Coach Amanda headshot

President and director of Goalkeeping

Originally from Virginia Beach, Va, Coach Amanda has been in the soccer world for 25 plus years. More than 12 years playing experience and 17 years of coaching.  Her playing experience ranges from the United Soccer League with the Hampton Roads Piranhas 2nd team where she helped lead her team to the 2003 National Finals to  VA State ODP. Her coaching style and foundation first began with the Virginia Rush Travel Soccer Club programs, Kellam High School Varsity team, and continued through her collegiate soccer career at Ferrum College (NCAA DIII, ODAC).  

In Fall 2004, Coach Amanda became the youngest Director of Goalkeeping at the age of 17 for the Old Dominion Select Travel Soccer Club. She later worked with various PDP programs and travel teams with the Roanoke Stars Travel Soccer, Richmond Kickers, FC Richmond, and offered private coaching throughout the state of Virginia.  

Over the last 17 years, Amanda and her staff have coached and mentored goalkeepers move on to the D1, D2, D3 collegiate levels, High School Varsity, ECNL, MLS NEXT Academy, Girl's Academy, Elite Travel teams, Eastern Regional ODP, VA State ODP, District ODP teams, and Professional.

Her biggest focus and coaching style are developing complete goalkeepers. Mentally, physically, as leaders on and off the field, and game ready. Coach Amanda's mentors and former coaches include Jay Hoffman (former Boston Breakers Head Coach and US Women's National Team Coach), Steve O'neil (former Director of Goalkeeping for USL W-League Hampton Roads Piranhas and Va Rush Soccer Club, and Jon Busch (recently retired 21-year MLS Goalkeeper and US Men's National Team member).

Coach Amanda is currently RGA's Director of Goalkeeping and is also a NCAA D1 Men's Soccer collegiate Goalkeeping Coach. Previously she was the Goalkeeping Coach and Assistant Coach at Marymount University for their Women's and Men's Soccer Programs (Atlantic East Conference NCAA DIII). Additionally, Amanda held a shared role as Director of Goalkeeping with the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club Fall 2020-Spring 2021.

Amanda resides in Richmond, Va and is passionate about leadership, mentorship, and developing the next generation of leaders in our sport and community. Her background is in business development, public speaking and coaching. She has been invited to come speak on mentorship, coaching and leadership in various settings with both the youth and adults.

Certifications: Safesport Certified
SAMANtha leshnak Murphy

Co-head goalkeeping coach

Currently one of three pro NWSL Goalkeepers for the NC Courage, Coach Sam has had a spectacular career from early on. Sam's career began in her hometown of Liberty Township, Ohio where she played for the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy ECNL girls team. Sam has been apart of the US National Team cycle since age 13. Earning her first CAP with the U17 USWNT against the U18 German WNT.  After high school she continued her career at UNC Chapel Hill playing under legendary Head Coach, Anson Dorrance and Goalkeeping Coach, Chris Ducar.  Breaking records as UNC's starting GK, she is most remembered for not allowing a goal in 1,119 minutes and 23 seconds her senior year and  she was only the third Tar Heel goalkeeper in history to win a penalty kick shootout, joining U.S. National Team goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris against Virginia in 2007 ACC Tournament and Bryane Heaberlin against Baylor in 2012 NCAA Tournament. Her six saves versus UCLA in NCAA quarterfinals matched her career high in a game.

Sam has a heart and passion for the development of RGA's GKs that is unmatched. Her dedication to their development on the field and off is what makes her unique. We are honored to have her apart of our staff and leading camps, clinics, and virtual coaching sessions.

Certifications: Safesport Certified


Assistant Goalkeeping Coach

Niko Roros is a Greek-American Goalkeeper. During his youth career he played for Sparrows Point High School. Then going on to play Division l NJCAA Soccer for The Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville & Essex, before transferring to Harford Community College (Division l NJCAA) in July of 2016. Finishing his amateur/ collegiate career at Point Park University (NAIA- Pittsburgh, PA).

During this time Niko was invited to play for Beyond Sports International Team - Italy Tour (June 2018) & was a player/ GK coach for the Baltimore Kings U-23’s (Summer 2019). Niko will be attending the Soccer Management Institute in Rome, Italy, where he will receive a Masters Degree in Soccer Coaching, a UEFA B license while playing for the SMI Academy. Niko is 1 of 50 to attend the institute for the2020-21 season, starting in August 2020.

We are excited to have Niko on board with us. His love for the game and helping all goalkeepers elevate their the next level is appreciated by all! Niko will be working on the field and virtually with our RGA GKs and RGA @ Home Virtual Clients.

Certifications: Safesport Certified
Coach Melissa photo
Melissa Lowder

Assistant Goalkeeping Director

Melissa began her elite soccer journey while playing club soccer for the Del Mar Sharks in San Diego, CA. Melissa and her team won back to back National Championships in 2012 and 2013, and almost won a third in 2014. During this time, she was selected for ODP, Regional, and Youth National Teams. After graduating high school in 2015, Melissa earned a scholarship to play Division I soccer for Santa Clara University. She started her sophomore year and played through her senior year, in addition to being elected team captain in her junior and senior year. During Melissa's sophomore year, Santa Clara reached the Elite 8 in the NCAA College Cup, beating Number 2 ranked Stanford and breaking their 29-game winning streak at home. Melissa broke a university record for the women’s soccer team with 13 saves in a single playoff game. After 4 years at Santa Clara, she graduated a quarter early and left to play for the Utah Royals in the NWSL. In Spring 2019, Melissa signed her first professional contract and made her professional debut in the fall of 2020. Currently she is in her third professional season playing for the Chicago Red Stars.

