Peoria City Names 2024 Coaching Staff

(February 15, 2024 | Peoria, Illinois) Former Creighton University player and a two-time junior college national champion as both a player and a coaching staff member, Mike Paye has been named the third head coach in Peoria City’s young history. This announcement was made on Thursday by club President Jim DeRose.

“We are thrilled to introduce Mike Paye as our incoming Head Coach. Boasting an impressive background as a former youth international and a collegiate all-American at Tyler JC and Creighton University, Mike brings a wealth of playing experience that provides him with a distinctive insight into player development and talent identification, both on a national and international scale,” declares Jim DeRose, President of Peoria City. “Rapidly emerging as one of the most promising young coaches in the U.S., Mike’s tenure as the Head Coach at Clark, navigating one of the most challenging NAIA conferences, has seen his teams ascend to national contention. His aptitude for recruiting and nurturing talent, coupled with an infectious passion, enthusiasm, and energy, will undoubtedly prove to be a tremendous asset to the entire Peoria City organization. Already demonstrating his commitment, Mike has started building a roster that promises to deliver an exceptionally entertaining and thrilling experience for our devoted fans.”

Paye will be assisted by Eureka College head coach Ryan Woodside, giving Peoria City a staff of rising stars in the collegiate coaching profession who excelled on the field as players.

Paye is preparing for his fourth year as the head coach at Clarke College, a NAIA school located in Dubuque, IA. Coming off a 3-12 campaign the previous year, Paye led the Pride to a 7-10-1 mark in his first season as a head coach in 2021, posting the team’s best record in seven years. Paye’s squads have continued to build on that foundation, posting back-to-back winning seasons in 2022 (9-4-3) and 2023 (7-5-4) for the first time in program history.

Success on the field is nothing new for Peoria City’s new coach. Paye won NJCAA national championships as a student-athlete (2012) and assistant coach (2016) at Tyler (Texas) Junior College. In between, he enjoyed a 2-year career at collegiate power Creighton, helping the Bluejays reach the NCAA Division I National Championship quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015.

Woodside joins the Carp from nearby Eureka College, where he is preparing for his third season as the head coach for the Red Devils. The Bloomington, Ill., native inherited a program that had been winless in each of the two seasons before his arrival. However, he has coached Eureka to 10 wins in the past two years, leading the Red Devils to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time in the program’s history in 2022.

Following his high school career at Normal Community HS, Woodside played collegiately at NCAA Division III Hope College. After helping the Flying Dutchmen to a 14-3-1 record as a senior in 2018, he played professionally for one season in Sweden, helping Stöde IF earn promotion by winning the Swedish Division III Mellersta Norrland title.

Peoria City is preparing for its third season in USL League Two, North America’s top pre-professional division of soccer. The club also announced its 2024 schedule Thursday, which will include a 12-game slate of games against its six rivals in the USL League Two Central Conference Heartland Division, as well as a home-and-home exhibition series versus Springfield FC in the inaugural Lincoln Cup.

Peoria City’s 2024 season-ticket packages are now on sale online by visiting Continuing its tradition of offering family-friendly ticket options, general admission seating for the full 7-game home slate begins at just $35. Peoria City is introducing a kids club in 2024: membership in the School of Carp is $50 and includes a club t-shirt, which will serve as the child’s general admission season ticket; 10 activity tickets for the new Peoria City Play Zone; an invitation for a special meet-and-greet session with the 2024 Peoria City players and staff; and a monthly email newsletter from the club.

New ticket options in 2024 also include the Friends and Family Season Pass, available for $115 for four general admission season tickets with additional tickets in the package available for $30 each. Peoria City also is introducing Grandstand Fieldside seating – Adirondack chairs positioned on the field directly in front of the main grandstand – for just $105, as well as the upgraded Fieldside Club ($175) adjacent to the team benches beneath designated tents and inclusive of snacks and beverages. 

While game day general parking remains complimentary, fans may reserve a dedicated, season tailgate space for $25.

“Peoria will play home to future stars of American soccer.”
- Jim DeRose, Bradley University Head Soccer Coach

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