Sylvan grew up attending the American School of Paris and graduated with a double major in political science and international relations from Syracuse University. He has been coaching soccer and other sports for more than thirty-five years and has earned advanced national and regional soccer coaching certificates from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He is also certified in first aid including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Sylvan has been a head coach for various Division I, II, and III colleges in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as well as at the high school and club levels. A three-sport coach, Sylvan continues to train and coach various club soccer teams in Garden City, New York.