Meet the Team
Alyssa Heim, Owner & Executive Director
Alyssa, Owner and Executive Director of Soccer Shots Los Angeles is originally from Northridge California. She graduated from University of Southern California and majored in Economics with a Minor in Business. She also attended National University where she earned her Teaching Credential. Soccer has continued to grow on her as she and her Team have grown with Soccer Shots – mostly as a soccer mom! At this moment in time, Alyssa’s greatest passions would be a combination of continued success as a business owner and a mother to her two children she shares with husband, Rian. She really enjoys live entertainment, including musical theater, stand up comedy, concerts, and even business type conferences! Alyssa recently began taking piano lessons and it turns out she is absolutely loving it!
Rian Heim, Owner
Rian, Owner of Soccer Shots Los Angeles and husband to Alyssa was born and raised in Beaverton Oregon. He attended the Art Institute and earned a degree in Graphic Design. Growing up, Rian played multiple sports including soccer, basketball and baseball. He enjoyed the competitive aspect but did not have positive experiences with coaches. He strongly affirms that Soccer Shots provides an approach to teaching children soccer in such a positive way that he wished he had experienced growing up. One of Rian’s strong interests is in modern design, specifically mid-century modern furniture, architecture, landscaping, patterns, and objects. Rian greatly enjoys spending time with Alyssa, playing games and sports with his kids, hiking, reading, designing and improving their home. A fun fact about Rian is that he is currently really intrigued by World War I history.
Monika Borkowski, Executive Personal Assistant
Monika was born and raised in Murrieta, California – about an hour and a half drive from the South Bay. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from San Diego State University. Growing up she was involved in cheerleading, Taekwondo, basketball and gymnastics. She feels as though her passion for remaining mentally and physically active is what made transitioning into the Soccer Shots Los Angeles team while assisting alongside Alyssa and Rian an incredibly seamless one. Monika is extremely passionate about the world of health and nutrition – her goal is to ensure that everyone can be given the tools to understand the importance of being mentally and physically healthy. In her free time, she thoroughly enjoys going on adventures and trying new restaurants and food. Something interesting that she enjoys in her free time is accompanying her boyfriend on his nighttime photography shoots of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Zach Benau, Business Operations Manager
Zach is originally from San Francisco. He went on to attend the University of Arizona where he earned a Degree in Communication & French. Sports has always been a big part of his life and growing up he always knew that wanted to be involved in this industry. Some of the most influential people in his life were coaches, so to be able to work for a company that provides that for children today is something he is really grateful for. Most of his passions are centered around sports; he loves all the San Francisco sports teams and watches all of them religiously. Zach aspires to continue to learning and growing and to become a leader in the children’s sports industry. He would also love to travel more. In his free time he likes to play basketball with friends and also enjoys hanging at home with his wife and dog. An interesting fact about Zach is he can speak french fluently.
Celina Gougis, Partner Service Coordinator
Celina is from Northridge, California. She attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara and obtained an Economic and Business degree. Her interest in a sports-specific career has been motivated by her own experiences playing sports growing up. Growing up and being a part of many athletic programs is what motivates Celina to give that experience to another young athlete. She is passionate about volunteering, being positive, growing as a person both professionally and personally, and enjoying the little things. Some goals she currently has include: volunteering more on a weekly basis, creating different sources of income, and learning how to code. She enjoys spending time with her friends and playing basketball. She loves to laugh! So she attends a lot of comedy clubs, improv shows, open mic nights, and so on. Otherwise, you might catch her at different cafes, or thrift shopping!
