Albion SC GU13s Are 2019 US Youth Soccer National Champions
Coached by Michael Whittaker, nationally recognized Albion SC team wins 2019 US Youth Soccer National 13U Girls Championship. Highly respected for player development, Albion SC is a leader in American youth soccer.
Among the first of the champions crowned at the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships was the Albion SC 13U Girls coached by Michael Whittaker. This highly talented team from Southern California team proves that talent — plus great training and determination — are the traits of champions. And, of course, it helps to have a coach that really believes in his players.
“I am incredibly proud of these extremely disciplined players — Always a top team, this was our last game together and the girls gave it everything.”Mike Whittaker, Girls Development Director Phase I & II
The journey to successfully compete in the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kansas started years ago for many of these young champions when they joined the prestigious and nationally recognized club.
Albion Soccer Club is known all across America and has a proven track record for player development and offers a full U.S. Soccer Develpoment Academy, as well as a highly successful program for younger players.
“I have been building this team for nearly my entire career at Albion SC,” said Mike Whittaker, Girls Development Director Phase I & II. “This team has amazing chemistry and has been five years in the making. While we always have added great players each year, most of the girls have spent their entire club career training at Albion.”
“I am very proud that Albion SC has claimed the 2019 National Championship. Congratulations to Mike Whitaker and the G06 Academy,”Noah Gins, CEO of Albion SC
“We, as a club, want to only represent the best and that doesn’t always mean you have to win but at this tournament, we were able to represent the best for winning the National Championship and being the best team in the country,” said Noah Gins, CEO of Albion SC.
“Always a top team, it all came together in the final. This is a huge win for the girls, and our first major championship victory.
A bittersweet moment, the players all knew this would be their last game with coach Whittaker. “I have always been proud of these players — but we never won the right game at the right time before this. The players all hold each other to a high standard and there is a lot of magic in this group. The team was very determined to win and to do what was needed to get the result in this highly competitive final.”
“This team has a great group of parents and we could not have achieved this level of success without everyone buying in and trusting what we were wanted to accomplish,” said Whittaker.
Preparation for a major tournament is key to success and Whittaker focused on preparing his players to have the high endurance required to win the championship.
“The most challenging aspect of our preparation was keeping our players fit. I never doubted our quality, but I knew with such a heavy schedule and being away from home, keeping players fit and healthy would be crucial. Even when you plan and pay close attention, there are situations that are outside of our control — and, this was the case with one of our top forwards Alexis Villa who was sidelined for all of Regionals and the National championships.”
“I really appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given at Albion. When I came in, Albion’s coach Wayne Crowe was achieving great success on the boys’ side and he still is. I had a clear vision for the girls and wanted to chase big goals. Noah Gins sets a very high standard for his coaches and I have certainly have been shaped and
“Mike has established himself at Albion as a leader by example,” said Gins. “With a focus to be the best in player development at the younger Girls’ side of Albion SC, a few years after joining us, Mike coaches his team to win the National Championship. I know this is just the first of more great wins in his journey with Albion SC.”
“Mike is one of the best in the industry. For us, he lays the foundation for all the players to advance to the next level inside Albion.”
Noah Gins, CEO of Albion SC
Highlights from the 2019 US Youth Soccer National Championship Final
Game Recap from US Youth Soccer: 13U Girls Albion SC Academy Whittaker (CA-S) 1-0 Michigan Jaguars (MI)
In a rematch of the Day Two matchup, Albion SC Whittaker (CA-S) earned a 1-0 victory over Michigan Jaguars (MI) to claim the 13U Girls National Championship title.
“We are ambitious at the club and always aiming high,” Whittaker told US Youth Soccer. “To be able to get here and win is unbelievable. That Michigan team has one of the best players in the age group and we were hanging on. It took every single player and every ounce of energy to get the job done. I could not be more proud.”
Albion took control of the match early and almost took the lead in the early going but saw a great free-kick chance sail just over the crossbar. Albion continued to control most of the possession in the final.
Albion secured the lead just before the halftime whistle after a foul in the box lead to a penalty chance. Albion’s Ava Schall stepped up and hit a shot that glanced off the keepers’ fingertips but found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. In the second half, Albion picked up where it left off as it controlled the pace of the game. The Cal South side held its 1-0 lead through the final whistle to become the 13U Girls National Champions.
“We have been working very hard and I did not see this coming at the beginning of the season because we have a lot of new girls,” said Albion player Lizzie Boamah. “I was like, ‘Oh my we are National Champions.’ I had the same feeling when we won Regionals, but Nationals is so much bigger. We are the number one team in America. It is crazy to think about that.”
What is next for these talented young National Champions?
“This group will be moving into the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA) to play for Albion SC’s coach Andre Schmid,” said Whittaker. “Andre is a top coach and having a different voice and perspective will be a benefit for the girls’ development.
“I am looking forward to watching these players as they continue their journey playing in the DA and as they advance to the next level, whether it be college, professional or playing for our national team,” said Whittaker.
“I am the guy who feds the DA and look forward to working with the 2007s, 2008s and the 2009 girls and helping them develop their talents and passion for the game,” said Whittaker who is currently completing his U.S. Soccer B coaching license.