Technical Staff

Ryan Martin, Academy Director, U17 Head Coach

Ryan Martin became the director of United's academy in January 2017. Prior to overseeing all youth development for D.C. United, the Columbus, Ohio, native coached and was the recruiting coordinator at Wake Forest University and in 2016 helped build FC Cincinnati's roster from scratch with head coach and former United player John Harkes.

An NSCAA All-American midfielder at Ohio Wesleyan under his father Jay Martin, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history, Martin went on to play for Real Salt Lake and teams in Iceland and Germany before following his passion to coaching. He returned to Ohio Wesleyan to begin his coaching career, and the following year moved to Wake Forest University in 2007 under Jay Vidovich.  During his time at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons won one national championship, made three NCAA College Cups and won two ACC Championships while compiling a record of 102-39-22.  

Starting as a volunteer, Martin worked his way up to recruiting coordinator and assistant coach, stepping in as interim head coach on an as-needed basis.  After becoming the recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2010, Martin earned top ten recruiting classes every year (including the best class in the country in 2012). More than 15 Demon Deacons have gone on to play Major League Soccer since Martin began at the university, including current United defender Jalen Robinson, former United midfielder Collin Martin and 2016 rookie of the year finalist Jack Harrison, as well as 2016 USL MVP and Golden Boot Winner Sean Okoli (who he worked with this past season at FC Cincinnati before Okoli’s transfer to NYCFC). Ryan has also coached three Herman Trophy award winners in Marcus Tracy, D.C. United player Ian Harkes and the Herman Trophy winner, John Bakero, recruiting the latter two to Wake Forest.  

At FC Cincinnati, Martin acted as assistant coach to Harkes, where he helped form a roster of 26 players from scratch in four months en route to finishing third (16-6-8) out of 29 teams and having the Goalkeeper of the Year, MVP and Golden Boot winner, Coach of the Year finalist and three First-Team All-USL players. He holds both a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) license.

Nate Kish, U19 & U23  Head Coach

Nate joined D.C. United in 2017 as the Head Coach for both the U19 and U23 teams. An Ohio native, he graduated from Capital University with a Physical Education and Health Education degree where he played all four years and has a master’s in Physical Education and Business Administration from Frostburg State University.

Prior to joining D.C. United he began his coaching career at Frostburg State University as a Graduate Assistant and had stints at Capital University, Catholic University, The Ohio State University and Wake Forest University as an assistant coach. He also brings experience in youth coaching from multiple coaching positions in Columbus Crew Juniors, Triad Elite Soccer Club, Baltimore Armour USSDA and other clubs. He has also had international experience doing tours in Spain, Germany, England, France and Haiti as well as experience with a professional team from his time at FC Cincinnati in 2016. Coach Kish holds a USSF National A License and is a candidate in the Elite Formation Coaching License, a partnership between the French Football Federation and MLS Youth Academies.

He lives with his wife Kara in Baltimore, MD. 

Dave Sanford, Academy Manager, U13 Head Coach

Dave took on the responsibilities of Academy Manager for the Academy this year while also being the Head Coach for the U13 team. He joined D.C. United full-time in 2013 as U12 Head Coach and Operations Coordinator after spending two years as an assistant coach at the Catholic University of America (CUA).  

Prior to his experience at CUA, he served at D.C. United as an assistant coach with the U-18 and U-15 teams.  He has also been involved with the club's camps and training programs since 2009.

Sanford is originally from Fredericksburg, VA.  He attended and played college soccer at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  During college, Sanford also competed in the PDL for the Fredericksburg Gunners. After his playing career, Sanford began coaching and recently obtained his USSF A coaching license. Sanford lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Erica.

Gus Teren, Academy Operations Coordinator, U14 Head Coach

Gus joined D.C. United in 2014 after spending two years as a coach at Pipeline Soccer Club in Baltimore, MD, in addition to working as a coach for the Maryland Olympic Development Program. He served as an Assistant Coach for the Academy's U-13 and U-14 teams for the 2014 - 2015 season. During his time in the D.C. United Academy he has served as head coach of the U13, U14 and U15 teams. In addition to his work in the academy, he managed the club’s camps and training programs for 3 years and now acts as the Academy Operations Coordinator.

Teren is originally from Nashville, TN and spent the latter years of his high school career at the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, FL.  He attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC and also competed in the Premier Development League (PDL) with the Bradenton Academics, as well as the Nashville Metros. Upon the conclusion of his playing career, Teren began coaching and currently holds a National USSF A coaching license. 

Teren lives just outside of Annapolis, MD with his wife Leslie and their sons Tavi and Luca.

