LISC diversifies its players online experience through a multitude of guest speakers at the professional and collegiate level who help guide players through sharing their perspectives as well as answering questions in real time.
Boys Director John Fitzgerald had this to say about the guest speakers LISC offers: “We are directly connecting our players with high level professional athletes from our local community on Long Island. Our teams have the unique ability to communicate and ask questions that help further their understanding of the character and dedication it takes to be successful in both high level soccer and life.”
Girls Associate Director Shannon Neely Nole stated, “The biggest reason to initiate guest speakers for our players is the diversity of content they get to experience, as well as the exposure to the extremely talented, special young women who are leaders and examples of what many of our players aspire to be. They are able to interact, ask questions, gain perspective, and the experience gives our players the ability to see where their ambition and goals can take them.”
Special Topic: “Having a Plan B and Next Steps”
Kotschau is a local player, who played youth soccer in Hicksville for our very own John Fitzgerald. He has had a successful 10 year career in the MLS . He spoke to LISC teams on life after playing college/pro soccer. How they should always have a plan b and know “what’s next” and how they can continue on even when they are no longer playing at a high level.
Special Topic: “Hard Work and Humility”
Parker is also a local Long Island player who played collegiately for St. John’s University. He was a three-time NSCAA All-Region selection and earned first team All-Big East honors his junior year and second team All-Big East honors his sophomore season. Tim was also a Big-East All-Rookie selection his freshman year, while helping St. John’s win the 2011 Big East Tournament. He is currently a center back at the NY Red Bulls in the MLS. Parker spoke to the teams on the importance of being the hardest worker at all times every single day and how staying humble throughout their careers is a staple for success.
Special Topic: Tough Truths and Reality Checks
Sean Nealis is from Massapequa and he attended Hofstra University, where he was a member of the varsity soccer team for four years. Nealis is a well rounded, relatable, multi-sport athlete who now plays for the NY Red Bulls in the MLS. He offered his insight to the LISC teams on how it’s good to push towards your dreams but also keep reality in your mind. He reminded them the amount of time, commitment, hard work, and dedication it takes to be successful and make it to the pros.
Special Topic: The College Process
Radcliffe spent 20 years as the head boys’ varsity soccer coach at Island Trees, and has spent seven seasons as a member of the Hofstra Men’s Soccer coaching staff. He is also a New York State ODP Coach. He spoke about the college process and was very insightful in helping to further players’ understanding of the recruiting process of college soccer.
Special Topic: The High Achieving Competitive Mindset
An Orlando Pride Midfielder, Viggiano plays in the NWSL. She formerly played at Northwestern University and was named to the Big Ten All Freshman Team and ranks second all-time in program assists with 20. Viggiano spoke to the teams and shared much insight into the mindset you need to succeed in soccer.
Special Topic: Balancing College Soccer and Academics
Clara Gastaldi graduated from Fordham University, she was the 2019 valedictorian of the Gabelli School of business. A three year starter for the Ram’s, Gastaldi was named to the Google Cloud/CoSIDA Academic All-District I Team and twice to the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team. A four year High School Dean’s List honoree and member of the National Honor Society and French Honor Society. Clara helped players understand how to balance academics and athletics with time management.
Special Topic: Professional Playing Experience and Q&A
Mandy Freeman is starting her third season as a defender for Sky Blue in the NWSL. Following an impressive collegiate career that included winning the 2016 National Championship, Freeman was drafted as the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NWSL draft. Prior to her time at Southern California, the Florida native achieved a decorated youth career in soccer and Track & Field, in addition to her participation on the U-17, U-20 and U-23 United States National Teams.