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Brandon Menke

Fast Facts:

Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois

Currently resides in: Bloomington, Illinois

College: University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign

Coaching License:  D License

Playing Experience: I began playing soccer when I was 4 years old with PCSL. I joined travel soccer at age 10 with the BNSC Lightning. Then transitioned to the Pegasus Soccer Club where we played our home games up in the Chicago Suburbs. This team also visited Germany, France, and Switzerland for a month soccer trip in 1999.  I played high school soccer at Normal Community West where I was a Varsity player for 3 years; All Intercity (2 years) and All Sectional (1 year). College, I played "club soccer at the University of Illinois.

My positions were defense and midfield.

Like most about soccer: Everything. I really like the tactical aspect of soccer. Adjusting game plans, changing formations, changing attacking styles throughout the game or season based on player personnel and opponents style of play. THE BEST PART THOUGH IS BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH MY PLAYERS THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME.

Favorite Soccer Player: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) and Gareth Bale (Tottenham). Each player has their unique style.

Andres is very technically - skilled. He is a great distributor of the ball and is wonderful in possession. He was a finalist for World Player of the Year in 2012.

Gareth has a more attacking mind-frame. He is very fast, which I love and he runs at people which is something I try to teach my players to do.

It also helps that these two players represent my two favorite teams in professional soccer!

Coaching Philosophy: When I take control of a team, the first thing I implement is culture. Mainly, the team chemistry must be great within our team and with player-coach. Trust is key and I want that first. Once that is established, I work on a formation 4 - 5 -1 (or 4-2-3-1) that stabilizes strength in our midfield. The largest portion of soccer matches are played in the midfield and I want numbers up in that area.

I really work on ball possession with a target/attacking mindset. In other words, I work on Barcelona style of play (possession) with English Premier League style of play (attacking) and combine the two. Defensively, I emphasize numbers "behind the ball", meaning we get as many players as possible between our goal and the ball. Then, we work on transitioning forward after winning the ball.

My teams have been very successful the past 2 years with this philosophy winning 4 tournaments, 2 second place finishes, and winning the league 1 time.

Other Information: Developing a culture within a team is the most important thing I can pass along to my players.  5 years from now, my high school Seniors won't remember our formation or tactics, but they will remember the season they had and the relationships they built with teammates AND THAT is why I coach soccer, and why I have great success with every team I coach. Team chemistry, where players get along and they enjoy playing the game and coming to practices.

Current Teams