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USA’s -West Florida Flames’ ENCL- Ivory: This World Cup has changed my life

USA’s -West Florida Flames’ ENCL- Ivory: This World Cup has changed my life

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

USA’s Ivory: This World Cup has changed my life


As you might expect from a player with her surname, Laurel Ivory is a pretty solid customer. Indeed, the USA goalkeeper is so resilient, it was hard to keep count of just how many saves she made in her side’s three games at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016. Unfortunately for them, those stops were not enough to help the Stars and Stripes through to the next round, after successive defeats to Ghana and Japan – both matches they had initially led.

What’s more, Ivory also exhibited a high degree of mental resilience, when talking to just moments after leaving the field at the Amman International Stadium following the 3-2 reverse against the Japanese that spelt the end of USA’s tournament. “The last two games have been unfortunate: they were games we should and could have won,” said the custodian, her gaze firm and her chin up, determined to face the disappointment head on. “Unfortunately, we haven’t achieved what we’d wanted to.”

And though she admitted that, in the end, the best team won, she also felt that during long stretches of the game, the US had held the upper hand. “We really had Japan against the ropes but I’m sure that, at half-time, something happened in the dressing room that changed their mindset,” said Ivory, who made a host of decisive saves over the course of the match.

“They [Japan] were trailing [at the interval] and they managed to turn the game around completely. I gave everything to try and stop them scoring and I tried to help my team-mates as well as I possibly could. We were fantastic in the first half, especially in defence, but we weren’t able to hold out for the whole game.”

While some of her colleagues were still crying inconsolably in the dressing room, Ivory had already moved past that stage, and was equally quick to downplay her individual display. “Playing at a World Cup is something we’ve dreamed about since we were little, and that dream ended tonight. For that reason it’s hard, right now, to focus on the positives,” said the West Florida Flames keeper.

“I’ve given my best and tried to do my bit to put my team in the best position possible. But if in the end that’s not enough to win, you can’t allow yourself to be satisfied with a good [individual] performance.”

In it for the long haul
That is just one of many lessons Ivory will take from her time at Jordan 2016. “I’ve learned so much from this championship, it’s changed my life,” said the winner of the Golden Glove at this year’s CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship. “This is my first World Cup, my first experience of conditions almost like those in pro football. To be honest I’ve loved it and I’m really keen to stay on this path.”

Her dream of a bright footballing future, however, predates her World Cup debut by some distance, with Ivory catching the football bug when first kicking a ball around aged four. And after being heartbroken in mid-2013 upon missing out on selection for a regional representative side, it was her mother Jackie who stepped in to raise her spirits, asserting that the race to her goal was a marathon not a sprint.

It is this long-term perspective that is helping the young No1 keep her head now that her Middle Eastern sojourn is now over. “Of course it would have been fantastic to win this U-17 World Cup. But we also know that we [the USA] have never won this competition and, even so, at senior level we’re the world champions,” added Ivory, who was called into the national team set-up in September 2015.

“It’s a long-term philosophy: our whole career and footballing futures are at stake. We all have the ambition of one day reaching the senior side and this tournament is a big step forward in itself,” she said, as the interview concluded. “We needed to taste the atmosphere at a global competition; we needed to know how it feels to lose at one, and the emotions you go through in these situations. Everything we’ve experienced here is important for the future of this team.”


John Clare

John Clare

ECNL Staff Coach


John Clare is a USSF “A” Licensed Coach.  He has been coaching for more than 20 years, most recently as the Director of Coaching at Dynamo of Tampa.

He was a professional player in the American APSL, NPSL and USISL leagues; as well as a reserve team player at Werder Bremen (a German Bundesliga club). 


Grandy Streets

Grandy Streets

ECNL Staff Coach


Covenant College, 1987-1990

Atlanta Quicksilver, Chattanooga Railroaders

CLUB COACHING CAREER: 23 years           


Concord Soccer Club, Atlanta, GA 1990-1993

  • Technical Director of Boys Academy Teams U10-12
  • Coach of the year 1991 & 1992

Lakeland Lazers, FC. 1994-1997

Orlando Lions Soccer Club, Orlando, FL 1997-1999


Lakeland Soccer Club, Lakeland, FL 1999-2012

Countryside Lightning, Clearwater, FL 2006-2007

West Florida Flames, Brandon, Florida  2011-present

  • ECNL staff member 2013-present.
  • FSU inaugural Camp Instructor 2006-2007
  • FYSA State Championships in 2005, 2008
  • FYSA State Finalist in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007

HIGH SCHOOL COACHING CAREER: 10 years  (130-52-9 record)

Director of Soccer Program/Varsity Boys Head Coach/Director of Camps and College Placement, Lakeland Christian School, Lakeland, Florida 2006-present

  • Manage coaching staff for 5 teams and over 100 student athletes.
  • Manage LCS Summer Soccer camps.
  • Assist in College placement, and student guidance/mentoring.
  • Manage and create fundraising opportunities for the program.
  • Balance and maintain financial budget for the program.
  • Head coach for the Varsity Boys soccer team.

