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2016 US Youth Soccer Recreation Coach of the Year regional winners announced


National winner to be named at US Youth Soccer Awards Gala 
@USYouthSoccer live announcement of national winner

FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 16, 2016) — US Youth Soccer is pleased to announce the regional winners of the 2016 US Youth Soccer Boys and Girls Recreation Coach of the Year awards. The Recreation Coach of the Year is awarded to a recreation coach for both a boys team and a girls team for his or her coaching activities, sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and citizenship.

The national Boys and Girls Recreation Coach of the Year will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop at the NSCAA Convention in Los Angeles. 

Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted nomination forms: 

Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Brienne Sembrat – Mt. Lebanon, Pa.
Brienne Sembrat believes in coaching the whole player. She teaches her players to be there for their teammates, take chances and respect everyone. Sembrat is an NSCAA member and she studies the best ways to develop both players and coaches. Around the community, Sembrat is known as a leader. She has gained the trust and respect from her peers and in her free time, she serves on the MLSA Board as Director of Player and Coach Development. 

Region II – Matthew Rose – Canton, Mich.
Matthew Rose creates a positive playing environment that helps each and every player grow. Not only in season, but in the offseason, Rose provides workouts for his players who want to take their game to the next level. After each scrimmage and game, Rose comes up with new, creative drills to better each player’s development. One of Rose’s players said, “I never stopped getting better when playing for Coach Rose.” In addition, Rose holds U.S. Soccer National E and F coaching licenses. 

Region III – Steve Reid – Tucker, Ga.
In April of 2015, Steve Reid suffered from an aneurysm, which led to a stroke, and he was in a medically induced coma for 26 days. When he first came out of a coma, he asked, “Will I still be able to coach?” That alone shows the passion and dedication Steve Reid has for his team and the sport of soccer. His soccer career has stretched over the last 40 years, and he has often been described as the type of person who makes those around him better. 
Region IV – Raul Guerra – Fresno, Calif.
Teaching the game of soccer is how Raul Guerra shows his love and joy for the game. Guerra is known by fellow players and coaches as being a great coach, person and leader. A former player of Guerra’s described him as, “A very hardworking man that wants his players to be something in life.” Guerra and his team have won the Las Vegas International Champions Tournament three different times, and Guerra holds USSF National “D” and “E” coaching licenses.

Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Philip Keefover – Fairmont, W.Va.
Philip Keefover demands respect and intensity from his players while keeping the sport of soccer fun. Keefover has been known for his positive approach to coaching. Pushing each player to the best of their ability and challenging them to improve their game is something that Keefover impresses upon his team. Keefover has not only been a coach for some time, but he is also a Grade 8 referee, which comes in handy when new rules are enforced. 

Region II – Mas Ionna – Cincinnati, Ohio
For the last five years, Mas Ionna has coached U-6 through U-10/11 teams. Ionna pushes to get the best out of his players and helps them exceed what the player thought was possible. Improving on player development is important, but he also wants his players to have fun. Ionna makes his players excited to play the game of soccer. To better his soccer knowledge, Ionna attends clinics to improve his coaching abilities. Off the field, he is involved in his children’s school as a volunteer classroom coordinator. 

Region III – Emma Greenwood – Birmingham, Ala.
Emma Greenwood strives to push her players and she is always seeking feedback to improve her craft. Greenwood continuously cultivates a growth mindset within her players and encourages them to be at their best. She has the ability to balance the development of the player, the enjoyment of the child and teach life lessons that are important for each of her players to learn. In addition, Greenwood holds a USSF “E” License and NSCAA Goalkeeping Level 1 and 2 Diplomas. 

Region IV – Joe Matthews – Woodinville, Wash.
Player safety, having fun and developing soccer skills are three coaching philosophies that Joe Matthews has for his team every season. Matthews empowers his players to make decisions and communicate among themselves during a match. Avoiding injuries in teenage girls is important to Matthews, so he holds extra conditioning sessions to ensure the safety of his players. Moreover, Matthews and his team do community service in their area by volunteering at the local community kitchen. 

The US Youth Soccer Workshop will take place in Los Angeles from Jan. 11-15, 2017. The annual Workshop will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention. The week is designed to further the education of coaches, administrators, referees and enthusiasts involved in the game. For more information please visit


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