of the MLS and included stops with the Los Angeles Galaxy (2012) and New York Red Bulls (2012). He also played in the NASL with clubs in Puerto Rico (2008-10) and Montreal (2011) and also compete for the Puerto Rican national team in 2012. During his playing career he helped out with the local academies as well as the Puerto Rico youth national teams. In addition, Gaudette has helped train numerous local goalkeepers.
Soccer has taken the 32-year-old Pennsylvania native all across North America. But Gaudette, who lives in New York City, is happy to once again be working with soccer in the area he considers home.
"New York's my home. Once I moved here to go to college here at St. John's University, I never really left," Gaudette said. "I always returned in the offseason, my wife's from here. We have a house here and we live here. It's been my home for over 15 years now. This is home. It's great to be a part of soccer in New York again. I've been blessed to play for some of the local teams here and to be back and a part of the youth soccer in the New York area is really special."