Stars Premier - About Us

About Us

Our Philosophy

Develop soccer skills in a fun & educational environment

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

Our NSCAA, USSF and UEFA certified coaches are dedicated to developing well-rounded players in a fun and challenging environment. Stars Premier 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 Stars Premier 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

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, 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, Washington, DC, and London, England.

2018

With over 50 travel teams across NY, CA, FL and MA, Stars Premier firmly established its national identity. The Club receives national attention as NY Stars Premier U14 Galaxy wins the Club’s 1st National Championship in Aurora, CO with a team comprised of former Super Soccer Stars graduates.

Our Team

Dedicated to unlock each player’s full potential

Toby Tenenbaum

Toby Tenenbaum

Role:

Managing Director, Stars Premier

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 the "revolution" which was taking place in French 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 of the inaugural NY Stars Premier 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 Stars Premier 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.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Role:

Travel Club Coordinator

Email:

matt.smith@supersoccerstars.com

Matt was born in Gunnison, Colorado and grew up 60 miles north of New York City in Warwick, New York. He developed a love of soccer at the age of five, which led to further pursuits playing at an advanced level throughout New York and Connecticut. He had the opportunity to play overseas in both Scotland and England against some of the top premier league youth teams. This further fueled his passion for the game. He went on the play for the Herkimer Generals with an appearance in the final four of the NJCAA soccer tournament. He received a full scholarship to play Division I with the Adelphi University Panthers. Following completion of college with a degree in sports management, he held employment in both the sports and healthcare industries until he received an opportunity to join the Wagner College women's soccer program as an assistant coach for the Division I Seahawks from 2012 to 2015. During the 2014-2015 season, the Seahawks made their first appearance in the NEC playoff tournament. Matt, subsequently, received his MBA from Wagner in 2014. Upon graduating, he joined the New York Road Runners where he currently assists in race day timing and operations working behind the scenes of several events including the infamous New York City Marathon. When not talking about or playing on the pitch, you'll find Matt on a golf course. His love of athletics runs deep as he is most interested in participating in the development of young aspiring athletes looking to perfect their skill while enjoying the game.

Ra Ung

Ra Ung

Role:

Travel Team Supervisor

Email:

ra.ung@supersoccerstars.com

A New Zealand native, Ra was selected to the U17 National Team developement squad at the age of 13. He played in the semi-pro league for both Upper Hutt City, Lower Hutt City & Nae Nae Soccer Club before relocated to USA in 2008. Since leaving Super Soccer Stars in 2010 (where he was a very popular Senior Head Coach!) Ra spent 7 years at Manhattan Soccer Cub where he was Head coach of U14 Boys and U13 Girls. Ra's teams competed in the EDP and Westchester Youth League Premier leagues. In Spring 2015 Ra led his U14 boys to the New York Cup State Championship and his team reached the final in the Fall 2015 EDP Cup. Ra is the Program Director for Uptown Soccer Academy, a community-based soccer program for under-funded neighborhoods. He is also the Assistant Men's Soccer Coach at John Jay College Criminal of Justice where his team made it to Semis first time since 2006 last Spring. Ra holds the coveted NSCAA Premier coaching Diploma and will be completing his UEFA license in 2017

Robb Stephenson

Robb Stephenson

Role:

Stars Premier Manager

Email:

lapremier@supersoccerstars.com

Robb grew up in small-town Texas and began playing soccer at a young age. His family traveled hundreds of miles to access quality clubs and leagues in larger cities around his home town. As a youth player, Robb was part of the High Plains Drifters soccer club and participated in the regional ODP program. While part of the High Plains Drifters, Robb traveled to the Netherlands to play when he was 15. Injuries and burnout caused him to hang his boots up when he was 19. Robb began coaching youth teams when he was only 15 and received his first coaching license when he was 16. After graduating from West Texas A&M University with a degree in Engineering Technology, he moved to Los Angeles. While in LA, Robb began coaching the Girls’ Varsity team at Pomona High School. During his time there he led the team to 3 league championships and was selected to coach the Inland Empire All-Star team. Robb joined Super Soccer Stars in 2011 and has coached over 2,500 classes with the organization. In 2013 he became the Premier Coordinator and helped to grow LA Stars Premier to what it is today. Robb has been lucky enough to travel with Super Soccer Stars and Round Star Foundation to Brazil (2014) and Zimbabwe (2018) with their Building Soccer Bridges program. He helped lead teams of coaches to help train over 150 local educators to become soccer coaches. Currently, Robb holds a USSF E license, the CIF/NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching license, the CIF/ASEP Coaching Principles certification, the NSCAA Advanced National license as well as the NSCAA Director of Coaching certification.

Marian Michelon

Marian Michelon

Role:

Stars Premier Coaching Coordinator/Head Coach

Email:

marian.michelon@supersoccerstars.com

Originally from Brazil, Marian competed professionally in her home country as well as travelled to many different regions while playing. She came to the US and played for both Louisiana State University and Northwood University. After college she began coaching at Northwood University before she moved onto lead the women’s club program at Ohio University. While coaching the women’s team at Ohio University, Marian received her Master’s Degree in Coaching Education with an emphasis in Soccer Coaching. Marian holds the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma along with numerous Brazilian coaching certifications. With her extensive experience working with players of all ages in the US and Brazil, Marian will bring and exciting blend of Brazilian and US coaching techniques to Stars Premier.

Jairo Aceituno

Jairo Aceituno

Role:

Assistant Coach (2011 Taurus)

Email:

Coach Jairo grew up in a challenging neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles where the love and passion for soccer outweighs some of the difficulties of the area. Influenced by his struggle and surroundings, Jairo put all his attention on soccer. His hard work and effort eventually paid off when he made the youth LA Galaxy squad. This allowed him to travel and train from some of the best professionals in the area. Due to injuries, his career was cut short; however, he now focuses on the next generation of soccer players. Jairo graduated from California State University of Fullerton. He worked as a personal trainer for goalkeepers and individuals who played defensive positions. Jairo starting working for Super Soccer Stars in 2017 and has developed within the company as a Head Coach. Jairo works hard to evolve his players mentally and skill wise.

Arshak Cherkezyan

Arshak Cherkezyan

Role:

Head Coach (2009 Apus)

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 and 2012 Black)

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)

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.

Jaylon Griffith

Jaylon Griffith

Role:

Assistant Coach (2009 Perseus)

Email:

Jaylon’s first soccer memory began in a neighborhood soccer park where her mother decided to sign her up to play in a recreational soccer league. “I just love how cute they are in their little uniforms”, she says. From that day on Jaylon was a force to reckon with on the field. She was recruited to play travel soccer with Indy Burn and also played for Carmel FC in Indianapolis, IN. On both teams she won multiple championships, individual awards and most importantly bragging rights. She also began playing high school soccer at Pike High school winning MVP, Honor Roll, All State-Team, All- district, and Defensive player of the year in her four years. She was also committed to playing basketball and volleyball. The Midwest native attended the University of Missouri- St. Louis where she graduated with her Bachelor’s in Marketing with a Minor in Advertising and also had the pleasure of leading her team to the NCAA division two championship 2 years in a row. Jaylon is super excited to be back on the field in a different role. Making her coaching debut with Stars Premier, Jaylon is excited to bring her love of the game to the program…. and snag a couple of championship trophies with the premier team while she’s at it!

Peter Marafatsos

Peter Marafatsos

Role:

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

Email:

Nicholas Peters

Nicholas Peters

Role:

Head Coach (2011 Taurus and 2012 Orange)

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.

Ray Stellhorn

Ray Stellhorn

Role:

Goalkeeper Trainer (Venice)

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.

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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