Prior to beginning his career as a registered intermediary in 2014, Joe garnered firsthand experience in the soccer industry by working in the legal departments of adidas North America, Red Bull North America, and Real Salt Lake.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University, and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law, where he served as President of the Sports Law Federation and focused his studies in the areas of contracts and immigration law. Joe’s academic work on the subject of Major League Soccer’s player movement and payroll mechanisms can be found here.
Joe is an active member of the California State Bar, as well as a registered intermediary with the United States Soccer Federation and with FIFA. Joe currently resides in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
A native New Yorker, Jacob's passion for the growth and success of U.S. soccer began on the field as a youth player, and while attending Metrostars games during the inaugural season of the MLS.
Jacob graduated from the Scholars Program at SUNY Binghamton and from UCLA School of Law prior to co-founding Ascension Athletes in 2015. At UCLA, he was Vice President of the Sports Law Federation, and focused on contract negotiation and sports arbitration.
Jacob is an active member of the New York State Bar Association, and is a registered athlete agent with the United States Soccer Federation and with FIFA. Jacob currently resides in his hometown of Staten Island, New York.
After college, Mark began coaching and training players in Birmingham, including several who went on to play in MLS and represent their respective national teams. Mark has held positions as technical director, director of coaching, and assistant at the women's Division 1 level. Through each role, Mark's passion for helping individuals was paramount. Prior to joining Ascension, his role as Head of Recruitment for Atlanta United's Academy saw him continue this passion and encourage growth and development of some of the country's most promising young players.
Mark is a registered athlete agent with the United States Soccer Federation and with FIFA, as well as with the State of Alabama. Mark currently splits time between his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Darlington Praise Klukpui
Talent Identification, West Africa
Darlington was born in the town of Akwatia, Ghana. His love of soccer stems from an early age, when he formed a local youth club called AK Downstreet United at the age of eleven. The club grew with Darlington, eventually climbing as high as the Ghana 3rd division and fielding teams at the U10, U12, and U17 levels.
Darlington earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from University of Cape Coast in 2012. Darlington currently resides in Cape Coast, Ghana but travels often to attend matches and meet with players, scouts, and club officials.
Darlington has facilitated the successful transition of dozens of Ghanaian and other West African players to professional clubs in Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Canada, Portugal, and the United States.
Based in Los Angeles, Kevin is a licensed physical therapist with over 5 years experience evaluating and treating musculoskeletal impairments. He specializes in treating diverse patient populations, from infants to professional athletes.
Kevin graduated from Northeastern University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Rehabilitation, as well as a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
Kevin is certified in therapeutic cupping from the ICTA, is a level II Reiki practitioner, and is a registered yoga instructor with over 200 hours of teaching experience.