Often regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Dutch International and former F.C. Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard will join the staff of the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (S.I.M.A.) as Official Ambassador and Advisor of Player Development. While coaching at F.C. Barcelona, Rijkaard worked with some of the most talented players in the world such as Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o, and Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho Gaucho.
As a player, Rijkaard began his professional playing career in the Netherlands where he debuted for AFC Ajax at just 17 years of age. Throughout his career at Ajax, Frank won multiple league titles in addition to winning the Cup Winner's Cup in 1987. After a 7 year period playing for Ajax, Rijkaard made the move to Real Zaragoza in Spain. After his time at Zaragoza, Rijkaard was bought by Italian powerhouse A.C. Milan, which served as a springboard to the next level of his promising career. While at Milan, Frank moved from the center back position into a defensive midfield role and was an integral part of one of the greatest teams of all time. During his time at Milan, Rijkaard was a finalist for the Ballon D'or in 1988 and 1989, and won two UEFA European Champions League titles. After 5 years playing in Italy, Rijkaard moved back to Ajax in the Netherlands to finish his career in his home country. He continues to be discussed among the world's greats and was named one of the top 125 players ever to play the game by Brazilian superstar, Pele.
At the conclusion of his playing career, Rijkaard remained in the game as a coach and landed his first head job in 1998 as the Senior Coach of the Dutch National Team. After leading the Netherlands to the semifinals of the European Championships in 2000, Rijkaard had a brief stint at Sparta Rotterdam. He would then make the move to Spanish giants F.C. Barcelona for the 2003-2004 season. Having not won a trophy since 1999, Barcelona was looking for a manager to get the storied side back in the title hunt. Rijkaard did just that, and in his second and third season, F.C. Barcelona won the league championship, "La Liga". Barcelona won more hardware under the Rijkaard regime as they won the UEFA Champions League Trophy in 2006. With the victory, Frank Rijkaard became the fifth coach in history to win the UEFA Champions League as a player and as a coach. In 2006, Rijkaard was also named UEFA Manager of the Year and World's Best Club Coach by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) . At the end of the 2008 campaign at Barcelona having worked with some of the best players in the world, Rijkaard stepped down as manager and has since worked with Galatasaray in Turkey and the National Team of Saudi Arabia over the past 4 years.
Frank's role on staff as Official Ambassador and Advisor of Player Development will provide an exclusive and once in a lifetime experience to all trainees at the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy, continuously working towards the overall institutional goal of building young people of Character, Community, and Knowledge.
The soccer program at Montverde Academy is unique in that we are a true family where everyone is accepted as equals no matter the age or circumstance. As a coach, I try to create an environment of competitive brotherhood everyday on and off the field and allow my boys the right to dream. Too often in this world, we hear the words "can't" or "won't" and in our program, I challenge each student athlete to believe in their dreams and it is my job to show them how to get there through intense training, sacrifice, and most importantly teaching the game as a lifestyle not simply just a season. The ultimate purpose behind what we do is teaching about life through sport and Montverde Academy provides the exact forum necessary for success at any level.
- Head Coach and Director of The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy
Soccer is the world's game. It has the power to build nations, the ability to connect people from all walks of life, has inspired the generations of the past, and continues to serve as a beacon of hope for the lives of the future.
The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy is an educational and athletic endeavor aimed to help promote "the beautiful game" by providing a challenging and competitive forum to teach the sport of soccer to all who demonstrate a passion to play. Focusing on the physical, technical, tactical, and psychological pillars of the game, the soccer institute is part of a school wide initiative to build character, knowledge, and community within those who share the desire to practice their passion.
Montverde Academy has had 48 scholarship athletes in the last three years.
From the most basic training concepts to complex tactical understanding, the coaching staff at the soccer institute has the experience, knowledge, and ability to work with athletes of all age ranges and all skill levels. With a concentrated focus placed first and foremost on development, the philosophy of the program revolves around hard work, dedication, proper instruction, and improvement using the sport of soccer as a vehicle to teach not only about the game on the field but, most importantly about the "game of life" off it.
