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Coaches & Staff - YSC Academy
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Coaches & Staff

MANAGEMENT

Earnie Stewart - Sporting Director

As Sporting Director, Stewart will oversee and guide all Union technical and soccer-related decisions working closely with the Union First Team, USL team and Youth Academy. This technical leadership role is one the former U.S. National team and three time World Cup veteran knows well from his current role as Director of Football Affairs at AZ Alkmaar, a club he has guided to Europa League qualification the last six consecutive seasons.

Under Stewart’s technical guidance AZ has developed a reputation for its innovation, player recruitment, and player development methodology. In 2015, AZ Alkmaar was honored with the Rinus Michels Award for having the best youth academy in Dutch football. Stewart was a staple for the U.S. Men’s National Team throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s, registering 101 caps for the team from 1990 until he retired in 2005. He was a regular starter for USA in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups and his 111 goals as a professional in the Netherlands make him the highest-scoring American in international club play. Stewart also played in MLS during the 2003 and 2004 seasons and was a member of the D.C. United team that won the MLS Cup in 2004.

Tommy Wilson - Academy Director

Coaching Qualifications:

  • UEFA Pro License Diploma
  • UEFA Advanced License Diploma
  • UEFA Basic License Diploma
  • Scottish FA Youth Director’s Award
  • Scottish FA Advanced Youth License
  • Scottish FA Advanced Children’s License
  • USSF Academy Director License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy Director (2013-Present)
  • Academy Technical Director and Reserve Team Manager, Rangers FC, Scotland (2006–2013)
  • Head of Coaching and Education, Scottish FA (2004-2006)
  • Scottish National Team Coach (2004-2007)
  • Scottish FA Head of Youth Development (2000-2004)
  • Led U19 Scottish National Team to European Championship Finals (Poland, 2006)
  • Led U20 Scottish National Team to FIFA World Cup Finals (Canada, 2007)
  • Developed and implemented Scottish FA UEFA Pro License Diploma

TECHNICAL

Iain Munro – Director, Philadelphia Union Youth

Coaching Qualifications:

  • UEFA Pro License
  • Scottish FA “A” License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Youth Director (2017-Present)
  • Philadelphia Union Academy, Head of Coaching Development (2016-2017)
  • YSC Director of Coaching (2008-2016)
  • Philadelphia Union Juniors Director (2010-2016)
  • Ayr United F.C. Assistant Manager / Team Coach, Scottish First Division (1997–2001)
  • Manager / Team Coach, Raith Rovers F.C., Scottish Premier League (1996–1997)
  • Manager / Team Coach, Hamilton Academical F.C., Scottish First Division (1992–1996)
  • Manager / Team Coach, Dundee F.C., Scottish First Division (1991–1992)
  • Assistant Manager / Manager / Team Coach, Dunfermline A.F.C., Scottish First Division / Scottish Premier (1987–1991)
Kevin Coleman - Head Coach, Union Academy U19

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF National “A” License
  • NSCAA Advanced Regional Coaching License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy Coach (2015–Present)
  • Philadelphia Union Juniors/ Futures Coach (2013–2016)
  • YSC Staff Coach (20013–2016)
  • FC Delco Academy (2008–2013)
  • Villanova University (2010–2011)
  • LaSalle University (2007–2010)
Gary Lewis - Head Coach, Union Academy U17

Coaching Qualifications:

  • UEFA A License
  • USSF “A” License
  • FA Academy Managers License
  • FA Psychology for Soccer Level 3
  • FA Youth Module 3

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy Coach (2015–Present)
  • National Director of Coaching, FCUSA (2014–2015)
  • Head of Youth Development, Liverpool FC (2008–2014)
  • Lead Academy Coach, Everton FC (2005–2008)
  • Lead Academy Coach, Derby County FC (2001-2005)
Darren Back - Head Coach, Union Academy U17D

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF National B License
  • NSCAA Advanced National Diploma

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy Coach (2016-Present)
  • Houston Dynamo Academy, U15 Head Coach  (2015–2016)
  • Houston Dynamo Academy, U16 Asst. Coach  (2014–2015)
  • Houston Dynamo, Youth Programs Manager  (2013–2016)
  • Northwestern State University (NCAA D1), Asst. Coach, Women’s Soccer  (2010–2012)
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University (NCAA D2), Asst. Coach, Men’s Soccer  (2008–2010)
Chris Brewer - Head Coach, Union Academy U15

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF A License
  • National Youth License
  • FIFA Futuro III

