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Sporting CT's aim is to provide top coaching for all our teams. We strive to provide highly credentialed staff to ensure our players have the best experience on and off the field. Our coaches are reviewed by the Sporting CT Board of Directors to ensure we are providing top quality coaching to all our members. 


GORAN VASIC | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

(goran@sportingct.com)                                                  

Teams: 2007 Girls and 2007 Boys


COACHING CREDENTIALS                                                                                                                                    

  • USSF "A" National Coaching License
  • USSF "B" National Coaching License
  • CSHOF - Connecticut Soccer Hall Of Fame Inductee - Class of 2020


COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • 2007-2011 NORTH BRUNSWICK SOCCER CLUB (North Brunswick, New Jersey), Training Consultant.                   
  • 2001-2005 WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP SOCCER CLUB (Washington Township, New Jersey), Coach
  • Coach of U-11 WT-LIGHTNING and U-13 WT –BULLDOGS, Two NJ state number one youth soccer teams
  • 2000-Present GORAN VASIC PRO SOCCER ACADEMY, Founder & Director
  • 2008-09 NEW JERSEY IRONMEN (Newark, New Jersey), Assistant Coach
  • 1998-01 CLEVELAND UNITED (Cleveland, Ohio), Director and Coach


PLAYING EXPERIENCE

  • 2007-09 NEW JERSEY IRONMEN (Newark, New Jersey), Major Indoor Soccer League Captain and player/coach
  • 2006 MILWAUKEE WAVE (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Major Indoor Soccer League
  • 2001-06 PHILADELPHIA KiXX (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Major Indoor Soccer League
  • 2000-01 MISL Champions, Twice led MISL in assists
  • 1999-00 PITTSBURGH RIVER HOUNDS (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), USL A-League
  • Team leader in points, goals and assists
  • 1998-01 CLEVELAND CRUNCH (Cleveland, Ohio), National Professional Soccer League
  • 1998-99 NPSL Championship
  • 1999 NPSL Newcomer of the Year Award winner
  • Elected to NPSL All-Star Team
  • 1997-98 HOUSTON HOTSHOTS (Houston, Texas), Continental Indoor Soccer League
  • 1997-98 CISL Rookie of the Year
  • 1988-97 RED STAR BELGRADE (Belgrade, Serbia)
  • Began playing for one of the best youth teams in the world at age of seven and stayed with them for the next nine years.
  • At the age of 17, I become a professional soccer player playing for first division teams in Serbia and former Yugoslavia.

ANDREI POPESCU | BOYS & COLLEGE PATHWAY DIRECTOR

(popescu8@hotmail.com)
Teams: 2004  and 2008 Boys.                                                                                                    
 

COACHING CREDENTIALS

  • USSF B National Coaching License
  • USSF Licenses: 11vs11, 9vs9, 7vs7, 4vs4
  • USFF Futsal State License 2
  • United Soccer Coaches - Director of Coaching Diploma
  • USC Futsal Level 1 Diploma
  • USC Key Moments In The Game
  • USC Defending Principles Of Play
  • USC Sports Psychology & Mental Individual Skills
  • USC - Creating Talent Diploma
  • CCEP (Connecticut Coaching Education Program) - High School Coaching Certificate
  • AIC Level 1 of the NFHS Coach Certificate Program
  • NFHS Fundamentals Of Coaching

 
COACHING EXPERIENCE
  • Sporting CT (2016 - Present)
  • LEAD SOCCER - Advanced Training Center Program (2014 - Present)                                                               
  • CT SOL GVSA (2017 - Present)
  • Ginga FC (2013-2016)
  • Brazil CT (2010-2016)
  • Everson Soccer Academy (2005-2016)
  • Wallingford Youth Soccer Club (2008-2016)
  • Guilford Youth Soccer Club (2008-2016)
  • Madison Youth Soccer (2008-2012)
  • Hamden Youth Soccer Club (2010-2014)
  • Woodbridge Youth Soccer Club (2012-2014)
 
PLAYING EXPERIENCE
  • Quinnipiac University Men's Soccer
  • Ulster County Community College
  • IMG Soccer Academy
 
LANGUAGES
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Romanian
 
RECOGNITION / AWARDS
  • Quinnipiac University NCAA D1 Men's Soccer - Full Athletic Scholarship 
 
