WorldStrides Excel Programs is dedicated to delivering the best international sports tour experience possible. If you would like to learn more about how WorldStrides Excel Programs can help you plan an international sports tour, please feel free to contact us at any time by filling out the form below or contacting us via email (email@example.com) or phone (410-489-2287).
Meet Our Team
As former players, coaches and trainers, our team is committed to creating world-class soccer tours for you and your players. With over 50+ combined years of experience in the field, our seasoned experts work with you to ensure that all aspects of your tour, including competition, training, sightseeing and everything in between, meet your individual needs and expectations.
Our Tour Directors are all natives with deep local soccer and cultural connections. From the moment you arrive to the day you depart, they ensure that your team has a top-notch experience in all areas of your tour. Read on to learn about each of our dedicated team members…
Senior Vice President/General Manager
Since 1998, Eric has been the Managing Director of Excel International Sports, and he c...Read More
Since 1998, Eric has been the Managing Director of Excel International Sports, and he continues to oversee Excel programming in sports and active pursuits since the company’s acquisition by WorldStrides in January 2015. His decades-old skill and passion for sports makes him an apt overseer of Excel’s international soccer and sports travel for players and students of all skill levels. He also actively maintains and grows the group’s inside connections at all levels of play, empowering WorldStrides to put together the highest quality and most exciting travel programs available today.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Eric is a former pro soccer player and physical education teacher. Ask him what he finds most rewarding about his job—sports or education—and Eric will tell you unequivocally that it’s “both, actually!” His goal is to bring sports teams from around the world to compete against each other while breaking down barriers of language, culture, and geography. He is married to wife, Mignon, and has two teenage daughters.
Senior Director of Sales
Nick joins our team as the Director of Sales from the Perspectives division of WorldStr...Read More
Nick joins our team as the Director of Sales from the Perspectives division of WorldStrides. Beginning his career with WorldStrides twelve years ago, Nick started as a Tour Director in Europe leading educational trips around the UK, France, Spain, and Switzerland for high school students. At every opportunity, Nick injected his enthusiasm for soccer and his die-hard fandom of Aston Villa Football Club.
An avid soccer player and long-time athlete, Nick played first team soccer for the University of Surrey and captained the rugby team in high school at The Kings School, Ely. Hailing from a bloodline of top soccer players, Nick is a close relative of former Northern Ireland international, Jimmy Quinn.
Born on a farm near Cambridge, England, Nick graduated from the University of Surrey majoring in European Studies, French, and Spanish. In 2006, Nick moved to Boston, Massachusetts to work for WorldStrides full-time. He has traveled extensively around the world and in the U.S. and has called a number of cities home including Napa and San Francisco, California; Richmond, Virginia; and his current city of residence is Lakewood, Colorado, where he lives with his wife Keegen and three daughters – Poppy, and twins Philippa & Fiona.
With a knowledgeable background in finance, Sharon oversees accounting and office matte...Read More
With a knowledgeable background in finance, Sharon oversees accounting and office matters. She has been with Excel since 2014.
Account Executive - Team Lead
Jamie joined the WorldStrides Excel team in January 2018. He brings a wealth of soccer ...Read More
Jamie joined the WorldStrides Excel team in January 2018. He brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and experience on the West Coast from his 15 years working in the youth soccer camps and training market, where he developed fantastic relationships and respect from professionals in the soccer industry. Passionate about the game he loves most, Jamie is excited to be able to help clubs, colleges and high schools provide international travel for their players to help broaden their horizons.
An avid soccer player and multi-sport athlete, Jamie played first team soccer for the Nottingham Trent University and semi-professionally in Leicestershire, UK. Rugby, Cricket, Tennis and Golf are all sports Jamie participates in along with a huge love for Formula 1 and Motorsports. However, Liverpool FC is his biggest crush.
Born in Leicester, England (home of the EPL Champions in 2016), Jamie has lived & worked in 33 US states and has now settled in Sacramento, California with his wife Allison and 2 children, Maddie and Mason. Having played and travelled around Europe as a child in countries like Holland, Germany, France & Italy, Jamie has great memories of the experiences travel provides to a soccer player and wants to inspire others to experience that same feeling too.
