Bethesda SC appoints Jonathon Colton as Technical Director after successful run as Boys DOC
By Quinn Casteel
Managing Editor, SoccerWire.com
Bethesda SC has named Jonathan Colton as the club’s Technical Director ahead of the 2019-2020 season. Colton, who has been with the club for over a decade, most recently serving as Boys Director of Coaching, will now oversee both the boys and girls programs.
Coinciding with Colton’s transition to Technical Director, Bethesda is restructuring the layout of the coaching staff ahead of the 2019-2020 season. Instead of one Director of Coaching for boys and one for girls, each side will now have 3 Directors responsible for a set of age groups: U7-11, U12-U14 and U15-U19.
“We think we have some really good talent and coaches that we can promote internally to make this work really well,” Colton said. “We’re moving away from the old structure where it was like almost two different clubs, where boys and girls were doing their own thing. We’re bringing it together and aligning our coaching philosophies, standards and expectations as well.”
Behind a long-tenured and highly experienced coaching staff, the Bethesda DA program has seen consistent success over the years, helping develop top NCAA and professional prospects. Current U.S. Youth National Team standouts Gabe Segal and Noah Adnan are among 32 Youth National Team players developed by Bethesda during Colton’s tenure.
Bethesda’s top boys teams are coming off a strong season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, having earned playoff berths in both the U-16/17 and U-18/19 age groups. Outside of the DA program, Bethesda saw their Boys U-16 Blue team win the Maryland State Cup title in the spring.
Due to the club’s track record of success, U.S. Soccer has placed Bethesda in the top bracket of the Development Academy’s newly-created Cup competition format, and in the top tier of the U-18/19 age group.
Only 36 out of the 80 Boys DA clubs were selected for the top tier of the new U-18/19 age group format, including all 22 MLS Academies. Playing alongside Bethesda in the top Boys DA U-18/19 bracket will be fellow D.C. area clubs Baltimore Armour and D.C. United Academy.
“We’re really excited, it’s an honor to be placed in the top tier with the top clubs in the country, including MLS,” Colton said. “I think the staff and the players are ready. [U.S. Soccer] took all of the past 7 years into account with where they wanted to place us, and know that we can compete very well. We love the challenge of being in the top tier.”
On the girls side, Bethesda saw their U-18/19 ECNL team advance to the postseason in the prestigious Champions League bracket. Bethesda’s Girls ECNL program has placed numerous players on some of the nation’s best college teams once again in 2019, including: Jameese Joseph (NC State), Lacey McCormack (Virginia), Julia Dorsey (North Carolina) and Abby Hanks (Clemson), among others.
Following the recent departure of Girls Director of Coaching Shannon Cirovski, Bethesda is in the process of adding several new staff members, including an ECNL Director to help guide the club’s elite girls teams.
One notable addition to the ECNL coaching staff is Kevin Leyton, who helped longtime powerhouse youth team Maryland Rush Montgomery Coyotes win 20 top-flight tournament titles over the years, and recently saw 19 players move on to play Division I NCAA soccer.
Leyton, who has also coached collegiately at George Washington University, will be serving as head coach for Bethesda’s U-12 and U-15 ECNL sides. Colton said the club has high expectations for Bethesda’s girls program this season and beyond, with the addition of Leyton and other incoming coaches who will be announced in the coming weeks.
“There’s some good energy around this new structure and it’s an exciting new challenge,” Colton said. “Both on the boys and girls side, we have an identity and we’re sticking with it. Our top goal is getting kids into the best colleges that they can get into, and we’ve been successful at that.”