Stars Premier - About Us

About Us

Our Philosophy

Develop soccer skills in a fun & educational environment

Soccer Stars United has a dual philosophy; fostering lifelong passion for the game of soccer while maintaining a specific focus on player development through the Soccer Stars United Pathway. As the natural extension of the Super Soccer Stars program, Soccer Stars United provides dynamic age-appropriate curriculum, which focuses on technical improvement, tactical decision making and leadership development.

Our USC, USSF and UEFA certified coaches are dedicated to developing well-rounded players in a fun and challenging environment. Soccer Stars United hones in on developing key individual 1v1 techniques, improving players’ employment of skills at speed and developing confidence to unlock each player’s true potential.

The secondary stage of our philosophy focuses on developing players for elite soccer, specifically our Soccer Stars United competitive travel teams. Our innovative cultivating approach to coaching helps players in our program play with confidence, creativity and flair.

Our Story

It started with the passion to teach the world’s most popular sport

2000

2007

2009

2016

2018 & 2019

2000

In 2000 Gustavo Szulansky, Argentina native and father-of-three, founded Super Soccer Stars. He was determined to build the best children’s soccer program in New York. Today Super Soccer Stars is the largest children’s soccer development program in the United States for kids aged 2 and up.

2007

In 2007, after having a group of students reach a level of soccer maturity, Super Soccer Stars launched Stars Premier (now Soccer Stars United) , an advanced player development program. We pooled the most talented players and built on their passion for the sport. The combination of high level practices and local soccer competitions helped accelerate the communication, game insight, technique and fitness skills of the soccer player development journey.

2009

In 2009, with the identity of Stars Premier truly embedded in the fabric of the New York City soccer community, we launched the Stars Premier Teams initiative. We added a new dimension to our player development program using our wide pool of talent to form team rosters that will optimize the player development journey. The careful selection of players for each team roster created the ideal learning environment for each playing level.

2016

Today, Super Soccer Stars is the country's largest and most successful soccer development program for kids, with over 2,500 classes offered every week in 400+ locations in NY, NJ, CT, MA, CA, FL, PA, TX and Washington, DC.

2018 & 2019

With over 50 travel teams across NY, CA, FL and MA, Soccer Stars United firmly established its national identity. The Club receives national attention as our U14 Galaxy team from NY wins the Club’s 1st National Championship in Aurora, CO with a team comprised of former Super Soccer Stars graduates. The team returned to Kansas City in 2019 with an appearance at the USYS National Championship.

Our Team

Dedicated to unlock each player’s full potential

Toby Tenenbaum

Toby Tenenbaum

Role:

Vice President, Soccer Stars United

Email:

toby@supersoccerstars.com

Growing up in North London, Toby developed a passion for soccer from the tender age of 4. As a player, Toby represented both his primary and secondary schools before being selected to play for his County side at U14 level. Toby continued to play recreationally through High School and University until he moved to France having been inspired by Arsene Wenger's "French Revolution" which was taking place in English Soccer during the late 90's. Toby continued to play in a local Parisien league and made an appearance at the Parc Des Princes (home of LF1 champions Paris St. Germain) in 2000. In 2003 Toby relocated to New York and continued to play in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League for two successive seasons until a knee injury curtailed his playing career. Toby spent the following 2 years coaching his own NY-based adult team. Toby joined Super Soccer Stars in Winter 2009 as Assistant Coach of the inaugural U9 travel team and coached the club’s 1st U8 group (through their end of their U11 season).

At the end of 2010 Toby transitioned to Managing Director of the emerging Super Soccer Stars Premier program overseeing the formation of both travel and development programs for Super Soccer Stars. He has since spearheaded the growth of the Soccer Stars United division of Super Soccer Stars which now encompass over 40 competitive travel teams nationwide in addition to over 800 academy players aged between 5 and 10.

Toby has also been at the forefront of Super Soccer Stars’ global social outreach efforts completing visits to partner schools in rural Zimbabwe in 2010, 2012 and 2015 & 2016. During these trips- through a local partnership with ORAP (the Zimbabwe Office for Rural and Agricultural Progress) - he helped strengthen partnerships in some of the most economically challenged communities in Africa, providing relief through soccer coaching education and sports equipment donations to schools and teachers. In 2013 Toby lead a delegation from Super Soccer Stars to a rural community in the town of Iraquara (Bahia), Brazil to roll out the Building Soccer Bridges + T.A.L.E.N.T. initiative - a tool to empower youth, support physical and personal growth and positively engage them in their education. The program provided training on the basics of youth soccer coaching, preparing them to become mentors for younger children in their community. Toby holds a number of NSCAA licenses including the Advanced Regional and Youth Diploma. Off the field Toby is passionate about music, photography and his beloved Arsenal FC. He resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Jamie Edwards

Jamie Edwards

Role:

Program Coordinator

Email:

jamie@supersoccerstars.com

A New Jersey native, Jamie arrived in New York in 2010 via Virginia where she attended University of Richmond to study English Literature. Jamie joined the Stars Premier team in 2013 as the Development Program's full time Administrator. After firmly establishing herself as a key member of Stars Premier, Jamie transitioned to the role of Program Coordinator in 2015. Jamie is an avid patron of the arts (her current favorite show is Hamilton) and a passionate Springsteen fan.  Her first love is Chelsea FC; Jamie helped design and compile the newsletter for the USA Chelsea Supporters Club until retiring in 2015. Her favorite player is Branislav Ivanovic.

