Southwest MO Rush

Executive Director, John Markey

(Click Here For John's SWMO Rush Interview)
[email protected]

- Currently serving as Executive Director of Lake Country Soccer
- Holds a USSF National "B" License
- Certified USSF Grassroots Instructor
- MYSA ODP Head Coach
- Served as Director of Coaching of soccer clubs in Birmingham, AL for over 20 years
- Twice selected Alabama Coach of the Year
- AL Youth Soccer ODP Coach 10+ years
- USYSA Region III Head Coach
- Has 4 adult children with wife Debbie, 3 of which played soccer collegiately
- Oldest son is currently Head Coach of Lynn University Women's program

Quote from Coach Markey:
"Winning is a by-product of a strong individual player development program in a team atmosphere"

Technical Director, Thaylan Johnson

(Click Here For Thaylan's SWMO Rush Interview)

[email protected]

Thaylan is from Springfield, MO and has been involved with soccer here in Springfield since he was 4 years old.  He played on several club teams in Springfield during the infancy of Lake Country Soccer.  Around the age of fourteen, Thaylan and his family made the decision to make a weekly commute to St. Louis, MO so he could play for Busch Soccer Club.  Busch Soccer Club won the Missouri State Cup several times.

 Thaylan was a four year member of the soccer team at Greenwood High School in Springfield, MO.  Greenwood won the district title all four years of his High School career.  They fell just short of victory in the state championship game in 1995, 1996 and 1997.  He was a first team all-district and first team all-state selection as a sophomore, junior and senior.

 He then earned a soccer scholarship to Missouri State University.  Thaylan was a member of the 1999 Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championship team.  The 1999 Bears were undefeated through the regular season and conference tournament.  In 2000, Missouri State climbed as high as number three in the NCAA division one national rankings.

 Once his playing days were over, he coached for several clubs throughout the city.  He took a break from coaching before joining the Magic Soccer family in 2012. Thaylan resides in Springfield, MO with his wife Adrian and their son Tristan.

Boys Director of Coaching, Tyler Bennett

(Click Here For Tyler's SWMO Rush Interview)
[email protected]

Born and raised in Springfield, MO, Tyler began playing soccer when he was 8 years old. He played for various teams until his 6th grade year when Tyler decided to start playing competitively with a traveling team called the Fire Hawks. He was a goalie for the majority of his early years until he started playing for Springfield Soccer Club. At that time his coach explained that with his speed he could be more helpful on the field after learning the technical skills of the game. 

 Tyler began his journey by starting out on the 2nd team during 7th and 8th grade. During the 8th grade year he started a workout plan every night that he didn’t have practice, that consisted of a one and a half hour individual training session, including 45 min of technical work and 45 min of fitness. As a result of his dedication and hard work, during his freshman year of high school he started to play for the 1st team, where he was a regular sub on the bench. He had the experience of winning 1st division MRL and playing in the Missouri State Cup tournament. Even more determined than before he continued his workout routine, which helped him land a starting spot on the 1st team during Tyler’s sophomore year, where he began playing every minute of every game.  

 In 2007, during his sophomore year of high school, the team at Springfield Soccer Club won 1st in the Premier MRL Division and also became the first team from not only Springfield, MO to win a Missouri State Cup Championship, but the first team to win it that was not from Kansas City or St. Louis. That year they also went on to become semi-finalists in the Regional tournament, made up of all 13 state cup champions from throughout the Midwest. During his junior year, they competed in the most prestigious top level tournaments in the United States including Disney Wide World of Sports Tournament, Dallas Cup, Adidas Final Four Tournament, and TSC Tournament. For the 2008 club campaign, his team won the Missouri State Cup Tournament for the second year in a row, 1st in the Premier Division for MRL, and Semi Finalist in the Regional Tournament. In 2009, Tyler’s senior year, his club team was ranked #1 in the Nation. 

Tyler also played all four years on his high school’s soccer team, at Kickapoo High School, where his team still holds the record for finishing 3rd in State. During his Junior year, he earned the following honors,  2nd Team All District, 2nd Team All-Conference. His senior year he was 1st Team All District, 1st Team All-Conference. After high school he was recruited to play NCAA Division III College soccer at Oglethorpe University from 2009-2012,

After graduating from Missouri State University Tyler began his coaching career in 2013. In 2016 he started coaching with Demize, where he has experienced winning multiple league championships including LCS and Heartland. He coached multiple teams and age groups that have won various tournament championships including LCS tournaments, Memphis Showcase tournaments, and Kansas City tournaments.

