Albion SC B02 and B03 USDA Travel to Seattle for Preseason Preparation
Albion SC’s B2002 and B2003 U.S. Soccer Development Academy squads conclude their preseason trip to train with the Seattle Sounders Academy at the first team training grounds in Washington. The two elite youth soccer teams also had a chance to tour Seattle University and speak with Albion SC alumni Shane Mahvi, as well as attend the highly anticipated MLS match between the Sounders and the Portland Timbers on Sunday — and watch from the field level.
Youth Soccer News: The Albion SC B02 and B03 USSF Development Academy teams return home today following a trip to Seattle to train with the Sounders Academy ahead of the upcoming fall season. Creating world-class players means more than performing endless drills properly. In order to fully develop youth players into professional hopefuls, it takes meaningful life experiences — and that is exactly what two Albion SC teams got while on their “pre-season training” trip to Seattle, WA.
Hard work must have it perks and being treated like a possible future professional player is a treat for any youth. Albion SC arranged a terrific experience for their elite youth soccer players. The 2002 and 2003 USSF DA teams were treated to a special, pre-season training experience against their MLS Academy counterparts at the Seattle Sounders and given a rare glimpse into the world of professional soccer.
Both Albion SC squads had an opportunity to meet with the Sounders first team players before the match versus the Portland Timbers that saw the home side claim an exhilarating 3-1 victory at CenturyLink Field. Watching Clint Dempsey scored twice in the win, first with a PK in the 61st minute and a second goal in the 80th minute was a remarkable experience for any soccer fan, but an especially for youth players. The only U.S. player in history to score in three FIFA World Cups, Dempsey, has served as the captain of the US Men’s National Team battled a youth plagued by poverty growing up in a trailer park in Nacogdoches, Texas.
The Albion SC B02 squad are lead by coaches Paul Holohan and Albion SC Executive Director Noah Gins who have led the team to win Championships in three major youth soccer tournaments; the Manchester City Americas Cup, Albion Cup, and most recently, the 2016 Surf Cup in the most competitive bracket.
“We really enjoyed the time with our players and got to know them on and off the field. We were able to provide players so much more detailed coaching due to us having the time for team meetings and player meetings all while playing games that did not have the pressure to win,” said Gins.
“We have recruited very few players for the USDA 2002 team. We started off the season looking to really develop these players and challenge them to reach new heights. We have high expectations for our players in practice. Early in the year, the team beat the LA Galaxy 2002s in the Man City Cup Final – the team has been responding really well to training, and has continued to perform very well on the field,” said Coach Holohan. “The Albion Cup was also competition and obviously the Surf Cup was also great competition playing against other DA teams.”
“The Albion 2002s play an attractive style of soccer,” said Holohan. “We like to build from the back and pass the ball forward — possession-oriented soccer. We have a lot of really good technical players who understand that we want to keep the ball on the ground and play, moving the ball forward.”
And that is just what the Albion SC teams did while in Seattle during their training against Seattle Sounders 02 and 03 teams in preparation for the fall Development Academy season which kicks off on September 10.
The teams also had a chance to take a step back from the field and visit Seattle University where they had a chance to meet with the head coach of the men’s program along with spend time with Albion Alumni Shane Mahvi who is entering his senior year.
Albion SC remains committed to providing its players with exposure to professional organizations along with building a network to help further grow soccer in America.
With the addition of Albion SC Pros this year, Gins took an independent step towards player advancement and placement. The Albion SC youth academy now has a first team to develop future talent as well as represent professional soccer here in the San Diego market. The Albion Pros competed successfully in the NPSL with exhibition games against LA Galaxy and Xolos. The team was undefeated in conference and ended their first season as Southwest Conference Champions.
Always looking for ways to offer the most value and benefit to his players, Gins has an extensive reach into the MLS and with high level college coaches. “We have established a good relationship with the MLS Seattle Sounders and we took advantage of the offer to come up and train and play their academy,” said Gins. “We ended up playing 4 matches and had a chance to train and watch the first team practice. We also were able to attend the Sounders match with 53,000 soccer fans in attendance. It was a great overall experience for our staff and our players. It is a great example of what we really love to do to deepen passion for the beautiful game.”