St. Louis CITY SC Takes Another Step Towards Building the Best Academy in North America With This Group of World-Class Coaches
Taking full advantage of his German connections, St. Louis CITY SC Sporting Director Lutz Pfannenstiel has tapped former Bundesliga player and coach Andreas Schumacher as the club’s Academy Head Coach.
Born in Stuttgart, Germany, the 40-year-old Schumacher brings over 10 years of experience in the German Bundesliga – most recently as an assistant coach at VfB Stuttgart. He will work closely with Pfannenstiel to guide the development of the academy’s U16 and U17 teams while also ensuring that the goals and strategies align with St. Louis CITY’s vision of making soccer accessible to all.
“It’s an honor to be a part of St. Louis CITY SC, especially in the early stages where I’m able to work alongside Lutz to develop the academy structure and philosophy,” said Schumacher. “We’ve heard Lutz talk about how this is the most exciting project in the soccer world, and I have to agree. We get to lay the groundwork, and that starts with making sure we have the right coaches to help us develop players both on and off the field.”
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in Germany, Schumacher won’t be able to travel to St. Louis immediately. In the meantime, he will continue to work remotely with the club’s sporting department including Pfannenstiel, a FIFA certified instructor and an A License coach, who will step in as the acting Head Coach to handle day-to-day training and gameday duties for the U16 and U17 academy teams.
Once Schumacher arrives in St. Louis, he will lead the club’s U16 and U17 squads in MLS NEXT league action alongside Academy Assistant Coaches Luis Swisher, David Critchley and Elvir Kafedžić, Academy Goalkeeper Coach Tim Kelly and Academy Specialist Coach Charles Renken.
Luis Swisher played professionally for 16 years in Europe and his home country of Guatemala where he also played for the Guatemalan National Team. He also brings a wealth of coaching experience, building training sessions and youth development, most recently as head coach of Saint Louis FC’s U19 team.
David Critchley played soccer in his home country of England and the United States before coaching various teams, including Tulsa Soccer Club in the USL. He comes to St. Louis CITY SC Academy by way of Lou Fusz Athletic, where he served as technical director and led efforts to expand the organization’s technical approach.
Elvir Kafedžić is taking on a new role with the club as an academy assistant coach after working as a sporting consultant for St. Louis CITY SC. The Bosnian-born Kafedžić burst onto the local soccer scene after helping Lindenwood University win its first and only National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship and went on to play professionally for St. Louis Strikers, St. Louis Steamers, Chicago Storm, the California Cougars, and represented the United States in the Futsal World Cup. In 2013, Kafedžić established local soccer club, St. Louis Dragons, sharing his knowledge of the beautiful game with local youth players.
St. Louis native Tim Kelly played professionally for the Kansas City Wizards (MLS) and the Arizona Sahuaros (USL) before becoming a highly respected goalkeepers coach. Kelly is well known throughout the St. Louis region developing young goalkeepers at St. Louis University and Saint Louis FC, and he will be responsible for implementing the training programs designed to develop goalkeepers within St. Louis CITY SC Academy.
As an Academy Specialist Coach, Charles Renken will provide individual and group training for players, improving their technique and positional awareness. Before joining the club last fall as a sporting consultant, the Zambian-born Renken played locally for Metro United and SLSG before going on to play professionally in the US with the Portland Timbers and internationally with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Renken was also a member of the youth national team representing the United States.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome our academy coaches to the club, especially our Head Coach Andreas, who I will work closely with during the development of our academy. We’ve been able to build out a well-rounded sporting department that is perfectly in line with our club’s vision,” said Pfannenstiel. “Our coaches may have different backgrounds, but they all share the same passion for developing youth players. I am confident that the diverse and international background of these coaches will play a huge role in developing complete young men, which is very important for us as a team.”
St. Louis CITY SC U16 and U17 Academy Teams will begin to play in the MLS NEXT league in fall 2021.
These coaches will join St. Louis CITY SC Sporting Director, Lutz Pfannenstiel, Director of Team Operations, Vin Ko, and Sporting Consultant, Tim Twellman in continuing to build the best soccer youth development program in America.