Youth Soccer News: Twelfth Annual Albion Cup Hits the Pitch
After working from dawn to well past dusk, Albion's Director of Coaching and Tournament Director Noah Gins caught up with Diane Scavuzzo @ SoccerNationNews to share the news on his upcoming highly respected youth soccer tournament held in San Diego, California.
On Saturday, July 21, nearly 500 youth soccer teams will hit the pitch at ten sites around coastal San Diego County for the twelfth annual Albion Cup, presented by Albion Soccer Club and sponsored by PUMA. The tournament draws teams from throughout California and from as far west as Hawaii, north to Washington and Oregon, and east through Texas to Georgia. This year will even see several teams from Canada competing for top honors.
Albion Cup is rated a Premier Tournament by Top Soccer, and according to Noah Gins, Director of Coaching for Albion SC, the quality of the teams participating in the tournament “is going through the roof.” He pointed out that over the last two or three years, several teams that have won at Albion Cup in the olders brackets have also gone on to win at the prestigious Surf Cup. This year 570 teams applied for Albion Cup and 480 were accepted.
Accepted Boys Teams
Accepted Girls Teams
“We are one of the top tournaments in youth soccer, with teams coming all the way from back East and from Hawaii to compete in San Diego,” said Gins. “With Surf Cup olders the following weekend, the best bang for your buck if you’re accepted in both tournaments is to come for Albion Cup and stay through Surf Cup and enjoy being in San Diego.”
Albion Cup is also a prime recruiting tournament for colleges, and over 100 coaches have already confirmed that they will be scouting during the olders matches.
Among the colleges and universities scheduled to attend are such NCAA Division 1 schools as Cal State Northridge, San Diego State University, UCLA and University of South Carolina, as well as numerous other institutions. Additional college coaches are expected to attend as well.
Want to visit Brazil? A unique feature of the Albion Cup is the opportunity for top players at the U-14 through U-16 levels to be selected to the PUMA All-Star Team. The tournament has partnered with Pro Select Soccer USA to identify players who are both dominant at their position and show a high level of maturity to train and compete in Brazil in June 2013. Pro Select will notify coaches of players selected within a few weeks of the tournament. For more information on the PUMA All-Star Team, click here.
Many people wonder, with so many youth soccer tournaments around the country, how can one distinguish the differences between events?
In addition to playing on some of the best turf and grass fields in San Diego County, including the immaculate fields of UC San Diego, which open just for Albion Cup after being closed for summer, Gins says that the club’s dedication to making the tournament one of the premier events in the country sets it apart.
“Many tournaments lack quality and purpose, or offer inconsistent quality,” said Gins, “while we are very systematic in perfecting every aspect of Albion Cup. We do not cut corners.”
Washington's Eastside Football Club is sending multiple teams to compete in Albion Cup and is one to watch according to Gins. Another Club to keep an eye on is Maui Untied Soccer Club.
Teams that participate in Albion Cup can also have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping boys and girls who otherwise may not have the opportunity to play with an elite club. Each year the proceeds from the tournament go toward Albion SC’s scholarship program, which provides funds for players who need assistance. The goal each year is to raise $50,000 to $100,000 toward this fund.
While the Albion Cup is a relative youngster compared to Surf Cup, it continues to grow and to raise the level of competition each year. Gins said, "Surf Cup is one of the best three tournaments in America. I started Albion Cup 12 years ago and I am proud that it is one of the top tournament in our country. It is great to see teams win Albion Cup also win at Surf Cup."
When the final whistle sounds for the last match, several thousand youth players will have had the opportunity to show just what they have in them and will look back on the weekend as a special time in their career.
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