International Soccer Network

"Your Source for the Beautiful Game"

ISN Stars of Coaching Presented by Korrio – November 2013

Eric Kissinger is a player’s coach, one that has enjoyed the best the beautiful game has to offer and has chosen to give back in a big way.  He has the best of both worlds, playing as a professional for the USL PRO’s Dayton Dutch Lions and serving as a teacher and coach for the Miami Valley School in addition to serving on the staff at the Dutch Lions Academy.  Essentially he has dedicated his life to growing the game and serving others as a coach and teacher.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Blurton/Dayton Dutch Lions

He is someone that has built his entire career around hard work and determination.  That immense effort has paid off big as Kissinger has made a name for himself in the Dayton area and beyond.

As a player, he has been with the Dutch Lions organization since the team first took the field in the PDL in 2010.  He has been a “rock” for the organization, which has become one of the fastest-growing brands in the entire country.

As a coach, he has become known as someone who can get the best out of any player. He serves many roles: teacher, mentor, strategist, and motivator. Simply put, he has a bright career ahead of him on and off the pitch.

Powerful moments define careers and Kissinger has been part of some big ones, none bigger than facing off against MLS side Sporting Kansas City in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Walking into that big of a stadium, seeing the quality of the pitch, hearing how loud the fans were, it gave me goosebumps,” Kissinger admitted.  “It was an incredible experience.”

Playing week in and week out in USL PRO is nothing to sneeze at either, considering the league is home to many great players from around the world.

But there are special moments that happen outside the glitz and glamor of professional soccer.  One of those happened when Kissinger was an assistant coach at Miami Valley.  It was powerful, a defining moment in the young man’s coaching career.

“I would have to say the district final game against Springfield Catholic. It was two very tough teams just going at it. You could feel the emotion emanating from the players on the field with every goal or tackle.”

But how did Kissinger get here? He made it because of a lot of people helped him, but none more important than his high school coach Mario Carrillo.

“The man is the consummate professional. He always holds himself to the highest standard of sportsmanship, professionalism, and quality, while expecting the same from his players. He understands that you may not be the most talented person out there, but as long as you give it your true best shot, that’s all he can expect. A very large portion of my soccer knowledge and what it takes to be a professional in all aspects of life has to be credited to him.”

That experience and inspiration has helped Kissinger become a role model for his own players and students, in essence giving back to the sport he dearly loved.  The idea of “paying it forward” defines what Kissinger has become as a coach, giving back because he has been given so much.   His players are certainly lucky to call Kissinger “Coach,” having someone who is still playing and contributing at a high level in the pro game.

Kissinger knows how important player development is and has created his coaching style as a result.  It’s all about sharing lessons and experiences that players can learn from.

“The most valuable lesson I can share with my players is this: never give up, always persevere, and never hesitate to take action. So many kids are nervous because they are afraid of doing the wrong thing. But in doing so, they don’t realize that they don’t do the right thing because they hesitate to act in the process. Especially at the younger ages, take a chance, try a move, make a pass! If it doesn’t work out, your team may lose the ball, your coach may get mad at you, but it’s a learning process. Without trying things, you’ll never know what you are truly capable of.”

Photo Credit: Jeremy Blurton/Dayton Dutch Lions

Playing and coaching for a great club like DDL is a privilege, considering the club is a leader in developing players.  Kissinger has bought into their principles wholeheartedly, showing great belief in the academy system that is paramount in the European game.

“The Dutch Lions pride themselves on providing a high level of coaching. We aren’t going to teach the basics of the game just so we can play kick and run and beat teams into the ground at the youngest age possible. We teach the fundamentals so that we can create a possession-oriented style from a young age. From the youngest to the oldest teams in our academy, we play the same style. It doesn’t matter who the coach is or which players we have, each team will know the style that is expected of them and have the skills necessary to implement that. Since we are more of an academy as well, all the coaches know most of the kids, even if they aren’t on their team. It creates a sense of community that is lost when each team is an independent unit under a figurehead of a name.”

That consistency and commitment to excellence has made the Dutch Lions a “mover and shaker” in the world of Ohio soccer.  The addition of a team in Cincinnati, along with an impressive operation in Houston, makes the Dutch Lions a force to be reckoned with on a national level.  They are clearly at the pinnacle of the game and plan to add several more franchises in the coming years, creating an even bigger national and even global footprint.

There is no doubt that Kissinger will be part of the club’s growth and success moving forward.  Kissinger and the Dutch Lions are a perfect pairing, combing passion and excellence and mixing that with high-level coaching and clear player development goals.

