Sascha, originally from Flensburg, Germany, came to the US when he was 23 years old to play college soccer at the University of North Carolina Pembroke. Previously, he played for ETSV Weiche and TSB Flensburg in Germany’s 4th division. After graduating college as an All-American in 2005, he was drafted by the Richmond Kickers Pro Team and played there until his retirement in 2016. He ranks second on the club’s all-time career list in assists (53) and games played (287).
In addition, Sascha filled the role of Richmond Kickers Pro Team Assistant Coach from 2013 until 2018. He has been coaching for the Richmond Kickers Youth Club for several years but joined Richmond United at its inception in 2014. He holds the US Soccer A-Youth License and currently serves as the Academy Director.
Michael grew up in Cary, North Carolina playing for CASL youth soccer club and Carolina Railhawks PDL. From 2005-2008 he attended and played soccer for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After college, he had an eight-year professional playing career in the USL, two for the Austin Aztex and six for the Richmond Kickers. In his final two years as a player, he served as the club captain as well as a player/assistant coach in his final year.
After retiring from playing after the 2016 season, he joined the Richmond Kickers Pro Team coaching staff as an assistant from 2017 to 2018. He began his youth coaching career in 2013 with the Richmond Kickers Youth Club, coaching in their Classic and Elite programs. He completed his US Soccer National "B" license in 2018 and will be working towards the "A-Youth" license over the next 6 months.
Will Bates is a native of Chester, Virginia where he grew up playing for local clubs Chesterfield United and the Richmond Strikers. Bates played at the University of Virginia where he helped lead the 2009 team to a National Championship. During his youth and collegiate career, Bates was a regular member of the U15, U17, U18, and U20 U.S. Youth National Teams. Following his time at UVA, Bates was drafted and played for the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer in 2013 & 2014.
Following his professional career, Bates moved back to Richmond where he pursued a master's degree in Sports Leadership through VCU’s Center for Sports Leadership program. Bates has earned his U.S. Soccer “C” License and will pursue his “B” license later this year. In 2019-20, Bates will coach the U12 Boys & U16 Boys.
Gabriel, originally from Winter Park, Florida, joins Richmond United from Florida Rush Soccer Club where he coached in their U.S. Soccer Development Academy program for the last two seasons. Gabriel began his coaching career in 2014 with the New York Red Bulls Academy and moved back to his hometown when the newly minted MLS club, Orlando City SC, started to develop their own academy system in 2015.
His last stop before coming to Richmond was at Florida Rush SC, where he helped his hometown youth club establish and build a Development Academy program from the ground up. He holds a U.S. “B” License, United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma, and U.S. Youth Soccer National Certificate and was recently included as a member of the United Soccer Coaches prestigious 30 Under 30 program.
As a player, Don played professionally in the USL and MLS (DC United). His coaching background includes the last 2 years as a head coach for Richmond United, 10 years with the Richmond Kickers Youth Club, multiple National Championships with FutsalRVA and an assistant coach role with the 2013 NPSL Champions RVA FC.
He currently holds a US Soccer National “A” License, NSCAA National Diploma, and a US Youth Futsal National Level “3” license. He has also had the opportunity to work with Technical Directors and Coaches from the KNVB in Amsterdam, AJAX Youth Academy, West Ham Youth Academy, Everton Youth Academy, Fulham Youth Academy, Arsenal Youth Academy and most recently with FC Barcelona Futsal Academy.
Don currently serves as the Director and owner of Own Touch Southside, Technical Director of Coaching for FutsalRVA, and Technical Director for Fury FC. He also serves as a board member for the VSL and ADSL.
A Virginia Beach native, Joseph grew up playing for Beach FC. After a successful youth club career he attended the Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA) based in Leeds England, where he studied and played soccer for four years. While in England, Joseph played against non-league sides (teams outside the top four leagues in England) and featured regularly in showcase games against Premier League reserve and academy teams such as Leicester City and Burnley FC. Joseph also represented RIASA in Norway, Finland and Slovenia during his four years in Europe.
After graduating from RIASA in 2018 he joined Fredericksburg FC as Goalkeeper Director bringing along with him the experience and knowledge he gathered while in Europe. Joseph holds a Level 3 Goalkeeper License and plans to take the Advanced National Goalkeeping Diploma this upcoming season.
A native of Finland, Mika is currently an Assistant Coach with the Richmond Kickers pro team, and will be assisting Will Bates with the Richmond United boys’ U12 team this season. After an extensive playing career in both NCAA D1 and overseas, he has gained a wealth of experience both as a coach and an administrator. Prior to the Kickers pro team, he most recently served as the Commissioner of the Boys Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).
Mika received his BA from UNC Wilmington, and he has a Master’s Degree and a PhD from the University of Oulu, Finland. Mika also holds a USSF B License, UEFA B License, and UEFA Football Strength and Conditioning diploma.
A native of Bosnia, Emir entered professional soccer at the age of 17 while playing in the First Bosnian League for Drina Zvornik. Due to the war he was forced to leave Bosnia and move to Berlin in Germany, where he played for Hertha BSC ll, MSV Normania and BSC Marzahn. Upon his return to Bosnia after the war, Emir played one season of professional Futsal with Bosna Kompred in the Bosnian Futsal League. After his move to the US, Emir started his coaching career with FutsalRVA and Richmond Strikers in 2017. He holds a USSF D license and is currently working on obtaining C license. Emir joined Richmond United in 2018 as a volunteer assistant coach and will be an assistant coach again in 2019/20.
Greg, as the son of an Army father, spent time in numerous states and in Germany before settling in Northern Virginia for the later part of his childhood. He made his way to Richmond in 2013 to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where he played and served as a captain in his final two years. At VCU, he studied psychology before obtaining a master’s certificate in business administration. Upon graduating, he earned a spot with the Richmond Kickers professional team in 2018, continuing to play there for the 2019 season. Currently, Greg has completed the US Soccer Grassroots level of his coaching licenses. He coaches within the Richmond Kickers Youth Club at both the Classic and Elite level and will be an Assistant Coach with RU in 2019/20.
Originally from South Carolina Dean moved to Richmond 25 years ago after attending the University of South Carolina. Coach Dean has been involved in youth soccer for 18 years, including stints with Richmond Strikers, Mechanicsville United and his current role coaching multiple Richmond Kickers travel teams for the last 6 years. Recently, he also coached for King William High School’s varsity program, receiving the honor of District Coach of the Year. Dean works for the Richmond Kickers Pro Team as Away Team Liaison. He currently holds the
A native from Kumasi, Ghana, Aaron studied at VCU. After college, he played 3 seasons with the Chesterfield United NPSL team and served as an Assistant Coach with Richmond Strikers NPSL. He has coached for Richmond Strikers and Chesterfield United FC, as well as holding Director Positions with Fredericksburg FC (CCL2 Director) and FC Richmond (Assistant Director of Youth Development). For the past 2 and half years Aaron has been coaching for Richmond Kickers. Aaron holds a USSF C License and looks forward to acquiring his B license.
Scott Thomsen's youth soccer career includes time spent with the U16 and U18 New York Red Bulls Academy. During his youth career Scott was involved with the US Youth National team program from the U14 - U18 age groups. He continued his soccer career at the University of Virginia. Scott helped lead the team to an NCAA National Championship in 2014. After graduating from UVA, Scott signed an MLS homegrown contract with New York Red Bulls. After being released, he has continued his professional career with Orlando City B and the Richmond Kickers in the USL, where he still plays today. He currently holds his USSF "E" Coaching license, and is working on continuing his coaching education through the professional offseasons. Scott will serve as a Video Analyst for Richmond United