LEADERSHIP
  • Founder at www.Lead2Rise.com - Sports Consulting Agency (Workshops, Online Coaching, Leadership Academy) 
  • Founder at http://www.LEADsoccer.com (LEAD SOCCER - Elite Supplemental Soccer Training Program, One-on-One, Elite Small Group Training)
  • Coach Andrei Popescu - YouTube Channel

BRANKO OBRENOVIC | GIRLS DIRECTOR

(obrenovic.b@gmail.com)

Teams: 2006 and 2005 Girls                         

                                                                   

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS

  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, (2009)  Belgrade University – Phd, Sport Science                                                                                   
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Belgrade University - Masters Degree (2009)
  • Bachelor of Sports Professor, Football department
  • Football Coaches School, FA Serbia, UEFA "A" License.
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade
  • Personnel Centre - Football coach
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Professor of Sports, Football department
  • Football coaches School, FA Serbia, UEFA "B" license
  • High School of Coaching Belgrade, Senior football coach

 

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • F.C. Zarkovo, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Head coach: U-12, U-14, U-16, U-18, U-21.
  • Senior team Head coach, 3rd League (2003),
  • Senior team Assistant coach, 3th League (2006)
  • F.C. Zvezdara, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Senior team Assistant coach, 3th League
  • Coordinatior for youth categories
  • F.C. IM Rakovica, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Senior team - Head coach and Assistant coach – 3th League
  • F.C. Borca, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Head coach: U-16,
  • Head coach - Youth team - Serbian national League
  • Senior team - Assistant coach – Serbian 2th League
  • Football Academy Zarkovo, Belgrade, Serbia (co-founder)
  • Head coach: U-6, U-7, U-8, U-9, U-10, U-11, U-12,
  • Coordinator of coaching staff
  • JT International, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Head coach of company’s football team for The Adriatic region  
  • (Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia)
  • Selection and preparation for Regional JTI championship
  • JTI CE Football Championship 2008, Switzerland
  • JTI CIS+ Football Championship 2010, Russia
  • JTI CIS+ Football Championship 2012, Serbia,
  • JTI CE Football Cup 2014, Poland
  • JTI CE Football Cup 2016 Romania
  • Goran Vasic Soccer Academy, Middletown, Connecticut, Guest - expert observer: U-7, U-8, U-9, U-10, U-11
  • Middletown "Magic" Youth Soccer, Middletown, Guest - expert obserever: U-11, U-12, U-13, U-14
  • Sporting CT, Middletown, Connecticut,                                

PLAYING EXPERIENCE

  • F.C. Zarkovo, Belgrade, Serbia
  • F.C. Knezevac, Belgrade, Serbia
  • F.C. Cukaricki, Belgrade, Serbia

DINO ROCCO | HEAD COACH

( )

Teams: 2009 Boys,

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS

  • USSF E Coaching License
  • CIAC Coaching Certificate

 

COACHING EXPERIENCE

 

  • 29+ Years of Coaching Experience at all leveles
  • Newington High School For 4 Years
  • All Congrence NHS

 


CARL LOMBARDO | HEAD COACH

 

( )           

Teams 2011 and 2007 Gold Boys                                                                                                                             

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS                                                                                                                                                       

  • USSF B License
  • USC Premier Diploma

 

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Oakwood Soccer Club
  • Connecticut Football Club (CFC)
  • Rocky Hill High School Boys Varsity Coach
  • Columbus Soccer Association
  • Arsenal Soccer Club
  • Ohio ODP

 

RECOGNITION / AWARDS

  • Ohio State University Men's Soccer 
  • All Regional 4 various All-Tournament Teams
  • Oakwood Soccer Club and Vinal Tech High School:
  • 1st Team All American
  • Region 1 ODP                                                                                                                                                                                        

Victor Lopez | HEAD COACH
 
( )
Teams: 2011 Girls  and 2012 Boys

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS

  • USSF "D" National License
  • CT High School Coach Certification
  • USC Goalkeeper Level 1

 

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Sporting CT (2016 - Present)
  • CT SOL (2017 - Present) 
  • Lyman Hall High School
  • 2016 CFC Sound
  • 2012-16 Cheshire Soccer Club
  • 2013-15 Brazil CT
  • 2012-15 Everson Soccer Academy
  • 2009-11 North Haven Soccer Club

 

PLAYING EXPERIENCE

  • DC United Reserves
  • Universitario de Deportes

HIKMET ASLAN - HEAD COACH      

 

Teams: 2006 Boys                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS

  • 2000                NSCAA National Diploma, Amherst College, MA                                                                                   
  • 1995                Technical Director, Turkish Soccer Federation, Ankara, TURKEY                                                         

