Chargers Soccer Club MLS Next Program announces promotion of Joe Ilett and Keith Savage
Date – December 30 th , 2022
The Chargers Soccer Club is excited to announce Joe Ilett as the MLS Next Academy Director
and Keith Savage as the MLS Next Director of Player Development, effective immediately. Both
Joe and Keith are currently a part of the Chargers coaching staff. With these internal
promotions, the club is thrilled about the direction of the MLS Next program, which is
recognized as the top youth soccer program in the country.
It is with immense gratitude that the Chargers Soccer Club would like to thank Roberto Lopez
for his 11 years involved in the former United States Soccer Developmental Academy to now
the MLS Next program, having served as the academy director for 7 and a half years. Roberto
has been a pilar in the Chargers organization and will now transition to the Director of Coaching
Joe Ilett holds his USSF ‘A’ License, UEFA ‘B’ License, and United Soccer Coaches Advanced
The Maldon, England native played for the professional club Southend United F.C. from 2000-
05 and prior to attending Eckerd College from 2005-09. At Eckerd he was a two-time team MVP
& all-conference selection, and he ranked among the top 5 goals, assists & points scored in
school history. During his college career Ilett also played in ULS2 for Ocean City Nor’easters &
He graduated with a Management degree from Eckerd College in 2009 with a minor in
Leadership. In addition, he has a diploma in Sports Studies from South Essex College.
Prior to joining the Chargers Ilett has held Coaching roles with Colchester United (English
Football League), Eckerd College (NCAA), Chicago Fire (MLS), and St. Petersburg Aztecs (UPSL)
as wells as serving as Director of Boys Soccer at Lyons Township Soccer Club.
Keith Savage, known by many for making over 100 appearances with the Tampa Bay Rowdies as
a professional soccer player. Prior to his time with the Rowdies, Keith played in the MLS with
Chivas USA and two years in USL1 with the Portland Timbers.
Keith holds a USSF ‘B’ license and has been a part of the Chargers coaching staff since 2020
focusing on developing our youth players through their technical ability, introducing strategic
concepts, and teaching them how to compete and enjoy the game. He was the head coach of
the Rowdies USL Academy in 2021.
Keith has been a pillar in the community including coaching at the club, high school, and middle
school levels for 15 years. He has volunteered in the Tampa Bay area running coaching clinics,
speaking at schools, churches, and volunteering at other various events. Keith is currently the
Athletic Director at Skycrest Christian School and focuses on developing student-athletes on
and off the field.
The Chargers Soccer Club are thrilled to welcome Joe and Keith into these roles. More
information will be coming soon on MLS Next trial dates scheduled to start in early 2023!