Noah Gins on US Soccer Girls’ Development Academy
Youth Soccer News: U.S. Soccer Federation is launching the Girl’s Development Academy (DA) program in the Fall of 2017 and youth soccer clubs all around the country are preparing to field their first teams.
It is an exciting time in youth soccer — with the focus on developing top female soccer players in a highly competitive world where the USA ranks #1. Miriam Hickey is the new Director of U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy and her focus is on making sure America’s young girls are prepared to compete successfully in the evolving game of soccer.
Approximately 70 youth soccer clubs in seven regional divisions are participating in 2017-2018 Girls’ Development Academy program with the goal to accelerate the development of world-class female players and create excellent club environments which will attract the very best players. According to U.S. Soccer, the Girls DA is the highest level — the top of pyramid — where the elite players develop, train and compete.
San Diego’s Albion Soccer Club is one of the few youth soccer clubs selected to participate in the U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy for Girls.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the new direction of girls soccer in America? Do we need a new direction?
Noah Gins: We want to stay on top — the USA belongs on top. The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 5-2 and became the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion.
We are the first, three-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winners but it is really critical that we do not let the USA fall behind other countries that have geared up to compete against us.
We must raise the bar on developing our girls to support the future of the women’s side of the game.
U.S. Soccer has created the USSF Development Academy to develop the next generation of world class soccer players. They have selected very few clubs to work hand-in-hand with the US Federation to develop these players. We are honored to be included.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do we need the Girl’s DA?
Noah Gins: The changes are needed to develop technically better players, more refined players, and players that are on par with the rest of the world. The speed of play is faster then ever — and constantly increasing. We need to train our players to be able to make their own decisions on the field and for this to happen, the players need to be very knowledgeable.
It is time to develop our players with more attention and more professionalism and with a focus on development, not the results.
The world has caught up with the technical aspects of the game and — in many cases –pushed past the US.
Diane Scavuzzo: How will this change benefit today’s young girl players?
Noah Gins: At Albion SC, we are raising the bar on training our girls and we are excited about the competition and the overall pathway. It is great to be working closely with the Federation on the plans for developing players who will represent our country in the future.
Players going forward will benefit from the highly focused, 4-day a week training environment, the new attention to professionalism, and the exposure they will receive from U.S. Soccer scouts.
Now, young girls will really be able to dream big and dream of playing on the U.S. National Team with a true pathway to get there.
Diane Scavuzzo: To be able to compete internationally, we need to dream big. Do girls dream big enough?
Noah Gins: At the current state of soccer in this country …
I don’t think young girls dream big enough and those times are going to change.
Girls will now be given the pathway, the opportunity to dream of representing their country and beyond. The system is going to cater to dream and will allow for players to truly see these opportunities within arms reach.
Diane Scavuzzo: What insights did Jill Ellis share? What impressed you most?
Noah Gins: Jill Ellis is so connected as a Senior National Team Coach. Having coached club soccer, college Soccer and now at the U.S. National Team head coach, she understands the needs at each level.
Jill is very impressive in her knowledge of game, her overall approach to the game and desire to set the standard from the top with it reaching all the way down to the youth level.
Diane Scavuzzo: What has been the reaction at Albion SC?
Noah Gins: Albion SC has seen an incredible explosion on the girl’s side. The turn out for the Girl’s DA tryouts was great and we have 4 teams set with rosters ranging from 18 to 23 players and our coaching staff is ready to kick the program.
Coach Toumi is the Director of the Girls DA and will oversee the program. With the guidance of U.S. Soccer, we have created the most professional environment with the most qualified coaching staff and create a very well thought out and comprehensive training plan that really progresses and speeds up the development process for the players.
Diane Scavuzzo: There has been a lot of controversy over the difference between the new Girls DA and ECNL – what do you think the difference is?
Noah Gins: The difference is we are able to work directly with the U.S. Soccer Federation. This is a big difference between the Girls DA and the ECNL, as well as standards that exist in the DA do not exist in any league in the country.
Now the results on the field or the need to chase results are no longer of importance.
Diane Scavuzzo: How did Albion SC select players for the new Girls DA?
Noah Gins: We looked for qualities in players that give us clear examples of dominance. It could be physical, technical, tactical or mentally — and character is important as well.
Ultimately, we have to have serious soccer players who will commit to training 10 months of the year and dream of playing on the US National Team.
Diane Scavuzzo: Is professional women’s soccer growing stronger with the help of the NWSL?
Noah Gins: The NWSL pro league has gained significant momentum and the USSF Girls DA’s focus will help the Women’s Game become even more relevant and hopefully prosper.
The USA is facing a real challenge – as the reigning powerhouse in women’s soccer, we must prepare for the future. We are eager to be a part of U.S. Soccer solution to training the next generation of players and are proud to join in on paving the journey.