Lawrence Smalls is a former professional soccer player for the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. His passion now carries him to help future developing athletes, and to promote a healthy and active lifestyle through sports education. Whether it is recreational, youth club, collegiate, or professional soccer, Lawrence knows what it takes to develop through each level of sport.
Lawrence was the first player from the University of California Irvine to be drafted into MLS. He also returned to coach at his Alma Maters, University of California Irvine, and La Salle High School in his hometown, Pasadena, California.
While pursuing professional soccer, Lawrence was selected to be a brand ambassador for Nike, where he toured the United States performing skills demonstrations for soccer enthusiasts.
He moved to Hawaii in 2008 to work at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua, Oahu, where in he played a major role in successfully developing a soccer academy for kids in Junior Kindergarten to Middle School. Lawrence also worked in partnering with the professional soccer club, Chelsea FC of England. Chelsea's program, Football in the Community, brought Chelsea FC coaching staff to Hawaii to coach camps and clinics.
With his experience in the commmunity in Hawaii, Lawrence understands the need for more support and interaction within the community, especially after school and at the lower-school levels. He believes that an early start in community awareness and healthy initiatives can have a positive impact on our young students in the community. This lead him to create Advantage Sports Academy as a non-profit to promote community support for our young students in Hawaii.
Lawrence is a member of the United Soccer Coaches and Director of Coaching for AYSO United Hawaii, which includes 10 youth teams on Oahu and 6 on the Big Island. He possesses a BA from University of California Irvine and a United States Soccer Federation National C License.