ALBION SC Announces Strategic Affiliation with CAL Aztecs To Become ALBION SC Central Cal
Strong leadership, name recognition, and strong branding provide an advantage in today’s competitive youth soccer market. High-quality affiliate programs provide valuable resources and networking strength.
ALBION SC is a nationally known youth soccer program with an extensive track record for high-level player development and helping players gain professional contracts as well as secure collegiate roster spots and scholarships.
This week, Albion SC has announced the expansion once again of its national youth soccer affiliate program, welcoming ALBION SC Central Cal , formerly the Central California Aztecs, an Elite club in Bakersfield, California.
“We are working to change the soccer landscape in America by providing resources, opportunities, structure, and consultation that creates model clubs,” said Noah Gins, CEO and Executive Director ALBION SC. “The benefits of the Albion Affiliate program are clear. From our strategic planning, curriculum, program structure, networking and branding, our program harnesses our experience and enables clubs to benefit from our success.”
The ALBION National Affiliate program provides immediate national recognition and benefits to carefully selected youth soccer club partners. This expansion extends the ALBION SC youth soccer model and the club’s network throughout the Central California region.
The ALBION National Affiliate program continues to consistently expand after the recent addition of ALBION SC Temecula and the incredible success of ALBION SC Las Vegas which kicked off in 2017 and received acceptance to the prestigious U.S. Development Academy within two years. In addition, ALBION SC Hawaii and ALBION SC San Diego North strengthen the affiliate’s network presence in the Western United States.
In the shadow of LA, Bakersfield is a unique area because geographically it is just north America’s second-largest city and has a large population of Hispanic families with highly talented youth soccer players. One of the top coaching directors in the area, Central California Aztecs’ Ray Sanders has always held his players to the highest of standards, and his club has succeeded in developing more players who have received call ups to national team youth camps than any other area club.
Always interested in the best interest of the development of the player, Sanders joins the ALBION National Affiliate program because it offers a clear pathway to help youth soccer clubs be successful.
“We joined for the mentorship, infrastructure resources and the many benefits of the ALBION Affiliate program — but especially because I know I can learn from Noah,” said Sanders.
“With the landscape of youth soccer in the U.S., and the timing of our evolution, we feel this is the right step to get us to the next level.”Ray Sanders,Technical Director of Albion- Central Cal
“The California Aztecs are in perfect alignment with our vision of expansion,” said Gins. “The youth soccer club has been led by Ray who is an incredible coach and leader and elevated youth soccer in Bakersfield to a high level.”
“There are decades of success and equity built into ALBION SC and for us to share this with other youth soccer programs, and allow them to gain from our experiences is a reward I take great pride in,” said Gins.
“I really believe in our community — we have a lot of immigrants here and soccer is the families’ passion,” said Sanders who carefully evaluated the affiliate program before joining. “We have been approached by a lot of affiliate programs and have repeatedly said no because the benefits are usually just marketing and branding programs.”
“I have always been very impressed with Noah Gins— he has always been ambition and backs it up with results.”Ray Sanders,Technical Director of Albion- Central Cal
“Noah does what he says and has a high work ethic. His leadership he built a powerful club in San Diego, which is in a highly competitive market,” said Sanders. “I really look forward to working with Noah. Without the Albion Affiliate program, it would take us longer and it would be harder to accomplish our goals on our own — and, that would not be in the best interest of our players in Bakersfield. We are a very player-centric youth soccer club. We do what is in the best interest of the player.”
““It will be incredible to work with Ray and his coaching staff, and to help guide this club to the next level,” said Gins. “We will work to become the model club in the Central California region.”
Sanders is known to push his talented players to the next level and has encouraged younger players to play up on older teams when appropriate for their development.
“Our goal is to dismantle our teams by moving our players on to the next level.”Ray Sanders,Technical Director of Albion- Central Cal
“Talent is talent, and clubs like Seattle Sounders will take good talent from anywhere,” said Sanders who has established a feeder program with the Sounders and works with several other MLS academies. “An MLS Affiliate or a feeder program only speeds up the process.”
The landscape in American youth soccer is unlike Europe where clubs and coaches are recognized by the successful development of their youth players. “My success is measured by how many kids we can move forward,” said Sanders. “Players like John Pulskamp who signed a pro contract with Sporting Kansas City’s USL team, Swope Park Rangers is a great example.”
Being able to provide meaningful opportunities and encouraging players to reach for their dreams is inspiring. One of the many benefits of the ALBION National Affiliate program is its recruitment and scouting system, which connects players with ASC San Diego as well as professional clubs in the MLS and USL as well as throughout Europe and South America.
“THE SHARING OF ALBION’S SUCCESS IS A TESTAMENT TO THE HARD WORK BY ALL – DOING THE RIGHT THINGS, YEAR AFTER YEAR.” Noah Gins, ALBION SC, CEO
In Bakersfield, ALBION SC Central Cal players will train Kaiser Permanente Sports Village, 9001 Ashe Rd, Bakersfield Ca 93313 and will expand their services and opportunities throughout the area.
Teams currently compete in US Youth Soccer and US Club Soccer programs. Moving forward, Albion SC Central Cal will be able to send player pools to San Diego during the regular season, and throughout the year, as selected players can participate as U.S. Soccer Development Academy players.
Teams will compete under the Albion SC-Central Cal name effective for the 2020-2021 season.
Additionally, teams will gain opportunities to compete in the Albion Cup National Showcase, and other Albion Affiliate Showcases. In addition, ALBION SC Central CA players will be able to be selected to participate on the Albion Elite Showcase Teams which is comprised of top players from all Albion SC Affiliate clubs.
The ALBION Affiliate Program has a proven track record. Albion Las Vegas President Terry Manley said, “We wanted to disrupt the youth soccer establishment in Las Vegas and provide a better experience for players and families. We felt that an affiliation with the right club — with a brand that meant something — would bring instant credibility and clarity to this effort. ALBION has done this for us.”
Amanda Schmutz, Director of the ALBION Girls DA Program said, “I’ve been sending girls to college for almost twenty years and the ALBION brand recognition with college coaches has assisted in getting our players on the radar of the right coaches. Being affiliated with ALBION sent a strong message to the Las Vegas community that we were here to support their child’s development with a culture that aligned our club, team, and players.”
“As soon as we join the ALBION family, we immediately attracted the right coaches, teams, and players. Everyone knew we would have a professional approach on and off the field,” said Manley.
“ALBION gave us immediate recognition nationally, which I believe had a lot to do with our acceptance into the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in our third year,” said Manely. “Noah Gins and his team created the blueprint and had a significant role in our growth. We wouldn’t be where we are without Noah and his group. What ALBION SC Las Vegas and ALBION have done together shows how the affiliate relationship can work.”