February 22, 2013
GETTING THEIR PHIL
Mississippi St. adds Casella to coaching staff
Bayside, N.Y. native and former New York Fury head coach Phil Casella has joined the staff at Mississippi State.
Casella joins head coach Aaron Gordon and his wife, Ashley, on the Bulldog coaching staff.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to join Aaron and Ashley here at Mississippi State. I’ve known them the last 10 or 11 years through a mutual friend, and they are well-respected in the soccer community,” Casella said in a statement. “I was thrilled when I got the phone call, and I’m excited to be here working with Aaron and Ashley in helping take Mississippi State to the top of the SEC. I’m also thankful for Scott [Stricklin] and Duncan [McKenzie] for allowing me the opportunity to join the Mississippi State athletic staff.”
As Fury coach, Casella took a team consisting of professional players from Women’s Professional Soccer and semi-professional leagues to the 2011 East Region semifinals as well as the East-Mid Atlantic Conference regular season title.
While directing the Fury in the WPSL, Casella also coached at the Albertson Fury Soccer Club.
Casella coached the Albertson Fury ’91 from 2007-11, guiding the club to numerous championships, including three consecutive Eastern New York State Youth Soccer Association Cup titles from 2009-11. His 2010 edition finished the year ranked No. 4 in the nation.
“We are very excited about Phil joining our staff here at Mississippi State,” Gordon said. “For years, Phil has been associated with the development of many of the top players in the New York area. His ability as an on-field coach and his eye for talent will be a huge asset to our program.
“As a staff coach with the Albertson Fury, Phil was instrumental to the success of their club. Phil’s connections with club soccer will continue to expand our recruiting network and bring in players that can help us reach our goal of winning championships at Mississippi State.”
Casella served as interim head coach of the ’92 and ’93 Elite Clubs National League team. Under his guidance, the ’93 Fury won the ENYYSA State Cup and went on to finish fifth in the ECNL national championship.
After taking the ’92 Fury to the 2010 ECNL national “Flight B” runner-up, the 2011 squad advanced to the Region 1 semifinals before taking runner-up in the Eastern New York State Cup.
Casella’s collegiate coaching career consists of assistant coaching stints at Fordham (2006-07) and his alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson (2000-06). In his lone season at Fordham, he helped lead the Rams to a 14-7 overall record and the finals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
Casella was a part of Fairleigh Dickinson’s move to NCAA Division I in the first of his six seasons at the school. In just the third season, the Knights posted a 7-2-1 Northeast Conference record and advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament.
A year after winning the 2003 ECAC championship, Casella helped guide the Knights to the NEC regular-season title with an unbeaten 6-0-3 record.
During his college coaching tenures, he also worked with the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s Olympic Development Program. From 1999-2002 he assisted with the U-14 and U-17 teams.
Casella also brings different levels of playing experience. He played at FDU from 1992-95 before graduating with a degree in communications and advertising.
He continued his playing career in 1996 with the North Jersey Imperials of the United States Interregional Soccer League. He helped guide the Imperials to the semifinals of the Sizzling Six National Championship Tournament and the 1996 Northeast Division title.
Casella is a nationally licensed USSF coach.