Coaches

Boys' Coaches

Rami Bensasi 

Coach Benasi is entering his 5th year as a coach for Arsenal FC.

He holds a "D" license and played Division I soccer at the University of Pittsburgh from 2006-2008.


 

Dan Brower

Coach Brower has over 15 years of coaching experience with Arsenal FC. He also serves as the Arsenal FC Director of Coaching (Boys) and Senior Staff Coach.

He has held coaching positions at Arsenal FC as Director of Coaching, Staff Coach Director, Junior Gunner Camps/Programs Director (2008 – present), Arsenal Soccer Academy. He also served as PA West Olympic Development Staff Coach, Head Varsity Coach, Pine-Richland High School Boys and Head Varsity Coach, West Allegheny High School Boys.

He has played for the Arsenal FC Men's Team (2008-2011, GPSL Open Cup Champions, 2008), Dunleavy (2004-2005, GPSL Premier League Champions, 2005, GPSL League Cup Champions, 2005 and GPSL Open Cup Champions, 2005), East End (2000-2003, GPSL Open Cup Champions, 2002) and Washington and Jefferson College (1993 -1996, All-Conference selection, 1995 &1996), Captain, MVP, 1996.

Coach Brower holds a USSF 'A' License, NSCAA Premier Diploma, NSCAA DOC Diploma and was PA West Classic Soccer Coach of Year (2007).

 


 

Chris Conti

Chris Conti joined the coaching staff in 2016, and brings 10 years of coaching experience with the Monroeville Soccer Club and decades of playing experience, including founding Arsenal FC's over-30 Men's team.

Coach Conti received local and national awards as a State Champion at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School.  He was also a US Youth Soccer National tournament finalist with the Bethesda Soccer Club, a US ODP National Pool player  (U14-19); and a 4-year starter at Howard University (NCAA College Cup finalist).
 
Coach Conti is also an emergency physician who is a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant (CIC) for sports concussion & recently became a recognized FIFA Diplomate of Football Medicine.
 


 

Dan DiGiralomo

Dan DiGirolamo is in his 7th year with Arsenal FC. Prior to joining Arsenal, he spent 10 years coaching at Pine-Richland High School. Dan has enjoyed numerous successful seasons including a Champions League title in 2016 with Arsenal's U16 boys. He currently holds an "E" license.

 


 

Ed Ellsworth

Coach Ellsworth enters his 15th season as a coach with the Arsenal soccer program. Previous to joining Arsenal, he was assistant coach for the Pine-Richland Varsity team for nine years.

He played for Pine-Richland and LaRoche College.

Coach Ellsworth holds both USSF B and NSCAA Premier Diploma Licenses.

 


 

Mike Gardner

Coach Gardner has over 25 years of coaching experience. 

He has served as Keystone Oaks High School Head Coach - Boys Varsity Soccer, PA West Olympic Development Program, ODP Staff coach, VA Olympic Development Program, ODP Staff Coach, Century United of Pittsburgh FC, Director of Coaching and Carnegie Mellon University, Assistant Coach, Men's Varsity Soccer.

Coach Gardner holds a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "A" License, Irish Football Association Full Badge, NSCAA Director of Coaching License, United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Youth License-2009 and a Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Level 2: Health and Physical Education. He was the Boys Varsity Soccer Section Coach of the Year, 2001 South Park High School.

 


 

Brian Haskins

 


 

Marcus Pollidore

 


 

Patrick Sullivan

Coach Sullivan is currently a member of the mens soccer team at Slippery Rock University. His team was conference champions in 2015. Sullivan played at Duquesne University before transferring to Slippery Rock. 
 
He grew up playing for Arsenal until U16 under Coach Brower and Coach Ellsworth.
Sullivan was a Region 1 champion in 2012 and placed 3rd in the US Youth Soccer National Tournament.
 
Coach Sullivan holds a USSF E license and is currently in the process of obtaining his D license.
 


 

Mark Taylor 

Club President and Senior Staff Coach

Coach Taylor currently serves as Arsenal FC Senior Staff Coach for the U18 and U19 Boys.

Coach Taylor is also the co-founder and Director of Operations for Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community.

He has held coaching positions at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School (Varsity Coach), PA West Olympic Development Program (Coach), Arsenal FC Center of Excellence (Director), Major League Soccer Camps (Player / Club Development Officer), Huddersfield Town FC Football in the Community (Staff Coach) and Emley AFC (Nike Youth Academy Coach).

He currently plays for Shadyside over 30’s (Reigning League Champions). He has previously played for the Arsenal FC GPSL team (League Champions 2013, Open Cup Winners 2008) Northumbria University (Ranked #2 in the UK, 2001), Emley AFC (Semi Professional) Academy Team U16 – U19, Huddersfield and District All - League Select Team U16 and the Huddersfield Schools FA U15 Regional Team.

Coach Taylor holds a USSF National Youth License, UEFA B License (Part 1) FA Coaching Certificate (UK), FA Junior Team Manager License (UK), The West Ham United International Academy Coaching Diploma and was an AYSO Level 5 Instructor. He has a BA with Honors in Sports Development and Coaching. 

His teams have won the following: PA West State Cup Champion 2012, 2014, 2016 (x2) WPIAL Finalist, PIAL Semi - Finalist – 2010, Section Champions 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 GPSL Premier Division Champions 2013 and GPSL Open Cup Winners 2008.

 


 

Chris Tsai

Coach Tsai enters his 4th year with Arsenal FC.

As a player, he was a NJ state finalist and earned All Bergen Passaic Scholastic League, All Suburban, and All State Honors.

Coach Tsai holds a United States Soccer Federation National D license.

 


 

Jonathan Velotta

Coach Velotta has over 13 years of coaching experience. He also serves as the Arsenal FC Club Development Officer.

Coach Velotta is currently the Men's Assistant Coach at Carnegie Mellon University and the Head Coach of the Arsenal FC Boys High School Program. He has held coaching positions as Bellarmine University Head Women's Coach,  Bellarmine University Men's and Women's Assistant Coach, University of Louisville Men's Soccer Assistant Coach and Director of Coaching and Technical Director for Kentucky Fire Juniors.  He also served as a ODP Region II Staff Coach and as the Javanon Youth Director.

He played for Brescia University and was Honorable Mention All-American (2003).

Coach Velotta holds a USSF 'A' License, Bachelors Degree from Brescia University and a Masters Degree from the University of Louisville in Sport Administration.

 


 

Anthony Virgara

 


 

Anthony Wilkinson 

Coach Wlikinson has previously coached Major League Soccer (MLS) Camps and acted as Regional Manager/Coaching Director.

As a player, Wilkinson played for Regional / District Youth Teams, York High School and St John University. He also played Semi Professionally for the Northern League.

Coach Wlikinson holds an English Football Association licencse and a Level 3 Coaching Certificate – B License.

 

Strength and Conditioning

Maurice E. Lucas

Coach Lucas serves as the Arsenal FC strength and conditioning coach.

He currently serves as Head Coach - Track & Field - Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, Strength & Conditioning Coach - Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, Lacrosse- and - Soccer teams.

He is President and Owner of Midas Athletic Xperience Incorporated.  He has experience with Personal Trainer - Max Inc. Boot Camp, and as a personal trainer conducting Speed Training Camps with 21 Athletes (100% of which have received partial or Full athletic scholarships).

Coach Lucas is a Certified United States Track and Field (USATF) Coach. You can contact him at midastaz@yahoo.com.