Coaching Staff

Alicia Abdo

Asst. Coach 05 Girls Green

Coach Alicia is with the U11 girls team with her father Steve this year because of two long term injuries that have prevented her from playing with her own club team. She has played soccer for 12 years, 4 of those year being coached by her dad. She started off with AYSO, then moved on to select, elite, premier, and MRL soccer. Alicia is a junior at Portage Central High School this year, and once she is cleared to play again, she plans on working towards getting a scholarship at a 4-year college/university for academics and soccer.  She has worked with kids her whole life, babysitting, and working at a neighborhood daycare, while also having years of experience in soccer. Alicia hopes to continue coaching the girls even when she begins to play again.

Steve Abdo

Head Coach 05 Girls Green

Coach Abdo has 15 years coaching experience with multiple age groups from U9 - U18.  His experience includes Head Coach and Assistant Coach responsibilities for boys and girls teams with AYSO, Kalamazoo Kingdom, and Portage Soccer Club.  His teams have played at Select, Elite, and Premier levels.  He is currently the Head Coach for the PSC '05 Girls green team.  He holds his USSF E License and will be attaining his USSF D license in 2016.

In addition to coaching, Abdo is an active USSF Grade 8 Referee.  For the past several years, he has been a member of the Portage Central High School Men's and Women's Soccer Boosters executing various duties supporting the teams including announcing games.  He is also currently serving on the Board of the PCHS Women's Soccer Boosters.

David Areaux

Head Coach 03 girls yellow, Assistant Coach 03 girls green and 03 girls white

Coach Areaux currently holds a USSF E License and serves as head coach for the 03 yellow girls as well as assistant coach for two premier teams, the 03 green and 03 white girls.  Coach David also does specialized goalie training for the club.  David has played soccer since he was 4 years old, where he started in goal.  He played goalie for Jackson High School where he still holds two records: lowest goals against and lowest goals against average.  His senior year, he was named to the Jackson Citizen Patriot dream team as well as the Capital Area Conference team.  He continued to play adult and intramural leagues throughout college and enjoys coaching his oldest daughter at PSC.

Paul Arkinstall

Assistant Coach Girls 05 White

Coach Paul holds a USSF National E level license, and has 2 years of experience coaching U11 and U12 PSC teams.  He played many youth sports in Australia, including soccer, rugby, and basketball.  He draws on this experience to develop training activities that build teamwork and cohesiveness.

Paul has 3 children, all involved with Portage Soccer Club, and enjoys watching soccer at all levels.  Outside of soccer, Paul enjoys cycling, golf and sailing.

Brian Boukalik

Head Coach 05 Boys Green

Coach Boukalik began coaching in Kansas in 1999 after receiving his USSF E license. He coached both U13 and U18 teams for the Hutchinson Soccer Club and took his U18 team to a second place finish in the state cup.  With the Portage Soccer Club, has worked with the academy teams and several of the younger boys teams, and has also provided specialized coaching for club goalies.  He is currently the head coach of the boys 05 green team.

He began playing premier soccer for Cleveland United SC. During that time he was selected for Ohio North ODP four times and his team had an impressive run winning five state titles.  In fact, at age 18 his team finished second in regional play.  His team was also the runner up for national finals in indoor twice.  He was fortunate enough to be able to travel with his team to play in Canada, Mexico, Italy and Yugoslavia.  In high school he was named 1st team all state and 2nd team all regional.  He went on to play for Cornell University where a highlight of his experience was a summer trip to play against several second division teams in England.  While in college, he privately tutored high school goalies in his free time as well.

Brian is a cabinet member for the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek United Way and is the Chair of United 4 Change (www.united-4-change.com).  While volunteering his time as a coach with PSC his style is upbeat, encouraging, and very positive, but he also holds the kids accountable and works at keeping them focused.

Jared Butler

Assistant Coach Girls 02 Green and White

Coach Jared graduated from Hackett Catholic Prep in 2001.   At Hackett, as a forward, he led the team in scoring as a junior and senior.   He then went on to play college soccer at Kellogg CC and Aquinas, but tore his ACL to end his career.  Tim Halloran, current PCHS varisty women's coach, was his high school coach at Hackett.

