Leadership & Management

Coaching Staff

Mark Graeme Hodson, Head Coach
The Darfur United sideline is incomplete without veteran head coach Mark Hodson. Coach Mark traveled to eastern Chad to conduct the inaugural DU tryouts, during which he helped select the first thirteen Darfur United players; and he has since guided the team’s long-term soccer development. The team competed in the 2012 Viva World Cup and the 2014 CONIFA World Cup under his leadership, in addition to benefiting from his coaching instruction at the annual Darfur United Team Training Camps in Östersund, Sweden, beginning in 2016. The continual improvement of Darfur United is recognized each time the team takes the field—a testament to Mark’s dedication and soccer expertise. Mark is currently the Youth Director of Coaching at Beach Futbol Club in Southern California and the President of Evolution Soccer Programs. He previously served as Regional Manager and District Leader for Major League Soccer Camps from 1999-2010. He holds a USSF A License, an NSCAA Premier Diploma, and a U.S. Youth National License.

Rudy Sanchez, Assistant Coach
Rudy Sanchez grew up in Lennox CA, playing for local South Bay soccer clubs. After high school, he was picked up by Marymount California University Men’s soccer program. He was a regular starter for the first team, and in his final season the team reached the quarter-finals of the NAIA National Tournament. Rudy started his coaching career with Sand and Surf Soccer Club in the developmental leagues to improve fundamental skills and techniques. In 2015, he joined Strikers FC South Bay. He was a volunteer assistant coach at Vistamar in its 2010-11 season, as well as an assistant coach for the Brentwood High School Varsity team in the 2016-17 season. During his time at Brentwood HS, the team reached the tournament semifinals. Currently, Coach Rudy continues to coach with Beach FC South Bay and is also Varsity Head Coach at Vistamar High School. Rudy has been on the Darfur United Mens Team (DUMT) coaching staff since 2016, and regularly travels to Sweden and across the U.S. to assist with Darfur United Team Training Camps and matches.
Amy Gilmore, Assistant Coach
Amy GilmoreAmy Gilmore grew up in Dayton, OH, playing club and high school soccer before joining the women’s team at Walsh University, where she was a first-team starter and captain. Amy began volunteering with iACT and Darfur United Soccer programs in 2015 as a college student, thanks to her interest in soccer and political science. Since then, Amy has traveled to eastern Chad and Sweden to help with soccer programs, including the launch of the Darfur United Women’s Team in 2018. Amy has coached with various clubs over the years, most recently with Akron Inner City SC and Jumpstart Sports. She has her United Soccer Coaches National Diploma and is eager to continue her coaching education.
Alexandra Nuttall-Smith, PT, ATC, Director of Health and Wellness

Alexandra Nuttall-Smith was born in Montreal, Canada and attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro playing NCAA Division I & II tennis for UNC-Greensboro from 1988 to1992, and earning her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Athletic Training in 1992. She went on to study physical therapy at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania and received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy in 1996. After the completion of her graduate studies, Mrs. Nuttall-Smith moved to Hong Kong, China, where she worked in out-patient private physical therapy clinics in addition to providing medical coverage for many sporting events as the head physical therapist and athletic trainer. Over a period of seven years, she covered many competitive sporting events all over Asia, allowing her to gain remarkable expertise in sports medicine and rehabilitation. Mrs. Nuttall-Smith has established her home in California and has been working in outpatient physical therapy clinics in the South Bay since her return from China. She has been working as a part-time physical therapist at Pro-Health since 2003. In addition to being a licensed physical therapist, Mrs. Nuttall-smith is also a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and a Certified Kinesio Taping Professional (CKTP).

