Ricky Gutierrez returns to SF Elite after moving to Arizona to coach at Grand Canyon University where he helped guide the team to a 15-4-1 record on their way to a NCAA playoff berth. Ricky was recently announced as the Mens assiutsant soccer coach at CAL Berkeley. Ricky is a native of California, who holds a U.S. Soccer National B Coaching License & is a MLS Next Academy coach with RSL Arizona. Ricky coached with SF Elite from 2019 - 2021 before departing for Arizona. He has over 20 years of coaching experience at every level from recreation to college coaching. He brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of soccer to the San Francisco Bay Area. A major focus of Ricky’s coaching career is assisting players in achieving the highest level of success in soccer. From high school to college to professional careers, he strives to motivate and train players to reach their personal goals. Over 12 players who have trained and played on his teams have been selected for the U.S. National team for their age level. He has sent countless players to college on scholarships, propelled numerous players to the MLS development programs, and has had several players sign professional contracts. Ricky also places great effort and emphasis on assisting players who would not normally have the opportunity or means to play club soccer. He understands firsthand how opportunities such as college scholarships, staying active, being in a positive and nurturing environment can change a child’s life. He works endlessly to find the opportunities for all children in the community. Ricky will particularly be focused on working with the SF Elite U13-19 boys teams. Welcome back coach Ricky!
After establishing his first competitive team in 1998 for the kids in The Mission, coach Wilfredo would constantly reassure his players that someone on the team would graduate from college. Astounded by his motive, his players would respond, "Coach, no one in my family has ever graduated from college." Wilfredo would let them know that they would be the first, they would be the example in their families for generations to come.
Galindo recalls people questioning him "wasting" his time and fields on kids that, in their eyes, don't even have the motivation to graduate from high school. Comments like these would light a fire in him and he knew he had to be the one to fight for these kids, to get involved in more schools, and make sure he found them opportunities in work and on the soccer field. "I quickly realized that what I am doing is working, so I went on the create more teams and find more opportunities for the kids in The Mission." From his team in 1998, 9 of the players were the first in their families to graduate from college. Others on the team went on to careers in architecture and in the medical field.
Wilfredo’s story has continued to grow over the years. There’s much more to come from this man and his community! For now, catch up on the first part of Wilfredo's story here!
Born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States in 1981, Coach Wilfredo Galindo was immediately drawn to San Francisco due to its size and diversity. He began playing soccer in the city and quickly realized that the soccer community in The City was the best way to meet and communicate with others. In 1988, with the support of some community members in The Mission District he decided to start a soccer team so that kids in the community could see what he learned through the beautiful game.
There's more to come! You'll hear more impact stories about Wilfredo & how he is working in the community to inspire kids to be all they can be. Subscribe to our newsletter!
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (JANUARY 21, 2021) - San Francisco Elite Academy (SFEA) has hired U.S. Beach Soccer National Team Player of the Year, Ali Hall. Hall will be joining the girls coaching staff at SFEA.
SFEA is committed to hiring Women in head coaching positions. When asked about the importance of female representation as Head coaches in youth soccer Hall replied, "It's important to have female representation as head coaches because diversity all around is a great thing to have. To have different voices, auras, and faces around so that players can relate and learn from a variety of coaches. Specifically for the female players, to have a coach they can relate to and look up to as another female athlete, has significance. I look forward to bringing some representation to the female coaching side at SFEA."
Ali Hall joins the club with a great resume at hand. Born and raised in Chicago, Hall began her soccer career at one of the top clubs in the nation, Eclipse Select, where she competed for three national championships.
Hall then continued on and played Division 1 college soccer at the University of Tennessee where she was named the 2012 NCAA Division I All-South Region Player of the Year and was 2012 All-SEC 2nd Team.
After Tennessee, Hall took a short break from the game and started her coaching career at MVLA Soccer Club, where she coached for 7 years. During this time she began playing beach soccer, which she is still pursuing while coaching. Hall currently plays for Cali Beach Soccer Club, a beach soccer club based in the Bay Area and the United States Women's Beach National Team.
Hall was awarded the U.S. Beach Player of the Year in 2021. Hall says "It was a huge honor and I feel very humbled and excited for the future of beach soccer."
When asked what drew her to coach at SF Elite, Hall said, "What drew me to the SFEA was the conversations that I has with the leaders of the club and the pursuit of excellence of high level, quality soccer. Creating opportunities for players who live in the city to play at the highest level is a clear objective of the club. I believe that SFEA is on the upward trajectory and I feel excited to be part of that growth with the players and coaching staff."
San Francisco, CA- SFEA families, meet former player and current University of San Francisco Women's Soccer Player Fatima Waldo. Fatima is one of the many success stories to have come out of SFEA.
Fatima's family roots are from Puebla, Mexico but have made South San Francisco home since her birth in 2003. Fatima is proud to be from South San Francisco, stating that she may have grown up differently than a typical City kid but she loved her childhood. She grew up on a small street with a great view of the famous South San Francisco sign and was always seen kicking the soccer ball around the neighborhood.
Fatima first came to SFEA in 2019, leaving her previous club San Bruno Lowen 83FC. She states that it was, "a great decision to make the move since college recruitment was coming soon." Fatima and her family were made part of the SFEA family immediately. Fatima says, "I had a great experience at SFEA and was able to meet amazing coaches and further my skills which prepared [me] for the new journey that was ahead."
Fatima is one of the 70+ players that are now playing at the collegiate level post club play at SFEA. She says playing for University San Francisco was one of the easiest decisions she has had to make. Since she played at Negoesco Stadium for her club team, playing for the University of San Francisco feels like home.
Family is an essential part of Fatima's life. She credits her parents for the club switch and her success thus far in being recruited to a D1 program. "I wouldn't be the person or player I am today without them."
University of San Francisco Women's coaches were thrilled to recruit their former player. Assistant Coach Pinder Nijjar states, "Fatima has been an unbelievable asset to this team so far this season. She has come into the squad and has adjusted very well to the NCAA Division I college level. We are so excited to see what Fatima can achieve as a Don in the future."
"In so many ways Fatima's story embodies so many of our values: Respect, excellence, perseverance, community & collaboration. Fatima is realizing her opportunities through her own self driven hard work, dedication to her sport, perseverance through injury & she will achieve excellence due in part because of the self confidence the game has given her." said Joe Dugan, President & Executive Director at SFEA.
Fatima is proud of her roots and is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with her family by getting together on the weekends for family dinners and playing some family pick-up soccer games when she is not traveling with the team. "I am proud of where my family comes from and I am thrilled to continue to represent my culture through the game of soccer."
When asked what she would say to young Latina girls who want to play collegiate soccer like her, Fatima says “Always work hard and strive to be better every day since I have learned that hard work always pays off."
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.