MIFC Trainers

Darren Sawatzky, MIFC Technical Director

Darren's coaching resume is impressive: 2016 MASL Coach of the Year (Tacoma Stars), 2016 PDL Western Conference Champions (Sounders U23), 2015 WISL Champions (Tacoma Stars), Sounders FC Academy Technical Director 2008- 2014, 2007 USL National Champions-Head Asst Coach (Seattle Sounders), 2002-2006 HPFC Director of Coaching/Asst Coach University of Washington, and 2005 WIAA 4A Coach of the Year/State Champions-Thomas Jefferson.

Sawatzky participated in the MLS/French Football Federation Academy Coaches World Class Training through a 16-month development course and earned his Elite Formation Coaching License. As the U23 Academy Director of the MLS Sounders he is part of the elite French Formation License team. This top-tier license takes into account the minute detail of each player to increase player development. The rigorous program integrates the focus on each player's physical, tactical, psychological, and emotional development. "For the younger kids this is called Pre-Formation," says Sawatzky. "We work to put a foundation in place to prep them for more tactical play as they age. By figuring out an individual player's strengths we are then able to maximize potential." View Darren's full bio.

Recreational Soccer Coaches

Experienced Volunteer Coaches
MIFC recreational soccer is run by a cadre of dedicated volunteer coaches with an average of 19 years playing experience and 8 years coaching experience. Additionally, 20% of our coaching staff hold US Soccer Federation Coaching Licenses.

Clinic Style Professional Training for Ages U6 through U9
We employ clinic style professional training for ages U6-U9. Coaches are responsible for coaching the games.

Coaching Format for U10+
Starting at U10, the coach is responsible for training but is given practice plans through U11. By U12, there is still a curriculum, but coaches develop their own practice plans. The coaches are dedicated and experienced by the time they're dealing with U12+.

Select Coaching Staff

View contact info and the current slate of coaches for our 2018-19 Select season.

David Addison

Experience: 23 years playing, 10+ coaching

Awards/Certifications: USSF "B" License. NSCAA National Diploma, GK Level 3(national) Diploma. WFA Fitness Periodization Diploma, Frans Hoek Goalkeeping Diploma

Background: Director of Coaching of International Academy of Soccer, which provides local rec and select clubs within EYSA professional coaches to run training programs, helps develop coaches, develop players and connect the community.

Coaching Philosophy: I take a tremendous amount of pride in the development of players, and commit myself to developing players of all ages and levels reach the ability they seek. I have coached with MIFC for my entire coaching career, starting in High School when I volunteered to coach a U10 rec team, extending all the way to my current positions with MIFC taking numerous teams, also with IAS as the Director of Coaching based mostly on Mercer Island.

Willy Cardenas

Experience: 30+ years playing, 7+ years coaching

Awards/Certifications: USSF C License, International Academy of Soccer (IAS)

Background: Willy played professional soccer in Peru's premier division, as well as for the USL Sounders after moving to the Pacific Northwest. With his deep and rich background in the sport, he has brought passion, knowledge and technical enrichment to the Mercer Island/Eastside soccer community through IAS for the last several years. Willy has become a cherished and well-known coach with multiple premier and select teams in the area. He also has a son who plays premier soccer.

Coaching Philosophy: I never thought I was going to be a soccer coach, but I am grateful that I found my way here.  I really love what I do.  Soccer is a beautiful game, and I thrive to pass on this love and passion to each and every one of my players I work with.  Every player is unique and has different skills to offer, and I do my best to bring the potential out of each of them.  I enjoy getting to know all of my players, and love seeing them coming together as a cohesive team during the season.  I ask not for players to be great at everything.  I only ask that they try their best during each practice and game.  Though games are meant to be competitive, however, in my humble opinion, the focus on player development is key at the youth level.

Tom Hill

Experience: 40+ years playing, 17 coaching

Awards/Certifications: USSF National B coaching license, National Youth License, USSF Grade 8 Referee.

Coaching Philosophy: My players' soccer experience will be one of challenge, success through effort, a lasting respect and love of the game, and most of all one of fun from shared experiences with a graoup of awesome teammates. To that end players must become decision makers, able to individually possess the ball under pressure, possess the ball in small and large groups, and be unafraid to take on an opponent 1v1 whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Jameson Morrell

Experience: 19 years playing, 8 years coaching

Awards/Certifications: USSF E license

Coaching Philosophy: My philosophy is basically "obsession with possession" with strong focus on player development, building confidence, and encouraging healthy team dynamics. MIFC is a solid club combining a strong training curriculum with great support from the Technical Director and trainers. This makes coaching and playing at MIFC a real joy.

