Nick is the Director of Coaching and a lead onfield coach with The SWAG, overseeing the SWAG Select program, and working with youth club programs throughout the region; he is also the head coach with the Philadelphia Union Academy U11 team, identifying and developing talented young SWAG players for participation in the Philadelphia Union’s Junior Academy program which starts at Under-9. Before joining The SWAG, Nick served as Head Coach and Youth Academy Director for Syracuse FC. Nick played collegiate soccer as a defender at NCAA DI Syracuse University (2010-2013) where he started 42 out of the 43 matches for the Orange. In 2012 he led an Orange defense that recorded 12 shutouts, tied for the third-most in the nation. He played an integral part of the second Syracuse team to make an NCAA tournament appearance, the first to make a Sweet 16 appearance. Nick graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Child & Family Studies. Following his college career, Nick played 4 years professionally in the Swedish 3rd tier and USL Championship with Saint Louis FC and Bethlehem Steel (now named Philadelphia Union II). As a high school player at Lower Merion High School, and played club with West Philly Hurricanes (now named West Philly Soccer Academy), Palumbo, LMSC and Spirit/Delco (now named FC Delco). He was selected as a Region I ODP player and to the U18 National Pool. Nick has coached for several years at both the youth and collegiate levels and holds an Advanced Youth Technical Training Diploma. Nick is a USSF D-licensed coach.
Ryan is the Assistant Director of Coaching with The SWAG, overseeing the innovative SWAG Impact educational program with Philadelphia area schools, as well as the Founder and Creative Director of R&R Soccer Academy. Ryan played collegiate soccer at Delaware County Community College and served as the head soccer coach from 2004-2020. In other capacities Ryan has been a coach for FC Delco at the Zone 1 level with various age groups. In 2019, he was awarded Coach of the Year honors by FC Delco. Ryan is a USSF D-licensed coach.
Additional Coaching Staff
Jordan is an assistant coach with The SWAG as well as a coach with Radnor Soccer Club. He played collegiate soccer at Villanova University 2007-2011 where he appeared in over 70 matches for the Wildcats. Prior to Villanova, Jordan played his high school soccer at The Haverford School where he was a 4 year starter, Inter-Ac Champion and EPYSA ODP player. He played his club soccer at Lower Merion Soccer Club and FC Delco. He would later go on to coach the U9 and U10 age groups at FC Delco (then known as Continental FC) before joining Radnor and The SWAG.
Idrissa “Baba” Kone is a coach with The SWAG and an Assistant Coach and Scout with the Philadelphia Union Academy in the MLS. Baba has a wealth of experience working in African soccer on a national and professional level. Originally from the nation of Mali, he was a member of the country’s 1999 U17 African Cup team, which finished in third place. Following stints playing professionally in Africa and Italy, Baba was invited to play as a trialist with the Chicago Fire of the MLS in 2009. In 2011, he joined the Philadelphia Lone Star in USL League Two as an assistant coach and eventually rose to coach the U23 program. In 2014 he joined the Philadelphia Union Academy as a scout, and in 2016 as a Junior Academy coach. Baba is a USSF C-licensed coach.
Dom is a coach with The SWAG as well as the co-founder, head coach, manager, and a board member of the AC Fairhill soccer club in North Philadelphia. Dom played collegiate soccer for NCAA DI St. Joseph’s University (2004-2006) as a walk on, after picking up the game only a few years earlier at age 17. He later graduated from St. Joseph’s Haub School of Business (2008) with a degree in Business Management. In a coaching capacity, Dom served as a volunteer coach for the Anderson Monarch’s youth girl’s program in South Philadelphia before co-founding AC Fairhill in North Philadelphia, with the aim of giving back to his neighborhood and providing young players with experiences that can change their futures. Dom is also a co-founder of Common Ground Management, a Philadelphia-based firm which consults to small businesses throughout the U.S., assisting its clients with business entity formations, trademark filings and corporate identity initiatives.
Manolo is a coach with The SWAG as well as the head coach of the Girls Varsity Soccer Program at Germantown Friends School. He played collegiate soccer at ACC-powerhouse Clemson University, where he earned All-ACC honors and would go on to be selected in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls. Manolo would spend the next four years playing professionally across the United States as well as for the Puerto Rican National Team before retiring with injury in 2018. He also played his high school soccer at Germantown Friends and holds the all-time goals and assists record, receiving All-League and All-State honors.