Varsity Boys Head Coach, George Jenkins High School, Lakeland, Florida 2003


  • Florida USSF License D
  • BRUSA Certification. 2 levels


  • Fans Hoek Method
  • Coerver Coaching 1 & 2 Certification
  • NCAA convention 2008-2011
  • P.C.A. (positive coaching alliance)
Dale Buterbaugh

Dale Buterbaugh

ECNL Staff Assistant

Coach Buterbaugh served 21 years in the Air Force where he was selected as the assistant coach to the women’s’ Armed Forces team and led the team to the 5th military world games in Rio Brazil and the Head Coach for the latest 2015 6th World Games in Korea. He also coached multiple Air Force Base teams throughout the world. Locally he served as acoach, assistant coach and trainer for the Brandon FC WPSL team, Super Y programs, Region III, NPL, CDL and FYSA teams. Prior to coaching he was selected to compete with the Air Force soccer team and the Armed Forces European championships. While playing in Europe he was selected to the Siegelbach Futbol Club Landesliga, Kaiserslautern Germany. Also while on active duty coach Buterbaugh attended Jefferson Community College where he led the team to the Mid State Athletic Conference Championship, was selected to the Mid State Athletic All-Conference Team, and was ranked 7th in the nation in NJCCADIII goal scoring. His education includes degrees from The Community College of The Air Force and Saint Leo University.

Coach Buterbaugh holds the NSCAA Advanced NationalDiploma and a USSF D license.

Remo  Hernandez

Remo Hernandez

Pre-ECNL Staff Coach

Remo Hernandez

Girls U11 Premier

Girls U12 Premier

With 23 years of experience and over 1,200 games coaching boys and girls youth at all levels.

Coach Remo is the Girls Academy Age Group Director at West Florida Flames and a Staff Coach for 2 teams. During his 23 years coaching, he initially coached boys teams U13-U18 for 13 years winning numerous tournaments including Atlanta Cup, Disney Showcase, CASL and over 150 State tournaments. He has been coaching girls for the last 10 years. 2009 during his D license class he met the now deceased instructor Gary Barnett who motivated Coach Hernandez to implement a system that focus on individual skills for the younger ages. It is very rewarding to teach the little ones how to do all the different dribbles and watch them do it during games.

Coaching Education

USSF ‘D’ License- 2009

USSF ‘C’ License- 2011

NSCAA Advance National Diploma- 2013

Coerver Coaching Youth Diploma- 2014

Coaching Career

Staff Coach of West Florida Flames, FL. 2004-Present

Staff Coach of Players Club, FL 2001-2003

Staff Coach of Valrico Soccer Club 1998-2000

Staff Coach of BAYSL, FL. 1992-1997

Playing Career

La Constancia FC, El Salvador

Juventud Olimpica FC, El Salvador

El Salvador FC- Suncoast League International Division

Guerrero FC, Mexican League, Plant City

Philosophy- Focus on developing technically skilled players that are comfortable on the ball and enjoy taking players one on one. Instill passion and love for the game.








Cecilie Henriksen

Cecilie Henriksen

ECNL Staff Coach

Cecilie or “C-la” her American name, is a former D1 Women’s soccer assistant coach.  As a collegiate player, she was on the NSCAA/NAIA All-America team in 2011 as a senior at Embry-Riddle University and has played several years on the Denmark national team.   A standout soccer player, Henriksen played on the U14 and U15 Denmark Northern Region team from 2000-02. She played on Denmark’s U17 National team in 2002-03; U19 National team in 2003-04; and U21 National squad in 2004-2005.

Currently she has been working with the staff at the University of South Florida under Head Coach Denise Schilte-Brown.  Prior to arriving in Tampa Florida, she was the Women’s Soccer Assistant Coach at Idaho State University.  Before that, she was the assistant coach at Northwestern State University of Louisiana from 2012-2014.

“To have someone on our staff who has played on their national team since her youth career, played professionally, and who has coached at the D1 collegiate level and been named a collegiate All-American, I think is a tremendous gain for our ECNL program,” said Zavala. “Her international and collegiate experience brings a different perspective to our ECNL program that the players and the rest of the coaching staff alike can learn from and appreciate.”

Prior to her collegiate career Henriksen played professionally for Fortuna Hjorring in Denmark from 2003-2007.  Henriksen began her collegiate career at Baylor in 2007, then transferred to Embry-Riddle in 2008, but before that, she played for the Ottawa Fury of the USL W-League in Canada in 2008. She was also member of the Louisiana Soccer Association ODP Coaching Staff from 2012-2014.

Henriksen earned her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies at Embry Riddle in 2011 and minored in psychology, human factors, and communication. She is in the process of attaining her USSF “C” and currently holds the NSCAA Goalkeeping Diploma I, II, and III.