Account Executive -Team Lead
Steven joined our team in January of 2017 as an Account Executive. Steven has been invo...Read More
Steven joined our team in January of 2017 as an Account Executive. Steven has been involved in soccer for over 17 years, having coached in Scotland, his country of birth before moving to continue coaching in America in 2006. Steven comes with great experience in the soccer industry, through coaching and managing a large soccer coaching company in Maryland.
Steven is an avid sports fan and loves all sports, with particular interests in soccer and golf. A lifelong Celtic who still tries his best never to miss a game. Steven is a former Club Champion golfer and still enjoys playing with colleagues and friends.
Steven grew up in Alva, a small town in central Scotland. He graduated with a BA degree in Sports Management from Glasgow Caledonian University. Steven calls home to Baltimore, where he has lived for the past 5 years and lives with his fiancé Anna.
Chas joined the WorldStrides Excel Programs team as Account Executive in May 2016. Wi...Read More
Chas joined the WorldStrides Excel Programs team as Account Executive in May 2016. With over 20 years’ experience in the soccer travel market Chas brings industry leading experience to the company. Chas has successfully organized trips around the world for thousands of satisfied youth soccer players and families.
Chas has always been a passionate soccer enthusiast, from playing in his youth in his native London, England, to coaching the game at every level in Upstate NY. Since 2006, he has served as the Assistant Coach of the highly successful William Smith College Women’s Soccer program, winning the NCAA DIII National Championship in 2013. He has also enjoyed success as a coach with New York West Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program and the Syracuse Fusion Soccer Club. Chas has numerous coaching qualifications including an ‘A’ License with United States Soccer Federation, the Youth Soccer License and the English Football Association Sports Psychology Certificate.
As a previous season ticket holder, Chas has always been a passionate Chelsea FC fan, witnessing his first game at the age of 7. Amongst many of his highlights as a fan, he saw them pick up the Cup Winners Cup in Sweden.
Chas was born in Aylesbury Buckinghamshire, and grew up in Kingston Surrey. He graduated State side at Ithaca College with BSc in Communication Management. Since 2004, Chas has lived in the picturesque Fingers Lakes since 2004, with his wife Sue and children Mimi, Jack and Rory.
Sales Management Administrator
Jonny joined our Excel Sports team in the summer of 2017 after completing a two-year Gr...Read More
Jonny joined our Excel Sports team in the summer of 2017 after completing a two-year Graduate Assistant coaching position at Southwest Baptist University, a NCAA Division II school in Bolivar, Missouri. Prior to this, he was Director of Operations for the Tony Glavin Soccer Club in St Charles, Missouri, and an assistant coach for the Men’s and Women’s Varsity soccer teams at Truman State University, located in Kirksville, Missouri.
A native of Perth, Scotland, Jonny came to the United States in the summer of 2008 to attend Truman State University on a soccer scholarship. As a four-year varsity starter, he helped his team to an NCAA National Tournament Appearance in 2010 and a top 10 ranking in the national polls at the conclusion of the regular season. While being part of a Truman team ranked nationally for two and a half years, he also twice earned Daktronics South Central All-Region First Team honors while finishing in the top ten list for career assists as a Bulldog. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication from Truman.
Jonny currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife, Sally, also a former Truman State soccer player.
Paddy joined the WorldStrides Excel team as an Account Executive in October 2018. Trave...Read More
Paddy joined the WorldStrides Excel team as an Account Executive in October 2018. Travel and Sport has always been a massive part of Paddy’s life and after relocating the United States in 2013 he is keen to provide the same opportunities to others. Having travelled around Europe throughout his years at University, Paddy has also played soccer at various levels throughout his childhood. The Manchester native spent his childhood following his local team, Stockport County. After completing a Sport degree at Sheffield Hallam University, Paddy made the move to the United States and has over 8 years of experience in various roles.
At present the FA & USSF licensed coach serves as the Associate Director of Operation at A3 Soccer Club whilst coaching two teams and being a member of the Maryland State ODP team. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.
Jamie has been a soccer coach for over 15 years – coaching youth, ODP, High School, C...Read More
Jamie has been a soccer coach for over 15 years – coaching youth, ODP, High School, College, and Semi-professional teams all over the US. In addition to her extensive youth coaching experience, she has experience as a collegiate coach across all three NCAA divisions. Jamie grew up in Savannah, Ga and went on to attend Vanderbilt University for both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Throughout her coaching career Jamie has taken student groups on international trips to Austria, Germany, Italy, the Bahamas, and India. She speaks both English and Spanish fluently and resides in Austin, TX. Jamie joined the Excel Sports team as an Account Executive in 2018.
