Academy announces coaching staff

Academy Staff

FC Cincinnati has hired the staff to lead the FC Cincinnati Academy teams into its inaugural season of competition in 2019-20. FCC Director of Player Development Larry Sunderland announced today that Ricardo Páez, Adrian Parrish, Joshua Neff, Nikola Katic and Dave Schureck will coach the FCC Under-15 and Under-17 teams as they begin play this year and compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

The FC Cincinnati Academy is beginning formal team activities this week ahead of its first official training sessions at the Mercy Health Training Center on Thursday, Aug. 1. The Academy’s inaugural rosters will be announced on Thursday. 

Páez joins the club as head coach of the U-16/17 team, while Parrish will serve as the team’s assistant coach. Neff comes to the FC Cincinnati Academy as head coach of the U-15 team alongside Katic, who will act as assistant coach. Schureck will serve as academy goalkeeper coach and administrator.

“We’re very excited for the quality of coaches and people we have incorporated in FC Cincinnati’s inaugural Academy program,” Director of Player Development Larry Sunderland said. “We have a diverse background within the staff and top-level professional quality coaching to go along. Plus, these are people who really want to see this program grow and be the best it can be. We’re fortunate to bring these coaches and staff members into our family and we're thrilled to have them lead our region’s top young soccer players in this new level of play.”

Páez comes from Orlando City SC, where he served as head coach for Orlando City’s U-16/17 academy team since 2018. Prior to joining Orlando, he served on the staff of the Soccer Institute at Monteverde Academy from 2017-18. In 2016, Páez coached the National Premier Soccer League’s Miami United FC. They were crowned champions of the Sunshine Conference. Páez had an extensive professional playing career spanning 20 years in 10 different countries. He started his professional career with Venezuela’s Estudiantes de Mérida F.C. in 1997 and retired in 2014, after spending his final four seasons with Mineros de Guayana. Páez captured five championship trophies during the course of his playing career. With the Venezuela National Team, he scored six goals in 64 appearances.

Parrish comes to FC Cincinnati after serving as technical director of the Kentucky Youth Soccer Association since 2005. While with the KYSA, Parrish ran the State Olympic Development Program, assisted youth clubs with development, designed programs to grow membership and created coaching curriculums.  He was also the head coach for Cincinnati United Premier DA Under-13 team. Before joining Cincinnati United Premier, he coached the boys’ and girls’ teams for the Kentucky Wanderers from 2006-10, was the director of coaching for the Amherst Soccer Association and the men’s assistant coach for Buffalo State University from 2003-05. Parrish started his career as youth development officer with Grimsby Town Football Club in Cleethorpes, England, where he was on staff from 1996-2000.  

Neff joins the FC Cincinnati Academy following two seasons with the New England Revolution Academy. In New England, he served as director of performance for the academy and head coach of the Under-14 team. He arrived at New England in 2017 after spending time with Spain’s Levante UD from 2016-17 as an assistant coach for the U-14 and U-19 teams. Neff spent one season with the Chicago Red Stars as an assistant coach and the head of fitness in 2015 after spending one season with Chicago Fire as assistant fitness coach in 2014.  

Katic last served as academy head coach for Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Under-19 and Under-15 Elite Club National League teams. He was responsible for conducting individual and team practices, developing curriculum as well as identifying academy players to train with Pittsburgh’s first team. Katic was the assistant coach for the Riverhounds’ USL Championship team from 2016-17 and interim head coach in 2015. He played professionally with the Riverhounds from 2009-15.

Schureck comes from Kings Hammer Academy, where he was director for Kings Hammer East since 2018. Prior to that, he was director of coaching at Ohio Elite Soccer from 2012-18, assistant goalkeeper coach for FC Cincinnati during the 2017 USL Championship season, and Midwest Development League administrator for the National Premier League. Schureck started his coaching career as goalkeeper coach for USYSA Region II Olympic Development Program in 1997. He was later appointed head coach for University of Dayton’s men’s team in 1999 before serving as head coach for the men’s team at Xavier University from 2004-09. 

Parrish and Katic will also lead the efforts for the FCC Discovery Program, which will be introduced to evaluate, scout and source the region’s top youth players throughout various age groups. As the program grows, exposure and developmental programs – for both players and coaches – will be introduced throughout the region.

Academy equipment coordinator Matt Abrams and athletic trainer Kyle Hickey round out of the Academy-specific staff.

As with almost every MLS Academy, all of the FC Cincinnati Academy players’ expenses related to soccer competition will be covered by the club, meaning players and their families will not be asked to pay any annual fees or be charged any money to play for FCC. All of the players’ needs – including equipment, uniforms, facilities and team travel to and from competitions – will be paid for by the club. FC Cincinnati will compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2019-20 in both the U15 and U16/17 age groups.