Javier Cano, U15 Head Coach

Javier Cano began his coaching career at CD Utiel Academy while studying to get his Physical education degree and then masters in Sports & Exercise Science. He also holds a certification for higher education in football from Centro Integrado Publico de Formacion Profesional de Cheste and speaks fluently in Spanish and Czech.  

After short stints in two different academies in Spain as well as the Levante Woman's team, Javier worked at the Villarreal Academy from 2011 to 2017 where he was head coach for teams from U-13 to U-16 and an assistant coach for the U-17 and U-18 teams. He then went to work with Slavia Prague in the Czech Rebulic as a coach for the U-21 team until June of 2018 when he left to join D.C. United's Academy.

Javier focuses his coaching philosophy on ensuring the ball is incorporated into all aspects of training and prioritizes the importance of building strong relationships with his athletes. The Spaniard was brought into the fold to apply this philosophy to the academy and give the kids another dimension of soccer knowledge to add to their arsenal. Diversifying the coaching strategies and philosophies that young players are subjected to, gives kids additional tools to succeed both on and off the field.

Ben Applefield, U12 Co-Head Coach

Ben was the U11 team head coach since he joined D.C. United in July of 2016 until the end of the 2017-2018, he is now the Co-Head coach of the U12 team. He also served as the Coordinator of Camps and Training programs for D.C. United from July 2016 to August of 2017. Before joining the club, he coached for the Oakwood Soccer Club, a USSDA club in Glastonbury, CT.

Ben is a Brandeis University Alumni with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He was also in the Brandeis Soccer team where he earned the Brandeis Male Athlete of the Year and D3 Soccer All-American 3rd Team as a senior in 2014. Currently holding a USSF National C License he resides in Washington D.C.

Jason Boxx, Residential Program Coordinator, U12 Co-Head Coach

Jason has been the Residential Program coordinator and the U12 team’s head coach since August of 2017. He joined DC United in June of 2016 where he was a Summer Camp intern until August of that year when he started in the position of Residential Program assistant & U16/U18 assistant coach before starting his current role. 

Jason graduated in 2016 from the State University of New York at Cortland with a Bachelors in Sports Management. Jason is originally from London, England and moved to the U.S. when he started college.

John Bello, Head of IDP and Coaching Education

John joined D.C. United in the spring of 2013. He began as a camp staff coach working with all summer programming and would eventually be named as a Camp Site Director. Prior to the start of the Fall 2013 season, he was named the U13 Pre-Academy Head coach, maintaining that role for three consecutive seasons. Bello then spent time working closely with United's education partner, the Calverton School, overseeing the residential program while also serving as the director of youth scouting for the academy. Currently, Bello was the U15 Head coach until the end of the 2017-2018 season and now has transitioned to a new role as the Head of Individual Development Plan (IDP) and Coaching Education for the Academy.

Bello is originally from Milwaukee, WI, but moved at a young age to Sarasota, FL, where he began his playing career. Bello played for IMG Soccer Academy as a youth, attended and played at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, and competed in the Premier Development League (PDL) with the Bradenton Academics. Upon finishing his undergraduate degree, Bello began coaching and is nearing completion of his USSF A coaching license in the beginning of 2018.

Bello lives in Washington, DC with his wife Martha.

Jack Stefanowski, Academy Head Goalkeeping Coach

Jack joined the D.C. United team in January of 2018 and is currently the Goalkeeping coach and the U17, U19 & U23 assistant coach. A New York native, he graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. 

Coach Jack brings 20 years of experiences at all levels of soccer. He has worked as Head Coach for the Puerto Rican Football Federation and the Nepal Football Association. He was also a Head Coach at Bayamon FC & Sevilla FC (Puerto Rico). As an assistant and a Goalkeeper coach he worked at Puerto Rico FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, New Jersey Stallions among other clubs.

In the collegiate level, Jack was a head coach for Briarcliffe College, and an assistant coach and goalkeeper’s coach at Stony Brook, St. Peters College & New York University. He also has plenty of youth development experience with clubs in New York and Puerto Rico. He currently holds a UEFA A License and a USSF A license.

Scott Phelts, Director; Camps & Training Programs, Academy Scout

Scott joined D.C. United in October 2018 as Director of Camps & Training Programs. An Atlanta, Ga native; he graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.S. in Exercise Science. He then continued his education as a graduate teaching assistant and student at Georgia College & State University where he received a Master's degree in Kinesiology and Human Performance with an emphasis on exercise physiology in 2014. During this time he also had the opportunity to work at Fulham Football Club in London, UK as an operations assistant.