For the past 100 years, Montverde Academy has offered a world class education to students from the United States and throughout the world. The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy falls directly in line with our mission as an educational institution with the primary focus for all participants on academic excellence first, athletic excellence second.
Since 2010, the Montverde Academy Soccer Program has consistently been recognized among the nation’s best developmental soccer programs, with every senior obtaining a college scholarship to play soccer at the collegiate level. In just three years, the soccer program at Montverde Academy has produced 24 NCAA Division I level athletes, and 48 scholarship athletes across all levels of the college game. In 2011, Oumar Diakhite was the first student athlete in the history of the soccer program to forego his collegiate career to sign a professional contract at 18 years of age with the Orlando City Lions of the United Soccer Leagues.
The secret to the success of the soccer program at Montverde Academy up until this point lies within our philosophy of teaching the game as a lifestyle, not simply just a season. Here at Montverde Academy, I encourage each and every individual to believe in themselves and their dreams, and then show them how to get there through sacrifice and hard work. Far too many times in life, we hear the words "can't" and "won't", when here at the Academy, we believe in the words "can" and "will."
Mike Potempa began as Head Coach of the Montverde Academy Boys Soccer Program in January of 2010. In only his first season, Potempa led the Eagles to their first undefeated season in school history with a final overall record of 26 wins, 0 losses, and 1 draw. As a result, the Eagles managed to finish the season recognized as the #1 team in Central Florida according to the Orlando Sentinel, the #1 team in the State of Florida by ESPN, and crowned 2010-11 National Champions by ESPN Rise Magazine and the Powerade Fab 50.
In 2012, under Potempa's leadership, the Eagles were once again recognized as the best high school soccer program in the United States by MaxPreps.com with a final overall record of 23 wins, 0 losses, and 4 draws. For the second consecutive year, every Senior in the class of 2012 received an athletic scholarship to NCAA and NAIA institutions including an unprecedented nine Division I signings. The 2012 school year also proved to be a historic moment as Oumar Diakhite became the first student athlete from the Montverde Academy Soccer Program to sign a professional contract at 18 years old to play for the Orlando City Lions of the USL.
In 2013, Montverde Academy was named consensus #1 National Champions by the NSCAA, Elite Soccer Report, and MaxPreps.com with a final overall record of 25 wins, 0 losses, and 1 draw. For the third consecutive year, the entire graduating Class of 2013 received athletic specific scholarships to play at the next level including the program's first ever ACC scholarship commitments.
As a player, Potempa is a former U.S. National Team member at the Under-17, Under-18, and Under-20 levels and represented the United States in the 1995 FIFA Under-17 Youth World Cup in Quito, Ecuador. He was a three time All-American and captain at Clemson University helping lead the Tigers to an ACC Championship in 1998. Potempa was the first male soccer player in program history to be recognized as an academic and athletic All-American in the same year and remains one of only 15 student athletes at Clemson University to accomplish this impressive double. Potempa was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in the 2001 MLS Superdraft, but was forced into early retirement due to injuries.
As a coach, Potempa holds a USSF "A" license and spent seven years as a Division I college coach at his alma mater. While at Clemson University, Potempa coached in the 2005 College Cup Final Four, and worked with over 20 student athletes who eventually went on to play professionally in Major League Soccer and abroad in Europe. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Montverde Academy after having spent 10 years coaching at the high school and club levels prior to his return to Division I college soccer. Since Potempa's first season in 2010, the Eagles have witnessed an overall record of 74 wins, 0 losses, and 6 draws, which currently stands as the longest unbeaten streak in the nation according to the Elite Soccer Report. Most recently, Potempa was named 2012-13 National Federation of High School Association (NFHS) Coach of the Year and 2013 Bright House Sports Coach of the Year after the Eagles went unbeaten against local, regional, and national competition.
In July, 2011, Potempa was named Director of Athletics by Dr. Kasey C. Kesselring, Headmaster. In addition to his AD and coaching responsibilities, Mike has also taught 7th and 8th grade English in the Middle School Division at Montverde Academy. Potempa graduated from Clemson University in 2001 with a degree in Business and Marketing.
