Chicago Empire FC Announces Matt Ballenger as Youth Boys Director
With the massive growth of Chicago Empire FC over the past three years, our need for further organizational structure and leadership continue to evolve. As we now near 400 players in the club, our commitment to providing one of the finest youth soccer environments in the region and country has never been stronger.
Chicago Empire FC is pleased to announce the hiring of Matt Ballenger as our new Youth Boy’s Director, effective immediately. Matt is a Palatine native, who grew up playing soccer in the Chicagoland area. He played for Illinois Wesleyan University before moving to Washington DC to get his start in coaching for Arlington Soccer Association, working with state and regional champions and future youth national team players. Matt returned to Chicago in 2012 to pursue his graduate degree in Mental Health. He currently lives in Glen Ellyn with his wife Krissy, and year old son Dax.
Matt brings to Empire his extensive knowledge in coaching youth boys from the ages of U8 to U19.
He most recently served as a director of programming for Kickers SC from 2012-2016, and as a staff coach with Ela Soccer Club from 2016-2018.
Matt is committed to developing players through thoughtful, challenging, curriculum based training. Driven by a passionate pursuit of continuing education, Matt has proven himself to be a coach who can impact players both on and off the field.
USSF B License
USSF Youth License
Master's degree in Mental Health from Loyola University Chicago
Director of Programs, Kickers SC 2012 - 2016
Staff Coach, Ela Soccer Club 2016 - 2018
Illinois ODP Head Coach 2016 - Present
Illinois Coaching Education Program Instructor 2017 – Present
Upon being named Youth Boy’s Director, Ballenger said, "I am very excited to be given the opportunity and responsibility of building on the solid foundation Empire FC has established. There is massive potential in this boys program, and I can’t wait to get to work with these great players and families. "
Chicago Empire FC Director of Coaching, Wes Lomnicki added, "Matt’s experience within the U.S. soccer arena and his track record of being a fantastic teacher and communicator, makes him the perfect person to implement our curriculum here at Empire. His guidance, combined with our thriving club culture we have built in a short time, will allow our boys program to truly thrive over the coming years.”