Mar 8, 2022 | General News

Gateway Rush Soccer Club  announced today that they are merging with Calcio Express Hawks FC to form one of the largest youth soccer programs in Southern Illinois. 


Gateway Rush is headquartered in the St. Louis Metro East Illinois area, and is a community based competitive youth soccer organization that currently comprises 32 teams and approximately 430 players.  Gateway Rush is an affiliate of the Rush Soccer network.


The Calcio Express Hawks FC was established in 1990 by current Club Director, Mike Intravaia. What started as one team has flourished into a thriving club with 13 teams ranging in ages from 6-19 years. 


The Rush Soccer global network is the largest youth soccer club in the world, and consists of over 155 clubs in 50 countries and 45,620 players. Rush Soccer was founded in Denver, Colorado and is headquartered in New York. Rush Soccer teams have won over 25 National Championships and 1 world youth title. Over their 25-year history, Rush Soccer has helped propel over 91 athletes to the professional level. US international players like Christian Pulisic and Lindsey Horan are both former Rush Soccer players.


Nik Penn, the Executive Director for Rush Soccer, was present for the announcement. Mr. Penn has a Bachelor of Science in Coaching Science and a Diploma of Higher Education, Science of Soccer from Liverpool John Moores University. Mr. Penn said, “I am very excited about this merger and the opportunities to expand Rush Soccer into Southern Illinois. The Rush Soccer Network will offer additional opportunities for the youth soccer players and coaches in Southern Illinois.”  


Mr. Intravaia said, “By becoming a part of the Rush Soccer family, we are joining a global movement that is focused on the development of soccer players, coaches and the club as a whole. We are positioning our players for ultimate success, elite coaching, world class advising materials, coaching education, college placement and a universal brand identity. We know that this merger will allow our players additional opportunities to play at the highest levels” 


Joe Reiniger, the Executive Director of Gateway Rush said, “This merger will provide additional depth and talent that will allow our clubs to join the Regional Leagues sooner than anticipated.”  This past year, Gateway Rush had 5 players selected for Rush Select Regional Teams and 3 players were invited to the National Rush soccer event in February. Mr. Reiniger said, “Gateway Rush has consistently helped advance athletes into the collegiate level for the past 10 years.”

The Rush Soccer Network offers access to their National College Advisory Placement Program, a Coaches Development website, a Youth Development Academy, Player Development Program, at-home training videos for players, webinars for coaches and several other resources. For more information on Rush please visit:


1502 Davis Avenue
Johnston City, IL 62951

Phone: 270-206-1744


Monday - Thursday: 9:00a - 4:00p

Friday: 10:00a - 2:00p

Saturday & Sunday: Closed