Dan Gargan // LFA General Manager
Gargan began his 12-year professional career being drafted by the Colorado Rapids. He went on to play in over 200 professional games, highlighted by two Canadian Championships with Toronto FC and a MLS Cup championship in 2014 with the LA Galaxy. Since his retirement as a player, he has stayed active at the highest levels of the game, working as a MLS color analyst with Fox Sports. A firm believer in continuing education, Dan recently completed the USSF National B License and will be moving on to the A at first convenience. Dan’s experience at all levels of the game in this country provide Lou Fusz Athletic with great leadership and a vision for this club to continue to prosper and evolve.
Matt Mueller // Director of Coaching & Competition
St. Louis born-and-raised, Mueller worked for St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club for 13 years. During his time at SLSG, Mueller worked for the Missouri Boys and Girls Divisions in various roles and has worked in the STLFC Academy and SLSG Pre Academy divisions as a coach. Mueller currently holds the United States Soccer Federation Director of Coaching License as well as the United States Soccer Federation A-License. He is very passionate about individual player development as well as how that relates to overall team and club development. Matt will be a great leader as our DOCC for the club while overseeing our Boys Futures age groups. "I am so proud to be part of this community and to continue to help grow the game of soccer in the next generation of players and teams at Lou Fusz Athletic.”
Ren Herzog // Director of Juniors Development
Herzog’s passion for the game led him to begin his youth coaching career while still playing collegiate soccer at Missouri Baptist University. He was promoted to Missouri Boys Youth Director at SLSG in 2014, managing player identification, team placement, and specialty training. In 2016, Herzog transitioned into the U10 & U11 age groups as a coach for the PreAcademy boys teams and remained there until coming to LFA. In addition to his extensive coaching background, Herzog holds a USSF 'C' License. Ren will bring a wealth of experience to these age groups in directing and building a technical foundation that will last a player their entire career. "The most gratifying thing about an opportunity like this is being able to watch players improve and seeing how that makes them feel. Having an impact on a player’s development while being able to instill a philosophy in an environment like Lou Fusz where players are excited and focused is what exhilarates me."
Cal McKee // Director of Futures, Girls
McKee has proven to be a tremendous asset to LFA since he joined the club in 2018. McKee grew up in St. Louis playing soccer for Scott Gallagher and Chaminade College Prep, where he took home a Missouri State Champions title. He added a West Coast Conference Champions title in 2010 at Santa Clara University and then went on to continue his playing career at Saint Louis University. After college, McKee stepped into the coaching world alongside Pat McVey. In 2019 the LFA McKee 03 team claimed their 3rd consecutive State Cup championship and road that to the clubs first USYS National Championship. McKee will bring this leadership and direction to building our girls Futures groups.
Franco Carotenuto // Director of Tournaments,
Director of Goalkeeping
Carotenuto has hosted dozens of large scale tournament events in St. Louis, bringing in competitive teams from not only the Midwestern area but the nation as a whole. He has developed several successful tournaments held annually for Lou Fusz Athletic, some of which are the biggest turnout in the region.
Carotenuto holds the United States Soccer Federation 'A' Coaching License, as well as, the USSF highest level Goalkeeping Certification. He enjoyed a professional playing experience from 2009–2012, playing for the Kansas City Wizards (MLS), Queretaro Gallos Blancos (Mex. Primera), Arizona Sahuaros (PDL). He has college coaching experience from 2012–2017 including Saint Louis University & Washington University of St. Louis.
Wendy Dillinger // Director of Juniors Blue Star, Girls
Dillinger comes to LFA with 22 years of full-time college coaching experience at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels (Indiana, WashU, Iowa State, UMSL).Wendy’s playing career began with CYC (Seton) and ended in the first domestic women’s professional league (WUSA - Atlanta Beat) alongside Sun Wen, Homare Sawa, and Brianna Scurry. She holds a National Diploma and still holds career scoring records for goals and assists at Indiana University. Her primary focus is on the development of the whole player- she encourages investment, hard work, and passion at home, in the classroom, and on the soccer field.
Chris Gomez // Director of Juniors Blue Star, Boys
Gomez Grew up in St. Louis and played club soccer for Busch Soccer Club, Lou Fusz Soccer Club, and Saint Louis Scott Gallagher. Gomez returned to his hometown after college and put his Sports Management degree to work at St. Louis Scott Gallagher. Throughout his 6 years at SLSG, he acted as the Boys Assistant Youth Director, coached in the Pre Academy and Administered Player Development Programs. Gomez currently holds his United States Soccer Federation D-License and plans to continue his coaching education. "I am thrilled at the opportunity to help develop players on and off the pitch for the city of St. Louis and our country. I am very excited about the direction and vision of Lou Fusz Athletic."
Timothy Lanfersieck // Director of Star Academy, Boys
Tim has spent 10 years working with these age groups, starting in 2009 in the LFA camps and clinics program under Marty Pike. Since then, Tim has continued to grow within the club by taking on the roles of Blue Star Academy Assistant Director and Director of the LFA Winter League. He has spent the last year working alongside the club’s TD David Critchley to understand the importance and differentiation placed on this program. In addition to his experience at LFA, Tim holds a USSF National D License.
Chad Otec // Director of Star Academy, Girls
Otec currently works with our 2011 boys blue star premier group, acts as the age group director for the 2011 and 2010 girls program and operates as a head coach in the 2005 girls age group.
Chen Zakaria // Director of Juniors, Girls
Chen has built a wealth of experience over the past 20 years dedicated to youth soccer, and has one of the most trusted & respected names in the St. Louis area. Chen conveys the Fusz Philosophy by teaching his players invaluable life lessons about fellowship and accountability, while instilling discipline and respect in his team members. It is Chen’s mission to mentor young players and provide them with the tools and learning opportunities they need to develop in to strong, well-rounded, and confident young ladies. LFA has been fortunate to work with Coach Chen since 2008 and are excited about future development with him in this role. Coach Chen has continued his coaching education and obtained his USSF National C License & USYF Level 1 Coaching License.
Chris Meyer // Director of Juniors Red Star, Girls
Meyer has been coaching the 2008 Blue Star Red Girls for the past 3 years. He has been a great teacher, technical trainer and game tactician for the teams he has coached here at LFA. Meyer's teams have won the USYF Futsal Regionals 3 years in a row and have placed in the Premier SuperCopa. Meyer creates a positive environment for all of his players and will continue that trend into his new role here.
Sean Taylor // Director of Juniors White Star, Boys
Taylor has an extensive background in both coaching and playing at a collegiate level. While attending Missouri Baptist University, Taylor played soccer and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. In addition to playing at a collegiate level, Taylor coached at St. Louis Community College. Over the past five years, Taylor has run youth camps, organized Technical Training and coached competitive teams here.
Jake Smith // Director of Juniors Red Star, Boys
Smith played soccer at a Division II level at South Dakota School of Mines and then went on to continue his soccer career at Missouri Baptist University, here in St. Louis. While focusing on playing soccer and getting his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Smith worked as a camp coach and team coach at LFA where he developed a passion for coaching. Smith holds his USSF D Licence and plans to continue his coaching education in the near future. “The St Louis Soccer Community is unbelievable. There is such a passion for development in this city, it is unlike any other area. LFA is a special club to me and I am excited to have the opportunity to take on a bigger role.”