ALBION Strategic Affiliate Program of Exclusive Like-Minded Youth Soccer Clubs Expands
Strong leadership, name recognition, and strong branding provide an advantage in today’s competitive youth soccer market. Many affiliate programs focus on growing their numbers. Based in Southern California, Albion‘s Affiliate program looks for the leaders behind the club and the opportunity for the club to make big gains on and off the field.
ALBION SC is a nationally known youth soccer program with an extensive track record for high-level player development and helping players advance beyond the youth ranks of club soccer.
Known as a hub for elite soccer talent, the name Albion is also synonymous with academic achievement and many of their youth soccer players have secured collegiate roster spots and scholarships at some of America’s most prestigious universities including Harvard, Yale, Notre Dame, USD, Cornell, UCLA, among others.
While the world is in the midst of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and soccer has been under a mandated moratorium, the Albion National Affiliate program has been holding weekly educational Zoom meeting with top coaches and professional players. “This is a time to be resourceful and creative,” said Mark Santistevan, COO/VP of Operations National Affiliates. “There is always a lot of knowledge to share and work to be done to improve soccer in America.” Ryan Hopkins, Lev Kirchner, Ari Lassiter, Ellis Riley, Femi Ayanbadejo, and Jen Lawlor have all participated in Albion’s online sessions, and U.S. Soccer’s National Coaching Instructor Didier Chambaron will speak next week.
In addition, Albion SC has announced the expansion of its national youth soccer affiliate program, welcoming ALBION SC MERCED, formerly the Merced Soccer Academy (MSA) a youth soccer club in Merced, California.
“The Albion Affiliate program is changing the youth soccer landscape in America,” said Santistevan.
“ALBION — it is not just a brand, it is a culture.”Mark Santistevan, COO/VP of Operations National Affiliates
“Our Affiliate program is a select group of like-minded, quality youth soccer clubs that are all committed to the love of the game and have total dedication to player development,” said Santistevan. “We share a common vision and want to grow the game of soccer in America.”
“Albion SC has been very successful. We want to share our experiences and knowledge,” said Noah Gins, CEO and Executive Director ALBION SC. “The Albion National Affiliate program helps clubs that have the potential go from good to great but just need the added strength. We provide resources, structure, consultation, strategic planning, networking, and branding.”
“Most importantly, our simplistic player development curriculum reflects our culture of inclusivity and inspires players as well as coaches,” said Santistevan.
Fernando Aguilera, President of Albion Merced was the president of Merced Soccer Academy for two decades and has been coaching youth soccer for more than 30 years. Over the years, Merced’s teams have competed against Albion SC and Aquilera was consistently impressed with the level of play and how the players handled themselves on the field.
“Albion players always look professional and the parents and coaches show real respect for each other.”Fernando Aguilera, President of Albion Merced
“Merced Soccer Academy is proud and excited to be part of the Albion family,” said Fernando Aguilera, President of Albion Merced.
Albion’s newest affiliate Albion Merced has a track record of developing youth soccer players and helping them reach their dreams. One of the many players trained by Aguilera, Alfonso Ocampo Chavez, was recruited to join the MLS’ Seattle Sounders Academy and made his professional MLS debut with the team when he was 15-years-old.
Another of Merced’s players, Dwayne Ewing, joined the club in 2013 and was coached by Edgar Vasquez and Brett Jorgenson. Although Ewing eventually moved on to the San Joaquin Valley Soccer Academy, Merced still keeps track of their former player and was thrilled when he was called up to the 2019 U14 Boy’s National Identification Program in Carson, CA.
“We are so proud to help Albion Merced with an overall structure and coaching curriculum with a consistent voice to create a culture — this club produced good players in boys U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA) U13 and U14 age groups and has a history of player development,” said Santistevan. “We look forward to helping them continue to develop top talent.”
“Albion is proud to help all our players become leaders in their community and helping kids excel academically.”Mark Santistevan, COO/VP of Operations National Affiliates
At Albion, we are always asking ourselves, ‘How do we become better?’ said Santistevan. “We believe in people working together and sharing information.
“At the Albion Affiliate program, the people who come on board put their egos down and simply work for the love of the game. Can we leave a legacy behind that we have influenced the landscape of the USA by improving the game — helping clubs raise their standards and helping kids reach their dreams? If we work together, then we can and youth soccer will become better.”
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