Academy

Academy Coaches

Larry Sunderland, Director of Player Development & Academy Director

As Academy Director, Larry Sunderland will develop curriculum guidelines, monitor player and staff development, coach and oversee all soccer-specific aspects of the Chicago Fire Academy and player development system. He also serves as Technical Director of the Chicago Fire PDL, Super-20 and Juniors youth club. He has held these positions since 2009.  During that time, the Fire Player Development system has seen the Academy U16 team become the first MLS Academy side to win a USSDA National Championship, four academy players  have moved to the first team as Homegrown signings, U20 North American Championships in 2008 and 2012, and a PDL record 11 players chosen in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Sunderland holds the USSF “A” License, USSF National “Youth” License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and the KNVB “Youth” Certificate. He joined the USSF National Instructional Staff in 2000 and the NSCAA Associate National Staff in 2002. He has been a member of the Illinois and Wisconsin ODP staffs as well as Region II boys and girls staffs. His college coaching resume includes head coaching positions with the Men’s and Women’s programs at Wisconsin Lutheran College and Kendal College, as well as serving as the Men’s Assistant Coach at Long Island University/CW Post College.

Sunderland’s professional playing career began in 1985 with the New York Express of the Major Indoor Soccer League. In 1986, he moved to the Milwaukee Wave of the National Professional Soccer League where he played until he joined the Chicago Power. In 1990-91 he was part of the Power’s Championship team before briefly returning to Milwaukee in 1993. Sunderland ended his playing career in 1996.

John Dorn, Executive Director of Player Development

John Dorn oversees and coordinates the synergies of Chicago Fire Soccer Club’s Youth Player Development system that includes the Fire Academy, PDL and Fire Juniors since 2009.  During that time, the Fire Player Development system has seen the Academy U16 team become the first MLS Academy side to win a USSDA National Championship, four academy players move to first team as homegrown signings, U20 North American Championships in 2008 and 2012, and a PDL record 11 players chosen in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.  He was a founding member of Chicago Fire Premier, formerly called the Chicago Fire Reserves, from 2001-04.

Dorn has served as the Director of Soccer since 2001 and President of the Fire Premier’s parent organization, Chicago Fire Premier FC, from 2005 through 2014. During that time, 97 players have moved from the Fire PDL system to the professional level. Prior joining to the Fire, Dorn served as the head coach at Brother Rice High School in Chicago from 1994-97, as a volunteer assistant coach at Loyola University from 1997-98, Director of Soccer at Moraine Valley Community College from 1998-2000 and Director of Coaching for the Chicago Area Soccer League from 1996-2000. He received his USSF licenses in 1993, 94 and 95.

Ryan Brooks, Academy General Manager

As Academy General Manager, Ryan is responsible for all education, welfare, and management of our academy players.  In addition, he will oversee the administration, budget, and operational components for all Academy teams for the Fire.
 
In his previous post as Sr. Director, PDL and Super-20 League, Brooks managed all operations and management of the PDL and Super-20 League and its related events/activities. He was also active in the continued development, strategic planning, and growth of the leagues.
 
Brooks has served as Scouting Coordinator and Assistant Coach for the U18 USSF Development Academy team for Shattuck-St. Mary’s Residential Soccer Academy. He was previously appointed as Assistant Coach and Director of Youth Development for Real Salt Lake (MLS) in 2007. 
 
Ryan played for and graduated from St. John’s University, and after graduation he served as an assistant coach at Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.), Williams College (Mass.), and Hobart College (N.Y.). After a four-month stint studying the Tahuichi Academia in Bolivia, he was named Coaching Supervisor for Super Soccer Stars in New York City, where he oversaw the teaching of 150 professional coaches.
He received his Master’s Degree in Sports Leadership from Duquesne University. His coaching licenses include the USSF National “A” License and NSCAA Premier Diploma.

Victor Fernandez, U-13/14, U-15/16 and U-17/18 Assistant Coach

Victor Fernandez, U-11 Academy Head Coach, currently holds a USSF "A" license. Hispanic Player Scout and Recruiter, serves as a liaison between hispanic recruits and Larry Sunderland, Chicago Fire Academy/Technical Director. Fernandez played professional soccer for 11 years, his playing experience includes; Rockford Thunder, Chicago Power, Denver Thunder, Detroit Rockers and finally ending his career with the Chicago Power in 96'. Victor has continued his passion for the game by coaching competitive youth teams since ending his playing career.

Marc McElligott, 1998 Academy Head Coach

Holding an USSF A License and an NSCAA Premier Diploma Marc McElligott brings the experience of 7 years as Director of Coaching at HUSA and 3 years as Boys Director of Coaching at Eclipse to Chicago Fire. A former ODP coach with Iowa and Illinois ODP where he won a Regional and National title in 2007. A winner of Illinois and Regional coach of the year awards during a run which saw the winning of USYS Nationals Championships in 2010 and 2011. Chicago Fire's U15 National title in 2011 being the first time an Illinois boys team has won back to back national titles.

