skip navigation

HYS Travel Coaches & Bios

Nick Arzani - Technical Director

Technical Director Nick Arzani has led the development of Herndon Youth Soccer since 2009, overseeing both the travel and rec programs within the club. Arzani dedicates staff and resources to both pillars of the club, understanding each as an integral partner in growing a strong club identity of player-centric development.

Arzani directs all camps, training clinics and programs, all instituted with his curriculum emphasizing ball mastery. Upon taking the helm, he established U5, U6 and U7 programs centered around the individual player development with maximum opportunities presented in the format of small-sided games. He also created the U7/U8 Premier Program to bridge the levels of rec and travel, preparing this age group of players for the commitment of skill development crucial to succeed in travel. The implementation of these and other programs have proven successful in advancing skill development, dedication and enthusiasm for the young players emerging in the travel league.

Arzani has brought in a high-quality professional staff to help facilitate trainings, clinics, camps and programs. In addition to the programs offered to travel players, he and his staff also provide the rec program with opportunities of professional team trainings, skill clinics and coaching education for volunteer parent coaches.

Having grown up in Argentina and playing with the famed Boca Juniors club, Arzani has cultivated relationships with many professional coaches and players. He has given Herndon players the chance to meet and train with world-class professional soccer players and coaches through his relationship with the Argentina National Team. He currently acts as a technical liaison with the Argentina National Team in the U.S.

Arzani made his footprint in Northern Virginia when he founded his company, Arzani Soccer, in 2005. He led his respective teams to successful seasons and guide individual players to advance their careers to college soccer. Through Arzani Soccer, he has traveled internationally to share his training methodology and knowledge. In 2013, he led coaching education and trainings for several clubs in China. He has also led extensive trainings in Europe, South America and the Caribbean, while also working in the U.S. for the L.A. Galaxy on behalf of its youth academy.

Nick currently coaches the Herndon Estudiantes Black ’06 and the Herndon Nacionals Black ’03, in addition, he is a State ODP Coach.

Michelle Alioto

Alianza '07, Deportivo '04                               C License


Michelle Alioto has over 20 years coaching experience covering the youth, ODP, high school and college levels. She is currently the head coach of the 07 Alianza Black and 04 Deportivo at Herndon, and an D-ODP staff coach. She also leads the U5 Microkicks Program for Herndon year round.

The Wisconsin native coached Milwaukee area boys and girls travel soccer and high school soccer at Rufus King. She was the head women’s soccer coach at MSOE, an NCAA Division III university, from 2002-2004, while also coaching for Wisconsin state and district ODP.

Coach Michelle played NCAA Division I Soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she captained the team and helped lead it to league championship titles and to the NCAA Tournament.

She has worked with Herndon Youth Soccer since 2012, and has led her 04 and 07 girls teams from the beginning of travel at U9.

Mike Franks

Red Devils '97,Pegasus '98, Zephyr '99 (graduated) & Ajax Black '08

Michael brings over 25 years of soccer experience to the Herndon Youth Soccer coaching staff. During his playing years he was regarded as the top recruited goalkeeper in Western Pennsylvania for national colleges and universities. During this time he was a 4 year starting goalkeeper at McDowell High School (Top 3 AAAA school in the state of Pennsylvania), number 1 goalkeeper for Beadling Soccer Club and winner of 5 Pennsylvania state championships, 4 year starting goalkeeper for the PA West state Olympic Development team, Region I Olympic Development team member.  After graduating High School, Michael played 1 year NCAA Division I college soccer; 4 years NCAA Division II college soccer where he earned honors of All Conference and All Conference Academic Dean’s List; and played semi-professionally in the Premier Development League (PDL – USA). Since then, Michael has played competitively in the Washington Premier League (WPL) and Lumar Hunt US Open Cup for the Conquistador/ Cavaliers of Washington DC, member of United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Michael is a strong believer of the Total Football system and has worked to integrate this style of play and methodology into Herndon Soccer Club where he has called home for the last 9 years.

