The Alton Fighting Irish youth soccer club has announced former U.S. Olympic team goalkeeper and St. Louis soccer legend Jamie Swanner will be the club’s keeper instructor.
“We are proud to bring someone with Jamie’s experience level to our club,” Club President Robert Stephan said. “He has decades of experience instructing keepers at the youth, high school, college and professional levels. He does a great job developing youth players. Our goal is to provide the best technical development we can for our players. Jamie trains keepers for the top teams in the region and will be a great asset for our club.”
Swanner is the current St. Louis Ambush goalkeeper and assistant coach. In 1983, while a senior at Clemson University, he was named a first team All American and won the prestigious Adi Dassler Award — the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy — for the top college soccer player in the country. After college, where he also played on the Clemson baseball team, Swanner joined the U.S. Olympic team for the 1984 Summer Olympics. He was a first-round pick of the New York Cosmos, the premier outdoor professional team of its day. He was also a first-round draft pick of the Canton Invaders of the American Indoor Soccer Association and went on to become one of the most accomplished goalies in the history of indoor soccer. He was Rookie of the Year in 1985 and Goalkeeper of the Year in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 as well as League MVP in 1989 and 1991. He went on to lead his teams to five league championships.
In 1994 Swanner joined the St. Louis Ambush, where he played for 6 seasons. In 1995 the Ambush won the only indoor league championship in the history of St. Louis indoor soccer, with Swanner being named to the “All League” team and Goalkeeper of the Year.
Recently, the Ambush retired Swanner’s “00” jersey. He is only the third player in St. Louis professional indoor soccer history to have his number retired, the others being Slobo Ilijevski and Daryl Doran. In his 17-year professional career, Swanner had 296 career wins and 11 All Star Game appearances.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to advance these Alton Fighting Irish players to their God-given potential,” Swanner said.