ZACH ROCHA

Executive Director & Co-Founder

 

Zach Rocha has been the executive director and co-founder of Sidekick Soccer Academy since its inception in 2012. He has helped develop Sidekick into a leader in the soccer industry and a reputable, professional organization centered in Massachusetts.

Zach has overseen tremendous growth within the company, helping to expand Sidekick Soccer Academy into Sidekick Sports Academy in 2016. Sidekick has an impressive social media and digital presence, which Zach has continuously strengthened so that interactive learning is more easily accessible. Sidekick has positively affected nearly 50 communities - both domestic and abroad - and Sidekick has directly worked with tens of thousands of players and coaches in its short history.

In addition to his lengthy soccer resume, Zach attended the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, where he majored in Art History. 

He presented his Senior Thesis, 'Jackson Pollock: The Athletic Secrets to his Art" at the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.

He is a native of New Bedford, Mass.

"I have worked with Mr. Rocha over the past three years in a number of soccer-based initiatives and I have always found him to be a highly professional, very organized and, ultimately, very effective coach and leader." - Andrew LaFrenz, Head Coach, Men's Soccer, Newbury College


 

JESSE VANN

Co-Founder

 

Jesse Vann is the co-founder of Sidekick Soccer Academy. He is the driving philosophical force behind the organization.

Jesse authored the book, One Love. One Game., detailing his thoughts on why soccer can improve the world.

He has coached at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass. and with Global Premier Soccer. He played collegiately at Chester University in England and in the Maryland Olympic Development Program as a youth.

In addition to soccer, Jesse is the owner of Vann Development, a real estate development firm in the United States Virgin Islands. He is also the CEO and founder of Traveling Minds, a philosophical organization dedicated to utilizing the experience of travel as a way to improve the quality of life.

He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and a dual English-American citizen. His childhood love of the Wolverhampton Wanderers has had a direct effect on Sidekick’s crest and colors and the naming of Sidekick’s division, Wolves Futsal Club. He currently resides in St. John's (USVI).


 

TJ PORTER

Associate Director - eSports

 

TJ Porter, a native of Marlboro Mass., has been playing sports and video games in one form or another since the age of four years old. In high school he helped found and co-captain his school's first competitive Ultimate Frisbee team, which went on to place sixth in the state tournament in their first year.

He discovered eSports around the same time and became a passionate fan of League of Legends and Counter-Strike. He organized one of Northeastern University's first intercollegiate League of Legends teams and introduced a number of his friends to the game. After organizing his school's team he went on to work with two premier professional team, Team Dignitas and Echo Fox.

TJ graduated from Northeastern with a degree in Business Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, with minors in History and International Affairs. He currently works at Harvard University.

When not involved with eSports, TJ continues to participate in physical sports by playing Ultimate Frisbee and refereeing soccer.