Scroll down to get to know our 2017 - 2018 staff

DIRECTORS

DEREK DUFENDACH

God. Kids. Soccer. In that order.

Husband to my stunning wife, Caroline. Father to the Littlest Rascal, Kennedy.

Passionate about molding kids and growing community. Soccer is a beautiful tool because all you have to do is drop a ball and play. And the fact that you never see the same thing twice fascinates me!

I believe that God has an intricately designed plan that is unraveling itself in this community and I plan on sticking around to play whatever role He has in store for me.

E: derek@michiganfutbolacademy.com

FABIAN RODRIGUEZ

I have a passion for learning and continuing to further my education in both Soccer and Futsal. My motivation to teach the game to young people comes from the lack of opportunity I had to learn Soccer as a kid and why I enjoy the learning process so much. I love that my coaching style is perfectly aligned with River City's holistic approach to life & sports, that’s why I know with absolute certainty that I'm with the best soccer club in Grand Rapids.

E: fabian@michiganfutbolacademy.com

KYLE VELA

I have been working with with elite youth soccer players in Grand Rapids since 2009. My love for the game drove me to play at Forest Hills Northern High School and continue at Cornerstone University and Calvin College. While coaching at the premier level, a number of my players were able to secure places on college rosters. I seek to share understanding that breeds opportunity to youth players of all levels.

E: kyle@michiganfutbolacademy.com

MASTER COACHES

JESSIE ZAMUDIO

Most of the things that have brought me joy and tears in life have to do with a soccer ball. The reason I always worked so hard and was motivated so much was because of soccer. Through soccer I have learned that if you are dedicated and work hard you can accomplish anything else you put your mind to. Those are the two words I want to use when I describe myself, HARDWORK & DEDICATION!

E: jessie@michiganfutbolacademy.com

RYAN SNYDER

Soccer is a sport that is always changing and evolving. There are so many different ways players express their individuality. There are also coaches who are always innovating the way the game is managed and how they train. That is why I love this sport. Constantly studying what is going on and catching new details and ideas everyday keeps me pushing myself to be better. I strive to pass that same drive and desire to my players who want it. I give my players the tools to think outside of the box and grow a love for the game because it is what they want, not because it is what I want. That is the most rewarding experience there is for a coach; to see that passion grow from within, not from outside pressure.

E: ryan@michiganfutbolacademy.com

BEN "RUDY" RUEHRDANZ

Rudy or Ben. Grand Rapidian. Educator. Coach. Volunteer. Friend.

I’ve been working with children since age 15, from the field, to the pool, to the classroom and beyond. I coached my first soccer team at age 16 and discovered a passion. Years later, I’m still going. When I’m not coaching, I can be found playing Spikeball, watching my goldfish or taking a long midday nap.

E: rudy@michiganfutbolacademy.com

JEANNETTE WILLIAMS

My success as a player came from a love for the game and great coaches from start to finish; each pushed me to reach my highest potential. My desire now is to share what I have learned from each coach and from playing, and pass it on to all the players I am fortunate enough to work with. Soccer has given me gratitude, growth, passion, and the ability to overcome adversities both on and off the field. My hope is to share these values with my players so they will find the same benefits in soccer as I have.

E: jeannette@michiganfutbolacademy.com

ERIC HOLLIS

Soccer. Character. Community. Every day I thank God that I can incorporate all 3 of these passions into my job as #BeyondTheSport Coordinator for Michigan Sports Academies. 

I’m blessed to teach soccer to kids everyday and hope to foster a team culture of creativity, confidence, and selflessness.

I consistently dream about our club's future; defined by a people of character, a connected community, and of players who aspire to impact future generations.

E: eric@michiganfutbolacademy.com

STAFF COACHES

ALEX STODDARD

Soccer is a universal language. If you go anywhere in the world you are able to find someone playing, that is why I love this game. I played soccer at Grace Bible College for 3 years and learned so much about the diversity of the game. Working with kids has been a huge passion in my life, and to be able to combine these two loves with coaching is an absolute blessing.

E: alex@michiganfutbolacademy.com

BRENNA COJEEN

My love for soccer has helped get me where I am today. From community ed to Aquinas College, where I am currently studying psychology. Through MFA it is my goal to inspire young players and show them how soccer can empower them, both on and off the field. I was born and raised in the Grand Rapids area, so I am excited to take part in growing our local soccer community!

E: brenna@michiganfutbolacademy.com

CAM VELA

Hi, I'm Cameron Vela, I am 22 years old and I grew up in Grand Rapids. I began playing the beautiful game at the age of 5 and haven't stopped since. I attended high school at Forest Hills Northern and captained the team my Senior year. I’m pursuing an International Business and Spanish double major from Aquinas College. I was a 3 year player at Aquinas. I love working with kids and teaching them the game that provided me with so much joy and freedom growing up. I love helping the development of kids in the club, not only with soccer, but their development as a human's. Very excited to return for my 3rd year with RIver City!

E: cam@michiganfutbolacademy.com

EDDIE CRUZADO

I was born in Lima, Peru. I moved to the United States when I was 13 years old. I have been coaching soccer for over 10 years now. I have coached for Pass, Soccer for Life Academy (Millburn, NJ), Ole Soccer Club, Michigan Fire Juniors and currently coaching Futsal for Grand Rapids ABK. I am excited to join River City FC and to be part of a great group of coaches who share and believe in the Club's Mission.