Jared is beginning his 3rd year as the women’s varsity head coach at Hackett.   He has also been the men’s varsity and JV assistant coach for the last 3 years under Coach Chris Adrian.  He also coaches Freshman basketball.
At Portage SC, he has worked with the U13 boys team for the last 3 years and just became assistant coach for the U13 girls premier teams.

Babajide Daranijoh

Assistant Coach 99 Boys

Coach Baba has 5 years coaching experience with the Portage Soccer Club and 2 years with the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO Region 74). He currently holds a USSF E License. He grew up playing soccer in his native country Nigeria. He is a patriotic supporter of the Nigeria national football teams and an avid fan of Chelsea FC.  His love of the beautiful game keeps him busy all year round coaching, watching, or playing.

Kristy Desimone

Asst. Coach U13 and U14 Premier Teams

Coach Kristy is the Assistant Coach for PSC U13 and U14 Premier teams. She was on the Old Dominion University Soccer Varsity Club and was voted to the board for the club team.  She competed against other D1 club teams after tearing her ACL.  

Her achievements include: Special Diploma from the NSCAA Convention 2015: Special Topics: The Mental Game, National Youth Coaching License, National D Coach Licensure, and the Olympic Development Program (ODP) State of North Carolina Evaluator.  Beyond soccer, Kristy was on the Gar-Field National Junior honor Society for 4 years.  

Wayne Harpenau

VP of Coaches; Head Coach 02 girls green and white and 03 boys white

Coach Wayne has eight years of experience coaching soccer. In addition to coaching with PSC, he has also coached with the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) and the Indiana Youth Soccer Association (IYSA).  He is certified through IYSA on Youth Coaching models I & II and currently has his USSF D License.  He is currently the men's JV coach as well as the assistant varsity men's and women's coach at Hackett Catholic Prep.

 

In addition to his coaching duties, he is an active member of the PSC board serving as Vice President of Coaching.  He works very closely with Vu Le, Director of Technical Development, to assist our club's coaching staff by providing invaluable guidance and support. 

Paul Knight

Head Coach Girls 00 Green

Coach Knight holds a USSF National D level license and his 31 years of coaching experience covers all age groups at clubs in Michigan, New York, and New Jersey.  He has coached both boys and girls at the club and high school levels.

Born in England, he continues to play the sport he loves. He was an all-state player at Glen Rock High School in New Jersey and was selected as the best male soccer player at the school's 50th anniversary celebration and was selected to be the first soccer player inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.  Check out this link:  Paul Knight article

He played Division 1 college soccer at Philadelphia University on a scholarship and as a senior was drafted by the Detroit Express of the North American Soccer League (NASL). He also spent time playing with Newport County of the English fourth division.

Debbi Kreps

Head Coach Girls 04 White and Assistant Coach Girls 04 Green

Coach Debbi is a long time Portage resident and has had the privilege of watching as well as helping this club develop over the years. She is now in her 8th year with the PSC and has been coaching youth soccer for over 14 years.  She holds an E license.

She began her soccer career right here with AYSO 74, continued to play soccer at Portage Northern High School and at Western Michigan University.  Her love of the game continues today as if you look you can still find her today on a field somewhere in the area playing the beautiful game. 

"Watching these kids develop their skills and seeing the success on their faces is such a reward."
 

Brian Lam

Head Coach Boys 01 Green & White

Coach Lam has been with the Portage Soccer Club for three years and holds a USSF E Coaching License. He has coached both boys and girls in age ranges from 12 to 19.  Coach Lam played competitively as a youth starting at 5 years old.  He played for travel clubs around southwest Michigan and played at Loy Norrix, where he was the only sophomore to make varsity, won districts his junior year and was captain his senior year. He had an offer to play at K College, but chose to attend Michigan State, where he switched to recreational play.  He still plays regularly in men's leagues and co-ed leagues.  He continues to study the game and is an avid professional soccer fan.

