Womenz Magazine

Virginia Soccer Coach Assaulted With Metal Bottle: A Call for Better Behavior at Youth Sports Events

Vince Villanueva bruised face
Photo: nbcwashington

Vince Villanueva, a beloved soccer coach from Northern Virginia, is recuperating from severe facial injuries after being attacked by a parent wielding a metal water bottle. This shocking incident occurred during a scrimmage at the George Hellwig Memorial Park in Manassas this past Saturday.

While recalling the events to News4, Villanueva, who was clearly in pain with his bruised face and blackened eye, remarked, “I was likely knocked out because I can’t remember the actual event.”

Coach Vince has been a pillar in the soccer community since he began coaching youth teams at 18. Besides his role in IT at the Prince William County Public Schools, his passion for soccer sees him coaching both the Potomac Senior High School girls’ team and several youth club teams.

Narrating the day’s events, Villanueva shared, “I noticed a distressed player with his father. Upon inquiring if the boy was ready to rejoin the game, the father approached me for a discussion. As I turned to address him, suddenly I found myself on the ground, realizing only later that I had been hit with a water bottle.”

In the ensuing chaos, off-duty first responders provided first aid to Villanueva while other parents hurriedly dialed 911. The alleged attacker, identified as 45-year-old Blerand Hoxha, fled but was subsequently apprehended by Prince William County police. Hoxha now faces malicious wounding charges. The legal representation for Hoxha remains undetermined.

The attack’s aftermath revealed a fracture in Villanueva’s orbital wall, as determined by a CT scan.

Mike Potter, whose daughter trains under Villanueva, praised the coach’s dedication. “He’s genuinely invested in both the children and the sport. He’s an incredible asset to our community,” Potter commented.

This traumatic event has prompted Villanueva to reconsider his coaching career, especially given the recent uptick in violence against sports officials. However, he wishes his ordeal serve as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the need for appropriate behavior during youth sports events.

Villanueva’s message was clear: “Let kids relish the game. Support the volunteers and trainers who dedicate their time, and ensure a safe environment for everyone.”

Regarding the incident, a representative of the Northern Virginia Soccer Club withheld any immediate remarks.

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