Lake Zurich, IL (May 11, 2011) Ela Soccer Club is proud to announce the hiring of Richard Drake as the full-time Assistant Director of Coaching, High School Programs Director and Ela Elite Staff Coach for the 1,200 participant youth soccer organization.
Richard Drake comes to Ela Soccer from Loyola University in Chicago where he served as the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach for the last six years. Prior to Loyola, he served as the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at DePaul University, Marshall University, University of Minnesota and University of Cincinnati encompassing the last 14 years. During his tenure at these NCAA Division 1 programs, Drake was directly responsible for player recruitment and team training which resulted in six NCAA Tournament Berths.
“Ela Soccer Club is one of the most highly respected soccer clubs in the Chicagoland area with a long established and distinguished track record,” said Drake. “I look forward to working with the quality coaches and players in the program to continue the player development and success that Ela Soccer has produced over the years. In addition, it is a great opportunity to further enhance the Ela Elite teams in local and national competitions along with guiding and assisting players that aspire to play in college,” he added.
In addition to building the high school and elite level programs along with assisting those players that wish to play in college, Drake will also create a club goalkeeper training program.
Drake has a United States Soccer Federation “A” Coaching License, National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Coaching Diploma, NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeping Coaching Diploma and NSCAA National Youth Coaching Diploma. After growing up in Harvard, Illinois and playing high school and club soccer, Drake went on to play college soccer at Aurora University. Upon graduating, he played professionally for the Rockford Raptors of the United Soccer League. While coaching, he found time to train with the professional clubs, Minnesota Thunder of the A-League and Cincinnati Silverbacks of the National Professional Soccer League.
“Over the last 14 years, Richard has developed numerous relationships with collegiate coaches around the country that will be an incredible asset to those Ela Soccer players looking to play in college,” said Doug Anderson, Ela Soccer Club President. “Overall Richard will be a tremendous addition to the entire Ela Soccer program and compliment our roster of incredible coaches,” he adds.
For the last 20 years, Ela Soccer Club has been a magnet for developing collegiate players with over 100 players playing in college and many earning college scholarships. Drake’s experience with recruiting on the college side will give a great prospective to Ela Soccer players and parents as to how one needs to approach playing in college with both the athletic and academic requirements. It is expected that with the addition of Drake, many more Ela Soccer players will have opportunities to further their playing careers in college and beyond.
“To properly coach Elite Level teams and correctly assist players with their college aspirations requires great experience and full time dedication,” said Gin Sharma, Ela Soccer Club’s Director of Coaching. “I am pleased that Richard has joined Ela Soccer as a full time employee which will ensure that the needs of our players will come first and the necessary time to satisfy those needs will be met,” he added.
For the last 20 years, Ela Soccer has been providing the greater Lake Zurich area (which includes Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer, Deer Park, Long Grove, Barrington, Wauconda, Volo, Round Lake, Buffalo Grove, Palatine and surrounding communities) with a multi-level organization whereby children of all ages and skill levels have the opportunity to play soccer. Ela Soccer has four full time staff coaches which include a Director of Coaching and Assistant Director of Coaching, six part time coaches, a full time Executive Director and a part time office administrator all of which ensures that the operation of the club is seamless.
“With the hiring of Richard, the 12-year soccer field usage and development agreement with the Village of Deer Park, signing of a 3-year indoor usage agreement at Kits Sports Center, existing relationships with the Village of Lake Zurich and Ela Township; it is an exciting time to be part of Ela Soccer Club and its long term future,” added Anderson.
For more information on Ela Soccer Club and a list of tryout dates and times, go online to www.elasoccer.com
or call the Ela Soccer office at 847-726-6909.
Ela Soccer Club “the best play here” www.elasoccer.com
Richard Drake Biography
A veteran college coach of fourteen years, and Chicago area native, Richard Drake joins the Ela Soccer Club as its Assistant Director of Coaching. He holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" coaching license and referee license, a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Diploma and a NSCAA Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma.
Drake recently finished a six-season stint at Loyola University of Chicago, where as the assistant coach, he helped guide the team to three Horizon League Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. In his time at Loyola, Drake was part of a coaching staff that recruited Chicago-born and Peru Women’s National Team player, Cynthia Morote-Ariza. During Morote-Ariza’s career at Loyola, Drake helped guide her to consecutive Horizon League Player of the Year Awards.
While at Loyola, in addition to his college coaching, Drake served as a staff coach and High School age Goalkeeping Director at FC United in Glenview from 2006 to 2011. Most recently he was the u17 Girls age group coordinator, coaching both teams at that age level. Throughout his time at FC United, Drake coached on both the boys and girls side from u14 through u18.
Drake also found time to run his own u23 women’s program from 2004-2008. He co-founded FC Twente3 and ran the women’s side of the club. During that team, his teams captured three Illinois Women’s State Cup Championships, and one Regional Championship, and two u23 State Cup runner’s up. He also had the team participate in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), the largest national women’s amateur league in the country. In 2007 he earned the Midwest Region Coach of the Year award.
Prior to Loyola, Drake was an assistant coach for one season at DePaul, where he helped the Blue Demons post a program-best 14-7-2 record, their first-ever Conference USA Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2003. At DePaul, he trained and mentored midfielder Julianne Sitch from Oswego , Illinois as she became the Conference USA Player of the Year, and an NCAA All-American. Sitch has since become a professional player in the WPS, playing with Sky Blue FC, and earning the inaugural WPS Championship.
Before settling back in Chicago , Drake served as an assistant coach for two seasons at Marshall University and helped guide the Thundering Herd to a Mid-American Conference Tournament berth with a program-best 11-7-1 record in 2001. He also worked as an assistant coach for three seasons at the University of Minnesota , helping the Golden Gophers advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1998 and '99. Drake started his women's coaching career as an assistant coach for the University of Cincinnati 's 1997 C- USA championship team that earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
Before starting his coaching career, Drake played professionally for the Rockford Raptors of the United Soccer League. While coaching, he found time to train with the professional clubs, Minnesota Thunder of the A-League and Cincinnati Silverbacks of the National Professional Soccer League.
A 1996 graduate of Aurora University , Drake earned a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education. He is currently completing requirements for his master's degree in curriculum studies at DePaul.