Mike Elias Joins Forces with Head Coach Jermaine Jones and Assistant Coach Edison Gonzalez for the 2024 Season
FRESNO, CA – Central Valley Fuego FC proudly announces the addition of seasoned soccer coach Mike Elias to its coaching staff, where he will serve as an assistant coach alongside Head Coach Jermaine Jones and Assistant Coach Edison Gonzalez.
Originally from London, England, Mike Elias brings a rich cultural background, originating from Greek parents and holding dual citizenship in both England and the United States. Having moved to the US 24 years ago, Elias is fluent in both English and Greek, and he is currently learning Spanish to further enhance his coaching capabilities.
As a player, Elias showcased his skills in the KOPA Greek League, representing renowned teams such as AEL, Olympiacos, Nea Salamis, and various clubs in England. With an impressive playing career, Elias has seamlessly transitioned into coaching, accumulating 25 years of coaching experience.
Elias holds prestigious coaching certifications, including the USSF A Senior License, NSCAA Advanced National License, and NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma. His coaching journey includes serving as the Head Coach for VC Fusion USL2 team from 2019 to 2023, leading the team to become USL2 National Champions in 2022 and consistently qualifying for the Open Cup during his tenure.
Noteworthy achievements also include finishing in the top two in the league with the USL2 team and playing an instrumental role in developing over 150 athletes who secured professional contracts. Elias’s dedication to player development is further highlighted by four players from the 2023 USL2 VC Fusion squad making it to the MLS Draft.
When asked about what attracted him to the coaching opportunity with Fuego FC, Elias stated, “The chance to work with Jermaine Jones within a competitive professional environment attracted me to this coaching position. I also feel that Fresno is a hotbed for soccer and want to work together with the coaching staff to bring pride to the region and its community.”
In adding his perspective, Managing Partner Juan Gerardo Ruelas Jr. expressed, “Mike brings with him a wealth of experience and he’s proven himself at the USL-2 level. He adopts a war-like mentality in the locker room which I feel is essential to winning a championship. It needs to be war and we must wage a hard-fought battle until the bitter or sweet end. We cannot concede early, and we know players will represent this community by leaving everything on the field, never giving up even when it seems like odds are against us. That is what you can expect Mike to demand from the players because he’s done it once already, and I know by combining forces with Coach Jones and Coach Eddie we will have assembled a formidable technical staff that is hungry and is going to put in the hard work necessary to make this season a success.”
In outlining his short and long-term goals, Elias expressed his commitment to working with players to develop a deep understanding of the game and elevate their soccer IQ. His long-term vision involves challenging at all levels of the game and building a program that will endure into the future.
“I feel excited and proud to be part of the coaching staff representing Fresno with Central Valley Fuego FC, and I look forward to seeing our fans at our first home game. Although we are a young club, there is a lot of history here, and I have been made to feel welcomed and part of the family from the whole organization. Now let’s show your support by coming out and standing behind your team,” Elias added.
Fuego FC eagerly anticipates the positive impact that Coach Mike Elias will bring to the team and looks forward to a successful collaboration in the upcoming seasons.
About Central Valley Fuego FC:
Established in 2002, Central Valley Fuego FC is the region’s sole professional soccer club. Competing in USL League One, the club made its professional debut in April 2022. In 2024, all home matches will be hosted at Fresno State Soccer Stadium. Central Valley Fuego FC is dedicated to uniting the community through the love of soccer. For more information, visit www.fuegofc.com