© 2019 by Advantage Sports Academy, a 501(c)(3) certified non-profit FEIN: 45-4804012

Team

Lawrence Smalls

Founder

 

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 National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He possesses a BA from University of California Irvine and a United States Soccer Federation National C License.

Tim Donnelly

Secretary

Tim Donnelley earned a college scholarship and played NCAA Men’s Collegiate- Division I Soccer (1998-2002) at California State University - Fullerton. Tim has coached numerous youth club soccer teams in Southern California. Additionally, he has served as a sponsored athlete for Nike from 2003-2006 executing marketing and promotional work throughout the US. 

 

The marketing work for Nike would ultimately inspire Tim to start his own creative agency in 2009. A Creative Force is now a major marketing agency supporting Nike Soccer brand initiatives in North America. As a board member of Advantage Sports Academy, Tim is actively involved in supporting the company’s mission to provide athletic opportunity for kids after school, and to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

Jason Thompson

Treasurer

 

Jason Thompson was raised in Pasadena, California. He began organized athletics in soccer and basketball at the local AYSO and YMCA. By senior year Jason earned a division one scholarship. After graduating from the University of California - Irvine, Jason began a career in real estate as a loan officer. Here Jason successfully financed residential and commercial projects of all sizes giving him valuable experience.

 

Jason now wishes to use his background to provide athletic opportunities for kids once school is dismissed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle; an opportunity that won't be limited to the elite athlete, but also the developing athlete. 

 

Maya Hatch

Grant Officer

Maya Hatch grew up in northern California and is an avid soccer fan. Typical to many Californians, she started playing soccer in AYSO at the age of 5 and then jumped to club soccer at the age of 8. Most of Maya’s childhood revolved around soccer and it helped her stay out of trouble and focused in school. She played club until she went to college where she had to put soccer aside in order to focus on her scientific career. Although she did not continue on to play soccer professionally in her adulthood, she still played on various adult league teams and even coached in AYSO recently for a few years while her son played.

 

In 2002, Maya graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Biological Sciences degree and in 2012 she received her Doctorate in Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Irvine where she specialized in stem cell transplantation into spinal cord diseases. Maya currently works at the Long Beach VA where she determines the impact that various health care practices, technology and therapies have on the overall care of spinal cord injured veterans.

 

As a researcher, Maya consistently writes and assists in various company, government and foundational grants. She has received grants herself and is also a grant consultant for a number of California-based non-profit foundations and physicians. Maya has also been a participant on grant review panels.

 

Maya hopes to use her granting knowledge to help Advantage Soccer Academy maintain and expand its mission of nurturing both California’s and Hawaii’s youth through soccer. Maya personally understands how the skills learned in soccer can be used for success in other parts of life, and she looks forward to helping to bring the gift of soccer to other youth.

Keno Knieriem

Wellness Officer

 

Keno and his late father, Kenan Knieriem, started Honokea in 2011 to create a new kind of real estate development company that used man-made wave technologies to create surf resorts and urban experiences, and share Hawaii’s values.

Keno grew up in Hawaii, graduated from Punahou School and attended the US Naval Academy where he majored in naval architecture and hydrofoil engineering. After graduation he served seven years in the Navy where he managed and ran multi-million dollar nuclear submarine maintenance projects. In 2014, Keno led the conceptual planning, site acquisition and design of the world’s largest surf park. It is slated to open in Austin, Texas in 2016. Keno loves his dog and he loves to play soccer.

 

 

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