current coaching staff
Our Coaches and Staff
Kaig Lightner, Founder, Director of Coaching, and Head Trainer (U7-U9)
Kaig holds a USSF National ‘C’ Coaching License. He has been coaching and working with youth for over 20 years. He grew up in Redmond, WA and began playing soccer at the age of eight along with basketball, softball and volleyball. Kaig took a short hiatus from soccer from 2001 – 2003. During that time he was on the nationally ranked #1 rowing team at the University of Washington. As a novice rower he earned the title of most inspirational. Ultimately, Kaig found the beautiful game of soccer to be his true passion. In 2003 he came back to coaching and was the head coach of several competitive and recreational level teams in Seattle in addition to coaching at many summer camps. In 2005 Kaig moved to Portland where he was the Head Coach of a U12 girls team and Co-Coach of a U15 girls team at Eastside United FC (now Eastside Timbers). During his time at ESUFC he also ran the speed and agility clinics and was the director of the U6-U8 Developmental League. He left ESUFC in 2007 and returned to coaching recreational teams for Laurelhurst Soccer Club. It was also during this time that Kaig decided to begin the process of transitioning from living as female to living as male. This was a challenging and also incredibly rewarding process for him. In 2007 he also co-founded Transactive, a non-profit that serves transgender children, youth and their families. Kaig has also been the Program Director for various after school programs and a caseworker for the Department of Human Services. He earned his Masters in Social Work degree from Portland State University in 2012.
Carolina Hernandez Morales, Program Director (U7 - U11), Board Member, Co-Coach U7 - U11
My name is Carolina Hernandez I am from a place in southern Mexico called Chiapas. My family and I migrated there when I was just 5 years old. I got into soccer when I was in middle school because it kept me busy and out of trouble. I was more of a tomboy then so I liked rough sports like baseball and Taekwondo. As I grew up I watched a lot of sports but the main one was baseball since my dad played baseball so that was our family pass of time.
As I was in high school I tried out for the soccer team and I made it so that was my sport. Soccer is a sport that requires a lot of team work and that’s what I needed since I was a trouble maker and it was rare when I wasn’t in trouble. I didn’t know much of sportsmanship. If some one fouled me I went after them and looked for my revenge. Soccer was my way to be the best, focus in school and keep my grades up in order to graduate as well as my temperament. When life was hard growing up in an atmosphere where there is a lot of violence, gangs, drugs, and alcohol I found that soccer was my escape and there I can release all my anger in the field and be happy. I had to stop playing for more than 10 years but now I have my kids involved and that’s how I decided I need to find a way to be more involved. I want my kids to grow up loving a sport and having that sport be their path to success in life. Soccer turned my life around for the better and that is what I want everyone to know. It's not just a sport it’s a life style of happiness.
Now I’m glad I can make a difference in a child's life and I know I’m some one they will remember all their life since I believe in them and I don’t give up on them either. I’m showing each player that all things are possible if you believe in yourself. I really enjoy being around kids and being able to make a difference in their life, as well as in their parents life. It feels good after each game knowing we gave it our all and never quit. We have shown we can come from many backgrounds but through soccer we are one big family who support and care for each other.
Mi nombre es Carolina Hernandez Yo soy de un lugar en el sur de México llamado Chiapas. Mi familia y yo emigramos aquí cuando tenía sólo 5 años. Me metí en el fútbol cuando estaba en secundaria. El fútbol fue mi escape porque me mantuvo ocupado y fuera de problemas. Yo era mas como un niño bien brusca y sin miedo. A mi me encantaba los deportes ya que yo me crecí en el ambiente de deporte viendo a mi papa jugar béisbol. Yo le hacia de todo sin importar que era mujer. Yo jugué deporte como el béisbol, Taekwondo, voleibol, tome clases de defensa propia.
Cuando yo entre en la high school queria ser parte del equipo de fútbol asi que fui y use las prueba aver si las pasaba y gracias a Dios si entre. El fútbol es un deporte que requiere mucho trabajo en equipo y eso es lo que necesitaba yo ya que yo era una fabricante de problemas y era raro cuando no estaba en problemas. Yo no sabía mucho de trabajar en equipo, si alguien me hacia una falta yo luego buscaba mi venganza. El fútbol era mi manera de ser la mejor y enfocarme en escuela y mantener mi grado arriba para poder graduarme y al igual aprender a controlar mi temperamento ya que yo era bien violenta y enojona. Es difícil de crecer en un ambiente donde hay mucha violencia, pandillas, drogas, alcohol, yo encontré que el fútbol era mi escape y allí podia liberar toda mi ira en el campo y ser feliz. Yo deje de jugar por más de 10 años, pero ya regrese en el fútbol pero no ha sido fácil y igual tengo a mis hijos involucrados y así es como decidí que necesito encontrar una manera de ser estar mas involucrada. Yo quiero que mis hijos crezcan amando un deporte y que ese deporte sea su camino a éxito en la vida. El fútbol le dio una vuelta a mi vida mas positiva y para mi bien estar. Lo que quiero que todos sepan es que el fútbol no es sólo un deporte es un estilo de vida que trae mucha felicidad.
