Albion SC BU15 White will compete in the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championship. Photo Credit: Albion SC
Youth Soccer News: Albion SC Heading to US Youth Soccer National Championships for Seventh Year
SoccerNation News is pleased to feature the youth soccer news series with San Diego's Albion Soccer Club. Technical Director Noah Gins and Albion Soccer Club are featured in a new column every week with information on player development and what is happening at his elite youth soccer club. This week: Albion SC BU15 White will compete in the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships – the club’s seventh consecutive year appearing in the tournament – and there could be more teams qualifying. It all goes back to Albion SC’s culture of success.
Every competitive club in America hopes to send a team to the prestigious US Youth Soccer Association National Championships – the pinnacle of youth soccer competition. For some clubs this is a dream yet to be fulfilled; for other clubs it is a reality they hope to see repeated in the future. For Albion Soccer Club, trips to the National Championships have become expected, with a seventh consecutive appearance already guaranteed this year after the Albion SC BU15 White claimed the US Youth Soccer National League title in March.
The most deserving teams in each age group, U14 through U18, met on the field of competition in North Carolina and again in Las Vegas to contest for one of four berths, with the top two teams in the Red and Blue Divisions getting an automatic invitation to the National Championships. Following a 2-1-1 run in North Carolina, Albion BU15 White went 3-0-0 in Las Vegas to take first in their division.
"At Albion SC, we have always made it clear that we want to be playing on the national scene each and every year,” explained Albion SC Technical Director Noah Gins, who coaches the BU15 White team. “We want to compete with and outperform teams and clubs from around the country. Our goal has never been to be the best in San Diego, but rather the best in the country.”
This year could see more than one team from Albion SC at the National Championships. While none of the club’s other teams earned an automatic berth through the National League, several are still in the running through Cal South National Cup competition. Currently the GU14 White, GU14 Premier, GU15 White, GU16 USA, GU16 White, GU18 White, BU14 White, BU15 White, BU17 White and BU17 White South teams are preparing for the next round of National Cup Games with their sights set on the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships in New Mexico in June. Winners there also move on to the National Championship.
National Cup is not the only route to the Regionals, and the GU18 White squad have already punched their ticket by winning their division in California Regional League (CRL) play. CRL hosts many of the best teams in Southern California, and the strong competition the girls have faced will give them excellent preparation. Their goal is to take the Region IV title and then continue on to the National Championship before players graduate and move on to college.
It is not only the youth game in which Albion looks to excel. This summer the 2013 graduating boys’ team will reunite from their respective colleges with the goal of competing at the U19 level in the prestigious 2014 McGuire Cup. With a youth record that includes three straight Cal South National Cup titles, five Region IV Championships, three National League Championships and three US Youth Soccer National Championships in four attempts, the team is determined to take State, Region and National crowns again.
"The exciting thing about Albion SC right now is that we have a National Championship culture in place,” said Gins. “Players growing up in this club now understand and expect to be there one day. Very similar to college powerhouses or top professional teams that are always in the running for the National Title, Albion SC also holds that same culture. Once you have that culture, the players, the staff, the parents and the players are all on the same page. They grow up with a big advantage over other clubs just based on attitude and belief."
"We have U9 and U10 players that are being bred with proper habits and being trained to be in the top 1 percent in the country,” Gins continued. “They also have clear models of players and teams above them to look at and see how they are doing it which allows them to realize that they can get there as well."
Albion SC is fortunate to have three directors in the club who have combined to coach teams to 15 State Cup Championships, eight Regional Championships, and eight National Championships. The combined experience of Wayne Crowe, Noah Kooiman, and Gins creates a winning culture that allows the club to have leadership that can stand up and deliver the goals and objectives of the program.