Virginia Rush Soccer Club

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Chris Panayiotou Director

chrisp Chris attended High School and College in England where he earned school colors in Track, Soccer and Rugby.  At age 16, Chris attended Solihull College of Technology where the team won 4 state, 3 Regional and 1 national championship.  Chris went on to get his Teaching Certificate in Physical Education and a BA degree in Sports and Leisure management.  Chris served as a State Instructor in Wi.  Chris has worked UW Madison and IU Men's Soccer Camp for over 15 years, along with 10 years of Working for MLS Camps.  He holds a USSF National “C” license, a NSCAA National license, a National Youth license, FA Preliminary License and a UEFA "B".  He has coached in the Club for 20 years. He served as the 1998 Rush Select Girls l Team Head Coach.
John Allison Administrative Director
Academy Coach
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As a native of Charlottesville, John playing with Augusta FC and SOCA while attending Wilson Memorial High School where he was captain for 4 consecutive years.  John obtained his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College where he played intramural soccer with his Fraternity club team.  John began working for Virginia Rush in 2011 and has overseen the Administrative duties of the Competitive, Advance and School of Excellence programs.  John has coached in the Virginia Rush Competitive program for 3 years and currently holds his US Soccer "E" Coaching License.

Mercy Akide-Udoh
Girls Director
Academy Coach

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Mercy has played in three FIFA Women's World Cups for Nigeria and was awarded FIFA World All-Star in 1999 and 2004.  She also represented her country in the Australia 2000 and Greece 2004 Olympic games.  Mercy was the first African Women's Footballer of the year in 2002 and was named by FIFA as one of it's 15 Ambassadors for Women Football.  She also played professionaly in the WUSA for San Diego Spirit as well as for the Hampton Roads Piranhas W-League where she was nameed MVP and clinched the W-League Championship in 2003.  Mercy has also been voted into the USL Hall of Fame.  Mercy holds a USSF National Youth Coaching License and has coached for over 12 years in Georgia and Virginia Beach.

Sonny Landry Academy Coach rush logo Sonny Landry attended First Colonial High School and is an alumnus with the Virginia Rush. He played four years at the Virginia Military Institute, where he captained for three years. Came back to work with the Virginia Rush as a staff coach, and then as the founding School of Excellence Director (Fall 2012-Fall 2013). Sonny has coached with the club's competitive program for four years. Sonny served as the VYSA South East ODP Youth Academy Assistant Coach (Fall 2012, Fall 2013) and currently serves as the '99B Assistant Coach. He holds a USSF 'C' License and National Youth License.
Leanna Landry Academy Coach rush logo Leanna Hedges grew up in a transit military family and made Virginia Beach home in 2006. She has been coaching with Virginia Rush since 2010 and has experience with coaching U6-U12 athletes in both the School of Excellence and competitive teams. Leanna holds a National Pass “D” License and National Youth License. Off the field Leanna is a teacher with VBCPS and has a Masters in Special Education and Educational Specialist Degree in School Leadership.

Justin Naramore Academy Coach

rush logo Justin played for Williamsburg Soccer Club. He also appeared in 2003-2004 State Championship for Tabb High School where he later graduated. Justin then went on to play for division III Virginia Wesleyan College where he appeared in the NCAA playoffs 3 out of 4 years with a sweet 16 appearance in 2007 and won an ODAC Championship in 2008. Justin received his Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies with an Emphasis in Leadership. He currently hold his F license for coaching and has been with Virginia Rush and the School of Excellence program for 6 seasons.
Danielle Watson Academy Coach rush logo Danielle attended Salem High School and is an alumnus with Virginia Rush.  Danielle obtained her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Sport Administration and her Master's Degree in Corporate Communication from Radford University. While Danielle attended Radford University, Danielle played intramural soccer for four consecutive years and continues to leisurely play soccer with her Co-Ed teams.  Danielle currently holds her F license for coaching and has helped out the School of Excellence coaches the past two seasons.
Zaher Shihata Academy Coach rush logo Zaher attended VMI where he entered the starting line up his Freshman year where he became a stabilizer for the defense of the Keydets.  Prior to VMI, Zaher’s Highschool career included playing on the District Championship team his Freshman-Junior years and clinching the Eastern Region Championship in 2005 and 2006.  Zaher’s Club team won the State Cup Championship in ’06 and also participated in the Nike Friendlies, California Academy Showcase and Maine Regionals.  After College, Zaher participated in the MLS Sub combine under Coach John Pascarella of Sporting KC and was invited to train with USL/NASL teams Richmond Kickers, Wilminton Hammerheads and Pittsburgh Riverhounds.  After additional training overseas with Egypt’s El Ahly, Wasi Degla and C.S. Maritimo of Portugal, Zaher most recently played for the Hampton Roads Piranhas and VB City FC.
Patrick Thompson Academy Coach rush logo Patrick attended Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Virginia where he was leading goal scorer his junior year and made first team all district three years in a row. He played for Virginia Rush Academy, Virginia Beach Piranhas, Virginia Beach City FC, trained with the Norfolk Sharks, and signed his first professional contract for Pennsylvania Roar, a team in the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League). He also coached in the U8 age group for School of Excellence last year.
Chris Whiteside Academy Coach rush logo Chris attended Cox High School where he won the State Championship his senior year.  At age 16, his Virginia Rush team won the State Championship.  Chris played for the Virginia Rush Acadmey where we played in the inaugural United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA).  Chris played college soccer at Hampden-Sydney where he was a four year starter and in 2010, earned All-Conference honors, as well as Hampden-Syndey's MVP.  Sophmore year, Chris helped H-SC reach the Conference Finals for only the second time in schools history where he became the only player in Hampden-Sydney history to score a goal in the finals.  Chris also played for the inaugal Virginia Beach City FC team this past summer 2014.  Chris currently holds his "F" license and is going into his second year coaching for School of Excellence.
Michael Kappas Academy Coach rush logo Mike lived and attended school in Greece. He played soccer for his high school and won one divisional championship. At the age of 16 he was selected to play at the U-18 AEK FC academy. At age 18 he moved to the United States and joined the US NAVY. Mike is currently in the US Navy Reserves. He holds a USSF "D" license. He has coached with VA Rush for 8 years.  He is the Advance Boys Director of Coaching and currently coaches a U-11 boys advanced team and U-6 girls team.

Katie Keeter Academy Coach

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Katie was born and raised in Virginia Beach and started playing with Virginia Rush at age 11 and played on the Academy Nike II team.  Katie attended Kellam High school where she played on the Women’s Varsity team.  After high school she went to play at Averett University.  Due to a reoccurring ACL tear she was only able to play her Freshman year.  Coming back from several knee injuries, Katie still continues to play indoor league games along with leisurely pick-up play.   Katie became an assistant coach with Virginia Rush in the summer of 2014 for the U-11 and U-12 girls travel Blue teams.  She is currently attending ODU & TCC for Speech Pathology and a minor in Nutrition and Coaching.

Matt Whalen
Academy Coach

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Bio Coming Soon!

Gary Watson
Academy Coach

rush logo Bio Coming Soon!
Mike Danley
Academy Coach
rush logo Bio Coming Soon!
Paul Dillon
Academy Coach
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Virginia Rush Soccer Club

2044 Landstown Centre Way,
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Monday – Friday
9:00am to 4:00pm

(757) 430-3500

(757) 430-8895

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