E: eddie@michiganfutbolacademy.com

HEIDI DEVRIES

Soccer has been my passion all my life. It's a beautiful sport, that provides a great platform to connect with people of all ages, cultures, religions, etc. I played through college, (Cornerstone University) where I learned valuable lessons as an individual, a leader, a coach, and as a teammate. I have a love for the outdoors, a weakness for dark chocolate, and am as stubborn as they come ;) I'm excited to be a part of RCR, and look forward to creating relationships with my girls.

E: heidi@michiganfutbolacademy.com

HOPE HINKEN

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to coach the sport I love in such an integrative club that focuses not only on soccer skills, but also how we can become better humans and build into our community. I’m a Calvin College grad with a degree in Exercise Science and Spanish, currently in grad school for Occupational Therapy. When I’m not running around the soccer field with your kiddos, you can find me hiking, running, traveling, hanging with friends/family, adventuring with my camera, or with my dog at Lake Michigan. I’m excited to return for my 3rd year with RCFC!

E: hope@michiganfutbolacademy.com

JEREMY STACY

I've spent most of my life surrounded by the game of soccer. It has helped me develop and grow in so many ways throughout my life. The lessons I've learned through this game have helped me become a better parent, better husband and better person. I've had many coaches along the way that have helped shape who I am in such a positive way and I genuinely look forward, and certainly do not take for granted, the opportunity to be one of those coaches for your kids. My hope is to be able to help your child become a much better soccer player and more importantly use this game to help them learn important lessons that will drive them to be great people.

E: jeremy@michiganfutbolacademy.com

JERMAN JUAREZ

I have played soccer for most of my life and I can't imagine myself playing another sport. I have coached for quite a while and I just love helping kids making them smile and really get them to know the details of the game and improving them not only as a player but as a person also. I'm always active and ready to get down to business with soccer and futsal which is another sport I have played. Joga Bonito is my type of style meaning play beautiful and it was meant to curb players behavior on the pitch in a positive way.

E: jerman@michiganfutbolacademy.com

MATT KOSTER

I love God, soccer, and talking with people, especially kids, and I try to show His great love to everyone that I meet. I am studying Psychology & Religion at Calvin and absolutely love the city of Grand Rapids. I am so impressed with the Rascals holistic approach to soccer and to life and I believe that God is going to work powerfully through this organization to bring a lot of wonderful people together to do great things for his kingdom.

E: matt@michiganfutbolacademy.com

MATT VAN ZYTVELD

Grand Haven native. Hope College graduate. US Beach Soccer National Team Player. Fútbol Fanatic!

While playing soccer and earning my degree in Exercise Science, I developed a passion for tailoring speed and strength conditioning programs to elite athletes--combining athletic experience and with an understanding of the human body to help athletes perform at their best.

I am also incredibly passionate about beach soccer, and am looking forward to bringing the beach game to Michigan Futbol Academy.

When I’m not on the field, on the beach, or in the gym, I love to spend time traveling and staying active outdoors with my wife and daughters.

E: mattvz@michiganfutbolacademy.com

MOSE CRAWFORD

One thing I love about the sport is your knowledge for the game will always continue to grow. To learn as a player and a coach from kids in youth development programs to high school boys and girls shows just how beautiful and rewarding the game can be. I'll always be amazed by how a decision made at 12 years old continues to provide opportunities to not only work with but grow with such an optimistic group of people.

E: mose@michiganfutbolacademy.com

NATE STEER

I love being outside and being active but soccer is my true passion. I love everything about the sport, especially how it brings people together. I grew up loving the game and always wanting to get out there and play. Coaching has helped me move on in my soccer career, being a leader for kids is the most satisfying thing for me. I hope that through coaching I can pass on my love for the game onto the players at RCFC and help them grow not only as players but as people.

E: nate@michiganfutbolacademy.com

SHANNON BALCER

I have a passion for life, soccer, and authentic Mexican food. I love seeing lives changed through the game of soccer. It holds the power to teach and to empower them in a way few things can. My own journey on the field has impacted my life in a profound way and I'm stoked for the opportunity to walk alongside kids who have their own journey. I hope to cultivate passion within my players; a passion for the game, a passion for serving others; and a passion to go change the world.

God is doing something special through the beautiful game and I'm humbled to play a very small part in it. What a time to be alive.


E: shannon@michiganfutbolacademy.com

STEVE HILDABRAND

I've coached soccer for around 15 years now and have been a director of programming, coaching, and more. The greatest part of coaching is when you put time into players and see them grow both as a player and a person. Soccer is a platform to teach hard work, life, ethics, and much more. Coaches have such a profound influence on a kid's life. Core values not only make a soccer player a better person, but also a better soccer player.

E: steve@michiganfutbolacademy.com

URBANO ROMERO

Throughout my life (as a player), I've learned so many things of this sport so called soccer. I am excited to start this new journey as a soccer coach and experience/learn many more things. The biggest goal to achieve as a coach is to show the kids all the things I know and see them improve as a player day by day. I am ecstatic about joining River City FC and it is probably one of the best decisions I have made!!

E: urbano@michiganfutbolacademy.com