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • 2017-Pre.         Head Coach, Kingswood Oxford School-Boys Varsity Soccer Team, W. Hartford, CT
  • 2017- Pre.       Coach, MYS Sporting CT 2005 Boys,and 2002 Boys Premier Team, Middletown, CT
  • 2014-2017       Coach, FSA FC United U18/19 Boys, U13-Boys, U23 Men’s Team, Juniors U10/11, CT
  • 2008-2011       Instructor, Teach a for-credit soccer class at Manchester Community College
  • 1999-2005       Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach, University of Hartford, W. Hartford, CT
  • 2003-2004       Assistant Coach, U-17 Boys ODP Team, CT
  • 2000-2003       Coach, FSA Premier Club U-14 Boys Team, Farmington, CT
  • 2001-2003       Coach, U-14 Girls and U-13 Boys, Glastonbury Club teams, CT
  • 1996-1999       Coach, Boys Varsity and  Boys JV Soccer Team, Watkinson School, W. Hartford, CT
  • 1994-1995       Assistant Coach, Petrol Ofisi Sports, Pro. Youth Soccer Team, Ankara, TURKEY
  • 1993-1994       Coach, Petrol Ofisi Sports Club, Amateur Soccer Team, Ankara, TURKEY

1982-1986       Coach/Player, Hacettepe University Men’s Soccer Team, Ankara, TURKEY

 

PLAYING EXPERIENCE

  • 2004-Present   Player, Southern New England Amateur Soccer League (SNEASL)
  • 1984-1988       Turkish National Team Player, TURKEY
  • 1980-1995       Professional Soccer Player, TURKEY
    • 9 Division I Teams, 4 Division II Teams
  • 1982-1984       Amateur National Team Player, TURKEY
  • 1980-1982       Youth National Team Player, TURKEY

 

RECOGNITION / AWARDS

  • 1994                Golden Boot/The highest goal scorer of the year, TURKEY
  • 1993                Fair Play Award, TURKEY
  • 1985-1988       Outstanding Soccer Player award, TURKEY
  • 1985                League MVP/The Best Soccer Center-Forward of the year, TURKEY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

DYLAN HOGAN | HEAD COACH

( )

Teams:  2008 and 2009 Girls

                                                                                                                    

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D license
  • Heads up: concussion in youth sports
  • IYCA Youth Nutrition Specialist
  • IYCA Certified Speed and Agility Specialist
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • Sporting CT 2017-present
  • Everson Soccer Academy 2015-2017
  • Brazil CT 2015-2017
  • Wallingford Youth Soccer club 2015-2017
 
PLAYING EXPERIENCE:
  • Southern Connecticut Men's Soccer, CT
  • Wallingford Warriors state and region 1 champions, CT
  • Lyman Hall High School, CT
  • CFC Wildcats, CT
  • Brazil CT Futsal, CT
 
RECOGNITION / AWARDS:
  • 2014 Boy's All Housatonic Team and Senior Bowl selection
  • Lyman Hall High School Co-Captain 2014
  • SCC Allstar Academic Team

HECTOR BALLESTEROS | HEAD COACH

Teams: Sporting CT 2010 Boys & 2004/05 Boys

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D Coaching License
  • AFA LICENSE (Argentina Futbol Asociacion Level 3 under U14)
  • CPR Certified
 

COACHING EXPERIENCE: 

  • SPORTING CT (USA) 2018 -PRESENT 
  • SOL (USA) 2018- PRESENT
  • MIDDLETOWN MAGIC (USA) 2016-2018 2007 BOYS STATE CHAMPIOM
  • DFA (USA) 2015-2016 
  • PSE (USA) 2013-2015. 
  • CFC (USA) 2010-2012 
  • Soccer Plus CT (USA) 2008-2010
  • FSA SOCCER PLUS (USA) 2006-2008
  • Estudiantes la Plata (Colombia) 2010-2018 coaching clinics every summer

 

PLAYING EXPERIENCE:
  • Millonarios Youth system (Colombia) 
  • Seleccion Bogota (Colombia)  National Champion
  • Barcelona DC. 3 Division (Colombia) Marcas champions, Copa el Tiempo champions, Copa Coca Cola Champions, Copa el Tabora Champions, Copa de Campeones champions
  • CCSU 
  • Academia Bogota de Futbol 2 Division Profesional  (Colombia)
  • Equidad 2 Division Professional team (Colombia)

