Our Amazing Team

Girls Unite recognizes that highly skilled and dedicated coaches are key to the success of our programs. Girls Unite coaches are passionate about soccer and youth development, and strive to create a positive and rigorous environment for female-identifying athletes on and off the pitch. We see each of our players through a holistic lens and value their ability to learn and grow. Girls Unite coaches have coached and played in various professional settings, on national teams, college teams, and beyond. They represent the highest level of coaching dedicated to female soccer player development in San Francisco.

To learn more about our coaches, click on their photos below.

Lindsay Kauffman

Executive Director

Coach Lindsay founded Girls Unite with a commitment to increase opportunities, visibility, and leadership of women in soccer. She has been coaching youth for the past 2 decades, was the assistant coach of the Gold Medal winning 2013 USA Maccabi Team, won the 2014 SFUSD Soccer Coach of the Year, and won the 2022 Double-Goal Coach Award for the Positive Coaching Alliance. Most recently she was Head Coach of Washington HS Varsity Soccer Team and Head Coach of the 2023 USA Maccabi U16 Team.

Coach Lindsay is certified in TOVO methodology and has her USSF National D License.

Márcia Tafarel

Coaching Consultant / USSF B Coaching License

Tafa is a former Brazilian national team player and current Head Coach of the US Futsal National Team. She holds a U.S. Soccer “B” Coaching License, and has extensive international playing and coaching experience in both soccer and futsal.

Márcia Tafarel is a native of Bento Goncalves, Brazil where she spent her youth playing soccer and futsal in the streets. At age 13 she was allowed to join a competitive division, by 16 years old she was selected to represent her state in a tournament, and at 18 years old she moved to Sao Paulo to pursue her education and soccer career. At 20 years old she was selected to the Brazilian Soccer National Team. She was a member of the Brazilian Soccer National Team for 8 years and represented Brazil in the 1991 and 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 1996 Summer Olympics. Soccer brought her to the United States in 2004 to play for WPSL California Storm. She later also played for Las Positas College where she was nominated MVP of the Coast Conference, Midfielder of the Conference, and All America First Team in 2006.
Coach Tafa has a passion for youth player development and in the past decade has helped many young players reach their full potential. She has been involved in soccer coaching education, developing and implementing coaching programs for youth soccer organizations. She has successfully coached multiple teams to winning titles. In 2003 she was selected the “Best Coach” by Paulista Futsal Federation. She is former Director of COPA Kids futsal programs. Most recently she was Academy Director at Walnut Creek Surf.

As Girls Unite DOC/Technical Director, Coach Tafa oversees all aspects of the club’s soccer development, including coaching education, coach mentorship, player development, and team strategy. She works closely with our coaching staff to ensure that Girls Unite Soccer Club continues to provide the best possible training and development opportunities for our players.

Abby Kalscheur

Operations / USSF B Coaching License

Abby has been working with youth in soccer for almost two decades. After playing DIII collegiate soccer at a small school in Wisconsin, her roles have spanned from volunteering with underserved youth in urban communities to coaching NPL/GA teams in national tournaments. Abby holds several coaching licenses including the U.S. Soccer B license and the USYS National Youth Coaching Certification. Abby also sits on the all-volunteer board with the Golden Gate Women's Soccer League and occasionally referees games across leagues. Abby now provides operations support for Girls Unite and helps new coaches find their own voice on the field.

Ali Hall

Comp 9v9 Director

Coach Ali grew up in Chicago and won a national championship with Eclipse Select Soccer Club. She went on to play D1 soccer at the University of Tennessee, and is currently the captain of the USWNT Beach Team and the has been named US Soccer Beach Player of the Year. She also currently plays professionally for Cali Beach Club.

In her role as the Director of the 9v9 Competitive Program, Coach Ali will be responsible for overseeing the development and growth of the U11-U12 players and teams at Girls Unite. Her expertise will drive the strategic direction, ensure quality training and coaching, and foster a positive and competitive environment for our athletes.

