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Life Beyond The Field

By Aaron Krepel, 03/16/19, 12:15PM EDT


Now entering its fourteenth season, TSF Academy has worked with a great number of youth soccer players over the years. The goal as always is to help each player achieve their maximum potential, working towards their aspirations of playing in college and beyond.

The club has an excellent conversion rate in terms of college commitments, and recent years has seen a surge in the number of players making it to the professional level. Eric Klenofsky and former Goalkeeper coach Santiago Castaño both recently signed with Toronto FC ii and NY Cosmos respectively. Alex Muyl and Connor Lade both start regularly for MLS franchise NY Red Bulls, while Danielle Schulmann, Gabriella Cuevas and Nickolette Driesse are playing professionally overseas after spells in the NWSL. 

When asked, Klenofsky described TSF Academy as, “Family. TSF Academy and the people that encompass it have been with me every step of the way. From Monmouth to DC, DC to Israel and Israel to Toronto. Since I was eleven years old I’ve been blessed to be a small part of this amazing family and I can’t wait to bring that support with me to Toronto FC.

What is more impressive is the number of former players that have returned to coach either within the Academy or with its training company partner TSF Training. Mateo Restrepo was part of the 2011 National Championship winning Diablos team that included Eric Klenofsky. Mateo has coached with TSF for five years and is currently working with the U12 Development Academy and is in the process of pursuing his C License. “TSF has been my home for many years now and I can't thank everyone in the club enough. I have matured and grown so much since I first came to the club as a player. Along the path, I have met incredible coaches from which I have learned so much. TSF has made me the coach I am today.

JP Gonzales returned to TSF Academy, playing with the NPSL team, before accepting a coaching role. He currently works with the 2010, 2009 and 2004 boys, as well as heading the Futsal Academy implemented this Winter. 

Josel Mateo was also part of the Diablos team and has since returned to coach. Initially Josel led the Winter strength & conditioning sessions last year, given his background in Sports Performance Training. He now works as a coach with the 2008 Boys, while working regularly with the Inter Academy program. “TSF Academy has not only helped me develop as a player and now as a coach, but also as a person. I learned at a very young age what it meant to be responsible, dedicated, and professional from the various coaches I've had, even some who are still here today. I cannot thank TSF Academy enough for everything they have given me and I am more than happy to give back to a program that has given me so much.”

Matthew Gotrell spent the majority of his youth in The Sports Factory watching his father, Walter, train an elite stream of Goalkeepers. It was no surprise to see Matthew return to TSF after college, working with the several town travel teams before his recent involvement with the Inter Academy. 

It is a testament to the level of passion that TSF Academy instils in its players that so many return to the club to coach. The club has built a solid reputation in the area for developing young talent on the field, but also holds the players to high standards of respect off it.