San Diego based youth soccer club Albion SC was awarded a place in the inaugural United States Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, which is set to kick off in 2017, along with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes and United Futbol Academy.
The addition of Albion SC brings the total number of Girls’ DA clubs in the San Diego region to three, following the previous acceptance of San Diego Surf Soccer Club and the LA Galaxy’s San Diego alliance club, the aptly named LA Galaxy San Diego. The Earthquakes and the actual LA Galaxy make the third and fourth MLS clubs to launch Girls’ DA programs following LAFC’s and FC Dallas’ inclusion in the first 25 clubs to be added.
Albion’s inclusion in the Development Academy bodes well for the future of girls’ soccer in San Diego, and Executive Director Noah Gins had this to say regarding his club’s acceptance:
“We are very excited join the US Development Academy and will provide the opportunities and platform for our players to develop and be recognized inside this very elite model. We intend to be one of the most progressive girls programs in the country.”
Progressive is certainly one way to describe Albion. The club has transformed in the years since Gins took over and recently launched an NPSL side which finished their 2016 inaugural regular season undefeated before eventually falling in the playoffs to finalists Sonoma County Sol. One wonders if perhaps a WPSL or NWSL side lies in the future of the club who harbor over 100 competitive teams across their San Diego and regional affiliate clubs in Orange County and Plantation, Florida.
In focusing on building out the infrastructure required to develop professional players, Albion and other youth clubs within the Development Academy and the lower tiers of professional soccer are at the forefront of our nation’s soccer future. The race is on to develop homegrown players all across the country and any club included in the first wave of Girls’ DA play has a leg up on the rest of the competition.