Owner & Executive Director
This apple didn’t fall far from his family tree; Joel’s mother was a teacher and his father a professor. As early as elementary school, Joel would work winter and spring breaks at his mother’s childcare center. In middle school, he worked a special needs winter break camp and that summer, became a counselor in training at a local day camp. He spent his next 4 summers at that camp, before getting a gig as the Nature Specialist at an overnight camp outside Cleveland in college. Although Joel had never coached children before starting Soccer Shots, he’s learned a lot in the 8+ years since; children are such amazing teachers.
CREDENTIALS: US F License, US Soccer Grassroots, CPR/First Aid, Double Goal Certified by the Positive Coaching Alliance, BA in Religious Studies with a focus on Buddhism, Masters in Business with a focus on Marketing, Former Chairman of the Board of Active Children Portland, a local 501 3c. Executive Function Skills: Foster with Play, Penn State Better Kid Care Program.
FUN FACTS: Joel’s daughter is the light in his life, and he feels lucky to have a beautiful wife and family to snoop around Portland with or just hang in his backyard. He loves finding new coffee shops, experiencing art, reading, learning, discussing ideas, listening to all sorts of music, cheering on our Thorns and Timbers, and giving back to the community.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “If good citizens are the riches of a city, then there is no better investment than young people. Investing in the youth in our community is an act of faith in the future, of commitment to the present and the sign of a supremely wise investor.” -Cary Clarke
FAVORITE JOKE: “I would tell you my lasagna joke but it’s too cheesy.”
Director of Operations
CaSaundra is passionate about all youth sports, whether it is coaching or helping organizations that support them. She has spent years volunteering as a youth baseball & softball coach and has loved learning more about the game of soccer since joining the Soccer Shots team. CaSaundra would love to connect with anyone that is curious about our program or has a similar passion for youth and coaching.
CREDENTIALS: Heads Up Concussion, Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics, Professional Project Manager (PMP). Volunteer President of Gresham Barlow Youth Baseball/Softball, Volunteer Coordinator for Gresham Youth Basketball.
FUN FACTS: CaSaundra has jumped out of a perfectly fine plane, AKA she went skydiving! When she wasn’t playing softball growing up, she spent her weekends at a race car track (her dad was a driver) or on a sailboat.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Change is the law of life. And those who only look to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F Kennedy
FAVORITE JOKE: “What is a pirate’s favorite letter? Rrrrrrrrr!”
Ian loves movies, traveling, and anything that involves being outside and connecting with the environment. An avid runner, Ian has competed in 98 marathons!
CREDENTIALS: Bachelor of Arts in Economics
FUN FACTS: Ian has been a vegetarian for 30 years!
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Life is like a box of chocolates.” -Forrest Gump
FAVORITE JOKE: “What did one eye say to the other eye? Between us, something smells!”
Head of Coaching and Curriculum
Coach Mark has come to Soccer Shots all the way from Northern England. He loves coaching soccer because it allows him to pass on his passion for a sport he grew up loving and still continues to play. His hobbies include travel, socializing with friends, and following his beloved Premier League. Mark is true soccer fanatic; whether it’s the podcasts he listens to, the books he reads, the television he watches, or the news he follows.
CREDENTIALS: BA in Sports Coaching, CPR/First Aid Certified, U.S Soccer Grassroots, Heads Up Concussion Course, Coaching Children with Disabilities.
FUN FACTS: Mark’s soccer ball juggling record is 387 (with his shoelaces untied). Mark also used to be a certified Fencing coach.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.” -Lionel Messi
FAVORITE JOKE: “How do you get Pikachu on a bus? Poke him on!”
Coach Ash grew up on the island of Puerto Rico, where she played soccer from a young age all the way up to college. Other than Soccer Shots, a lot of her coaching experience comes from working at camps in Puerto Rico and Wisconsin. She’s passionate about the game of soccer and loves being a positive role model for kids in her community. Some of her hobbies include, but are not limited to, video games, hiking, camping, cooking, and eating lots of tacos.
CREDENTIALS: CPR/First Aid/AED Certified, U.S Soccer Grassroots, Mandatory Reporter, Heads Up Concussion.
FUN FACTS: Coach Ash can build a campfire in less than 3 minutes! She is also fluent in both Spanish and English.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Don’t take life too seriously…” -Elbert Hubbard
FAVORITE JOKE: “Have you heard about the latest broom craze? I hear it’s sweeping the nation!”
Coach Dan hails from England and has many years of coaching soccer through clubs, schools, and camps. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, watching soccer, and traveling the world. He loves coaching soccer because it involves being active and watching the kids improve and alter their game as they become older.
CREDENTIALS: CPR/First Aid, BA in Sports Development, and English Football Association Levels 1 & 2.
FUN FACTS: Dan has also lived in New Zealand and Australia.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss
FAVORITE JOKE: “I’m so good at sleeping. I can do it with my eyes closed.”
When Coach Katie isn’t playing soccer, you can catch her in the sand playing volleyball or outside playing disc golf. She loves to explore the outdoors and spends lots of time taking her dog to the park or on fun hikes. She loves connecting with kids and seeing the proud smile on a player’s face when they overcome a difficult skill. In her free time, Katie loves to cook and try out new foods.
CREDENTIALS: CPR/First Aid, OIS, B.S. in Public Health
FUN FACTS: Coach Katie is currently learning how to speak German.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” -Professor Dumbledore
FAVORITE JOKE: “What do you call a cat that swims? A catfish!”
Coach Chris is probably the most energetic coach in Soccer Shots’ history! He has extensive experience working with kids and recently completed an internship at the Oregon Zoo, where he educated children about the importance of nature and conservation. Chris loves creating relationships with players, instilling important life lessons to young ages, and reciprocating the energy the players bring to Soccer Island. He is currently pursing his Bachelors in English with hopes to one day become a 4th grade teacher.
CREDENTIALS: CPR/First Aid, Heads Up Concussion Courses, US Grassroots soccer, Associates degree from PCC.
FUN FACTS: Coach Chris has first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do!
FAVORITE QUOTE: “”For every dark night there’s a brighter day” -Tupac Shakur
FAVORITE JOKE: “Knock, Knock!
Gorilla me a burger!”
Program and Customer Service Specialist
D came to Soccer Shots from a theater background, where she worked as a stage manager. She’s been involved in Off-Broadway, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and at Artists Rep and Profile Theatre here in Portland. She loves spending time with her 13-year old rescue Yorkie named Risky – who is a pro at taking naps! D loves to see the energy and enthusiasm of our Soccer Shots coaches, both on and off Soccer Island!
CREDENTIALS: Masters Degree in Theatre from Columbia University in the City of New York
FUN FACTS: D loves to bake and bring treats to the coaches and staff at Soccer Shots – key lime pie, carrot cake cupcakes, cookies, chocolate cake, and cinnamon rolls are just a few of her delicious specialties!
FAVORITE QUOTE: “A little kindness goes a long way.”
FAVORITE JOKE: “You shouldn’t tell Dad jokes if you aren’t a Dad. It’s a faux pa!”
If you have a passion for positively impacting children through youth sports, we’d love to talk to you.