Liam Murphy has a lifelong relationship with the game. Growing up in a Northern Suburb ...Read More
Liam Murphy has a lifelong relationship with the game. Growing up in a Northern Suburb of Chicago, he played for one of the best clubs in the nation: The Chicago Kickers Soccer Club. It was there he lined up alongside of Ken Snow (2-time Herman Award Winner) and Steve Snow (United States, U-17, U-20, U-23 National Teams & the 96 Olympic Team). He enjoyed numerous successful seasons at the High School and Club level.
During his tenure at school, he played on world-class teams in the United States, as well as in Europe. While injury sidelined the possibility of a professional soccer career, it allowed Liam to channel his talent in another direction. As an Account Executive for many large Chicago Advertising firms, he implemented successful sports marketing programs centered around special events, promotions, and cooperative advertising. Also, as a Director of Coaching for large soccer clubs in Chicago and Denver where he created many training programs as well as age-specific curriculum.
When Liam is not working, he really enjoys family time with his wife Sue and two kids, daughter Breckyn Paige 9 and son, Liam (LJ) 6 years of age.
Colleen O’Connor joined our team in November of 2018. Colleen has been involved in la...Read More
Colleen O’Connor joined our team in November of 2018. Colleen has been involved in lacrosse for over 10 years; she was a three year starter for the Division I Women’s Lacrosse team at Saint Mary’s College of California and also played one year at Old Dominion University. Colleen was a starter for Team Éire (Ireland) in the 2017 World Cup Festival. She has competed internationally in both England and Australia. She also has four years coaching experience at the high school and club level and one year refereeing experience.
Colleen has an extensive background in sports; she was also a competitive gymnast for 10 years, played field hockey, basketball, soccer, and tennis prior to college. While she loves all sports, her favorite sport to watch is rugby.
Colleen grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and now calls Newport Beach, California home. She graduated with a BA in Theological and Religious Studies from Saint Mary’s College of California. She made the 2016 & 2017 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All Academic Team and the 2018 Conference USA All Academic Team. She is a member of both the Phi Sigma Tau International Honor Society in Philosophy and the Tau Sigma National Honor Society for Transfer Students. She is also a certified member of the Positive Coaching Alliance.
RJ joined WorldStrides Excel in August of 2018. After graduating from Radford Universit...Read More
RJ joined WorldStrides Excel in August of 2018. After graduating from Radford University, RJ was a Special Education teacher in Virginia from 2013-2018. During his time as a teacher, RJ also coached baseball, basketball, and football at multiple levels. Because both sports and education are such passions for him, joining the WorldStrides Excel team was a perfect fit.
RJ was born and raised in Harrisonburg, Virginia and now currently resides in Frederick, Maryland.
Individual Travel Executive
Jon is originally from London, England and has been coaching soccer in Fairfield County...Read More
Jon is originally from London, England and has been coaching soccer in Fairfield County since 2002. He is currently the Coaching Director for the Darien Soccer Association and Director of CFC Chelsea. Jon has coached Brien McMahon Girls, Darien High School Girls and Darien High School Boys, receiving 4 FCIAC Coach of the Year Awards. From a pool of over 145 coaches Jon was selected as the 2015 Fall Coach of the Year. He holds the record number of wins for both the boys and girls high school programs in Darien and Jon has won numerous State and Regional Cups with his teams.
His experience of playing varies from university level in the US at Ithaca College to semi professional level in England playing for Leyton Orient. Jon Graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in International Business and lives in Stamford, CT with his wife and two children.
Jon is proud to be one of the Directors of the Gothia Cup trip and of FC USA International. He has been running tours for over 10 years to different countries all over the world and believes the unique opportunity to take players overseas through soccer and education is truly extraordinary.
Individual Travel Executive
Scott McBride is an assistant coach at Sacred Heart University and will assist with all...Read More
Scott McBride is an assistant coach at Sacred Heart University and will assist with all aspects of the program, including recruiting, on-field coaching and scheduling. He was previously at the University of Bridgeport, where he had been involved with the program for 14 seasons, as well as helping build CFC into one of the best youth clubs in the country.
