Competitive Coach Of Month

Each month Illinois Youth Soccer will honor a deserving  Boys and Girls Competitive Coach. Monthly honorees also earn a nomination for the Illinois Youth Soccer Competitive Coach Of The Year awards

Monthly award nominations are due no later than the 24th of each month

April Competitive Coach Of The Month

Kristian Rockall
Crystal Lake Force

According to Rockall he “stumbled into coaching by accident and never looked back.” This accident has proven to be a benefit for the Crystal Lake Force organization where he coaches a variety of U13 – U16 teams that participate in everything from State Cup, Presidents Cup, State Premiership, MRL, YSSL and IWSL. Rockall is also a member of the Illinois ODP staff where he is the 2002 Girls Younger Head Coach, overseeing over 62 players. His attention to detail, professionalism and dedication to his ODP age group allowed for more than expected ’02 players to participate in the Puma Cup and represent Illinois ODP at the event. While other age groups had two teams at most, Rockall successfully managed and coached three teams at the event. For Coach Rockall, “The most rewarding part of coaching is any moment when one of our players or teams gets rewarded for the hard work they have put in.”


March Competitive Coaches Of The Month

Jo Hearn
Lyons Township Soccer Club

John Soltani
FC United Soccer Club & Spartan FC

Jo Hearn holds both a USSF B and UEFA B License and is the Executive Director of Lyons Township Soccer Club. John Soltani is the Director of Coaching for Spartan FC, Assistant Girls Director of FC United, Assistant Girls Varsity Coach of Glenbrook North High School and holds a USSF A and National Youth License. Although very accomplished and respected coaches in their own right, it was their collaborative work as coaches for the Illinois Olympic Development Program - ODP 2000 Girls team that earned them the March Competitive Coaches Of The Month honor.
While missing some of the age group's top players due to Regional Player Pool commitments, Coach Hearn and Coach Soltani's squad put out a tremendous effort in both of their matches at the 2016 US Youth Soccer ODP National Championship in Phoenix. Off the field, both coaches provided a memorable experience for the girls that included a challenging hike of North Mountain and a variety of team building events, giving all of the team members lasting memories.

February Competitive Coach Of The Month

Dani Martinez
Wilmette Wings

Wilmette Wings Girls Director of Coaching Dani Martinez is an “A” Licensed coach who sets an example for the players he coaches with his level of professionalism and his love of the game. A native of Barcelona, Coach Martinez preaches passion for the beautiful game and to respect one another and your opponent. He creates player centered activities that guide players to the answers. Self-expression is HIGHLY encouraged and creativity is constantly rewarded. An avid FC Barcelona fan, Coach Martinez created the team’s first fan club in Chicago. He encourages his players to watch soccer on TV, attend any matches they can and become students of the game. He wants his players to be lifelong lovers of the game.


January Competitive Coach Of The Month

Rick Ceh
Heat United Soccer Club

Coach Ceh is nicknamed "Captain Sunshine" for his constant smile and contagious happy demeanor. Rick coaches for Heat United, Elgin Community College and runs the Central/Southern Illinois ODP program. An "A" license coach, Rick is actively involved in Illinois Youth Soccer Coaching Education, working to teach not only players but up and coming coaches.