He said coaching girls' and boys' teams can be different.
"The personalities are different," said Phongsavath, a Layton High and Weber State graduate who is in his 10th year coaching at Davis. "I like girls' coaching better because you have more of an impact [as] the coach. With the boys, I love hanging out with them and being a part of the team a bit more. They don't mind you hanging around. The girls would rather socialize with themselves."
Another difference is college scholarship offers. While all 11 starters on this year's unbeaten national champion Davis girls' team received scholarships to Division I schools, only Gavin Flitton on the boys' squad has a scholarship. He is going to Pacific.
"They saw me at Surf College Cup in California with my club team in Thanksgiving of 2014," said Flitton, a senior centerback/midfielder. "It's super-exciting. It's hard for Utah players to get scholarships. UVU does offer, but a lot of Utah players are overlooked. For me to be able to get seen by them, it was a huge deal. … I have been wanting a Division I scholarship my whole life."
Flitton said he thinks this year's Dart team has been a surprise to other squads.
"At the beginning of this season, we knew this was going to be different," he said. "We knew we had the team chemistry and talent. We surprised everyone, maybe even including Souli."
Flitton has added pressure to win a state title because his brothers, Brackin and Taylor, won as senior captains in 2010 and 2012. He is trying to keep the family tradition alive.
Pedro Martins, a Brazilian foreign exchange student who came to Kaysville on Aug. 13, has also been a pleasant surprise as a forward for the Darts.
He said the big difference between the U.S. and Brazil is that teams both in high school and clubs are more organized in the U.S., where he said most players play for fun.
"I like all the organization we have here with region and state," he said. "Soccer is a lot more like thinking rather than reaction. Here, we play more as a team. In Brazil, we play more as an individual."
The Darts also have step-brothers Hayden Lawson and Hayden Garlock, who have been playing together since elementary school and are being coached by Davis assistant Brian Garlock, a father and stepdad to the boys.
As a graduate of Davis' arch-rival Layton, where he also used to coach as an assistant, the Darts coach said it took him a couple of years to adjust.
"You grow up with Davis as your rival and disliking them for reasons you don't know," he said. "I took a lot of flak from the friends I went to high school with. I live in Layton. It's a good, friendly rivalry."
Phongsavath is realistic about his team's chances at state.