The mission for the Sockers FC goalkeeping program is to be the best in the country. We place great emphasis on the importance of the goalkeeper as a vital part of any teams’ success Sockers FC goalkeeping department is directed by Big Cat Goalkeeping. Sockers FC and Big Cat Goalkeeping have worked side by side since 2012 and have helped guide goalkeepers on to:- European professional clubs US Youth National Teams NCAA DI DII DIII and NAIA Schools (Along with NCAA National Championship winning Programs) 

Staff Members


Neil ThompsonDirector of Goalkeeping. Thompson a former professional goalkeeper for Carlisle United and Hull City (England) has also got U.E.A.F.A cup experiences to his credentials. Thompson has also been called up to coach the US U19 Mens National Team. Thompson has traveled the world studying goalkeeping and has been invited to work with, learn and share Methodologies with goalkeeping directors from Manchester United, Barcelona, Benfica, Sporting CP, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, Newcastle United, along with many other major clubs in Europe.


Ivan Heredia -  Assistant Director of Goalkeeping. Heredia has been with Big Cat Goalkeeping since 2012. Heredia who in his youth spent time at Mexican club Atletico Morelia. Heredia has recently been working and sharing development ideas with goalkeeping staff from Blackburn Rovers and Sporting CP. Heredia has coached at the Academy, ECNL, NCAA level and has also had experience at Illinois based US Training Centers.


  • Specific goalkeeper instruction sessions (preparation, distribution, shot stopping and crosses). 
  • Intra team training (working with defenders, positioning, set pieces etc).
  • U7-11 gain valuable exposure to the goalkeeping without any pressure to commit to the position.
  • U12+ minimum of two goalkeeping specific session per week available.
  • Advice to stimulate development and regular feedback from coaches.
  • In game tuition.
  • Goalkeeping specific fitness sessions.

As we strive to create the best goalkeeping program in the country we also want to create a family within the team of goalkeepers. We want the keepers to love their roles and responsibilities. To help aid this we do a number of team and character building events. The most popular one that we run is the community Service project where the Sockers goalkeepers go back out into the community and serve people in need.


Alex Budnik - representing the US U17 National Team


Duncan Turnbull - Sockers Alum playing for Notre Dame


Brianna Riscossa - Sockers Alum playing at Indiana State


Coach Neil with Benfica Goalkeepers and staff (meeting with staff who worked with Jan Oblak and Ederson two of the best goalkeepers in the world.



College Placement

Albert who started his career with Sockers FC in the goalkeeping department now has specialized in college placement. Martin has helped guide 100’s of players many of which were goalkeepers on to the next level and we encourage all of our goalkeepers to utilize the tools put in place from Albert.

For more information on college placement,  please email Albert Martin at albert@sockersfc.net

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Sockers FC Chicago

545 S. Consumers Ave., Palatine, IL 60074 USA

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 4:00pm (Finance 9.00 - 2.00pm)

Store Hours 

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Contact Us

Phone 847.788.5326
Office 847.788.5321 (Financial)
Store 847.788.5327
Fax 847.788.5330



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