Anthony Calvano, Owner/Executive Director
Anthony is a professional soccer player, a gifted soccer teacher and a kid enthusiast! He played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the area’s professional soccer team, before retiring in 2012. He played professionally for eight years. Anthony played at Penn State University, making it to the Elite 8 and winning a Big Ten Championship.
Anthony has coached high school, middle school and club soccer and has worked with thousands of youth soccer players as a Soccer Shots instructor. In addition to playing and coaching soccer, Anthony has a degree in elementary education from Penn State. Anthony is an active member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC).
Above everything else is that Anthony loves being able to positively impact kids through the game of soccer!
Carla Stewart, Director
Carla graduated from Grove City College in 2011 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science; she spent the summers of her college years working with children as the Day Camp Director and Playground Program Director for the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission. After college, Carla gained experience in a variety of fields, including human resources, administrative support, financial research, and non-fiction writing & editing.
A Pittsburgh native, Carla grew up playing soccer for numerous local clubs, including (but not limited to) Foothills, Penns Forest, Hotspurs, and the Barbarian Football Coalition. In high school, she was fortunate enough to play for WPIAL champion and two-time state runner-up Greensburg Central Catholic. At the collegiate level, Carla played both varsity and intramural soccer as well as club-level ultimate frisbee.
Carla is a strong advocate for instilling self-esteem, exceptional character, and a love for physical activity in children. Working as a Director with Soccer Shots provides an amazing opportunity for her to do just that!
Ron Gale, Director
Ron graduated from The University of Valley Forge in 2005 with a B.A. in theological science with a focus on associate leadership. Ron continued his education and received a master’s degree in organizational leadership. He has more than 10 years of pastoral experience, working with youth and children. After college, he engaged his love for soccer as a coach for junior and senior high athletes. Ron grew up playing various sports with soccer as his forte. He has over 20 years of soccer knowledge including his collegiate experience at UVF. Currently, Ron competes in Pittsburgh area leagues. He is passionate about leadership and character development in young people and believes coaching soccer is an excellent opportunity to guide young hearts. In addition to soccer, Ron enjoys running, reading, eating wings and laughing with his wife and children.
Christi Kreg, Director
With over 17 years of professional experience working with children of all ages and abilities, Christi brings a deep understanding of child development to Soccer Shots. After starting her career working with developmentally disabled teens, she later transitioned to preschool education of children with language delays and Autism Spectrum Disorders. This career path allowed for extensive training and first hand practice in the area of child development and education, and a treasured opportunity to build relationships with families while teaching parents how to best assist their children learn and grow. After starting a family of her own, Christi moved into the world of hospitality and excelled as the Junior Program Director for the award winning Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo Laguna Beach, in California. While at the resort Christi created and implemented many programs and events for children and families that visited the property, and oversaw the daily operations of the on-site childcare that had 100-200 children visit daily.
Christi is passionate about helping children build confidence, and a positive self image. Through sports, children are able to learn and practice many life skills that will help them be better friends and citizens. Soccer Shots, takes that experience one step further by being intentional about incorporating those lessons into their weekly sessions. That is why Christi chose to join the Soccer Shots organization, to impact more children and their families in a meaningful and positive way.
Jacob Keister, Program Coordinator
I’m Coach Jake! Along with coaching, I currently work as the Program Coordinator for Soccer Shots Pittsburgh. I am a 2016 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Sport Management. Before transferring to Cal U, I played one season of soccer at Lycoming College, winning the MAC Commonwealth Championship for the first time in program history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA DIII Tournament. I am originally from Middleburg, PA where I grew up in a community that revolved around soccer. I am extremely blessed to share the game I love and to positively shape young minds while doing so!
If you have a passion for positively impacting children, we’d love to talk to you.
The “Three C's” – Coaching, Communication and Curriculum
The foundation of Soccer Shots is our relentless commitment to providing best-in-class coaching, communication and curriculum.
The best coaches in the business
- Every Soccer Shots coach must complete our comprehensive training program to receive certification.
- All Soccer Shots coaches are trained in the use of developmentally appropriate techniques.
- Coaches are routinely evaluated and undergo ongoing training.
- Our coach selection process evaluates not only the ability to coach soccer, but also the ability to engage and inspire children.
An exceptional customer experience with ongoing communication
- You will receive a weekly summary of what your child is learning at Soccer Shots.
- We proactively communicate cancellations due to weather or other circumstances.
- Our staff understands the importance of timely, responsive communication.
Expert-approved curriculum that aligns with early childhood education standards
- Our developmentally appropriate curriculum places an emphasis on character development and skill building.
- Our program is created under the guidance of childhood education specialists, professional soccer players and experienced and licensed soccer coaches.
- We constantly re-evaluate and update our curriculum to stay current with childhood education standards.
The History of Soccer Shots
Our founding partners, Jeremy Sorzano and Jason Webb, were soccer teammates both in college and professionally. They formed Soccer Shots® in 1998 after recognizing a lack of quality soccer programs for children under age 8. They shared an entrepreneurial spirit, a deep love of soccer, and a passion to inspire children to live fit and healthy lives.
The success of Soccer Shots in Charlotte, NC and Harrisburg, PA, where Sorzano and Webb first launched their businesses, led to several of their friends and former teammates wanting to get involved. In 2005, Soccer Shots began franchising and opened its first four franchises in OH, DE, FL, and PA. The business opportunity began to attract more soccer entrepreneurs, and Soccer Shots has enjoyed growing around the country and into Canada.
In May of 2009, Justin Bredeman, another former college soccer teammate, became the third Soccer Shots partner. Justin brought with him eight years of experience from Auntie Anne’s, Inc., a pretzel franchising company, where he led a team that supported nearly 800 franchise units. His deep understanding of the franchise business model also comes from the knowledge gained from his five years of owning and running a Soccer Shots business of his own.
In August of 2009, the Soccer Shots partners founded the Soccer Shots Foundation, the non-profit arm of Soccer Shots. The Soccer Shots Foundation provides opportunities to economically challenged children within the U.S. and around the world through the game of soccer. (Read more about the Soccer Shots Foundation here).
From its humble beginnings, Soccer Shots has grown beyond Jeremy and Jason’s biggest dreams, with over 170 territories across 34 states. In 2015, more than 275,000 children participated in Soccer Shots.
The business is consistently recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 Children’s Fitness Franchise in the U.S. And today, Soccer Shots is positioned as the best-in-class children’s soccer program with a focus on character development.
And while the accolades are appreciated, our mission remains focused – positively impacting children’s lives.
Soccer Shots Franchising, LLC is based in central Pennsylvania, just east of Harrisburg.
Soccer Shots Foundation
We believe that soccer is a powerful vehicle for positively impacting youth. The Soccer Shots Foundation, our non-profit entity, allows us to impact more children who may not typically have the same opportunities.
Through our partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, we aim to impact children who live in underserved communities throughout the U.S. through quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.