This week, Albion Soccer Club announced that a professional women’s team will take to the pitch in the Spring of 2019, representing the city and the club in the WPSL.
SoccerNation caught up with Albion Executive Director Noah Gins to find out more about the women’s team, and what’s in store for fans of the women’s game here in the San Diego area.
“We’re incredibly excited,” said Gins. “To push into a new domain, and bring a quality product to the people of San Diego, we feel privileged to be taking on this new challenge.”
The new women’s team will be run in conjunction with ASC San Diego, the men’s outfit currently coming off their third postseason appearance in three seasons in the National Premier Soccer League.
“What we’ve built from the ground up with the men’s team,” Gins said, “it serves as a great foundation and a great motivational tool to do what we really want to do with this women’s team, and that is make it the best possible team that is not only a factor on match-days, but day in day out in the community. We want our professional women’s players to be role models that can inspire thousands of young girls who are already passionate about soccer. We want to show them what they’re capable of.”
Gins spoke at length about the advancement of the United States Development Academy system, and its progression in helping to guide female players to the professional ranks.
“There’s been solid advancement in terms of mindset in recent years. Young women are more inspired than ever to become professional soccer players, and not just stopping at the idea of college soccer. We have great respect and appreciation for all the college programs we work with, but it is great to see young women aspiring for the next level, yearning to become professionals, and giving everything they have to get there.”
As with any new club, the growth of ASC San Diego’s Women’s team will happen organically. However, Gins and the folks at Albion already have some timelines laid out.
“We’re focusing on the coaching staff right now,” the Club Director said. “But for local talent, which there’s so much of, we’re able to set up our scouting networks here as the summer winds down, with a big eye on November and December, when we will likely bring some locally based players in to train with our U-19 academy team, see a little bit more of them and really find out what kind of players they are, and if they fit with what we’re doing. We are then looking at early Spring of 2019 for our first open tryouts, something we are very excited about.”
The timing of all this is rather fitting, considering this ASC San Diego Women’s team will likely take to the pitch right around the same time as the final run-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
“To be able to do this,” Gins said, “in a World Cup year, when the passion for the women’s game will be sky high… it gives us such a great opportunity to capitalize. One of our main goals is to inspire young women with this team, to give them a pathway to becoming professional soccer players. To have the best in the world battling it out on our TV screens as we build here locally, it’s a blessing for us. We can’t wait to get this thing rolling.”