Levon Ishtoyan is a legendary Armenian soccer hero. He was born and raised in Leninakan (now Gyumri), a city in Armenia. Since his young age Ishtoyan loved the sport of soccer and devoted his life to its perfection. After playing for number of years in his beloved city’s youth soccer organization, Ishtoyan was invited to join the Ararat National Professional Soccer Team, a renowned soccer club in Yerevan, Armenia. Ishtoyan’s professional career began in 1968 when he made his soccer debut at the age of 21 representing his country. During his time with Ararat, the team won Silver and Gold Medals in the Soviet Union Championship Games in 1971 and 1973 respectively, and won two Soviet Union Cups in 1973 and 1975. The Gold Medal in 1973 was the first Soviet Union Championship victory for Armenia in the history of Armenian Soccer. Furthermore, Ishtoyan was the player who scored both of the goals against the strongest soccer club in Europe and the Soviet Union, Dinamo, Kiev, and led the Armenian team toward the long awaited victory. This soccer team’s achievement went down in the Armenian history books and the name Ishtoyan not only became a household name, but resonated in the hearts of Armenian people as a heroic figure.
Ishtoyan continued playing for the Ararat National Professional Soccer Team until 1975, while pursuing a Masters Degree in Physical Education at the Armenian Sport University. Ishtoyan’s accomplishments continued during that time, as he was invited to play for the former Soviet Union’s (USSR’s) Selection Soccer Team in Russia from 1969-1975. Ishtoyan represented the USSR Selection Soccer Team in the Olympic Games in 1970, and the European and World Cup qualifying games.
Ishtoyan retired from the soccer club in 1976 and started working as a coach in the Armenian Soccer School for the youth. In 1984, Ishtoyan was invited to work as the head coach for his beloved team, the Ararat National Professional Soccer Team. He continued coaching the team until 1986.
Ishtoyan and his family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1988, where he became the head coach who established the soccer school for the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU). The Ishtoyan Soccer Academy (ISA) was founded in September 2008. Currently, Ishtoyan lives with his wife in Los Angeles, California. He has two happily married daughters, and six grandchildren, three of whom are students of the ISA. Ishtoyan’s love for the game continues as he coaches our younger generation and inspires them to pursue the sport of soccer through the ISA.