Alex Prostko has been a coach at all levels of the game. From the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2012, he was an assistant coach at Clemson University in the Atlantic Coast Conference where in his three years, he worked with several student athletes who moved on to play professional soccer in leagues around the world. Coaching at the youth level, Prostko has helped develop numerous young athletes into collegiate soccer players while also advising them on their path to success at the highest level. Through his numerous connections with professional clubs abroad, Prostko continues to arrange training sessions, trials, and matches for young American players at professional clubs throughout the United States and Europe. In just his first year as an assistant coach at Montverde Academy, the Eagles were consensus #1 National Champions across the board as they completed their third consecutive undefeated season. Prostko graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a B.S. degree in Teaching and believes that education is the key to success in the professional world no matter what profession you decide to pursue.
Peter Davis begins his first year at Montverde Academy by way of the University of Florida where he was the head goalkeeper coach for the varsity soccer program. At Florida, he not only assisted and developed goalkeepers, but was part of a program that was able to win the SEC regular season and tournament title en route to the "Sweet Sixteen" of the NCAA Tournament in 2012. Prior to arriving at the University of Florida, Peter was the graduate assistant goalkeeper coach for Mercer University from 2010 to 2011. During his time at Mercer, he trained, developed, and monitored the progress of the goalkeepers, but was also in charge of the implementation and organization of team training sessions, scouting, and coordinator of community service projects and recruiting. A native of Seneca, S.C., Peter played collegiate soccer at Spartanburg Methodist and at USC Upstate and was named a team captain in three of the four years as a player. Davis holds several coaching licenses through the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), including the highest goalkeeping certification. Peter received his B.S. degree in Sports Management from USC Upstate in 2009 and his Master's degree in Education from Mercer University in December 2011.
The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (S.I.M.A.) is an elite level soccer specific training experience for anyone who possesses the passion to challenge themselves at the highest level both academically and athletically. Located near Orlando, Florida, S.I.M.A. is a program offered by Montverde Academy to its diverse population of enrolled students on campus from the United States and around the world. From world class facilities to elite level coaching, The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy provides a professional training environment for any passionate athlete with the desire to work hard and improve. Students registered with the soccer institute will complete a full academic workload in the classroom on a daily basis at Montverde Academy prior to their athletic specific training schedule in the afternoons and evenings. Academic standards must be met in order to participate in the soccer institute as the combination and balance of academics and athletics must always be maintained. Success will only be measured by development with the end result residing in an opportunity to play at a higher level and continue to make your passion a career.
The training environment at The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy is focused 100% on player development. While match results will always play an intricate role in the process for development, it will never be used to judge the success of any one program. All participants enrolled at the soccer institute will be exposed to the technical, tactical, physical, and psychological pillars of the game at the highest level on a daily basis to develop the proper mindset and understanding that soccer at the highest level is a lifestyle, not simply a season. It is our belief that the work done on the training ground makes the difference between a good player and a great player, and the difference between a great player and the best player. We believe that a comprehensive, well designed training program year around, coupled with a passion for the game, proper instruction, and a desire to work harder than anyone else is the correct formula for effective player development. Every participant enrolled at The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy will realize the desired results if they approach the challenge with the correct mentality and utilize the unlimited resources available at Montverde Academy.
The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy is a year-round training experience that coincides with the demanding academic schedule at Montverde Academy. Our Elite Level Training Program will offer the following to any participant interested in practicing their passion:
The Strength and Conditioning Program at Montverde Academy goes well beyond the weight room. Our goal is to work with all athletes as soon as they arrive on campus to assess their individual physical needs as well as provide performance testing to know how to best prepare them for their sport.
The Strength and Conditioning Department works closely with the coaching staff of the institute to determine the team needs as well as the individual needs of the athletes. One of the major goals the program is to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries so that athletes can be on the field or court for every day. The staff also works closely with all medical staff including athletic trainers, school nurses, doctors physical therapist and any other medical professionals that are working with the athletes. This allows us to can create a comprehensive plan to best suit each and every athlete. In addition to the weight room, we work closely with the athletes and the coaches on other aspects of high-performance sport which may include nutrition, flexibility, mobility and nutrition. Our program takes a multi- year approach to develop athletes for collegiate athletics as well as beyond to develop long healthy athletic careers and to do this through training and education.
