AYSO PLAY! provides innovative recreation-based youth soccer programs tailored to the communities we work with.

Our program is built on the foundation and principles of the nonprofit American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), the oldest youth soccer club in the US with locations in over 650 communities nationwide.

AYSO PLAY! is an evolution designed specifically to bring high-quality, recreation-based soccer to communities and locations where we can introduce the game to even more players.

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Girls playing soccer

Welcome from the AYSO PLAY! team! Behind the scenes of our program is a squad of enthusiastic individuals committed to creating memorable community-based experiences and fostering a love for the beautiful game.


Chris Solomons

Director, Community Engagement & Business Development

Passion: Using sports to drive change
Career: An adept sports business professional, entrusted with AYSO’s growth strategy, entered the organization with 15+ years of hands-on experience in the sports industry, spearheading programs across three continents, including nine years in the MLS.

Blane Shepard

Director, Community Engagement & Business Development

Passion: To help #GrowtheGame of soccer in North America.
Career: For close to 30 years, I have helped grow soccer in AYSO, MLS, USL and USYS through community development, strategic soccer programming, commercial partnerships, business innovation, marketing, and local, regional, and national events.


Andy Price

Director, Program Development

Passion: To promote Grassroots soccer and provide an opportunity for all kids to play.
Career: Comprehensive sports management and coaching experience in both the UK and US, with licensing from the English FA, UEFA and USSF. Strong background in all aspects of soccer operations and logistics. Entrepreneurial thinker with a passion for building the next generation of soccer players.

Dan Howald AYSO

Dan Howald

Senior Director, Program Implementation

Passion: Enabling the transformative power of sports for kids and community.
Career: Digital Marketing career with 25+ years AYSO experience, holding positions from team coach to VP National Board of Directors, prior to joining professional staff to oversee creation of new access points for first-time players.

Community-Forward Youth Soccer

AYSO PLAY! Locations Team

Nikita AYSO

Nikita Chernik

Program Coordinator

Chicago, IL
– Played at Lokomotiv FC Moscow Academy in Russia. 
– 5 Years Coaching experience including rec programs, Elmhurst club soccer, and Chicago Rush North
– USSF National D License

“I believe that AYSO PLAY! is the best way for kids to fall in love with this beautiful game of soccer.”

Jennifer AYSO

Jennifer Ruiz

Program Coordinator

Kansas City, MO
– Full scholarship Played at Blue River Community College (full scholarship). 
– Trained with former MLS & World Cup all-star Eddie Johnson. 
– 3 years coaching experience / all ages and skill levels.

“I coach AYSO PLAY because I’m very passionate about player development. I know what it’s like to put in the extra work outside of game time. Playing club or D1 doesn’t determine what kind of player you are, what you do in your free time does!”


Ally Bower

Community Ambassador

Charlotte, NC 
– Played soccer at Ferrum College
– 5 years coaching experience at a range of age and skill levels

“I coach AYSO PLAY because I love to see young players enjoy the sport that I love and to  help them develop important life skills along the way. “

Lexi McMullin

Program Coordinator

Phoenix, AZ

  •  HS JV Assistant Coach
  • Jr High Head Coach
  • 2X HS Athlete of the Year, plays semi-pro

“This sport is my greatest medicine. AYSO PLAY!  is now my chance to give the kids in my community a cure to some of life’s hardships – the great game of soccer.”

Rachel AYSO

Rachel Kahan

Community Ambassador

San Diego, CA

  • HS Varsity Cross Country Coach
  • HS JV Head Soccer Coach
  • Middle School Assistant Coach

 “I am passionate about helping the younger generation finding love for their sport as I did, whatever that may be and however that may look.  AYSO PLAY! makes that possible.”

Taylor AYSO

Taylor Brashears

Community Ambassador

Atlanta, GA
– Dual sport athlete at Pfeiffer University, Arizona State graduate 
– ODP and Seattle United alum
– 6 years as YMCA sports coordinator 

“Coaching at AYSO PLAY is my way of breaking barriers and providing all kids with equal access to the beautiful game.”

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