Executive Board

Gabriel Stauring, Founder

Gabriel Stauring is the Founder of iACT. Previously, Stauring worked as an advocate and counselor for abused children and their families in the U.S. He graduated from California State University at Dominguez Hills, where he a majored in Behavioral Science. In addition to visiting the refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur border 25 times, Stauring has spearheaded campaigns such as the 100-Day Fast for Darfur, Darfur Freedom Summer Vigils, Camp Darfur, Darfur Fast for Life, and innovative refugee-led programs such as Darfur United and Little Ripples. For Darfur United and on behalf of iACT, he accepted the 2013 Peace and Sport Nonprofit of the Year Award and the 2014 Beyond Sport, Sport for Social Inclusion Award. He has presented on iACT’s philosophy and programs at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), ACEI Global Summit on Childhood, twice at the Global Philanthropy Forum, and is featured in The Enough Moment by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle. In 2016, Stauring accepted the 2016 WISE Awards, an initiative of the Qatar Foundation, for innovation in education in Beijing. In 2017, I was invited to participate in the prestigious Klosters Forum For Darfur United and on behalf of iACT, Stauring accepted the 2013 Peace and Sport Nonprofit of the Year Award and the 2014 Beyond Sport’s Sport for Social Inclusion Award. He presented on Little Ripples and refugee early childhood education at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 2013. Stauring was shortlisted for the 2016 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. In the same year, he also presented at the Global Philanthropy Forum’s session on refugee education, at the Global Summit on Childhood (presented by Association for Childhood Education International), and accepted the 2016 WISE Awards by the Qatar Foundation for innovation in education in Beijing.

Ismail Abdulrhman
Hello everyone!!! My name is Ismail Abdulrhman. I was born in a beautiful city called Aldaein located in eastern Darfur. I studied basic and secondary school there and then I moved to the capital of Sudan to study university.

I became Darfur United player in 2014, and in the same year, we got the chance to play in Sweden in a tournament. It was during that tournament when I and many other players decided to stay in Sweden.
So, now I live in Sweden. Since that time, I’ve kept those beautiful memories. I think I will keep them forever. Since joining the Darfur United team I don’t remember anything bad just some results of matches which we played with the other teams.

I overcame my bad childhood and the impact of the war through tolerance and humor and that gave me a good place inside the team which I’m proud of and please with.

I am now retired from playing on the Darfur United team in order to give a chance to two other players who are better than me and I am ambassador to the team and one of the leaders on the Executive Board.

Corey Baim

Born and bred in the Los Angeles area, Corey now resides in the South Bay and is the owner of an award-winning Graphic Design and Marketing agency located in Hermosa Beach, Ca. He brings 20 years of marketing experience to the Board’s Development Committee with the mission to build and elevate iACT’s brand and ultimately increase awareness, involvement, and funding for the organization. Corey graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a pre-law degree and spent several years recording and touring with his punk band before starting his own design agency. His interests include soccer, music and spending time with his family.

Eddie Salcedo
Michael Schöen

Born and raised in Southern California, Michael Schöen now calls Long beach his home. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University and then followed his passion farther north to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, where he received his Masters of Architecture degree. Michael is a licensed Architect and the Principal-in-Charge of the Los Angeles office of CSDA Design Group. His architectural focus is in designing educational environments throughout California and HE leads the international education practice where he has worked in South America and Europe. Michael loves spending time with his family, surfing, and soccer of any kind.

Alexandra Nuttall-Smith, PT, ATC

Alexandra Nuttall-Smith, PT, ATC, born in Montreal, Canada, she attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro playing NCAA Division I & II tennis for UNC-Greensboro from 1988 to 1992 and earning her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Athletic Training in 1992. She went on to study physical therapy at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania and received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy in 1996. After the completion of her graduate studies, Mrs. Nuttall-Smith moved to Hong Kong, China, where she worked in out-patient private physical therapy clinics in addition to providing medical coverage for many sporting events as the head physical therapist and athletic trainer. Over a period of seven years, she covered many competitive sporting events all over Asia, allowing her to gain remarkable expertise in sports medicine and rehabilitation. Mrs. Nuttall-Smith has established her home in California and has been working in outpatient physical therapy clinics in the South Bay since her return from China. She has been working as a part-time physical therapist at Pro-Health since 2003. She has been a valuable member of the medical team for the WTA, USTA, ITF, ATP, and Davis Cup associations. In addition to being a licensed physical therapist, Mrs. Nuttall-smith is also a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and a Certified Kinesio Taping Professional (CKTP). iACT because a bandaid from our medical kits placed on a DU player or a young soccer player’s finger by her local RUSA coach is not just a bandaid. The bandaid is a symbol showing them that the world cares and hasn’t forgotten about them. The bandaid allows them to keep going. The cut is covered and protected now. They can get back into the game. The cut might still hurt, and all wounds take time to heal. But, the bandaid gives power to not sit on the sidelines, to not give up, and just play. Every human, no matter of living situations, culture, gender, or race, deserves equal and the highest standard of medical care.

Share This