U.S. Youth Soccer Competitive Coaches of the Year

[AWARDS] Regional winners of the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer Boys and Girls Competitive Coach of the Year awards are honored for his or her coaching activities, sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and citizenship. The national winners will be announced at the U.S. Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Jan. 17 as part of the U.S. Youth Soccer Workshop in Philadelphia, held in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention.

Boys Regional Winners:
Region I – Mohamed Bennani – Arlington, Va.
Bennani is a U.S. Soccer A-Licensed coach who has worked with more than 1,000 Washington, D.C.-area players in the past 10 years. He currently coaches the top teams in DC Stoddert Soccer, challenging players with a diversity of skill sets.

Region II – Minos Vlamakis – Chicago, Ill.
Vlamakis helped his Raiders FC team to State Cup, US Youth Soccer Region II Championship and US Youth Soccer National League titles, and they were 2013 US Youth Soccer National Finalists.

Region III – Tony Posner – Collierville, Tenn.
Posner has earned the respect of parents and opposing coaches for his respectful, hard-working attitude. Those qualities are reflected in his team, which has had success at the state and regional levels with great sportsmanship — earning the Fair Play award at the US Youth Soccer Region III Championships.

Region IV – C.O. Taylor – Albuquerque, N.M.
Respect is a pivotal part of Taylor’s teams. He encourages sportsmanship on the field and pushes his players to build strong relationships off of it. He has a Level E coaching license and continues to attend sessions to improve his coaching knowledge.

Girls Regional Winners:
Region I – Pam Knight – Hanover, Mass.
As a coach and owner of Synergy Soccer, Pam Knight brings enthusiasm and a love of the game to each training session. She encourages her players to pursue ODP and other avenues to improve.

Region II – Rachel Twist – Omaha, Neb.
Twist tells her players that if they choose to have a positive attitude, it will transfer to the game and they’ll play at a higher level. She has multiple coaching diplomas, which help her guide her Elkhorn United team.

Region III – Shane C. Kowalski – Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Kowalski holds a USSF D coaching license and continues to attend workshops to advance his coaching education. He makes a point to highlight lessons learned from both wins and losses and stresses the value of teamwork to be successful.

Region IV – Zahra Lechak – Auburn, Wash.
Development is the main objective for UConn alum Lechak when it comes to her players. She’s guided several teams and many players to reach and extend their potential, and has led multiple teams at DOS FC and Seattle United to Washington State Cup finals, semifinals and quarterfinals.
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