Challenge United is excited to announce the hiring of our first 4 coaches, and the expanded role for one of our current Challenge coaches. Our goal is to put together the best staff in the city with coaches who understand the game, and coaches who value the trust families put in us to work with their children.
We are continuing to interview coaches, and will have announcements in the coming days and weeks.
Mike Czarnecki: Mike has worked in Houston since 2015, and previously worked for the Carolina Rapids Soccer Club in North Carolina from 2008 - 2015. He earned the following licenses: USSF A License, US National Youth Coaching License, and the La Liga Formation 3 Certificate.
"Mike is excellent on the fields and off. He is an outstanding communicator and does an excellent job educating his players and families. We are excited MIke will be working." Pat O'Toole, Executive Director Challenge United Soccer Club
Juan Zapata: Jaun comes to us from Rise Soccer Club, and has worked in the Houston area for many years. He is a student of the game and has studied soccer in England, Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal and many other countries in South America. He holds a USSF A License.
"We are excited about the energy and experience Juan will bring to the program. He is passionate about the development of players and his philosophy on player development is consistent with our vision for Challenge United." Pat O'Toole, Executive Director Challenge United Soccer Club
James Eleftherion: James has worked in the Houston area for the past 7 years. He was previously the Academy Director for Avanti Soccer Academy. James holds several licenses and certificates including USC Futsal Level 1, CVS AFTA Futsal B License, USC Sports Psychology and Individual Mental Skills, USC Advanced Technical Training Diploma, GK Level 1 Diploma, and Grassroots USSF courses for 4v4, 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11.
"James has worked with some of the best players in the city over the last several years and brings a great deal of experience in working with youth players of all levels. He has a gift for connecting with players and families while guiding players through their developmental journey. James is an excellent addition to the staff." Pat O'Toole, Executive Director Challenge United Soccer Club
Brian Barnett: Brian has coached in Houston for 3 years, most recently with Avanti Soccer Academy where he was the Director of their Central Campus. He previously coached in Dallas doing Coerver training and team training. He has USSF Grassroots 4v4, 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11 licenses as well as a USSF D License. In addition he has Coerver 1 and 2 Diplomas.
"Brain is a passionate coach who is excellent working with younger players and teams developing the technical elements of the game. Challenge is very committed to developing creative technical players, so Brian's strength will be a big asset to our players. I am excited to have Brian on staff and look forward to working with him." Pat O'Toole, Executive Director Challenge United Soccer Club
Jacob Santos: Santos is a legend in the Houston Soccer Community. He has worked with boys and girls in Houston for years, and for Challenge Soccer club for the last 10 years. He will continue to work with the girls academy and teams at Lindsay/Lyons Park and will also work with the boys in the same role.
"Santos is one of the most passionate coaches I know. He pours all of his energy and emotion into all of his players, practices and games. His ability to create fun and demanding training sessions is excellent." Pat O'Toole, Executive Director Challenge United Soccer Club