Mykola is a coach with The SWAG as well as the a Head Coach with the Philadelphia Union Junior Academy program. Mykola is of Ukrainian descent, born in Philadelphia, he attended Northeast High School where he was a 4 year varsity soccer player and Public League Champion. He would go on to play college soccer at Penn State Abington, graduating in 2017 with an NEAC championship title. Following college, he would play professionally for clubs Karpaty Lviv (2nd team), FC Inhulets Petrove (on-loan), and the Dynamo Kiev (U19). As a coach, he has previously worked as an Assistant with Penn State Abington (2018-2020), Assistant Varsity Coach at Archbishop John Carroll High School (2019), Head Coach for the U9 and U11 groups with FC Bucks (2021-2022), and as a member of the Coach Across America Foundation (2014-2016).
Kendall Walkes is a coach with The SWAG, as well as the Head Coach at Archbishop Carroll High School. Kendall’s collegiate soccer was played for Davis & Elkins College (1980-1984) where he graduated with a degree in Health and Physical Education. Kendall has played professionally for the Denver Dynamos of the NASL, as well as internationally – Kendall has 56 international caps with his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago. As a director, Kendall has also served as the Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the US Virgin Island national programs. As a coach, prior to joining Archbishop Carroll and The SWAG, Kendall served as the head coach of West Chester University, the Trinidad and Tobago National U23s, and Carib Peterborough FC of the Premier Division Trinidad and Tobago. Kendall is a USSF A-licensed coach.
Sam Cole is an assistant coach with The SWAG, as well as the Head Coach for the girls’ program at Cristo Rey Philadelphia. Sam played his high school soccer at Abraham Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia, where he was selected as a first team all Public League player and team MVP. He played his Club soccer for PSC Coppa, and would go on to attend Neumann University. Prior to The SWAG Sam also coached with Salone FC of the UPSL. Sam is a USSF D-licensed coach.
Sean is a coach with The SWAG and a Coordinator at For Soccer Ventures, an independent, mission-driven platform committed to advancing American soccer. Originally from New York, Sean joined the Philadelphia Union Academy as a youth and was a member of the U.S. National Team, age groups U14-U20. He graduated from YSC Academy, moving on to play NCAA DI for both the University of North Carolina (2015-2016) and Xavier (2017-2019), where he would appear in a collective 30+ matches and an NCAA Final Four before moving on to University of West Virginia where he earned his Master’s in Sports Management. Sean’s prior coaching experience is as a Philadelphia Union Youth Program Coach and as Head Coach for FC Delco for the U9 – U10 boys’ team.
A.B. is an assistant coach with The SWAG. Originally from Sierra Leone, AB began playing soccer as a youth player for Lower Merion Lightning, first matriculating to FC Delco and ultimately the Philadelphia Union Academy. In 2016 he was also selected to the United States Youth National U20 squad. After graduating from YSC Academy, he attended Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he would appear in 7 matches as a freshman, before transferring to York College for the remainder of his playing career.
Freddy is an assistant coach with The SWAG. Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, Freddy would eventually come to Pennsylvania to play soccer with the Philadelphia Union Academy and attend YSC Academy. He graduated in 2016 and went on to play NCAA DI soccer for University of South Florida, where he was a 4 year starter for the Bulls. Freddy graduated USF in 2020 prior to accepting his first coaching position with The SWAG.
Darra Griffin is The SWAG’s Relationship Ambassador, managing relationships with families for The SWAG, helping those new to soccer to become familiar with The SWAG’s training program and the curriculum, working closely with families on SWAG scheduling and logistics throughout the Philadelphia area. Darra was born in Barbados and emigrated to the United States in 1984, attending Northeast High School in Philadelphia, where she was a student-athlete involved with track and field, graduating in 1993. Darra attended Pierce Junior College and graduated with a liberal arts degree. She was a member of the Black Student Union and actively involved in several community programs and activities. Darra was employee of Prudential Insurance for over 22 years in the customer service/data entry division. Darra has three children (two daughters and a son) and her son Jordan plays for the Philadelphia Union Academy. Jordan has competed in soccer not only domestically, but also internationally in Portugal, Spain, Scotland and Brazil, playing an important role on youth teams which have won national and international championship titles. Darra is an active member of church where she has honed her administrative, organizational and community outreach skills.