Charlie Trout, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000 Academy Head Coach

Head coach of 2002 and 2000 academy. Joined Chicago Fire in 2011 summer as assistant coach with Chicago Fire PDL. Coached at Chicago United since 2008 in age groups ranging from u9s to u13s. Starting coaching in 2002 at Lincoln City academy (England), earned UEFA B level 2 license in 2003. Undergraduate assistant at UIC in 2010. Playing Career: England Lincoln City - Youth team 2002-2005 YTS Gainsborough Trinity - Conference North USA UIC 2007 - 2009 Elite Eight in 2007 Sweet sixteen in 2008 Chicago Fire PDL 2008

Raul Barillas, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000 Academy Assistant Coach

Raul Barillas has been working as a staff coach for the Chicago Fire Academy since July 2012 after serving as an Assistant Coach for Lewis University, (Romeoville, IL) in 2011 and for the 2010 IHSAA State Champion Lake Central (St. John, IN) boys soccer team. Prior to his experiences as an Assistant Coach both at Lewis University and Lake Central, Raul Barillas spent two years with the Chicago Magic Soccer Club. He served as both the Director for ages 8 to 11 and the Assistant to the Technical Director for ages 12 to 15. He assisted the Chicago Magic U15 Girls team that won the 2009 National Cup VIII and U14 Boys team that won the 2010 National Cup IX. As a collegiate student-athlete, Raul Barillas played for Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana from 2006 to 2008 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology Management. He has also competed on the national level and represented his country internationally as he was a member of the El Salvador Youth National Team for seven years (U11-U17). At this moment, Raul Barillas holds both a USSF National “B” and National “Youth” license and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Elementary Education with a bilingual endorsement.

Aron Hyde, Goalkeeper Coach

Aron Hyde returns for his fifth season as the goalkeeping coach for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club in 2014. In his first four years with the Fire, Hyde has been integral in the development of U.S. international Sean Johnson. In addition to training the Fire’s goalkeeping core, the Birmingham, England product assists with scouting and the club’s Academy teams. The 30-year-old joined the Fire in 2010 after spending 2009 as an assistant coach with the University of Washington’s men’s team. Prior to joining the Huskies, Hyde worked as the Goalkeeping Coach for Seattle University’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, from 2006-09. Hyde previously coached for Seattle-based Emerald City FC where he served as assistant goalkeeper coach and head team coach for two of the boy’s club teams. He has been involved as a Region IV Staff Coach, an NSCAA goalkeeping staff instructor and with the Washington state Olympic Development Program. Hyde’s vast playing experience includes spells with Walsall FC, Millwall FC, and Wycombe Wanderers in his native England. Stateside, he spent time at Judson College (NAIA). He currently possesses his USSF A and USSF Goalkeeping Licenses, and his UEFA A Coaching License. Hyde, who lives in Chicago, earned his Masters in Sport Administration and Leadership from Seattle University in 2009.

Stan Anderson, Goalkeeper Coach

Stan Anderson is the Associate Head Coach at Marquette University, having just completed his fifth season there with Head Coach Louis Bennett after completing a 10 year run as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with Bennett where the Panthers compiled a 136-63-17 record and five straight NCAA Tournament berths. Since then he has mentored all of the Golden Eagles' keepers, including Matt Pyzdrowski, who in 2010 signed a professional contract with the Portland Timbers (USSL Division-2). He has been named the nation’s top assistant coach by College Soccer News numerous times while also operating Camp Shutout, a premier camp for goalkeepers The Palatine, IL native and member of his high school’s hall of fame was a record breaking goalkeeper for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and was named an All-American in 1989. He received his degree in 1990 and spent a season as a professional player with the Dayton Dynamo playing for fellow Academy staff member Jon Dolinsky before moving into the coaching ranks. He is married to Mary and they have two sons, Anthony and Michael.

Kyle Retzlaff, Player Development Business Coordinator

Kyle joined the Chicago Fire in September of 2012. Kyle came to the Fire from U.S. Soccer where he was the Development Academy League Coordinator from 2010 to 2012. Prior to his time with the Fire Academy, Kyle served as staff coach for over 6 years in youth soccer including working with clubs such as Team Evanston, FC Milwaukee, Potomac Soccer Club and Classics FC Soccer Club. He currently holds a USSF National “D” License. Kyle graduated from Ohio State University in the spring of 2009. While at Ohio State Kyle was a 4 year letter winner on the Varsity Men’s Soccer Team from 2004-07 where he was part of Ohio State teams that were NCAA Division 1 Postseason Tournament participant in 2004, 2005 and 2007, Tournament Finalist in 2007 and Big Ten Champions in 2004 and 2007.