Ahora me alegro de poder ser una persona que puede hacer un cambio en la vida de los niño/a y yo sé que voy a ser alguien que recordarán toda su vida ya que creo en ellos y yo no voy q renunciar a ellos. Estoy mostrandole a cada jugador que todas las cosas son posibles si crees en si mismo. Realmente disfruto estar alrededor de niños y poder hacer un cambio en su vida de ellos en tan poko tiempo de sus vida al igual en las de sus padres. Es un orgullo después de cada juego saber que le dio todo y nunca nos rendimos. Hemos demostrado que podemos venir de differences lugares, costumbres pero através del fútbol somos una gran familia que se apoyan y se cuidan uno al otro..
Shema Jacques, Co-Coach, U9 and U11, Member of Junior Coaching Program
I grew up in Rwanda but as a refugee in Gihembe refugee camp. I also consider myself as Rwandan and Congolese. Some memories I have of growing up there is that we had no coaches for our teams. The captains were the coaches and I was a captain, so I remember being bossy to my teammates. I also remember that we played barefooted.
I came to the US because I wanted to accomplish my dream which is to become a pro soccer player. I also want to help Rwanda to get to the World Cup. I love playing soccer because it has been life since I was born and I love winning too. I love to coach too because I want to pass on my soccer experience to younger generations.
Cody Wetherill, Co-Head Coach U14 - Competitive Level
Cody has been playing soccer for over 25 years at various levels including recreational, premier, ODP, and collegiate club. He attended Eastern Washington University where he split time between his passions for soccer and film, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film in 2006. He soon moved back to Portland where he worked in various roles in television and film production and was a camp counselor for youth programs. In 2014, he began coaching with PCFC. Along with coaching, he continues to play in indoor and outdoor leagues and is an avid fan and supporter of the Portland Timbers.
Tom Ritz, Co-Coach, U14 Competitive Level
I started playing soccer when I was five years old. I played basketball and baseball here and there and ran track, but nothing stuck like soccer. I started playing competitive ball for Summerville High School in California during the fall and club ball in the spring throughout the northern San Joaquin Valley. I served as captain on many of my teams and lead my high school team to a league championship in 2004. After earning my bachelor’s degree in 2009 and moving to Portland in December 2010, I quickly got involved with the pick-up soccer community. After a few years of playing regularly together, my friend Cameron started Tanner Creek Renegades in the TAFC Division of GPSD and invited me to be on the team. I played one season with them, but found the financial commitment difficult for my family and me for the long haul. Ben Dudley and I were introduced though some mutual friends and when he started AC Portland I was one of his first volunteer coaches. I enjoyed my season of coaching and have continued to play pick-up regularly.
For the last year or so I have been thinking about what it would look like to start coaching here in my community. Two recent events have turned that flame into fire. Last July I became a father and the dream of some day coaching my kid suddenly became very real. Even though he can’t even walk yet, getting a few years of coaching under my belt before he can start soccer seems like the right idea. The other event is the recent unpleasantness of the USMNT not qualifying for the World Cup. There’s arguably many factors that play into this unfortunate reality, one being youth development in this county needs an overhaul. It is encouraging to see a club not only dedicated to inclusivity towards ability, background, identity, etc., but also towards finances. I may not become a world class youth coach, but I’m also not going to sit on my bum and not do anything to push forward the beautiful game here in the USA.
Betty Lochner, Co-Coach, High School Co-ed Team
I am Betty Lochner. I was born and grew up in Ethiopia for most of my life. I came to America at the age of 13. I lived in Georgia and recently moved to Oregon. I have been playing soccer since I was a baby. It has been my favorite sport as long as I can remember. My first coaching experience started at PCFC in 2016-2017. I love coaching and helping others that love soccer as much as I do.
Andy Mockett, Co-Coach, High School Co-Ed Team
I lived in England for the first 18 years of my life and moved to California on a soccer scholarship to CSU Bakersfield. I began coaching almost as soon as I landed - and that was 27 years ago! After almost two decades in California, I moved to Portland with my young family. I have been an avid Tottenham Hotspurs fan since my parents bought me the jersey when I was 5. Soccer has given me so much that it's about time I gave back.
Patricio Manueco, Assistant coach/Fitness and Conditioning coach
My name is Patricio Manueco, a multi-cultural coach passionate about soccer. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to share my passion, knowledge, and experiences gained from this great game with talented kids around the world. Inspiring the future generation of soccer players in Portland is one of my key missions and volunteering for PCFC, a great local project, allows me to stay involved and connected to Portland’s soccer-rich community. My core focus is on strengthening our soccer players by motivating, inspiring and connecting that seed of greatness in all of them through soccer.