Omar Gonzalez

Zorro's Black, Zorro's Red                                                  D License

Omar Gonzalez originally from Los Angeles California.  Moved to  Herndon in late 1999.  His team helped him propose to his wife in 2014, as they are big part of his life.  Omar started playing for Herndon in 2000. He played for Parkview High School from 2004-2008.  Won district and regional championships with PV.  Played a season at UDC and got ECC defensive player of the week one week.  Started coaching in Herndon in 2008 with Herndon Hawks assistant  Ricardo Silva.  2012 Started coaching with Dudley Hawkins assisting with the Rovers Goalkeepers.  2013 he coached Rovers South for one season.  In 2014, he took over the Herndon Gunners at u-12 div 6 and continued working with the Rovers program. Gunners are continuing to develop and increase in their division ranks, in addition, the team was a finalist for the Presidents Cup.  Omar continues to support Herndon Rovers, Parkview Highschool JV and keepers. 

Matt Lee

Hooligans '01, Thunder Black '02, Cyclones '02Boys               C License

Matt grew up playing professionally at Swindon Town Football Club in England, from there he went to Hartpury college where he won a national college championship. He currently holds his FA Level One from England and his USSF “C” license. 

Matt has served as the Head Coach for the HYS Chaos graduating them out from Division One. He currently coaches the Herndon Hooligans (01 girls), Herndon Thunder Black (02 girls) and Herndon Cyclones (02 boys). He has also served as an assistant coach to some of Herndon’s most successful current and former teams, including the Herndon United/Storm programs.

Prior to joining Herndon Youth Soccer, Matt coached as program director for Arsenal Soccer Schools in England and was appointed Head of Boys Football at Prior Park School. He began his spell in America in 2009 working as a Camp Director for Uk International Soccer Camps where he directed camps, clinics and team training up and down the east coast for players aged 4 to 19.    

Dan Merold

FC Elite '00                                               C License


Dan grew up playing soccer in Chantilly, Virginia. He currently holds his USSF National “C” License.
Dan served as Head Coach of Herndon Comets Black ('95) and Assisted Comets White with their progression from WAGS Division 5 to Division 1.  He currently coaches the Herndon FC Elite ('00).  FC Elite have had an instant spark since Dan began working with them, progressing from NCSL Division 6 to Division 3 in less than two years. 
He played collegiately at Sehpard University, a Division II program in Shepardstown, West Virginia after graduating from Oakton High School.  Playing for the Rams, Dan was a 4-year starter and finished his career with 11 goals and 18 assists in the midfield. Dan received a degree in Fitness and Exercise Science from Shepherd.  He played for the Chantilly Magic, a Division 1 NCSL team, during his youth career.
Outside of soccer, Dan is a certified personal trainer. He is a Performance Enhanncement Specialist (NASM PES certified) and his experience and knowledge of strength, speed, and agility training is used extensively throughout his training sessions.

Ricky Ramirez

Thunder White 02, Eclipse 08                                           C License

Ricky grew up playing highly competitive soccer in Northern Virginia with various top level teams including Alexandria. Ricky currently holds his USSF “C” License and a NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Diploma. He also has NSCAA Diplomas in Attacking Principles of Play, Defending Principles of Play, and Small Sided Games, and was the lead instructor for the MSI Coaching course.

Ricky began coaching in 2010 and joined Total Futbol in 2012. He is currently the head coach of Herndon Thunder White 02G and Herndon Eclipse 08G. Under Ricky’s direction his teams have won numerous club tournament championships.

Ricky graduated in 2010 from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He is now working as the Director of Marketing for Total Futbol to promote the various programs and further expand the developmental opportunities for the players.

Ricky’s Coaching Philosophy:

“I strongly believe that winning is not the primary goal, but rather the outcome of our hard work, determination, preparation, and our tactical and technical execution. I stress the importance of the aforementioned qualities to my players so that they may carry over not only in soccer and team sports, but into other aspects of their daily lives as well. I believe in not only developing strong athletes, but strong people who will be pillars in their communities and an example for others.”

Paul Robson

Pegasus '98, Zephyr '99 (Graduated) Caylpso '09G, Rising 2010G

C License

Paul is originally from England but has lived in the United States for most of his life. He played travel soccer in NCSL for BRYC when he was young and for Woodson High School. Paul got his coaching start as an assistant coach for his sister's high-level WAGS team.

For the next eight years, Paul coached and trained a variety of high division WAGS teams from U8 – U17 and worked for a couple of years with the Woodson High School girls team. Since 2006, Paul has coached and trained  the Herndon Zephyr (Formerly known as Calypso) as well as the Herndon Pegasus and the Herndon Phoenix.  Many of the girls on his teams have been with Paul since they went to travel soccer.  Paul holds NFICA and ASEP certifications as well as a national C license.