His growth is certainly aligned with that of the American game, representing a new generation of players and coaches that are bound and determined to make soccer “the next big thing” in the United States.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Blurton/Dayton Dutch Lions

“America has an incredible untapped market of soccer players. Every time I see some of our football or basketball athletes, I think about how awesome it would be to have a target striker built like LeBron James starting for the U.S. National Team. I think that the potential within the next 5-10 years is promising. With MLS expanding and becoming a larger presence, kids are starting to be more aware of the possibility of a career beyond high school or college. We’re starting to see more kids want to play in college and even beyond. This will translate to a larger pool to draw from in the future. However, we need coaches that are willing to develop at the expense of winning sometimes as well. Lots of high schools just play kick and run because it’s their best chance to win. That’s not going to help anyone develop or get better throughout their career.”

So Kissinger is aware of the challenges he faces as both a player and coach, but he has the tools necessary to be “the next big thing” himself.

Korrio understands it is your passion for coaching kids that drives you. We also know that the less time you spend dealing with administrative, communication and automation hassles, and the more time you spend on the field, the happier you’ll be. And because you play a crucial role in our children’s lives, we want you spending as much time as possible coaching our kids. Korrio offers a modern approach to coaching by allowing new ways to communicate and develop a community on and off the field. Congratulations to the ISN Star of Coaching this month.

Dayton Dutch Lions Announce 4v4 Tournament

Young soccer players in the Miami Valley will have a chance to compete, improve, and have fun at the first Dutch Lions 4v4 Tournament operated by the Dayton Dutch Lions FC. The tournament is open to girls and boys in age groups U8 through U14. The tournament will be hosted on the turf surface at the Miami Valley School on Sunday, November 10 for the boys and Sunday, November 17 for the girls.

In this small-sided tournament, each team will only field four players at a time, and there will be no goalkeepers. To provide for substitutions, each roster will have a minimum of five players. A maximum roster size of six players ensure that every player will get plenty of playing time.

US Youth Soccer lists several reasons why small-sided competitions are important for player development. It provides players with a lot of touches on the ball, which increases skill. It forces players to make more decisions. It allows players more time to play both offense and defense. It’s a fun environment.

Each participant in the tournament will receive a bag tag to commemorate the event. Individual trophies will be distributed to the members of the championship teams in each age group. In addition to the tournament, there will individual competitions for penalty kicks and other soccer skills.

The Miami Valley School is located at5151 Denise DriveinDayton. Younger age groups (U8-U11) will begin at9:00 AM. Older teams (U12-U14) get started at 12:30 PM.

Don’t miss out on this tremendous opportunity for your young soccer player. The fee is only $125 per team. Register your team at

ISN Stars of Coaching Presented by Korrio – October 2012

Chase Neidig is a Renaissance man in American soccer, having served in every single capacity in the beautiful game. He has spent time at the high school level, the pros, in grassroots movements, internationally, and now in the collegiate game. He has even served on the media and front office side of the sport. Simply put, Neidig has done it all.

One thing is always constant: Neidig’s love for soccer and his drive to make it work in America. An eternal optimist, the Grace College graduate is always looking for ways to positively impact the game. When he finds an opportunity, he follows through with tenacity and spirit. Whether it is leading charitable efforts to get soccer equipment to African youth players or seeking out local media to cover his teams, Neidig gets the job done. Why has he devoted his life to the sport? Because he cares deeply about the game and more importantly, the people in it.

Neidig, the current head coach of women’s soccer at Bluefield College in Virginia, started his coaching career at the high school level in Ohio and Indiana. During those coaching stints, he doubled their total number of wins in his first season.

“I believe there will always be a high school soccer system,” Neidig commented. “While it may continue to decrease in both the quality and the quantity of players, I do believe it still has its place in the social and physical development of high school student-athletes.”

While he was coaching at the high school level, his full-time position was with two professional soccer organizations, first the Cleveland City Stars and then the Dayton Dutch Lions. He was the very first employee at DDL and was responsible for developing all aspects of the club from its youth academy, professional team, Super 20′s, and W-League squads.

“We are at a critical stage in the overall development of the game in our country,” said Neidig. “We have an opportunity to become a ‘world leader’ in the world’s sport, but only if we critically and strategically develop our youth in a manner that is willing to take ownership at being the best.”

Neidig’s time coaching at the NAIA level has been incredible for all involved.

“Schools who participate within the NAIA can provide players with a chance to get an education and play college ball,” Neidig concluded. “As a result, you see a lot of raw, individually-skilled players with one or two dynamic players but not an entire program.”

