Team Players

Neal Ellis

Neal Ellis is the former Director of Coaches and Player Development for the South Texas Youth Soccer Association overseeing the ODP program and Education program for close to 10 years. As a technical director, he collaborated with clubs throughout the state in order to improve their programs through education and workshops.

He is currently part of the Scouting network for the US Soccer Youth National teams and is also a National Instructor for US Soccer, teaching the Instructor License, A, B, and C License. As part of the US Soccer staff, Neal worked in the study groups that developed the learning lines for the new US Soccer courses. He is also a mentor for the new B license instructors.

Neal also consults with Concacaf in collaboration with UEFA in developing coaching education programs and technical development plans for the Region. The project has empowered countries in the hemisphere to improve their national programs by developing clear technical plans and by teaching their own courses based on the countries' needs.

Neal also has experience as a former College coach and Technical Director for various clubs. Neal holds a degree in Mathematics and a Master's degree in Exercise and Human Performance. Neal lives with his wife Jennifer in San Antonio and enjoys life with their three dogs.


Ahmet Guvener

In tandem with his technology executive leadership, Ahmet is a renowned leader in sports management, especially in the world of soccer. Ahmet led the Turkish Soccer Federation, one of the leading federations within the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and FIFA. His range of work extends to managing a budget of $100 Million; creating, planning, and executing Development programs; implementing stadium security systems to curb violence in professional soccer; developing the first Strategic Plan of the Federation; bidding for EURO 2016.

Ahmet was the first Turkish member of the Panel of FIFA Referee Instructors and UEFA Referee Convention. He proceeded in leadership as Head of Refereeing, Director of Soccer Development (Chief Soccer Officer), and Secretary-General of the Turkish Soccer Federation. He is the only European soccer professional that held all three positions.

Along with Senes Erzik –one of the most respected former members of the FIFA Council and First Vice President of UEFA- and Fatih Terim – the legendary Turkish soccer coach - he had been a facilitator in helping Turkish soccer become one of the better soccer nations in the world. Managing million dollar budgets and mega projects, Ahmet has an intrinsic aptitude for project and people management, along with team-building skills with winning results.

Originally trained in Computer Sciences with a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and growing up professionally in the Information Technology industry in Turkey, Ahmet was a leader in a number of pioneering projects alongside global giants like Coopers and Lybrand, Mitsui, and Nippon Steel.
Now a resident of the US, Ahmet works and lives with his wife Elif in Georgetown, TX, and contributes to Soccer America with his articles on Soccer Politics and Refereeing.

Sam Snow

Snow has over forty years of experience as a coach, player, and administrator in soccer in the USA. Coach Snow has served as the technical director for US Youth Soccer and for the Louisiana Soccer Association. He is a former college and high school coach and teacher.

Snow is a coach educator for U. S. Soccer, United Soccer Coaches, South Texas Youth Soccer, and North Texas State Soccer. He holds the “A” License, Premier Diploma, National Youth License, and UEFA “C” License from the DFB and National Goalkeeper License. For 14 years Snow lead the instruction of the National Youth License; a.k.a, the National Youth Coaching Course. He is co-authoring the revised curriculum for the new National Youth Diploma for United Soccer Coaches. Snow also holds the Preliminary Badge from the Football Association, the Director of Coaching special topics diploma from United Soccer Coaches, and the Soccer Coach National License from Special Olympics. He earned certificates from Safe Sport, the CDC, and Darkness to Light and Coaching Healthy Habits.

He is an Instructor for the Master’s Degree in Coaching Soccer with Ohio University.

Sam Snow is a prolific writer on coaching and playing the beautiful game. His blogs on the US Youth Soccer website averaged 1500 readers per week. He has published articles in Athletic Journal, Coach & Athlete, Conditioning for Soccer, Goal Nation, Scholastic Coach, Soccer America, Soccer Corner, Soccer Journal, Soccer Nation News, Success In Soccer, The Farpost, The Touchline, and Youth Soccer Insider. Further, his writings are posted on the websites of numerous state associations, US Youth Soccer regions, US Youth Soccer, NSCAA, and others in the sports field both domestic and international.

Coach Snow continues as a sought-after clinician for clubs, schools, state and national associations. He has conducted sessions for the convention of United Soccer Coaches, the workshop of US Youth Soccer, the AGM symposia for over 45 state associations and internationally in Canada, Germany, and Turkey.

Sam Snow is the author of Coaching Youth Soccer, 4th and 5th Editions from Human Kinetics. He is the co-Author of four DVDs – The Novice Coach Series, Skills School and Positive Parenting for Youth Soccer, and the on-line series – Constructive Soccer: Coaching the Principles of Play Through Small-Sided Games.

Coach Snow established, and continues to lead the Youth Members Technical Leaders Work Group. The group is comprised of the five national youth soccer organizations of U. S. Soccer.

Sam Snow was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame for Virginia Wesleyan College in 2016. He received the Charlotte Moran Youth Long-Term Service Award in 2018 from United Soccer Coaches. Recently Snow was honored with the Dr. Tom Fleck Award for Excellence in Youth Coaching Education -

Snow serves on the Soccer Advisory Panel for the U. S. Soccer Foundation. Sam Snow lives in Belton, TX with his wife Laura and a household full of pets.


Michael Warech

Dr. Warech’s passion for analytics, assessment, coaching, and youth sports led him to develop an innovative, user-friendly approach to measure the quality and effectiveness of youth sports clubs. With more than 30 years of professional experience, Michael has consulted with leading organizations, teams, and individuals, in both corporate and youth sports settings, to maximize their capability and impact.

Michael’s work in the sports world has focused primarily on youth, collegiate, and professional soccer. He has worked with elite clubs, high schools, and college programs, as well as professional players, coaches, and national membership organizations.

He has published book chapters and papers in leading peer-review journals and presented his work in the areas of organizational effectiveness, survey feedback, and metrics at global, national, and regional conferences and conventions. Dr. Warech has been quoted in numerous newspapers and magazines including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore-Sun Times, and USA Today. Dr. Warech served on the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy, chaired by President Bill Clinton.

He is also Founder & President of both Warech Associates, LLC, a human capital advisory firm focused on talent management, leadership development, and coaching, and YSCindex, a subsidiary of Warech Associates, which focuses on youth sports club improvement.
Michael holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science, both in Applied Psychology, from Stevens Institute of Technology. He completed his undergraduate studies at Emory University.

Michael has two sons who both played competitive soccer. He resides with his wife, Susanne, and their dog, Lilly, in Morristown, New Jersey.

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