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy Coach (2013–Present)
  • US Soccer U18 BNT Assistant Coach  (2012–Present)
  • US Soccer U14 BNT Assistant Coach (2010–2011)
  • US Soccer Technical Advisor (2009–2013)
Fred DaSilva - Head Coach, Union Academy U14

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF ‘E’ License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Youth Coach (2016-Present)
  • Bethlehem Steel FC, Assistant Coach (2016)

Professional Playing Experience:

  • Bethlehem Steel FC (2016)
  • Philadelphia Union (MLS) First Team (2014-2015)
  • Melbourne Heart, First Team (Captain) (2011-2013)
  • DC United (MLS) First Team (2007-2011)
  • Melbourne Victory (Australian League – Player of the Year) (2006)
  • America Mineiro, Ipatinga Esporte Clube, Sport Clube Guarani Tupi (2000-2005)
Phil Karn - Head Coach, Union Academy U13

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF National “A” License
  • USSF National Youth License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy (2012-Present)
  • Philadelphia Union Juniors Asst. Director (2010-2015)
  • YSC Asst. Director of Coaching (2006–2015)
  • Philadelphia Union U16 Academy Head Coach (2011)
  • Philadelphia University Assistant Soccer Coach (2004–2006)
  • Abington High School Assistant (1999–2003)
Jose Kleberson - Head Coach, Union Academy U12

Coaching Qualifications:

  • Brazil A License
  • CONMEBOL License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Youth Coach (2017-Present)

Professional Playing Experience:

  • Indy Eleven (NASL) (2014-2015)
  • Philadelphia Union (MLS) First Team (2013)
  • Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (Brasil) (2007-2012)
  • Beşiktaş J.K. Football Team (Turkey) (2005-2007)
  • Manchester United (Premier League) (2003-2005)
  • Clube Atlético Paranaense (1999-2003)
Adrian Heredia - Union / YSC Youth Goalkeeping Coach / Video Technology

Coaching Qualifications:

  • SAFA Introductory Coaching License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy GK Coach (2016-Present)
  • 1st Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach, Eastern University (2014–2016)
  • GK and U13 Academy Head Coach, Michael Mount Waldorf – South Africa (2012-2014)
  • GK and JV Coach, T3 Soccer Coaching Camps (2007–2011)

Professional Playing Experience:

  • 1st Team Goalkeeper, Supersport United SC, Premier Soccer League (PSL) Pretoria, SA (2013–2014)
  • 1st Team Goalkeeper, FC AK, South Africa (2013–2013)
  • 1st Team Goalkeeper, Club Social Xelaju Mariocamposeco, Guatemala (2012–2013)
Jon Sheer – Director of Talent ID

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF “A” License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Academy Director of Talent ID (2018-Present)
  • University of Delaware Men’s Soccer First Assistant Coach (2011-2018)
  • United States Soccer Federation Scout (2016-2018)
  • YSC/Philadelphia Union Juniors Staff Coach (2011–2018)
  • Kirkwood Soccer Club Director of Coaching – Girls (2015–2018)
  • Delaware FC Staff Coach (2016-2018)
Mark Lukanski - Coach, Union Youth

Coaching Qualifications:

  • USSF National A License

Coaching Experience:

  • Philadelphia Union Youth Coach (2016-Present)
  • YSC Staff Coach (2013–2017)
  • EPYSA ODP U12 Boys Head Coach (2010 – 2013)
  • Westtown School, Boys Soccer Head Coach (1999-2013)
  • GCVSA U9-U11 Boys Soccer Head Coach (2010–2013)
  • WCUSC Predators U9-U10 Boys Soccer Head Coach (2008-2009)

SPORT SCIENCE & PERFORMANCE

Dr. Cristina Fink - Director of Sports Psychology

Cristina Fink, PhD, is a highly experienced sport psychologist with over 20 years of experience in teaching, counseling and sport administration.  Counseling clients include Olympic Medalists and World Champions as well as professional and national soccer teams.  Cristina competed in two Olympic Games (Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992) and held the Mexican High Jump Record with a 6’4 jump for 22 years. She has a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Family and Consumer Resources from the University of Arizona, Tucson.  She has a Masters Degree and PhD obtained in Sport Psychology from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) in Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Fink is the author of a number of published papers and books, and a keynote speaker in many national and international conferences.  She is the Director of Sport Psychology for Union Youth Development and is responsible for helping implement core values and behavioral learning into the soccer education curriculum. Cristina also supports the Philadelphia Union working directly with first team athletes as directed by Philadelphia Union Technical Staff.  She is the first non-European to be invited into INFP (International Network of Football Psychologists) where her peer group includes sport psychologists from top professional European clubs (including Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, etc.).