Scott has been on the sideline at the University of Bridgeport, helping the Purple Knights to nine NCAA Tournament berths, all since 2007, including a Final Four and Elite Eight appearance. Under his tutelage UB captured seven conference regular season titles and four conference tournaments. In 2011, he was named the NSCAA East Regional Assistant Coach of the Year, an honor that is awarded to an assistant from any division of the NCAA.
Scott began coaching at CFC in 2003, and has led teams to Top 25 rankings, a Region I championship and multiple Connecticut State Cup Championships. Scott has been arranging individual tours to Europe since 2000, and consistently takes several teams to compete at Gothia cup every year.
Account Management - Team Lead
Ashley joined WorldStrides Excel as an Account Manager in May 2015, having previously w...Read More
Ashley joined WorldStrides Excel as an Account Manager in May 2015, having previously worked for Adidas. Sports have always played a role in Ashley’s life and she strongly believes in the opportunities that a game can create for a passionate and determined individual.
Ashley graduated from the University of Louisville as a member of the women’s lacrosse team with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Administration and a minor in Communication. In her senior year, she helped lead the Cardinals to their first ever Big East Championship and NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Ashley was born and raised in Upstate New York. In 2014, she made the move down South and settled in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Outside of work, Ashley is still actively involved in the lacrosse community and coaches a local youth club.
Kerri joined the WorldStrides Excel team in 2017 after previously working as an Account...Read More
Kerri joined the WorldStrides Excel team in 2017 after previously working as an Account Manager in the youth sports industry. Sports has played a huge role in her life, which led her to working in a field where she can help provide lifetime experiences for athletes.
Kerri graduated from York College of Pennsylvania, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and minors in both Hospitality Marketing and Communications. She also played on the York College Women’s lacrosse team as a midfielder where she helped lead her team to their first ever NCAA tournament, and furthermore on to 2 rounds of the NCAA sweet sixteen.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Kerri moved down to Baltimore, MD in 2017. Outside of sports, she loves to travel, go to the beach and spend time with her family and friends.
Morgan joined WorldStrides Excel in June 2015 as a Marketing Coordinator and later tran...Read More
Morgan joined WorldStrides Excel in June 2015 as a Marketing Coordinator and later transitioned into an Account Manager in 2016. She previously worked in the professional sports industry where she was a Community Relations intern for the Baltimore Orioles during the 2014 season.
Morgan graduated from Towson University in 2015, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and minor is Business Administration.
Morgan experienced international travel first hand when she toured with her soccer team to England in 2007. She came back to the States as a huge Stoke City fan. Outside of supporting the Potters, Morgan is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Orioles fan.
Ashley joined WorldStrides Excel as an Account Manager in February 2019, having previou...Read More
Ashley joined WorldStrides Excel as an Account Manager in February 2019, having previously worked for Revolution3 Multisport as the Athlete Services & Sponsorship Coordinator.
After spending 15 years in the education arena, she left the classroom to pursue a Master’s degree in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University. Her time in Boston affirmed her love for the Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins.
In addition to teaching, Ashley spent eight seasons as a high school swim coach, where she led the men’s team to back-to-back state championships in 2015 & 2016.
Ashley was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, spending time with her yellow Lab, Chance, indoor cycling, and planning her next adventure. Her travel goals include: visiting every US National Park, volunteering at an animal sanctuary in Africa, and driving the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle to San Diego.
She believes her passion for adventure, sports, and education makes her role at Worldstrides Excel a perfect fit.
Director of Operations and Finance
Katina first joined WorldStrides in 2015 as a member of the Tour Central team, handling...Read More
Katina first joined WorldStrides in 2015 as a member of the Tour Central team, handling on-tour issues and emergencies for traveling groups of students. She relocated to Charlottesville, VA to join the University division, where she worked in Pricing and Finance and led domestic product operations. After briefly working in the Financial Technology sector, she rejoins WorldStrides as the Pricing and Product Manager of Excel Sports.
Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Katina played soccer and ran cross country through high school. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2013, she became a certified personal trainer and worked with marathon runners and power lifters. Her family is from southern Germany and southern California, and she has traveled throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. She speaks fluent German and some Spanish and French.
Senior Pricing Specialist
Works closely with the Excel Sports sales team on planning and support of our sports to...Read More
Works closely with the Excel Sports sales team on planning and support of our sports tours. Joy joined Worldstrides in 2011.