ROCCO CHRISTIANA | HEAD COACH

Teams: Girls 2010 and 2004 Girls                                                                                                                                      

 

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D Coaching License
  • 10+ Years Of Coaching Experience
  • GK Level 1 Diploma
  • Certified VertiMax Trainer
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • 10+ Years Of Coaching Experience
  • East Hampton Varsity Head Coach
  • CCSU Women's Club Hed Coach

 


EMILIE HERNANDEZ | HEAD COACH

Teams:  2013/14 & 2007 Girls                                                                                                                    

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF Grassroots Coaching License
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • 2+ Years Of Coaching Experience
 
PLAYING EXPERIENCE:
  • Former ECNL players
  • Former EDP player
  • Former ODP player
 
RECOGNITION / AWARDS: 
  • Won 2 State High School Championships

DANIEL FERRARI | HEAD COACH 

Teams: Sporting CT 2009 and 2008 Gold Boys

 

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D Coaching License
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • 8+ Years Of Coaching Experience
 
PLAYING EXPERIENCE:
  • Semi-Pro Soccer League in Argentina

GUSTAVO VILLAGRA | HEAD COACH 

Sporting CT 2012 and 2013/14 Boys

 

 

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D Coaching License
  • CPR Cerified
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • Argentinian Youth League
 
PLAYING EXPERIENCE:
 
LANGUAGES: 
  • Spanish
  • English

HELDER GUEDES | HEAD COACH

Teams: 2013/14 Boys                                                                                                                

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D Coaching License
  • USSF Grassroots Coaching (7vs7, 9vs9, 11vs11) 
  • CPR Certified
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • 15+ Years Coaching At The Youth Level
  • Wallingford Youth Soccer (Girls) 
 
PLAYING EXPERIENCE:
  • U20 Junior A Division

 


AJ CORTES | ASSISTANT COACH

Teams: Assistant For 2012 Boys    

                                                                                         

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF D National Coaching License
  • USSF Grassroots Coaching License
  • USSF 11vs11, 9vs9, 7vs7 and 4vs4
  • US Center For Safe Sports Training Certificate
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • 10+ Coaching Experience
  • Wallingford Youth Soccer Club Head Coach
  • Sporting CT Assistant Coach

 

PLAYING EXPERIENCE: 

  • Wallingford Youth Soccer Club 
  • South Central Premier 
  • Maloney High School Soccer

 

AWARDS​

  • Boys All Conference Selection 
  • Captain At Maloney High School
LANGUAGES:
  • English
  • Spanish 
  • Portugese

EMILY DALY | ASSISTANT COACH 

 

EDUCATION

  • Master of Science in Management - University of Hartford, Honors Graduate (Graduated May 15th, 2021)
  • Bachelor of Art in Sociology and Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice - University of Hartford (Graduated 2018)

 

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Long Valley Recreational Soccer (2014-2017) (NJ)

 

PLAYING EXPERIENCE:

  • University of Hartford Women’s Club Soccer team (2015-2018)
  • West Morris Central High School  (2010-2014)
  • North II, Group III State Sectional Title 2011, 2013
  • Morris County Tournament Champions 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Penn State University Summer Soccer Camp- Attendee 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • PDA (Players Development Academy) NJ
  • Long Valley United Club (travel) Soccer- 2008-2014 (NJ)

JAMES ADU | ASSISTANT COACH

Teams:  Assistant for 2011 Boys                                                                                                                 

COACHING CREDENTIALS: 

  • USSF D License
  • USSF 11v11, 9v9, 4v4
  • Safe sport certified
  • Certificate in Sport Science: strength, performance exercise, nutrition and injury prevention 
 

COACHING EXPERIENCE:

  • Sporting CT Assistant Coach 2020 Till Present
  • Coaching and training youth soccer
  • 5+ years personalizing soccer training sessions

 

PLAYING EXPERIENCE:

  • New Haven Men’s League (Boulevard) 
  • Semi-pro league in Ghana, West Africa.
  • Regional and National school tournament in Ghana and the UK
  • Ghana National Olympic Football Development Program
  • Youth Shooting Stars Academy

KEVIN BENZI | ASSISTANT COACH

Teams: Assistant For 2013/14 Boys 

                                                                                                                    

COACHING CREDENTIALS:
  • USSF Grassroots Coaching License
 
COACHING EXPERIENCE:
  • 3+ Coaching in MYS Travel Program
  • 2+ Years Coaching in MYS Park and Recreation League