Stephen Swanger | Goalkeeper Director
I choose to coach at Eagleclaw FC because I believe that its objectives and desires for developing players is unique and much needed in the US soccer landscape. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a club that is defined by its playing style, and with the relationship that Eagleclaw has with Valencia that style is not only refected in our players, but also at Valenia clubs around the world.
When I first moved to this area there was only one club that I would work for, and that was Eagleclaw FC. As an educator myself, Eagleclaw's focus on education was a huge part of my desire to work here. Most clubs will say that they "value education" and have USSF and USC licenses. However, these clubs just leave the coach hanging out to dry becoming their own little expert in their own little world so to speak. Creating session plans, styles, formations, etc with no adherence to the club's core.
Education at Eagleclaw actually means that players and coaches are on the same page understanding a consistent playing style throughout Eagleclaw and across the world. Learning this curriculum and methodology is challenging, more profound, and the expectations from the club, higher. Moreover, knowing that each team trains the same way around the world gives me confidence in having a global coaching network to support me and grow as a coach for the benefit of our students.
I am proud to be a part of the Eagleclaw community now for 4 years on and am commited to seeing us grow as the leader for soccer here in the Seattle area.
My coaching philosophy
I am giving back to the game that has given me with so much joy and opportunity around the world. My hope is that players that work with me discover in training the knowledge, skills, and goal-setting abilities to help them to successfully continue in the sport at the highest level as well as to create pathways by which they can be healthy contributing members of the community beyond the training grounds and give back to the game in some way themselves.
Stephen Swanger was raised traveling the world as the son of a military officer and was afforded opportunities to play all over the US. Stephen played 1 year at college before testing his luck in Chile where he was discovered playing at a local park and was introduced to Jorge Garces who was the new coach of 2nd division Provinicial Osorno. Garces assisted Stephen gain a contract and was with the Toros as they made the Finals of Copa Chile and were promoted to the 1st division. After some moving around of clubs, Stephen landed at La Union Española where he trained under Nelson Acosta and alongside MLS legend Jorge Dely Valdez of Panama.
After the departure of Acosta, Stephen trained at Talca Rangers, played with Santiago Morning, and then finally after a brief stint and a stomach illness, he made a departure from Chile. Stephen was a trialist at Melgar of Arequipa, Peru, Bolivar of La Paz, Bolivia, and then landed in Cochabamba, Bolovia to train under the guidance of Chi Chi Romero and Dimitrio Angola of the Bolivian national team. The league went on strike in 1993 and Stephen moved to Colorado to work until things were sorted out with league. However, while working contruction Stephen had an accident and broke mulitple ribs, knee cap, cuncussion, and severely broke his arm, leaving it permanantly disabled.
Stephen was then accepted into the University of Colorado where he graduated with a degree in Spanish Literature. After graduation at the age of 27, Stephen joined the US Army, studied at the Defense Language Institute, and served as a Russian Linguist during the Kosovo conflict. While studying Russian in Tver, Russina, Stephen was able to play in local semi-pro league. Upon return to the US. Stephen was selected to play for the US Army team and competed in the all-forces tournament.
At 31 Stephen began coaching by working as the club coach for the University of Colorado, then worked in Valle de Bravo, Mexico at Pumas’ Academy. When he moved to Philadelphia in 2002 Stephen coached for Frankford High School and Germantown Academy unitl 2008 and during that time earned a Masters in Education from La Salle University.
In 2009 Stephen moved to Colorado and was the head coach for Conifer High School. in 2010 Stephen now 42, fell ill with Guillain Barré Syndrome and would take a long stint recovering from the paralysis caused by the loss of myelin of GBS. Stephen got back to coaching, working as a private coach and worked as a head coach at Lake Wales High School in Florida, and the JV coach at the Blue Ridge School in Virginia and moved to Tacoma, Wasshington in 2015.
Since starting his goalkeeping academy in 2016 Stephen Swanger has trained hundreds of goalkeepers throughout The Pacific Northwest, Montana, and Hawai, China, Aragentina. Stephen is the Goalkeeper Trainer for Eagleclaw FC. With a Masters degree in education, fluency in Spanish and a student of the game, he brings passion and unique insights to the goalkeeping position and uses proven pedagogical learning and teaching methods in his intruction.
All Army Soccer Team 1999
Semi professional contract -Club Provincial Osorno 1992
Extended Trials and Loans
Chile - Club La Union Española, Huachipato, Talca Rangers, Santiago Morning
Bolivia - Club Wilsterman, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Peru - Club Melgar, Arequipa, Peru
SoccerPlus Camp Director 2021 - Gig Harbor and Renton, Bellevue College Women's Soccer Team, GK Coach
Eagleclaw FC, Tukwila, Washington, GK Director
Southlake SC, Renton, Washington, GK Director
Everton Summer Camp, Future Lions Football Academy (Kettering Town FC) - Shantou, China : Bringing my 11 year-old son with me to China is the highlight of my young goalkeeping academy so far.
Striker-Keeper Camp with Amadou Sanyang of Eagleclaw and Seattle Sounders FC - Whitefish, Montana
Striker-Keeper camp with Alex Megson of Tacoma Stars - Gig Harbor, Washington
Striker - Keeper Camp with James Riley of Seattle Sounders FC - Renton, Washington
Goalkeeper Camp with Ray Newland, founder of Just 4 Keepers, Everton FC
NSC Montana High School pre-season camp with JP Verhees, Kalispell, Montana
Bainbridge Island FC, Goalkeeper Coach
Goalkeeper Academy partner, NorTac Soccer Club, Tacoma, WA.
North Kitsap Soccer Club, Goalkeeper Coach Poulsbo, WA
Goalkeeper Clinics; Duval, Lacey, Tacoma, Olympia, Tukwila, Renton
Goalkeeper agent/liason Buenos Aires, Argentina
Goalkeeper Coach, Esteban Pogany Escuela de Arqueros (Former National GK director for Argentina FA) Banfield CF, Quilmes CF, Boca Juniors - Buenos Aires, Argentina
High School Preseason Goalkeeper Camp, Kauai, Hawaii
Goalkeeper Clinic, Bigfork Bandits, Bigfork, Montana
Goalkeeper Coach, Just 4 Keepers National Id Camp, Pennsylvania
Goalkeeper Coaching Director, Just 4 Keepers Camp, Gig Harbor, Washington
Goalkeeper Coaching Director, Just 4 Keepers Camp, Renton, Washington
Goalkeeper Clinic, Fircrest Soccer Club, Fircrest, Washington
Goalkeeper Coaching Director, Just 4 Keepers Camp, Vancouver, Washington
Goalkeeper Coaching Director, Winter indoor camp, MISA, Missoula, Montana
Masters in Education and Curriculum Development, and additional certifications at the post-graduate level that includes coursework in kinesiology.
Head Coach University of Colorado Club Team
Head Coach University of Montana Club Team
Head High School Coach 4 years
Assistant coach 10 years
15 years in classroom teaching
Level 2 NSCAA Goalkeeping