Anderson's coaching career has been a keeper

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Stan Anderson, a 1985 Palatine High School graduate, sits in his office surrounded by a career's worth of soccer memorabilia on the wall.

    Stan Anderson, a 1985 Palatine High School graduate, sits in his office surrounded by a career's worth of soccer memorabilia on the wall. Courtesy of Tank Anderson

 
 
Updated 5/7/2020 6:40 PM

Considering he's a Palatine High School graduate and son of a Palatine High legend, Stan Anderson admits it's somewhat "blasphemous" that he got his start in coaching at cross-town rival Fremd.

Then-Fremd boys soccer coach Gerardo Pagnani saw something in the part-time goalkeeper at Palatine, helped Anderson find a place to play college ball at Wisconsin-Parkside, then brought him onto his Fremd staff, giving Anderson his start in coaching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Thirty-five years after graduating from Palatine, Anderson operates what he proudly calls the largest goalkeeper camp in the world. He has trained goalkeepers to become pros, and he has worked with established pros.

Both Anderson and his father, longtime Palatine athletic director Chic Anderson, are Palatine High Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. It's one of several halls of fame to induct the younger Anderson.

"Coaching for Fremd on Chic Anderson Stadium was pretty wild," Anderson said with a laugh.

It all dates to when Pagnani saw something in Anderson he didn't see in himself.

"I'm eternally grateful for that guy," Anderson added.

After three years learning from Pagnani, Anderson moved on to the college ranks. He has been the goalkeepers coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marquette, Loyola and now UIC.

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Anderson also spent more than five years coaching at the Chicago Fire Academy, where he worked with Gabriel Slonina and Chris Brady, both of whom have since signed homegrown contracts to the Fire's first-team roster. He coached an academy team to a USSDA national championship.

While with the academy Anderson also had opportunities to work with the first team.

"It was a period of time that was special," Anderson said.

He made a good impression while with the Fire.

"Stan's a great coach. He's got a great knowledge of the game," said former Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch, who retired fourth in MLS history with 309 regular-season appearances and is now a goalkeepers coach himself. "He understands the position. He also understands how to deal with different players and their mentalities, depending on who they are."

In addition to his work at UIC, Anderson coaches club soccer at FC United in North suburban Northfield, cutting about an hour off his commute from his southeastern Wisconsin home from his days with the Fire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Stan Anderson works with youngsters at Camp Shutout, his camp for soccer goalkeepers. Anderson hopes to enjoy his 32nd season running Camp Shutout in July.
Stan Anderson works with youngsters at Camp Shutout, his camp for soccer goalkeepers. Anderson hopes to enjoy his 32nd season running Camp Shutout in July. - Courtesy of Tank Anderson

All the while he has been operating Camp Shutout, his goalkeepers camp.

"It's what I felt like this was what I was perhaps born to do," he said.

Camp Shutout began in 1989 while he was playing in Milwaukee with the Croatian Eagles. Some of his teammates played indoor pro soccer, and one of them ran a camp on the side. When that teammate asked Anderson to coach the goalkeepers, Anderson jumped at the chance.

"We started with three kids and an actor, and the actor was to help us have four so we could train in pairs and I could coach," Anderson said.

It evolved over the years to become a one-week camp in Wisconsin with 300 kids from up to 27 states and four countries. And that doesn't count the smaller one-week session in Michigan or the road shows the camp has done throughout the Midwest.

"We'll see 800 goalkeepers a year," he said. "Some of those are repeat goalkeepers, but we'll interact I guess 800 times with 800 goalkeepers at various points of the year."

They all keep coming back to work with Anderson and the staff of "great people" he has put together.

"He doesn't try to reinvent the wheel when he trains you. He's very open to conversations about the position. He wants to learn as well as teach," Busch said.

A little blasphemy has gone a long way.

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