BREAKING THE LINE

Conversations with Game Changers

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Episode 26 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Eric Bell, the head coach for TCU’s women’s soccer team. ECNL Podcast host Dean Linke chats with Bell about his journey from sales into coaching, his stops at Illinois and Florida State before TCU, recruiting trips to ECNL events, the Horned Frogs’ title hopes in 2021 and more.

Episode 25 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Damon Nahas, an assistant coach for the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team, hired by the school in 2015. ECNL Podcast host Dean Linke chats with Nahas about his time with the US Women’s National and Youth programs, winning two ECNL national championships with North Carolina FC, how his development as an NCAA player helped guide his coaching career and more.

Episode 24 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Kenneth Medina, the Executive Director for Sting Soccer, has a coaching career that has spanned 30+ years, which includes numerous regional, national and ECNL championships, and has been an ECNL board member for 12 years. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chats with Medina about his vast coaching career, what he brought to Sting and the philosophies that makes the club successful, how ECNL has changed over the years and more.

Episode 23 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Ted Chronopoulos, the Academy Director for Pateadores, Victor Pace, ECNL Director for CESA, and Santino Quaranta, Technical Director for Pipeline SC. ECNL Boys Commissioner Jason Kutney leads a panel with all three DOCs, discussing their club’s philosophies, how each club can continue to push the youth game forward, what brought them to the ECNL and more.

Episode 22 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Walid Khoury, LAFC Slammers Director of Coaching, and Aaron Brunner, Richmond United’s ECNL Director. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chat with Khoury and Brunner about their respective club’s paths to the ECNL Girls National Finals, how they prepared for the weekend, their club’s title chase and more.

Episode 21 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Martin Rennie, a professional coach who has managed clubs such as MLS’ Vancouver Whitecaps FC, USL’s Indy Eleven, the Carolina RailHawks (now North Carolina FC) and more, and his daughter Lauren, a current ECNL player who will play collegiate soccer at Indiana Wesleyan starting next season. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL Boys Commissioner Jason Kutney, chat with Martin and Lauren about Martin’s journey through the coaching ranks, how he brought his experience in sales and marketing into soccer, Lauren being born into soccer, her experiences in the ECNL and more.

Episode 20 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Kevin Payne, former DC United President and CEO, former Toronto FC President and member of the 2021 National Soccer Hall of Fame class. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chats with Payne about his soccer beginnings, his journey throughout pro soccer, what the future of soccer could look like and more.

Episode 19 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features ECNL Girls Commissioner Jen Winnagle and special guest Shelley Smith, Head Coach of the South Carolina women’s soccer team. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, chats with Winnagle about ECNL South Carolina, having more than 900 college coaches back on the sidelines following the end of the Division I recruiting dead period and looking ahead to Playoffs. Linke then follows Winnagle with a conversation with Smith, discussing her career leading to South Carolina, being back on the recruiting trail and USC alumni playing professional soccer today.

Episode 18 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guests Chris Grassie, Head Coach of the Marshall University men’s soccer team, and Jerry Smith, Head Coach of the Santa Clara University women’s soccer team. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL Boys Commissioner Jason Kutney and ECNL President Christian Lavers, chat with Grassie and Smith respectively about their recent College Cup championships, the twists and turns of their coaching careers and more.

Episode 17 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guest Ian Barker, the Director of Coaching Education for United Soccer Coaches. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chat with Barker about his coaching career, which has spanned multiple collegiate divisions and speaking internationally, how to measure success as a coach, how to mold the next generation of coaches and more.

Episode 16 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guest Cobi Jones, former USMNT standout, former LA Galaxy midfielder and current LA Galaxy broadcaster. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chat with Jones about his journey to become the most capped player in USMNT history, his post-playing broadcasting career, one of the most pivotal moments in his soccer career and more.

Episode 15 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guests Paula Wilkins, the current and all-time winningest head coach for the University of Wisconsin’s women’s soccer program, and Jordyn Bloomer, the Badgers’ first-team All-American goalkeeper. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chat with the two about player development, the recruiting process for coaches and players, how important communication is on and off the field for building relationships and more.

Episode 14 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guest Fergus Connolly, a performance coach and an expert in elite team performance, working with Liverpool FC, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, the Navy Seals and more. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, chat with Fergus about what makes an athlete elite, Fergus’ experiences and bringing in different elements from the different organizations, leaning on others and more.