Kierra Scalercio

Dev Academy Director / Comp 7v7 Director / USSF C Coaching License

Girls Unite is thrilled to welcome Kierra Scalercio as Director of U8-U10 Competitive Travel Program!

Coach Kierra joins the Girls Unite coaching staff with the primary focus of developing our U8-U10 girls in the technical, athletic, and mental skillset needed to become competitive soccer players. Adding Kierra to our competitive developmental program speaks to Girls Unite’s commitment to center female players and support them with strong mentors, highest quality coaching, community and tools to reach their potential.

Coach Kierra has USSF C and USSF D licenses, and brings a lot of experience with her, including:
* Dominican University Women’s team Assistant Coach
* Mill Valley Soccer Club Competitive Head Coach
* College of Marin Women’s team, Assistant Coach
* Sacred Heart Cathedral HS, JV Coach
* Lowell High School, Varsity Assistant Coach
* Convent Varsity, Assistant Coach
* Branson High School, Assistant Coach

Kierra Scalercio continues to play professionally with CaliBeach Soccer Club (a beach soccer lover!) and recently with the San Francisco NightHawks of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). She has also been working with a nonprofit organization called SoccerFours for over a decade. Her true passion lies in connecting with and developing motivated young female athletes as they find their confidence and skill on the field, and we are thrilled that she is bringing her incredible experience, skillset, and passion to Girls Unite’s youngest competitive players!

Coach Shalom

Goalkeeping Lead / Referee Assignor

We are thrilled to have Shalom Kimble as our Professional Goalkeeper Trainer for the Girls Unite Competitive Travel program. Coach Shalom played goalkeeper for San Francisco State University Women's varsity program. She has coached and trained youth and high school goalkeepers for the past 20 years, and has won numerous awards including the 2021 Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach Award. She has a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice, decades of experience working with youth ages 3-18, and currently is also a teacher at A.P Giannini Middle School. She holds USSF E coaching license.

Coach Bianca

A dedicated life long player, Coach Bianca played for four years at the University of San Francisco, acting as captain for several years, and is a member of the U.S. Beach Soccer National Team pool. With seven years of coaching experience, Bianca currently serves as the Women’s Varsity head coach at Lick-Wilmerding High School and as an assistant coach at City College. Bianca has coached club soccer for three seasons, working with athletes ranging in age from 4 to 20. Known for her expertise and passion for the sport, Coach Bianca is committed to developing young talent and fostering a love for soccer. Her diverse coaching background and competitive experience make her a respected figure in the San Francisco soccer community.

Coach Dani

Weee Kickin' It Lead / MicroSoccer Lead / Goalkeeper Trainer

Danielle Leone has been playing soccer recreationally for 30 years and coaching kids for five. Before that, she was a nanny for fifteen years, and she's always been a writer and a touring musician. She has three books of fiction and six albums of songs, and also works with kids on writing and music.

Coach Elise

Goalkeeper Trainer

Coach Elise grew up playing competitive soccer in Oregon. She played Division I soccer at San Diego State as a goalkeeper for two years before transferring to Oregon State University to earn her B.S. in Environmental Engineering. Coach Elise loves the Bay Area and is in her third year of coaching. She is excited and ready to share her love and knowledge of the game with players.

Coach Sofi

Head Coach

Coach Sofi hails from Sweden where she first learned to coach and received formal training. She's been actively coaching for over ten years and continues to challenge herself through advanced learning. Sofi's methodology incorporates the Tovo approach which seeks to encourage players to find effective solutions with vision, precision, and pace. Sofi has applied this across age groups and levels of play building remarkable results in her past clubs with individual player development. Sofi is the mother of two girls (and furtive soccer players), loves this sport and continues to be an avid student of the game.

