Ela Soccer Club Competitive program is committed to developing each player to his or her fullest potential. To support this goal, Ela provides professional training to all age levels.
The coaches are committed to providing a quality environment that allows for player development. Part of that development does involve getting a player exposed to different training approaches and styles. Therefore, Ela does not support a “one coach for life” philosophy.
Director of Coaching
Jose Fleita began his coaching career after playing professionally in the U.S. and Argentina. Jose was recruited in his native Argentina at the age of 16 to play for Club Athletico Independiente. He played in Argentina from 1990-1996 in several different leagues before being recruited as a defender for the Chicago Stingers in 1997. He came to the USA and played for the Stingers in 1997 and during their National Championship season in 1998. In 1999 he began coaching at the Italo American Soccer Club in Chicago which was comprised of many retired professional players from the Chicago Metropolitan Soccer league and was twice a member of the “All Star Illinois” Metropolitan League Team. Jose joined Ela Soccer in 2000 and in 2011 started our Junior Soccer Academy program which brings the love of soccer to our littlest players – ages 3-6. His enthusiastic love for the sport inspires all ages. In 2012 Jose stepped up to take the position of Assistant Director of Coaching for our Recreation and Academy programs. Jose is a member of the IYSA Olympic Development Program (ODP) coaching staff. Jose holds a USSF National Youth License and a USSF C License.
Matt Ballenger has coached in the Chicago area since 2011. In 2009 he served as youth soccer coach in Rwanda and developed coaching materials for future coaches in conjunction with providing other social services. Matt has also spent time shadowing professional soccer academies in London. He played high school soccer at Palatine and moved on to play at Illinois Wesleyan University. He currently serves as an IYSA Olympic Development (ODP) staff coach. Matt has a Master’s degree in Mental Health and holds a National Youth License and a USSF B License.
Paul joins the coaching staff as a former Ela Soccer and Lake Zurich All Sectional Senior player. Paul is currently the Head Boys Sophomore Soccer Coach at Lake Zurich High School. Paul holds a USSF D license.
Adam has coached in the Chicagoland area since 2002 at the collegiate, school, and club level. He is currently the Cathage College Assistant Coach where he also played as 4 year Varsity starter and served as captain for two years. Adam holds a USSF E license.
Leo has been coaching in the Chicagoland area since 1994. He has served as Varsity coach for St Viator High School and has coached at the collegiate level for North Central College. Leo holds two MRL Regional Champ titles and two US Club Regional Champ & Finalist titles. He played professionally in both the American and National Soccer Leagues. Leo holds a USSF C license.
Luke has been coaching in the Chicago area since 2012 at the school and club level. He played at University of Wisconsin Whitewater and served as team captain during his junior and senior years. Luke holds a USSF D License.
Ameer has coached in the Chicago area since 2010. He played semi-professionally in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Ameer received the FCBarcelona Escola Coaching Certification and holds a USSF D License
A.J. has been coaching since 2010 at the collegiate, school, and club level. He played for Elgin Community College where he took on the team captaincy. He then transferred to Carthage College being part of the team that advanced to the NCAA tournament. A.J received the Mens Soccer Sportsman of the Year award. He has a BA in Sports and Exercise Science and holds a USSF E license.
Staff Coach & Programs Assistant
Bridget is an ELA alumna and played for the club from ages 8-18. She started coaching for the club in 2011 and has held coaching positions at Carmel High School. Bridget was a four year varsity player at Carmel High School and a four year starter at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind. where she was a team captain and named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. Bridget won the Leadership Award in 2010. Read St Mary's article. Bridget holds a National Youth License and a USSF D License.
Carlos joins Ela Soccer Club with 20+ years of coaching experience. Carlos started playing in Argentina as a youth player and has played in various amateur leagues. His coaching experience includes Assistant Girls Varsity High School coach and many years at the club level, leading his teams to State finals. He participated in US Soccer's Inaugural National Fitness Level 1 License course and holds a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and US Soccer National B License.
Senior Staff Coach
Gin has over 20 years of professional coaching experience in both the U.S. and England. He has played semi-professionally in England and holds an English F.A. Coaching License, a USSF National Youth License and a USSF C License.
As a former Ela player, Kevin has coached for the club for over 5 years. Kevin played collegiately as Goalkeeper for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.