Coach Amanda headshot

Founder and director of Goalkeeping

Originally from Virginia Beach, Va, Coach Amanda has been in the soccer world for 30 plus years. More than 12 years playing experience and 19 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 USL National Finals to the NCAA D3 College Game. Her playing experience 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 started her coaching journey and became the youngest Director of Goalkeeping at the age of 17 for the Old Dominion Select Travel Soccer Club in Virginia Beach, VA. 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 later founding the Richmond Goalkeeping Academy in 2008.  

Over the last 19 years, Amanda and her staff have coached and mentored goalkeepers to help them move on to the D1, D2, D3 collegiate levels, High School Varsity, ECNL Girls and Boys, ECNL-R Girls and Boys, MLS NEXT Academy, Girl's Academy, Elite Travel teams, Eastern Regional, VA State, District ODP teams, Semi-Professional and Professional levels.

Her biggest focus is 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 Assistant Coach), Steve O'neil (former Director of Goalkeeping for USL W-League Hampton Roads Piranhas and Va Rush Soccer Club,  Jon Busch ( retired 21-year MLS Goalkeeper and US Men's National Team member) and Eric Steele (Former Professional Goalkeeping Coach for Manchester United, Manchester City, and the English National Team and additionally former professional goalkeeper for Newcastle United).

Previously, Coach Amanda was the Goalkeeping Coach and Assistant Coach at Marymount University for their Women's and Men's Soccer Programs (Atlantic East Conference NCAA DIII). In July 2021, Longwood University Men's Soccer (NCAA D1 Big South) brought on Coach Amanda as their goalkeeping coach making her the third female in NCAA D1 Men's Soccer history to coach male goalkeepers.

Additionally, Amanda has been a rotating staff Goalkeeping coach with Virginia ODP's Goalkeeping Staff and previously held a shared role as Director of Goalkeeping with the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club during Fall 2020 through Spring 2021.

Coach Amanda is currently RGA's Director of Goalkeeping and the Director of Goalkeeping for Skyline Elite's ECNL Boys and Girls Academy Girls teams.

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: Welsh FA Goalkeeping License, Scottish FA Level 1 License, US Soccer D License, United Soccer Coaches Goalkeeping Diplomas, CPR and Safesport Certified
Mario Sequeira Quesada

Lead Goalkeeping Coach

Coach Mario started his journey with RGA in 2000 as our Graduate Goalkeeping Coach Intern. Mario has diligently worked to help RGA Goalkeepers grow on and off the field and help many move on to play in the college game.

Prior to playing in college, Mario played for professional 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. In December 2022, Mario graduated from VCU's Sports Leadership Program with his masters in sports leadership.

Mario is very skilled and 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

SAMANtha leshnak Murphy

Assistant Technical director and Lead 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
Melissa Lowder

Assistant Goalkeeping Coach

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 Virtual 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: Scottish FA Goalkeeping License and Safesport Certified

Laney Placido

AssistanT Business manager

Laney currently plays soccer for an NCAA Division 3 school where she plays as a midfielder.She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. Laney has previously completed her internship with RGA and has worked at numerous summer camps and clinics as an assistant coach with our Junior Goalkeepers. Outside of School, Playing and RGA, Laney also coaches a JV Boy Soccer Team at Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA.

We are excited to have Laney join our staff. She has been very diligent throughout her prior internship with RGA. She has served our goalkeepers, parents, volunteers and staff through numerous events and always goes the extra mile! Laney is in charge of a lot of the behind the scenes administrative work at RGA and oversees our Current Interns.

Certifications: CPR and 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.

"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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