Tommy has been part of the Potomac Soccer Association (PSA) community for over seven years with both of his children playing for the club. The club’s family feel, great coaches, and the relationships his children have formed make PSA a wonderful club to be a part of.
His community involvement extends to being a board member of the Global Soccer Alliance (promotes cultural exchanges between North American and African youth soccer programs and reduce barriers to play for youth in low-income African communities) as well as co-founder and President of Cornerstone Community (provides housing and community for instability housed men with a history of chronic substance abuse).
He is the Strategic Partnerships Director at Food & Friends.
Shannon Merkle is a Senior Systems Analyst who works in the field of cancer research. She has two sons in Potomac soccer – a U18 senior and a U15 8th grader. The Merkles chose Potomac originally due to the strong reputation of the club. They stayed due to the fantastic coaches, wonderful friendships, and strong organization that Potomac has provided. Born and raised outside of DC, Shannon’s favorite professional sports teams include the Washington Football Club, Washington Nationals, and Washington Capitals. Additionally, they are often found donning the Maryland Pride colors to root for our Maryland Terrapins. When not on the soccer field (which isn’t very often), they can be found enjoying dinner out at local restaurants.
Joe Gentile is a native of the DC Metro area and has been with Federal Title & Escrow Company, a local title company, for over 18 years as a Settlement Attorney and for 10 as the company President. A life-long soccer fan, and player until a torn ACL in his late 20’s ended his dream of playing in the World Cup, Joe’s Italian ancestry has made Joe and Joe’s son, Alexander Gentile, huge fans of Serie A, the Italian National team and the US National team. Alex turns 10 this month and has been with Potomac Soccer since March of 2019. Alex joined Potomac upon the recommendation of his Brit-Am coach and has continuously been a member of Potomac Soccer. Both Alex and Joe are thankful for Potomac Soccer’s efforts during the difficult 2020 stretch, which allowed Alex to continue to play and train – Potomac Soccer restored a bit of normalcy during a clearly difficult time. Currently Alex is playing with the BU10 Potomac Premier I 13 team under the Coaching of Kareem Ladki and is looking forward to the spring season after an undefeated fall season and a second place finish in the Bethesda Premier Cup. Joe is looking forward to watching his son play and contributing towards the success and future of Potomac Soccer.
Walter Kirkland has been involved in youth soccer in Montgomery County through many years of involvement with the Bethesda Soccer Club, Maryland Rush Montgomery, and most recently the Potomac Soccer Association. He managed his daughter’s soccer experience from kindergarten through college recruitment and her years on the women’s team at the University of Pittsburgh. He now manages the 06B Potomac Premier 2 on which his oldest grandson is rostered. Professionally Walter is chief of publishing in the office of online services at the IRS after having managed the development and implementation of IT infrastructure behind the Affordable Care Act. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he and his wife Judy met on the first day of freshman year. He holds an MBA from University of Maryland, Master’s certification in IT Management from Villanova, and master’s certification in leadership development from Cornell. He is also active community governance. Aside from spending much of his free time on the soccer sidelines, he enjoys tennis and golf, and is an avid cellist.