Tatu (soccer)

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Tatu
Personal information
Full name Antonio Carlos Pecorari
Date of birth (1962-02-01) February 1, 1962 (age 55)
Place of birth Mairinque, Brazil
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Forward
Number 14, 10, and 9
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981 São Paulo
1982–1984 Tampa Bay Rowdies 60 (24)
1982–1984 Tampa Bay Rowdies (indoor) 44 (70)
1984–2003 Dallas Sidekicks (indoor) 557 (736)
1993–94 Wichita Wings (indoor) 32 (52)
Teams managed
1998–2004 Dallas Sidekicks
2012–2015 Dallas Sidekicks
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Antonio Carlos Pecorari (born February 1, 1962), commonly known as Tatu, is a Brazilian football (soccer) coach and former player, one of the most accomplished indoor soccer players of all time. His nickname means "armadillo" in Portuguese.

Playing career[edit]

In 1981, Tatu came to the United States after playing with São Paulo. He had intended to play for several months, earning enough money to buy a house in São Paulo.[1] Tatu signed with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL during the 1981-82 indoor season and scored a hat trick in his first appearance even though he had not yet had the opportunity to practice with his new club.[2] He quickly became a fan favorite while playing several more outdoor and indoor seasons in Tampa Bay.[3] He was a member of the Rowdies when they won the 1983 NASL Grand Prix of Indoor Soccer.

The NASL folded in 1984, and Tatu moved to the Dallas Sidekicks of Major Indoor Soccer League. When Tatu moved to Dallas, the Cleveland Force sued the Sidekicks, arguing they had an agreement with him to purchase his contract from the Rowdies. The Sidekicks eventually gave the Force their second round 1985 draft choice. As a Dallas Sidekick, Tatu was a part of all four Sidekick's championship teams (1987, 1993, 1998 and 2001). From 1984 until 1992, the Sidekicks played in MISL. The league collapsed in 1992, and Dallas moved to the newly created Continental Indoor Soccer League until that league also collapsed in 1997. The CISL played during the summer, and Tatu spent the 1993-1994 indoor season with the Wichita Wings of the National Professional Soccer League.[4]

In 1998, the Sidekicks competed in the Premier Soccer Alliance. The PSA became the World Indoor Soccer League in 1999. In 2002, Dallas entered the newly reconstituted Major Indoor Soccer League. Tatu retired from playing in 2003.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1998, Tatu replaced Gordon Jago as the head coach of the Dallas Sidekicks.[5] Tatu is the only person to win the player of the year and the coach of the year in the same season (1998). As a head coach, he went 63-53 in the regular season and 7-3 in the playoffs.

Tatu also spent six years coaching at The Highlands School in Irving, Texas, where he coached the Blazers to three state championships in 1997, 1998 and 2000. The high school team which he coaches now is Prince of Peace Christian School in Carrollton, Texas. He led the Prince of Peace varsity boys to seven TAPPS state championships: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (all fall championships) and 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011–2012 (all winter championships). Tatu currently has also been coaching several girls' soccer teams for the Sting Soccer Club in North Texas.

In April 2012, it was announced that the Dallas Sidekicks would return to the indoor game as part of the Professional Arena Soccer League for the 2012–13 season. Tatu was a co-owner of the team and served as both the team's general manager and head coach for the inaugural season.[6] He would remain with the club for three seasons, leaving in 2015.

Legacy[edit]

Tatu was known for throwing his jersey into the crowd after scoring a goal, a tradition that started during his time with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.[7] He is a well-respected sports figure in Dallas because he is considered to be one of the best players to have played the indoor game in the U.S.[5] His community involvement includes running many soccer camps in the Dallas area. When the Olympic Torch came through Dallas for the 2002 Salt Lake City games, Tatu had the honor as serving as a torch bearer.

Tatu has many indoor soccer records. He is second all-time in goal scoring with 857.[5] He has the second most seasons played (21). Only Victor Nogueira has played more with 23 seasons. He is seventh on the all-time list with games played (633). He is also second in points (1585), second in shots (4396) and second in game-winning goals (77). He is the leader in power play goals with 113.

In October 2011, Tatu was a member of the inaugural class of inductees into the Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame.[8] At halftime of the February 9, 2013, game against the Rockford Rampage, the current Dallas Sidekicks retired Tatu's #9 jersey, honoring his long tenure as both a player and a coach for the original Dallas Sidekicks.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bell, Jack (September 24, 2002). "SOCCER; Tatu's 20-Year Run Nears an End in Dallas". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Tatu Signs with Rowdies". Lakeland Ledger. January 24, 1983. 
  3. ^ "What Lies Ahead for Rowdies?". St. Petersburg Times. June 14, 1982. 
  4. ^ "Final Official Report -- 1993-1994". National Professional Soccer League. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c Mooney, Michael J. (December 14, 2012). "Some Thoughts About the New Dallas Sidekicks". D Magazine. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ Barron, J. David (February 12, 2013). "Sidekicks salute legendary face of franchise: Team follows ceremony with Central Division title". Allen American-Star. Allen, TX: Star Local News. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tatu even gives the shirt off his back". Lakeland Ledger. May 30, 1982. 
  8. ^ Nusinov, Sydney (October 4, 2011). "Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame Announces Inaugural Class". Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Sidekicks Snap San Diego's Record 48-Game Win Streak". Our Sports Central. January 27, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]