Soccer Smart USA are delighted to welcome two of its newest staff of members to the Soccer Smart Team. Former Champions League player and Gibraltar international Anthony Bardon brings a wealth of experience and knowledge on the international stage to our team. He was born in London, England but made an early move to Dallas Texas where during his high school years he represented Solar, Dallas Texans and the DFW tornadoes. Following his successful graduation from a US Soccer Scholarship he went on to play professionally for Bromley and Barnet in the UK. Anthony finally made his move to a top tier team by signing for the Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar (find out how you can play here too) with whom he has enjoyed endless success, winning 3 league titles in 4 years and playing Champions and Europa League fixtures. If that wasn't enough he represented Gibraltar on the international stage playing against the worlds best teams including; Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Croatia and others!
We'd also like to extend a warm welcome to former goalkeeper Zach Downes. Zach recently finished his playing career and has now set his commitment on helping others travel the world and expand their careers through playing abroad, just like he did.
Downes started his collegiate career with a US Soccer Scholarship at NCAA Division II Midwestern State before transferring to NCAA D-I Western Illinois. After injury, he closed out his collegiate soccer career at the University of Tampa, a NCAA D-II program where he earned first team all-conference and all-region honors. He also played with fc dallas development and the US u17-u23 national team. Consequently, his career was followed by stints with Arizona United, San Antonio FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies and made the leap into the MLS with the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC. In his last year as a professional, he played in the Mongolian first division with Bayangol FC followed by a stint in Chinese football. Whilst in Asia he set the record for 22 saves in a professional game, had 14 shutouts in 26 games played and finished with 134 saves.
Zach also has vast experience in coaching and holds his USSF B coaching license and all NSCAA goalkeeping 1,2, and 3 licenses. Whilst playing in Asia, and despite being named the best goalkeeper there, he also acted as the assistant coach for the Mongolian Sr mens national team. He was a part of the U.S. Market training centers and currently works for Solar Development Academy as Goalkeeper Director and Player/Coaching Development. In addition, he works with the U14 - U20 USA national teams boys and girls goalkeepers' during his summers works part-time with the Texas United PDL coaching staff.
We are delighted to have both Anthony and Zach on board and have no doubt their experience and knowledge will help many players further their careers either in the US or abroad.