Albion SC Las Vegas Joins U.S. Soccer Development Academy Program
First and Only Las Vegas Youth Soccer Club to be Selected for Girls Development Academy
On Wednesday, February 20, Albion SC Las Vegas was selected by U.S. Soccer to develop players within the prestigious Development Academy program. Six new clubs were added to the Girls Academy expanding its membership to 71 clubs across the country. Clubs are chosen, in part by the leadership and quality of the coaching staff.
“I am so proud of Albion Las Vegas — to be the first club awarded the U.S. Development Academy in Nevada is a great accomplishment,” said Noah Gins, CEO/Executive Director, ALBION SC & ASC SAN DIEGO.
“This will now change the landscape of Las Vegas soccer and bring very high standards and opportunities to the right players in Las Vegas,” said Gins.
Albion SC is the first and only Nevada club to be admitted to this national training program. Albion has all DA ages for Girls; U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, and U-18/19.
“After a thorough review of the everyday environments at applicant clubs, a select number were chosen to join the Girls Academy for its third season,” said Miriam Hickey, U.S. Soccer Director of Club Development. “It is evident that these clubs are passionate about providing opportunities for female players to have access to fun, challenging and safe environments that encourage them to reach their full potential.”
The Development Academy program was established in 2007 following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world. The Academy program focuses on maximizing youth development based upon increased training and fewer, but more meaningful, games using international rules of competition.
“After 22 years coaching in Region IV and 15 years in Las Vegas that include national scouting, ECNL, ODP, and numerous Collegiate ID programs, I feel that the Development Academy program is the best development platform available for today’s player,” says Director of Coaching Amanda Schmutz who holds a USSF A license and will lead the Albion SC Las Vegas Girls Academy Program.
“Being a part of the DA requires a major commitment from our players and their families but it’s well worth it,” says Schmutz.
“Our teams will see the best competition in the country every week and that consistent push is one of the keys to player development.”
The Academy currently has 193 member youth clubs including boys and girls playing home/away league games over a 10 month season including 6 to 9 Showcases annually.
Its teams travel every month to play other clubs within the program – exposing players to top-level competition year round.
Director of Boys Coaching Wayne Attard, who holds both a UEFA Pro and UEFA Elite Youth A, and was the former head coach of Malta U-19 Boys National Team says, “This program fosters an environment that reminds me of the structure within top European clubs.”
“The DA follows international standards and puts the emphasis on long term development rather than wins and losses at a local level.”
“This is exactly how to develop players and will put Albion at the forefront of clubs in Nevada. We look forward to adding the Boys side next year,” says Attard.
“Admission to the Development Academy program is not easy,” says Club President Terry Manley
“When we launched Albion SC Las Vegas two years ago, it was with the goal of becoming the top club in Las Vegas and to be in the conversation within the Region,” says Manley.
“We have done this by looking at our club structure and creating a training and operations approach that is different from other clubs in Las Vegas,” says Manley. “Membership in the Development Academy has always been the goal and it is very gratifying that U.S. Soccer determined that Albion SC Las Vegas has earned this distinction. We are proud to be doing it right.”