To create a world class training facility and environment based upon high performance strength, conditioning, nutrition and recovery training in addition to educating and preparing student athletes for successful collegiate athletic careers and beyond.
As Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Montverde Academy, Tim Crowley brings a wide range of athletic, coaching, and training experience. Over the past 25 years, Tim has developed several high-level performance training facilities and has worked with amateur and professional athletes in virtually every sport. His athletes have won multiple national and world championships, including two national championships at Montverde Academy in his first year with the boys varsity soccer and basketball programs. Coach Crowley was a member of the 2008 US Olympic triathlon coaching staff and has been a member of the USA Triathlon National Team coaching staff for the past five years. He was the 2007 USA Triathlon development Coach of the Year, and the 2009 USA Triathlon Elite Coach of the Year. Tim holds several coaching licenses with USA Triathlon and USA Cycling, and holds certifications with National Strength and Conditioning Association and National Academy of Sports Medicine. Tim will be responsible for designing individual and team conditioning programs, overseeing all rehabilitation programs, conducting nutritional awareness seminars, and fitness education classes for student athletes at all division levels at The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy.
The new Strength and Conditioning facility which is housed in the new Montverde Academy Center for Sportsmanship and Wellness is a state of the art team training facility. It was designed to optimally train all MVA athletic teams. The facility has 8 fully outfitted power racks, each with a TRX suspension system, 45 and 15 lb. Olympic and, hex bars and adjustable bench.An indoor turf training space is essential for both movement training and conditioning. The Keiser 6-pack is a pneumatic cable system used by many professional teams and is the only strength equipment that can be used for both rehab and power development. There is also a Keiser runner which is used for both injured athletes and conditioning. It simulated a sprinting motion and displays power output in max and avg. The facility also contains 2 full sets of dumbbells as well as 5 sets of power blocks, 3 Ultraslide sideboards, 8 mini slides, 6 Keiser M2 bikes and awide assortment of medicine balls and bands.
The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy trains on a beautifully manicured 120' x 80' Bermuda grass surface. Since matches are played on the stadium field, the practice facility provides a perfect surface for training sessions in order to prepare for the next level.
Montverde Academy has not been just a high school for me, but my home as well. The fact that I lived here by myself for three years has allowed me to mature incredibly fast. Athletically, it has been an amazing experience to be part of this program because I believe it has completely prepared me for my life at the next level in college. I have learned a lot academically, athletically, and about life during my three years. I am very thankful for the opportunity.
I have attended Montverde Academy for 2 years, and it was an excellent experience for me. I will always remember the time I spent here, the friends I made, and the different cultures I have learned. Montverde Academy helped me become a better soccer player, a better student, and most importantly, a better person. I am very thankful to Montverde Academy for all it has shown me as I move on to my career in college.
Montverde Academy has taught me to value my education. I know that soccer can be taken from me at any moment, but I will have my education for the rest of my life and no one can take that away from me. This school has made me a much better person as I was surrounded by amazing teachers and coaches who brought the best out of me. I have built relationships with teammates that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Montverde Academy provided a foundation for my success not just as a soccer player, but as a person. I gained a lot of friends and, most importantly, a new family.
Montverde Academy has given me a lot of opportunities. My first year has been very important for my life as I have learned the English language, I have become more responsible, and I have grown as a player and, most importantly, as a person.
My time at Montverde Academy changed me as a soccer player but, most importantly, as a man. I learned to be patient, courageous, and grateful. I met extraordinary people and learned from one of the best coaches in the world today. I'm thankful for every single minute I spent at Montverde Academy and my new family.
My three year journey at Montverde Academy has been absolutely unbelievable for me. I have grown as a person; more mature, responsible, and confident. Through soccer, and my outstanding coaches pushing me to the limit every day mentally and physically, I have come to understand hard work and dedication. Through the academics and guidelines you must live by here, I have learned how to manage my time and it has definitely provided a solid foundation for adulthood.