In June 2012, Igor Galijasevic created FC Mirage. With the passing of his father Seyo Galijasevic in April of 2012, Igor voluntarily coached all five Mirage SC teams through the last month of the soccer club’s existence, in honor of his father’s seven years of work and commitment to Mirage Soccer Club. From the age of seven, Igor played in various club teams coached by Seyo and other professional coaches in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Illinois winning tournaments, leagues, and scoring awards. Having been an active assistant coach since the inception of the Mirage Soccer Club in 2005, he took his first head coach position as a coach for the Mirage U-14 boys team in the 2008-2009 season. In his first season, the team won their league division and were finalists in two out of state tournaments. Igor began his coaching career at a young age working as a soccer camp counselor in day camps, country clubs, and soccer club camps. While in college, he ran an indoor micro soccer indoor league for NSC Premier, coaching six different U6 through U8 teams per day in training and games, which gave him experience in working with and helping young players transition from house league (recreational) to competitive travel soccer.
Igor has over fourteen years of experience in coaching multiple competitive teams of varying skill levels ranging from U8 through U16. Additionally he has experience in running summer camps, tryouts, clinics, structured private practices and coaching teams for 3v3 & 4v4 tournaments. He refereed for twelve years as an assistant and center referee for soccer leagues in Illinois and Missouri. His seven year history as the head coach of FC Mirage includes three Illinois Cup championships, multiple tournament wins and first place finishes in outdoor and indoor leagues. The Mirage U16 Boys team, whom he has coached since U8, have won the Illinois Cup and played D1 youth soccer. 2019 is the first time that Mirage has had a U16 team, and one that is comprised of players that have played together since U8. Over the past six years, the majority of soccer players from FC Mirage have made their respective high school varsity teams. Every player on the first FC Mirage girls team (which he coached from U12-U15) made their respective high school soccer teams with some playing as varsity starters.
Igor learned to coach directly from his father and absorbed the coaching style that has consistently produced successful players and teams. Following his father’s philosophy of “fully invest yourself in a player’s development”, he works to ensure that all players he is coaching are constantly developing as soccer players while enjoying their time on the field. Igor is directly involved in the development of all FC Mirage players.
Over the summer of 2017, Coach Igor completed the new USSF National “C” License Course, further developing his coaching education after the completion of the D,E & F courses. In 2017 he also become a staff coach for the Illinois Olympic Development Program, excited to take part in helping a new staff reshape and strengthen Illinois ODP for the future.
Igor holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with a Minor in German from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In addition to coaching soccer, Igor gained experience in managing small to groups of up to 500 people, by working as a lead facilitator for corporate team bonding programs; programs focus on encouraging and strengthening teamwork between individuals and departments within a business/corporation inclusive of overseas members. He has designed and lead team building programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, for clients such as Google, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and many more.
Igor has also maintained a career in music by playing in/managing a heavy metal band. Developing from playing in front of mirrors and basements to touring internationally and being a professionally endorsed artist, he understands how hours of deliberate practice and struggling to overcome frustration parallels the requirement for a young player to work on their skills to improve; focused attention to detail will lead to positive results. The coordination with and integration of band members parallels working with the ever-flowing components of a team and a club, and this experience gives him a better understanding of holistic development in players.
COACHING HALL OF FAME
SEAD “SEYO” GALIJASEVIC 1949 – 2012
Mirage Soccer Club founder coach Sead “Seyo” Galijasevic possessed over 30 years of coaching experience with various clubs at all age levels in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Illinois, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Yugoslavia). He played professionally for clubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Yugoslavia) for over 20 years, including as a youth for the national team, and also coached two professional teams. To this day, he is still recognized in the Balkans as a great striker with a powerful shot.
After moving to the United States he continued coaching for five years in Pennsylvania as a coach of the Hershey Cosmos, one of Central Pennsylvania’s top Premier Soccer Clubs, and furthermore served as the Director of Coaching in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. In Missouri he coached the Kansas City Wave and the Kansas City Inter, guiding those two select youth soccer clubs to numerous state and regional Championships. In 2001 he was the assistant coach for the Kansas City Mystics (National Women’s Soccer League) where he coached Maribel “Marigoal” Dominguez, 2001 MPV and one of the best female players of all time who was denied the ability to play on a professional men’s team by FIFA.