Martin Sanchez

Nacional White '03, River Plate '04                                         D License

Martin is an Argentine international soccer player and a USSF "D" and National Youth Licence coach who is currently working in the Arzani Soccer Academy of Herndon.
He has played alongside top figures such as Diego Maradona. His experience extends from his early beginning in Argentina in the late 80's on the U16 National Team and the Club Atletico Tucuman.
By the late 90s , he began playing internationally with top clubs in  Bolivia (The Strongest, Club Deportivo Municipal). 
From Bolivia he moved onto Ecuador (Club Deportivo Cuenca) and by 2010 he came to the US and played with ABSL, Arlington, VA.
He started his coaching career with the NVSC Manassas United U16 before joining Arzani Soccer.
Currently coaching Herndon Nacional White '03 boys and Herndon River Plate '04 boys.

Fede Santiago

Estudiantes White '06, Asst. Coach - River Plate Red '04                    

Federico was born and raised in Argentina.  His soccer career began at an early age when he played on various teams such as Argentinos de Del Viso, Club Atletico Platense and Malvinas Argentinas.  Federico continued his journey when his family moved to the USA and played for Potomac Falls High school and Park View High School varsity team.  His varsity was 2003-2004 District Champions.  He also played for various travel teams.  
Federico wanted to combine his passion for the sport with his desire to help today’s youth develop their soccer skills and decided to join forces with Arzani Soccer.  He is quite pleased and feels very fortunate to be a part of such a great club.  
Federico is the current head coach for the '06B Estudiantes White team and the Assistant Coach for the '04B River Plate Red team.  
Federico Currently holds a USSF F license, NSCAA National Diploma and National Youth License.

Mani Santos

Argentinos Red '02, FC Ciclones '05                                       B License

MANI SANTOS is originally from Brazil and has decades of experience playing and coaching all over the world. Mani has played professionally for 5 different clubs around the world including many First Division teams in Brazil. In the US he has coached both boys and girls at all levels from college to very young for MSI, Bethesda, DC Stoddert and others. He has a Masters from Rice University in Material Sciences Engineering. Mani is also a coach for the Maryland ODP program (Olympic Development). He holds a national B license. 

Guillermo Tolaba

Argentinos Black '02, FC Ciclones '05                                   C License 

Guillermo originally from Jujuy, Argentina, moved to United States in 2004.
He grew up playing Div II and III (semi-pro) teams in Argentina from the age of 15 to 21.  In 2004 when Guillermo moved to US, he played with Salem International University, he was first team all-conference, all region, and MVP on 2006. Played for C. D.  Mixco (Guatemala) 2008.  He currently holds a "C" National License.  He has coached youth as well as collegiate teams.  In 2007 he was the Assistant Coach West Virginia University Tech, 2009-2010 Grad Assistant at Salem International University.  Currently he coaches multiple teams in HYS, Boys Varsity Head Coach at Herndon High School, and VA Boys ODP Academy.  
Guillermo is currently the Head Coach of Herndon FC Ciclones Black '05 and Herndon Argentinos Juniors Black '02.  The Herndon FC Athletics graduated Spring of 2014 with many players advancing to collegiate play.  Guillermo is also part of the Arzani Soccer Academy team of professional trainers.

Kati Williams

Alianza Red '06                                                     E License

Kati Williams is the head coach of the Herndon Alianza Red '06 team and assistant coach for the U9g Alianza Black team. Her coaching philosophy is centered on making the game fun for all players while helping them develop technical and decision making skills and reinforcing the values of hard work, integrity, leadership, teamwork and competition. 
Kati is a native of the Northern Virginia area and played competitively with Annandale Soccer (ABGC) and Lake Braddock Secondary School. She was a regional ODP player and recruited by several universities but chose to focus on academics, receiving her undergraduate degree from George Mason University and her law degree from Saint Louis University. Kati has coached with SOL Soccer and assisted with Herndon’s Premier Program and the Arzani Soccer camps. She holds the National Youth and USSF E licenses.

Coaches have kept sports alive in 2020. Has your kid's coach helped them through this crisis?Nominate them   for a chance to win $2500!