Bluefield has experienced record-breaking success on both the men’s and women’s sides thanks to Neidig’s commitment as a coach on both staffs. This season he led the Lady Rams to their highest win totals in program history, not a small task to say the least, coming off a 2-16-1 record in 2011. Last season included zero wins in conference play.

All of this success had to start somewhere for a sport that would dominate his adult life. Many years ago, Neidig spent several years in the Gambia, where his love for the beautiful game was strengthened.

“I was in club youth soccer growing up, but I believe my experience as a child in a third-world country – always being around the game of soccer – is why I will always be in the game somehow,” Neidig commented.

His worldwide journey didn’t stop in Africa as Neidig would continue to play after college in the Czech Republic. He would spend time with Pisek FC, a third-division side just outside Prague before ending his short professional career due to injury.

Neidig’s experience in the media is also a great asset in promoting the sport on a national level. He has served as a broadcast commentator and analyst for SportsTime Ohio (STO), spent time in public/media relations, and most importantly founded the Tourbeau Sports Group (TSG).

TSG has brought attention to players, universities, and leagues around the country. Whether it is streaming games or finding the “diamond in the rough” at player combines, Neidig and his company have made a difference.

These “rough” players sometimes become world-class as was the case of Clint Dempsey. I can’t imagine a story that could be more inspirational to any American player as noted by Neidig:

“The face of America. Small town kid, from Texas. Traveled hours upon hours to travel to a big city to have the opportunity to play for a bigger club for more exposure as a youth player. His family spent more money than they had and invested in him and his development because they ‘saw something special in him’.

Went on to play at a small, Division I program, Furman University. A relatively unknown soccer program at the time, but he helped put them on the map, using the college game to draw more attention by being a very successful player, with a slight chip on his shoulder. Teams took a chance on him and he didn’t let them down. Still with something to prove, he went on to become MLS Rookie of the Year and has now made the switched to arguably the greatest professional soccer league in the world, the English Premier League.”

Players like Dempsey are great, but coaches like Chase Neidig will have an even greater impact on the beautiful game here in the States.

Korrio understands it is your passion for coaching kids that drives you. We also know that the less time you spend dealing with administrative, communication and automation hassles, and the more time you spend on the field, the happier you’ll be. And because you play a crucial role in our children’s lives, we want you spending as much time as possible coaching our kids. Korrio offers a modern approach to coaching by allowing new ways to communicate and develop a community on and off the field. Congratulations to the ISN Star of Coaching this month!

D.C. United Women Clinch Home Field Advantage

All D.C. United Women needed tonight was a win. With the news before the game that the Atlanta Silverbacks had tied their match earlier in the day, all that stood between United and home field advantage were the Dayton Dutch Lions. Yet despite a tough first half, it wasn’t enough.

It was a performance that embodied what United have been all about this season, teamwork. Winning 4-1 over an outmatched Dayton squad, United also clinched the top spot in the Eastern Division, assuring them the honor of hosting the playoffs this year.

It took a while for the scoring to get going, without any real chances coming in the first 30 minutes, but that didn’t slow down the hottest player in the league. Lianne Sanderson continued her tear through the second half of the season with her 3rd goal in 2 matches scoring in the 34th minute. The goal was a bit of an oddity as she misplayed her first touch and whiffed on the shot, but like the star she is the second touch was right on target putting United up 1-0.

The Dutch Lions made it interesting heading into halftime. On a counter Dayton put the ball into the box, and after multiple clearances and sloppy defensive play by D.C. the ball fell to the foot of Jen Agueci. The goal set the score at 1-1 and put the pressure all back on United.

13 minutes after the restart though that was all gone. Within a five minute period three different United players scored and put the game out of reach for good. It started with Olympian Becky Sauerbrunn slipping it past the keeper in the 53rd minute. 16 year old Andi Sullivan and 17 year old Ashley Herndon followed really close behind with goals in the 56th and 58th minutes to put  United up 4-1.

From that point on both teams were content just possessing the ball and waiting to get out of the sweltering heat. Even though the game was decided half an hour before, the final whistle lifted a weight from the shoulders of the United players. With the playoff hunt now behind them it is time to relax.

Next week’s season finale has no consequence for D.C. but could mean everything for their opponents the Virginia Beach Piranhas. With the second place team securing a spot in the playoffs alongside the United, Virginia Beach could be playing for their postseason next weekend.

But let’s not talk about that. Let’s raise a glass to an incredible season for  United and wish them best of luck in the playoffs this year.