Mitch Dubensky is the Founder and Director of First Touch Soccer. He moved to DC in 1984 and has lived in American University park since 1990.
He holds a USSF national "Youth" coaching license, a USSF National "C" coaching license and holds a USSF Referee certification. He played collegiate soccer, played in post-university adult travel leagues and played in various countries around the world.
His work ethic is simple -- if you work hard good things can happen. However, without the effort -- be it in life under the current global economic conditions or on the soccer field -- it will be extremely difficult to succeed.
Having acquired the academic credentials to pursue a rewarding and fulfilling 25-year livelihood in the government and corporate world, he decided it was time for a new ambition, a revitalized purpose and a renewed commitment to give back.
He came to the conclusion that among many passions is to teach children soccer skills, leadership skills, promote physical education, a healthy lifestyle and friendly competition.
Mitch believes that soccer can provide a competitive, physical and mental workout for youth. The game demands physical and mental exertion, forces one to think and provides ultimate satisfaction in teamwork and accomplishing goals. It provided him with a routine during school, a competitive outlet that eventually translated to a necessary life and business skill, motivated him to pursue his academics, created a desire for achievement and a willingness to sacrifice for teammates and friends. He strongly believes it helped with his career goals and achieving his ambitions.
As a commitment to this passion, the FTS Board decided the financial gains from First Touch Soccer will go to support education in the underprivileged global community. We recently provided a significant donation to a private elementary school for boys and girls in Thailand. More information can be found on the "Charitable Donations" page.
First Touch Soccer Board of Directors
Kevin Farmer, PE
Gregory Lawrence, PhD
All members of the First Touch Soccer Board of Directors serve in a volunteer capacity without salary.
First Touch Soccer, a small, independent and private organization, was chartered under the laws of the District of Columbia and the Internal Revenue Service in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
First Touch Soccer is only able to conduct the clinics because of the dedication and hard work of young men and women who are passionate about teaching soccer, playing with the kids, mentoring and working with them to enhance their soccer skills.
Over the years, the following people have offered their technical skills and coaching assistance to First Touch Soccer:
Matthijs Maruanaya -- Matthijs grew up in the vicinity of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. At the ripe old age of twelve he was recruited to play for the youth academy of the professional soccer team AZ Alkmaar. He played for all age groups and made his way to the senior Reserve Team. He also played for the Dutch Under 19 National Team. In 2005 he was asked to play for Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He was team captain in his junior and senior year. After college, Matthijs obtained a Master of Political Science degree in Barcelona, Spain. Matthijs now works at the Dutch Embassy in DC but he is a regular fixture on weekends with the DCYFC and the winter weekend clinics. Matthijs does magic with the ball and he is a terrific mentor for the kids.
Like all Dutchman, he speaks more languages than any other person I know except for another Dutchman!
Vanya Klein is a 2007 graduate of Wilson High School in Washington DC and was captain of the soccer team. He was a 2007 All-Met selection. Vanya trained and played in Brazil for many years and also in Holland and Germany. He played for the DC United U23 team. His skills are phenomenal, can hit the ball equally hard and accurate with both feet and is an excellent mentor and motivational instructor. Ask him to hit the crossbar from distance for you!
Jeff White is our resident goalie coach. Jeff was born in Guatemala and arrived to America at age 9. After graduating from Wilson High School in 2008, Jeff went on to get an Associates Degree and works at a health trade association in the morning and at the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in Adams Morgan conducting after school programs including teaching photography. He is great with the kids, calm and cool under pressure, and the kids gravitate to him because of his laid back style. Any aspiring goalie could learn a few techniques from Jeff.
Vince Tersegno played college soccer at St. Lawrence University, played semiprofessional and competed in several international soccer tournaments. Vince is a member of the First Touch Soccer Board of Directors. Vince has a national "D", "Youth" soccer licenses and received a Certifield Coerver Coaching Certificate.
A shout out also goes to local kids Chris Dougherty, Jeremy Cohen, Kevin Rivera, Nick Clements and Natalie Salcedo (all Wilson HS class of 2012). Appreciation is also extended to visiting guest players including: Sam Owens (Class of 2012 Hamilton NY), Erin Tersegno (U14 2012 NYS Cup Champion/2012 Webster HS Class AA NYS Finalist) and Christopher Lawrence (Class of 2013 Cropsyville NY) (sons and daughters of FTS Board members and friends) for their commitment, motivation and willingness to mentor FTS participants.