Episode 13 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guests Scott McDoniel, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri Girls Director of Coaching, and Kelsey Dinges, St. Louis Scott Gallagher U16 and U18/19 Head Coach. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, talk to both McDoniel and Dinges about SLSG MO’s Leadership Initiative, having more females in coaching, if she can see it, she can be it and more.

Episode 12 of Breaking The Line:The ECNL Podcast features special guests Erica Dambach, Head Coach of Penn State’s Women’s Soccer team, and Sam Coffey, ECNL alum and current senior with Penn State. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President Christian Lavers, talk to both Dambach and Coffey about Penn State soccer, coaching strategies, the relationship between coaches and players, being a good teammate and more.

Episode 11 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guest Grant Hill, co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, a 7-time NBA All-Star, Olympic gold medalist, 2-time NCAA Champion with Duke University and member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL President, Christian Lavers, talk to Hill about him wanting to be the next Pele when growing up, transitioning into basketball, navigating his professional career and now being a soccer dad.

Episode 10 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features special guests Boyzzz Khumalo, Co-Founder of Umhlaba Vision Foundation, and Greg Simmonds, former Jamaican National Team player and Co-Founder and President of Own Touch Soccer. ECNL Podcast host, Dean Linke, along with ECNL Boys Commissioner, Jason Kutney, talk to both Khumalo and Simmonds on their path, the giving back mindset, and how they both built an amazing future around the game on and off the field.

Episode 9 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features current Northern Ireland Assistant Coach, Austin MacPhee, who dives into the world of statistics and data analysis and shares his methods of applying it to prepare teams. Austin joins Christian Lavers and Dean Linke to also discuss his perspective on culture and development to prepare teams for success.

Episode 8 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Esmeralda Negron, Co-Founder and General Manager of Ata Football, and Hannah Brown, Co-Founder and Advisor for Ata Football, along with Mark Wilson, former professional soccer player and Co-Founder of Beyond Pulse. We dive deep into their soccer playing days and what led each to launch their respective businesses to grow the game.

Episode 7 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features Doug Lemov, Managing Director of Uncommon Schools and lead for the Teach Like a Champion team, designing and implementing teacher training based on the study of high-performing teachers. He is the author of Teach Like a Champion 2.0, and coauthor of Practice Perfect.  He sits down with Dean Linke and Christian Lavers to discuss his new book, The Coach’s Guide to Teaching.

Episode 6 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features current UNC Chapel Hill Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Anson Dorrance, who has captured 22 NCAA Division 1 National Championships, and was also the Head Coach of the 1991 US Women’s National Team and World Cup Champions. Anson joins Dean Linke and Christian Lavers to discuss the competitive cauldron, the youth soccer space and all things about the beautiful game.

Episode 5 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast features three coaches who play a major role in creating a youth-to-pro pathway in the ECNL discussing the many elements that contribute to a thriving professional pathway within the United States, and more specifically, within the ECNL! Mario Sanchez (Louisville City Academy), Scott Gibson (Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC), and Oliver Wyss (Orange County SC, West Coast FC) join Dean Linke and Jason Kutney to dive deeper into this topic, looking to identify specific lessons that can be extracted and applied to all clubs working in the development space. Additionally, ECNL alum and current NWSL star Madison Hammond (OL Reign) chats about her journey, her youth experience, what it is like to break down barriers as she became the first player of Native American descent to take the field in the NWSL, and more. Her story is one you must hear!

Episode 4 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast hosted by Dean Linke will feature special guest United States Women’s National Team Head Coach, Vladko Andonovski. Take a trip down memory lane as he sits down to discuss his ascension in becoming the leader of the most dominant soccer team to ever set foot on the pitch. From his humble beginnings coaching youth soccer, to being tasked with securing the United States’ illustrious fifth World Cup title, this episode is nothing short of amazing.

Episode 3 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast hosted by Dean Linke will feature special guests US Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee and
Atlanta United VP and Technical Director, Carlos Bocanegra, as well as current Challenge Cup winner, Houston Dash standout and FCKC ECNL alum, Shea Groom! We’ll also be featuring GSA Director of Player Development and Boys Director, Nuno Piteira.

Episode 2 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast hosted by Dean Linke will feature special guests Executive Director of VDA, Chairman of the Board for US Club Soccer, Mike Cullina, Hyperquake Client Director, Amie Bracken, Hyperquake Creative Director, Holly Shoemaker, and NCFC Assistant 1st Team and Director of NCFC Boys Academy, John Bradford.

Episode 1 of Breaking The Line: The ECNL Podcast hosted by Dean Linke will feature special guests ECNL Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Drew Watson, and Executive Director of Richmond United, Jay Howell.