Coaching Advisory Council
Ryan Richter is The SWAG’s Coaching Advisory Council Director and the Assistant Coach of the Philadelphia Union’s First Team. He was formerly Head Coach of the Philadelphia Union Academy’s U15 age group and provides oversight of The SWAG’s pool of coaching resources as SWAG Advisory Council Director. Prior to his Head Coaching role with the Union U15s, Ryan served as the Director of the Philadelphia Union Junior Academy program covering age groups up through U11, and also as a Union Academy coach with the U12s and U17s. Ryan spent seven years playing professionally after being drafted 5th overall in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Philadelphia Union, later going on to play for Toronto FC (MLS), New York Cosmos (NASL), and other highly respected professional clubs in North America, earning honors as an All-Decade Best XI player in NASL. Prior to his professional career, Ryan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he captained the Men’s Varsity Soccer team, receiving numerous individual accolades, such as the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year (2010), Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete of the Year (2010), Atlantic 10 Sportsman of the Year (2010), 1st Team Scholar All-American (2010), 2 Time Philadelphia Player of the Year (2009 and 2010) and 2 Time Regional All American (2009 and 2010). Ryan attended William Tennent High School in Suburban Philadelphia. He played youth soccer for FC Delco and Phoenix Soccer Club, and was an EPYSA ODP player. Ryan is a USSF A-licensed coach.
A member of The SWAG’s Coaching Advisory Council, Scott Spangler has been a coach with the Philadelphia Union Junior Academyand EPYSA’s Olympic Development Program (ODP), as well with 1776 United FC and Villanova Soccer Academy, highly-selective club-level programs competing regionally and nationally, as well as nationally-known FC Delco. Youth teams coached by Scott have won multiple regional, national and international events in soccer and futsal, among which include international Iber Cup championship events in Portugal and Texas, the US National Futsal Championships and multiple National Championships in 3-v-3 soccer. Scott played college soccer at Virginia Tech where he led the team as Captain to the NCAA Semi-Finals. As a high school player at Strath Haven Highschool, Scott was an All American, All State and All County player, and the leading scorer in the history of his school, as well as being a State and Regional ODP player. Professionally, Scott played at VfB Stuttgart in Germany. Scott is also UEFA B and USSF B-licensed coach and owns FC Sports, a soccer coaching services business focused upon youth development.
A member of The SWAG’s Coaching Advisory Council, Andre Spangler has been a coach with the Philadelphia Union Junior Academy, as well with 1776 United FC and Villanova Soccer Academy, highly-selective club-level programs competing regionally and nationally, as well as nationally-known FC Delco. Youth teams coached by Andre have won multiple regional, national and international events in soccer and futsal, among which include international Iber Cup championship events in Portugal and Texas, the US National Futsal Championships and multiple National Championships in 3-v-3 soccer. Andre played professionally with the Philadelphia Kixx and the Delaware Wizards. As a high school player at Strath Haven Highschool, Andre was an All American, All State and All County player, as well as being selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year, the Pennsylvania State Player of the Year, and the Player of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily Times. Andre was also a US National Team Under-16 player and a State and Regional ODP player. Andre is a UEFA B and USSF D-licensed coach.
A member of The SWAG’s Coaching Advisory Council, Jon Scheer is the Director of Scouting for the Philadelphia Union. He previously served in a scouting role for the US National Team with the United States Soccer Federation. Jon also has coaching experience as the former Assistant Head Coach at the University of Delaware, Director of Coaching at Kirkwood Soccer Club, as well as with the Philadelphia Union Junior Academy and Delaware FC. Some of Jon’s professional accolades include the membership in the NSCAA “30 Under 30” Program, a yearlong education and mentorship opportunity for a select few up-and-comers who have mode soccer their career of choice (2014), and the NSCAA North Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year (2014). Prior to his professional career as a coach and scout, Jon attended and played soccer at the University of Delaware, where he was a team captain (2009 and 2010), 4 time dean’s list student (2007 through 2011), and team MVP (2010). His youth and high school career took place in South Jersey, where he was a State, Regional, and National ODP player. Jon is a USSF A-licensed coach.
Tommy is the Director of The SWAG’s Pro Athlete Council and the Director of Academy and Professional Development for the Philadelphia Union. He previously served as the Reserve Coach and Academy Technical Director at Rangers FC, as well as Head Coach for the U20 Scottish National Team. Prior to Rangers, Tommy served as the Head of Coaching Education with thhttps://www.philadelphiaunion.com/academy/homee Scottish Football Association. Prior to coaching, Tommy had a long professional soccer career in the Scottish Premiere League with sides such as Dunfermline Athletic, Kilmarnock FC, Heart of Midlothian and St. Mirren, where he won the Scottish FA Cup in 1987. Wilson finished his playing career with over 300 SPL appearances. He was brought up in Carmyle, Scotland, a small town in the east end of Glasgow. Tommy is from a soccer family, with his father, as well as both brothers playing at a professional level. Tommy is a UEFA Pro licensed coach.
The SWAG is a free soccer development program launched in 2018 for players aged 4 to 8 who aspire to someday play at a higher level, potentially being selected to join the Philadelphia Union’s Academy system.
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