Mark Steffens brings expertise in player identification and development, mentoring young coaches and players, leadership and a history of winning to the new Stumptown Athletic professional soccer club. He has decades of coaching experience in New York, Pittsburgh and Charlotte, which will be invaluable to the team.
Steffens knows the game. He was a starter all four years at The King’s College in New York City, then signed with the New York Apollo of the American Soccer League. Shortly after ending his career as a professional player, he started coaching, first at the high school, then college level.
Steffens moved into the professional coaching realm when he joined the Major Indoor Soccer League’s New York Arrows, then the New York Express. In 1997, he moved to Charlotte, accepting the head coaching role with the Charlotte Eagles, a position he held until 2014. Under his leadership, the club won two USL-2 championships. Steffens was twice named USL-2 Coach of the Year, and in 2007, was inducted into the USL Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was hired as head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. He’s currently the assistant coach for the Women’s Premiere Soccer League Lady Eagles.
Steffens and his wife Diane have three daughters and 10 grandchildren.
Patrick Daka has 17 years of professional playing experience, as well as considerable expertise in coaching both men and women, with teams making strong showings in nationally ranked tournaments.
Daka started his career in his native Zimbabwe, playing for several teams, including two teams in the Zimbabwe Premiership League. He then signed with F.C. Hessen Kassel in Germany and played two seasons with them before returning home to play for three teams in the Zimbabwe Premiership League. He also has extensive international experience, playing on the Zimbabwe Under 17, Under 23 and Senior National Teams.
Daka moved to the United States in 2000, playing college soccer at Corban University in Salem, Oregon, where he received many honors, including NAIA All-American, College Male Athlete of the Year, NAIA National Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player and All-Conference Honors. During his college years, he also played with Cascade Surge in the USL Premier Development League.
He signed with the Charlotte Eagles in 2004 and played more than 100 games with the team before serving as assistant coach. Daka is currently the head coach for Charlotte Soccer Academy’s youth teams, as well as technical director, working with players to improve technical skills, speed and strength.
Daka is committed to using soccer as a tool to enhance the lives of poor children in Zimbabwe, and founded the Friendship Foundation for Zimbabwe. The Charlotte-based organization provides growth and leadership opportunities to young adults in Zimbabwean communities while giving American students and players the opportunity to learn while participating in philanthropy. He and his wife, Blessed, have two sons.
Casey Carr is a successful dealmaker, idea generator, partnership creator and entrepreneur with diverse business development and financial industry experience. Over the past decade, Carr has combined his love for soccer with his business acumen, building an impressive portfolio of soccer-related businesses and relationships. He’s well-known in soccer circles across the country and beyond. Carr founded the Charlotte branch of the preschool soccer franchise, Happy Feet, as well as creating and managing camps and international trips with ties to European and U.S. professional soccer, team product marketing and a technology start-up.
A former Conference USA All-Freshman Soccer team award-winner at Depaul University with a degree in finance, Carr has worked with youth and professional clubs domestically as a coach, program director, advisor, and board member.
As a coach, he has helped develop players for more than 15 years, working with numerous Olympic Development Program, college and professional soccer players, many of whom are still active throughout the country. As an advisor for the Charlotte United FC (now a part of Charlotte Soccer Academy), Carr secured a relationship with Powerade which brought numerous product and financial benefits. At the time, Charlotte United FC was one of only 16 clubs in the country to be considered a Premier Powerade Club. Carr also helped create and launch the South (Matthews, NC) location for the Carolina Rapids youth club.
Through his youth club contacts, combined with his previous banking and wealth management relationships, Carr has assisted in building ownership groups, launching professional soccer teams, building brands and more both domestically and abroad. He has continued to support many of these ownership group by helping build relationships with local clubs, connecting current coaching staff to local clubs, and advising on effective strategies for engaging the local/regional soccer market.
Christopher Graham is the founder and managing shareholder of The Private Client Law Group. His practice focuses on private wealth planning, drawing on extensive experience with Arthur Anderson along with significant boutique and international law firms, to develop creative tax minimization, asset preservation, business succession, and business structuring strategies exclusively for high-net worth individuals and their closely held businesses, both within the United States and internationally.
Integrating these practice areas and applying them holistically to each client project, The Private Client Law Group produces comprehensive wealth plans to achieve efficient and effective optimization and succession of both operating businesses and passive assets. The firm approaches each project with an open-architecture problem-solving process that ensures individualized solutions designed to meet the unique needs and objectives of each client individually.
A graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law (JD, 1996) and the University of Michigan (Bachelor’s of Business Administration/Accounting, 1992), Graham is a member of Beta Alpha Psi national honor accounting society, the State Bars of Georgia and North Carolina, and has also been named in the Georgia Super lawyers issue of Atlanta Magazine multiple times. In 2009, he was honored as an Attorney of Distinction in Jezebel Magazine. He has been honored as one of the Legal Elite by Georgia Trend Magazine. He was selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In addition, he has been continually honored as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Five Star Wealth Managers. Graham writes professional articles for publication and is a regular speaker throughout Atlanta and the Southeast.