Coach Marieke

Marieke Blazeski is a San Francisco native. She has been playing soccer for 25 years and has been coaching for 15 (ages 3 thru 18) with a F, E, and E/D coaching license. In addition to coaching for Girls Unite, she is also currently the Head Coach for the boys soccer team at Galileo High School (4+ years). Growing up in San Francisco she played recreational soccer in the Vikings and PAL league, club soccer with the San Francisco Vikings, semi professionally with the San Francisco Night Hawks, and 4 years in college at San Francisco State University. She has experience personal training (soccer and fitness) and studied Creative Writing with a bachelors in English. She is very passionate about soccer, teaching, and competition.

Coach Kailey

Coach Kailey is our fearless Jane of all soccer trades - she can step in for any team session at any level of play to help drive focus and performance expectations for each player. Coach Kailey played competitively throughout high school and continued on to play club soccer at Stanford. Her day job as a data scientist as well as training for half marathons keeps her busy when she's not on the field. Coach Kailey has been coaching since March of 2022 and has been invaluable to Girls Unite ever since.

Coach Mahelly

Coach Mahelly comes from Brasil where she grew up with a deep passion for soccer as culturally echoed by her home country. From barefoot street pickups to competitive college futsal, she has always found a way to be involved in the sport. After completing her education and training as a Registered Nurse, she immigrated to California to continue her path of being in service to others especially children.

She has over 30 years of experience working with and supporting kids from all ages and walks of life. Her heart-centered, service-based approach further extends to helping build community, volunteering with organizations such as The LGBT Asylum Project, GLAAD, Aguilas, and Queer Arts Featured, as well as supporting causes that uplift underserved populations. You can also find her behind the lens as a visual artist; she is continuously called to share impactful stories of our world through videography, documentary, and film.

Coach Mahelly is certified in TOVO methodology and has her USSF National D License. She also enjoys incorporating elements of positive psychology to provide a comprehensive coaching style that centers players’ empowerment, creativity, resilience, curiosity, authenticity, and leading with their strengths. She recognizes the spark in each player and aims to help it shine brighter both on and off the pitch!

Coach Lexi

Coach Lexi grew up playing competitive and high school soccer in Louisville, Kentucky. In high school, she was an all-state player and held a state record for most goals scored in a career. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s in psychological science from Western Kentucky University where she was also captain of the soccer team. For the past three years, Lexi has worked as a research assistant and played soccer at the University of Southampton in England, studying multi-sensory perception. Playing soccer in a new culture helped Lexi realize that soccer has the ability to transcend language and cultural barriers: the love of the game can bring anyone together.

Lexi is new to the Bay Area and cannot wait to utilize her coaching role to mentor and inspire players. On the field, her team goals include focusing on improving individual skill while emphasizing the importance of team harmony. Off the field, she hopes to motivate young women to be the best versions of themselves!

Coach Olivia

Coach Olivia comes from Saint Paul, Minnesota, and earned her BA in creative writing from DePaul University in Chicago. Since graduating college, Coach Olivia has been traveling and teaching English abroad. She currently works as a carpenter for Habitat for Humanity, specializing in tiny houses for underserved communities.

She started playing soccer when she was 5 and played competitively up until college. The coaching director of Coach Olivia's youth club was trained in Brazil, so Coach Olivia grew up playing futsal, small sided games and juggling tennis balls! Coach Olivia encourages players to take opponents on, think creatively with their feet, and work in tight spaces.

Coach Alicia

Coach Alicia start playing soccer in 3rd grade - ever since she got hit in the stomach with the ball and had the wind knocked out of her - she was hooked! Growing up in SoCal, and there were lots of youth leagues and Coach Alicia played AYSO then moved to a competitive travel team (Wildcats) in the Coast Soccer League. As a freshman in high school, she and several teammates from the Wildcats attempted to try out for the boy's soccer team as there was no girl's team (but the boy's coach would not allow them to try out). However, because of Title IX passing shortly after, Coach Alicia was able to join her high school's first girls varsity soccer team and played for all four years. Coach Alicia hasn't stopped playing since, staying active in the Golden Gate Women's Soccer League - also as volunteer VP of New Players for the GGWSL Board - and constantly seeking out ways to keep players of all ages playing. Coach Alicia believes in sports as a tool for female empowerment, and strives to provide a strong example to her young charges. Coach Alicia loves getting to know her players, embracing the challenge of a new season, and helping them realize their potential! Coach Alicia has been coaching for 15+ years, currently holds an E license and is actively pursuing her USSF D.

