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Succes Stories for AYSO United Players, by Conor Ward

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Succes Stories for AYSO United Players, by Conor Ward

We are excited to share some updates and success stories on our AYSO United players that have gone through the program.

Two of our players from AYSO United AZ moved on to full time men’s teams. The progession of these two players into a full-time envrioment demonstrates the great work of AYSO United AZ Director of Coaching, Ed Alameda is doing. This is why we’re involved in the game, to help our players progress to the next level in their development.

Jonathon Alegria – Current FC Arizona, formerly with AYSO United AZ under Coach Ed Alameda.

Jonathon Alegria is currently working with Dave Rogers at FC Arizona, who had a great 20-year playing career, playing over 500 games in England, Scotland, Netherlands, and Ireland. Winning 4 league titles and playing over 50 UEFA Champions League and Europa League games.


Dave’s coaching career speaks for itself; he holds UEFA Pro license badges and in 2013 he became the Liverpool FC International Academy Manager. He also was the manager of the Indian Super League and held the position as Assistant  Manager for the Indian National Team.

I had the chance to catch up with Dave and ask about his thoughts on the combine and Jonathon’s progress;

Q) What value do you see for young AYSO United players (15-18 years-old) attending the professional showcases being run by PSC?

The chance to be coached and educated in a professional environment which allows the players to embrace different styles and cultures is very important whilst also developing relationships and platforms to enhance the opportunity to progress as players at a higher level.

Q) What advice would you give to any young player looking to go into the professional game? (Environment, exposure, dedication etc) 

It’s important that any aspiring young player is dedicated and committed on a daily basis and always open to constructive criticism and able to adapt to any situation. Making sacrifices to travel and embrace new and vibrant environments will always create opportunities and allow the possibility to reach high levels of the game. This Individual growth is key for players either looking to go to college or the professional route.

Q) In the combine event several AYSO United players took your eye, can you tell us a little about your impression of Jonathon Allegria and how he has progressed?

The combine event I attended gave me a fantastic insight into all the hard work, organization, and professionalism that PSC has provided over previous years. The level of players was excellent. The quality, knowledge and experience provided by the coaches, was second to none. One of the players I recruited for my club at FC Arizona was Jonathon Allegria. The qualities that impressed me about Jonathon were his attacking with pace, the ability to run and dribble at his opponents whilst being comfortable with both feet. His first touch is excellent, decision making and game intelligence really stood out. Since Jonathon’s arrival at FC Arizona, he has fit into our first team environment with ease and has adapted to our professional training environment and structure. If Jonathon continues to work hard and develop under our stewardship then I have no doubts he will progress as a player and continue to flourish. 

“The way I view AYSO United and the collaboration with PSC was a dream come true. It was like an open door for a better future and I am so grateful to have that opportunity, shared Jonathan. The opportunity to play with FC Arizona wouldn’t of been possible if it wasn’t for AYSO United and PSC. I would like to give a special shoutout to my club coach Ed Alameda for always being there for me and helping me improve my skills to become a better, smarter player, so I could be prepared for full time soccer.”

Jonathan further shared on playing with FC Arizona, “Head coach Dave Rogers is a great guy and amazing coach, I love him. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to be a player for this amazing team. I love the squad and staff and couldn’t ask for a better environment to be in. The competition is definitely higher than the youth soccer I was playing, which means there are no days off, we practice everyday which means my development can only go one way.”

Zisham Bawa Olympians FC AZ, formerly with AYSO United AZ under Coach Ed Alameda.

Zishim was close to moving to Sweden in August to sign with Professional Club BK Bodens who are currently fighting for promotion and sit in second place in the 2nd Division in Sweden.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, Zishim will have to wait until January 2021. AYSO United is extremely proud of Zishim and know he is going to go on to have a great career.

In the short term, through the combine and the good relationship through AYSO United staff and coach Adrian Gaitan, he is playing at Olympians FC. Prior to his current coaching role, Adrian was coaching San Roque De La Pepe in the Tercera Division in Spain. This is a great chance for Zishim to work with a high-level professional coach and group of players, as he continues to educate himself on the field day in and day out.

I had the chance to talk with Zishim about his experience;

Zishim shared, “I first want to thank Coach Ed Alameda (AYSO United), If not for him I would have never gotten a chance to get noticed. He has really embraced me and taught me how to read the game at a higher level. I want to thank Tom Taylor (PSC & AYSO) and Conor Ward (AYSO & PSC). They have been very helpful to me throughout this whole process. I would also like to thank both the AYSO and the PSC organizations for promoting me and giving me opportunities to showcase myself.

Q) Can you tell us about your experience with the staff at AYSO United and PSC and your experience at the events? 

My experiences with the AYSO United and PSC staff have been nothing but beneficial to my growth as a player. The staff do an outstanding job in creating these events for players across the country especially after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The events are well prepared for and organized. Team meetings are held for the players to get used to their style of play and to go over what is expected. It really helped me prepare to showcase my talents.

Q) Where are you currently playing and how are you enjoying it?

I am currently playing for Olympians FC in Arizona. The head coach is Adrian Gaitan who has been amazing with me since the very first day I met him at the event. The level of soccer here is great. For a young player like me, this is a really good opportunity and I can’t thank AYSO United enough for helping me progress this far. I am extremely excited for the future. In my current club we have experienced professional players and it is a very competitive environment. We as a team have certain goals that we want to reach and these help us stay motivated at all times.

Please visit https://www.aysounited.org/development-phase-program/ to find out more information on how we are supporting our players.

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