Ray Stellhorn-Tavera

Ray Stellhorn-Tavera

Role:

Stars Premier Program Supervisor

Email:

ray.stellhorn@supersoccerstars.com

Born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Ray graduated with a bachelor's degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in Sport Management. During his time studying, he traveled abroad to Europe and studied in Glasgow, Scotland where he played in the Men's Football Club. As a part of his studies, he completed internships with multiple professional soccer clubs and spent four months in Kansas City, MO with United Soccer Coaches, the world's largest soccer coaches association (formerly NSCAA). Today Ray is now a member of the annual Convention Staff and an Associate Instructor for United Soccer Coaches educating coaches in the 4v4 and 7v7/9v9 courses. Prior to joining Super Soccer Stars as the Coaching Supervisor overseeing over 80 coaches in grassroots soccer, Ray volunteered coaching in Mexico on multiple visits in between coaching for professional club academies with the Harrisburg City Islanders (now known as Penn FC) and the New York Red Bulls working with players from of both genders from 3-16 years of age. He holds over 15 coaching certifications, including Goalkeeping specific licenses and the United Soccer Coaches Advanced National Diploma being his current highest badge.

Jessica Guzman

Jessica Guzman

Role:

Program Coordinator, Head Coach (2012 Pegasus, 2013 Orange), Assistant (2012 Andromeda)

Email:

jessica.guzman@supersoccerstars.com

Coach Jessica, was born and raised in Montebello, California. She joined Super Soccer Stars and Stars Premier as a Coach in Winter 2019 with over 20 years of experience in soccer; playing, administrating, recruiting and coaching. During her time studying, she spent a summer in England where she played for the local team St. Ives Town Ladies, and also had the opportunity to trial for Nottingham Forest Ladies Football Club before returning to finish her studies in the United States. She graduated from West Virginia University Institute of Technology with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. After graduating from Tech, she became the Women's Soccer Graduate Assistant at Salem University (NCAA Division II) where she helped the program accomplish five wins after having zero in the previous four seasons. At SU, Jessica graduated with a Master's Degree in Business Management. She has also previously coached at Hiram College in Ohio and with the girls soccer team at El Rancho High School and volunteered at Schurr High School. Jessica holds a valid coaching license from US Soccer. She attended the United Soccer Coaches (formerly known as NSCAA, it is the world´s largest soccer coaches association) annual convention the past winter in Chicago as she continues to expand her coaching education to pass on to the players and coaches she impacts.

Arshak Cherkezyan

Arshak Cherkezyan

Role:

Head Coach (2009 Apus) AC (2010 Apollo)

Email:

coacharshakc@starspremier.com

Arshak moved to the US from Armenia when he was nine years old. For as long as he can remember, he has been playing soccer. From a very young age he would take a soccer ball with him and dribble it to wherever he was headed. He quickly gained the nickname "Ronaldo" (that's the original Ronaldo). Arshak played 3 years at Glendale High School, and was captain his senior year. After high school he joined the Pasadena College soccer team and received scholarship offers from UCI and Riverside after just one year. Arshak began working for Super Soccer Stars when he took a break from playing due to a knee injury. He began coaching with LA Stars Premier soon after. Coach Arshak shared that “this has been one of my best coaching experiences and I couldn't be happier”. He currently has his NSCAA coaching license and continues to focus on his professional education. Arshak really hopes to be able to take his coaching journey to a higher level with dedicated players and share his knowledge of soccer with younger generations.

Bill Engle

Bill Engle

Role:

Head Coach (2010 Gemini)

Email:

coachbille@starspremier.com

Bill started playing soccer at the age of five, playing competitively throughout high school in Central Massachusetts and into his freshman year of college. After moving to Boston for school, Bill began coaching middle school soccer in East Boston for the non-profit organization “America Scores”. While coaching the sport he loved, he found that he had a passion for working with kids. Once he graduated in 2002, he was given the opportunity to coach for Super Soccer Stars, Boston. After coaching and growing with Super Soccer Stars for two years in Boston, he made the move to Los Angeles where he’s been able to continue coaching for Super Soccer Stars. He currently teaches physical education at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica, and began coaching for LA Stars in the fall of 2015.