Bill Knowles - Director of Recondition and Athletic Development

Bill Knowles is world-renown in the field of Sports Reconditioning and Athletic Development.  He is a Certified Athletic Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with nearly 30 years of experience at the Professional, Olympic, and Elite Junior levels of sport.  He specializes in developing Planned Performance Reconditioning strategies for elite athletes following injury.  These same concepts are also designed for athletes and teams to improve performance and reduce the incidence of injury.

Bill has lectured and trained staff around the world on his concepts of managing Joint Compromised Athletes in their quest for returning to competition following injury. He has been invited to work with staff and athletes at such Clubs as Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, The FA, and England Rugby to name a few.  His work has brought him high profile athletes such as Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Peyton Manning, Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, Mario Ballotelli, and swimming legend Dara Torres.

Garrison Draper - Director of Performance

Garrison is an up and coming sport scientist with experience throughout Major League Soccer (MLS). Before coming to Philadelphia, he worked with the Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders. Garrison has implemented an athlete monitoring system which follows players through physical testing, GPS and Accelerometry, heart rate monitoring, and non-contact injuries. This data is used to better understand response to training and player growth and development. Garrison supports Philadelphia Union Academy, YSC Academy, and Philadelphia Union First Team Players and Staff.

Finn Gundersen – Director of Sport Education

Finn Gundersen is the former Director of Sport Education at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), and co-founder of Burke Mountain Academy, the first ever “sports high-school,” which was developed for the sport of alpine ski racing in 1970. Burke Mountain Academy is the conceptual genesis and sister school for YSC Academy, a soccer specific high-school for grades 8–12. Gundersen has over 40 years of youth development and coaching experience, including coaching at the Olympic and Alpine FIS World Cup levels. He has worked with athletes from youth grassroots to the elite Olympic level. Finn travels the world attending and presenting at leading youth development and sports science conferences seeking to keep Philadelphia Union Youth on the cutting edge of youth development “best practice” methodologies.

Jessica Gaburo - Athletic Trainer

Jessica holds a Master Degree in Athletic Training from Florida International University, and a BS in Exercise Science from Immaculata University.  She is a Board Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer in both Pennsylvania and Delaware. Jessica works closely with our Athletic Development Staff to provide professional health care for the Philadelphia Union Academy teams and YSC academy. Jessica previously worked with division three university student-athletes while serving as an adjunct faculty instructor within the Kinesiology Department at Wesley College.

John Anthony Rossi - Athletic Trainer

JohnAnthony Rossi joined the Union Academy / YSC Academy staff in the Fall of 2017.  JohnAnthony earned both his Master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Physiology, and his BS in Athletic Training from West Chester University. JohnAnthony has worked with teams in a variety of sports from high school through the professional level including the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Union first team.  Additionally, JohnAnthony has experience as a first responder and has participated in numerous research projects in the U.S. and abroad.

Eric Gorman - Athletic Development Coach

Eric has a Masters Degree in Exercise, Science & Wellness, and a BS in Sports Management.  He is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  Eric implements the day-to-day Athletic Development programs for all Philadelphia Union Academy teams and is instrumental in daily training for all YSC Academy athletes.  With a background playing collegiate soccer, Eric works closely with the Academy Technical Coaching Staff and the Union First Team Performance Director to keep our “one system” approach toward performance and prevention across all ages.  Eric also assists with the Union First Team and Bethlehem Steel FC throughout the year.

John Cothran, MS, CSCS - Sport Scientist

John has worked with NCAA Division 1 soccer players, including the University of Kentucky Men’s Soccer Team. His focus is on physical preparation and performance and recovery trends based on GPS, heart rate variability, and subjective wellness data, which is implemented into training and recovery modalities. John’s background as a strength and conditioning coach further enhances his approach as a sport scientist. He supports YSC Academy and Philadelphia Union Academy players and staff.

OPERATIONS

Daina Lecuona - Director, Academy Operations

Daina is a graduate of Florida State University and graduated with his Masters of Professional Studies in Sport Management from Georgetown University.  Prior to joining the Academy Staff, Daina worked in diverse capacities throughout the sports industry.  Daina’s passion for soccer runs deep from playing to coaching  he brings a unique background and perspective to the organization and is looking forward to growth of the Academy and US Soccer as a whole. 

Nate Szwerdszarf - Marketing & Creative Manager

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Tevin Nishiyama - Equipment Manager

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If you are interested in seeking a position at the Academy, please see our job openings listed here or email UnionAcademy@philadelphiaunion.com.