Albion SC Invited into U.S. Soccer Development Academy for 2013-2014 Season
When U.S. Soccer began the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) in 2007, the goal was to provide top youth players around the country with the opportunity to train and play in an environment that would help to produce “the next generation of National Team players.” Working with top clubs around the country, the USSDA focuses on a philosophy of more meaningful training and fewer – but more competitive – matches.
During the 2012-2013 season, 80 clubs will have participated in the 30-game season that runs from September through July, including six Showcase matches. In the upcoming 2013-2014 season, Albion Soccer Club, another prestigious, player- development oriented youth soccer club in the San Diego area will join the Academy system. Noah Gins, Director of Coaching at Albion SC, recently spoke about his club’s future with the USSDA and what that means to the boys who play for the club. Albion SC will have U13/14 Academy players. Prior to this, there were only two USSDA clubs in San Diego County, San Diego Surf SC and Nomads SC.
Diane Scavuzzo interviewed Noah Gins, Director of Coaching & Technical Director of Albion Soccer Club on the youth soccer club becoming a U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you first want to become a U.S. Soccer Development Academy?
Noah Gins: We have been discussing Albion SC becoming a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for many years. In the last few years U.S. Soccer has really taken notice of our player development and the ability that we have to develop players and to attract the top talent.
The club has found great success with the US National League, Far West Regional League (FWRL), Western College Development Association (WCDA), Southern California National Premier League (SCNPL), and Coast Soccer League Premier. We will continue in these leagues as a youth soccer club, but now we will also be a member of the USSDA.
Diane Scavuzzo: With all the success your club has had outside the USSDA, why was this the right time to join?
Noah Gins: The country is now divided into so many leagues, and competition models. Albion as a youth soccer club wants to compete at the highest level. Wherever we can get the best competition and allow our players to perform, we will pursue. Right now the country is still searching for the best model to develop the top players and it appears that there are many more changes on the horizon.
For us right now we want to be on the inside looking out – versus the outside looking in – and determine what is best for our program and players. We see the opportunity to be part of the Development Academy as a way to showcase our talent pool, and a way to challenge our program to become even better.
Albion SC has formulated one of the best programs in the country for player development and placement of players at the next level. With over 10 National Team players in the last 5-6 years and a 2013 Graduating class over 2 Million Dollars in Scholarship offers we feel we are the vehicle for top players to get trained, prepared, and placed at the next level.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are the club’s goals in joining the USSDA, and do you plan to make any major changes in the way you structure the club?
Noah Gins: Our goals are simply to be the best at what we do in the arena of youth soccer. We are here to develop players for the National Team and college and, for the select few, the professional ranks.
We will really not make many changes to the program initially to bring forth the Development Academy Program. We are still ironing out all the details, which is actually the fun part of the process.
Our approach and overall attitude about getting invited to be part of the Academy program is that nothing will change about how we approach players, teams, or programming. We know that U.S. Soccer will put certain demands and have certain expectations, which we will certainly respond to, but in the end not much will change or be different about what we do. Our end result will still be the same, which is to get players to college and to develop them with all the tools to be successful after they leave Albion SC.
Diane Scavuzzo: Being invited to join the USSDA is certainly big news. Is there anything else that we can look forward to from Albion?
Noah Gins: We are also on the doorstep of partnering with a major European club, and that will open up so many doors for our players in the years to come. These are exciting times to say the least! And this all comes after the success of the BU9 State Cup Championship, BU10 State Cup Finalists, BU11 Semi Finalists, BU12 Quarter Finalists and BU13 Semi Finalists. We had a truly great showing at the state cup level.