Advisory Board

John Assadi
Partner, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, LLP
John Assadi is an attorney who specializes in the representation of foreign employees of multi-national corporations, international entertainers, scientists, and professional athletes. His clients have included the Soros Foundations, The U.S. Soccer Federation, Columbia Artists Management, Inc., various Olympians, professional soccer players in the EPL, Bundesliga and La Liga and world champion athletes, and the Rainforest Foundation. He is also a founder and director of InterFysio, LLC, a healthcare staffing company that employs physical therapists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.

Nicole Barnhart
GK, United States Women’s National Team; GK, FC Kansas City
Ms. Barnhart is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and appeared in two World Cups as a goalkeeper with the United States women’s national team. She currently plays for FC Kansas City in the National Women's Soccer League. Nicole graduated from Stanford University with a double degree in studio art and psychology. She was a two-time All-American at Stanford where she has returned as a volunteer assistant coach. Nicole is a native of Pennsylvania.

Stephen J. Burnstin
Founder, Steve's Soccer Tots
Stephen brings to South Bronx United a life-long passion for soccer, combined with a dedication to serving his community. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Steve most recently ran, organized and expanded the recreational soccer program. Steve has over 30 years of playing experience and has been a coach for more than 20 years. He currently holds multiple coaching accreditations from NSCCA. Steve received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and earned his Juris Doctorate at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City. Before founding Steve's Soccer Tots, he practiced law at Wilson, Elser LLP. Stephen served on the South Bronx United Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016.

Bouna Coundoul
GK, Senegal National Team; GK, Achna FC (Cyprus); Former GK, New York Red Bulls
Mr. Coundoul has been capped 18 times for the Senegal National Team and played for three seasons for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. He currently is the goalkeeper for Achna FC in Cyprus. Like many South Bronx United youth, Bouna moved from his native country to the Bronx at age 14. He starred at Martin Luther King, Jr. high school in New York City before attending the University at Albany, SUNY where he received a B.S. in Informational Science.

Shep Messing
Soccer Broadcaster; Former GK, New York Cosmos
Mr. Messing is renowned for his career as a broadcaster and analyst at the World Cup and Olympics. He has been the broadcaster for the New York Red Bulls (formerly Metrostars) since 2001. Shep had a long professional career having played alongside Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer and other global legends at the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. He also represented the United States at the 1972 Olympics. Shep was born in the Bronx and graduated from Harvard University. In 2012, he served as the M.C. for South Bronx United's 2nd Annual Benefit.

Sina Toussi
Chief Legal Office, VR Capital
Mr. Toussi is a Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer of VR Capital Group, an alternative asset manager focused on distressed securities and event-driven/special situations investments. He spent his childhood years living in the Morris Heights section of the South Bronx after his family immigrated from Iran. He has also been a lifelong soccer fan and player. Mr. Toussi's prior roles include serving as a Partner and General Counsel at One East Capital Advisors, a multi-strategy and event-driven hedge fund; a Vice President and Special Counsel to the Chairman at MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings; and an Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where he focused on M&A and corporate restructuring. Mr. Toussi received a B.A., cum laude, in Philosophy with a minor in Mathematics from Cornell University in 1991 and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1994.