Nicole Lukic and Garrett Biller Named Directors of Talent Identification in U.S. Soccer’s Updated Structure and Pathway to Identify and Monitor Players

Lukic Hired as Director of Talent Identification – Women’s Youth National Teams; Biller Promoted to Director of Talent Identification – Men’s Youth National Teams; Longtime Director of Talent ID Tony Lepore Promoted to Head of Talent ID

CHICAGO (March 6, 2024) – As part of U.S. Soccer’s strategic pillar to develop winning teams, Nicole Lukic was hired as the Director of Talent Identification – Women’s Youth National Teams and Garrett Biller was promoted to Director of Talent Identification – Men’s Youth National Teams.

Lukic joins U.S. Soccer from Minnesota Aurora FC, where she was sporting director and head coach, leading the club to undefeated campaigns in its first two seasons in the USL W League, and brings nearly a decade of experience as a technical leader in the youth club game. Biller moves into his new position after 10 years with the Federation, during which he most recently served as Talent ID Manager – Central Region.

Biller and Lukic’s roles play an important part in the Federation’s ambition to expand and improve the player pools for the Men’s and Women’s Youth National Teams across all age groups. They are responsible for the development and oversight of a comprehensive Talent ID plan to identify and monitor players across the country and around the world for Youth National Team selection. 

Longtime Director of Talent ID Tony Lepore has been promoted to Head of Talent ID and will now oversee both genders as part of an integrated Talent ID department structure and pathway from the Youth National Teams to the senior Men’s and Women’s National Teams. Lepore has worked for U.S. Soccer in a YNT scouting role since 2007.

“We’re excited to welcome Nicole to U.S. Soccer and to see Garrett take on a new challenge after years of dedicated work in the Talent ID department,” Lepore said. “Garrett has excelled in a number of roles during his time at U.S. Soccer, developing strong relationships with clubs across the country while helping to identify many players that have become important to the National Team program.

“Nicole brings a variety of experiences to be successful in this role. She’s a proven leader and culture builder with a strong knowledge of Talent ID. We’re looking forward to her joining our team.”

Lukic turned Minnesota Aurora into one of the most successful teams in the USL W League since the club launched in 2022. Named USL W Coach of the Year in 2022, she guided Minnesota to an 11-0-1 regular season record in its first season before falling in the league’s championship match. Aurora went undefeated again in the 2023 regular season before falling in the Central Conference Final. During her time with the club, seven players have gone on to sign full professional contracts.

While winning on the field Lukic also built an exceptional culture with the Aurora, constructing an all-female staff for the community-owned club and being named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal for her work to make positive change in the cities’ sports landscape. She holds a U.S. Soccer “A” License and Talent Scout License and has worked as a YNT Network Scout for the past two years.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to join an incredibly skilled Talent Identification team,” Lukic said. “The U.S. player pool has a profound amount of talent and I am looking forward to making a meaningful impact on our evolving soccer landscape through Talent ID."

In addition to her work with Aurora, Lukic brings nine years of experience as a technical leader in the youth club game with Rush Soccer, one of the world’s largest youth clubs. While working in Minnesota, she served as Director of Operations for Twin Cities Rush Soccer Club, one of the state’s biggest youth clubs for boys and girls, overseeing technical development for both individual players and the club’s overall curriculum, club culture and administration.

She spent five years at Rush Select, the pinnacle of Rush’s youth development pathway, leading the player selection process for the more than 80 Rush clubs across the country while creating and overseeing Talent ID initiatives and scouting processes for boys and girls. She launched her youth coaching career as technical director at Rush Wisconsin West, developing programming for all levels of the club and guiding development for players and staff.

As Talent Identification Manager – Central Region, Biller managed the scouting process in the region by working closely with clubs to identify players for the MYNT program and was also in charge of monitoring U.S.-eligible players abroad. He started working with U.S. Soccer as a YNT Network Scout in 2014 and later joined the Federation full-time in 2016 as a Technical Advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Mid-America Region, supporting clubs as a U.S. Soccer liaison while overseeing MYNT scouting for the region.

“Working at U.S. Soccer has been an incredible privilege and I am excited to continue collaborating alongside Tony, Nicole and the rest of our Talent ID department,” Biller said. “There are a lot of talented young American players around the globe and I look forward to expand and improve the player pools for all our Youth National Teams. Tony has been a pioneer in Talent ID within our country, I’m fortunate to continue to grow under his leadership and excited to work alongside our Talent ID Managers as we identify and monitor all the talented players across our country.”

Biller was part of the first group to earn the U.S. Soccer Talent Scout License in 2019 and also holds U.S. Soccer “A” and Academy Director Licenses. He has served as technical staff for the last two U-17 World Cups and led last year’s U-14 Talent ID Regional and National Identification Camps.