Print Email

Iowa Soccer Symposium Presenters


2021 Presenters






Dr. David Adams  |  Technical Director, Football Association of Wales

“I’m delighted to share my experiences with motivated and passionate coaches.”

UEFA Pro License

Forward-thinking technical director, well-respected coach educator and proactive professional who possesses a wealth of experience in designing and delivering player development strategies and coaching programs which can be utilized within a club or national association structure.






Tony Asghar  | Sporting Director, Dundee United FC

“My aim is to use my experience, skills and qualifications to provide an elite sporting organization with long-term strategy, inspiration and motivation.”

Highly-innovative and creative Sporting Director and Company Director with over 20 years’ experience within elite global football as a Sporting Director, club consultant, advisor to players and managers and International match and tour arranger.  Has led the restructuring of the football and business departments at Dundee United FC.

His aim is to use his experience, skill set and qualifications to provide an elite sporting organization with long term strategy, inspiration, motivation and create a sustainable success model.




Esse Baharmast  |  Director of Referees, Colorado Soccer Association & Former FIFA World Cup Referee

“I am very honored and look forward to be a part of this wonderful symposium with our Iowa Soccer family.”

Baharmast is a retired FIFA international Referee who was the first American to center two World Cup matches in a single World Cup (1998).  Involved in more than a dozen World Cup tournaments and Olympic Games and named the 2020 U.S. Soccer’s Werner Fricker Builder Award.

After retiring from refereeing, started career path of referee education and instruction. He became the Director of Officials for U.S. Soccer, and has been a member of the Concacaf Referees' Committee since 2003. He has served as a FIFA instructor, assessor and mentor at the youth and senior levels. When not traveling the world as an instructor, he serves as Director of Referees for the Colorado Soccer Association.







Kris Baker  | President, Demosphere

After completing a successful first year of our partnership with Iowa Soccer, Demosphere is excited to enhance and extend our solutions to constantly improve member experience and engagement with the sport of soccer in Iowa.”

13+ years serving the technology needs of soccer organizations all over the country.










Ian Barker  |  Director of Coaching Education, United Soccer Coaches

“I am delighted to join the Iowa soccer community in a week of sharing. It is always a pleasure to work with the staff and volunteers of Iowa Soccer.”

Has been at United Soccer Coaches since 2012 after a long and successful collegiate coaching career.  Also previously served the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association as Director of Coaching and Player Development. 

Serves on the national instructional staff for United Soccer Coaches, U.S. Soccer, US Youth Soccer.






Paul Bright  |  Technical Director, The Coaching Manual

“The Coaching Manual has attended the Iowa Soccer Symposium for the last two years and we are impressed by the interaction and dedication to youth soccer across Iowa.  We’re looking forward to providing coach education resources for the benefit of coaches across the state.”

An experienced and respected soccer professional with an extensive knowledge of coaching methods and tactics accrued through coaching career, experiences working within professional soccer clubs and organizations, and personal development. A skilled and influential negotiator with valued experiences in identifying and developing talent, and the ability to foster shared goals and powerful team spirit.






Bryan Davis  |  Financial Advisor, Edward Jones & DOC Madison FC

“I’ll be presenting Making Sense of Investing.”

Prior to joining Edward Jones, was the head men's soccer coach at Division I Wright State University for nine seasons. He often refers to his background in coaching as he works to find ways to help clients understand their options and achieve their goals.

His process includes advising clients on financial assessments using knowledge of investment and insurance strategies. My duties include assessing a client's comfort with risk, assets, liabilities, income and saving rate, insurance needs, financial objectives and estate considerations.




Willie McNab  |  International Soccer Academy Manager, Celtic FC

Currently holds the Scottish FA Advanced Children’s License, Scottish FA Advanced Youth License and the UEFA A license.

Serves as Celtic FC’s International Soccer Academy Manager for North America where he manages the club’s relationships with clubs and associations across the region.  Has a professional background in delivering coach education courses with the Scottish FA to grassroots and professional coaches across the country as well as being a guest clinician at Continuous Professional Development clinics.

Since 2007 he has worked with various Academy Age groups from U12 – U16 at Celtic FC and currently coaches the club’s U16 boys Academy team as well as leading their Central Scotland Development Centre.



Ruth Nicholson  |  GO! Resources for Youth Sports, Founder

“Volunteers are not free! Let me show you the five easy steps to build a volunteer program that supports your organizationweb_nicholson and survives volunteer turnover.”

Founder and developer of an online training and club administration resource offering youth sports organizations proven governance, leadership, and administrative tools.  Since its launch in mid-2017, it has fielded inquiries and worked with coaches, clubs, state associations, and leagues in 19 North American states and provinces, as well as others in Europe, South America, Australia, and Africa. The GO! resource library currently contains over 36 training webinars and 60 resource documents.

Her experience in sport spans over four decades and includes professional work, playing, and volunteering.  Has over 35 years’ experience in organizational development and nonprofit organization management, with a BS in Forest Resources and a Master’s in Public Administration and nonprofit management.





Josh Opiola  |  VP Athlete Safety, Player’s Health

“I am so incredibly proud of the commitment of Iowa Soccer to ending all forms of abuse in soccer!”

With over 15 years’ experience in the screening and abuse prevention industry, he has dedicated his professional career to ensuring that youth sports best practices are utilized for athlete and organizational safety programs. He has helped thousands of organizations navigate through Safe Sport Act Compliance and select the appropriate abuse training services. He’s played a fundamental role in the implementation of abuse prevention strategies including 3 of the top 5 organizations in the National Sports Center “THRIVE” awards.

President Youth Hockey Association (Minnesota Hockey), USA Hockey SafeSport implementation committee.





Cat Whitehill  |  Volunteer Assistant Coach, Emory University & Former US WNT Player

“I'm thrilled to be asked to join this symposium and I'm looking forward to meeting all of you.”

U.S. National Team player, earning over 130 caps and playing in multiple FIFA World Cups and the Olympics, and professional in the Women’s Professional Soccer League.

She serves as a volunteer assistant at Emory University while also coaching in the Southeast Region Olympic Development Program.  Advocates by serving as a U.S. Soccer Foundation Ambassador, U.S. Embassy Sports Ambassador, Athletes for Hope volunteer and as a guest speaker for pay equality.



Josh McAllister  |  JM Performance Consulting

"Being from Iowa, it is so exciting to see the growth of soccer in the state. I hope I can be a small part of that process"
MLS experienced as a fitness and performance specialist.  Most recently with Minnesota United FC, Swope Park Rangers and Sporting Kansas City.

Grew up in Marshalltown.



Tommy Wilson  |  Academy Director, Philadelphia Union

"I am delighted to join the distinguished group of presenters to share ideas and knowledge."

Goal-oriented professional in player and coach development.  Portfolio includes extensive experience in multi-disciplinary environments.

With the Union, manages all player development activities, coaching curriculum and education development program, oversees talent identification, manages player contracts.




Example Bottom Ad

Example Bottom Ad 2


6200 Aurora Ave., Suite 607E
Urbandale, IA 50322
Tel: 515.252.6363

©2021 Iowa Soccer Association    HomeSitemap | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use