 “ I will continue to develop an elite soccer environment for kids that want to play at the next level.  As the Director of the Boys side of the academy I will continue to instill the pillars of what allowed for my growth as a player and my success as a youth, high school and collegiate player from Southwest Missouri across the boys program. Commitment, hard work on and off the field, dedication to your team, teammates, and accountability.”

Girls Director of Coaching, Christy Kononiuk

 (Click Here For Christy's SWMO Rush Interview)
[email protected]

I am excited to be on the leadership team with Southwest Missouri Rush as the Girls Director of Coaching.  I am looking forward to implementing ‘The Rush Way’ for girls’ soccer here in Springfield. My mission is to inspire and empower female athletes to be brave and courageous leaders by creating a culture of inclusion in an environment centered on player development. I continue to invest in experiences and education that reflect my passion to connect and influence the soccer community.

I have coached at all ages and levels within the game for 25 years.  In addition to my role as Girls DOC, I am currently the Assistant Coach for Women’s Soccer at Evangel University. I am also on staff as a coach for the Missouri Olympic Development Program (ODP).  I am on staff for the USYS Midwest Region ODP. I am a licensed coaching educator for the USSF Grassroots coaching courses. I also had the opportunity to serve as volunteer assistant coach for the Missouri State Women’s Soccer Program where we achieved the 2017 Missouri Valley Tournament Champions.

Coaching education is an important part of my career pathway. I enjoy learning from other coaches and collaborating in coaching education courses. I look forward to coming along side our coaches on this journey together.  I currently hold a USSF National A-Youth License in which I received November of 2019. United States Soccer Federation Grassroots Instructor License I received in October 2018.  United States Soccer Federation National Youth License I received in August 2014.  United Soccer Coaches Director of Coaching Diploma I received in March 2016.

My family is very important to me. I have a very supportive husband who encourages me every day to go after my dreams. Bob works as a pharmacist at Walgreens. I have two daughters. Karis, Graduated BS Elementary Education Drury University. Kayla is a 2018 graduate of Greenwood Laboratory School and attends Evangel University. 

Developmental Lead, Kirk Nelson

  • Missouri State University Associate Head Women’s Soccer Coach (2014 -)
    • 2017 MVC Champions
    • 2017 NCAA Championship Tournament
    • 5 Time Conference Championship Tournament (1 Finals, 3 Semi-Finals)
  • Former University of Nevada Associate Head Women’s Soccer Coach (2010 - 14)
    • 4 Time Conference Championship Tournament (MW & WAC)
  • U.S. Soccer Federation Youth National Team Lead Talent Scout (2018 -)
  • U.S. Soccer Federation National Coaching Education Instructor for “C” License (2018 -)
  • Olympic Development Program (ODP) 2004 Girls’ National Team Assistant Coach (2019-)
    • Coached at new ODP National Camp in 2020
    • Went undefeated in event
  • ODP 2004 Girls’ Midwest Regional Team Head Coach (2018 -)
    • Undefeated in 2019
    • Competed against 4 Women’s’ Professional Teams in Costa Rica in 2020
  • Midwest Region ODP Lead Scout (2019 -)
  • Former West Region ODP Age Group Coach (2004 – 2016)
  • Missouri Youth Soccer Association – State Technical Director (2017 -)
  • U.S. Soccer Federation National “A” Coaching License
  • United Soccer Coaches “Premier” Diploma
  • U.S. Soccer Federation “Instructor” License
  • Published in the “United Soccer Coaches Pre-Season Journal” 2019
  • Have coached most ages & levels (including semi-pro) for over 27 years



Director of Goalkeeping, Sarah Sabo

Sarah is excited for the opportunity to join SWMO Rush!

Sabo serves as goalkeeper trainer for the Evangel University Women’s Soccer team, a goalkeeper trainer in the Missouri ODP Youth Soccer Program, has attended ODP Region II Camp, and worked as assistant coach to the boys' and girls' soccer teams at Springfield Catholic High School. She currently holds an MYSA Coaching Certification.

In addition to soccer, she gets to help as a pre-school teacher aid at IC Elementary in Springfield.

Prior to joining the SWMO Rush, Sabo attended Missouri State University, where she played goalkeeper for women’s soccer team, and played for the MSU Ice Bears Division III Men's ice hockey team from 2014-18. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations.
She was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and is supported by her incredible parents Rick and Teri, and younger sister Katie.


Southwest MO Rush
2334 E Pythian St. 
Springfield, Missouri 65802

Email: [email protected]


Office Hours:

Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm

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