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Nathan Steinmetz, Head of Performance

Nathan Steinmetz, Head of Performance

Steinmetz joins the Fire after most recently serving as Director of High Performance for Saint Louis FC’s 1st Team and Academy, a club he joined in 2016. During that time Steinmetz created the club’s first High Performance department, overseeing the areas of Medical, Strength & Conditioning, Sport Science, Sport Psychology, Dietetics, and Social Welfare. In his 5 years with STLFC he was part of the US Open Cup Quarter Finalist Team in 2019, 2 playoff qualification teams and 1 Conference Semi-Finalist USL Championship team in 2018 and 2020, and the U19 US Developmental Academy 3rd place team in 2019. 

Prior to STLFC, Steinmetz’s 23-year career includes five years as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for The University of Tennessee, two years as Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Sullivan High School, several Performance Director roles with wellness facilities and athletic clubs, High Performance consulting with collegiate programs and federal agencies, and 20 years as a Soccer Coach. He has been a multi-disciplinary team member of 3 Division I National Championship teams, numerous SEC Conference and Regular Season Championship Teams, and worked with many Olympians. His diverse background has provided opportunities to work with athletes of all ages and levels while cultivating a comprehensive understanding of holistic development. Steinmetz has a M.S. in Sport Psychology, B.S.Ed in Exercise Science, B.S.Ed in K-12 Physical Education and Health, is a C.S.C.S. through the NSCA, and has his USSF C License.

Rachael Jankowsy, Manager of Player Advisory & Support Services (PASS)

Rachael Jankowsy, Manager of Player Advisory & Support Services (PASS)

Rachael completed her MSW at University of Chicago in 2019 and is a licensed psychotherapist who is focused on helping young footballers navigate their development pathway. She has previously managed a post-quake housing development in Haiti, started a business in Oman, and assisted in the establishment of a secondary campus for a leading youth soccer academy in Ghana. She is currently focused on creating opportunities for players to access mental health and socio-emotional development supports in the world of youth soccer.

Felix Yu, Sr. Coordinator of Academics & Mental Performance

Felix Yu, Sr. Coordinator of Academics & Mental Performance

Felix joined the Chicago Fire FC Academy as PASS Coordinator after spending 6 months with the organization as an extern. He completed his Bachelor of Psychological Science degree from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

He then traveled to Chicago, IL to pursue a Masters degree, specifically Masters of Arts in Counseling: Specializing in Sport and Health Psychology program that he completed at Adler University between 2016 - 2018. As a part of this dual program, he was required to complete an internship and externship, which meant that he received dual training both in a clinical setting and as a mental performance coach.

In addition to developing and delivering PASS content to the Chicago Fire Soccer Academy, he works on enhancing the mental performance of players/groups/teams at all age levels.

Zach Auger, Strength & Conditioning Coach (U13-17)

Zach Auger, Strength & Conditioning Coach (U13-17)

Zach joined the Chicago Fire FC Academy as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for the U13 through U17 levels after working as a Minor League S&C Coach at the Chicago Cubs Dominican Republic Baseball Academy. Prior to time in pro baseball, Zach served in S&C roles at UNC Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, and Carroll University for a variety of sports including football, track & field, American football, basketball, softball, swimming & diving, and cheerleading. Prior to his S&C Career, Zach coached football and track at the high school level, and football at the junior college level in Chicago.

Zach completed his B.A. in Physical Education at North Park University and his M.S. in Exercise Physiology with a concentration in Strength & Conditioning at Carroll University. He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and a Level 1 Coach in both USA Weightlifting and USA Track & Field.

Chris Toone, Head Athletic Trainer (Second Team)

Chris Toone, Head Athletic Trainer (Second Team)

Chris joins the Chicago Fire FC as a full-time member of staff after four years working with professional ski racers. During that time, he spent three seasons with U.S. National Ski Team in which he provided medical care to some of the most elite alpine racers in the country. A fourth season was spent with a private team prior to making this transition to soccer.

Chris completed his B.S. in Athletic Training in 2013 at Ithaca College and went on to complete his M.S. in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Utah in 2015. While at Utah his research pertained to developing sideline tests based on leg spring stiffness calculations in order to promote safe return to play.

Stephanie Luebbe, Rush Physical Therapy (U13-14)

Stephanie Luebbe, Rush Physical Therapy (U13-14)

Stephanie joined Chicago Fire FC as a full-time member of the athletic training staff in 2020. She spent the previous 2 years at Hoffman Estates High School working with a wide range of  secondary school sports. 

Stephanie is originally from Grayslake, IL but spent the past 10 years in Minnesota. She completed her B.S. in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota in 2016. Stephanie moved on to get her M.S. in Athletic Training at The College of St. Scholastica in 2018 and then decided to move back to the Chicago area. She is also a certified CPR/BLS instructor and trains healthcare providers all around the Chicago area.

Juan Villegas, Rush Physical Therapy (U15-17)

Juan Villegas, Rush Physical Therapy (U15-17)

Villegas joined Chicago Fire FC as a full-time staff member of the athletic training staff in 2021. He spent the previous 3 years at East Tennessee State University where he worked with their men’s soccer team as he completed his M.S. in Sport Science and Coach Education.  

Juan is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and completed his B.S. in Athletic Training in 2018 at University of Charleston, where he was a member of the men’s soccer team. Juan is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and provided support as a member of the ETSU men’s Soccer strength and conditioning and sports science staff.