Alyson joined the Excel team in May of 2018 as a Tour Planner. Coming from a background...Read More
Alyson joined the Excel team in May of 2018 as a Tour Planner. Coming from a background rich in sports and recreation she believes in the positive impact that sports and traveling can have on youth and adult players. She has been a soccer referee for 12 years and continues to play in adult co-ed leagues while occasionally coaching for youth travel teams.
Alyson graduated from Radford University in May of 2016 with a degree in Sport Administration and a minor in marketing. Aly was born in Virginia Beach and has been living in the Charlottesville area for 17 years. In her spare time, she fosters dogs for a couple local shelters, teaches kayaking classes and is a big hiker and lover of the outdoors.
In May of 2018, Makaely graduated from Radford University where she obtained her degree...Read More
In May of 2018, Makaely graduated from Radford University where she obtained her degree in Sports Administration. During her time at Radford, she was elected President of the Women’s Club Volleyball team. She led, organized and developed the team throughout her years at Radford. She has been playing travel and club volleyball for over 12 years.
Makaely is very passionate about traveling; she has been to England, France, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic and to the Bahamas. Makaely grew up in Northern Virginia where she was born and raised a UVA fan. After graduating from Radford she then moved to Charlottesville to start her career.
Air Travel Coordinator
Savannah graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. and a B.S. She stu...Read More
Savannah graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. and a B.S. She studied abroad at the University of the West Indies in Barbados and at the Universita per Stranieri in Italy. She is passionate about the personal growth obtained through travel and the relationships cultivated through team sports. Savannah joined WorldStrides in 2017.
Tour Operations Manager
Katherine has a degree in Business and Tourism from the University of the West of Engla...Read More
Katherine has a degree in Business and Tourism from the University of the West of England, Bristol. She joined Excel Sports in September 2017 and is the Operations Team Leader based in Yeovil, in the UK.
Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Adam graduated from University in Manchester and...Read More
Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Adam graduated from University in Manchester and has years of experience within the travel industry with a passion for soccer. Adam coordinates operations for US teams traveling to the UK and Ireland.
A graduate from the University of Verona with a degree in foreign languages. He has bee...Read More
A graduate from the University of Verona with a degree in foreign languages. He has been playing football for 18 years and is still active, playing for a semi-professional football team in his city. Now a certified tour leader who has guided numerous rugby and soccer teams. Leonardo has been with Excel since 2013.
Jack was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, and has been involved in coaching and ma...Read More
Jack was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, and has been involved in coaching and managing youth soccer teams for almost twenty years now. Jack is married with two children and two grandchildren. He works full time for a well-known publishing company. Jack has worked with many of our youth, ODP and college teams visiting Scotland and England over the last ten years. Jack has managed Excel Sports groups in the UK since 2006 and is a huge Glasgow Celtic Fan!
Catherine has worked in the sports industry in Ireland & the UK for over 20 years. ...Read More
Catherine has worked in the sports industry in Ireland & the UK for over 20 years. Most of her career has been spent in business development and group management within in the sports travel industry, but she also spent four years working in tournament operations on professional golf events such as The Irish Open, The Ladies Irish Open, The Ryder Cup & The Solheim Cup. Catherine is based in Co. Cork in Ireland and has worked with us since 2009, leading groups in both Ireland & the UK.
Esther is from Barcelona, but has previously lived in Mexico. She enjoys traveling and ...Read More
Esther is from Barcelona, but has previously lived in Mexico. She enjoys traveling and is very knowledgeable when it comes to different cultures and ways of life. She also enjoys art and sports. Esther is energetic and lives every day to the fullest!
Due to the nature of her job as a school teacher, she is very experienced in leading gr...Read More
Due to the nature of her job as a school teacher, she is very experienced in leading groups. Stephanie loves traveling, and has travelled to the US on many occasions. Stephanie has been with Excel since 2012.
Robin "Woody" Wood
Woody has been with Excel since our first trip in 1998! From Scotland, has looked after...Read More
Woody has been with Excel since our first trip in 1998! From Scotland, has looked after teams in all parts of Europe and is a season ticket holder at St. Johnstone FC! He holds a UEFA ‘B’ level coaching license and has coached numerous football clubs in Scotland, including a semi-professional club based near his hometown of Perth, Scotland. He was also a semi-professional player for sixteen years, scoring numerous goals as a striker with various clubs. Woody is by far our most experienced staff member. He has led youth, ODP and college teams through Scotland, England, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Sweden.