In Illinois he coached six teams for Chicago United Soccer Club and was the Director of Coaching at Full Package Athletics. After creating a soccer program of high level teams for FPA, he coached all three teams in their first year to first place in the top divisions for their age groups. Post FPA, he coached at Glenview Soccer Club for a year after which he formed Mirage Soccer Club in May of 2005.
Coach Seyo ran his Mirage program until his passing on April 22, 2012. From the day he created Mirage Soccer Club, he coached countless teams to 1st place in various leagues and tournaments, while developing high level soccer players. Almost all of his youth players made their respective varsity high school teams, inclusive of the first player in 20 years from Glenview to go to Division 1 College Soccer. Coach Seyo also had national experience with 3 vs. 3 teams and has taken a number of teams to the national finals in Orlando Florida, including a boys team to first place in the national tournament.
Sead held a wide range of knowledge in teaching skills and techniques, especially in finishing and scoring for offensive players. He possessed patience and understanding in teaching youth the basic skills which are essential for high-level competition. Sead developed players to understand how to read the game and to bring their style of play to the highest possible level. His greatest strength was in further developing the abilities players already possessed and coaching them on what should be improved in order to be able to play to their full ability. Often he coached teams, that in previous seasons had less than positive results under different coaches/organizations, to first place within just a half a season of working with the new players. Coach Seyo maintained a philosophy often ignored of teaching ALL players how to become a soccer player, regardless of their physical or athletic abilities. Coach Seyo was the director of coaching for all Mirage Soccer Programs.
Here is a link to the Sun Times article on Seyo: http://www.suntimes.com/news/obituaries/12385846-418/sead-coach-seyo-galijasevic-62-beloved-soccer-coach-survived-bosnian-war.html
Ralph played his club soccer in Germany until he came to the U.S. in pursuit of an academic career. His life-long passion for the game eventually led him to serve as a youth soccer coach first in Pittsburgh and later in the Chicago area. After obtaining his USSF coaching license, he joined Mirage as an assistant coach in 2006. During the 2009-2010 season he had primary coaching responsibilities for the U-14 boys team, which competed in the top divisions of YSSL for 3 years, and he served as Seyo’s assistant on the U-11 boys team. Ralph is now an assistant for the U-11 boys team and helps with the running of the club.
Having been a competitive player during the time of “total soccer,” Ralph has a deep appreciation for Mirage’s philosophy of maximizing young players’ fun by teaching them to play the game properly. Much of Ralph’s work with the boys is directed at helping them understand that the “beautiful game” is defined more by team play and positioning than individual effort and hustle.
When he’s not coaching soccer, Ralph teaches psychology at DePaul University. His academic background comes in very handy in helping young minds at various stages of development cope with the emotional side effects of playing a competitive game. His sons Kai & Kekoa, both Mirage alumni, played as starters on the Varsity team at GBS.
Favorite Team: Vfb Stuttgart (Germany)
Al Bello served for man y years as an Assistant Coach for his two sons Mirage teams, coaching many games with both Seyo and Igor. He started coaching 16 years ago with house league teams in Wilmette. He subsequently earned an USSF “E” Coaching License in 2010 and started as an assistant coach with Glenview Soccer Club before joining Mirage with his two sons in 2011.
Al grew up in Park Ridge where he played youth soccer. His prowess, however, was in distance running where earn several honors, including varsity captain for the Maine South High School Cross Country Team. He continued his athletic career at DePauw University where he competed on the track team. Al returned to soccer while in medical school, playing for several club teams, including the Duke University Medical Center Club Team. While at Duke, Al was on the medical staff for the Duke University Men’s Soccer Team. Upon returning to Chicago, Al played for Barrington F.C.
Al is a physician with the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. He lives in Glenview with his wife, Kari, and four children. As a coach, his focus is on player development and grooming young athletes in a healthy and fun manner.
Favorite Team: Arsenal (England)