After graduation he moved to Seattle, WA and began his coaching career first as a Soccer Programs Coach for the Seattle Sounders and Mercer Island Football club. During his time in Seattle he worked his way up to Site Director and Soccer Programs Assistant as well as a Club Development Coach within the Sounder's Organization. Since joining D.C. United's staff Scott has also worked as an academy scout and joined the operations team. 

On top of his educational background, Scott also holds USSF coaching licenses as well as Level 1, 2, & 3 certifications from Prozone & Amisco in Player and Match Analysis.

Felipe Juarez, Coordinator; Camps and Training Programs, U14 Assistant Coach

Felipe was born and raised in the local DMV area and played locally. He then attended Rockford University and played at the collegiate level there. Felipe graduated from Towson University with a Bachelors in Political Science. Upon graduating he began as an intern coaching with D.C. United in the Fall of 2016 within camps and training programs, from there he has grown within club and currently holds the position as a Camps and Training Programs Coordinator and the U-14 assistant coach. Simultaneously Felipe has worked as a coach with Soccer Shots and PPA in the DMV area. He currently holds a USSF D license and is working on his other licenses this year.

Nate joined D.C. United in 2019 as the Director of Scouting and assistant for the U19, U17 and U14 groups. Baker has spent the prior seven years as a first assistant at NCAA Division 1 level spending five years at the US Naval Academy (2012-2017) and two years at the University of Nebraska Omaha (2017-2018). Both programs enjoyed their best periods in their history with the US Naval Academy winning their first NCAA tournament match in 35 years and UNO earning its first ever trip to the NCAA tournament in the history of their athletic department. Top Drawer Soccer named Baker as one of the Men’s Division I ‘Assistant Coaches to Watch’ in 2018. As a player, Baker played four years professionally for the USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders and Real Maryland Monarchs. As a starter on both squads, Baker helped his teams defeat DC United (2007) and the New England Revolution (2009) to gain quarterfinal berths in the US Open Cup and win the USL Championship in 2007. Baker was a four-year starter at American University and led the team to the Patriot League Championship in 2004, as well as serving as a two-year captain (2005-2006). He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from American University in 2007. Baker currently holds a USSF A License. Baker and his wife, Brittany, have three daughters, Anna, Corinne and Kennedy. They currently reside in his hometown of Bowie, MD.

Luis Guevara, Video Analysis, U23 & Social Wellness Coordinator

Luis joined the team in a full-time capacity starting in January of 2018 after working as a volunteer in the Fall of 2017. A native of Venezuela and former division 1 tennis player, he graduated from St. Bonaventure with a bachelor’s in business management and later earned an MBA at St. Bonaventure as well. Prior to D.C. United, Luis worked at MOKO Social Media, a tech start-up in the D.C. area where his responsibilities ranged from marketing, account management, customer relations and product maintenance and direction. He also spent time working at the 2016 Citi Open, a professional tennis tournament in D.C. managing the player relations and operations. A graduate from Sports Management Worldwide, Luis has completed courses in video and statistical analysis for soccer. He currently lives in Fairfax VA.

Eric Schwartz, Head Academy Athletic Trainer

Eric received his bachelor degree in exercise science at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, and then went on to receive a Masters Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Arkansas. During his time at Arkansas he had a diverse set of clinical rotations: Football, Volleyball, High School, Shoulder Clinic, Soccer. These rotations helped develop his skills in a variety of ways, and provided him with rehabilitation knowledge that is versatile.

In his professional career, he completed a 3 month internship with ESPN Wide World of Sports, and following graduation from Arkansas  had the privilege to work for D.C. United’s 1st Team as a seasonal athletic trainer. That position concluded in December 2018 in which he accepted his current position in D.C,. United's academy in January 2019.

 

Dr. Silby is a nationally recognized expert on the development of elite athletes who spent twelve years as adjunct faculty at American University and continues to serve as a consultant to their sports teams.  She has worked on an individual basis with three Olympic Gold Medalists, over 20 Olympians, two Paralympian Gold Medalists, four World Champions, fifteen National Champions, dozens of professional athletes from sports of football, baseball, golf tennis and soccer as well as hundreds of National Team members and Division I student- athletes, teams and their coaches.      

She joins the Academy this season to work as a Sport Psychologist for all teams. Dr. Silby is a former elite athlete, Dr. Silby was a member of the National Figure Skating Team. She is a graduate from the University of Virginia with a Doctorate and a Masters Degree in Sports Psychology. She currently resides in Potomac, Maryland where she has active national practice.