Yafi Fayruz

Yafi Fayruz

Role:

Head Coach (09/10 Stars Premier & 2012 team)

Email:

coachyafif@starspremier.com

Coach Yafi grew up in Indonesia and started playing soccer at the age of seven when he just happened to be sitting on the sideline of a game that needed an extra player. Due to his natural abilities the coach selected him immediately and the team won the regional cup three years in a row. He continued playing Soccer, Basketball, Badminton, Ping Pong and Volleyball through his time is school. Yafi and his family moved to Los Angeles from Jakarta when he was a sophomore in High School. Since he was not fluent in English, soccer helped ease his transition into the US. While at Fairfax High School, Yafi helped the soccer team with back to back CIF League championships as well as earning Fairfax HS soccer player of the year. He also was selected as the Volleyball defensive player of the year while there. Coach Yafi went on to get his Associates Degree in Communication & Social Media Studies at Santa Monica College. When he is not coaching, he enjoys watching Chelsea FC (his favorite team) and hopes to train players in the style of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Alan Shearer, Theirry Henry, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.

Peter Marafatsos

Peter Marafatsos

Role:

Assistant Coach (2009 Apus)/Goalkeeper Trainer (West Hollywood)

Email:

Nicholas Peters

Nicholas Peters

Role:

Head Coach (2011 Taurus) AC (2010 Gemini)

Email:

coachnickp@starspremier.com

Coach Nick grew up in Brazil and has been playing soccer since the age of two. From sand, street, grass and turf, he enjoys playing the game on any kind of surface. Much like a growing number of players, Futsal is his favorite version of the game. He tries to watch his home town (Sao Paulo) team, Corinthians, as much as he can. Coach Nick was inspired to go into coaching by his own experience with his teenage water polo coach. This coach had such a positive effect on Nick that he wanted to be involved with youth. He currently holds a USSF “E” license and plans to continue his education in the beautiful game.

Khalil Sheikh

Khalil Sheikh

Role:

Head Coach (2010 Apollo)

Email:

coachkhalils@starspremier.com

Coach Khalil was inspired by Cameroon’s 1990 World Cup team at the age of 5. Soccer was the sport raised on by his father from Ireland and mother from East Africa. He was developed on a South American formula of soccer while playing AYSO and transferring to various club teams, most notably Torrance United and Palos Verdes Raiders. He made Cal State University, Long Beach’s team and continued playing for local adult leagues. Khalil earned a degree in Education and was recruited into Super Soccer Stars in 2013. Coach Khalil is the 2nd coach in all of California to be listed as Master Head Coach. He has sent more than 40 players into the Stars Premier program. National Soccer Coaches Association of America certified and Cal South licensed.

Daniel Soderstrom

Daniel Soderstrom

Role:

Head Coach (2008 Meteor and 2009 Perseus)

Email:

coachdaniel@starspremier.com

Daniel moved to Virginia from Sweden at an early age where he played at the club and state level. With his Dad being Brazilian, Daniel naturally began playing soccer at the age of four. At 16, he relocated back to Stockholm, Sweden where he joined AIK Solna to play youth professional soccer for two years. When he was 19 Daniel moved to Beijing, China for two years, where he played with Beijing’s top foreign club, Afrika United. Since then, his career has consisted of playing with various clubs in Sweden ranging from division 2 to division 4. Daniel began actively coaching in 2006, managing a successful annual soccer academy in Beijing, China for 8 years, as well as coaching U8’s and U10’s for Sports Beijing (Beijing’s premier football club for expatriates). Daniel retains a USSF E certificate, D license and most recently the NSCAA National coaching diploma. He has extensive knowledge of European coaching techniques and training methods utilized by professional clubs in Sweden as well as Holland, where he partook in training camps with Ajax. His football ideology is molded through his background, personal experience and his love for the game. A pillar concept to his soccer ideology is the emphasis on the importance of the individual. That is to say, to promote individual skill, technique, close quarter control, creativity and the ability to adapt to different styles of play. Once a player feels confident individually, it is much easier for him/her to contribute positively to a team dynamic.

Patrick Wasiak

Patrick Wasiak

Role:

Head Coach (11/12 Indus and 11/12 Orion)

Email:

coachpatrickw@starspremier.com

Originally from Las Vegas, Patrick started playing soccer at the age of five and never looked back. He played for several clubs in the Las Vegas area over his thirteen years including: Neusport FC, LV Neon, and Las Vegas Sports Academy. In high school, Patrick began coaching for Lil Kickers, a youth soccer development program, for about two years. After highschool, Patrick played college soccer during his freshman year at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. New to LA, Patrick joined the Super Soccer Stars team about six months ago and has enjoyed his time spent teaching younger kids the game he loves. While he has stopped playing competitively, coaching allows Patrick to stay involved in the soccer community he grew up in.

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