Coaching Staff At Grande Sports Academy

The Grande Sports Academy coaching staff embraces the unique Real Salt Lake philosophy of training and is recognized nationally and internationally for their professional playing and coaching experience.  They have all played and coached at the highest levels, international, national teams, MLS, and collegiate.  Their commitment and dedication is to youth development, training, and coaching.  The success of the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy is a testimony to their ability to transform talented soccer players in to outstanding competitive players.

Freddy Juarez

Assistant Coach
Residential Administrator

freddy_juarezFreddy Juarez enters his fourth season as an assistant coach and residential advisor at Grande Sports Academy, home of Real Salt Lake- Arizona Academy (RSL-AZ). Juarez’s efforts on and off the field were vital in the successful inaugural season for the RSL-AZ teams, in which the U-16 finished third at Finals Week. In the United States Soccer Development Academy 2012-13 season, Juarez guided the U-16 team to its first U-16/15 USSDA National Championship win.

Prior to his arrival at the Grande Sports Academy, Juarez served as coaching director for New Mexico Striker FC from 1998-2010. He coached nine teams to New Mexico State Championships, and his efforts resulted in 35 players who earned college scholarships. Juarez has developed seven players to the US Youth National Teams, along with countless others who were selected for the Regional Team. He has three former players who play professionally, most notably Édgar Castillo, who currently plays for Club Tijuana. Juarez also coached New Mexico’s ODP teams from 2003-2010.

Juarez began his professional playing career with the El Paso Patriots in 1998, where he clocked over 12,000 minutes and started every game until 2004. Juarez contributed to El Paso’s successful run for four postseason appearances and earned Defensive Player of the Year twice. After the 2004 season, Juarez was picked up by division rival Minnesota Thunder. He started every game for three years and helped lead the club to two postseason appearances, along with one quarterfinal and semifinal in the US Open Cup. Juarez was also called into camp for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2005.

Juarez was versatile and adapted well on many playing surfaces and conditions, including playing indoor soccer for the NPSL Wichita Wings. He was a member of the US Men’s Futsal National Team for the Pan American Games in Brazil in 2007.

Tony Bruce

Assistant Coach

Residential Advisor

tony_bruceTony Bruce brings over 30 years of coaching and college identification experience to Grande Sports Academy, home of the Real Salt Lake Arizona Academy (RSL-AZ). Bruce gathers the student athlete’s academic and athletic goals and uses his experience and expertise to guide the student athlete to a college program that will allow the student athlete to flourish in the ideal environment. In the United States Soccer Development Academy 2012-13 season, Bruce guided the U-16 team to its first U-16/15 USSDA National Championship win.

Prior to joining Grande Sports Academy, Bruce served as assistant director for the San Diego Surf from 2009-2012. During his tenure, Bruce successfully coached Cal South and Region IV Olympic Developmental Program teams and also served on the education staff for Cal South. Before his position as assistant director for the San Diego Surf, Bruce held dual roles as the director of coaching for Women’s Premier Soccer League’s LA Rampage from 2007-2009 and also was the assistant coach at California State University at Northridge.

Bruce’s involvement at high level youth programs resulted in numerous championships including: ODP Regional Champions in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. He led his team to Cal South National Champions in 2004 and State National Cup Champions in 2007 and 2002.

Bruce has coached several players who are now playing professionally, including: A.J. Soares, Ryan Guy (New England Revolution); Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake); Kyle Reynish (Chicago Fire); Brian Perk, Sean Franklin (LA Galaxy); Yura Movisisyan (Spartak Moscow & Armenian national team and Eugene Starikov (FC Tom Task).

Bruce played professionally in the North American Soccer League for the Los Angeles Aztecs and also in the American Soccer League.

Ignacio Hernandez

Director of Goalkeeping

Ignacio_HernandezIgnacio “Nacho” Hernandez enters his second season as the goalkeeper coach at the Grande Sports Academy, home of Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy (RSL-AZ). ). In the United States Soccer Development Academy 2012-13 season, Hernandez guided the U-16 team to its first U-16/15 USSDA National Championship win.

Hernandez brings an international touch to the Grande Sports Academy as he served as the goalkeeper coach for El Salvador’s national team from 2006-07 and Costa Rican national team in 2003. More recently he worked with the U.S. Men’s National Team during their 2013 Gold Cup win.

Prior to joining the Grande Sports Academy, Hernandez was the goalkeeper coach at UCLA from 2010-11. Prior to joining UCLA, he was the goalkeeper and assistant coach for LA Galaxy from 2004-06, where he helped guide the team to the MLS Cup title in 2005. Before he joined LA Galaxy, he worked at Santa Ana College, Pateadores Soccer Club, So Cal. United Soccer Club, Orange County Zodiacs and U.S. Olympic Development Program where he was the head goalkeeper trainer.

Hernandez enjoyed a 12-year playing career in Mexico’s first and second divisions playing for: Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz, C.F. Atlante, Deportivo Toluca F.C., Correcaminos UAT and Cobras de Ciudad Juárez.

Mike Kraus

Assistant Coach

mike_krausMike Kraus enters his second season as an assistant coach at Grande Sports Academy, home of Real Salt Lake- Arizona Academy (RSL-AZ). In the United States Soccer Development Academy 2012-13 season, Kraus guided the U-16 team to its first U-16/15 USSDA National Championship win.

Kraus currently hold a USSF “B” license. Before his arrival at Grande Sports Academy, Kraus coached for Scottsdale Blackhawks Soccer Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, from 2011-12. Prior to this he served as head coach for four teams in Omaha, Nebraska for Nebraska Futbol Club and Toro Soccer Club.

Kraus played collegiately for Creighton University from 2003-07. He contributed in Creighton’s success with the ream reaching two NCAA Quarterfinals twice in 2003 and again in 2006. He was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2006, the same year he served as Creighton’s team captain. He was named First-Team All-MVC in 2006 and Second-Team All-MVC in 2005. He was named MVC Offensive Player of the Week four times in his collegiate career.

Kraus was drafted with the 48th overall pick by the Kansas City Wizards in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft. Kraus made his first appearance against Columbus Crew in the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs. He then went on to appear in eleven matches, scoring one goal against Colorado Rapids.

Marshall Stoddard

Academy Trainer

marshallMarshall Stoddard is a Certified Athletic Trainer for Real Salt Lake and assigned to work full time for the RSL Academy. Originally from Logan, Utah, Marshall went to school and graduated with a B.S. in Athletic Training from Weber State University December 2012. Marshall became Board Certified January 2013.

Marshall has clinical experience with Major League Soccer, NCAA Division 1 college football, track and field, women’s soccer, and tennis. He also has worked with high school sports and in physical therapy clinics.

In 2012, Marshall spent the summer working for Vancouver Whitecaps FC of MLS up in British Columbia, Canada. There as an intern, he worked with the first team players as well as their youth academy as a student athletic trainer.

In January 2013, Marshall started working for RSL and their first team. During the summer, Marshall went and helped the RSL academy during the Playoffs in Dallas, TX, as well as helped out with the U16 National Championship team during Finals Week in Houston, TX.

Marshall moved down to Casa Grande and started full time with the Academy September 2014.


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