Off the field, Coach Lam has been involved in local non-profits, volunteering for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo, Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan, and KRESA.

Vu Le

Technical Director of Coaching; Head Coach Girls 03 and Boys 97 Green

Coach Le is the Director of Technical Development for Portage Soccer Club. He has 14 years coaching experience with the PSC, played 3 years college and holds a USSF "B" certification.

He is well respected in the soccer community for his coaching and technical training. Over the past few years, he coached the Boys 97 Green to a Premier 1 championship and now at the MRL level.  Coach Le was also co-coach of our PSC 89 boys team from U-14 through U-17 coaching them to multiple elite championships, 2 State Cup quarter-final runs and tournament championships across the Midwest.

Jen Leone

Head Coach Girls 06 Green & White and Head Coach Boys 03 Green

Coach Leone has been coaching for 14 years and holds her USSF National B License and USSF National Youth License.  Her coaching experience includes Kalamazoo Christian High School's JV boys and varsity girls in 2002-2003, Three Rivers High School's varsity boys from 2004-2008, Otsego High School's varsity boys from 2008-2011, Vicksburg High School's JV and varsity girls from 2005-2008, Three Rivers High School's varsity girls from 2008-2012, and the Olivet College Women’s Soccer Division III team from 2010-2012. 

As a player, Coach Jen attended Western Michigan University and was Captain of the WMU Women’s Soccer Team during the 2002-2003 season, when her team won the Mid-American Conference in 2003 and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.  As a young player, she played for Vardar and was a four year ODP state and regional player from 1995-1999.

Coach Jen was born in Battle Creek, MI and holds her bachelor’s degree from WMU in Physical Education with a double minor in Health Education and Communications.  She earned her Master’s Degree from WMU in Adapted Physical Education in 2008 and has been teaching Health and Physical Education in Three Rivers for the last 10 years.  Hobbies include coaching, running, swimming, reading, competitve bodybuilding, and spending time with family.   She is a big Manchester United fan!

Jerry Orwin

Head Coach Girls 98 & 97 White

Coach Orwin has eleven years experience coaching soccer at the travel level and through the American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO).  He currently holds a USSF E License.  He has over ten years of playing experience.

Coach Orwin is a Regional Coach Administrator and a coach instructor for AYSO Region 74 where part of his responsibilities include training all of the AYSO coaches.

 

John Power

Head Coach 03 and 06 Boys White

Coach John comes from the land Downunder where he coached youth soccer teams for a number of years before relocating recently with his family to the Portage community. Both he and his 3 sons are really pleased to have joined Lightning in 2015 to pursue their shared passion for the game.

John is a licensed Junior Football (soccer) coach with the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) and has also studied the FFA Youth Football Certificate. His previous club was Moreland City Football Club in Melbourne where he coached U-11, U-10, and Academy (or, “Mini Roos” as it is known in Australia). He recently earned his US "E" license and his philosophy for coaching youth players is to develop the best possible technical abilities in each and every player during their “golden years” of skill acquisition.

When not on the soccer pitch John works as a research director in veterinary health and supports both the Socceroos and Melbourne Victory. His favorite teams to watch are the EPL and any team playing a live match.

Andrew Rice

Head Coach 04 Girls Green

Coach Andrew is the head coach of the Portage Central High School Mustangs. Rice is also an alumni of Portage Central High School. After graduating from Portage Central, Rice began developing his coaching skills by coaching for the Portage Soccer Club. He coached for four years with Portage Soccer Club before taking the assistant coaching position with the Portage Central High School Women’s Soccer Program.   He worked as the assistant Women's coach with the Mustangs from 2008 through 2014 winning a girls state title; having 4 final 4 appearances; as well winning 5 Conference, 6 District, and 4 Regional championships with the Mustangs.

As a player at Portage Central, Rice was a stand out player.  In his Junior and Senior high school years Rice captained the Mustangs and played side by side with the likes of MLS superstar Eric Alexander.  In his junior year, Rice was recognized as he was selected to the All Conference 1st Team, All District Team and Allstate Honorable mention.