Karthik Srinivasan, Partner Service Coordinator
Karthik was born and raised in New Delhi, India, but now lives in Los Angeles by way of the DC area. He attended Virginia Tech and obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering. Karthik has always played and loved sports growing up – cricket and soccer in particular. After leaving for the U.S., cricket wasn’t really an option, so soccer was what he continued by default and he loves it! He feels it has shaped him as a person in ways he never even imagined. His goal in life is to be the best version of himself whether it be as a dad, husband, coach, actor, etc. He strives to continue living life to the fullest and experiencing new cultures by traveling all over the world. Other than soccer, he loves keeping it simple and spending time with his family. He also loves watching live theatre. Something interesting about Karthik is he does not want to wait to check off bucket list items. He’s always wanted to travel solo to Europe to watch football (soccer) games, so he accomplished this by going to London, Manchester and Barcelona and stadium hopping. Also, he has always wanted to produce a feature film, which he’s currently in the early stages of. He’s passionate about bringing stories less told to life, and will continue doing that as much as possible.
If you have a passion for positively impacting children, we’d love to talk to you.
The “Three Cs” – Coaching, Communication and Curriculum
The foundation of Soccer Shots is our relentless commitment to providing best-in-class coaching, communication and curriculum.
The best coaches in the business
- Every Soccer Shots coach must complete our comprehensive training program to receive certification.
- All Soccer Shots coaches are trained in the use of developmentally appropriate techniques.
- Coaches are routinely evaluated and undergo ongoing training.
- Our coach selection process evaluates not only the ability to coach soccer, but also the ability to engage and inspire children.
An exceptional customer experience with ongoing communication
- You will receive a weekly summary of what your child is learning at Soccer Shots.
- We proactively communicate cancellations due to weather or other circumstances.
- Our staff understands the importance of timely, responsive communication.
Expert-approved curriculum that aligns with early childhood education standards
- Our developmentally appropriate curriculum places an emphasis on character development and skill building.
- Our program is created under the guidance of childhood education specialists, professional soccer players and experienced and licensed soccer coaches.
- We constantly re-evaluate and update our curriculum to stay current with childhood education standards.
Our Vision: To provide a beloved growth experience for every child; a remarkable experience for every family.
SOCCER SHOTS LA: OUR STORY
The success of Soccer Shots LA can be traced back to the dedication and vision that Rian and Alyssa had back in 2007. Rian had always been vision-oriented and self-driven, having moved to Los Angeles at 19 with only a few hundred dollars to his name. He met Alyssa in 2001 and they were married three years later. Rian and Alyssa were hopeful that they could positively impact the lives of children while providing the flexibility and security of working for themselves. With the support of their franchising partners, a shared interest in education and perfectly complimentary personality types, they decided to start their own Soccer Shots franchise in the middle of 2007.
In the beginning, Rian and Alyssa worked day and night, confronting their fears of failure and working hard to build their business. Many times they faced moments in their professional partnership that impacted their personal partnership. But their rare ability to achieve relational harmony and business success as married partners helped them overcome every obstacle. In addition to much sweat and tears, they contributed multiple financial investments beyond the initial franchise purchase to help Soccer Shots LA become the best it could be. Over the years, they didn’t just achieve financial success. They built a respected organization that positively impacts the lives of its employees, children and families. On a personal level, the Heims’ success has helped them achieve their primary goal of having freedom of time, which they spend on intentionally pursuing a progressive educational experience for their children that is customized to their needs.
Every Leader Needs A Team
Soccer Shots LA would not be around today if not for the skills and approach that both Rian and Alyssa bring as partners. They built Soccer Shots LA from the ground up and dreamed of a bright future. However, after the birth of their son in 2010, they realized they couldn’t achieve these dreams on their own. They needed a team of equally passionate people to help Soccer Shots thrive. In 2013, they implemented a set of core values and began crafting an organizational structure to set them up for success. The next year they began to take steps to build the team they knew they needed. In 2015, they were exposed to GiANT Worldwide, a global leadership company that further helped them create a pathway for their own personal growth, as well as the growth of their team.
Putting People First
Rian and Alyssa have always felt strongly that investing in passionate, dedicated people and putting their needs first would help their business flourish. As owners and vision-casters, Rian and Alyssa want to impact their employees in a way that transforms their lives positively as leaders. They believe that being intentional about developing people and the culture is the best way to invest in future success. This concept of investing in people and their “softer skills” is not the traditional approach to business, but it is an approach that has set the Heims apart as business leaders and helped Soccer Shots LA succeed.
