PONTIAC, Mich., May 10, 2018 – Nationals is excited to announce that Kai Edwards has been hired as the club’s new Girls’ Development Academy (DA) Technical Director and Coach. Edwards joins Nationals after being at University of Michigan as the Assistant Coach and Director of Recruiting for their women’s soccer program, the most recent of his 14 years in women’s college soccer. In addition, Edwards has experience in club soccer as the Girls ECNL Director, Coaching Director and Head Coach at Sereno Soccer Club in Phoenix AZ. He also coached at the Mustang Soccer Club in Danville CA, where he trained multiple National team members, achieved success as ECNL National Champions (2010) and had five ECNL teams ranked in the top 10 in the U.S.
Over the last few months, Edwards has assisted with training the Nationals Girls DA program, and he looks forward to his new permanent role. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with these young ladies and Nationals as a whole. The club members, coaches, directors, and families have been very welcoming. The brand of soccer that Nationals aim to play is in line with my philosophies which makes for a great partnership. My wife and I are excited to join the club and get the ball rolling.”
Edwards has coached over 20 players that have been to youth national team camps along with two members of the 2015 U.S. World Cup champion squad, Whitney Engen and Christen Press (coached as youth). In addition, he has coached 6 Canadian internationals, 6 other National team members and 4 players who have played in a youth World Cup. He attained his U.S.S.F. A license in 2005 and is also licensed as a Franz Hoek Dutch Trainer.
“Given Kai’s extensive background in women’s soccer, he will be instrumental in taking our Girls DA players and teams to the next level. Adding Kai to our staff is essential in meeting the club’s commitment to continuous development of our players,” said Gronthik Chatterjee, Nationals Girls DA Director. “Nationals is entering its second year in the Girls DA and adding Kai to our team is a distinct advantage for the experiences of our players, families and club.”
What They’re Saying About Edwards …
“I've enjoyed getting to know Kai through working camps and sharing a sideline while coaching. What I appreciate most about Kai is his deep desire to help every player thrive and love the game. His energy and passion will be a great asset to the Nationals club.” [Brandi Chastain, 1999 World Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist]
“Of all the coaches I have had throughout my soccer career, Kai is by far one of the most influential. He has always been genuinely supportive and nurturing and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. These qualities not only allowed me to trust him as a coach, but also pushed me to get out of my head and out of my comfort zone. Coach Kai was imperative to my development as a player.” [Ryan Walker, National team player pool U15, U17, U18, U20; Stanford two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention (2014, 2016), played in 82 of 91 games during her collegiate career]
“A tremendous coach with the skills and reputation to develop players for the highest levels!!” [Karla Thompson, U.S. Soccer Coaching Educator national staff]
“Nationals has picked wisely by appointing Kai Edwards as the TD for the DA program. Kai is at the forefront of long-term technical development and has been for as long as I have known him. He’s a guy who is always learning and is eager to bestow his vast wealth of knowledge onto players. This is a real coup for Nationals. Kai is one of the best out there.” [David Copeland-Smith, Founder, Beast Mode Soccer]
“Without a doubt, Kai is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. He challenged me every day to push my limits and not accept anything less than my best. His intensity, passion, and joy for coaching made playing for him that much more enjoyable. Kai has helped tremendously with not only preparing me for national camps, but with also getting me recruited. From his short time coaching in Arizona, Kai has greatly impacted my teammates and I both on and off the field. He is definitely an asset for any program.” [Brianna “Sammi” Atterbury, WNT U14, U17, U18, U19; University of Michigan soccer 2018]
“Having coached with and against Kai Edwards for many years, I can say that I know him well, both as a coach and as a person. Kai is both a great student and teacher of the game. Kai has a very high soccer IQ. His depth of knowledge when it comes to scouting, training, tactical adjustments, and most importantly, development, is top notch. Additionally, Kai has a great outgoing personality and is a very engaging communicator. Kai Edwards will have a great impact with Nationals and many coaches, parents, and players will greatly benefit from his experience and direction.” [Jerry Smith, Santa Clara University, NCAA champion, former U20 national team coach]
“I have known Kai for numerous years and he has always shown the ability to develop players to maximize their potential. Kai is always looking to better his players and himself, and he is a coach that will help the whole Nationals program grow on the field and in gaining college opportunities along with the very best being prepared for the national level. I look forward to seeing what Kai brings to the Nationals programs and I know he will do a great job.” [Gary Curneen, Asst Coach Chicago Red Stars NWSL]