Elite S.C.

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Directors/Coordinators



 














Mike Steele
President, Co-Founder

Professional Experience:
Mike has over 20 years of coaching experience and has been actively involved in the youth club scene for the past 15 years.  Mike holds a USSF C License and National Youth License.  Mike also worked as a middle school social worker and has a Master of Social Work degree.  In addition to his duties at Elite Soccer, Mike is the President of the not-for-profit Elite Soccer Community Organization (ESCO).  ESCO is dedicated to community building and youth development through soccer in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Prior to joining Elite Soccer in a full-time capacity, Mike worked as community mental health counselor, school social worker, and as a sales professional for Positive Coaching Alliance.  Youth sports can play a major role in children’s development.  “I had great coaches and teammates during my youth sports experience and to facilitate that type of experience for others is something I enjoy. It is rewarding to provide kids with a positive and character-building experience that is competitive.  As a coach, we are able to assist in the growth of kids on and off the field.”
Playing Experience:
Mike was the captain of the 1988 Buffalo Grove High School soccer state championship team and earned All-Chicago area playing honors.  Mike also played his club soccer for Arlington Aces. 
Personal:
Mike lives in Arlington Heights with his wife Melissa and three sons.  Mike enjoys running, travelling, and spending time outdoors with his family.



























Brendan Eitz
Co-Founder

Coaching Experience:
 Originally from Arlington Heights, Ill., Eitz attended Hersey High School, holds a "B" coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and is a USSF National team scout.  Eitz oversees the college recruiting support for Elite Soccer and works directly with the Elite S.C. high school boys and girls programs.  

Former Loyola University Head Men's Soccer coach.  Since taking over the reigns in 2005, Eitz has claimed two Horizon League Tournament titles, one regular-season league title and has coached 17 first or second team all-league selections, adding two more to his resume last season.

The winningest coach in Loyola women's soccer history, Eitz led his 2003 squad to the program's first Horizon League Championship and first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. That season, Loyola capped a Cinderella run through the Horizon League Tournament, becoming the first-ever No. 7 seed to claim the postseason title. Winning the championship at Loyola Soccer Park with a thrilling 1-0 victory over Detroit made it more enjoyable. Along the way, the Ramblers equaled a then-school record by posting seven shutouts en route to a then-school-record 10 victories. Eitz coached three of his players to All-Horizon League honors in 2003. Eitz's charges used the tournament title as a building block, posting their first winning season in 2004 by recording a 9-7-4 mark before bowing out in the Horizon League semifinals on penalty kicks against top-seeded Milwaukee.

Success for Eitz and the Loyola women's soccer program was plentiful both on and off the field. Under Eitz's guidance on the field, 19 Ramblers earned all-conference accolades and 14 Loyola players earned all-newcomer team honors, including the 2003 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year. In the classroom, 11 student-athletes were selected to the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll in 2002 for having cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.25 and the 2003 squad posted the highest GPA (3.28) of any women's team at Loyola during the 2003-04 academic year.
Playing Experience:  As a student-athlete, Eitz excelled both as a soccer player and as a member of the track team at Loyola. Playing at center back and forward, he scored nine goals and dished out three assists for 21 career points. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Loyola in 1995.  Eitz played his youth soccer for the Arlington Aces.
Personal:   He resides in Arlington Heights with his wife, Tory, and their 3 children Ellie, Nora & Dolan.




Stein Garcia
Director of Coaching

Coaching Experience: 
 Stein Garcia has over 15 years of coaching experience and has a tremendous background in developing youth.  A Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) "Double Goal Coach" National Finalist, Stein currently holds a USSF National "A" License, is an Illinois Olympic Development Staff Coach, and has a Masters Degree in Youth Development and BS Degree in Kinesiology from UIC.  Stein is also on the board of advisers for TPSR-Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility Through Sport.  Stein is a true teacher of the game and a youth development practitioner.  "Coaching is all about developing players and building relationships.  It's important to connect with players and families and be a positive role model and mentor.  I strive to inspire players to realize their potential, take responsibility, be leaders, and apply what they have learned on the field to their everyday lives.  I want to give back to the game that has given me so much."  In the 10 years that Stein has been coaching in Arlington Heights, he has developed players in the club that have excelled in their high school careers with 3 IHSA, MSL Players of the Year, one Daily Herald Player of the Year, and one Daily Herald All-Area Captain.  Stein has helped players move on to college soccer programs at Purdue, UIC, Loyola, Augustana, Depauw, Lees MCrae, South Carolina, Case Western, and Roosevelt.  Stein also has experience coaching at the college level when he served as an assistant coach at UIC under Sasha Begovic from 2000-2001.  Stein helped the program win the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Championship and reach the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament in 2001.
Playing Experience:  Started his college career at Creighton University from 1996-1997 helping the program to back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference Championships and a birth to the Sweet 16 in 1997 and the Final Four in 1996.  Stein finished his playing career at UIC from 1998-1999, where he helped the program win its first ever Midwestern Collegiate Conference Championship and trip to the NCAA tournament.  In his prep years, Stein was a 4 year varsity starter at Hoffman Estates High School...a three-time Mid-Suburban South All-Conference and all-sectional honoree...a three-time Daily Herald All-Area player and two-time Pioneer Press All-Area recipient...served as team captain for three years, where he was voted most valuable player each year and was named First Team IHSA All-State as a senior.  Stein also played in the Illinois Olympic Development Program from 1992-1996 and played for The Chicago Pegasus Soccer Club.  
Personal:  Stein comes from a big soccer family.  His father, Sam Garcia coached Schaumburg U19 Soccer club to one State Cup Championship and one runner up award.  Stein's father was head coach for the Mens Harper College soccer program and  also started the Women's program in the 90s.  His eldest Sister, Sheila played soccer at the University of Chicago.  His other sister Steph played soccer at Loyola University for Brendan Eitz, and his brother Vince Garcia played at Harper Jr College.   Stein's Mom, Mabel is a super soccer supporter.  Stein and his wife, April, have 2 Siberian Huskies.











