SERVICE to 2017 (short list)

• Sockers FC Academy Staff Coach (current)

• Chicago Fire, Assistant Academy Director & Staff Coach (5 yrs)

• Chicago Fire, Academy Staff Coach (Sports Performance) (2 yrs)

• Chicago Magic-PSG, Academy Staff Coach (1 yr)

• Chicago Inferno, PDL Head Coach (1 yr)

• EG Arsenal Club, DOC (22 yrs)

• Illinois ODP (25 yrs)

• James B. Conant HS, Head Boys Coach (21 yrs)

• Neuqua Valley HS Head Boys Coach (3 yrs)

• Elk Grove HS, Head Girls Coach, (3 yrs)



• National Champions, Chicago Fire Academy U16 2010

• National Champions, IL ODP ’89 Boys

• National Champions, IL ODP ’90 Boys

• National Champions, IL ODP ’91 Boys

• I.H.S.S.C.A (High School) Coach of the Year 2007

• I.Y.S.A  (Club) Competitive Coach of the Year 2007



• USSF ‘A’ License

• NSCAA Premier Diploma

• KNVB Advanced Match Analysis Certificate

• LaLiga Formation Methodology Level 3 Certificate

• US Youth Futsal Level 4 Certification



Bachelor of Science in Education (Art),

Northern Arizona University ’82



Though never signing a pro contract, Tony kicked around in the

pro indoor circuit with the Kansas City Comets and Illinois Thunder

By Dr. Don Grossnickle

Tony Kees has been a prominent figure in the youth soccer community for over 35 years (in 2017). He is just one of those guys that you should get to know, as he has gained high respect from every faction in the youth game. His soccer acumen, intense study of the game and appreciation for the science of soccer, as well as the aesthetics of the game is legendary. Tony has been a thought leader, visionary, change agent and mentor to so many players, coaches and organizations and has always been regarded as one of the busiest coaches. One stretch saw him juggle the Fire Academy, ODP, Neuqua Valley high school and at the same time was managing his own club (EG Arsenal). Among his many strengths, though, and by far his best attribute is the depth of caring, understanding and compassion for the players in front of him, as well as that rare ability to connect with players at every age. If you watch him work, you can see his ‘connection before content’ approach. Underpinning all of this, of course is his background in education. Once upon a time TK was an art teacher, and a good one. He understands how children learn and has brought that out to the field with him. His creative nature has always made things fun, challenging and interesting for his players!


Besides Tony’s team coaching, he has worked individually with many of Illinois’ top players in personal settings, gaining valuable experience in working with the mind of elite athletes. In recent years, he has been involved in a side project where he is Co-owner of Step Ahead Sports Soccer Center Of Excellence, specializing in Futsal and Sports Performance (SAQ and Technical Training). This human performance laboratory has given him a high tech home for his over-the-top performance training.


When asked what has driven his professional coaching career, Tony simply says, “I think I’m just naturally curious. I am always thinking that there is a better way. The status quo is not my friend! When asked what gets him out of bed every morning: “Two things: 1) to put myself squarely in the asset column of life every day, and 2) to make a difference in someone’s life.”


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