skip navigation

Management Spotlight: Edition Four

11/01/2018, 3:00pm EDT
By Matt Reed -

Manhattan's Selvadurai, Chicago SA's Balatsoukas among featured

Significant amounts of time and effort go into the lives of coaches and administrators across the United States to make Super Y League a success, including during the ongoing 2018 season.

In our Management Spotlight series, we take a look at three individuals that continue to exemplify their expertise in developing young players both on and off the field.

Here are the featured coaches and administrators for the third edition on Oct. 30, 2018.

Ray Selvadurai

Manhattan SC, Director of Coaching

Why did you decide to become a soccer coach?

I decided to become a soccer coach due to my passion for the sport and my desire to be instrumental in the development of young players and people. To me, there is no better profession. That passion was developed through my life's soccer journey and my mentors along the way.

Soccer and teaching is in my blood. Several members of my family played and taught in some sort of classroom setting or field. I grew up in a great youth sports community in Syosset on Long Island. During my childhood, our town had many first generation children whose families had a good knowledge and appreciation of soccer. This passion for the sport led to the formation of a strong youth soccer program that fed into a nationally ranked championship high school program during my prep years. During these youth years, several mentors instilled the love of the sport for my future career choice in coaching. First my father was instrumental in developing my passion for sport and soccer. He saw that his son loved the sport and provided me great guidance and support in my early soccer education. Second was my high school coach Mark Steffens, who is a 2007 USL Hall of Fame Inductee. Coach Steffens taught me about the personal commitment necessary for my own soccer education both on and off the field, for which I am eternally grateful and carry with me every day.

I was lucky enough to be recruited by one of the most successful college soccer programs at any level by Mike Coven at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. My experience at Brandeis helped form my future aspirations to be involved in coaching and running a top- level soccer program. I became involved with Manhattan Soccer Club as staff head coach while in graduate school in 1998. 21 years later, Manhattan Soccer Club has provided me the ideal forum to grow as a coach and director for a well-run organization committed to youth development and social responsibility. 

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a soccer coach?

It is a challenge for youth players these days to take on the responsibility for their own soccer education and development away from the club setting. As a coach, my challenge is to continue to promote this message to my players and families. Those that understand this particular onus will really achieve in this sport and develop that passion that drives us to want to learn and develop more. Once the passion is there, there is truly no better way to spend your time than being surrounded by the game. If you love to do something, you want to do it all the time. Players should always do more than the minimums.

What do you enjoy most about coaching in the Super Y League?

Super Y League is now a major component to our overall programming at Manhattan Soccer Club. Summertime is ideal for player and team development. Super Y League provided an organized platform for our players to take on that aforementioned challenge and responsibility for their soccer education and commitment to developing their games from a technical, tactical and conditioning standpoints. The most enjoyable aspect about coaching in Super Y League is to see players make huge strides in their game through the summer months and have a competitive outlet to grow.

What are a couple of your favorite moments from the Super Y League season?

We had some highly competitive matches against excellent local clubs in Long Island Rough Riders, NY Hota Bavarians, Westchester Flames, Black Watch Premier and Istria. These were great matches and moments.  I am hoping that more clubs in the area see the benefit in Super Y League participation. With Cedar Stars and Massapequa coming in for 2019, the landscape during the summer months will be even more competitive and beneficial to our players. 

What do you enjoy most outside of soccer and why?

Being a father to my 8 year old daughter Ella Pearl. I am really enjoying the journey of being her father and watching her grow up in front of my eyes. Too fast for sure! My time away from the field is for family.

Tim Balatsoukas

Chicago Soccer Academy, U13 & U16/17 Girls Coach

Why did you decide to become a soccer coach?

Honestly, when I came to America I saw a lot of parent coaches teaching soccer and thought to myself how are kids really progressing without professional coaching in this country. One day, my college coach asked if I would be interested in coaching kids and I took him up on the offer since I had previously coached in Greece and liked it never looking back. I always had the best coaches that made sure I never quit and I 've always said I would give back one day whether it was coaching or mentoring young players

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a soccer coach?

Making sure each player understands their pathway of development is different from the other players and they just need to focus on themselves. You never know what kind of player or level you can reach if you just work hard. This is includes educating the parents as well. 

What do you enjoy most about coaching in the Super Y League?

I get to see other coaching styles from different clubs, states in the Midwest and from all over the country. You can tell each coach cares about player and team development because realistically most clubs don't do much over the summer so technically we could be on a beach somewhere instead of coaching. 

What are a couple of your favorite moments from the Super Y League season?

I enjoyed having some of our teams play at the Finals in Florida. It takes the love of the game to the next level for these kids and they come back to training working if harder upon return. 

I also enjoyed hearing and seeing players posts on social media from their USL Experience in Arizona. 

What do you enjoy most outside of soccer and why?

I really enjoy traveling and seeing the world, trying different food and spending time with family and friends every chance I get.

Follow the Super Y League

Most Read Super Y League News

Top News

Tag(s): News