He is now back to coaching at PSC and we are excited to have him!

David Rice

Portage Soccer Club President; Head Coach Girls 01 Green and Boys 98 Green

Coach Rice holds a USSF National D level license and has 25 year of coaching experience for the PSC.  He began coaching for the PSC in 1990 and is the longest tenured coach in WMYSA.  Over that time he has coached boys and girls teams including many players who excelled in local high school programs, all levels of college play and one player who plays professionally.

Over the past few years he has co-coached the 97 Boys Green team (Premier 1 champions) and the 89 Boys team which won multiple Elite Championships, 2 State Cup quarter-final runs as well as tournament championships across the Midwest.  The 98 Boys Green team were the Spring 2015 MSPSP Champions in Premier Classic 2.

He is well respected in the soccer community for his coaching and volunteerism. He has been an integral part of the Portage Soccer Club board and an active member holding various positions within the West Michigan Youth Soccer Association.

When not coaching (his first love) Rice is serving his 2nd term as PSC President (1997-2003 and 2007 to present), Portage Soccer Classic Director (2004 to present), WMYSA Clinic Coordinator, and Chair of the United Soccer Foundation (the non profit organization that raised the monies to build the Portage Soccer Complex and improvements to River Oaks Soccer Complex).  

Neil Saucier

Coach Saucier has15 years coaching experience (12 with AYSO and 3 with PSC), and currently holds a USSF E License.  At PSC he's Have coached the PSC U12, U13 and U14 Select and Elite Girls teams. Coach Saucier ​grew up in Maine and started playing soccer at age 5.  He played four years varsity in high school as a forward/mid and then continued to play soccer in the local Men’s and Coed leagues.  

Coach Saucier's philosophy is to create an environment that encourages soccer players to learn and develop the basic skills to allow them to continue playing at whatever higher level they determine.  He believes in fostering a positive environment where players want to give 100% effort 100% of the time they are on the field for themselves and for their teammates.

Lee Saunders

Head Coach 98 Girls White

Coach Saunders has played soccer since the age of 4.  He is most comfotable at holding/center mid or center D.  During high school at The Queen Katherine School in Kendal, England, he was on the 1st Team (Varsity) from Year 8 (Freshman) to Year 12 (Senior) and served as captain in his final two years.  He also represented the Westmorland County FA Team from U12 - U18.
His club soccer experience began with lbis FC for U8 - U14 and continued with Preston North End FC Youth Academy from U14 - U18.  He also played with the Spartak Manchester FC's Senior League.

During his college years, Coach Saunders played for Manchester Met University (Division 1) for 3 Years and was named captain in his senior year.

On of the highlights of his soccer playing days was that he trained alongside the Italian Squad during their warm up for the UEFA European Championships in 1996 when they were based at nearby training facilities and he got to mark Gianfranco Zola during practice matches!

Coach Saunders has earned his English FA Level 1 & 2 Coaching Badges and coached the U14s at Barnton AFC in England before beginning his coaching career at PSC here in Portage.

Maarten Vonhof

Head Coach 99 and 00 Boys

Coach Vonhof has 11 years of coaching experience and is in his 3rd year coaching at PSC.  Before that, he served as head and assistant coach for teams in the TKO, River Oaks, and AYSO organizations as well as teams in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he grew up.  He has coaching certifications from Canada and a USSF E Licence.  As a coach, Vonhof strives to provide an encouraging atmosphere with a strong focus on technical development and tactical awareness.  He is a strong believer in PSC’s philosophy and focus on player development.  

He started playing soccer at age 6, and at his highest level (U16-U18) played for the Province of Alberta Select Team, one step down from the national team program.  At age 16 he was identified as one of the top players in the province, and he attended national championships with both his club and provincial teams.

When he’s not coaching soccer, Coach Vonhof is a professor of Biological Sciences and Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Western Michigan University.  He is a huge Liverpool FC fan and spends far too much time watching as much professional soccer as he can.

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