Director of Coaching
Rick was born in Holland where he started playing soccer for local amateur club SV Haslou at age 5. After playing ‘up’ two years all through his formative years he got scouted in 1986 and moved to then Dutch Eredivisie club Fortuna Sittard where he would spend the following five years, two of which as captain, playing for the club’s U16, U18, and Reserve Teams.
It was at this time that Rick was also invited to represent the KNVB (Royal Dutch Soccer Association) when he started playing for his district of Sittard/Geleen, followed in quick succession by the KNVB representative teams of South-Limburg, the province of Limburg, the region of South-Holland, eventually becoming one of the country’s best U16-18 players.
At the age of 19 mononucleosis struck hard and Rick was bedridden for 5 months but still managed to graduate that year from the top level Dutch High School at St. Michiel Gymnasium in Geleen. After going to the University of Maastricht to study Law in 1991 Rick turned down the offer from Fortuna Sittard to return to the professional level and focused on becoming a Master in Law which he achieved in 1997 when he received his degree.
After moving to the States at age 24 Rick started coaching youth soccer. Having played semi-professionally for the Arizona Sahuaros for a few more seasons he has now been working in the valley since 1997 as a full-time professional coach and enthusiastically fulfilling his life’s purpose; helping kids succeed in life through the medium of soccer.
In 2004 Rick became Director of Coaching in which capacity he has been successfully leading and professionalizing AZ youth soccer clubs towards bigger growth and more competitive levels.
Rick’s experience includes playing the game since 1977 (including eight years at the professional level in Holland 1986-1991 and in the USA 1999-2001), coaching since 1996 at various levels (club, ODP, international-, advanced-, and residential camps, private training, high school), and leading AZ youth soccer clubs as Director of Coaching since 2004. He was closely mentored into the art of coaching for 5 years and licensed into the globally respected Coerver Coaching Method by former England/Arsenal forward and World Cup player Paul Mariner. Coerver Coaching is widely endorsed by the best-known names in the game. For more information Google ‘Pyramid of Player Development’ or visit www.coerver-coaching.com
Assistant Director of Coaching
Player experience : 1972-1983 junior
-I started to play soccer in 1972 at 8 years old for my town club Gloria Bistrita in their academy program. I always played up 2 years and at 14 I was selected for the U18 team where I finished my junior years playing also with the senior team in the last couple of years.
Achievements: Top goal scorer in our division 1981, 1982, 1983(total of 81 goals for the junior team, record that still stands today).
Joint top goal scorer with 8 goals at the Youth National Championship, 1983, Pitesti, Romania, my team finished as runners up.
Top goal scorer at the Local, Regional and National High School Championship, my school team made to semifinals (7 goals at the Nationals), 1982, Sibiu, Romania
Played 7 games with the U15 and U17 Romanian National Team
1983-1984 FC Soimii Lipova 3rd division during my military service
1984-1990 U Cluj-Napoca 1st division during my college years.
1990-1991- FC Gloria Bistrita, my former club 1st division. Retired from professional soccer at the end of the 1991 season due to injury.
1991-1994-semi-pro – FC Dumitra 3rd division
1991-1999- Head coach for the U16, U18 at FC Gloria Bistrita, my former club( in 1996 and 1998 my U18s made it to the National Youth Championship)
1999-moved to USA
2000-2008- started to play and coach again in 2000 for FC Romania in Premier and then 1st division SUASL League
2008-2011 ASC FC Glendale Arizona
2011-2016 Desert Foothills Athletic Club, Cave Creek, AZ
2016-2017- United Soccer Academy
2017-2018- North Valley Soccer Club
2018- present FC BATAVIA – Vice President
2011-present Dutch Soccer Institute – staff coach
-UEFA C License
-USSF E National License
-USSF D National License
-NSCAA National Diploma
-NSCAA Advanced National Diploma
-1979-1983 Mathematics and Physics High School Bistrita Romania
-1984-1989 Technical Institute of Cluj-Napoca Romania-Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering
-1989-1991 Technical Institute of Bistrita Romania-Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering
- Ramapo High School, Spring Valley, NY
- Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ
- Clarkstown Sports Club, Congers, NY
- Ramapo Soccer Club, Spring Valley, NY
- Rockland Rowdies, Spring Valley, NY
- Rochester Adult Soccer League, Rochester, NY
- North Texas Premier Soccer Association, Dallas, TX
- Irondequoit Soccer Club, Rochester, NY
- Goalkeeper Coach, U15 Girls Asst. (Recreational)
- Rochester Junior Rhinos, now Empire United, Rochester, NY
- Goalkeeper Coach, U12 Girls Asst., U16 Girls Asst. (Competitive)
- Rochester Football Club, Rochester, NY
- U15 Boys Asst., U15 Boys Head, U18 Boys Head Coach (Competitive)
- Albuquerque United FC. Albuquerque, NM
- Goalkeeper Coach, U18 Boys Asst. (Competitive)
- Plano Youth Soccer Association, Plano TX
- U15, 16 Girls Asst., U16, 17 Boys Asst. (Recreational)
- Carrollton/Farmers Branch Soccer Association, Carrollton, TX
- U15 Boys Head, U16 Boys Head (Recreational)
- Dutch Soccer Institute, Phoenix, AZ – Goalkeeping Director
- USSF National D
- NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma
• Assistant Coach Pinnacle High School 2011– 2012
Michael has been coaching competitively for the previous seven years, working with players of all ages. He started his coaching career in 2011 for North Valley Soccer Club, during which he served as the DOC for the NVSC youth program. Michael went on to coach competitively in California for Hollywood Football Club, where he worked with several youth teams and also served as a mentor for new coaches. Michael has earned his United States Soccer Federation “E” Coaching License and is working on his “D” License.
Michael played club soccer with North Valley SC and SC del Sol. At the same time, he was selected for the Olympic Development Program Region IV Camp and the Region IV championships. In his final year of club soccer, his team finished first in the Far West Region League and earned a spot in Regionals. Michael also played as a starter for all four years on Varsity at Pinnacle High School, serving as captain in both his junior and senior years. During 2010, his team took the State championship title in the 5A2 Conference and Michael was recognized as the winner of the Make Connor Proud Award (for leadership) and the Good Sportsmanship Award. Michael also earned spots on two All Region teams. He went on to play on scholarship for two years with Paradise Valley Community College serving as team captain his second year and earning the student athlete award for academic achievement both years. Michael is currently studying Sport Psychology at the Master’s level, and loves any opportunity he gets to apply his academics to his coaching.
To teach Arizona youths how to succeed in life, regardless of their socio-economic background, through the microcosm of and vehicle for life that is soccer.
Paradise Valley Park
17642 N 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Desert Broom Park
29440 N. Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Scottsdale Soccer Complex
8081 E. Princess Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Desert Horizon Park
16002 N 56th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Thompson Peak Park
20199 N 78th Pl
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Buffalo Ridge Park
19250 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85024
Paseo Highlands Park
3435 W Pinnacle Peak Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85027