Cristian Pintone

Experience: Cristian has been coaching select teams for MIFC and other local clubs in several different age groups for over 10 years. Cristian also has been a major influence with younger players on Mercer Island through his coaching in the recreational "MOD" clinics, Spring Academy and other coaching clinics.

Awards/Certifications: He holds a US national C License, he is one of the directors of the IAS Academy and also a part of the coaching staff.

Background: Cristian is a local product with Chilean roots. He made his mark playing locally for Juanita High School, Alliance FC and Eastside FC. He returned to Chile to further his football education, playing professionally in Chile's 1st division league. In 2005 he returned to Seattle and continued his career in the PDL, NPSL, and USL2.

Coaching Philosophy: Coaching has always been a dream of Cristian's, and he began his coaching career at the of 15. "I love to challenge myself with new ways to pass on my love of the game and the opportunity to develop players and help them see the opportunities football can bring to their lives."

Mark Sandwith

Experience: 9 years playing, 9 years coaching soccer, 20+ coaching youth sports

Coaching Philosophy: I am a firm believer that sports and life lessons parallel one another. This includes winning, losing, team work, work ethic, goals (not the ones you score) and most importantly having fun while doing all of these things. I coach at MIFC simply because I enjoy the game of soccer and watching kids as they accomplish their goals.

Ketu Shah

Experience: 40 years playing, 14 years coaching.

Awards/Certifications: USSF Coaching E license, EYSA clinics

Background: Involved in soccer all his life, Ketu has coached young kids, middle school kids and high school boys. As a kid he once played in the old Kingdome during halftime of a Sounder's game in the 1970's! Ketu has two daughters who play Rec and Select. He is passionate about soccer because it "is both an analytical and fluid game that allows for creativity and invention." Ketu is also an MIFC Board Member.

Coaching Philosophy: Soccer is a lifetime sport and I want to create an environment where kids learn how to play, learn to be great teammates, and have fun. We will focus on possession style soccer with an emphasis on technical skills, vision, and decision making. My ultimate goal is leaving them wanting to play more soccer.

Greg Snyder

Experience: 35 years playing, 6 years coaching

Awards/Certifications: Alex Weaver Sessions, EYSA Coaching Clinics

Background: Greg played youth, high school, college and in a men's league. He has "retired" from playing but enjoys watching and coaching. He volunteers for the Club because he feels that soccer has given him so much, including lifelong friendships, and he wants to model that for his own boys and players.

Coaching Philosophy: I coach soccer because the games gave me so many great experiences, memories and lasting friendships. I would like to pass those lessons on to players I coach or come into contact with. Player development is important to me as well because the better you learn to play, the more fun the game is to play and the longer players tend to play.

Andrei Zahajko

Experience: 22 years coaching, 30 years playing (Retired).

Awards/Certifications: USSF National C (National B Candidate). Coerver Coaching. Positive Coaching Alliance.

Background: I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience this game on many different levels and ways. I have been to 3 world cups, played collegiately, semi-pro, high level premier, State ODP and have used soccer as a segway to being a football place kicker in high school and semi-professionally. I did a study abroad in Argentina, and was able to study and observe and get behind the scenes of Argentinian 1 Division Team Belgrano. I was fortunate to meet and speak with my idol, Lionel Messi, when Barcelona played the Sounders in 2009. Every day I wake up looking forward to what's next in soccer.

Coaching Philosophy: The game is deep, so much room for improvement for the individual. Wake up everyday as a player and coach and seek knowledge. Improve your technique, your work ethic. There is "I can't", there is I will keep trying. Teach my players something new everyday, learn how to play different positions. Be smart as you approach the game, soccer is played with your brain. Think about the small details, always look for that competitive edge for yourself and the team. Educate yourself, become a student of the game (watch how the pro's do it) this combined with working hard with the team and on your own will set you up for success. Skill development and putting the team 1st will enhance your experience. Soccer is a marathon not a sprint, so much in soccer and sport can set yourself up for success in life. Have fun, let it rip, Compete!