Coaching Experience - Chris brings a wealth of experience to Elite S.C. and currently holds his USSF "A" License.  A Northwest Suburbs native, Chris has been continually increasing his coaching experience in the Chicago suburbs, as well as in Georgia."I believe a coach can advise a player on how they can improve, but it is ultimately the responsibility and effort of the player that will make them better. I strive to create a professional, positive, competitive, fun, and challenging environment for my players". Chris was an integral team member at the Soccer in the Streets program in Atlanta, Georgia. As the Positive Choice Program Facilitator for Soccer in the Streets, Chris worked with under-privileged youth and taught them life skills through the game of soccer. Chris also worked as a staff coach at Roswell Santos soccer club in Roswell, Georgia.  Additionally, Chris has served as a Program Director for Mark Miller's Munchkin Soccer program for children ages 3-11. On top of his position as the Assistant Director of Coaching at Elite S.C., Chris is the Co-Founder and President of a high quality screen printing and embroidery company called Scrappy Apparel Company. "I enjoy this because it allows me to grow my entrepreneurial spirit, be in control of my work schedule, and build lasting relationships with those who choose to do business with us".

Playing Experience
 - Coach Berena was staple on the Illinois ODP team from 1997 until 1999. He also spent time with Eclipse Select and Windy City FC before becoming a State Cup champion with Sockers FC. Chris played his high school soccer at Schaumburg High School where he was a three-time All-Conference player, two-time All-Area, and an All-Sectional honoree. Chris went on to play at West Virginia University where he received both academic and athletic scholarships. After spending 2 years as a starter at West Virginia, Chris decided to transfer back home to Chicago to become a starter and captain at University of Illinois-Chicago where he received All-Tournament accolades at the University of Memphis Diadora Tournament. 

Personal
 - Chris comes from a family with a lot of soccer experience. His two younger sisters Melissa and Jasmine both played soccer during their youth. Chris enjoys supporting Chicago Bear Football and reading, cooking, playing soccer & video games in his free time. He is also a support of FC Barcelona. 














Eric Love
Youth Programs Director
Club Administrator

Coaching Experience: 
Eric has been working with Elite Soccer over the past 5 years and has been a versatile addition to the Elite Soccer Club. Whether leading a 4 & 5yr old PreK Class,  directing the Juniors League or training one of his teams, Eric strives to motivate, encourage and enrich the soccer experience of each player. He also works with Brian McBride at McBride's Attacking Soccer Academy throughout the year and during the summer. Eric currently holds his USSF National "C" License , NSCAA GK Level 1 & 2 Diplomas and is a PCA Double Goal Certified Coach. While working with Elite Soccer, Eric has become greatly involved with the ESCO Youth Leadership Program where he is the Program's Coordinator. He is a strong believer in players learning from their mistakes and having coaches who can create learning opportunities through soccer. "Everyone makes mistakes,  it's the way things work. It's what you do after the mistake that counts". 
Playing Experience: Eric grew up playing club soccer in Arlington Heights. He attended Buffalo Grove High School where he was a 12 season athlete and a 3-year starter for the Varsity Soccer team. While at BG, he was a 2-time team captain, Defensive MVP,  2-time Daily Herald All-Area player, All-Sectional, Chicago Tribune All-State player and leading scorer for the IHSA State Runner-up team. As a 2-year starter on both the basketball and baseball teams, Eric was voted Team Captain of the basketball team and left BGHS receiving "Male Athlete of the Year" Honors. Eric went on to attend Division III, Augustana College, where he earned All-Conference honors while serving as the team captain for 2 years. Eric was also awarded Academic All-Conference and the "Augie Award" given to the player who best portrayed what it meant to be a Soccer Student-Athlete.
Personal:  Eric lives in Arlington Heights. He has 2 brothers who both played multiple sports at BG and went on to play Soccer in College. When he is not coaching, watching or playing soccer, Eric enjoys watching movies, being outside and loves eating candy.
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