Mike Ambersley has been named Director of Player Development for the Lou Fusz Blue Star Development Program. He joins Lou Fusz SC following his retirement from a professional career that began when drafted by FC Dallas in 2006 following his graduation from Indiana, where he won an NCAA title in 2004. He was the first signing by Saint Louis FC in 2015, going on to make 53 appearances in his two seasons with STLFC. Ambersley’s final stats as a professional include: 200 appearances, 48 goals scored, and 29 assists provided.
Ambersley (83) is part of a remarkable group of Saint Louis pro’s that matriculated in the late 90’s. Pat Noonan (80), whom he played with at both DeSmet and Indiana, Taylor Twellman (80), Brad Davis (81), Jack Jewsbury (81) and Matt Pickens (82), still playing with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, helped establish our current reputation in the national soccer conversation. Noonan transitioned into coaching with the LA Galaxy, and now the US National Team, directly after his retirement from the Galaxy. Now Ambersley will apply his experience locally, focused on giving 6-9 year old’s the same advantage that he says allowed him to play for over a decade despite not being the tallest, strongest or fastest – technical skills.
Also part of that generation were Pete Fusz and Dan Gargan, Mike’s new bosses at Lou Fusz. Pete and Mike were friends and competitors during their High School careers at Chaminade and DeSmet respectively. Both were named to the St. Louis All-Metro team in 2000 (back before recognition inflation kicked in). While Mike followed Noonan to Indiana, Pete signed to Georgetown, part of the same recruiting class with Dan Gargan. It’s all coming back together now on the pitch in Maryland Heights.
The Lou Fusz Blue Star Academy will offer advanced training and competition to a select group of players from any player in the area that is interested. Working with Marty Pike and his renowned Soccer Camp program, he’s already begun identifying players to participate in the initial phases of the Academy. His personal Club experience included playing for, and winning a Regional title with, Mike ‘Vader’ Gauvain and Tommy Howe. He’s been working in the Youth training program at SLSG during his two seasons with Saint Louis FC as well as doing private technical training that recently led to his taking on a Lou Fusz Girls team that plays in the SLYSA Championship Division this Spring. He’ll be building on these experiences as he and the Club focus on player development rather than winning and trophies. It’s all part of Pete and Dan’s efforts to take Lou Fusz SC to a different, and stronger, position in the soccer community here. An experiment I’m looking forward to watching.
I’ve got more on Mike’s personal experiences, his coaching goals and his ‘Letter to his 15 yo Self’ that will be available very soon on video. My editing ‘skills’ are a bit rusty so it’s taken a bit longer than I hoped. In fact, this should have been up Tuesday when we could all have wished Mike Happy Birthday. Give him a belated greeting when you see him at Lou Fusz!