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Haaskivi Soccer Academy is an Elite Soccer Academy located in Southwest Florida and provides superior individual and team training to the Tampa Bay and Sarasota area's best soccer players. 

The academy was founded by Kai O. Haaskivi in 2014 and offers short-term and long-term boys and girls programs all year round for ages U-8 through U18. Our teams practice up to 5 days a week and play in competitive leagues and tournaments 

Our mission is to develop elite soccer players from both an individual & team perspective; and to provide superior soccer training in order to play at the highest levels. The Vision of Haaskivi Academy is to become an Elite International Developmental Soccer Academy attracting world class players from all over the globe.

Kai Haaskivi has designed a demanding soccer program using European training and coaching methods for his players. We provide individualized technical, tactical, physical and mental performance training, competitive games, and College Showcase Tournaments.

Kai & Jari Litmanen hosting a soccer camp


Kai Haaskivi is considered “One of the greatest soccer minds in the country." Born and raised in Finland, Kai's exposure to soccer started early in life as his father, Olavi, served as the Director of Coaching for the Finnish Football Association for over 35 years.

Although raised in a soccer family, Kai ’s individual prominence in soccer began in the early 1970's as a member of the Finnish National Team from 1977 to 1984. Kai earned his first cap on the Finnish National Team in 1977 and continued in the National spotlight for years including playing in 1978 and 1986 World Cup qualifying matches and for 1980 European Championships.

During his National Teams career, Kai recorded 29 caps and 7 goals. Haaskivi's professional playing career spanned over 19 years including stops with Finnish Premier League teams as well as with the Dallas Tornado, Houston Hurricane, and Edmonton Drillers of the North American Soccer League and the Houston Summit, Cleveland Force, Baltimore Blast, and Cleveland Crunch of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Kai has played against the best players in the world including Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Johan Cruyff, JohanNeeskens, Paulo Rossi, Kevin Keegan, George Best, Carlos Alberto and many others. 

Kai scored against the best goalkeepers in the world, like England’s Ray Clemence and Italy’s World Cup hero, Dino Zoff. Kai's professional coaching experience is unmatched.

He has coached at the professional, national team,collegiate, and youth levels. He worked as the GM and Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, division 1 of the United Soccer League (USL) and asthe Head Men’s and Women’s Soccer Coach at Myers University.

Kai alsoserved as an assistant coach for two different U.S. U-17 National teams including top American talent like Taylor Twellman, Landon Donovan,Demarcus Beasley and Kyle Beckerman. Kai was the first Director of the IMG Academies Soccer Academy and the first Head Coach of the Bradenton Academics of the PDL.

He served as the Head Scout for the US Soccer Federation’s Project 2010, as the Director of Coaching for Cleveland United and Braden River Soccer Clubs. Kai holds National Coaching Certification with A,B,C and National Youth licenses. He has been a member of the National Instructional Staff for the US Soccer since 1999 and currently serves on the Region III ODP staff.

Unfortunately, Kai never got to play against the best: Pele. But, here are the toughest players he did have the opportunity to play against: 

Goalkeeper: Dino Zoff (Italy), Sepp Maier (Germany), Peter Shilton (England)

Defenders: Giacinto Faccetti (Italy), Berti Vogs (Germany), Carlos Alberto (New York Cosmos/Brazil)

Midfielders: Franz Beckenbauer (New York Cosmos/Germany), Giancarlo Antognoni (Italy), Karl-Heintz Rummenigge (Germany), Johan Neeskens (New York Cosmos/Holland), Kevin Keagan (England)

Forwards: Johan Cruyff (Los Angeles Aztecs/Holland), George Best (San Jose Earthquakes/N. Ireland), Gerd Muller (Ft. Lauderdale Strikers/Germany)

1988 autograph session with Pele in Cleveland, Ohio

The Haaskivi Soccer Academy way…

Words of Wisdom from Coach Kai:

After fifty some years in the “serious” but very enjoyable international soccer business, I’ve learned to trust and live by several important beliefs and approaches.

There are plenty of “fancy” and sophisticated words in the world of sports, soccer and in coaching, but here are the cornerstones that our soccer academy is build on:

Work ethic, repetition, preparation, discipline, teamwork, creativity and disguise.

We believe in sharing the ball, combinations, possession, attacking minded attractive soccer, making the game easy for our teammates and making them look good.

We believe in teaching and coaching, positive reinforcement and to a solid, consistently good effort and performance, in every practice and in every game ….come rain or shine.