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Global Mar 17, 2016

US Club Soccer Board of Directors election results announced

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(Via US Club Soccer) – Jason Dewhurst (Region I), Tim Lesiak (Region II) and Shawn Blakeman (Region IV) have all been re-elected to the US Club Soccer Board of Directors. In addition, Gary Buete (Region III) was elected as a new member, and all four will serve two-year terms.

Unique to soccer organizations is that US Club Soccer bylaws stipulate that only individuals with significant, competitive soccer experience can qualify for a board seat. Members must have at least five years of coaching experience at a competitive level and at least a USSF “B” coaching license or its NSCAA or international equivalent.

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The nine-member US Club Soccer Board of Directors is made up of a chairman and two representatives from each region. The board plays a vital role in developing US Club Soccer’s vision and initiatives and making policy decisions to better serve its members.

The complete list of Board of Directors members with term expirations in parentheses:

  • Region I: Mike Cullina (2017), Jason Dewhurst (2018)
  • Region II: Mike Sweeney (2017), Tim Lesiak (2018)
  • Region III: George Fotopoulos (2017), Gary Buete (2018)
  • Region IV: Tom Atencio (2017), Shawn Blakeman (2018)
  • At-large member: John Rennie (annual term)

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Region I – Jason Dewhurst

Dewhurst, the Director of Coaching for FC Stars of Massachusetts over the past 15 years, also serves as a board member of the Elite Clubs National League. Dewhurst’s FC Stars club sent four teams to the recent 2015-16 NPL Showcase in Florida. He holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” license.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to represent the clubs and leaders from the Northeast in US Club Soccer,” Dewhurst said. “I believe the thoughts and ideas of club directors and coaches are vitally important in making youth soccer better. I will do my best to represent the clubs in this region and their perspectives.”

Region II – Tim Lesiak

Lesiak, a US Club Soccer Board of Directors member since 2006, is the Executive Director of Coaching for the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy. He was the head coach of the U-16 Ohio Elite SA girls team that won a National Cup I championship in 2002. Before launching Ohio Elite SA, Lesiak spent eight years as the Director of Coaching for the Cardinal Soccer Club. He holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” license and a NSCAA/US Club Soccer Director of Coaching license.

“I am excited to be re-elected to the Board of Directors for US Club Soccer. It is an honor to be part of an organization that truly represents the players, coaches and clubs in this country,” Lesiak said. “I look forward to working more on the Players First program and enhancing every player’s experience through their club and US Club Soccer in the coming years.”

Region III – Gary Buete

Buete is the CEO of Capital Area Soccer League in North Carolina. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Baton Rouge Soccer Club. Buete also served as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons at LSU, where he worked specifically with goalkeepers. He has spent 18 years coaching boys and girls club teams at the top level in Alabama and Louisiana. Buete holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” license.

“I am excited to have been elected to the US Club Soccer Board of Directors,” Buete said. “Since its inception, US Club Soccer has been on the cutting edge of player development, and I look forward to working with their staff and Board of Directors to continue fulfilling their mission.”

Region IV – Shawn Blakeman

Blakeman, a US Club Soccer Board of Directors member since 2006, is the Technical Director of Sacramento United SC, where he has served in that role since 2003. He is also a founding and current Executive Board Member of the NorCal Premier Soccer League. Blakeman began an 11-year professional soccer career at age 17 with the San Jose Earthquakes, followed by a four-year stint in the German Oberliga. He holds a U.S. Soccer Federation “A” license.

“I am very honored and look forward to once again representing the membership of the 14 western states,” Blakeman said. “I feel that US Club Soccer has a unique opportunity to play a major role in the ever-changing U.S. soccer landscape. I believe the addition of Kevin Payne as CEO will further enable US Club Soccer to lead and have a major impact in all areas of the sport.”

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