We are so excited to have Melissa join the RGA team. Melissa will be in charge of the development and curriculum for our classroom sessions and working alongside our goalkeeping directors helping with the development of our ongoing training curriculum and programming.

Certification: Safesport Certified,  Certified Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, and Sports Nutritionist
Jon Busch

RGA @ Home Technical Director

Busch is best remembered for his captivating saves, despite his shorter stature for an elite goalkeeper, and spent most of his 21-year professional playing years in Major League Soccer, appearing for the Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes. Busch also represented the United States at both the youth and senior level. Arguably his best season was in 2008 when he was named MLS. Goalkeeper of the Year. As of the end of the 2015 season, Busch was ranked fourth in MLS history in number of shutouts. Busch earned his first, and only cap for the United States on March 9, 2005. He shut out Colombia in a friendly. He has also represented the U.S. at the U-17 and U-20 levels, as well as having played in the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan.  In May 2018, Busch made one last transfer move back to his first MLS club, Columbus Crew SC and retired from Major League Soccer. In 2019, Jon was named to the USMNT staff as the U23s and U20s Goalkeeper Coach. He continues to train US Soccer National Team GKs, MLS, NWSL, USL Pro Gks and is a tremendous asset to RGA GKs.  Jon has worked with the RGA team and GKs for the last two years at our camps and virtually assisting them with technical, mental and tactical training. We are excited to have Jon apart of our team and continuing to train our RGA GKs. Jon will continue to lead virtual trainings, our RGA @ Home program, and camps.

Certifications: Safesport Certified
YULia Hayes

AssistanT Goalkeeping Coach

Yulia has been a stand-out goalkeeper and known by many as an incredible encourager, role model and friend in the Central Virginia Soccer community.

She has excelled academically and on the field. She finished out her senior year at Banner Christian and with the U19 Richmond Strikers Elite Team, VA Central District and State ODP and former Division 1 Goalkeeper.

Yulia has been a Richmond Goalkeeping Academy GK Student for more than 7 years. Her knowledge and love for the game and next generation is something special and unique in itself. In addition to Coaching for RGA, she has returned to coach at Banner and other schools in Richmond as well.

We are privledged and honored to have her apart of the RGA Coaching Staff.

Certifications: Safesport Certified
Alice Funez

PT, Certified Strength & Conditioning COACH

Alice is known throughout the Richmond, VA youth strength and conditioning community. Currently she helps head up the Steward School Strength and Conditioning program as one of their coaches. Her specialties include ACL & injury prehab, progressive programing post PT rehab, strength and conditioning in speed, power, and healthy weight gain training.

She is a NASM certified personal trainer, a Mobility WOD Movement and Mobility Specialist, and is certified in Biomechanics and Human Movement, DBC Level 1.Alice is currently pursuing her doctorates in physical therapy. She is a huge asset and brings so much to our academy and gks. She will be leading the small group strength and conditioning sessions and is also available for private lessons with GKs, Field Players, and parents as well.

Alice resides in Richmond,Va with her husband and two sons. She loves family, fun, adventure and helping individuals achieve their personal and physical goals.
Coach Mario headshot
Mario Sequeira Quesada

RGA coaching intern/Volunteer Asst GK Coach

Prior to playing in college, Mario played for the soccer team Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica. He entered the team through the youth system at 9 years of age. Mario played for each age group and became the starter and captain of Saprissa’s second team, leading to his professional debut with the first team in 2016. Mario played in the U-20 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers and participated in the 2017 U-20 FIFA World Cup in South Korea with Costa Rica’s U-20 National Team. Mario looks forward to becoming a professional soccer player and is currently pursuing his masters in sports leadership.

We are excited to have Mario join the RGA and VSA staff. He is very skilled, knowledgable in the game and has a strong passion to help RGA and all of our goalkeepers grow and achieve their goals.

Certifications: SafeSport Certified
Our Lil' CEO


Samuel Hutchins

RGA coaching intern

Coach Sam  is originally from Oak Park, IL.  While there he studied Psychology at Wartburg College and also played for their Men’s soccer team.  He furthered his education receiving his Master’s in Divinity from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University.

Previously, Coach Sam spend three years at Lipscomb University in Nashville, in the IDEAL program.  During his time there He was an Assistant Coach for the Lipscomb Academy Men's High School team.  Coach Sam currently carries certifications from the United Soccer Coaches for Goalkeeping Level 1,  Defending Principles of Play, and Sports Psychology and Individual Mental Skills.  In addition, Sam is a Goalkeeping Coach and Assistant Coach a NCCA Christian College Athletic League college. We are excited to have Coach Sam join our staff both in Richmond and Virginia Beach!

Certifications: Safesport Certified
"Under Amanda's tutelage, my son progressed rapidly from academy GK to first string travel GK. His understanding of positioning and ability to read the intentions of players grew in ways that hard work alone could never have produced. Considering the cost of annual soccer dues, every hour with Amanda was a bargain."

- Philip Walker
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