Coach Alli

Coach Alli fell for soccer back in elementary school, when her dad coached her rec teams in Columbus, Indiana. As an adult, Coach Alli has found soccer to be an amazing way to quickly meet great people wherever she goes, whether moving across the country to San Francisco, visiting family back in Michigan, or traveling internationally. When not playing soccer, Coach Alli is likely playing tennis or Ultimate Frisbee, biking, or lying in a park reading. She loves connecting with others through play and movement, and she is thrilled to be out on the pitch with girls, families, and coaches who share this passion or are just checking out soccer for the first time!

Coach Marina

As an avid fan of the modern Women’s Soccer game, Coach Marina can’t wait to share strategy and methodical approach with her teams. She partially takes her inspiration from experience, as well as her favorite professional team - the Orlando Pride, and brings big ideas and passion to the Girls Unite coaching staff. Her favorite experiences as a soccer player includes embracing responsibility and meeting high expectations from teammates. Coach Marina also believes that putting young players in a position to succeed and share their voice develops leadership skills that last their entire lives. She can’t wait to meet and start working with her teams this upcoming season!

Coach Marissa

Coach Marissa is wrapping up her D1 playing career and pivoting her love of the game to coaching the next generation. Going into her fourth year of coaching, Coach Marissa values being on the field with players and working through problem solving as a unit. She firmly believes that in order to keep players motivated and progressing - they first need to love the game! She applies her coaching methodology through a kinesiology lens, having just achieved her BS in that discipline, and actively helps players learn to move in ways that prevents injury and encourages long term success. Girls Unite is so fortunate to have a passionate coach invested in building players!

Val Henderson

Coaching Consultant / USSF B Coaching License

Val Henderson is a Bay Area native and long time sport and soccer lover. She is passionate about empowering players and coaches of all ages through sport. Val has served as an ambassador to the US State Department in Chile, Paraguay, Singapore, and Mexico, uniting communities through soccer, and teaching and empowering coaches and players. Val was an All-American, Academic-All American, and captain for the UCLA women's soccer program. She competed in the 2004 U20 Women's World Cup in Russia and played professional soccer for the LA Sol, Philadelphia Independence, and KIF Örebro in Sweden. Val has a degree in English and Spanish from UCLA as well as a teaching credential from CSUEB. Val has coached players of all ages and levels from U8 to college and post-collegiate. Val holds her USSF 'B' License and serves as an assistant coach with the US Youth National Teams.
Are you Ready?

Change Lives

We are currently seeking enthusiastic new and experienced coaches that can mentor young girls build soccer skills, confidence and community

Apply to Coach
Junior Coaches Program

Calling All Youth Mentors

Our Junior Coaches program exemplifies youth leadership and professional modeling. The program is open to experienced high school soccer players. Junior Coaches are hired based on their capability, enthusiasm, level of responsibility, and availability. Selected Junior Coaches will assist the head coaches with player training, demonstrations and other fun assignments. Junior Coaches receive a stipend or can use their coaching hours toward community service.

Apply for Junior Coaches Program

Let Girls Unite Help Elevate Your Game

Girls Unite can elevate your event to the next level with dynamic and unforgettable presentations.

We facilitate 90-minute to full-day customized and interactive trainings to address the specific and unique needs of each organization.

Girls Unite offers a breadth of comprehensive consultative services, with the goal of advancing women in sports.

Contact Us