Though no longer active in day-to-day business activities, Rian and Alyssa still have a heart for people and a vision for Soccer Shots LA. In fact, it is a constant topic of discussion in the Heim home and has become part of their family identity. Their visionary leadership is key to all future successes and, as 100 percent shareholders, they maintain ultimate control in all business dealings. To ensure the integrity of their vision, Soccer Shots LA chooses to align only with individuals who share the Heim family’s three core values: Be Respectful, Tell the Truth, and Grow & Learn. Rian and Alyssa have chosen to prioritize their family life and will not make any business decisions that could jeopardize the type of work-life balance they enjoy and encourage others to pursue. The Heims believe in autonomy and sustainability. Therefore, all company growth must be funded by existing company resources, without any additional shareholder investment or funding. Under Rian and Alyssa’s respected leadership, Soccer Shots LA will always remain in alignment with the expectations of Soccer Shots Franchising.
From small business to respected organization, Soccer Shots LA has come a long way – but its story isn’t over. With the Heims at the helm, Soccer Shots LA will continue to grow alongside its employees, children, families and school partners on its mission to positively impact children across Los Angeles.
Did You Know?
Alyssa has never coached a session, but has been an enthusiastic soccer mom for years
Their children (Charles & Amelia) have played more than fifteen seasons with Soccer Shots
Rian’s primary Voice is Creative (5 Voices) and Personality Type is INFP (Myers Briggs)
Alyssa’s primary Voice is Guardian (5 Voices) and Personality Type is ESTJ (Myers Briggs)
Prior to Soccer Shots, Alyssa taught and mentored at-risk middle and high school students
Alyssa and Rian currently homeschool their children – their most rewarding career choices yet
Rian’s interests include: Reading Non-Fiction, Modern Design, Progressive Education, Strength Training
Alyssa earned degree in Business and Economics at USC
Rian earned a degree in Graphic Design
The History of Soccer Shots
Our founding partners, Jeremy Sorzano and Jason Webb, were soccer teammates both in college and professionally. They formed Soccer Shots® in 1997 after recognizing a lack of quality soccer programs for children under age 8. They shared an entrepreneurial spirit, a deep love of soccer, and a passion to inspire children to live fit and healthy lives.
The success of Soccer Shots in Charlotte, NC and Harrisburg, PA, where Sorzano and Webb first launched their businesses, led to several of their friends and former teammates wanting to get involved. In 2005, Soccer Shots began franchising and opened its first four franchises in OH, DE, FL, and PA. The business opportunity began to attract more soccer entrepreneurs, and Soccer Shots has enjoyed growing around the country and into Canada.
In May of 2009, Justin Bredeman, another former college soccer teammate, became the third Soccer Shots partner. Justin brought with him eight years of experience from Auntie Anne’s, Inc., a pretzel franchising company, where he led a team that supported nearly 800 franchise units. His deep understanding of the franchise business model also comes from the knowledge gained from his five years of owning and running a Soccer Shots business of his own.
From its humble beginnings, Soccer Shots has grown beyond Jeremy and Jason’s biggest dreams, with over 200 territories across 37 states and Canada. There were over 440,000 enrollments into Soccer Shots programming in 2018.
The business is consistently recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 Children’s Fitness Franchise in the U.S. And today, Soccer Shots is positioned as the best-in-class children’s soccer program with a focus on character development.
And while the accolades are appreciated, our mission remains focused – positively impacting children’s lives.
Soccer Shots Franchising, LLC is based in central Pennsylvania, just east of Harrisburg. Learn more about franchising with Soccer Shots at soccershotsfranchising.com.
Stronger Youth. Beyond the Game.
We believe that soccer is a powerful vehicle for positively impacting youth. Through our partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, we aim to impact children who live in underserved communities through quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.